Happy Hump Day News: Jet Packs and Hero Rats

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This week, a nonagenarian breaks the internet and Scotland continues to prove that it paves the way for sustainability in the UK…

Hello Instagram…


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Sir David Attenborough has joined Instagram, but you probably already know that considering the 94-year-old national treasure has already amassed nearly five million followers, beating Jennifer Aniston’s record for hitting one million in the fastest time. Attenborough took four hours and 44 minutes to hit seven figures, while Aniston took five hours and 16 minutes. There’s a serious reason behind his sign up though – he’s going to use the platform to raise awareness of the problems the planet faces and how we can help.

Remarkable Rats


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Many of us (understandably) recoil when rats are mentioned, however in some parts of the world, the rodent has a seriously important job. An organisation called APOPO has been training up these little creatures for around twenty years to help sniff out mines and other explosives. One of theses rats, Magawa, a giant African pouched rat, has recently been awarded a medal for bravery by the PDSA for discovering 39 landmines and 28 items of ‘unexploded ordinance’ over the past seven years. The Gold Medal is the charity’s top civilian award for animal bravery.

Real-life Superheroes


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In the Lake District, a new mode of emergency services transport is being tested, and with promising results! The Great North Air Ambulance Service has carried out its first jet suit test flight, during which the suit’s inventor zoomed across the landscape and located a simulated emergency scenario in just 90 seconds. The pioneering suit would mean that a paramedic could fly to the scene of an emergency at the 3,117ft peak of Helvellyn in just eight minutes, carrying medical supplies and a defibrilator. In remote areas, this method could shave off a crucial chunk of time when trying to get to a patient in need.



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The remains of an Ice Age bear have been found by reindeer herders in the Russian Arctic. The carcass is so well preserved that even its nose is still intact – it’s thought at the moment that the bear could be around 39,000 years old. The discovery will provide palaeontologists with exciting new insights into the species and the Ice Age period. Watch this space!

Scot Emission Free


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Scotland is proving once again to be at the forefront of environmental awareness, as this week, the country has launched an entirely electric coach journey from Edinburgh to Dundee. The new vehicles from electronic coach company Ember can travel the 125-mile round trip on one single charge. While there are only two electric coaches in existence so far, it is hoped that the scheme proves to be a success, thus encouraging more electric routes across the country.

On Your Bike


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Another silver lining of lockdown is that it has encouraged people to get out exploring on two wheels – so much so that the UK has witnessed a 146% increase in cycling since March! The Department of Transport has now invested £1 million into a Big Bike Revival scheme in schools, which will include pop-up bike mechanic stations, and Cycling UK has also launched its inaugural ‘Pumped Up Crew’ in Manchester – where volunteers take to the streets to help new and amateur cyclists with any help they might need.

Barefoot Bookseller


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We’ve got another dream job for you this week. Soneva Fushi, a resort in the Maldives, is advertising for a book expert to work onsite and help recommend books to guests as well as look after the tropical library/shop. Six months reading books in paradise? It sounds too good to be true!

And finally…

Lincolnshire Wildlife Park has had a controversial week… The attraction has had to remove five African grey parrots because of their use of bad language, which has offended some visitors. While we couldn’t show you a video of the naughty quintet for obvious reasons, we can show you another of the park’s residents, Chico, who is much more approachable and enjoys crooning hits by none other that Beyonce.


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