Happy Hump Day News: The Power of Ballet, Books and Bizarre Behinds

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We’ve got some really lovely stories for you this week, and we think you might need them! There’s another update from the penguin world, plus a troop of inspiring juniors, seniors and rock stars. Enjoy!

Truffle Shuffle


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ZSL London Zoo has released pictures of its newest resident, a baby two-toed sloth called Truffle who was born to proud parents and long-term partners Marilyn and Leander. The keepers named the cub Truffle (whose gender is not yet known) because it already seems very inquisitive and likes to sniff around for treats to eat.

Fat Macy’s


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There’s more uplifting news from our capital this week. A new culinary scheme makes ordering in food a virtuous act (in case you’re susceptible to post-takeaway guilt too). Fat Macy’s helps young people living in hostels and temporary accommodation to attain a Level 2 food hygiene qualification, and experience working in a kitchen or as front of house staff for supper clubs and corporate events. The organisation has set up a housing deposit scheme that helps the trainees move into their own homes. To find out more, order a three-course meal to your door, or browse the online shop for goodies, check out the website.

Pierre the Penguin


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This week’s penguin news comes from Australia, where a Northern Rockhopper penguin called Pierre washed up on a beach in a bit of a pickle. He’s being nursed back to health by Perth Zoo, however as the only penguin in the recovery centre, he gets lonely at times… The zookeepers have remedied this by playing Pierre videos of other Northern Rockhopper penguins in the wild as well as episodes of… Pingu! It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘Netflix and chill’…

Couple Goals


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A couple in Ecuador have been named the oldest living married couple by Guinness World Records. Julio Mora, 110, and his wife Waldramina Quinteros, 104, got married in February 1941, much to the disapproval of their families. Apparently 80th wedding anniversaries are traditionally oak – they’re certainly a mighty pair!

Optical Illusion


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A new study has revealed that if farmers paint eyes on their cows’ backsides, then the animals are less likely to be hunted by predators. The research will help farmers in northern Botswana who regularly lose livestock to lions and leopards – the simple solutions are often the best!



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Ann Cleeves, author of the books that inspired the North East based television series Vera, is setting up a new reading scheme, which she is tentatively calling Bibliotherapy (until she thinks of a better name). The scheme aims to help people with health problems by assigning them a reading coach who can introduce them to libraries and other readers, recommend books, and also listen to their problems. Reading, especially in groups, undoubtedly helps overcome loneliness and allows people to escape for little while, plus literature makes it easier to discuss all sorts of issues. Cleeves’ crime series is 21 this year, so the author is gifting the North East two sponsored coaches for a pilot scheme, in honour of her heroine, Vera.

Twinkle Toes


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The brilliant aspects of social media have shone through again this week. You might have already seen the clip of 11-year-old Anthony Madu of the Leap of Dance Academy in Lagos performing ballet in the rain. The clip went viral, and now Madu has been offered a five-year scholarship in New York, which starts in January. Many residents in Ajangbadi were dubious when dance teacher Daniel Ajala set up his school, however there is now a waiting list of around 30 children.

New Definitions


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Online dictionary, Dictionary.com, has updated its entries to set a more tolerant example. The website has introduced an individual entry for the word ‘Black’ when it refers to a person, and has capitalised it as a mark of respect. Other alterations include changing ‘commit suicide’ to ‘die by suicide’, and ‘addict’ to ‘person addicted to’.



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Magician David Blaine surprised the world with a colourful – and kind of mesmerising (when you know he lands safely) – stunt this week called Ascension. He floated 24,500 feet above the Arizona desert holding onto a bunch of brightly-coloured helium balloons, before skydiving and parachuting back to ground level. The stunt was reminiscent of a story about a man nicknamed Lawnchair Larry, who aimed to ascend 100 feet after attaching some balloons to a garden chair, but accidentally floated up to 16,000 feet…

And finally…

A 10-year-old British girl challenged ex-Nirvana drummer and lead singer of the Foo Fighters Dave Grohl to a virtual drum off. You can check out both of their efforts here – we’re pretty sure we’ll be seeing Nandi rocking out with a band in a few years time!