Tuesday January 26, 2021
We are looking forward to a new year filled with hope, love, laughter, and community. Here are some great stories that have happened already in 2021 that have us feeling good about what’s to come.
Barcelona Opera House Performed a Concert for 2,292 Plants
Photo: LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images
With social distancing practices in place, Gran Teatre Liceu (the Barcelona Opera House), found a very green solution for their first performance upon reopening. Classical music lovers were able to tune in virtually as a quartet took the stage. Occupying the red velvet seats, however, were 2,292 potted plants soaking up the beautiful melodies. This unbe-leaf-able idea was staged by conceptual artist Eugenio Ampudia who felt that it would encourage viewers to reconsider how we relate to nature. "I thought why don't we go into the Liceu like weeds, take it over and let nature start growing everywhere and turn it into something alive even when there are no people," said Ampudia.
Nadub Gill, Boy Math Genius, Set a Guinness World Record
Photo: Guinness World Records
Math has a new champion, and he is a 10-year-old boy named Nadub Gill! This adorable boy from the UK was crowned the “King of Math” after earning the Guinness World Record for answering 196 multiplication and division problems in a minute. Gill says he practiced for over an hour a day on Times Tables Rock Star, a computer game where users can practice their mathematical skills. He humbly says he’s always been proficient in math and that he wants to be an astronaut when he grows up.
Mourning Orca Mother, Tahlequah, Successfully Had a Baby
Photo: Katie Jones, Center for Whale Research
Grieving killer whale mother, Tahlequah, lost her calf and the world mourned with her as she carried her baby on her back for 17 days and 1,000 miles. Last September, Tahlequah, known to researchers as J35, gave birth to a healthy baby orca labeled as J57. And it’s a boy! Mother and baby were spotted swimming with their J pod by the Center for Whale Research in Harbor, WA. Researchers noticed that the whales joyfully welcomed new arrivals as the pod created a “super pod” by merging with two others and made lots of whale noises upon the birth of J57. Congratulations to Tahlequah and her baby boy!
The Great Barrier Reef is Showing Signs of Recovery From Coral Bleaching
Photo: Gary Cranitch/Great Barrier Reef Foundation
Marine biologists have seen incredible signs of recovery for the Great Barrier Reef. This is mostly due to an Australian family-owned eco-tourism company, Passions of Paradise, that decided to give back to nature during the pandemic shut down. The scuba diving employees worked alongside a marine biologist to seed the coral reefs in their area. Together, they planted thousands of new coral pieces. Months later, parts of the reef appeared significantly healthier.
Queen of Country, Dolly Parton, Donated $1 Million to Vaccine Research
Photo: Associated Press
Dolly Parton poured coronavirus researchers a huge cup of ambition with a $1 million donation to fund a vaccine. Parton’s contribution helped the team make huge strides in their research, and her name appears in the preliminary report. Other sponsors include the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Emory University. The vaccine is 94.5% effective against the coronavirus.
Good news is all around us. Sometimes, we just have to look a little deeper. We hope that 2021 is filled with these stories about neighborly acts, finding our stride with nature, and breaking new barriers. Have a great week, everyone!