From Channel News Asia
The International Olympic Committee’s chief inspector said Thursday preparations for the 2012 London Olympics were “on the right track” after his team spent three days visiting the construction sites.
“We can confirm that London 2012 is on the right track,” Denis Oswald, the chair of the IOC’s coordination commission, told journalists.
“We had an opportunity to see the (Olympic) Park and for many of us it was the first time since May last year and we were deeply impressed by the progress made.
“The stadium is impressive, also the Olympic Village,” he added.
More than one billion people celebrated Earth Day Wednesday.
Since its creation by United States senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970, Earth Day’s reach has spread around the world and is now marked in about 175 countries.
Earth Day Network, the organizers of Earth Day, are launching the “Green Generation” campaign.
The campaign will last two years and Earth Day’s organizers hope it will raise awareness on how to reverse dangerous environmental trends.
Emblazoned on a long, tall, concrete barrier in the midst of a rocky Middle Eastern landsc
ape is this spray-painted message: “Mirror, mirror on the wall. When will this senseless object fall?”
It’s one of more than 900 graffiti messages that have been spray-painted by Palestinians on the controversial wall that separates Israel and the West Bank.
The painters take orders through a Web site that lets customers get a message on the wall. For the equivalent of $40, a Palestinian will spray paint the message and send three digital photos of it.
Anything goes — marriage proposals, jokes, notes to friends — as long as it isn’t extremist, hate-filled, or pornographic, said Faris Arouri, one of the founders of the site.
“Trying to imagine a clear view between Palestine and Israel,” one reads.
“If all humans are equal, why do they have to live separated?” says another.
And another simply shouts: “Get along with each other!”
From the UK Guardian
Conservationists have discovered a new population of orang-utans in a remote area of Indonesia, giving a rare boost to one of the world’s most endangered great apes.
A team surveying mountainous forests in eastern Borneo counted 219 orang-utan nests, indicating a “substantial” number of the animals, said Erik Meijaard, of the US-based charity The Nature Conservancy.
“We can’t say for sure how many,” he said, but even the most cautious estimate would indicate “several hundred at least, maybe 1,000 or 2,000 even”.
If this isn’t a good news story then I don’t know what is?!
From the Telegraph (UK)
Mental arithmetic became easier after volunteers had been given large amounts of compounds found in chocolate, called flavanols, in a hot cocoa drink.
They were also less likely to feel tired or mentally drained, the findings, presented at the British Psychological Society annual conference in Brighton show.
Prof David Kennedy, director of the brain, performance and nutrition research centre at Northumbria University, and a co-author of the study, said that chocolate could be beneficial for mentally challenging tasks.
The findings suggest students who binge on chocolate when revising for exams may gain a real benefit from doing so.