Not many things give us more joy than music. But via videoconferencing?
At 7.30pm GMT on Tuesday, a choir met for its first ever rehearsal. Starting tentatively to the sound of a few throats being nervously cleared, its members soon warmed up, grinning at each other while belting out verse after verse, before chatting excitedly afterwards over cups of tea.
But they weren’t flouting official UK advice to avoid mass gatherings; it was all done online, with people taking part via video from sofas all over the world. The mass singalong, The Sofa Singers, is the brainchild of James Sills – a musician and vocal leader who lives in north Wales – and it has been designed to spark joy and togetherness amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
“I was so moved by seeing the neighbourhood singing in Italy and wondered if we could recreate that spirit with an online choir,” Sills told Positive News on Tuesday evening, as he carried out last-minute preparations for the first rehearsal. “And so the idea for The Sofa Singers was born. I guess it’s a bit of an experiment. But it will be amazing to have hundreds of people joining me for a simultaneous singalong.”
The scent-tracking ability of dogs has helped archaeologists discover Iron Age tombs in Croatia dating back nearly 3,000 years.
Vedrana Glavaš, an archaeologist at the University of Zadar, used Belgian malinois (above) and German shepherd dogs that had previously been taught to sniff out graves in criminal investigations. The dogs were able to locate several burial chests containing human bones and artefacts in a hilltop fort in the Velebit mountains on the Adriatic coast.
Human ingenuity is amazing.
A 23-year-old British design graduate has invented a biodegradable material made from fish waste that could one day replace plastic in packaging.
Lucy Hughes (above) used fish offcuts to develop a strong, flexible and translucent material called MarinaTex, which looks and feels like plastic but can be disposed of as compostable food waste.