Home Articles posted by Rachel Banbury (Page 2)

Amazon boss Jeff Bezos has pledged $10billion ($NZ15.6 billion) to help fight climate change.

The world’s richest man said the money would finance work by scientists, activists and other groups.

He said: “I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change.”

Mr Bezos has an estimated net worth of more than $130bn, so the pledge represents almost 8% of his fortune.

He announced the pledge on his Instagram page saying:

⁣⁣⁣”Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet. I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change on this planet we all share. This global initiative will fund scientists, activists, NGOs – any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world.

“We can save Earth. It’s going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organisations, and individuals. ⁣⁣⁣

⁣⁣⁣”I’m committing $10bn to start and will begin issuing grants this summer. Earth is the one thing we all have in common – let’s protect it, together.”⁣⁣⁣

Legendary singer, Sir Elton John, had to finish his Sunday concert early due to walking pneumonia.

The illness has also meant he has to postpone his Tuesday and Thursday concerts until next year.

Elton John says he’s “incredibly disappointed” to have to reschedule.

Late on Tuesday evening, a statement from his promoter was released. It said that Sir Elton John’s two remaining Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, performances will be rescheduled to Friday 15th and Saturday 16th January 2021.

Walking pneumonia is an informal term for pneumonia that isn’t severe enough to require bed rest or hospitalisation. You may feel like you have a cold.

We hope Sir Elton has a speedy recovery.

New Zealand Post has temporarily suspended all mail to and from China due to the coronavirus outbreak.

This is due to NZ Post’s airline partners suspending flights into China.

“Given the current suspension of many airline services into China, NZ Post is currently not accepting any mail or parcels for delivery into China,” NZ post said on its website.

The suspension took effect on 17th February.

So, if you are waiting of a parcel from China you should expect ‘significant’ delays.

New Zealand Post said the service suspension will be reviewed regularly and once China is able to receive mail and parcels, it will recommence sending items.

The world’s longest salami has been created in Argentina.

The Argentinian town of Tandil created a 99.5-metre meat salami. This is bigger than the statue of liberty which 93 metres tall.

The world record-breaking salami, which weighs 278 kilos in all, was presented to hundreds of hungry onlookers.

Those that were present were able to try the salami once the official length had been verified.

The sausage took 36 days and more than 100 people to be completed according to organiser Mariano Frias.

New Zealand has celebrated Safer Internet Day 2020.

The day is held annually around the world on the 11th of February and is designed to encouraging and promoting a better online experience.

More than 50 nations, tens of thousands of companies and millions of people are joining together for a better internet.

In New Zealand, online safety organisation Netsafe is again the official host.

They have held information sessions and produced resources to promote safer use of the Internet.

Netsafe started coordinating Safer Internet Day back in 2014. This year, the largest number of partners since then have pledged to support the event.

Netsafe CEO Martin Cocker says he is overwhelmed with the level of support Safer Internet Day was receiving, and that was growing daily. He says online safety is often considered an issue specific to young people.

Taranaki maunga is set to be known solely by its Māori name.

Ngā Iwi o Taranaki and the crown have reached an agreement for Taranaki Maunga to be used exclusively and for Mt Egmont to be scrapped.

Up until 1986, Mt Taranaki was officially recognised by the National Geographic Board as Mt Egmont.

The name was given by James Cook – who sailed past the maunga in 1770 and named it after a supporter, John Perceval the Earl of Egmont.

Since 1986, the maunga has been officially recognised as both Mt Taranaki and Mt Egmont. Now, it will be just Mt Taranaki.

The agreement will also see the Egmont National Park renamed to Te Papakura o Taranaki.

Palmerston the Cat lives and works in a UK government office. He has finally returned after taking six months’ stress leave.

The black and white cat was forced to take a break from work after he was overloaded with treats given to him by government employees. 

Palmerston announced his return from his Twitter account on Monday.

“I am happy to announce that I will be returning to my Chief Mouser duties at the @foreignoffice this week!”

But employees will have to follow special ‘Palmerston Protocols’ to avoid a repeat of overindulgence.

Most importantly, no-one other than his carers are allowed to feed Palmerston. 

Do you hate eating over-ripe apples?

Well, Washington State University has created a new breed of apple that lasts for up to a year in the fridge!

The apple – Cosmic Crisp – is a cross-breed of the Honeycrisp and Enterprise apples.

It has taken two decades to develop after trials began in 1997.

Farmers in the state of Washington are exclusively allowed to grow the fruit for the next decade.

“It’s an ultra-crisp apple, it’s relatively firm, it has a good balance of sweet and tart and it’s very juicy,” said Kate Evans, who co-led the apple’s breeding programme at Washington State University.

She said the flesh is slow to brown and the fruit “maintains excellent eating quality in refrigerated storage – easily for 10 to 12 months”.

More than 12 million Cosmic Crisp trees have been planted and a strict licensing system does not permit farmers to grow the apples in other parts of the country.

Unfortunately, they are only available in the US for now.

People who tag or deface the Moeraki boulders may face imprisonment or a $100,000 fine.

This is the message coming from the Waitaki District Council and the local DOC after people have been tagging the boulders.

The Moeraki boulders are unusually large and spherical boulders lying along a stretch of Koekohe Beach on the  Otago coast of New Zealand. They have been protected in a scientific reserve. 

Over the six months, there has been an upsurge in people carving names and words into boulders and leaving behind their rubbish.

The boulders are on Department of Conservation (DOC) land and they are going to erect better signage.

The numbers of tourists visiting the site is expected to increase over the next few years with the boulders becoming a part of the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark.

DOC’s asking locals to take photos if they see boulders being vandalised, and report them.