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Event Horizon Telescope: Black hole produces twisting jet
8 April 2020 - One year on from publishing the first ever image of a black hole, the team behind that historic breakthrough is back with a new picture. This time we're being shown the base of a colossal jet of excited gas, or plasma, screaming away from another black hole at near light-speed. The scientists who operate the Event Horizon Telescope describe the jet in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. (more)

Your Internet is working. Thank these Cold War-era pioneers who designed it to handle almost anything
8 April 2020 - Coronavirus may have forced people to stay at home, but the Internet these scientists envisioned long ago is keeping the world connected. (more)

Twitter boss pledges $1 billion for relief effort
8 April 2020 - Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter and payment app Square, has said he will donate $1bn towards efforts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. According to Mr Dorsey, the donation represented approximately 28 percent of his wealth. Mr Dorsey did not lay out exactly where the funds would be sent to help in the battle against Covid-19. The 43-year-old is the chief executive of both Twitter and Square. (more)

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey joins billionaires, celebrities aiming their wealth at coronavirus devastation
8 April 2020 - Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey has set aside $1 billion for coronavirus relief and other charitable causes, joining the fray of business tycoons and celebrities aiming their wealth at mitigating the outbreak's economic and societal harm. (more)

Pink Moon: Europe illuminated by lunar light show
8 April 2020 - Stargazers have enjoyed the emergence of what is known as a pink moon in the night skies of Europe. Despite its name, there is not any noticeable colour difference to the full moon. The pink supermoon name is a northern Native American reference to an early-blooming wildflower and is first seen across North America as spring begins. Many people on social media reflected on how the lunar light projects a sense of calm and positivity amid the coronavirus pandemic. (more)

Pink Moon: Why the moon won't actually be pink in April
8 April 2020 - The full moon in April, known as the Pink Moon, lit up the skies on Tuesday night. In many cultures, including Native American tribes, people named the full moons throughout the year as a way to keep track of time. ... April's full moon marks important festivals and holidays for people around the world too. The date of Easter is the first Sunday following the full moon, which itself follows the spring equinox. Hindus celebrate the birth of Hanuman in India in a festival called Hanuman Jayanti. The April full moon will also mark the beginning of Jewish Passover. (more)

Opera star Bocelli to sing from empty Duomo cathedral in Milan on Easter Sunday
7 April 2020 - Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli, one of the world's most famous tenors, will perform from Milan's empty Duomo cathedral on Easter Sunday in a livestreamed concert intended as a symbol of love, hope, and healing amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The concert will be streamed on Bocelli's YouTube channel at 1700 GMT on April 12. (more)

Vietnamese hat seller turns to homemade face shields in virus fight
7 April 2020 - For nearly three decades, Quach My Linh has sold hats at Ba Chieu market in Vietnam's bustling Ho Chi Minh City. But following a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the 42-year-old vendor has turned to making plastic face shields for frontline medical workers instead. ... In just a few days, Linh and her gang of volunteers made almost 1,000 face shields, she said, and distributed them to at least three nearby hospitals. (more)

With doors closed for coronavirus, Belgian chefs cater for hospitals
7 April 2020 - Belgian chef Nils Proost did not sit back when coronavirus restrictions forced the closure of his restaurant. He is now one of 30 top cooks serving meals to health sector workers across the country. ... He asked suppliers if they had food they could spare and called fellow chefs. Now his '#feedthenurses' initiative has some 30 chefs cooking meals for 40 hospitals as well as some care homes. (more)

Elusive 'missing link' black hole discovered by Hubble
6 April 2020 - Astronomers have long studied supermassive black holes and smaller black holes that form when massive stars implode, but they have searched for intermediate-mass black holes for years. Now, thanks to observations by the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have found their 'missing link' to understand how black holes evolve. They were able to confirm the observation of an intermediate-mass black hole, known as an IMBH, inside a dense cluster of stars. (more)

Joys of (virtual) Spring: Cambridge University streams online garden tours
6 April 2020 - Spring is normally a busy season for Cambridge University Botanic Garden but as Britain enters its third week of enforced lockdown, visitors are absent -- the lilacs and daffodils flowering for no one. But the gardeners have found a way to ensure their 8,000-plus species do not go unappreciated, by starting free virtual tours that allow people to download the delights of Spring. (more)

Alibaba billionaire Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai donates ventilators and masks to New York
5 April 2020 - Joe Tsai, the billionaire co-founder of Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba, and his wife Clara Wu Tsai, have donated 2.6 million masks, 170,000 goggles and 2000 ventilators to New York -- the US epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. (more)

Fighting gangs with jobs, El Salvador non-profit steers youth away from crime
5 April 2020 - Community cafes and after-school clubs aren't obvious tools for tackling gang violence but a non-profit picked up the prestigious Skoll Award on Thursday [2 April] for the creative ways it helps over a million young Latin Americans avoid crime and find jobs. In a region where one in four young people neither studies nor works, the organization offers therapy to adolescents from the slums of Mexico to Honduras and trains them to work as bakers, electricians, and technicians. One in two who completes the program obtains a job. (more)

Italian soccer team delivers care packages to its elderly fans during coronavirus lockdown (+ video)
5 April 2020 - The current coronavirus pandemic has plunged much of the world into unprecedented and uncertain times. But acts of kindness across the globe are providing much-needed light relief as people try to adapt to the new world they're living in. That is certainly the case in Rome, where one of the Italian capital's football teams, AS Roma, has started delivering emergency care packages to its most vulnerable supporters. (more)

Armed with good data, engineers wage quiet battle for cleaner air
4 April 2020 - As countries wage war on climate change and pollution from vehicles, a little-known transport group is providing the ammunition. The Washington-based International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) --which on Thursday [2 April] won a $1.5-million prize from the Skoll Foundation -- gathers and crunches data to give countries the ammunition they need to draw up effective policies, said Drew Kodjak, its executive director. (more)

Spanish hotel owner turns resort over to refugees during coronavirus crisis
4 April 2020 - In a complex of holiday bungalows to the east of Madrid, Venezuelan refugees and homeless people have replaced the tourists, business meetings, and wedding parties that usually fill the premises. The owner of the La Ciguena resort has turned the facility over to some of Madrid's most vulnerable families, after he had to close the hotel because of the coronavirus outbreak sweeping through Spain. (more)

April's 'pink' supermoon will be the biggest and brightest of 2020
3 April 2020 - A 'pink' supermoon is coming on April 7 [in US], and is expected to be the biggest and brightest full moon of the year. The moon, which won't actually be pink ... will be at its closest point to Earth in its orbit, appearing bigger and brighter than usual. So what makes it a 'pink' moon? According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, it has nothing to do with the color of the moon itself, but stems from flowers that are in bloom in April. (more)

Astronomers spot 'missing link' black hole - not too big and not too small
3 April 2020 - Scientists have detected a mid-size black hole -- considered the 'missing link' in the understanding of these celestial brutes -- eviscerating an unfortunate star that strayed too close. Using data from the Hubble Space Telescope and two X-ray observatories, the researchers determined that this black hole is more than 50,000 times the mass of our sun and located 740 million light years from Earth in a dwarf galaxy, one containing far fewer stars than our Milky Way. (more)

Barcelona resident happy his serenade helped people forget coronavirus
3 April 2020 - Barcelona resident Alberto Gestoso, whose video of himself playing piano for neighbours from his balcony has been viewed nearly a million times on Instagram, is just happy he could help people forget the coronavirus, if only for a few minutes. The clip, taken while the 37-year-old computer programer was confined at home under Spain's state of emergency, has been featured on national media. (more)

French city-dwellers keep fit on balconies
3 April 2020 - As dusk fell over Nantes in western France, dozens of residents of an apartment block came out onto their balconies for a half-hour fitness session to beat the inertia of life under lockdown while the coronavirus sweeps across the country. The workout caught on after Pierre Planchenaud began exercising alone. Before long, his neighbors wanted to join in. (more)

Great British lockdown: bread-making frenzy sweeps the UK
3 April 2020 - Brits aren't known for being the best cooks, but as the coronavirus lockdown continues, a baking frenzy has taken hold to such an extent that flour is running low in some places and recipe searches have hit all-time highs. Some have started to bake bread for the first time. Bread recipes are rising, with the video 'how to make bread' up nearly 700 percent in the last two weeks, Lily Barclay, the digital editor of BBC Good Food. said. (more)

Ukrainian designer equips doctors for battling coronavirus
3 April 2020 - Ukrainian fashion designer Ivan Frolov has postponed work on his new collection and is making coveralls for doctors to meet a shortage of protective clothing during the coronavirus epidemic. Seamstresses are working ... to produce the coveralls made of a special fabric, known as spunbond, that is used for workwear. Frolov has made his patterns available online so anyone can download them and help with making the coveralls. (more)

Food retailer feeds off Russia's appetite for healthy eating
2 April 2020 - In just over 10 years, upstart Russian organic food retailer VkusVill has gone from selling dairy products in a dingy market on Moscow's outskirts to aiming for omnipresence. The chain's main innovation has been its wide assortment of inexpensive organic food. VkusVill works with more than 800 suppliers -- owner Andrei Krivenko describes his company as a 'platform for local producers' -- to stock own-brand food without additives. (more)

United Kingdom: Heirloom plants -- Saving the nation's seeds from extinction
1 April 2020 - The battle of the Somme in 1916. A British soldier fighting in France is given seeds as a memento of happier times. When he returns home, he plants them in the soil. His family and friends carry on the tradition, and, today, you can still find the Blackdown Blue pea growing somewhere in Somerset. Catrina Fenton, head of the Heritage Seed Library in Coventry, rests the seeds in her hand. 'People like to grow something that's got a bit of history behind it,' she says. 'A lot of the varieties in our collection have got wonderful stories; they relate to a particular place, or they taste a bit like the tomatoes their grandfather used to grow.' (more)

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