Each week, Ben Hopkinson looks back at a serious, crazy, and happy news story from the past week.
The London Resort, which was announced in 2012, has had a major dent in its development. Not actually located in London, and rather on the Swanscombe Peninsula in Kent – the land has been confirmed has been marked as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) by Natural England. Although hundreds supported the SSSI, only eight objected to it, included London Resort and Swanscombe Development LLP which owns a large amount of the land in question. The reasoning for the special protection is due to the national importance of fossils, as mammoths have been found on the land as well as five rare vascular plants (some of which close to extinction in the British Isles). The status does not mean that the area is not any planning applications, however it adds weight within the decision process.
What weighs 8kg? Microwaves, televisions, mattresses, and a chair all come to mind – but how about a potato? Nicknamed Doug, the mutant spud could well be the world’s heaviest potato weighing the same as these! Colin Craig-Brown from New Zealand couldn’t believe their luck when they dug up what they thought was a fungal growth. They have applied for a Guinness World Record, as they are sure no other potato weighs this much (the current record belongs to Somerset as a 2011 potato weighed only 4.98kg). Doug is now getting the fame around town, as a cart has been built to tow it around, it has its own Facebook account, but may not be for long as it is beginning to dry out and get mouldy. Rather than being turned into crisps or chips, the potato will eventually be turned into potato vodka! If you want to grow your own Doug, he simply says: “throw a load of cow manure and straw in the garden and see what happens”.
On Monday, the United States reopened its borders to those who are double-jabbed after a 20-month closure. To celebrate, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic participated in a historic dual take-off from Heathrow at 8:30am on Monday, set for New York JFK airport. Those travelling were greeted by applause, balloons, and cookies! It is big news, as one of the busiest air traffic corridors have reopened, bringing money and tourism back to both countries, as well as families being reunited of course.