Africa is often portrayed as a luckless continent full of horror and starving people, at least that's what journalists like to report as it sells newspapers and gets people to listen and watch as they parade adverts in front of us. In South Africa, one teacher has managed to get a 100% pass rate for her final year students. In Senegal, they've discovered that prawns can help reduce the incidence of a killer disease, while in Mali, musicians have come together, Band Aid style, to sing for peace.
Individual heroism is not unusual, and a man in Australia wrestled a shark to save some children. Another form of heroism is overcoming severe problems. In Haiti, a professional dancer has managed to come back from losing a leg to continue with his career. Still on the subject of people, a professional footballer has spent time and money helping the homeless of Swansea during the cold snap.
And just to prove that it's the people of a nation that make a difference rather than politicians, a designer in the USA has turned illegal weapons into jewelry. Some of the funds raised go back to the police to fund crime-fighting initiatives. In South America, the problems of the past are coming to an end as their economies and societies improve. And lastly, how to use nature to control crop pests. In Brazil they are testing a way of using Wasps to control Moths that eat sugarcane plants.
Now for the odd stories of the past week.
Science Fiction and Fantasy is, mostly, a sexist genre where women have to wear as little clothing as possible. One writer, Jim Hines, is taking this perception on and raising money for charity at the same time. Of all the objects from WW2 that pop up in the UK from time to time, a lump of lard is unusual. A large lump from a sunken merchant ship has washed ashore in Scotland and can still be used. Just to prove we're as batty as anyone else, watch a video of people going for a swim surrounded by ice. And, we have more than our fair share of crazies. Here's a short video of people ski-ing through a city to get to work.
Watching things go wrong is fun when no one gets hurt, so I enjoyed a good snigger when I discovered that Canada's banknotes have the wrong Maple Leaf on them.
In the US, a military plane accidentally dropped a bucket which left a large hole in a building. In another man made problem, a tunnel in Norway was closed because of burning goat's cheese. I kid you not. I'd love to hear a man give that excuse to his wife for being late home from work.
3D printing is all the rage at the moment, but I can't help wondering if it's going a little too far. Firstly, an architect is planning to print buildings, while a company is planning on printing beef.
Onto the largest things, and a seed from the world's largest pumpkin has been sold for £168 so a bigger one can be grown. Is this the largest snowman in the UK, or even the world? It stands 17 feet tall. Come on, take up the challenge.
Now, for the pictures
And lastly, a little song to blow away the blues.
On that high note I bid you adieu and I shall see you on Monday.