We’ll carry on but can never forget you, dad

The family of a man who died in an accident swam 84 miles for charity in his memory. Brad Visser, 38, suffered a severe brain injury when he fell off his electric skateboard near the family’s home in Main Street, Stoke Row, on July 17 2019. He died at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford 10 days later. To mark the second anniversary of his death, his widow Annie and their children Ozzie, 10, and Chloe, nine, are raising money for Headway, a brain injury charity that would have helped Brad had he survived. Mrs Visser said that while they were paying tribute to her husband, their effort was also about the resilience of the children, who had shown how far they would go to help others.

Training is tough but it’s my dream to win gold

Tom George says he has had a love-hate relationship with rowing. He has never really enjoyed the training, preferring instead the thrill of competition on the water. It was this that has kept the Leander Club rower focused on his dream of representing Great Britain at the Olympic Games and he will get to live this in Tokyo, which started this week. Tom, 26, will be in the eight and is one of the favourites to bring home gold after they took home the European title in Italy in April. “I’m really proud to be going to Tokyo,” he says. “It’s the culmination of many years of work that led me here. “Competing at the Olympic Games was something I always wanted to achieve and now I’m enjoying the moment and training as hard as I can to do the best I can.”

Is the ‘Greta Thunberg Effect’ real?

Forthright and outspoken, Thunberg told the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in 2919: “I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.” She quickly became a leading voice in contemporary climate activism, despite her young age and non-elite status. But even with her popularity and success, some argue that she has become both a hero and a villain. Still, her influence on young and not-so-young people is undeniable, as is her ability to influence people on both sides of the political spectrum, a recent study found.

As you were as council elections produce little change

Former Henley mayor Stefan Gawrysiak says he will continue to do his best for the town after being re-elected to Oxfordshire County Council. The Henley Residents Group representative is one of only two independents on the council, which continues to have no party in overall control following the local council elections on Thursday last week. The Conservatives are still the largest party with 22 seats followed by the Liberal Democrats with 21, Labour with 15 and the Greens with three.

Italy is doing what many thought was impossible

Until a couple of years ago, finding a vegan croissant—made without eggs, milk, or butter—in Italian cafes really seemed like an impossible task. Today, nearly every breakfast spot in Rome offers this option, as well as cappuccinos prepared with vegan milk substitutes. It’s an unmistakable sign that the green revolution has finally reached Italy. In the heart of Trastevere, the traditional restaurant and bakery Checco Er Carettiere proudly displays these delicious croissants as part of its glorious breakfast options. The owners attribute the expanded menu to their customers.

Baking father and daughter nominated for book award

A man and his teenage daughter who run a bakery in Watlington have been shortlisted for a book award, writes Anna Colivicchi. Alex and Kitty Tait wrote Breadsong: How Bread Changed Our Lives about the story behind the Orange Bakery in High Street. The book, which will be published in May next year, is one of three finalists for this year’s Jane Grigson Trust Award, which is made to a first-time writer of a book about food or drink which has been commissioned but not yet published. Kitty, 16, said: “I’m super excited — I can’t quite believe it’s all real.”

How 'StudyTube' promotes toxic productivity and abuse

'StudyTube' is a YouTube community that makes videos about education and studying. But its focus on unwavering productivity, perfect morning routines, and elite universities can have a negative impact on creators and viewers. When YouTuber Elena Handtrack received more than 40 abusive messages from a single person during one of her live videos, she felt helpless and almost thought she would quit. “I only started doing YouTube in 2018, when I got into Cambridge,” she explains, “I never really expected the channel to grow, and it didn’t grow much until early this year.”

Covid-19 disrupted travel. Can it change it for the better?

When they traveled to Indonesia in 2019, Marco Giustiniani and his girlfriend each packed a light backpack. They also brought along a suitcase full of life-saving drugs. Giustiniani, 30, has cystic fibrosis, a genetic condition that causes a build-up of sticky mucus in his lungs, digestive system and other organs. Without regular treatment —including antibiotics, bronchodilators and steroid medicine — the condition can lead to life-threatening infections or reduced lung function.

How fiction can persuade readers that climate change is real

Catherine Bush's modern retelling of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest is a metaphor for the climate crisis. “A lot of people still prefer not to think about the climate crisis,” says Bush. “It’s very painful, overwhelming and depressing. But I think there’s something very powerful about asking readers to live through a place, through a story, and through the emotional lives of the characters.”

Abuse and deactivation: costs of celebrating women in science on Instagram?

Instagram accounts like ‘How 2 Rob a Bank’ want to teach us more about women in maths and science – yet they face harassment and deactivation. They had tried to engage with the people leaving negative comments on their Instagram posts, but Bia Kazmi, a business and data analyst and co-founder of the Instagram page How 2 Rob a Bank, did not expect their profile would be deactivated after people had reported it. Their crime? Being women who encourage people to use maths in their daily life.

How personal stories can combat climate denialism

The first time Ashley Cooper saw a polar bear, the animal was lying dead. As he later learned, the bear had starved to death as a result of climate change. Cooper, a professional photographer who has documented the effects of global warming for sixteen years, had booked an expedition to Svalbard, a Norwegian arctic archipelago, hoping to take pictures of polar bears in their natural habitat. “One day, I spotted what I thought was a polar bear on land, but this thing didn’t appear to move at all, and I was obviously really keen to have a closer look at it,” Cooper says. “At that point, I had never even seen an alive polar bear before.”

Climate activism is for everyone

According to a survey last year, 85% of Brits are concerned about climate change - the rapidly rising temperature of the earth due to increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere - with over half admitting they are ‘very concerned.’ Contrary to perception, the future of our planet is not solely in the hands of young, white, able-bodied people, but campaigners of all abilities, races, ages, orientations, and backgrounds.

Bamboo bikes and biodiversity

There is a school in Northern Colombia that teaches its pupils to save endangered turtles. It is a far from traditional educational experience. Children at Colegio Los Manglares meet turtles and learn how to tackle plastic pollution. They take part in turtle releases, as well as doing beach cleans. They study turtle biology and even learn maths through the life of a turtle. When outdoor philosopher, environmentalist and writer Kate Rawles arrived at Colegio Los Manglares, she didn’t know much about turtles or the school—but she was eager to learn.

On Dining Alone

My sister loves to cook curry. Japanese style, the way an old lady cooked it for her when she visited Japan for the first time, last year. ‘This stuff is delicious, you must try it,’ she told me. My sister would make the sauce and my mum would fry chicken breast, so we could have chicken katsu curry: sticky white rice, crispy chicken and the thick sauce on top. They prepared it for me the day before I moved to England to start a new job and we ate it together, sitting on the sofa, watching an episode of my mum’s favorite crime TV series.

'I wanted people to see the beauty God has given them' - How a young fashion designer from Preston found her inspiration to launch two successful brands

When Laura Jeffers was a little girl, she used to make clothes for her dolls and teddy bears. Her nan taught her how to sew, so she would cut pieces of fabrics from her own clothes and then transform them into something new. “When I was younger, I didn’t really care about what other people were wearing,” she explains, “I just wanted to create."

'Before country, my music didn't have a direction' - Singer and songwriter Joe Martin on how country music changed his life

When thinking about country music, it is easier to picture a group of middle-aged men playing banjos - but Joe Martin, a ‘country boy’ from Lancashire, is taking the genre on a whole new level. Born 25 years ago in Chipping, Joe started to play classical music from a young age, encouraged by his dad, who worked in the entertainment industry. “I’ve always done music, since I can remember,” Joe says, “I started playing the guitar when I was about 13, and my dad taught me some chords, but then left me to my own devices.”

Coronavirus: 'Rome looks like a post-apocalyptic city' - An Italian doctor's experience fighting the virus

My dad Furio keeps a bag in the booth of his car: inside it, the bare necessities - a tooth-brush, a clean shirt and socks - in case he gets stuck in the hospital overnight because of new cases of coronavirus. He’s the director of a unit in one of Rome’s biggest hospitals and has been working 16-hour shifts since the whole of Italy became a ‘protected zone’, on Sunday night.
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