Eddy's Good News: The Sapphire Tower and the longest plank ever

Virgin Radio

24 Apr 2024, 13:15

Every day during his show on Virgin Radio Anthems, Eddy Temple-Morris brings you Good News stories from around the world, to help inject a bit of positivity into your day!

Be sure to listen each day between 2pm and 6pm (Monday - Friday) to hear Eddy's Good News stories (amongst the finest music of course), but if you miss any of them you can catch up on the transcripts of Eddy's most recent stories below:

Wednesday 24th April 2024

Credit: Flowers of the Puya alpestris, and Alberto Trinco – Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

Imagine a flower that only blooms once every eighteen years and only lasts for a few days. It’s the perfect metaphor for the old adage “enjoy it while it lasts”. 

At the Birmingham Botanical Gardens (BBG), a rare plant that most people will never see flower has sprouted its azure blooms for the first time in well over a decade .

This incredibly rare event has turned the plant, a bromeliad called Puya alpestris into what they’re romantically calling a “sapphire tower.”

Native to the Chilean Andes at altitudes above 6,000 feet, the sapphire tower is actually a distant relative of the pineapple. Brought to the warmth of the greenhouse almost 20 years ago, this is the first time the plant has flowered.

In the wild, the plant relies on hummingbirds to pollinate it, who come to feast on the sapphire tower’s nectar-rich flowers but in the glasshouse botanists are now hand-pollinating by gently tapping the stamens with a paintbrush.

“Hopefully, pollinating the flowers with the brush to obtain seeds - they say - will allow us to secure the presence of this amazing species in our collection for future generations to come and admire.”

Via: goodnewsnetwork.org

Credit: DonnaJean Wilde setting the plank record – Guinness World Records

Do you plank? How long for? I was recommended 45 seconds for someone my age so I thought I was doing well with two minutes every morning but I’m now thinking that’s actually pitiful as I’ve been put to shame by a Canadian woman who just set a new world record for the longest time spent in an abdominal plank position, an astonishing and core burning 4 hours, 30 minutes, and 11 seconds.

When DonnaJean Wilde,  a mother of 5 with 12 grandchildren went to university about 20 years ago for a masters degree, she contracted something called transverse myelitis, which expresses itself as pain and numbness in the upper body, mostly arms, hands and shoulders. So she started planking to lean into the pain, something muscle experts say is a cutting edge way of dealing with these types of conditions. 

“She did her entire master’s degree planking,” said her daughter Laura and her husband Randy added “if she wants to watch a movie with me, she’ll watch it in the plank position.”

She is a walking talking and now record breaking example of triumph over adversity and an inspiration all anyone who lives with long term pain.

Via: goodnewsnetwork.org