July Week 4: Esselen tribe regains ownership of land, lost teddy with mother's voice found

After 250 years, Native American tribe regains ownership of Big Sur ancestral lands via CNN

The Esselen tribe has lived in California's Santa Lucia Mountains for thousands of years. According to their website, nearly 250 years ago Spanish explorers took their land and have owned it until 27th July 2020. The Esselen Tribe of Monterey County (ETMC) closed a $4.5 million deal with environmental group Western Rivers Conservancy (WRC) to purchase almost 1,200 acres of land in Big Sur, where the mountains are located.

The WRC work to aquire land with the purpose of finding a long--term steward that will conserve the natural habitat. Both the Esselen tribe and WRC have agreed that the land will not be commercially developed on and conservation efforts will continue.

Tom Little Bear Nason, Tribal Chairman of the ETMC, told The Mercury News: "We are going to conserve it and pass it on to our children and grandchildren and beyond. Getting this land back gives privacy to do our ceremonies. It gives us space and the ability to continue our culture without further interruption.

B.C. woman reunited with lost teddy bear containing recording of her mother's voice via CTV News

Canada native Maria Soriano was devastated when she realised her teddy bear with her late mother's voice was stolen as she moved to a new apartment. But with the help of fellow Canadian Ryan Reynolds, who promised a $5000 reward with no questions asked, the bear was returned to Soriano by two good Samaritans.

Soriano lost her mother Marilyn to cancer in June last year, but beforehand, Marilyn had put together the bear with her voice at a Build-A-Bear workshop, adding glasses and a jacket like the ones she used to wear. Soriano said about being reunited with the precious teddy: “It feels so surreal like I can't believe, I can't believe it, I can't - like Mama Bear's home.”

Doctor Runs 22 Miles Wearing Face Mask to Show it Doesn't Cut Oxygen Levels vis Newsweek

Anti-mask misinformation has been spreading like wildfire across social media, with claims that they lower your oxygen levels, cause you to breathe in carbon dioxide (what?), and can harm your immune system. One doctor in the north of England decided to prove a point, and all the anti-maskers wrong, by running 22 miles to work and back wearing a mask and recording his oxygen levels.

Dr Tom Lawton, who works at the Bradford Royal Infirmary in Yorkshire, recorded that his oxygen levels never fell below 98% of what it would usually be. He said: "I'm someone who understands the science, I've got access to a pulse-oximeter (a device used to monitor the amount of oxygen carried around the body) so I can actually go out and show that it definitely doesn't [cause oxygen deprivation]."

Dr Lawton added: "There are obviously people who can't wear masks for one reason or another, mostly for psychological reasons or PTSD, but everyone who can do so really should. My mask protects you, your mask protects me."

Piano players around the world unite during pandemic for virtual recital via Reuters

The app Playground Sessions invited pianists to learn the song 'You Raise Me Up' for free through a class with legendary record producer Quincy Jones and music company Hal Leonard. Over 7,000 people from over 50 countries took part in the class and sent in videos of themselves playing the song, making it the largest piano recital in history.

About the session, Chris Vance, Founder & CEO of Playground Sessions, said: "The song choice of 'You Raise Me Up' is reflective of a growing desire to provide inspiration through music. My hope is that people will take something positive away from the quarantine, and what's better than learning to play the piano which can last a lifetime."

Watch the full recital in the video above.

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