Blue Sky Times: Gaming Gran, Kermit the Fossil and Coral Reef Rescuers

The News column of The Loyola Phoenix

Loyola’s second semester is wrapping up in five weeks. Though that timeline may be hanging over your head like a dark cloud, there are so many things that can be accomplished in one day — let alone five weeks. The Blue Sky Times is here to remind you to take advantage of our last weeks on campus and make the most of each day. Here are this week’s good news stories.

Gaming Gran

Cath Bowie, a 75-year-old Scottish grandmother, has become a video game sensation after she teamed up with YouTuber SypherPK, one of the world’s most famous Fortnite players, BBC reported

Bowie, aka Grumpygran1948, was first introduced to the game of Fortnite by her grandson and has been hooked on it ever since, according to BBC. 

Bowie spends up to six hours a day playing Fortnite, and her gaming and commentary were spotted by SypherPK and they decided to form a duo. Their team has drawn the attention of over half a million people and she now has thousands of fans across the world, according to BBC.

Kermit the Fossil

A new fossil species of a prehistoric amphibian has been named Kermitops gratus after Muppets character Kermit the Frog, according to the Natural History Museum website.

The fossil was first discovered over 40 years ago and has since sat in the collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History waiting to be studied, according to the website.

Ph.D. student and lead author of the recent studies of the fossil, Calvin So, said in an interview with the Natural History Museum that giving fossils names relevant to modern day is a good way to bridge the gap between society and the understanding of science.

Dr. Marc Jones, who oversees the Natural History Museums fossil amphibian collection, said although the Kermitops gratus is not a frog fossil, he still thinks naming it after Kermit is fitting. 

“Kermit hasn’t always been a frog either,” Jone said in an interview with the Natural History Museum. “In his early appearances, Kermit had a more lizard-like appearance, and he still has five fingers, rather than the four that most amphibians have.”

Thai Coral Recovery

Marine biologists in Thailand are plunging into the sea around Man Nai Island off the country’s southeastern end in an ongoing effort to save and restore Thailand’s reefs, Reuters reported. The scientists are collecting reproductive samples from the reefs to later raise juvenile coral in a lab, a possibly five-year process.

The program first began in 2016 and Man Nai was chosen for the 98 different kinds of coral around the island. In 2010 Thailand experienced a mass bleaching event that affected nearly 90% of the country’s reefs, Reuters reported. The project has restored over 4,000 colonies of coral over Man Nai, according to Reuters.

Bleaching happens when corals expel the necessary algae living in their tissue after severe stress and tissue, which is often but not always caused by rising ocean temperatures from global warming, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Bleached coral are more vulnerable to disease and will eventually die if the bleaching continues.

Have a great week everyone and remember, as David Bowie once said, “We can be Heroes / Just for one day.”

Featured Image by Lilli Malone / The Phoenix

The Phoenix Staff

The Phoenix Staff