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Febraruy 4 2022

We could all use a bit of bright, happy news, right? Well this story certainly fits the bill. It’s about a 190-year-old tortoise living on St. Helena Island, a tiny British territory thousands of miles off the African coast. Turns out the 440-pound tortoise is named Jonathan and he is the oldest living land animal in the world. There may be sharks that are older, but Jonathan, who is believed to have hatched in 1832, is the grand poobah of the land-living lot. The stories he must have! If only we could speak tortoise…

Although it might feel like we were all just watching the summer Olympics, it’s time now to tune into the 2022 winter games in Beijing, which begin today. And, in honor of the event, we thought this story about a young woman named Eileen Gu, who at 18 years old just happens to be the best female freeskier in the world right now, would be of interest. Because what makes Gu’s story particularly noteworthy is not just her incredible skill and high-flying tricks. It’s the fact that the California native, born to a Chinese mother and American father, has chosen to compete for China instead of the U.S. It’s an unusual move and some wonder if Gu, who decided to make the switch at 15, was really capable at that age of understanding the implications of her choice. Either way, it makes for compelling reading because her decision necessitates deftly navigating the worlds of politics, diplomacy and the media, something that can be difficult to handle for even the savviest athletes and celebrities.