Before we start this episode, I just wanted to give a quick shout out to Tom Merritt for kindly letting his Twitter followers know about the show. If you follow technology, and you like your news bitesized, you should check out dailytechheadlines.com; it was, after all, the inspiration for this show.
Welcome to the Mood Elevator, for Monday 5th December. I'm Mark Steadman, and there is a bit of a political bent to today's stories, with a skew towards the left. I knew you'd be cool with it; I just thought I'd let you know.
“Our new neighbors are bigots. Since regular aggression leads to assault charges, I went with passive aggression." So posted Lexi Magnusson on Reddit, where she posted a photo of her incredible rainbow light display. 10,000 lights are strewn across the front of her house, in a glorious rainbow pattern. Check the show notes for a link to see a beautiful bit of bigot baiting.
In Spain, the remnants of Franco's fascist regime still linger here and there. Dotted around the country are streets whose names are dedicated to members of Franco's regime, but in February the government announced they'd replace the names with something else. Following a complaint that too many streets are named after men, they're now replacing all of the names of the streets formerly dedicated to fascists, with names of famous Spanish women. And they've made a point to make them historical figures, rather than saints.
When German soldier Heinrich Steinmeyer was captured and taken to a prisoner-of-war camp in Scotland during the Second World War, he was amazed by the kindness he was shown by the people of the local town. So when he died in 2013 he left all of his money - £384,000 - to the Perthshire village of Conrie. They're now launching a consultation into how best to spend the money.
If you're struggling for cash and your family doesn't live nearby, Christmas time can be difficult, but entrepreneur Peter Shankman is hoping to help. He put a post up on Imgur to alert people that he's planning to donate the airmails he's accrued from years of travel, to those who can't afford to fly to see their families. "After I gave away miles last year" he wrote in his post, "Imgur reached out to thank me, which I thought was super cool. But again this year, even after giving away my miles to my assistant, my friends, and my family, I have a lot of miles left over."
And finally, this may have escaped your attention as it only happened yesterday as I record, but Austria is celebrating a win, after far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer was defeated by former Green party candidate Alexander Van der Bellen. The presidential position is largely a sort of ambassadorial role, but - if you're a bleeding heart lefty liberal like me - it represents a little bit of positive politics as we round out the year. "I will try", he said "to be an open-minded, a liberal-minded and first of all a pro-European federal president of the Republic of Austria."
And that is that for this episode. Thank you so much for listening, and if you like the show, please do tell a friend. Or several. Alright, I'll leave you to do that, and I'll see you again on Thursday.