The Week That Was 30 July 2021

As the year rolls into the eighth month our Week That Was starts with Olympic Gold and ends at the top of the Great Pyramid of Giza. In between, we traverse malaria, TikTok, Ineos and sand.

It’s gold, silver and a whole lot of pride

Congratulations to Kerri Gower and Grace Prendergast for winning our first gold medal in the rowing. As Stuff reports, it’s the fourth medal of the games to date after triathlete Hayden Wilde captured bronze on Monday, and women's double scullers Brooke Donoghue and Hannah Osborne and the men's rugby sevens team gained silver on Wednesday.

We also enjoyed this coverage of Erika Fairweather’s brilliant performance. Medal or no medal, we’re very proud of the whole team. Just getting there, one year late, with everything else that has been going on is such an achievement.

Update: Two more golds and one silver from the rowing team. Excellent!

BioNTech takes on malaria

In vaccine news, Reuters this week reported that BioNTech is working on a mRNA-based vaccine for malaria. Malaria infects millions of people every year and kills more than 400,000 - most of them babies and young children in the poorest parts of Africa.

Clubhouse is no longer invite-only

Now anyone can join Clubhouse reports CNN. We had our internal infoshare on voice-based social media and audio marketing, an active discussion it was too. Not everyone was convinced but 29.8 million installs is evidence that it cannot be ignored.

How TikTok’s algorithm works

The Wall Street Journal investigated how TikTok works. Watch this report to discover what they found.

Plastic waste to solve sand shortage

Like us you may well be surprised to learn that we have a sand shortage. This BBC report explains why and that there are “sand mafias” in India illegally mining sand.

"People don't comprehend, or it doesn't strike them, that there is a shortage [of sand]," says Shobha Bhatia, a professor of civil and environment engineering at Syracuse University.

The good news is Dr John Orr, a lecturer in concrete structures at Cambridge University, has found that plastic waste can be sorted, cleaned, shredded and crushed into a sand alternative for use in concrete.

New Zealand Rugby: brought to you by… oil and gas?

New Zealand Rugby has confirmed a six-year deal with British multinational petrochemical company INEOS. The deal will see the company’s name appear on team apparel as the official performance partner of All Blacks, Black Ferns, All Blacks Sevens, Black Ferns Sevens, Māori All Blacks, All Blacks XV and All Blacks Under-20s.

The deal was completed despite attempts from Greenpeace to prevent it. The environment group launched a petition last month, calling on New Zealand Rugby to reconsider.

"To partner with INEOS and be part of such a unique and diverse global sports performance group is an exciting new venture," NZR CEO Mark Robinson said.

A drone’s-eye view of the Great Pyramids

These impressive images of the Great Pyramid of Giza get increasingly more astounding. Right down to the last image of the tip or pyramidion, which is covered in stone with names etched into them – graffiti.