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Confetti and a competition: how to turn 200 in style

·3-min read

Ever been to a 200th birthday party? Me neither. At least, I hadn’t before Wednesday.

It turns out they are not what you might expect. Banish all thoughts of a rather dull affair for bicentenarian guests – the Times in one corner, the Tory party in another, and a gaggle of ancient British banks with their eye on the family silver.

Instead, on the august occasion of the Guardian’s 200th anniversary this week, we published some reflections on surviving 200 years, and received a spray of lovely messages from readers, some of which you can read here.

You can still send us an anniversary thought, if you feel so moved: we are publishing a fairly random sample here on our confetti-laden birthday page. And you can have a crack at our bicentenary competition: the first of six questions is here.

Otherwise, this week we were helped into the party spirit by:

• A community news project that seems to be working. Three-minute read
• The Ugandan drone delivering drugs to remote islands. Four-minute read
• The six-year-old girl who desegregated her school. Five-minute read
• Fun when wet: the world’s best rainy city. Three-minute downpour
• Some cautious climate optimism. Two-minute read
• Silly story of the week: the farmer who moved a stone and redrew a national border. One-minute read

US deputy marshals escort six-year-old Ruby Bridges from William Frantz elementary school in New Orleans in 1960.
US deputy marshals escort six-year-old Ruby Bridges from William Frantz elementary school in New Orleans in 1960. Photograph: anonymous/AP

Lucky numbers

Replacing coal plants with renewables is not just cleaner – it is cheaper 80% of the time, according to this Bloomberg report.

Meanwhile, the Bank of England now expects the UK economy to grow by more than 7% in 2021.

What we liked

This is a juicy New York Times piece about the growing use of forensic genealogy to solve crime.

And this is short and sweet: the travel agent that won’t fly you there. From Positive news.

Steam train on track running through countryside
A slower way to travel. Photograph: Mike Walters/Alamy

We also like the new mission announced by the Zinc venture builder, which is seeking 70 entrepreneurs to develop new programmes to build mental health in young people.

What we heard

Recently, we asked you to share a funny story. We’ll be publishing one or two here in coming weeks, so do keep them coming.

This week, we heard from Doris Jan in central England

This happened to my father in law. He has two dogs and goes on plenty of walks around his local area. Once a week he brings a bag along and does some litter picking. The bin near his local park was full one day, so he left his bag of litter on the floor next to it. A few weeks later, he received a letter from the council (which included a fine) for littering!! Apparently he had used a bag of dog food for the litter that still had his address on the label.

Where was the Upside?

In a moving tale of good triumphing over evil, such as this story of Jewish families using Guardian ads to save their children from Nazi rule.

Thanks for reading. Have a good weekend. If you’d like to wish the Guardian a happy 200th with a small contribution to our journalism, we’d see that as a definite upside. It took us 200 years to get here, but will only take you a minute to contribute.