Mid week round up of good news nuggets from around the globe.
Joe Biden’s administration has approved the construction of the US’s first large-scale offshore windfarm, with 84 vast turbines to be erected off the coast of Massachusetts. It will generate enough energy to power around 400,000 homes and businesses, and is a boost to Biden’s agenda of ramping up renewable energy production across the US.
Social media platforms that fail to protect children from harm online face being shut down under “history-making” new laws to be unveiled by the British government today.
Advances in medicine allow for a great many successful treatment outcomes, but what good are these medications to those living in remote areas if they aren’t accessible? Ensuring that remote communities have equitable access to treatments is one of the biggest hurdles that global health faces today. Happily, a new pilot project in Uganda aims to solve this issue by using medical drones to deliver lifesaving medications from Bugumira Health Center to the Kalangala district - which is made up of 84 islands in Lake Victoria and is one of the most inaccessible communities in the region.
From summer 2021 community groups in the UK will be able to bid for up to £250,000 matched-funding to help them buy or take over their local pub if it's at risk of being lost, to run as community-owned business. The Community Ownership Fund will help ensure that important parts of the social fabric, such as pubs, sports clubs, theatres and post office buildings, can continue to play a central role in towns and villages across the nation.
Good news for pollinators: EU court upholds pesticide ban to protect European bees after a lawsuit, filed by Bayer, attempted to overturn the pesticide restrictions.
Em Emem is an anonymous, Lyon-based artist. “But I’m just a sidewalk poet, a son of bitumen,” he says. His work involves filling potholes and cracked walls on city streets with beautiful mosaic designs, a process he calls “flacking” – a play on the French word flaque, meaning puddle or patch. The results are gorgeous little surprises, that perk up the spirits of passers by.
Take inspiration from Tanitoluwa Adewumi: In 2017, Tani and his parents became refugees after fleeing Nigeria to escape violent attacks on Christian families like theirs. They began residing in a shelter in Manhattan and he took up chess. Now, aged 10, he has just won New York's state chess championship - he is the first competitor ever to win a state championship on his first try and is currently rated 1,587, which is roughly half as high as the world’s best player. He's now dreaming of becoming the world's youngest Grand Master.
Here's a mind-boggler: As if the evolution of ordinary bird flight weren’t miracle enough - scales transfigured into feathers, jaws transfigured into beaks, arms transfigured into wings - the hummingbird, like no other bird among the thousands of known avian species, can fly backward and upside-down, and can hover. It is hovering that most defiantly subverts the standard physics of bird flight: head practically still as the tiny turbine of feather and bone suspends the body mid-air - not by flapping up and down, as wings do in ordinary bird flight, but by swiveling rapidly along the invisible curvature of an infinity symbol. These gorgeous gravity-defying creatures are capable of slicing through the atmosphere at 385 body-lengths per second. On that equation, it's faster than a falcon and faster than the Space Shuttle.
Dive in Deeper
Lunch atop a skyscraper in 1932
We don't know their names, nor the photographer who immortalized them, but these men lunching 800ft up show the daredevil spirit behind Manhattan's vertical expansion.
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