Good News Today

Updated: Sep 15

For many, the fact that it's Friday is good news enough; but here's some more anyway!

  • For a clean ocean, just add oysters. From the UK to picturesque Mediterranean isles to New York’s bustling harbor, strategically placed oyster colonies are depolluting the sea with ease. These industrious mollusks naturally filter water in order to absorb nutrients and grow their shells. But scientists have discovered that a by-product of this growth process is that harmful pollutants such as phosphorus, pesticides, pharmaceuticals and nitrogen from fertilizers, which are difficult to remove from water and can persist for decades if left alone, are also extracted from the sea. The Billion Oyster Project in New York Harbor aims to distribute one billion live oysters by 2035 — enough to filter the entire harbor every three days. “It could help protect and restore critical coastal habitats like saltmarsh, mangroves, coral reefs and seagrass, as well as the communities that live in these areas,” says Boze Hancock, a professor at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography. “The potential is huge.”

  • This is another clever idea: the handrail at the Castel Sant'Elmo in Italy, which offers views over Mount Vesuvius and Naples, is inscribed with braille to give those who can't see the view the opportunity to feel the atmosphere. The installation by artist Paolo Puddu is titled Follow the Shape and features a description of the panorama by author Giuseppe de Lorenzo.

  • Covid vaccine hesitancy is dwindling among young people in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics. Figures show that just five percent of people aged between 18 and 21 are reluctant to get a Covid jab - down from nine percent a month earlier.

  • Researchers at MIT have created a new type of glue which mimics the natural adhesive made by barnacles to help serious wounds heal quickly. It's more effective than man-made methods for sealing wounds and was found to stop bleeding in as little as 15 seconds. In the wild, barnacles' stickiness is a result of a two-step process: first they secrete an oily fluid to clean the surface and flush out any water, then they produce a protein that bonds them on. The researchers replicated this activity using adhesive microparticles on a pig's liver and found that the seal could even withstand high arterial pressures and stayed intact for weeks - creating a treatment that would give wounds crucial time to heal.

  • Even if you're not a mathematician, you were probably at some point baffled by the Pythagorean theorem in school. The method of calculating the side lengths of triangles is named for the 6th century BC Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras. Simply, the theorem states that the square of one leg of a right angle triangle, plus the square of the other leg, is equal to the square of the hypotenuse. It turns out that knowledge actually predates Pythagoras. A recent paper published in Foundations of Science describes an Old Babylonian clay tablet which is 3,700 years old and proves that ancient pre-Pythagoras surveyors used what are known as Pythagorean triples to accurately and precisely divide their land. So, really, it shouldn't be called the Pythagorean theorem after all.

  • In good news for grocery store and restaurant workers in the U.S., the average pay is now $15 per hour. Post-pandemic, $15 is now the norm, not the exception.

Dive in Deeper

Surf's Up Dogs

Man takes his dogs surf paddle boarding and they love it. Take a look at the video and see for yourself.