Today's round up of positive news from around the world.
Honda has developed a four-layer cabin air filter that's like a face mask for your car - it traps and nukes viruses. Yes, even coronavirus. Its first two layers consist of microfibers that trap viral aerosols, pollen, and dust to ensure they don't make their way into the cabin. The third layer is made of activated charcoal which absorbs harmful particulates and acid gases, while the fourth is coated with a substance that zaps nearly 100% of the viral aerosols it captures. In other words, it traps most viruses and germs and quickly kills them.
Last year, over the course of the 33-episode series, which follows the growing season from March through late October, something remarkable happened: BBC's “Gardeners’ World” went from being comfort TV to indispensable viewing on both sides of the pond (it's available in the US through streaming services like BritBox and on YouTube). The good news is that a new series begins on Friday.
Leaving land to nature: Landmark new study shows the economic benefits of conserving or restoring natural sites now “outweigh” the profit potential of using the same areas for farming or timber.
For the first time, Netflix has revealed specific details about its carbon footprint. Using a tool called DIMPACT, developed by researchers at the University of Bristol, Netflix says that one hour of streaming on its platform by one household is roughly equivalent of driving an average car a quarter of a mile. Here are some tips on how to reduce your tech carbon footprint [OGN - January].
Following the introduction of predators, competitors, and vegetation change on Galapagos’ San Cristobal island, the population of the endemic giant tortoise was reduced from 24,000 to about 600 in the early 1970s, pushing the species to the brink of extinction. However, thanks to amazing work done by conservationists, their numbers rebounded to about 6,700 in 2016. That number is expected to get even higher following the recent release of 36 tortoises back into the wild on the northeastern part of San Cristobal island.
Colombian girl achieves American Dream: Arriving in America at just 17, with $300, a series of fortunate events enabled her to become the NASA director for the Mars rover. That's perseverance!
Oscars 2021: two female directors and nine actors of colour nominated in historic year.
House and Senate Democrats are pushing new legislation this week that would allocate $94 billion to make affordable broadband internet access available nationwide. It's the most ambitious legislation to date to get affordable, high-speed broadband to all Americans.
Sage of Omaha joins $100bn club: After decades of being in the top tiers of the world’s richest lists, investment mogul Warren Buffett has finally made it into the highly exclusive $100 billion club for the first time. Since he's a very significant philanthropist, that's extremely good news!
Mini will stop selling fossil fuel powered cars by 2030, according to a report by Der Spiegel. The brand also plans to introduce its last such model in 2025 and for half of its sales to be electric by 2027, making Mini the first brand in BMW Group to go all-electric.
Spain could become one of the first countries in the world to trial the four-day working week after the government agreed to launch a modest pilot project for companies interested in the idea. From New Zealand to Germany, the idea has been steadily gaining ground globally. Hailed by its proponents as a means to increase productivity, improve the mental health of workers and fight climate change, the proposal has taken on new significance as the pandemic sharpens issues around wellbeing, burnout and work-life balance.
After Yo-Yo Ma received his second vaccine jab at Berkshire Community College on Saturday, he transformed his 15 minute observation period into a concert for the newly inoculated. The world-famous cellist and part-time Berkshires resident said he “wanted to give something back.” Yo-Yo Ma took a seat along the wall of the observation area, masked and socially distanced away from the others. He went on to pass 15 minutes in observation playing cello for an appreciative audience.