Good News Friday

Updated: Sep 15

Wrapping up the week with a bundle of good news nuggets.

  • Max, an eight-year-old English springer, has been deployed and trained by Paws for Conservation to locate endangered animals, which assists in ecological surveys and helps fight wildlife crime. And that’s all thanks to his superior nose. He joined the team last year, starting with birds and bats, now moving on to great crested newts and water voles. Go Max!

  • In good news for children, Texas school districts have made facial coverings part of their school dress code, in order to get around Republican Governor Greg Abbott's rediculous executive order banning mask mandates.

  • A marine protection area established off the coast of the Mediterranran island of Mallorca is proving beneficial not just for the environment but for business, too, according to a study that confirms the long-term benefits of MPAs for both habitats and economies. According to the study, carried out by the non-profit Marilles Foundation, the protected area has generated €10 in benefits for each euro invested in the scheme. Spain is committed to declaring 30 percent of its waters as marine protected areas by 2030.

  • In Kenya's Maasai Mara National Reserve, the Toyota 4x4 Landcruiser of a tour guide and driver glides silently past a herd of grazing elephants, then past a pride of lions lying in the grass. The animals are completely unperturbed by the proximity of the vehicle because its diesel engine has been replaced by an electric one that eliminates the rumbling noise and, just as importantly, eliminates diesel fume emissions. Win win!

  • Astronomers have captured some of the most detailed images ever seen of galaxies in deep space. They are in much higher definition than normal and reveal the inner workings of galaxies in unprecedented detail. Many of the images could yield insights into the role of black holes in star and planet formation. The researchers say that the pictures will transform our understanding of how galaxies evolve.

  • Did you know that sea otters hold each other’s paws when they sleep so they don’t drift apart?

  • A smooth pebble, fired in a kiln from the ashes of a dearly departed, is the latest way Americans can choose to carry on the memory of a loved one. Parting Stone is a startup looking to give people both a personal and portable way to remember someone they’ve lost, with one person’s ashes capable of producing a collection of stones. The ashes are milled into a really fine powder and mixed with water to create a clay-like base. This is placed into a kiln and fired into the stone which is then polished.

Dive in Deeper

Pendulum

It's remarkable what you can achieve with 15 golf balls. Watch the mesmerising patterns created on this unique pendulum machine.