Today's round up of postive news snippets from around the world.
Fear not! This alligator is not dead. No, this resourceful reptile is definitely alive - just very chilly. Gators stick their snouts out of icy waters during cold spells, like the one that's just blown across most of the US, to keep breathing while the rest of their body enters a state called brumation (the reptilian version of hibernation). Gators lower their metabolism, become lethargic and leave only the tips of their mouths out of the ice so they can survive the freezing cold conditions.
Oil companies should be required to install rapid chargers for electric cars in all their petrol stations above a certain size by 2023 in order to speed up the rollout of vehicles with zero tailpipe emissions, according to thinktank Bright Blue. Germany's done it. Why not everywhere else?
Speaking of EVs, it seems the stars (and the finance) are aligning for Lotus, the lengendary automaker, to make a come back.
Helen Sharman, the UK’s first astronaut, has welcomed the European Space Agency’s decision to improve diversity among crew as an “exciting time for human space flight expansion”. ESA has announced that as part of its bid to recruit up to 26 new astronauts it was casting its net wider than ever and that diversity - across gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs and physical disability - will be at the heart of its recruitment efforts. Helen Sharman answered a radio advert in 1989 and was selected for a Soyuz flight ahead of 13,000 other applicants.
Waking up to woke: You'll never guess what the woke brigade now want us to call mums and dads...
Glasses wearers are up to three times less likely to catch Covid-19, study finds. People who wear spectacles rub their eyes less, according to researchers.
Good news on vaccines as a Scottish study finds that the Pfizer and Oxford jabs reduce the risk of hospital admission from Covid-19 by up to 85% and 94% respectively.
Ensure your vaccination is as successful as possible: an expert's five tips on how best to boost your immune response to your vaccine jab.
Want an easy way to connect with nature? Get a bird feeder for your garden or balcony. It's good for your mental health, your connection with nature and, of course, the birds will greatly appreciate it too! Top tip: put one outside the kitchen window to make washing up less of a chore.
Saudi Arabia is allowing women to join its military, the Kingdom’s defence ministry has announced, in its latest efforts to improve its image abroad.
Rewilding Scotland: Plans are afoot for Scotland to become the world’s first Rewilding Nation.
California senators have introduced a bill to ban fracking and other controversial oil and gas extraction by 2027. In addition, the bill would stop the government from issuing new fracking permits or renewing old ones as of 1 January 2022.
Good news for post-Brexit UK: Liz Truss was in India earlier this month, preparing the ground for a visit by Boris Johnson. The unstoppable Yorkshirewoman has concluded trade agreements with 64 states over the past two years – not counting the deal with the EU itself – and is currently negotiating with Australia and New Zealand, exploring talks with the Gulf states and applying to join the Pacific trade nexus, the CPTPP. But India is in a special category - economically, geopolitically and, yes, sentimentally. Fingers crossed!
Time to enjoy some leaping lemurs in Madagascar? This great 2 minute NatGeo video shows them leaping and running, and explains how and why they do it.