Global round up of positive news snippets to perk up the day.
It has been said that “the eyes are the window to the soul,” but new research suggests that they may be a window to the brain as well. Research by the Georgia Institute of Technology suggests that baseline pupil size is closely related to individual differences in intelligence. The larger the pupils, the higher the intelligence, as measured by tests of reasoning, attention and memory. In fact, across three studies, they found that the difference in baseline pupil size between people who scored the highest on the cognitive tests and those who scored the lowest was large enough to be detected by the unaided eye. To be clear, pupil size refers to the diameter of the black circular aperture in the center of the eye. It can range from around two to eight millimeters. Where's your nearest mirror?
Could you recognize all 50 U.S. states just by looking at the outline of their shapes? How about naming rapid-fire every element on the periodic table from glancing at the symbols? Californian Kashe Quest can do all those things - plus a whole lot more - and she’s only 2 years old. To top that off, with a lofty IQ of 146, Kashe recently became America’s youngest Mensa member. Since the international high-IQ organization admits only the elite top 2 percent of the intelligentsia to its ranks, that’s a pretty staggering achievement for someone of any age -much less a toddler.
"The future of the auto industry is electric. There’s no turning back,” Joe Biden says. His proposed $174bn investment in electric vehicles represents a massive White House push away from fossil-fuel vehicles. The Biden administration has made environmentalism and sustainability a key pillar to its job creation efforts, and the president wants to dramatically increase the number of electric vehicles on the road and the infrastructure for manufacturing them.
Last week, Grace Lee McClure Smith celebrated her high school graduation at age 94, thanks to a special honorary ceremony put together by one of her grandchildren. She dropped out of Hazel Green High School, Alabama, at the age of 16 in 1942, as her husband went off to fight in World War II. "Congratulations, Mrs. Smith!" the school wrote on their Facebook account, alongside a photo of the graduate posing in her cap and gown on her happy day. As she said: "Better late, than never."
Restrictions on international travel are expected to bolster turnout in the UK’s already popular conservation areas this summer. Those planning a trip are being invited to map and record the species that they spot via the free Look Wild app. Tony Gates of Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “One of the undoubted silver linings of the past difficult year has been how people have valued and sought out a connection with the countryside. The Look Wild project will take the connection a step further. Together we will help the natural environment to thrive.”
A woman who took a DNA test found a secret sister who looks exactly like her, shares the same hobbies and job, and even has a matching tattoo. 27-year-old Victoria Voorhees knew she was adopted, and took a 23&Me home DNA test kit to find out a bit more about her Hispanic heritage and genetic make up. She was astonished when the results revealed she had a sister - and was sent a photo of a woman who looked just like her. So she messaged her through the 23&Me app and discovered they have lived parallel lives even though they were given very different situations. They both have bat tattoos - on opposite feet but the same part of the ankle; and they also both have cats and make and sell pet portraits online.
Dive in Deeper
Librarians of Timbuktu: The world can thank Abdel Kader Haidara - a mild-mannered archivist and historian from the legendary city of Timbuktu - who organized a successful effort to outwit Al-Qaeda and preserve Mali’s greatest treasures. [2 mins] Remarkable...
Flexible working: Almost half of mid-to-large size UK companies plan to move offices within the next three years as the shift to flexible working outlasts the pandemic. [2 mins] Work / Life balance...
Amazing DIY Orangutans
This 3 minute clip will bring your heart to your mouth as you wonder at how close orangutan behaviour is to our own. From the BBC documentary series, Life of Mammals.
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