Good News Friday

Updated: Sep 15

Today's bundle of positive news nuggets.

  • Technology can help indigenous communities to significantly curb deforestation, according to a new study. Indigenous people living in the Peruvian Amazon were equipped by conservation groups with satellite data and smartphones. They were able to reduce tree losses by half in the first year of the project.

  • Own an electric car that isn't a Tesla? You may soon have access to the world's most comprehensive charging system, if CEO Elon Musk is to be believed.

  • Imagine you are an impoverished Thai fisherman, scratching together a meagre living and trying to feed your family. You would surely dream of something cropping up in your life that would suddenly make you a fortune and ensure that you and your children were made for life. Well, that's what happened to 40-year-old Prasarnphon Phunwan, when he took home a large sea snail he caught while trawling for crabs in Prachuap Khiri Khan in Thailand. The fisherman boiled the seafood for a meal, but while he was slicing off the cooked meat, he hit on something hard and found a pearl. It was a melo pearl worth $350,000.

  • China has unveiled a prototype for the world’s fastest train capable of traveling at over 370mph, according to state media. The maglev train, unveiled in the coastal city of Qingdao, will “levitate” above the track with no contact between the body and rail. Its cars will be suspended, driven and guided using electromagnetic force. The only resistance for the train, will come from the air. At 370mph, the journey time between Beijing and Shanghai will be just two and a half hours. It currently takes high-speed trains almost six hours take to complete the 700-mile trip.

  • In Manhattan’s Riverside Park, two dozen goats have been unleashed upon untended and overgrown brush and weeds in order to avoid having to use chemicals, or spending thousands in labor costs. Onlookers gathered round to watch the herd charge into the park during the Running of the Goats, as Reuters called it. “They chowed down on Japanese knotweed, they noshed on porcelain berry, they snacked on multiflora rose, they easily traversed the hard-to-reach terrain behind me and gulped down poison ivy without even giving it a second thought,” said Dan Garodnick, Riverside Park Conservancy president and CEO at the ceremonial day of deployment.

  • Almost a year after NASA's Perseverance rover was launched on its nearly seven-month journey to Mars, the robotic explorer is preparing to collect its first Martian sample within the next two weeks. This sample, which will be returned to Earth by missions in the 2030s, might contain evidence of whether there was past life on Mars.

  • The state of Louisiana is asking residents for the best places to go birdwatching. The nominations are part of an effort to update and possibly expand the trails and develop the state's eco-tourism. Louisiana and its coastal wetlands are an important location for migrating birds.


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