Eclectic selection of uplifting news snippets from around the world.
Congratulations to Kat Zhou of the US for winning Underwater Photographer of the Year 2023 with this remarkable image of an endangered Amazon River dolphin, snapped in inky water at sunset. It's a little known creature and she hopes that any publicity her image receives will also, in some way, help to preserve the dolphins and encourage locals and conservationists to help protect them. If you would like to see more winning photos from this year's competition, please click here
This 5-minute breathing technique can reduce anxiety and stress. According to a study from Stanford Medicine, there's an easy and effective way to lower stress levels from the comfort of your home. A five-minute controlled breathing exercise, also known as cyclic sighing, can help reduce anxiety and stress levels. The instructions are simple: Breath in through your nose. When you've comfortably filled your lungs, take a second, deeper sip of air to expand your lungs as much as possible. Then, very slowly, exhale through your mouth until all the air is gone. Repeat.
Sheep living among rows of solar panels spend more time grazing, benefit from more nutritious food, rest more and appear to experience less heat stress, compared with nearby sheep in empty fields. Earlier research suggested that agrivoltaic farms - which combine grazing animals with solar panels - offer more efficient renewable energy at lower overhead costs, as well as reducing wildfire risks. The latest findings show that the practice is also good for animal welfare, providing further evidence of the benefits of combining solar with livestock.
It May be a Cliché but...
Retirees using golf to stay active might be a cliché, but a study published earlier this month in BMJ’s Open Sport and Exercise Medicine found that swinging your clubs really is the best workout for those over the age of 65. Researchers found the sport had the biggest benefit on blood glucose, blood pressure and blood fat levels over other walking-based activities. Time to book your next tee time!
For years, industrial hemp was illegal in the U.S. due to its association with drug use, despite the fact that it does not contain more than 0.3% THC, the active ingredient in marijuana that makes users high. Recently though, hemp was distinguished from cannabis, clearing it for wider use in the U.S. - including in the form of hempcrete for the construction industry. And despite the simplicity of its natural ingredients, hempcrete has a huge array of benefits: it's fire resistant, consumes CO2, provides soundproofing, insulates or stores heat (depending on external temperatures), repels mold and pests, and is malleable enough to allow for various aesthetic styles. Hemp is also a sustainable crop that needs few pesticides, is ideal for rotation, and has quick-growing roots that prevent soil erosion.
Blades Go Circular
Danish wind turbine maker Vestas has announced that it has developed a chemical mixture that breaks down wind turbine blades and allows them to be recycled. The solution could be used to break down discontinued blades, as well as blades that are already sitting in landfills. The chemical compound breaks down epoxy resin into its raw materials, which is really good news as epoxy resin’s chemical properties were previously viewed as impossible to disassemble and reuse. The solution “renders epoxy-based turbine blades as circular, without the need for changing the design or composition of blade material,” Vestas said in a press release. With more than 27,000 tons of wind turbine blades expected to come to the end of their operational life by 2025 and more than 57,000 tons by 2030, according to WindEurope, the new solution could save the planet a lot of waste.
Wooden Wind Turbines: Two new companies are seeking to switch the market on to fully recyclable wooden towers and blades, that are also require much less energy to create. More...
Ram EV Pickup
It's great to see yet more US auto manufacturers up their game in the domestic EV market, so it's good news that Ram is trying hard to make up for lost time in getting its first electric pickup out into the world. After showing the 1500 Revolution BEV Concept last month at CES 2023, it rolled the more polished preproduction 1500 REV pickup in front of the cameras during Super Bowl LVII this past Sunday. Along with revealing the truck to what promises to be the year's biggest US television audience, Ram also opened up reservations on a dedicated website.
“Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards.”
On this Day
16 February 1957: The British TV broadcasters BBC and ITV ended a postwar policy in which there was no programming between 6:00 and 7:00 at night; known as the “toddler's truce,” the break was designed to help parents put children to bed.
She got the last seat on a standby flight, next to a stranger. They’ve now been married for 40 years. Read on...
London's ULEZ proven to have succeeded in creating significantly cleaner air. Key findings...
From the Archives
Research published in the British Medical Journal found that zinc might help to prevent or shorten colds and flu. More...
Tap dance showdown between toddler and seasoned pro at the D.C. Tap Festival.