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Positive News Friday

Wrapping up the week with a tasty smorgasbord of positive stories.


Part of the Crosby-Schøyen Codex
Part of the Crosby-Schøyen Codex | Christie's Images Ltd 2024
Ancient Codex

A nearly 1,800-year-old manuscript billed as the world’s oldest book in private hands - and the earliest Christian liturgical book in existence - sold for £3.065 million (US$3.9 million) this week at Christie’s in London. “The Crosby-Schøyen Codex is one of the earliest examples of the book in a form recognizable to us today,” says Eugenio Donadoni, Christie’s senior specialist, medieval and renaissance manuscripts. “As the earliest known book in private hands, it is exceedingly rare, and it is highly unlikely that anything of its kind will ever appear at auction again.”


Artist's impression of Haliskia petersensi
New species dubbed Haliskia petersensi
New Dino Species

Australia is famously well-served for most varieties of terrifying fauna, but at least one variety of prehistoric predator is under-represented in its fossil record: the flying carnivorous dinosaurs known as pterosaurs. However, a new paper published this week in Scientific Reports describes a fossilized skeleton found in the Australian state of Queensland that belongs to a previously unknown species of pterosaur. The new species, dubbed Haliskia petersensi, lived 100 million years ago and researchers estimate its wingspan at 4.6m (approx 15ft), and its discovery suggests pterosaurs may have been more widespread Down Under than previously thought.


Taylor Swift on stage in Edinburgh
Taylor Swift at Murrayfield
Seismic Swifties

70,000 fans at Taylor Swift's Scotland concerts last weekend danced so hard they set off earthquake monitors, according to the British Geological Survey. Seismic activity was recorded up to 4 miles away during the three gigs last Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Edinburgh's Murrayfield stadium, with some of her biggest songs causing spikes in activity every night. Friday night is thought to be the most highly attended show in Scottish history, which Swift described as the "wildest way to welcome a lass to your city".


Wildlife crossing spanning the busy 101 freeway in Agoura Hills.
Credit: Rock Design Associates and National Wildlife Federation
Wildlife Crossing

​Thirty years in the making, construction is now underway on the world’s largest wildlife crossing. Located over a busy highway in California notorious for animal-car collisions, the state just announced the crossing is on track to open in early 2026. It has a $90+ million price tag, but long-time advocates spent years convincing decision-makers that this was a small price to pay to protect wildlife.


World's Largest Solar

The world’s largest solar farm is now online in China - now home to the three largest farms in the world. Generating about 6.09 billion kilowatt hours of electricity every year, the world’s largest solar farm is now connected officially to China’s grid. Located on 33,000 acres in the desert in northwestern Xinjiang, the solar farm’s production capacity could power 2.03 million electric vehicles annually. China is home to the top three largest solar farms in the world, and this latest is part of the country’s “megabase” plan to install 455 gigawatts of wind and solar. The farms are located in lower populated areas and send energy to major urban centers.


northern hairy-nosed wombat in Australia
Northern hairy-nosed wombat.
Conservation Success

Critically endangered northern hairy-nosed wombats were just relocated to a new forest in Australia. Successful conservation and breeding efforts have led to a 1,000 percent increase in its numbers, with about 400 total now in the world.


Ioanna

Late last year, seven automakers - BMW, Honda, General Motors, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, and Stellantis - announced plans for a joint venture to build easy-to-access public DC fast charging infrastructure in the US and Canada. The resulting company is called Ionna, and is making good progress according to The Verge. Ultimately, the joint-venture plans for more than 30,000 chargers in dense urban areas, along highway corridors, and along “vacation routes.” That network will feature things like retail offerings, food, restrooms, and covered charging for EVs, an experience that will make charging more analogous to what most Americans are used to at more than 100,000 gas stations across the country.

 

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” ​Audre Lorde

 
On This Day

Stars & Stripes flag of 1777

14 June 1777: US Continental Congress adopts the Stars & Stripes flag, designed by Francis Hopkinson, replacing the Grand Union flag.

 
Today's Articles




 
Mood Boosting Video

Autumn is a Busy Time: Beavers in Yellowstone must build their dam before winter sets in. And moose benefit too.



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