What better way to start the week than with a global round up of positive news?
In a wonderful achievement for wildlife conservation, New Zealand's capital city has reported the birth of two wild kiwi chicks after over a century. Capital Kiwi Project announced on their Facebook post: “We are deeply delighted to announce the discovery of two pēpē kiwi... these are the first kiwi chicks born in the wild, west of Wellington for over 150 years. Mīharo!” The project is on a mission to restore a large-scale wild population of kiwi, the iconic flightless bird of New Zealand, in the hills surrounding the capital. Meanwhile, across the Tasman Sea...
Australia's Moon Rover
The Australian Space Agency is building a semi-autonomous rover that will launch to the moon in partnership with NASA and the agency's Artemis program. To celebrate, the ASA asked Aussies to suggest a name for the lunar craft. Over 8,000 entries were submitted and, from the shortlist of names, 20,000 Australians voted for their favourite name: Roo-ver. "Our lunar rover deserves to be named after something iconically Australian, reflecting the Aussie spirit as we launch into this new endeavour. A kangaroo is part of the Australian Coat of Arms and it's time for Australian science to take the next leap all the way up into space."
It's been nearly 40 years since Halley's comet last flew by Earth - and very soon, it will be headed back our way. Yesterday, the famous comet reached its furthest point from the Sun. Known as its "aphelion," this is essentially the middle point in Halley's long elliptical orbit through our Solar System. Named for English astronomer Edmond Halley, who discovered it in the 18th century, Halley's comet hasn't been visible in the night sky since 1986. But it's now on its way back and will once again grace Earth's skies in 2061.
In a triumph of traditionalism and sustainability, a pub in Cambridgeshire (south east England) has been using the same Christmas decorations for more than 60 years. David Short, 84, the former landlord of the Queen's Head in Newton, started putting up the crepe ribbons and lanterns (some of which he'd made himself as a child) in 1962. His son Rob, who now runs the pub, carries on the custom. "It's going back to the make-do-and-mend generation," he said. "You just don't see decorations like that any more."
A Canadian cyclist took a very long ride on his bike without using his hands to grab a new Guinness World Record, reports UPI. Robert Murray secured the title for greatest distance cycled (no hands) when he rode 80.95 miles in a time of five hours and 37 minutes. "Personally, I find it to be a more comfortable position to be in rather than hunched over," he said, adding that he can "text, change the song, get anything out of my backpack all while riding my bike".
4 Day Week
Africa’s first trial of a four-day working week showed “huge benefits” for employers and their staff, researchers have claimed. Some 26 firms and 470 of their staff participated in the six-month trial in South Africa, the first in a developing nation. Employees were paid the same but for doing fewer hours. Researchers recorded an increase in productivity, an 11 percent decrease in resignations, a 9 percent drop in absenteeism, and happier staff. The findings chime with the results of other four-day week trials, including the world’s biggest, which happened in the UK last year. Despite the apparent advantages of a shorter working week, critics question whether the benefits could be sustained long term. Only one way to find out.
"We are more fulfilled when we are involved in something bigger than ourselves." John Glenn
On This Day
11 December 1936: Edward VIII, failing to win acceptance for his desire to marry American divorcée Wallis Warfield Simpson, became the only British sovereign to voluntarily resign the crown, his abdication formally approved this day in 1936.
Kitten meets tiny chicks for the first time.