Ensuring the week gets off to an upbeat start with some bite-sized chunks of good news.
Mexico's Green Pivot
Mexico’s governing party has named Claudia Sheinbaum, a climate scientist, as its presidential candidate for the elections in June 2024 - a moment that could mark a turning point from the current administration’s pro-fossil fuel policies. That's particularly good news as Mexico is one of only two G20 countries not to have set net-zero emission targets. Sheinbaum is the favourite to win next year's elections, reports Climate Change News.
Man Catches Toddler
A 37-year-old banker is being hailed a hero after catching an Italian toddler who fell from her family’s fifth floor balcony in Turin, Italy. Mattia Aguzzi and his girlfriend were walking to a bread shop in central Turin when he heard a man yelling for help and a little girl leaning out on the ledge. “I started yelling at her to stay still and to go back inside but she didn’t hear. When I saw her fall, I stepped in the way, closed my eyes and hoped that everything was going to be for the best.” As he cushioned her, they both fell to the ground. “I did everything so naturally. I didn’t think of anything and tried to do what had to be done,” he said, joking that his extra weight helped him.
It has taken 37 years to restore Salisbury Cathedral in southern England - only 12 months less than medieval builders required to construct the main body of the great church in the first place. But finally a “topping out” ceremony has been performed high above the church floor to mark the end of a rescue and repair project that began in 1986, and before Christmas the scaffolding that has wreathed the cathedral for decades will be gone. The foundation stones for the cathedral were laid in 1220 and it was dedicated to God in a special ceremony of consecration in 1258, the work of one generation. The spire was added in 1320 and remains the tallest in the UK at 123 metres (403 feet).
Scientists working with "dark matter" bacteria have identified a new antibiotic called Clovibactin - it's hoped that it could be powerful weapon against superbugs. The compound was isolated from bacteria found in sandy soil collected in North Carolina. "The antibiotic appears to kill bacteria in an unusual manner, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop any resistance against it," Utrecht University stated. "In fact, we did not observe any resistance to Clovibactin in our studies." A global team worked on the research and released its findings last week in the journal Cell.
Liquid vs Gaseous
A hydrogen-powered plane with the ability to fly significant distances has completed its first piloted journey, in a move that could pave the way for zero carbon routes across Europe. The aircraft, which was developed by the German company H2FLY, is operated using liquid hydrogen which generates power for the electric motors turning its propeller. Liquid hydrogen is far lighter than batteries and needs smaller tanks than gaseous hydrogen - potentially giving aircraft a much greater range and more space for passengers and cargo. H2FLY said the use of liquid hydrogen also doubles the range of its aircraft to 930 miles, the distance from London to Rome, compared with using gaseous hydrogen.
It Was Meant To Be
A stray dog named Scout escaped from a Michigan shelter three times, and always went to the same place: the lobby of a long-term medical care residence down the street. "I'm a person who looks at outward signs, and if it's meant to be it's meant to be," Marna Robertson, the administrator of Meadow Brook Medical Care Facility, told the Detroit Free Press. The staff decided to adopt Scout, much to the delight of residents. "To each and every one of them, it's their dog." Scout enjoys going from room to room for treats and hugs, but also senses when people need comforting, and has been with some residents during their final hours. "I think he knows that this is his home and he is all of ours, so that gives him a sense of security. And I think he just wants to protect that."
"When you start a new trail equipped with courage, strength, and conviction, the only thing that can stop you is you." Ruby Bridges
On this Day
11 September 1942: Enid Blyton publishes Five on a Treasure Island. The first of her 'Famous Five' children's novels and the start of one of the best-selling children's series ever, with over 100 million sold.
Stayin' Alive: Old Hollywood stars strutting their stuff to the Bee Gees classic.