An uplifting bundle of good news nuggets to brighten the day.
First Webb Images
A giant golden eye flying around the sun about a million miles from Earth will give humans an unprecedented view of the universe. The James Webb Space Telescope has started to peer back towards the origins of the universe. Get ready for stunning astronomical photos and data, scientists say. "We're only beginning to understand what Webb can and will do," NASA administrator Bill Nelson said at a news briefing last week. "It may answer some questions that we have: Where do we come from? What more is out there? Who are we? And, of course, it's going to answer some questions that we don't even know what the questions are." For the first photo drop, NASA is planning to reveal the images, one by one, during a broadcasted event today at 10.30 a.m. ET (14.30 GMT / UTC). You can watch this live event on NASA TV.
Meanwhile, on Earth, a very happy bartender has was delighted and amazed after an anonymous guest left a $4,000 tip on a $179 bill. Chelsea Bell Lantrip, a bartender and single mother in Cleburne, Texas, called the patron a guardian angel. “I didn’t believe it until it went through the credit card machine, I still didn’t believe it until it hit the bank,” Bell said.
Less than a year ago, voters in Japan had to look very hard to find a woman’s name on ballot papers for the lower house election. But as the country prepared to go to the polls again last weekend, they were comparatively spoiled for choice. About a third of the candidates in Sunday’s upper house election were women – the highest proportion since Japanese women won the right to vote and stand for parliament in 1946 – a trend that has given hope to women campaigning to break the male stranglehold on Japanese politics.
Random Fun Fact
The loudest animal in the world is a mere 2cm long, prawn. The Pistol Shrimp is capable of snapping its claw shut so rapidly, that it creates a bubble which collapses to produce a sonic blast, louder than a Concorde’s sonic boom. The shock wave can reach 230 decibels. The imploding bubble for a split second also generates temperates of 4,400C, nearly as hot as the sun, killing its prey.
Rufus is a 15-year-old male Harris’s hawk and it was his job this year, along with Wayne Davis, his handler, to stop pesky pigeons and seagulls disrupting play or fouling the court or the spectators’ seats at Wimbledon. Davis calls it “environmental control” and he's been the man in charge of keeping Wimbledon 'spotless' for the past 15 years by scaring other birds away.
In an age where people are happy to queue up for smartwatches that can measure your heart rate, make video calls and even let you play games, it's rather hard to imagine why somebody would want a winding watch that's only capable of displaying the time. But, it seems they do. At just 1.75 mm thick, the RM UP-01 Ferrari is the world's thinnest watch. Only 150 will be made at a price of $2m each.
Southern fin whales have been documented feeding in large numbers in ancestral feeding grounds in Antarctica for the first time since hunting was restricted in 1976. Researchers estimate that fin whales could number around 8,000 after video documentation captured a symphony of blowhole eruptions from the mammals in the ocean around Elephant Island. In further good news, recovering fin whale populations should enrich the marine ecosystem of the Antarctic through nutrient recycling from whale feeding and excrement (known as the ‘whale pump’), and, in turn, support increasing growth of phytoplankton and greater krill populations.
Quote of the Day
“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the mind.” Luther Burbank
On this Day
12 July 2013: Malala Yousafzai addresses the United Nations and calls for worldwide access to education.
La Traviata flash mob.