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Good News Only Saturday

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

Ensuring the weekend gets off to a sunny start with today's bite-sized chunks of positive news.


Tri-spine horseshoe crab
Credit: Laurent Ballesta | Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Lucky Horseshoe

Congratulations to Laurent Ballesta for winning this year's Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition with his ethereal picture of a shimmering golden horseshoe crab in the protected waters off Pangatalan Island in the Philippines. This photo, and others shortlisted for the awards, are now being displayed at London's Natural History Museum.


Avoiding Sex

Female frogs sometimes go as far as faking their own deaths to avoid male attention! Researchers assessed mate avoidance behaviour in European common frogs and found that females use a number of methods, including special calls, grunting, and rolling. Scientists also found nearly one-third of the females laid motionless on their backs with limbs stretched as if they were faking death for about two minutes after a male climbs onto them. Overall, scientists found that nearly half of the females mounted by a male successfully escaped using these strategies, according to a study in the journal Royal Society Open Science. With these latest findings, researchers hope to better understand mating behaviour in amphibians and broaden their conservation efforts.


World Heritage Sites

The deer stones of central Mongolia, dating to roughly 1,200 BC, is one of UNESCO's 42 new World Heritage Sites. Another, is the remarkable series of sites in Ohio built between 2,000 and 1,600 years ago, and known as the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks.


US Debt Cancellation

President Joe Biden has announced an additional 125,000 people have been approved for student debt relief, to the value of $9bn. This brings the total approved debt cancellation under his administration to $127bn for nearly 3.6 million Americans, the White House said in a statement.


Parker Solar Probe
Credit: NASA | Johns Hopkins APL | Steve Gribben
Man's Fastest Object

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is still edging closer to the sun than any other spacecraft has ever achieved, and it’s setting new speed records in the process, reports Popular Science. According to a recent status update from the space agency, the Parker Solar Probe has broken its own record (again) for the fastest thing ever made by human hands - at an astounding clip of 394,736 mph. The newest milestone comes thanks to a gravity-assist flyby from Venus. As ScienceAlert noted, the Parker Solar Probe’s speed would hypothetically allow an airplane to circumnavigate Earth about 15 times per hour.


Manhole Covers

They are heavy disks of wrought iron that separate us from our subterranean sewage, but in Japan, they are also highly coveted works of art, symbols of regional pride, and now, sources of revenue. Local authorities are cashing in on the public’s fascination with the country’s decorated manhole covers, with Kyoto now joining a list of locations that are putting obsolete lids up for sale to the public. At ¥3,000 ($20) apiece, the covers - manufactured in 1978, 1981 and 1990 - would be considered a steal by collectors keen to own a slice of the city’s history in the form of a 90kg piece of industrial art. According to media reports, new manhole covers cost around ¥60,000 each.

 
 
Cowpat Power

A farm in southern England is powering its tractors using manure from its cattle, as part of a trial scheme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Dung produced by the 500 cows at the Leckford Estate in Hampshire is stored in a sealed slurry tank. Instead of being released into the atmosphere, the methane produced is then captured, purified and turned into biomethane, which is used to fuel the farm’s tractors. Waitrose, which owns the farm, estimates that this will reduce its carbon footprint by up to 1,300 tonnes a year.

 

“Love me like Saturday night, like three glasses of champagne, like the room is spinning, like you’re drunk on my love.” C.J. Carlyon

 
On this Day

14 October 1066: At the Battle of Hastings, King Harold II of England was defeated by the invading army of William, Duke of Normandy, in the Norman Conquest, establishing Normans as rulers of England.

 





 
Mood Booster

The Piano Staircase Initiative: Proving that fun can change behaviour for the better.



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