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Good News Only Saturday

Celebrating the start of the weekend with a global round up of positive news snippets.

Wild elephant family group, Africa
Elephants may use vocal labels
Elephants May Have Names

When wild African elephants call out, they might identify each other by name, according to a new study published this week in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution. While some other animals possess the ability to imitate others, humans are the only species known to assign invented vocal labels to other objects and beings. But in the new study, a computer model was able to identify the recipient of an elephant’s call with some success by analyzing a recording of the caller’s vocalization. The findings “raise intriguing questions about the complexity of elephant social cognition,” the study authors write. The discovery could alter our understanding of cognition and the evolution of language.

Dorothy 'Miss Dottie' Kalkbrenner
Miss Dottie finally thinks it's time to stop
Miss Dottie

Dorothy 'Miss Dottie' Kalkbrenner has remained faithful to her post as an elementary school crossing guard for nearly half a century. She finally figured it's time to retire after realizing she'll turn 90 years young this summer. During her final week of work, students and staff at Highland Elementary School held an assembly to wish her good luck in retirement, and she says she is now looking forward to being more active in her senior community in retirement.

Rare Earth Elements

A Norwegian company has uncovered Europe’s largest proven deposit of rare earth minerals, which are essential resources as the world turns more toward renewable energy. With China controlling the majority of rare earth deposits today, the discovery is poised to solidify the position of Norway, and Europe more generally, in the supply chain. “It is important to state that there is absolutely no extraction of rare earth elements in Europe today,” Alf Reistad, CEO of the company Rare Earths Norway, said in a video conference earlier this week. He noted that the finding marks a “great milestone.”

Mysterious Minoan structure discovered on Crete
Ancient Minoan structure | Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture
Minoan Mystery

Archaeologists on the Greek island of Crete have uncovered a monumental ancient structure that threatens to halt progress on the construction of a new airport. The structure belonged to the Minoan civilization and was mainly used between 2000 and 1700 B.C.E., around the same time that Crete’s monumental palaces at Knossos and Phaistos were built, says the Greek City Times. The structure resembles “a huge car wheel from above,” with a diameter of 157 feet and a total area of 19,000 square feet. Nobody, as yet, knows what the structure was for.

Breast Cancer Test

A novel blood test, described as an “incredibly exciting” advancement, demonstrated the ability to detect the recurrence of breast cancer up to three years before tumours appear on routine scans. This invention has the potential to drastically enhance treatment outcomes (and peace of mind) for millions of women around the world. The new blood test, unveiled at the American Society of Clinical Oncology‘s annual meeting in Chicago, offers a substantial advancement in early diagnosis and prevention methods. The test, created by experts at the Breast Cancer Now Toby Robins Research Centre in London, detects trace levels of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) in the bloodstream.

Bill Gates in Wyoming
Bill Gates pictured centre | Credit: TerraPower
Gates Goes Nuclear

Bill Gates has helped break ground to mark the construction of the first next-generation nuclear reactor in the United States. The joint project by his company TerraPower and the Department of Energy plans to build a sodium test reactor in Kemmerer, Wyoming by 2030. Despite being one of the pioneering nations in the development of commercial nuclear energy, the US nuclear industry has been moribund for decades - with no development advances since the 1970s. "I believe that the next-generation nuclear power plant that TerraPower is building here will power the future of our nation – and the world," said Gates. "Everything we do runs on electricity: buildings, technology, and increasingly transportation. To meet our economic and climate goals, we need more abundant clean energy, not less. The ground we broke in Kemmerer will soon be the bedrock of America’s energy future. Today, we took the biggest step yet toward safe, abundant, zero-carbon energy."


Following an argument, an angry Lady Astor told Winston Churchill, “Winston, if you were my husband, I’d put poison in your coffee.” Churchill snapped, “If you were my wife, I’d drink it.”

On This Day

Moment Assyrians record solar eclipse in 763BC

15 June 763 BC: Assyrians record a solar eclipse - also known as the Bur-Sagale eclipse - that will be used to fix the chronology of Mesopotamian history.

Today's Articles

Mood Boosting Video

Baby Goat Shenanigans! It’s the last party of the day before bed at Sunflower Farm.


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