Saturday's Good News Nuggets

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

Bite sized chunks of good news to help ensure it's a sunny Saturday.

  • New York City was once one of the largest exporters of oysters in the world, but water quality issues and overharvesting decimated populations. The city has spent many years restoring New York Harbor, and the good news is that the water quality has now been deemed high enough to introduce the next step in the water purification process: the addition of 11.2 million juvenile oysters. Added to a section of the Hudson River near Lower Manhattan, the bivalves work to clean the water, balance the food chain, and, if they grow big enough, dissipate wave energy to protect the city’s shorelines.

  • Landing in the album charts in Australia at No.5, a remarkable new musical experience is in store. As evidenced by the description on the cover: “The title track celebrates the incredible diversity of the Australian soundscape, and highlights what we stand to lose without taking action. Be immersed in a chorus of iconic cockatoos, the buzzing of bowerbirds, a bizarre symphony of seabirds, and the haunting call of one of the last remaining night parrots.” The album, called Songs of Disappearance, is comprised of the varied songs and calls of 53 threatened Australian bird species, all of which were recorded over a 40-year period. Proceeds from album sales will go to the avian conservation organization BirdLife Australia. Australia-based listeners can get their hands on a hard copy of the CD, but digital versions are available worldwide.

  • Alongside its rewilding scheme, and closing the centre of the city to traffic in order to prioritize pedestrians and cyclists, Barcelona’s bus fleet will soon run on biofuel made from sewage sludge. The process involves gathering sewage sludge at water treatment plants, where the material is created as a by-product of the water purifying process. The sludge, in turn, creates biogas - made of methane and CO2. The new initiative will remove CO2 from the biogas to create biomethane and used as fuel for the buses. Thus transforming its 1,100 buses from belching diesel powered beasts into a mode of public transport that doesn't dirty the air or contribute to global warming.

  • A couple in Massachusetts recreates the Christmas card a family friend sends them every year of their children. The couple's son, Jeromie Whalen, posted a photo of this year's Christmas card which quickly went viral on Reddit. Jeromie said the other family is "essentially our family too" and that "everyone looks forward to it".

  • Food production causes about 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, and numerous studies have shown that meat-eating in rich countries must be sharply reduced in order to tackle the climate crisis, largely caused by the methane and deforestation associated with cattle. According to a new UK study, men’s meaty diets are responsible for 40 percent more climate-heating emissions than those of women. A second study found in western countries, vegan and vegetarian diets were about a third cheaper to buy than regular diets, which the researchers said contrasted with the perception that they were the “preserve of a privileged middle class”. So, really, no excuses guys!

  • Now 12 months old, WaterBear is aiming to become the 'Netflix for nature.' The free streaming platform and app is dedicated to the future of our planet and showcases documentaries and original content that is inspired not by viewing figures or financial returns but by the UN sustainable development goals. Once signed up as members, WaterBear users are able to stream videos at any time, and on any device - all for free - as well as sign petitions and link up with climate organisations through WaterBear’s interactive hub. Its target audience is the millennial and Gen Z generations, aged roughly between 15-40, but everyone's welcome!

  • The effect of Viagra is well-known across the globe and, now, US scientists from the Cleveland Clinic have found another possible 'upside'. Originally designed to treat heart disease, the little blue pill may also reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

 

Wise Words

“It does not matter how long you are spending on the earth, how much money you have gathered or how much attention you have received. It is the amount of positive vibration you have radiated in life that matters.” Amit Ray


On This Day

On 18 December 1865, by proclamation of the U.S. secretary of state, the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, outlawing slavery, officially entered into force.

In 1892, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's ballet "The Nutcracker" premieres in Saint Petersburg, Russia, now the world's most performed ballet.

Dive in Deeper

 

Bloomin' Marvelous

Cacti bloom overnight and the flowers last for only a day, with a peak period occurring for a mere hour or two.