An eclectic bundle of positive news nuggets to get the week off to a bright start.
Red Wolf Pups
The Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina happily welcomed the birth of a litter of wild red wolf pups, an indication that there is still hope for the endangered species. Though US landscapes were once teeming with red wolves, the species suffered because of hunting and encroachment. In fact, in the 1980s the species was even considered “extinct in the wild." However, today, experts estimate that there are only 15 to 17 remaining in the wild, with no wild births recorded since 2018. That is, until last week! So, there's now renewed hope that the red wolf population can be restored.
On 26 May, the Gothic ruins that inspired Bram Stoker's iconic horror novel Dracula are staging what they hope will be the world's largest gathering of vampires - or people dressed as them, at least - to celebrate the 125th anniversary of its release. Whitby Abbey features throughout the book, and today, what's left of the 7th century monastery still sits proudly in North Yorkshire, England. Stoker visited the site in 1890 and even picked up the name of his villain from a local public library there. Dracula, you may know, gets his name from Vlad the Impaler, a Romanian ruler who also went by the family name Vlad Dracula.
When some species of fish mate, their activity causes the Earth's waters to move as much as a major storm does. Not only that, their frantic lovemaking may help circulate oxygen and nutrients and redistribute the temperature of the water, supporting the healthy functioning of the ocean ecosystem. At least, that's the conclusion of a new study conducted on anchovies in Ría de Pontevedra, a coastal inlet in northeastern Spain. Good job, little ones! Go forth and prosper.
Coding for Brownies
UK research shows more than half of girls think science and technology careers are the preserve of boys. In a bid to shift stubborn attitudes among girls that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) careers are just for boys, Brownies are to learn coding and Guides will investigate chatbots. The drive to engage thousands more girls in technology comes after research by Girlguiding found more than half of girls and women between the ages of 11 and 21 believed that Stem was for boys. The most popular badges in Brownies are baking, mindfulness and performing, while Guides favour mixology (non-alcoholic), upcycling and backwoods cooking.
No Mow May
Gardeners are being urged to adopt No Mow May, in order to let wild plants thrive and provide nectar for insects. They are also urging those with good sized gardens to let part of it go completely wild to provide year-round habitats for bees, butterflies and other insects.
There’s an excellent chance to watch a meteor shower this week in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. In the Northern Hemisphere, look to the south. The Eta Aquariid meteor shower could reveal as many as 20-30 meteors per hour. In the Southern Hemisphere, look essentially straight up, and you should be able to see about forty meteors per hour. In fact, Earthsky says it’s the best shower to see south of the Equator. The Eta Aquariids’ radiant is on the ecliptic, which rides low in the sky on spring mornings as seen from the Northern Hemisphere. That’s why this shower favours the Southern Hemisphere.
The new Bach Long glass bridge in Vietnam's Son La province opened on 29 April as a new attraction for thrill seeking tourists. The opening of the 2073-foot long (632m) glass-bottomed bridge suspended some 490 feet (150m) above a lush, jungle-clad gorge, is bound to become a magnet for those with a head for heights and a thirst for selfies.
Quote of the Day
"One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure."
On this Day
2 May 1803: The United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France at a rate of less than three cents per acre for 828,000 square miles (2,144,520 square km), which soon proved to be a tremendous bargain.
Dive in Deeper
Musical Mood Booster
Old Hollywood stars dancing to a mash-up of Wham's Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.