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Thursday's Good News

Today's smorgasbord of tasty bite-sized chunks of good news.


Alejandra Rodríguez, Miss Buenos Aires
Credit: miss.universo_buenos_aires and francy_lezcano | Instagram
60 Year Old Wins Crown

Age is merely a number, and Alejandra Rodríguez is proof of that. The 60-year-old woman from Argentina was recently crowned “Miss Buenos Aires” in a beauty contest. Rodríguez was only able to participate after the pageant removed the age limit established when the contest was created in 1958. Until then, only women between 18 and 28 were allowed to compete. Now, the only requirement is for contestants to be of legal age. Rodríguez wasn't even the oldest contestant at her pageant, as the other candidates were between the ages of 18 and 73. She was encouraged to sign up by a friend, who became a model at the age of 55.


Mongolian yurt on a grassy plain
Mongolian yurt.
Eternal Mongolia

Mongolia’s government and a coalition of partners signed a pioneering nature financing deal, marking a watershed moment in environmental protection. This historic agreement seeks to protect 35.6 million acres of the country’s pristine lands and rivers, including the world’s last vast swath of temperate grassland. The pact, known as 'Eternal Mongolia,' combines a $71 million transition fund sponsored by worldwide donors with a $127 million government commitment over 15 years, making it one of Asia’s largest climate finance accords to date.


Bottle of 'Not A Celebrity Tequila'
Credit: Not A Celebrity Tequila
New Tequila Shot

As you are surely aware, there’s a whole lot of celebrity tequila out there - some of it good, some of it not so good, all of it viewed through a veil of star power that ultimately is probably irrelevant. So it should really come as no surprise that a new tequila brand has made its name, quite literally, on the fact that it’s Not a Celebrity Tequila. How refreshing!


New Discovery

Researchers at MIT have discovered that light, not just heat, can cause water to evaporate. The astonishing new discovery, named the photomolecular effect, could revolutionize our understanding of water evaporation and lead to new applications in clean energy production and water desalination.


10th century sword discovered in Valencia, Spain
Credit: Valencia City Council Archaeology Service
Spain's Excalibur

A sword unearthed in Spain and nicknamed 'Excalibur' after King Arthur’s legendary blade is more than 1,000 years old, researchers say. A rare artifact from the Iberian Peninsula’s Islamic period, the weapon illustrates the region’s layered history of subjugation. In Arthurian legend, Excalibur is a sword magically lodged in a stone, until a young Arthur pulls it out, earning the right to be crowned king of Britain. Three decades ago, researchers in Valencia, on the east coast of Spain, unearthed a weapon in a similar position - buried upright at an archaeological site - and nicknamed it accordingly. Now, the sword has been restored and analyzed by the local city council’s Archaeology Service, whose scholars have dated it to the tenth century, when Valencia was called Balansiya.


Sun rising over a mountainous landscape

Sunshine States

The Australian state of Queensland - known, like California, as the 'Sunshine State' - has passed historic legislation enshrining bold emissions reduction targets into law. The state aims to achieve 75 percent emissions reductions and 80 percent renewable energy generation by 2035. The laws also prioritise public ownership of energy assets and job creation in the renewable energy sector, reports AAP.


Meanwhile, on the other side of the Pacific, battery storage became the largest source of supply in California's grid for the first time on last week, surpassing gas, hydro, nuclear, and renewables - marking a significant milestone in the state's transition to clean energy, says Renew Economy. Furthermore, in mid-April, California got a lot of buzz for meeting 100 percent of its electricity needs through renewables, if only for short times, for 30 of 38 days. The trend continues: on 25 April it was 41 of 49 days; 12 days in a row, and over 6 hours of entirely renewable energy, according to Stanford professor Mark Z. Jacobson.

 

“Front-loading my day (getting a whole bunch done in the morning) is my productivity secret.” Celeste Headlee

 
On This Day

Painting depicting the USA purchasing the Louisiana Territory from France

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.

 





 
Mood Booster

Funny Aardman Animation: Gorillas recall their encounter with David Attenborough.



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