Wednesday's Good News

Updated: Aug 12

Mid week collection of upbeat news nuggets to brighten the day.


Colombia landscape panorama
Biological Corridors

A new multi-million-dollar conservation initiative in Colombia aims to create numerous new protected areas and biological corridors across the country, bringing it closer to meeting long-term climate change prevention goals. The $245-million project, called Heritage Colombia, will support the creation, expansion and improvement of 32 million hectares (nearly 80 million acres) of protected land and marine areas over the next decade, putting the country on track to meet some of its 30×30 targets years ahead of schedule.


Adult and baby rhinos
Rhinos on the Move

Over four decades after becoming locally extinct, rhinos are again roaming the wilds of Mozambique. Rangers are bringing the endangered species from South Africa to restore life in national parks and to boost local tourism. "Rhinos are important to the ecosystem, which is one of the reasons why we’re moving them all this distance and doing all this effort to get them there," said Kester Vickery, a conservationist who is supervising the rhino translocation. The initiative is part of a campaign to save the endangered species by relocating them to safe havens where they have a chance to increase their population.


Snooze Button

High school and middle school classes in California will start later than ever when the school year begins this fall. That means that students (and the parents who get them to school) can look forward to a little extra sleep. In 2019, legislators passed a first-of-its-kind law requiring that all public high schools begin classes no earlier than 8:30 a.m. and that middle schools start no earlier than 8 a.m. “Asking a teenager to be awake and trying to absorb information at 8:30 in the morning in some ways is like asking an adult to wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning,” Matthew Walker, a University of California, Berkeley, neuroscience professor, told NPR.

 
Random Fun Fact

The largest insect to ever live was a “dragonfly” with a wingspan of over 75cm (2 and a half feet) across. They are called Meganeuropsis and were around 247 million years ago, eating fish, amphibians and insects.

 

Aptera electric car

Seeing an Aptera vehicle in the wild is like seeing a spacecraft driving down the road. The unique, three-wheel setup makes a lot of sense considering that both spaceships and Aptera are designed with aerodynamics and efficiency top of mind. Efficiency is key for Aptera's vehicle. Its solar panels need to deliver enough energy to propel the EV down roads and allow it to compete against traditional gas-fueled cars and newer electric-only cars. Aptera's full solar package, as it now stands, can get up to 40 miles worth of extra charge into its battery each day. For longer drives, the car can be charged like a regular electric vehicle. Plugging in can give the Aptera a total range of 1,000 miles.


UK Gov in Court

The high court has ordered the government to outline exactly how its net zero policies will achieve emissions targets, after a legal challenge from environmental groups. Friends of the Earth, ClientEarth and the Good Law Project had all taken legal action over the government’s flagship climate change strategy, arguing it had illegally failed to include the policies it needed to deliver the promised emissions cuts. In a judgment handed down late on Monday, Mr Justice Holgate said the strategy lacked any explanation or quantification of how the government’s plans would achieve the emissions target, and as such had failed to meet its obligations under Climate Change Act 2008.

 
Quote of the Day

“I always tell my kids if you lay down, people will step over you. But if you keep scrambling, if you keep going, someone will always, always give you a hand. Always."

Morgan Freeman

 
On this Day

20 July 1969: The Eagle lunar landing module, carrying U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin (“Buzz”) Aldrin, landed on the Moon, and several hours later Armstrong became the first person to set foot on its surface.

 
Surprise!

An English family was stunned when their dog escaped only to return later that day with a ribbon won at a local dog show. Read on...


Biblical Tastes

Artisanal baking is undergoing a resurgence around the world and in Israel one baker is recreating tastes from Biblical times using ancient grains. Read on...

 
Mood Booster

Deep in the forests of New Guinea there is a rich variety of life, each more bizarre than the last. One such spectacle is the male Bird of Paradise who goes to extraordinary lengths to attract a mate.