Today's smorgasbord of positive news nuggets.
Photos credit: Brandon Broderick | Canadian Photos of the Year
The winners of the 2023 Canadian Photos of the Year competition held by Canadian Geographic have just been announced. Taking home the grand prize of 5,000 Canadian dollars ($3,700) and the title of Canadian Photographer of the Year was Brandon Broderick from B.C. Broderick captured inspiring shots of grizzly bears, waterfalls, and a Canada lynx as he traveled relentlessly around the Canadian west coast in search of great photos.
Eastern and Southern Africa have achieved gender parity in primary education, with 25 million more girls enrolled in primary school in the region today than in the early 2000s. Despite that good news, it's tempered by the fact that not as many girls complete high school as boys (although the gap is narrowing), and labour force participation is still dramatically unequal - but progress is happening, says World Bank.
The Greater Good
Four in ten business leaders say that they are willing to compromise on short-term profits to prioritize climate action. Around 40 percent of 4,702 chief executives across 105 countries surveyed by PwC, the world’s largest consulting firm, said they have “accepted lower hurdle rates for climate-friendly investments than for other investments”. A third said the climate crisis would shift how they do business over the next three years, with 30 percent expecting “big” or “very big” changes. Nearly half of chief execs also believe their companies ‘will not be viable in ten years’ without major changes.
Supporters of the Hershey Bears hockey team in Hershey, Pennsylvania, came out in full force to break a world record. Every year, fans gather for the Hershey Bears Teddy Bear Toss, where they throw stuffed animals down to the ice. The plush toys are then donated to local charities. In early January, stuffed animals began to rain down again. It was "incredible" to see, Bears Captain Dylan McIlrath told WHTM, adding that it's "awesome" to see how many people participate every year. The Bears announced that for 2024, a world record 74,599 stuffed animals were tossed. It's estimated that since the first event in 2001, nearly 390,000 stuffed animals have been collected.
Blas Jaime has made it his mission to keep Chaná, a language spoken by Indigenous people in Argentina and Uruguay, alive. While growing up in Argentina, he spoke Chaná with his mother, a memory keeper for the Chaná community. Because of discrimination, she told her son not to share their stories or speak the language, and it wasn't until around two decades ago that Jaime, now 89, publicly declared that he knew Chaná. The last known record of Chaná was written in 1815, when a priest jotted down hundreds of words that he learned from three Chaná men in Uruguay, and experts thought the language was extinct. Jaime has worked with a linguist to put together a Chaná dictionary of about 1,000 words, and taught his daughter, Evangelina, the language. She is now teaching Chaná to others, including her son. "She knows more than me," Jaime told The New York Times. "We won't lose Chaná."
Hybrids Gain Ground
The EV revolution isn’t turning out to be as radical as automakers and policymakers had hoped - which is turning attention back to hybrids as a necessary middle ground for reducing tailpipe emissions and meeting customer demand. In the US, new car hybrid sales were up 65 percent last year, while EVs were up about 46 percent - with sales hitting roughly 1.2 million each in the US. That gave hybrids 8 percent of the automotive market (EVs were at 7.6 percent). The two biggest reasons for the hybrid bump are their lower price tag (the average hybrid cost is $42,500, while an EVs is $60,500), as well as consumer anxiety around charging logistics (renters and urbanites who don’t own houses, especially).
"You are perfectly cast in your life. I can’t imagine anyone but you in the role. Go play." Lin-Manuel Miranda
On This Day
24 January 1984: Steve Jobs introduced Apple's revolutionary computer Macintosh, two days after the groundbreaking commercial '1984' aired before a national TV audience and heralded the product's impending release.
The art of embracing imperfection for greater happiness. Metaphor for life...
Another mysterious Roman dodecahedron unearthed in England. 12-sided...
Apple's era defining '1984' Super Bowl commercial, directed by Ridley Scott.