Today's bite sized chunks of good news from around the world to perk up the day.
Have you heard of pysanky? These Polish-Ukrainian Easter eggs are painstakingly decorated with a tiny beeswax pen and then dipped in a succession of dyes. The different layers of dye and the wax - which is melted off the final product - create dazzling patterns that are a point of immense regional pride. There is plenty of folklore surrounding the eggs, too, and many people believe they offer protection from evil spirits. With the ongoing war in Ukraine, pysanky are being newly appreciated as a symbol of Ukrainian resilience. A display of these fragile works of art, collected from around the world, is currently showing at the Ukrainian Institute of America in New York.
The first breath-based Covid-19 test has been issued authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The device takes three minutes to return results and has been found to be 91 percent accurate in detecting positive cases. The specificity of the test was even higher, correctly identifying 99.3 percent of negative cases.
In even better news on the Covid front, trial results of a new vaccine – described as a “moon shot” – could be released within days. The preliminary results of the single-dose jab, which is said to protect people against any variant of Covid, have been hailed by Professor Luke O’Neill as “impressive”. Speaking to Newsweek, he said: “There’s a massive effort happening in the US at the moment, trying to make what’s called a ‘universal vaccine’. It’s a great goal to have.”
Food for Thought
Globally, 25 percent to 30 percent of total food produced is lost or wasted, says WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme). And the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that food waste contributes about 9 percent of total man-made greenhouse gases. “If food waste were a country, it would be the world’s third largest emitter after China and the USA.” So, anything each of us can do to reduce our food waste is good for our pocket and the planet. World Wildlife Fund says that “In the US alone, the production of lost or wasted food generates the equivalent of 32.6 million cars’ worth of greenhouse gas emissions,” whilst in the UK, according to WRAP, food wasted would make the equivalent of more than 15 billion meals – “enough to feed the entire UK population three meals a day for 11 weeks”.
Hats Off to Ben
Imagine the faces on the staff at the Idaho Humane Society when nine-year-old Ben Miller recently stopped in and dropped off a plastic bag filled with $2,000 in cash. For three years, the young man has been raising money through a lemonade stand after he visited the shelter in 2019 and noticed that some cats didn't have toys. Some people have traveled nearly an hour to get some refreshments and make a donation, and others have sent money virtually. A representative from the shelter said they're in the middle of kitten season, and every dollar they can get helps pay for medical care, food, and yes, toys.
What had no eyes, walked on stilts and died in 'Paleo Pompeii'? Answer: the ancient weirdo pictured above. Paleontologists recently announced the discovery of an exceptionally well preserved ancient animal near the eastern shore of Lake Simcoe in southern Ontario, Canada, in a stone quarry that is such a hotbed for marine fossils that scientists have dubbed the area 'Paleo Pompeii.' Named Tomlinsonus dimitrii, the species represented by the specimen is part of an extinct group of arthropods known as marrellomorphs that lived approximately 450 million years ago, the research team excitedly reported.
A new machine that sorts and shreds electronic waste has officially started operation in Auckland, New Zealand. The BLUBOX machine is aiming to catapult the country from one of the worst electronic waste offenders to one of the best. The technology shreds and sorts e-waste in an enclosed negative pressure system, recovering up to 90 percent of components.
Quote of the Day
"There are times when dreams sustain us more than facts." Helen Fagin
On this Day
26 April 1768: The prestigious Royal Academy of Arts in England, led by its first president, Joshua Reynolds, hosted its first exhibition.
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Nature Mood Booster
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