Smorgasbord of good news nuggets to help perk up the day.
Rep. Mary Peltola's election to the U.S. House of Representatives made history in several ways. With her recent swearing-in, it became official for the first time in more than 230 years: a Native American, an Alaska Native, and a Native Hawaiian are all members of the House - fully representing the United States' Indigenous people for the first time, according to Rep. Kaiali'i Kahele of Hawaii. Now, there are six Indigenous Americans who are representatives in the House.
There's much excitement amongst Egyptologists after the discovery of hidden hieroglyphics within Tutankhamun’s tomb, lending weight to a theory that the fabled Egyptian queen Nefertiti lies in a hidden chamber adjacent to her stepson’s burial chamber, a world-renowned British Egyptologist has said. Nicholas Reeves, a former curator in the British Museum’s Department of Egyptian Antiquities, said that while the theory remained unproven after inconclusive radar scans, it has been given fresh impetus following the new clue.
The US federal duck stamp program is one of the most successful conservation programs ever created. Since 1934, it's raised $1.1 billion through sales of stamps, and helped conserve more than six million acres of habitat. And to give things a bit of a helpful boost, the Interior Department has just announced another $105 million of funding to conserve or restore 116,305 acres of habitat for waterfowl and other birds in 18 states.
An experimental drug has slowed the rate of decline in memory and thinking in people with early Alzheimer’s disease in what is being described as a “historic moment” for dementia treatment. The cognition of Alzheimer’s patients given the drug, developed by Eisai and Biogen, declined by 27 percent less than those on a placebo treatment after 18 months. This is a modest change in clinical outcome but it is the first time any drug has been clearly shown to alter the disease’s trajectory. Rob Howard, a professor of old age psychiatry at University College London, said: “This is an unambiguously statistically positive result and represents something of an historic moment when we see the first convincing modification of Alzheimer’s disease. God knows, we’ve waited long enough for this.” Eisai and Biogen are expected to apply for regulatory approval in the US and Europe by the end of the year.
The strange wistfulness for bookshops. Bibliophiles adore bookstores for the vellichor of it all.
Spain Seeks Digital Nomads
Spain plans to issue 'digital nomad' visas giving all non-EU citizens the chance to work in the sun and enjoy a lower cost of living with tax breaks thrown in for good measure. The visas will be offered to people who work remotely for enterprises outside Spain and who derive a maximum of 20 percent of their income from Spanish firms. As the law has yet to be passed there are still some details to be hammered out but it is expected that the visa – essentially a residency permit – will be initially valid for one year, renewable for up to five years depending on the applicant’s circumstances. Close relatives, such as a spouse or children, will be eligible to join the applicant.
Tumbling Gas Prices
Britain's energy bills freeze could prove much less costly than feared by early next year, as City forecasters predict that gas prices will plunge this winter following a successful scramble across Europe to fill reserves, reports The Telegraph. A halving in gas prices in the coming months would push average household bills below the £2,500 limit set by the Government’s Energy Price Guarantee, slashing the cost of the intervention, according to estimates by Deutsche Bank.
Quote of the Day
"Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible!’" Audrey Hepburn
On this Day
29 September 1829: The first units of the London Metropolitan Police appear on the streets of the British capital, the world's first modern police force.
Kingfisher in slow-mo action on Ireland's River Shannon.