Ensuring the weekend gets off to a sunny start with a global round up of good news nuggets.
A two-year-old from Kentucky has become the youngest person to be given membership to Mensa, the society for the world’s most intelligent people. Isla McNabb’s parents first noticed their daughter’s intelligence after she left alphabet blocks strewn about their house correctly spelling, for example, sofa - which she placed on the sofa. So, they took Isla to a psychiatrist who carried out an IQ test. The results were stunning. It was a performance which qualified the toddler for membership of Mensa.
Millions of acres of Amazon rainforest should now be safe from mining, after Ecuador’s government agreed to prohibit extraction projects on protected and Indigenous land. Amazon Frontlines, a non-profit that advocates for Indigenous peoples, described the outcome as “a historic victory for the climate and Indigenous rights”. The news follows a 2021 ruling by Ecuador’s highest court, which said plans to mine in a protected forest violated the rights of nature.
A federal judge has restored a wide swath of Endangered Species Act protections gutted by the Trump administration, re-establishing protections for hundreds of species.
WFH Legal Right
The Dutch parliament has approved legislation to establish work-from-home as a legal right. It still needs a nod from the Dutch senate before its final adoption, but this new legislation would force employers to consider employees' requests to work from home and to provide a reason if they choose to deny any requests. "For employers, this is also a good law. Because a happy employee is a happy employer," the bill's co-author Steven van Weyenberg said. Congresswoman Senna Maatoug called the bill an "important step" for workers: "It allows them to find a better work-life balance and reduce time spent on commuting."
Literary device in which a part of something is substituted for the whole (such as hired hand for "worker"), or less commonly, a whole represents a part (as when society denotes "high society").
A newly signed law in California, is set to reduce amounts of plastic waste, improve recycling rates, and place more responsibility on producers rather than consumers to curb plastic pollution. The new law requires a 25 percent decrease in single-use plastics over the next 10 years, and nearly half of that reduction must come from eliminating plastic packaging or switching to reusable, refillable systems rather than swapping plastic for other single-use materials, like paper. According to Ocean Conservancy, this requirement could prevent an estimated 23 million tons of plastic by 2032, or about 26 times the weight of the Golden State Bridge.
The dream of transforming windows into active power generators has just edged one step closer to realization. A team of researchers at Australia's Monash University has created perovskite cells with a conversion efficiency of 15.5 percent that allows more than 20 percent of visible light through. If 15.5 percent doesn't sound like much, most solar panels are only able to process 15 to 22 percent of solar energy into usable energy. And these ones even let light through. We can expect to hear a lot more about this tech in the coming years.
Quote of the Day
"He knows nothing; he thinks he knows everything – that clearly points to a political career."
George Bernard Shaw
On this Day
9 July 1955: Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and His Comets became the first rock-and-roll single to hit number one on Billboard's pop charts.
Dive in Deeper
Nature Mood Booster
Stunning timelapse series through the always changing landscapes of New Zealand.