Celebrating the start of the weekend with a bundle of uplifting news nuggets.
Person of the Year
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and "the spirit of Ukraine" has been named Time magazine's 2022 Person of the Year. The annual award by the US magazine's editors is given to someone who is felt to have had the most global influence during the last 12 months. Editor-in-chief, Edward Felsenthal, said the magazine's decision was "the most clear-cut in memory". Adding: "For proving that courage can be as contagious as fear, for stirring people and nations to come together in defence of freedom, for reminding the world of the fragility of democracy - and of peace - Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the spirit of Ukraine are Time's 2022 Person of the Year."
Every year, Pulicat Lake in Tamil Nadu, India, plays host to tens of thousands of lanky, pink-feathered birds that gather in the warm waters during their annual migration - and they have just started arriving, as evidenced by this gorgeous aerial shot by Raj Mohan. Flamingos transform the 750 sq.km of brackish lagoons into breeding grounds. In addition to the spectacle they create, the flamingos also help to control the otherwise rampant algae growth in the water, thereby preventing the need for human intervention. You can find more of Raj Mohan's images on Instagram.
A new study conducted by the University of Sheffield surveyed 68 city centres in the UK, ranking them on their vegetation, parks, tree cover and sports fields. Exeter, in the county of Devon in Southwest England, was found to be the greenest, followed by the London Borough of Islington, Bournemouth, a resort town on England’s southern coast, and Cambridge. The authors said their study was the first to “define and rank urban centres based on multiple green attributes.”
Solar City Car
A cheap solar-powered car roughly the size of a golf cart is coming to the U.S. in January next year. The Squad solar city car is the work of Squad Mobility, a Dutch company founded in 2019 by two engineers who who had previously worked at Lightyear. The car made its European debut in May as what the company said was the “world’s first solar city car.” It seats two people and charges both via the sun and by battery. In the U.S., it will retail for $6.250. It can charge up to 19 miles via its rooftop solar panel and 62 miles via its battery. The fastest it can go is 28 mph. In the U.S., it will be classified alongside golf carts as a “low-speed vehicle,” though electrek says it has more capability than a traditional golf cart.
Rhinoceros populations are beginning to rebound in the species' native home of Zimbabwe, a sign that efforts to preserve the species are working, say animal conservationists. The rhino population in Zimbabwe has surpassed more than 1,000 animals for the first time in more than 30 years, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission's African Rhino Specialist Group.
Scientists have identified two-million-year-old DNA for the first time – breaking the previous record by one million years. The microscopic fragments, found in ice age sediment in northern Greenland, are twice the age of the previous oldest DNA, which was sampled from a Siberian mammoth bone. Professor Willerslev, a fellow of Cambridge University’s St John’s College, said: “A new chapter spanning one million extra years of history has finally been opened and for the first time we can look directly at the DNA of a past ecosystem that far back in time."
“The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.”
On this Day
10 December 1768: The first part of the first edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, the oldest continuously published and revised work in the English language, was published and advertised for sale in Edinburgh.
Condor teaches his youngster how to fly in Patagonia.