Ensuring the week gets off to a sunny start with a global round-up of good news nuggets.
A decade after the documentary Blackfish exposed the ethics of keeping orcas in captivity, public opposition to marine parks has 'passed the tipping point.' Tourism companies have stopped promoting swim-with-dolphin attractions and Canada has passed legislation to end the public display of captive cetaceans, says World Animal News.
In a world first, surgeons and engineers have developed a new bionic hand that allows users with arm amputations to effortlessly control each finger as though it was their own body. Successful testing of the bionic hand has already been conducted on a patient who lost his arm above the elbow. The innovation could revolutionise the way prosthetic limbs are designed and used, with scientists hailing it as a “major breakthrough”.
Bald Eagles Soar
The recovery of the bald eagle continues, an American conservation success story achieved via a combination of legal reform, enforcement, breeding programs, and public support. In the 1950s the population dropped to a mere 412 nesting pairs, but by 2021, it had soared to 71,467 breeding pairs.
Power of Daffodils
Daffodils hold a secret power. They produce a crucial medical compound that is a key component in a drug used in the management of Alzheimer's. But that's not all. Recent studies reveal another astonishing benefit. Early evidence shows high altitude daffodils produce an extract which, when fed to cows, has the ability to reduce their methane emissions.
A 13-year-old boy has found a shark tooth belonging to a giant prehistoric creature on the Essex coast, in south east England. Ben discovered the 10cm long (4in) tooth during a summer holiday weekend break. The teenager's dad, Jason, said his son was "over the moon" with the find, adding that he knew the second he saw it "it was something". Essex Wildlife Trust confirmed it was a megalodon tooth - and intact ones, like the one found - were a "rare find". The tooth is between 4 million to 20 million years old.
A UN-led international team has started siphoning oil out of a marooned tanker off the coast of Yemen - thus bravely defusing a giant, million-barrel time bomb that would otherwise threaten the Red Sea’s unique coral reefs, global commerce, and the survival of millions of people. In the middle of rebel-held waters! Why isn't this a bigger story?
Keep on Truckin'
Taylor Swift is wrapping up the US leg of her 'Eras' tour and expressed her thanks by giving the tour's truck drivers - along with a slew of other heavy-lifting crew members - a gift of $100,000 each. Michael Scherkenbach, founder and CEO of Denver-based Shomotion trucking company, told CNN that about 50 members of the tours' combined crew were included, and they were stunned at the amount. It's normal for crews working on such a long, intense project to get bonuses, but $100k? That's something to celebrate.
"Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man's desire to understand." Neil Armstrong
On this Day
7 August 1974: French-born Philippe Petit walked on a high wire between the newly built twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, about 1,350 feet (411 metres) above the ground. He was arrested, but the charges were later dismissed.
Musical Marble Machine: This extraordinary instrument plays music using 2,000 marbles.