Getting the week off to an upbeat start with a global round up of positive news nuggets.
New York Harbor
Thanks to the Clean Water Act, bald eagles, humpback whales, oysters, and more (including people) have returned to the New York Harbor. At the time the law passed, hundreds of millions of gallons of raw sewage were being dumped into the Hudson River every day. Today people swim in organized events in the harbor, which would have been unthinkable in 1972 when the law was passed. Across the country, billions of dollars were also spent to construct and improve sewage treatment plants, leading to recoveries of other urban waterways.
The Consumer Electronics Show - an annual jamboree in Las Vegas - has unveiled a simple, blindingly obvious solution to quickly getting warm in your car on a chilly morning. A heated seat belt. The only question is how did no one else figure this out before? The name was right there, staring at us in defiance. Heat Belt! So, thank you to German company ZF for getting it sorted.
New data from the World Health Organisation shows that the proportion of people cooking with wood, charcoal, kerosene or dung has fallen from 53% in 1990 to 36% today, meaning that in a single generation, an extra 2.48 billion people are now cooking with electricity or clean stoves.
How to Decide Where to Go on Your Next Holiday: Struggling to make a decision? So much choice! So looking forward to going somewhere gorgeous? Frankly, anywhere that's not home! Let our simple formula help you decide...
It hasn’t been an easy time to be a rail enthusiast, but the resurgence of the sleeper train on the continent is offering British travellers a tantalising prospect for 2023. A new pan-European service starting in May is opening up the possibility of jumping on a Eurostar at St Pancras on a Friday afternoon and waking up in Berlin the following morning, breakfast included. “We thought that would be good timing to start the weekend”, said Chris Engelsman, co-founder of the European Sleeper service. There will be three services a week with prices from €49 for a seat, €79 for a couchette - a seat that converts into a bed - and €109 for a berth in a more comfortable sleeper compartment.
With wall to wall coverage of Harry and Meghan bombarding us from all quarters, and Harry's new book - Spare - currently dominating the media thanks to an early leak from impatient retailers in Spain, it's amusing to hear of a pub in Chiswick, south west London, releasing a beer called Harry's Bitter. Because, so it seems, he is. What's the pub called? The Duke of Sussex, of course.
UK EV Sales
The month of December 2022 saw battery electric vehicles claim their largest ever monthly market share: 33 percent. While for 2022 as a whole, they comprised 16.6 percent of registrations, reports the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
LA Bans Natural Gas
From today, Los Angeles has become California’s largest city to implement a ban on natural gas in new buildings. That’s thanks to an ordinance unanimously approved last month by the City Council which requires that new buildings within city limits be constructed with all-electric appliances. Environmental advocates have hailed the law as crucial for achieving Los Angeles’ goal of making all new buildings net-zero by 2030. Currently, buildings are the city’s most emissions-intensive sector, accounting for some 43 percent of its overall climate pollution.
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On this Day
9 January 2001: Apple introduced iTunes, a digital media player application that, with the year's later debut of the iPod, revolutionized digital music.
Amazing ibex defies gravity.