Ensuring the weekend gets off to a sunny start with a global round-up of good news nuggets.
Small Acts of Kindness
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted,” Aesop, who lived during the 6th century B.C., has been quoted as saying. And now, more than 2,600 years later, a recent global study is continuing to prove the Greek storyteller’s belief: The research found that people are far more likely to be cooperative than not when it comes to extending small acts of kindness to their fellow humans. UCLA sociologist Giovanni Rossi and a team of collaborators from universities in Australia, Ecuador, Germany, the Netherlands, and the U.K. discovered that individuals signal a need for low-stakes assistance roughly every 2 minutes. And when these small moments arise, people comply with the requests for aid more often than they decline, according to a press release issued by UCLA.
The biggest dam removal project in U.S. history is now underway along the Klamath River, which flows from Oregon to Northern California: the first of four hydroelectric dams, Copco 2, has been removed. The restoration process will open up 400 miles of fish habitat that have been closed off for nearly a century. That’s good news for the river and its salmon and steelhead trout. It’s also good news for Klamath Basin communities, including Indigenous peoples who have long relied on the river for their fishing traditions.
The Orkney Islands, off the north coast of Scotland, has become the first location in the UK to have mail delivered by drone. The Orkney I-Port operation has been launched by Royal Mail and drone firm Skyports to distribute letters and parcels between the islands. That's good news for islanders as the new service will be faster and more regular than the previous boat delivery system deployed between islands.
The UK and Europe are joining forces to build the largest ever solar telescope in Europe. Construction of the telescope, designed to provide unparalleled insight into the phenomena of space weather, will be supported by the University of Sheffield. The European Solar Telescope project aims to provide insights into the what is behind solar flares and coronal mass ejections - explosive outbursts of plasma from the sun. These events determine space weather, which can lead to geomagnetic storms on earth - seen as the northern lights - and have a strong influence on our technological society.
Aurora Over Icelandic Waterfall: Each day a different photograph of our fascinating universe is published by NASA, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. Here's a truly spectacular one by Cari Letelier, recently featured by NASA. Take a look...
2023 marks two decades since the adoption of the Maputo Protocol, humanity's most progressive legally-binding instrument on women’s and human rights. 44 African countries have signed and ratified it, 43 of them now have laws putting the minimum age of marriage at 18, and 22 out of 29 African countries practising female genital mutilation now have national laws banning the practice, reports the World Economic Forum.
Landfill to Mangroves
At nearly 150 acres, the Jardim Gramacho landfill in Rio de Janeiro was one of the largest and most infamous in all of Latin America. Now it’s a mangrove forest teeming with life. Decommissioned 11 years ago, the vast dump bordering Rio’s famous Guanabara Bay, has been transformed by a public-private partnership, returning the area to nature, specifically mangroves, one of the most valuable of all ecosystems.
Under new energy efficiency rules, most incandescent light bulbs are now officially banned in the U.S. In addition to lasting significantly longer, one expert said, “Going from an incandescent to an LED is like replacing a car that gets 25 miles per gallon with another one that gets 130 m.p.g.”
“It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.” Eugene Ionesco Decouvertes
On this Day
5 August 2012: Jamaican sprint superstar Usain Bolt wins the 100m at the London Olympics in 9.63, besting the record he set in 2008 Olympics.
Meet the Bornean Sun Bear: The world's smallest bear.