Mid-week round-up of positive news nuggets to brighten the day.
You Couldn't Make it Up
A couple of friends in Ireland dug a hole on a Dublin beach and dropped a rock into it. Two days later it was on the news when an amateur astrophysicist - who could not believe his luck that he had discovered a meteor crater - and was interviewed by a television crew about the “cosmic event”. Sadly for Dave Kennedy, the crater was nothing more than a massive hole dug by two friends wielding children’s buckets and spades. The galactic anticlimax came after Mr Kennedy appeared on TV holding a “meteorite” or, as it's now known, a small heavy rock. “When I looked at it and saw how uniform it was, I knew immediately that what I was looking at was an impact site.” That was until everyone was brought crashing back down to earth after a video of the crater-creating culprits digging the hole was posted on social media.
NYU to Divest
New York University is to divest from fossil fuels, following years of pressure from student activists. The move from one of the US’s largest private universities, whose endowment totals over $5bn, represents a significant win for the climate movement, organizers said.
Rare Fish With Hands
A fish with 'hands' might seem like an evolutionary oddity - until you remember that all limbs formed from fins. Spotted handfish aren’t known so much for their swimming, but instead walk around on the seafloor with modified pectoral fins that look like little fingered flippers. The species is so rare today, only 2,000 or so are left in the wild in certain places in southeast Australia. That's why it was such a big deal when runner Kerri Yare bumped into one on the beach in neighbouring Tasmania. Up until this discovery, the spotted handfish was believed to be extinct in Tasmania because there hadn’t been a sighting in nearly 20 years.
The world’s largest wind turbine just broke the record for most energy produced in a single day. A single Goldwind turbine off the coast of China produced 384.1 megawatt hours in a single day, enough to power roughly 170,000 homes.
Coke's AI Drink
Coca-Cola has announced a new limited-edition beverage that was partly created with AI. It’s the first beverage at the company to be made using the technology. While no one knows quite yet if Y3000 actually tastes good, it may simply be an experiment to see how AI can be utilized across the company. It’ll be available in select markets around the world (including the US), with a full-sugar version also available in North America.
A tourist in Sardinia ordered a €200 ($214) lobster, asked for it to be delivered to her table live and then released it into the sea, said The Telegraph. The Swiss diner spotted the lobster in a water-filled tank at the entrance to the up-market restaurant and paid to have it given to her uncooked and unharmed. After the crustacean was presented to her in a bucket, she stepped onto a quay and stroked it before releasing it into the sea. "As soon as it hit the water, it swam away," said the paper.
Mexico has joined a growing list of countries that are working to criminalise environmental damage, also known as ‘ecocide.’ If passed, the new Mexican bill could send offenders to jail for up to 15 years for 'any unlawful or wanton act committed with the knowledge that there is a substantial likelihood of severe and either widespread or long-term damage to the environment.' France became the first EU country to put ecocide into law in 2021.
"Have you heard Prince Harry’s releasing an album? He won’t charge for downloads – his music is royalty-free." MC Hammersmith
On this Day
20 September 1519: Spanish expedition led by Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan sets off on the first successful circumnavigation of the globe.
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