Saturday's Good News Nuggets

Ensuring the weekend gets off to a good start with a bundle of uplifting news item.

  • Hats off to Costa Rica: it's the first tropical country to prevent and reverse the effects of deforestation. Indeed, Costa Rica has the most successful forest management model on earth. It has also managed to produce almost all of its energy from renewable sources. Most recently, Costa Rica has drafted a plan targeting the country’s transportation sector. Given that half the country’s greenhouse gas emissions come from motor vehicles, it only makes sense for Costa Rica to build more electric trains, buses, and cars, and to train the engineers needed to make such an endeavor sustainable. The project is expected to be both good for the planet and the local economy. The tiny Central American nation remains on course for total decarbonisation by 2050.

  • The generous donation and sale of two rare classic Ferraris have helped to fund a new RNLI lifeboat boathouse in North Wales. The Ferraris, which were worth £8.5 million, were donated by late classic car enthusiast Richard Colton. To mark the occasion and to pay tribute to Colton, his godson opened the new boathouse on the Llyn Peninsula. The chairman of Pwllheli RNLI said it was "the start of a new chapter in the station's 130-year history" and thanked supporters for helping them "save lives for many years to come".

  • According to the New York Times, Joe Biden will reportedly propose a target for 70 percent of the world’s population to be vaccinated within the next year at a global vaccines summit he intends to convene alongside the UN general assembly in New York this month.

  • Nuclear fusion is arguably the world’s most important engineering challenge, and magnets are one method by which we may be able to make it work - thereby generating unlimited, zero emission power. The superconducting magnets which could be a key to powering an efficient nuclear fusion reactor were just turned on in the labs of America's Commonwealth Fusion Systems - and it has succeeded in generating an electrical field of 20 tesla, the most powerful ever created on Earth, for five hours. This gives scientists at CFS the confidence to say that a working prototype of their fusion reactor could be ready by 2025; a huge leap forward from a US government paper that reckoned on a 2040 arrival time.

  • Two Indiana boys riding their bikes past a funeral ceremony for a military veteran last week immediately got off their bikes, dropped their backpacks, and stood quietly beside the road in respect. An observer told Fox News, “It was as if they didn’t even have to discuss it before doing it, it was so natural for them…without any prompting or knowledge of anyone watching. It was just so touching to see.”

  • On the subject of cycling, here's a clever safety gizmo: A new cycling backpack with airbags features built-in sensors that detect sudden falling movements and activate protective measures before a crash. Called the Commute Air Pro 18, the ordinary-looking backpack deploys into inflatable shoulder pads in 0.02 seconds and, when worn with a helmet, the airbag “reduces the impact forces and braking acceleration on the cyclist by up to 80 percent," says the manufacturer Evoc Sports. Made from recyclable materials, the backpack is designed to protect a cyclist’s upper body, including neck, shoulders, collarbone and chest. It also features a built-in back protector that provides additional support to the spine in the event of an accident.

  • Did you know Zero Emissions Day is on 21st September? The day was established in Nova Scotia, Canada in 2008 with the idea to give the world a break from fossil fuels and to raise awareness about the harm caused by carbon emissions. Find out more...

  • Mexican scientists have developed a unique "nanobubble" system using solar energy to improve water quality in the canals of Mexico City's Xochimilco ecological zone, a popular tourist attraction. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the few areas of the capital that still boasts canal networks dating back to Aztec times, Reuters reports. A team of researchers has developed a method using solar energy to activate a pump that sends cleansing "nanobubbles" into the water. The bubbles help oxygenate the water, eliminating harmful pollutants and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which leads to healthier flora and fauna.

  • If you enjoy funny pictures of animals (who doesn't?) - like this one of a Pied Starling snapped by Andrew Mayes - you'll love our selection of favourite pics from the finalists of the 2021 Comedy Wildlife Awards in tomorrrow's OGN Sunday Magazine.

  • Fun Fact: According to Guinness World Records, the first person to be charged with speeding was Walter Arnold of the English village of Paddock Wood, Kent. On 28 January 1896, Arnold was spotted going four times the speed limit in his 19th-century Benz - but the speed limit at the time was just two miles per hour and slower than walking! The constable had to chase him down on his bicycle, issuing a ticket for £4 7s and earning Arnold the speedy distinction. (That's roughly a £600 / $830 fine in today's money.)

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