Celebrating the start of the weekend with an eclectic bundle of good news nuggets.
Late Queen Honoured
Royal Ascot names iconic £1m race after its most famous fan. The Platinum Jubilee Stakes will be called “The Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes” when it is run on the final day of the meeting next month. Sir Francis Brooke, His Majesty’s representative at Ascot, said the King had approved the decision. “This will both honour Her Late Majesty in perpetuity and maintain the connection with the three Jubilees celebrated since the inception of the race as the Golden Jubilee Stakes in 2002,” he added. “The late Queen’s close association with Ascot Racecourse was well known throughout the world, but no race at the Royal meeting previously carried the name of Queen Elizabeth II.”
Rhinoceros populations are beginning to recover in the species’ native Zimbabwe, indicating that conservation efforts are bearing fruit, according to animal conservationists. Zimbabwe’s rhino population has exceeded 1,000 for the first time in more than three decades. This comprises 614 black rhinos and 415 white rhinos, which are still both classed as severely endangered - but this is positive progress. According to Christopher Whitlatch, spokesperson for the International Rhino Foundation, the populations have prospered thanks to the careful protection, monitoring, and management of these creatures.
All Time Lows
The unemployment rate for Black Americans fell below 5 percent for the first time ever in April. According to Axios, The rate peaked at 16.8 percent in May 2020, and since then has fallen by an astonishing 12.1 percentage points to 4.7 percent now. Another all-time low: the gap between Black and white unemployment. It's now 1.6 percentage points, down from 5.4 points in August 2020 and 12.1 points in January 1983.
Tree Planting Sneakers
Every time you purchase a pair of Cariuma sneakers, two trees are planted in the Brazilian rainforest. For real. Cariuma's sneakers are where ethics meet style - they’ve planted over 2 million trees to date! The B corp certified brand puts people and our planet at the core of their business, crafting shoes in ethical factories with natural and responsibly sourced materials, and working to change the industry and empower by example. The sneakers come in dozens of colors and prints and are available in numerous countries, including USA, Europe and Australia. Embrace vibrant style and sustainability all in the same stride! From US$79.
Researchers claim they have discovered a rare mineral that comes directly from Earth's lower mantle - the region between the planet's core and crust - in a study published in Science. The finding is a surprise because no one has or expects to retrieve such a high-pressure mineral on the Earth's surface. However, thanks to a diamond - in which it was entrapped - the new mineral dubbed 'davemaoite,' managed to make the improbable voyage from at least 412 meters (1,352 feet) within the lower mantle. The discovery is delighting scientists, and will help their quest to model the evolution of the Earth's mantle in greater detail. Davemaoite has already been approved as a brand-new natural mineral by the Commission of New Minerals, Nomenclature, and Classification of the International Mineralogical Association.
Mighty Dung Beetle
In France, researchers recently celebrated the release of a critically important species into a nature reserve: the dung beetle. The key was the presence of a herd of wild cattle - and their manure. The beetles had disappeared decades earlier, the victims of toxic chemicals used in industrial agriculture, creating a significant void in the area’s ecology. Globally, dung beetles play a vital role in the carbon cycle by transporting carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus when they remove manure, feeding soil microbes. Their tunnels make water and oxygen available to the microbes as well. This process has positive implications for watershed health, plant growth, food production, and climate change. They can also protect food crops (and us) from diseases. It’s all done for free by nature!
Microbes that can digest plastics at low temperatures have been discovered by scientists in the Alps and the Arctic, which could be a valuable tool in recycling. Many microorganisms that can do this have already been found, but they can usually only work at temperatures above 30C (86F). This means that using them in industrial practice is prohibitively expensive because of the heating required. It also means using them is not carbon neutral. However, scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute WSL have found microbes that can do this at 15C, which could lead to a breakthrough in microbial recycling. Their findings have been published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology.
"What can be better than to get out a book on Saturday afternoon and thrust all mundane considerations away till next week." C. S. Lewis
On this Day
13 May 1940: British politician Winston Churchill faced the House of Commons for the first time as prime minister and told the members that “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”
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