Making sure the weekend gets off to a bright start with today's eclectic bundle of upbeat news nuggets.
In good news for those who like weird footwear, Crocs has joined forces with the animation studio DreamWorks to create the Shrek Crocs Classic Clog shown here. This collab is directly inspired by the aesthetic of Shrek, as it features a bright green color scheme referencing the ogre's skin tone. You can bet they’re going to sell out quickly when they drop.
Million Lives Saved
More than a million lives have been saved in the past four decades owing to developments in cancer care, according to Cancer Research UK. Its analysis found that advances in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease had cut death rates by a quarter since the 1980s, and that without this progress, an extra 1.2 million lives would have been lost.
In a hard-won victory for environmentalists, new legislation in California will permanently protect the iconic Western Joshua tree, making it the state’s first law to focus on a climate-threatened species. "It’s been a long journey to get here. We can finally move on from the debate over whether Joshua trees should get protection, to focusing on actually implementing measures to help ensure that they get through the very difficult decades ahead", says Brendan Cummings, Center for Biological Diversity.
While incurable, early detection and treatment of Parkinson's disease could help patients live a long and productive life. So, it's good news that UK researchers have identified an AI-based solution that can detect PD in patients seven years before the current diagnostic methods by identifying markers for the disease in human eyes. While more research is needed, the technique could emerge as a fast, scalable, and non-invasive way to diagnose diseases. "This work demonstrates the potential for eye data, harnessed by the technology to pick up signs and changes too subtle for humans to see," said Alistair Denniston, consultant opthalmologist at the University of Birmingham.
A 'spectacular' 2,000 year old Roman sculpture has been found buried little more than a foot deep next to a road in Kent, south east England. The unique stone statue depicts Triton - a merman with the torso of a man and the tail of a fish - riding on a sea monster. In Roman mythology, Triton was the son of Neptune, the god of the sea. The statue is about 27 inches tall and wide. Dr Richard Hobbs, senior curator of Roman Britain at the British Museum, said: 'This is a really stunning piece of sculpture, undoubtedly of great significance to our understanding of Roman Britain and its place in the wider Roman Empire.'
First CO2 Border Tax
The European Union starts the initial phase of its plan for the world's first carbon border tax next month, requiring importers to report the CO2 emissions of products sold into Europe, such as steel and cement, or risk financial penalties. The aim of the new regime is to prevent domestic EU industries from being undercut by more-polluting foreign competitors, while they invest in reducing emissions, reports Reuters. Brussels hopes the border levy can leverage Europe's market power to nudge foreign companies to reduce emissions to avoid the CO2 fee.
Italy Honours Queen
A brand new stamp, showing Queen Elizabeth II in five different decades of her life, has been issued by the Italian Postal Service. The stamp was released to mark the anniversary of the death of Her Late Majesty. It is extremely rare for the Italian Postal Service to issue a stamp featuring a non-Italian and the Royal Family immediately thanked them, on social media, for the honour. An Italian minister said: ‘‘The Italian people, like others and more than others, admired her and also knew her for the affection she has always had for culture, history and in general for our people, in whom she often found comfort. At all stages of her life, Queen Elizabeth II was deeply admired.”
"Let us not take ourselves too seriously. None of us has a monopoly on wisdom." Queen Elizabeth II
On this Day
16 September 1620: English colonists aboard the Mayflower set sail for America, where they founded Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Hilarious VW Commercial: Ever seen or heard horses laughing?