Today's collection of positive news snippets from around the world to perk up the day.
Donald Trump’s obsession against environmentally sensitive, water-efficient appliances and fixtures - like toilets - is suddenly making a whole lotta sense. “We have a situation where we’re looking very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of the bathrooms,” you might recall Trump declaring during his presidency. New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman’s revelation in her upcoming book Confidence Man that Trump’s White House toilets were often clogged with what appeared to be ripped up documents could explain a lot of things - like Trump’s bizarre complaints about serious flushing difficulties. As one observer Tweeted: "Who remembers Trump going on and on and on and on about toilets not flushing…maybe if he wasn’t trying to illegally flush National Archives documents down the toilet, it would have flushed without a problem!"
Outpouring of Love
Gladys Welch was showered with a whole lot of love for her 101st birthday. Red Roofs Residential Care Home in Newark, England made an appeal to make sure Gladys received cards on her special day. Along with 1,500 cards were flowers, cakes, balloon packages and boxes of chocolates from across the world. "We cannot say thank you enough for everyone’s generosity," said Trish Smith, general manager at care home. "As soon as the cards began to arrive, Gladys opened them with a smile on her face, and we displayed them in our living areas – some of them are absolutely beautiful. One of our residents put it very eloquently, ‘people really shared and sent their love'."
Sound recordings show that restored reefs in Sulawesi, Indonesia, now have a healthy, diverse soundscape, providing evidence that restoration works for the creatures who live among the coral. Whoops, croaks, growls, raspberries and foghorns are among the sounds that demonstrate the success of this coral reef restoration project. The sounds - many never recorded before - is a new method used to monitor these vital ecosystems. "By listening to the reefs, we’ve documented the return of a diverse range of animals," says lead scientist Dr. Tim Lamont. The project uses hexagonal metal frames called ‘Reef Stars’, which are seeded with coral and laid over a large area, to stabilize loose rubble and kickstart rapid coral growth, leading to the revival of the wider ecosystem.
There's a BBC TV game show in England called Pointless. And, yes, it mostly is. However, a contestant's hilarious mispronunciation of Cressida Dick's name has resurfaced following her resignation as Metropolitan Police commissioner. During an appearance on the game show, a man considered the question: "Senior police officer appointed the first female commissioner of the Metropolitan Police" and confidently answered: "Caressa Dick."
Researchers have achieved a world-leading energy density with a next-generation battery design, paving the way for long-distance electric planes. The lithium-air battery, developed at the Japanese National Institute for Materials Science, had an energy density of over 500Wh/kg. By comparison, lithium-ion batteries found in Tesla vehicles achieve half that. According to the researchers, the battery “shows the highest energy densities and best life cycle performance ever achieved” and marks a major step forward in realising the potential of this energy storage. Energy density has been the biggest obstacle towards the advancement of electric planes, with 500Wh/kg viewed as an important benchmark for achieving both long-haul and high-capacity flights.
Good news for gray wolves as federal protection has just been restored in most of the lower 48 United States. The decision to re-list gray wolves is being hailed as a major conservation victory for the species, which is frequently embroiled in controversy between scientists, hunters and ranchers. In late 2020, the Trump administration removed gray wolves from the endangered list and stripped their legal protections, citing “the successful recovery of the gray wolf.” The decision has now been reversed by a U.S. District Judge.
Quote of the Day
"Why do they call it rush hour when nothing moves?"
On this Day
17 February 1801: Following a tie in the electoral college, the U.S. House of Representatives elected Thomas Jefferson as America's third president.
Dive in Deeper
Joan Moliner is a man on a mission. Every day, as he cycles to and from work, he has one eye on the road, the other on builders’ skips. His quarry, if that’s the word, is decorative floor tiles. Read on...
Spencer Seabrooke set out to break the world record for the longest free solo slackline ever. Crazy or what?