Good News Wednesday

Mid week collection of uplifting news nuggets to brighten the day.


Deb Haaland
Deb Haaland | Wikipedia Commons
Indigenous Nations

For decades, Tribal governments have been fighting for a larger role in the management of public lands. Now, the US Department of the Interior has announced new guidance to help federal agencies strengthen collaboration with Indigenous Nations in the management of 620 million acres. The new guidance will help Indigenous communities deal with climate change, navigate limited water resources, and build sustainable food production, but is also a formalized recognition of historic injustices. “By acknowledging and empowering tribes as partners in co-stewardship of our country’s lands and waters, every American will benefit from strengthened management of our federal land and resources,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.


Miniature microscope
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Field Work

Don't you hate it when you're doing research in the jungle and you can't reach your $50,000 microscope? Stanford University bioengineer Manu Prakash ran into this oh-so-common problem about a decade ago, and it occurred to him that field work and extremely delicate, expensive, unwieldy equipment just don't mix. He had the outlandish idea to create a $1 microscope that could be easy to transport, easy to buy and easy to use. After plenty of testing, Prakash and his colleague Jim Cybulski came up with the Foldscope - a flat-packed microscope made from paper and a single ball lens. It costs about $1.75 to make, and is powerful enough to see a malaria parasite in a cell. This brilliant instrument are now being deployed across the world in a dizzying array of applications.


Golden State

California, the world’s fifth-largest economy, just passed its most aggressive ever climate change legislation. Lawmakers approved a record $54 billion in climate spending and passed sweeping new restrictions on oil and gas drilling as well as a mandate that California stop adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by 2045. Furthermore, California regulators have also officially put in place a ban on the sale of gasoline-powered cars by 2035. This is big. Not only is California the largest auto market in the US, but more than a dozen other states typically follow its lead when setting standards.

 
Enubilous

Free from fog, mist, or clouds; clear.

 
United Airlines' eVTOL taxi

Up, Up and Away

United Airlines has announced a purchase agreement for 200 four-seater flying taxis, known as eVTOLS (electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles), with first deliveries expected as early as 2026. They hope to revolutionise (clean and quiet) commuting in and around cities.


Wildflower Alley

"Ask forgiveness rather than permission,” is Bríd Ruddy’s advice for starting a project like Belfast’s Wildflower Alley. In 2015, with neighbours and students from nearby Queen’s University, she turned the once-vandalized narrow alley behind her street into a colorful, plant-filled haven. It took four years to get the local authorities to install gates, but they didn't share her vision. So the Wildflower Alley started small. “We painted our back doors bright colors, bought a plant, brought out decorations from the house,” Ruddy says. Wildflower seeds donated by Grow Wild and compost from Queen’s University allowed the alley to blossom. "We didn’t realize it would create a green revolution in [Belfast],” says Ruddy. Across the UK, people are similarly inspired. Incredible Edible, a network of more than 150 UK community gardens, wants a ‘right to grow’ law that would oblige local authorities to keep a register of public land suitable for vegetable and fruit growing, which local groups could apply to access.


No More Boosters

Israeli scientists say they have identified antibodies that are so powerful in neutralizing the coronavirus that they could eliminate the need for more vaccine boosters. A research team at Tel Aviv University experimented with numerous antibodies and found that two in particular neutralize all known strains of the coronavirus, including Delta and Omicron, in a lab setting. Based on their performance in lab conditions, the antibodies could provide the extra protection that today comes from booster shots, adding that this could potentially make extra shots unnecessary among vaccinated people.

 
Quote of the Day

"Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others."

Winston Churchill

 
On this Day


21 September 1937: English writer J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, a coming-of-age fantasy that became a classic, was published.

 
Man Buys Stonehenge

On this day in 1915, Cecil Chubb bought Stonehenge as a present for his wife. Yes, really. Read on...


Oh Là Là

France has one of the world’s finest high-speed rail networks. Now it's getting faster, cleaner, more luxurious and spacious. Read on...

 
Mood Booster

Another in our series of cleverly synced movie dance scenes cut to some Uptown Funk.