Bundle of good news nuggets from far and wide to perk up the day.
A vast swathe of the Scottish Highlands around Loch Ness is to be rewilded as part of a 30-year project to restore nature. The Affric Highlands initiative aims to increase connected habitats and species diversity over an area of 200,000 hectares (500,000 acres). Plans include planting trees, enhancing river corridors, restoring peat bogs and creating nature-friendly farming practices. The project has been launched after two years of local by conservationists from rewilding charity Trees for Life. Similar to the WildEast project in East Anglia, it is a community-led effort to restore nature over a large area, which organisers hope will be a catalyst for social and economic regeneration.
New scientific research conducted by archaeologists has uncovered what they believe are the oldest known human footprints in North America. Research done at the White Sands national park in New Mexico discovered the ancient footprints, with researchers estimating that the tracks were between 21,000 and 23,000 years old, reported Science. Researchers also determined that the dozen footprints found belonged to a variety of people, mostly children and teenagers. Previously, scientists had widely assumed that the earliest appearance of humans in the Americas was 11,000 to 13,000 years ago.
Slowly, people are coming to terms with the confusion of the last 18 months and thinking about the ways in which they can move on. The Danes, best-known for their love of “hygge”, even have a word for this: pyt, or to press “pyt-knappen” (the “pyt” button). The closest translation in English would be “don’t worry about it” or “stuff happens”. The concept generally refers to accepting that a situation is out of your control, and putting feelings of frustration or annoyance behind you. Saying pyt in response to daily hassles or frustrations, according to the Danes, can help you reset and let go.
Shhhhh. That’s the message English Heritage has for people visiting its monastery sites over the next month. The organisation has introduced an ‘hour of contemplation’ at abbeys and priories, so visitors can enjoy the spiritual buildings as they were intended. “In a modern world, where people are constantly rushing and expected to be at the end of a phone 24/7, we often find silence disconcerting,” said Dr Michael Carter of English Heritage. “It’s important sometimes to take a step back, centre yourself and focus on appreciating the peace and tranquillity that is unique to these historic buildings – monuments to the human spirit and the divine.”
A family in Croatia has opened a 'bee hotel' offering productive beehives for sale to clients who'd like to keep bees but lack the time or space to care for the tiny pollinators themselves. Domagoj Balja says the venture responds to growing curiosity among buyers of his honey about how it's made. That's both clever and good news, as we all know how important it is to help boost bee populations.
Sri Lanka will cease building new coal-fired power plants and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, President Rajapaksa has announced. Sri Lanka is the latest Asian country to pledge an end to building new coal-fired power, following similar moves by South Korea and Japan earlier this year. Asia accounts for a lion's share of global coal consumption.
He told his daughter: "Don't tell anyone that your father is a janitor, they will laugh at you." She posted this photo on social media and wrote: "My dad is a janitor. He is my pride. I love you, dad."
Good news for employees in the UK: They will be able to request the right to work at home from their first day on the job under new reforms. The Times said that ministers are set to confirm laws to protect flexible working that were first proposed before the pandemic. Currently, employees cannot request a hybrid working arrangement until six months into a job.
Engineers have created a brand new type of battery that could revolutionise the charging time and range of electric cars and other technologies reliant on lithium-ion batteries. Nano-engineers from the University of California San Diego made the breakthrough by replacing the anodes (from graphite to silicon) in lithium-ion batteries.
Fun Fact: Dating back to 859, the University of Al-Karaouine in the ancient city of Fes el-Bali in Morocco is reputedly the oldest known university in the world.
Dive in Deeper
It's remarkable how these machines gradually synchronize with each other.