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Today's Good News

Celebrating the start of the weekend with an upbeat bundle of short news stories.


Margot Robbie and Tom Ackerley
Margot Robbie, Tom Ackerley (R) and friends
Margot's Own Tipple

Margot Robbie has conquered the film industry, and now she has her eyes set on the lucrative gin market, with the launch of her own tipple. Along with her husband and business partner Tom Ackerley, as well as three other friends, Robbie has launched Papa Salt, and she says selling gin is easier than selling a movie. The star and producer of Barbie, which brought in $1.4billion told The Times of London she found the process of creating and marketing her gin “refreshing.”


Defying Predictions

Californians just pushed the state to its best-ever first quarter for zero-emission vehicles, buying roughly 103,000 from January through March of this year. The state government says nearly one in four California car shoppers are now choosing to go electric. All the journalists who wrote about the slowdown will obviously now update their opinions, right?


Wild bumblebee pollinating a flower
Wild bumblebee
Logical Reasoning

A new study by a psychologist at University of Stirling in Scotland has found that, like humans, wild bumblebees are capable of logical reasoning. In the study, the bees were tasked with spontaneously locating strips of sugar-coated paper in various colours and positions. In both circumstances, the analysis showed they looked in the correct location well above chance. “My studies examine the ability to make a decision by excluding alternatives, known as inferential reasoning, which is usually considered uniquely human and language dependent,” said Dr. Gema Martin-Ordas, the study’s lead researcher and a University of Stirling senior lecturer in the faculty of natural sciences.


Interior structure of  a storm cloud
The dark red represents the highest density of ice crystals, snowflakes and raindrops | ESA
First Ever Image

A never-seen-before space image of the interior structure of a storm cloud has been released by the European and Japanese space agencies. Perhaps remarkably, clouds are said to be the least understood aspect of our climate. The image from the new Earthcare satellite (known as the White Dragon) reveals the density of ice, snow, and rain in the cloud, as well as the speed with which these particles are falling to Earth. The novel Earthcare mission was launched in May to better understand how clouds influence the climate. Scientists expect the €850m (£725m) spacecraft's observations to also improve weather forecasts.


New EU Restoration Law

After months of controversy and bitter protests that saw biodiversity become a culture war issue, the EU’s nature restoration law has finally passed. Last week, a knife-edge vote by member states gave the green light to a first-of-its-kind law to protect and revive Europe’s beleaguered forests, coastline, grasslands and wildlife. Member states are now tasked with restoring 20 percent of the bloc’s land and sea by the end of the decade, focusing on natural ecosystems that will store the most carbon, and halting the decline of Europe’s biodiversity.


Young plaintiffs in a climate suit against Hawaii
The plaintiffs | Credit: Elyse Butler for Earthjustice
Youth Power

Hawaii has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by 13 young people alleging the state had violated their constitutional rights with infrastructure that adds to greenhouse emissions, exacerbating climate change. In the settlement, the state agreed to decarbonize its transportation system by 2045. At a news conference, Governor of Hawaii Josh Green, a Democrat, called the settlement “groundbreaking,” reported Reuters.


Welcome Wind

Offshore wind hits major global milestone according to an encouraging new report out of the UK. It finds global offshore wind capacity has hit 75 GW, rising more than 20 percent in the past year. China has the most offshore wind projects in the pipeline, at 227 GW, with the UK a distant second at 96 GW, although another 44 GW could be operational in its waters by the end of 2030. Don't tell Joe Manchin, but wind technician is still the fastest-growing job in America - providing a rural jobs bonanza.

 

"On the Sixth Day, God created man, the sort of result you often get when you go in to work on a Saturday." Robert Brault

 
On This Day

Star Trek's USS Enterprise

29 June 1964: NBC approves Gene Roddenberry's script for pilot episode of Star Trek titled 'The Cage'.

 
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