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Monday's Good News Nuggets

Updated: Nov 10, 2022

What better way to start the week than with a global round up of good news nuggets?


El Capitan, Yosemite National Park
Boy Called Adventure

If your parents name you Adventure, they probably hoped you’d do some adventurous things - and Sam Adventure Baker clearly understood his assignment. The Colorado 8-year-old set out last Tuesday to become the youngest person to reach the summit of El Capitan in California’s Yosemite National Park and, accompanied by his father, they had scaled the sheer rock edifice (it's about 2.5 times the height of the Empire State Building) by Friday. Quite an achievement!


Left to Right

Bees order numbers in increasing size from left to right, a study has shown for the first time, supporting the much-debated theory that this direction is inherent in all animals, including humans. Western research has found that even before children learn to count, they start organising growing quantities from left to right in what has been called the 'mental number line'.



Record Swim

The climate campaigner Lewis Pugh has become the first known person to swim across the Red Sea. Pugh arrived in Hurghada, Egypt, 16 days after he set off from Saudi Arabia. The swim was part of a campaign to pile pressure on world leaders to curb emissions ahead of the Cop27 climate summit in Egypt. “In all my years of swimming, I’ve never experienced anything like this,” said Pugh. “There were hazards coming at me from every angle. Extreme heat, high winds, big waves, sharks, oil tankers and container ships. I had to fight for every metre.” Cop27 begins on 6 November.


Return of the Auroch

Rewilding Europe recently launched a major project in Spain, featuring the reintroduction of black vultures, lynx, wild horses, and aurochs. Aurochs? They are the ancient cattle of Europe, dating back millennia and depicted in many of the region’s cave paintings. Indeed, they are the ancestor of all cattle. Alas, the last one of this keystone species died in 1627. Recently, scientists embarked on an ambitious program to back-breed the Auroch into existence once more. Using DNA from near-relatives, they have succeeded in breeding a wild cattle with all the traits of the auroch – called tauros. The final goal of the programme, to be met in some 20 years, is the presence of the Tauros as a self-sufficient wild bovine grazer in herds of at least 150 animals each in several rewilding areas in Europe. The auroch is back!


How Fast is Gravity?

Some of you are thinking: 9.8 meters per second squared! Wrong. That’s the acceleration due to gravity. What about gravity itself? Historically, there were two positions: gravity is either infinitely fast or merely as fast as the speed of light. Thanks to observations of gravitational waves, we now know the answer. Gravity and light travel at the same speed. It validates Einstein once again, and it hints at something profound about the nature of space. Scientists hope one day to fully understand why these two very different phenomena have identical speeds.


Turning Point

It may be cold comfort for those fretting about bills, but the global energy crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine represents a “historic turning point towards a cleaner future”. That’s according to the latest edition of World Energy Outlook, published by the International Energy Agency. For the first time, it predicted that global demand for all fossil fuels would peak by the mid-2030s, as governments double down on renewables. As a result, emissions will likely fall from 2025.

 

Fuel Shortages a 'Blessing' for the Climate, Says UN: The war in Ukraine "may be seen as a blessing" from a climate perspective, says the head of the UN weather agency. How so?

 
Deal Agreed

The European Union has finally reached a deal to effectively ban new fossil-fuel-powered cars beginning in 2035. It’s a move seen as a key part of a broader plan to reduce carbon emissions across economic sectors - and a major policy achievement to carry into high-profile United Nations climate-change talks in Egypt early next month. Broadly, the agreement is part of a plan that requires a 55 percent cut in emissions across transportation, buildings, power generation and other sources this decade. That halfway mark is seen as a major milestone as the EU aims to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

 

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Quote of the Day

"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning."

Bill Gates

 
On this Day



31 October 1941: After nearly 15 years of work, the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota was completed; the colossal sculpture features the heads of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.

 
Origins of Halloween

Ancient, bloody, pagan ritual eventually morphed into the sugar-coated event it is today.

Read on...


On a Mission

A British physicist has written 1,750 Wikipedia bios for overlooked women scientists to try a redress the balance. Read on...


Good News Magazine

If you didn't catch yesterday's Sunday magazine, here's what you missed. Read on...

 
Mood Booster

With the world's longest beak (relative to body size), the sword-billed hummingbird can reach parts that others cannot.




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