Global round up of uplifting news nuggets to brighten the day.
It's been a good year for Meg Bellamy. One day she was celebrating her school exam results; the next, she is set to be propelled to stardom by playing one of the most famous women in the world to an audience of millions. The former head girl has won her first professional acting role playing the young Kate Middleton, as a new generation take on the roles of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in The Crown on Netflix. Filming starts later this year for the 2023 season.
It’s picking season at Christian Nachtwey’s organic orchard in western Germany and workers are loading their carts with ripe red Elstar apples, ready to be shipped to supermarkets. But Nachtwey’s farm is also reaping a second harvest: Many of the apple trees grow beneath solar panels that have been producing bountiful electricity while providing the fruit below with much-needed shade. Large-scale solar installations on arable land are becoming increasingly popular in Europe and North America, as farmers seek to make the most of their land and establish a second source of revenue.
About 150 years ago, nearly 30 million American bison lived throughout the Great Plains between the Rocky Mountains in the West and the Appalachian Mountains in the East. But with white settler populations exploding throughout the region in the late 19th century, hunters severely diminished the bison population, at one point killing around 5,000 per day. A modest collection of federally managed herds in the early 20th century brought bison back from the brink. Conservation efforts, responsible farming, and an ambitious relocation effort have led to a bison population boom in recent years, with numbers reaching around 400,000 total.
A person who is fond of forests or forest scenery.
Rail aficionados are delighted about the launch of a new night train between Hamburg (Germany) and Stockholm (Sweden). It’s the latest sign that sleeper trains are enjoying a revival amid rising demand for flight-free travel. Pushed towards extinction by budget airlines, Europe’s forgotten sleeper services are staging a comeback that once seemed unlikely. The Hamburg to Stockholm sleeper is considered a missing link for the burgeoning network.
Scientists in Spain have unlocked the genetic code of the "immortal jellyfish" - a creature capable of repeatedly reverting into a juvenile state. The word "immortal" is a little hyperbolic, but the Turritopsis dohrnii is the only known species of jellyfish able to repeatedly revert back into a larval stage after sexual reproduction. Many types of jellyfish have two-phase existence where they revert back to a larval stage at some point, but this mysterious jelly is the only kind that can do it after it reaches sexual maturity. Scientists hope to continue to study their DNA to pinpoint the processes that help them live so long. That could provide fascinating new clue to human aging.
A new fully funded program under President Biden’s infrastructure bill is set to plug up more than 10,000 wells of oil and natural gas that have since been abandoned. Once sources of energy, these derelict wells now act merely as exhaust pipes that emit methane from the basins into which they were drilled, increasing America’s emissions with no return or value of any kind. The Dept. of the Interior has identified just over 10,000 high priority wells on public lands across 24 states that had been leased for oil and gas drilling.
Quote of the Day
“Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.” Gustave Flaubert
On this Day
7 September 1969: Scottish Matra-Ford driver Jackie Stewart wins the Italian Grand Prix at Monza to clinch his first Formula 1 World Drivers Championship.
Line rider synced to 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' by Edvard Grieg.