Getting the week off to a positive start with a bundle of good news nuggets.
Ingenuity, NASA's miniature Mars helicopter, is nearly ready to make history with the first powered flight on another planet.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, forests will rise around Birmingham, England, to make the Commonwealth Games 2022 carbon neutral. Organisers say 2,022 acres in the West Midlands will be forested, with mini-forests in urban areas.
One good turn deserves another: Mother of NHL hockey star donates her kidney to the ice rink manager who kept her kids out of trouble. Throughout the years that Graham Nesbitt managed the local skating arena in Ontario, he routinely went above and beyond the call of duty - opening the rink early, staying late - to ensure neighbourhood kids could get in as many hours on the ice as possible, rather than being out on the streets. Nobody is more aware of or as grateful for Nesbitt’s dedication than Bonnie O’Reilly. Her two sons, Ryan and Cal, who skated under Nesbitt’s watchful eye, both went on to play in the NHL.
How scary are cow burps? Very! Measured by their planet-warming power, their methane-filled belches are the equivalent of 850 coal plants burning year-round. But the good news is that seaweed looks like it's set to be a planet-saving, anti-burping feed ingredient for cows.
Feeling thrifty? Swedish furniture giant has collaborated with super chefs to create of a new kind of scrapbook - one that contains recipes made from food scraps. IKEA'S Scrapsbook, downloadable as PDF here, contains instructions for many creative ways to reuse food scraps, beyond simply composting them - but has instructions for starting a compost pile, too!
Lights off please: French law requires stores and office buildings to turn off their signs an hour after their last employee leaves, but many don't bother. Enter Parkour Collectives using their agility to help solve and raise awareness of the issue.
UK sunshine hours according to Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern. “December is the dullest month, with an average 41 hours of sunlight in the UK,” he says. “In January, it’s 47 hours, February jumps to 70 hours and then there’s quite a leap into March where we get 102 hours of sunshine. April sees another big leap to 148 hours on average.” Who doesn’t have a cherished memory of sunbathing weather at Easter? Surprisingly, perhaps, May is the sunniest month of the year, even though the days are longest in June. Bring it on!
Saving manatees: Young boy's curiosity leads him to eventually heading up manatee conservation in Belize.
Why do humans stop growing? Why do giraffes have such long necks? Is your head constantly spinning with outlandish, mind-burning questions? If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if you fell into a black hole, or why not everyone can touch their toes... then the good news is there's now a podcast for that! Ask Us Anything is a brand new podcast from the editors of Popular Science and hits Apple, Anchor, Spotify every Tuesday and Thursday. Each episode takes a fun but serious deep dive into a single question.
Submerged floating tube to Ireland: It seems that a fixed link between Portpatrick on Scotland's south-west coast and Larne across the Irish Sea is on Boris Johnson's agenda.
Remember when we all had to learn about the intricacies of shorting the stock market earlier this year because Reddit users poured all their money into GameStop? Yeah, we tried to forget about that, too. Until now, that is, because the members of the same Reddit community of small investors that knocked Wall Street off its axis are using some of their gains to donate to endangered gorillas. They've raised more than $330,000 for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund by symbolically adopting baby mountain gorillas in east-central Africa. Finally, a story that only 2021 could've produced gets a happy ending.
Many thanks to a reader for sending us this hilarious allegorical video of his likely enthusiasm when the pubs re-open after lockdown.
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