Celebrating the start of the weekend with a global round up of good news nuggets.
What Could This Be?
It may look like a canoe passing in front of a magical winter wonderland scene, but if you look carefully, the 'canoe' is actually some miniature figurines (on a dashboard). And the ice mountains? Well, that's just the coating of ice on a man's windshield. He posted the image on Reddit and, unsurprisingly, got a string of comments: "Fully thought it was a photo of a glacier with a canoe in front of it in the water," one person wrote. Another said: "This literally looks like a place covered in snow, a pond and a boat." Whilst one more wrote: "Seriously thought there were three people in a boat inside an ice cave for a second."
Five people with severe autoimmune disease have become the first in the world to receive a groundbreaking therapy that uses genetically altered cells to drive the illness into remission.
The four women and one man, aged 18 to 24, received transfusions of modified immune cells to treat severe lupus, an autoimmune disease that can cause life-threatening damage to the heart, lungs, brain and kidneys. The treatment drove the disease into remission in all five patients, who have now been off lupus medication for between three and 17 months. The further good news is that doctors say the apparent success raises hopes for tackling other autoimmune conditions such a rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
In North Yorkshire, England, young nesting ospreys recently produced two chicks. In America this would not make news headlines, but for Yorkshire they were the first ospreys born in the county in over 200 years. It’s a sign of changing winds, as the osprey is naturally recovering across several areas of England (after a pair of ospreys flew into Scotland from Scandinavia - where there are now around 250 pairs), having been hunted to extinction by 1916. Ospreys are now found breeding in Cumbria, Northumberland, and north and west Wales, and a trust is now trying to reintroduce them to East Anglia as well.
The US state of Wyoming is set to welcome the world’s largest direct air capture plant for the removal of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Called Project Bison, the facility is slated to swing into action next year and, all going to plan, will scale up its operations by the end of the decade to suck up five million tons of CO2 each year, and safely lock it away underground. Project Bison enters the fray as the first massively scalable direct air capture plant in the US, according to the company behind the technology, CarbonCapture.
You know how some animals are nocturnal and some are diurnal, but what about animals like deer that are active during dawn and dusk? These animals are crepuscular.
Dozens of the largest Spanish cities are preparing to launch “low-emissions zones” (LEZs) in 2023 as part of its bid to reduce its carbon emissions and combat climate change. Such zones are already in place in Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville and will soon be a requirement of all cities of more than 50,000 inhabitants due to the country’s 2021 Climate Change and Energy Transition Law. LEZs limit what types of vehicles are able to access, move through, and park in a given area of town. Priority is given to bicycles, buses, electric vehicles, and other zero- or low-emissions vehicles, while gas-powered cars are either restricted partially or entirely. Ultimately, these zones are meant to incentivize a transition to low-carbon modes of transportation in densely-populated areas.
What's the Problem?
An ornate Byzantine floor mosaic showing a variety of colourful birds and other animals has been discovered by chance in Gaza after a Palestinian farmer tried to plant new trees on his land. Trying to figure out why some trees had not properly taken root, the farmer and his son began digging. It soon became apparent that an ancient Roman mosaic floor was the reason. Gaza is rich with antiquities, having been an important trading spot for civilisations dating as far back as the ancient Egyptians and the Philistines depicted in the Bible, through to the Roman empire and the crusades. The farmer says: "I see it as a treasure, dearer than a treasure. It isn't personal, it belongs to every Palestinian."
Quote of the Day
"Speak less than you know; have more than you show."
On this Day
24 September 1938: Don Budge won the U.S. Open, becoming the first player to win a Grand Slam title in tennis.
Aerial showreel displaying Scotland's majestic landscape.