Mid week collection of uplifting news nuggets to brighten the day.
Clean and Safe
The water looks crystal blue, with no trace of sewage; the beach is clean and the smell in the air is salty and pleasant, giving residents in Gaza their first experience in ages of clean and safe beaches. Untreated sewage flowed directly into the waters off Gaza for years, causing an environmental disaster that ruined one of the few affordable opportunities for swimming available for people locked into the narrow coastal strip. This season has been different, as internationally-funded sewage treating facilities across the coastal enclave has reduced pollution to its lowest rates in many years.
BMW has announced that, from 2025, its European plants will use steel made exclusively from hydrogen and renewable electricity, thanks to a deal with Swedish startup H2 Green Steel. This will reduce carbon emissions by 95 percent. Other car companies, including Mercedes, are following suit.
UK Net Zero City
The English city of Nottingham, once a coal industry hub, says it is on track to become carbon neutral by 2028, becoming the country's first city to reach net zero. In 2020, the city council launched a plan to cut or offset all carbon produced within the city in less than a decade. Plans to slash emissions include retrofitting thousands of houses to be energy efficient, installing solar panels on homes, creating green spaces, and introducing electric buses. It also has a host of micro schemes, from more vegetarian options in schools to persuading residents to cut down on car rides and eat less meat. Residents can win prizes via a "Green Rewards" app, released in October in collaboration with the city's universities, if they cut their own carbon footprint.
A penguin species that lived 37 million years ago would have dwarfed today’s biggest living penguins and stood taller than most humans, according to analysis of fossils by researchers at La Plata Museum in Argentina. Palaeeudyptes klekowskii has been dubbed the “colossus penguin”, and is the most complete fossil ever uncovered from the Antarctic. From those bones, researchers estimate the species would have stood 2m tall from toe to beak tip, and weighed as much as 115kg. By comparison, today's tallest and heaviest living species, the emperor penguin, stands 1.1m high and weighs just under 50kg.
The skillful and harmonious arrangement or fitting together of the different parts of something. Concinnity is the idea that harmony is the perfect combination of two different things coming together.
A whopping 87 percent of used clothing ends up in landfills or incinerators. Dutch startup BioFashionTech has developed a cost-effective, low energy, circular recycling process that turns textile waste into new materials. It also extracts plastic fibres and dyes that can then be sold to create a closed loop solution.
Brittany Ferries has announced the arrival of Saint-Malo, the world’s largest hybrid ship, for 2024. The 639 ft (195m) vessel will boast a battery with a capacity of 11.5 MWh, approximately double that typically used for hybrid propulsion in marine vessels, and will replace one of the firm’s older models on a route from St. Malo, France, to Portsmouth, England.
How do you get to the world's most remote places? Twin brothers and adventurers Hugo and Ross Turner have spent their lives finding out. They've been to four poles of inaccessibility - a set of points around the globe that are the hardest to get to in relation to where they are. For instance, a pole of inaccessibility on a continent would represent the most remote place on the continent, farthest away in any direction from its borders. The Turner twins are now gearing up to travel to the Atlantic Pole of Inaccessibility, slap bang in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. They're also going to make the expedition while being 100 percent emission free, traveling on a boat and using equipment powered by hydrogen technology.
Quote of the Day
“You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” Les Brown
On this Day
29 June 2007: Apple Inc.'s first mobile “smartphone,” the iPhone, went on sale.
Dive in Deeper
Nature Mood Booster
They move so fast that human eyes see only a hovering spot of colour, a blur of wings. But when frozen in time by high-speed cameras, hummingbirds yield their secrets.