Worldwide round up of positive news nuggets to help ensure the weekend get off to a sunny start.
“Muddy” Mildred Wilson is at it again. The 83-year old with two Tough Mudder races to her name just crushed a third one, becoming the oldest person ever to finish the famous 5K. The Tough Mudder 5K in Missouri, Wilson’s home state, was honored to feature the octogenarian for the third time - in this event, she was raising money to drill a fresh water well in a rural African village. “I will get muddy so others can drink clean water. I would love for you to help me make the vision a reality!!!” Mildred wrote on the GoFundMe page.
It’s not every day that a jaunt with a metal detector turns up something truly revelatory. Maybe a trinket or two - but a set of over a thousand Roman coins? That seems unlikely. Yet that’s exactly what happened to Daniel Lüdin as he perused a section of forest in Switzerland. As the amateur archaeologist swept his metal detector across the ground, a “strong signal” suddenly emitted from the machine and when Lüdin began to dig, he was shocked by what he found: a clay pot filled with 1,290 coins. Jackpot! In accordance with proper archaeological protocol, Lüdin reburied the pot and contacted local experts, who dated the cache of coins to the fourth century C.E., during the reign of Roman emperor Constantine the Great (306 to 337 C.E.). No word on the monetary value of Lüdin's find yet...
New ultra-thin “honeycomb” solar panels achieve record efficiency. Scientists from the University of Surrey and Imperial College London have developed a new solar panel that is only a millimetre thick yet absorbs 25 percent more energy than similar sized panels. It was inspired by butterflies wings which have a bumpy surface that absorbs more light than a flat surface - thus creating a more efficient panel. These solar panels will be important for harnessing more energy in general, but also perhaps especially helpful for countries and climates that don’t get as much sun as some of the warmer, sunnier climates.
A vaccine that could prevent a virus linked to multiple sclerosis, glandular fever and some cancers has shown promise in early trials. US scientists have been working on a vaccine that helps the body detect pathogens of the harmful Epstein-Barr virus and it's set to enter human trials in 2023.
China already dominates renewable energy production globally. In 2020, it installed and produced renewable energy at around 895GW, which is more than European Union, the USA, and Australia combined. China has now commenced a new giant project in its deserts - which will add at least 50 percent more wind and solar capacity - and represents another huge step in its transition away from fossil fuels. Perhaps the renewable energy boom in China will be a perfect model for other countries to follow its lead and will change its stance on coal much earlier than forecast.
Imagine if all those sterile grass verges and scruffy scraps of land in towns and cities were used to cultivate food on? Well, that’s what those behind the burgeoning ‘right to grow’ movement are calling for in the UK. Led by Incredible Edible – a network of more than 150 community gardening groups – it is campaigning for local authorities to keep a register of unused public land that is suitable for ‘community cultivation’. The proposals appear to have cross-party support and could soon be introduced into the House of Commons as a private member’s bill – a move that would be positive news for people and planet.
Quote of the Day
"May, more than any other month of the year, wants us to feel most alive."
On this Day
7 May 1663: The Theatre Royal, built by the dramatist Thomas Killigrew for his company of actors and now commonly known as the Drury Lane Theatre, opened in London and is the oldest English theatre still in use.
Dive in Deeper
Nature Mood Booster
Dolphins playing catch: Who needs a volleyball when a pufferfish will do just fine?