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Just Good News Saturday

Celebrating the start of the weekend with a global good news round up.

AI generated night vision reading glasses
Lightweight night vision glasses | DALL-E
Night Vision

From evening drives to navigating a house or a park in the dark, there are so many situations where it'd be handy to slip on a simple pair of night-vision lenses and the world that's beyond human optical perception could be illuminated like never before. This vision could soon be a reality, with a technology breakthrough that could deliver this elusive view to everyday consumers, with an ultra-thin film or lens the width of cling wrap. Researchers TMOS in Australia have been on a quest to make night vision accessible and wearable, doing away with bulky and expensive headsets and lens attachments. And have now succeeded in proving it's possible. Let's hope they can get this into a commercial reality as soon as possible.

Millionaires Tax

Massachusetts has collected about $1.8 billion from a voter-approved surtax on the state's highest earners through the first nine months of the fiscal year - that's about $800 million more than what the Legislature planned to spend in surtax revenue for all of fiscal year 2024.

The state applies a voter-approved 4 percent surtax on personal income above $1 million, and the unexpected additional revenue will likely be spent on education and transportation.

Plaex-crete building block
Plaex Building Blocks | Plaex
Lego For Grown-Ups

If you ever played with interlocking brick toys as a kid, or even as an adult, you're instantly qualified to build a house with Plaex blocks, according to the team behind a strong, recycled construction material that appears to have a lot of people rather excited. The brick in question is one made out of "Plaex-crete," a strong composite made up of more than 90% recycled plastic, which is shredded and cleaned and put through an extruder to produce a cement-style paste. The finished product is essentially this paste, plus some extra stuff for the remaining 10% (colorants plus UV and flame inhibitors). The final block is 35% lighter than a traditional brick its size.

Ramses II granite sarcophagus fragment
Granite sarcophagus fragment measuring 5 feet long and 3 inches thick
Mystery Solved

Ramses II, a pharaoh who ruled in the 13th century B.C.E., is one of ancient Egypt’s best-known rulers. The 19th-Dynasty king expanded Egypt’s territory into modern-day Syria, fathered some 100 children and boasted one of the civilization’s most ornate coffins. But the carved granite sarcophagus built to house that coffin has never been identified - until now.

Frédéric Payraudeau, an Egyptologist at France’s Sorbonne University, recently re-examined part of a sarcophagus found in the ancient necropolis of Abydos in 2009. When Payraudeau studied the sarcophagus fragment’s inscriptions, including a previously obstructed and misidentified cartouche (an oval that typically encloses a royal name), he realized the hieroglyphs bore Ramses’ name. The scholar published his findings in the journal Revue D’Égyptologie.

China's Emissions

China’s carbon emissions may now be ‘in a structural decline’. Two separate new analyses suggest that China’s carbon dioxide emissions peaked in 2023 and will start declining from this year onwards. Partly as a result of this, Bloomberg is predicting that global emissions could fall as much as 2.5 percent in 2024, and an analysis from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air has come to a similar conclusion, citing a fall of 3 percent in China’s carbon dioxide emissions in March.

Rio's Mangroves

Over the past four years, the Green Guanabara Project in Rio de Janeiro has restored a huge area of mangroves, planting 30,000 trees in Guanabara Bay. The initiative will help safeguard one million residents in the nearby city of São Gonçalo from flood while preserving marine biodiversity and reducing river pollution.


“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.” Paulo Coelho

On This Day

Michelangelo's statue of David

8 June 1504: Believed to have been installed this day in 1504 in the cathedral of Florence was Michelangelo's statue of David, commissioned in 1501 and considered the prime statement of the Renaissance ideal of perfect humanity.

Today's Articles

Mood Boosting Video

Symbiotic Relationship: NatGeo explains how trees secretly talk to each other.


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