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Just Good News Friday

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

Wrapping up the week with a global round up of positive news nuggets.


Poppy field

California Superbloom

Wildflowers aren't just in bloom across California - the Golden State is experiencing a rare "superbloom" that's blanketing the ground with a variety of richly colored plants. The lush growth comes after a particularly wet past few months in California, where a string of atmospheric rivers and snowstorms have dumped loads of precipitation on the state. Superblooms occur in a wet year that's come after several drier years, because wildflower seeds are waiting around in the ground for the right conditions to bloom, UC Davis plant sciences professor Jennifer Funk said in a news release.


Rewilding Mosaic

A rewilding charity has bought 460 acres of land in Somerset to create what it hopes will be the first of a series of nature reserves in every English county - creating a national mosaic. The charity Heal, said the £5.25 million ($6.5m) site will aim to tackle the nature and climate crises, while creating new jobs and facilities for local people. It hopes the project, which will re-establish natural processes on the land to boost wildlife, will be a blueprint for a major nature recovery site in each of the 48 English counties by 2050 - together covering almost 25,000 acres.


An Ocean Cleanup vessel
Credit: The Ocean Cleanup
Clean Up Milestone

The Ocean Cleanup, the only organization currently tackling the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, has just reached a milestone of 200,000 kilograms, or 220 tons of plastic removed from the ocean. In recent years, the Dutch non-profit completed the test run of their new system 002/B which can capture multiple tons of garbage in one sequence with its large booms measuring a mile and a half in length. And it's just received a major financial boost from one of the founders of Airbnb to help Ocean Cleanup to continue its endeavours.


Rat Czar

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has announced that former school teacher Kathleen Corradi will be the city’s first ever director of rodent mitigation, or “rat czar”. “Kathy has the knowledge, drive, experience and energy to send rats packing and create a cleaner more welcoming city for all New Yorkers,” said Adams. The job ad for the position had called for a candidate with a “swashbuckling attitude” and “general aura of badassery”.


Battery Recycling

Getting rid of old batteries can be a hassle. But for recycling startup Ascend Elements, other people’s garbage is basically a gold mine, if not better. The company opened a recycling plant in Georgia in late March that it says is the largest electric-vehicle battery recycling facility in North America. It can process 30,000 metric tons of input each year, breaking down old batteries and prepping the most valuable materials inside to be processed and turned into new batteries. That capacity equates to breaking down the battery packs from 70,000 electric vehicles annually. That's good news as recycling delivers new battery materials without the expense and environmental impact of new mining.


Weapons Ban

The Washington state Senate just passed a law to ban the sale and manufacture of assault weapons. Only a few states have passed such a ban - but at least it's a sign of progress.

 

"When the sun is shining I can do anything; no mountain is too high, no trouble too difficult to overcome." Wilma Rudolph

 
On this Day

14 April 1902: American businessman J.C. Penney opened his first dry-goods store in Kemmerer, Wyoming.

 





 
Mood Booster

Funny Heineken beer commercial: which walk in option do you prefer?



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