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Only Good News Friday

Wrapping up the week with an upbeat bundle of positive news nuggets.


A peregrine falcon lands on the back of a goose in mid-air
A peregrine falcon lands on the back of a goose in mid-air | John Ovenden
Once in a Lifetime

A wildlife photographer captured a “once in a lifetime” photo of a peregrine falcon hitching a ride on a goose. The peregrine falcon landed on the goose and rode it for a few seconds before jumping off and flying away. John Ovenden was out photographing birds in Jersey, an island in the English Channel, when the bizarre incident happened. “I was amazed to see such a sight,” he tells PetaPixel. “I was thrilled to have captured such a special moment.” He told the Jersey Evening Post: “We saw the peregrine chasing some little birds around and then all of a sudden it shot up behind this goose, slowed down a little bit, and then rode it for a few seconds. It then came alongside the goose and eye-balled it. It was very weird - very unusual animal behaviour and I doubt I’ll ever see anything like that again.”


No More Roads

The Welsh government has axed all the country's major road-building projects to put environmental concerns first. The Deputy Minister for Climate Change says all infrastructure projects in future must now 'reduce carbon emissions and support a shift to public transport, walking and cycling'. Environmental and transport campaigners have welcomed the move, calling it 'world-leading' and 'bold'.


Promising Start

In just the first month under its new president, deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest has fallen. Satellite data shows deforestation was down 61 percent in January compared to January 2022. It's a promising start. And the recently reactivated Amazon Fund is surely going to help. Plus, recent talks between the Presidents of Brazil and the U.S. have spurred hope for a renewed global commitment to protect the Amazon Rainforest.


Bicycle repair stand
Cyclists' Repair 'Stand'

While bicycle repair stands certainly come in handy, they can be rather awkward to bring on road trips, or to set up in small apartments. The Hangar Connect offers a more compact alternative, as it simply gets clamped onto whatever's at hand. Manufactured by Arizona-based startup Altangle, the Hangar Connect consists of an anodized aluminum shaft with heavy-duty aluminum clamps at either end. One of those clamps grabs onto the bike's seat post, while the other takes hold of a railing, sign post, van ladder or pretty much anything else that's sufficiently sturdy and stable.


Heart shape made from pink sparklers
Heart Transplants

Organ transplants can save lives, but unfortunately organs don’t last long in storage. Now scientists have demonstrated that an existing drug (valproic acid) can reprogram donor hearts to last much longer outside the body, and reduce their risk of failure after transplantation. This could greatly improve the outcomes for patients needing heart transplants, by allowing the organs to travel farther and giving patients more time to be prepped for surgery. That should also reduce the number of donor hearts that are wasted and help clear the backlog of patients on waiting lists. And the benefits might not stop at heart transplants. The research was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.


Graphic of the new tunnel linking Denmark to Germany
Linking Up

Denmark and Germany will be linked by an 18km underwater tunnel that will be the longest combined rail and road tunnel in the world when completed in 2029. The €10 billion ($10.7bn) project will have two double-lane motorways and two electrified rail tracks. It will take seven minutes by train and 10 minutes by car to travel through it, avoiding a 160 km detour across the Danish mainland and cutting rail travel times from Hamburg to Copenhagen from around five hours to less than three. The road link will replace a busy ferry service that carries millions of passengers a year. Denmark plans to build high-speed electric rail lines to and from the tunnel.

 

“Strive for perfection in everything. Take the best that exists and make it better. If it doesn't exist, create it. Accept nothing nearly right or good enough.” Henry Royce

 
On this Day


17 February 1897: The National Congress of Parents and Teachers, better known as the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), was founded in Washington, D.C., as the National Congress of Mothers.

 





 
Mood Booster

Clips of funny talking animals taken from the hilarious BBC Walk on the Wildside series of 15 years ago.



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