Eclectic bundle of uplifting news nuggets to help get the day off to a positive start.
Passenger cars emit huge amounts of pollution and are Europe’s second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. But over recent years, Paris has implemented an array of measures to prioritize pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit while bringing car use screeching to a halt. Remarkably, the number of trips made by car in Paris has been cut in half. In addition to pedestrianizing former streets, the French capital has banned heavily polluting diesel cars through the creation of a low-emission zone (which gets progressively more stringent until 2030), reduced drivers’ access to major streets, expanded green areas, and promoted other ways getting around the city.
In 2017, a herd of 16 bison was brought from Canada’s Elk Island National Park and reintroduced to Banff National Park. Their numbers have increased to 80 thriving animals in the last five years. The bison have roamed free with supervision from Parks Canada along with the Stoney Nakoda Nationa, which calls the park area Mînî Rhpa Mâkoche. They watched how the animals adapted to the new environment, and how the larger ecosystem responded to their return. Researchers project if their growth continues at the current pace, there will be more than 200 bison in the next eight years in the park. And that's in line with a similar trend happening with bison populations in the U.S. too.
Brazil's Trump Thumped
The head of Brazil’s electoral court has rejected an attempt by outgoing president Jair Bolsonaro’s party to overturn the results of October’s election, which he lost. That's only part of the good news. Alexandre de Moraes, a supreme court justice, also fined the parties in Bolsonaro’s coalition 22.9m reais ($4.3m) for what the court described as bad faith litigation. Bolsonaro had challenged the Brazilian presidential election he lost last month to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, arguing votes from some machines should be invalidated.
Security restrictions on liquids in hand luggage could be axed at UK airports within two years thanks to high-tech 3D scanners. The government hopes to roll out the more advanced scanners by mid-2024, with the hope it could cut queues in UK airports. The equipment, similar to CT scanners used in hospitals, provides a clearer picture of a bag's contents. An announcement is due before Christmas.
What's the largest organ in your body? Your skin! Not only is it the body's largest organ, but the skin is also the body's largest and fastest-growing organ. Skin covers 22 square feet or 2 sq.m of the human body in a full-grown adult and is completely replaced around once per month.
Back From the Brink
The largest fish in the Amazon, the pirarucu, has been saved from extinction thanks to a community campaign to impose strict fishing regulations. The controls have resulted in a population surge, with the number of pirarucu in the Carauari region alone exploding from 4,916 in 2011 to 46,839 in 2021.
Jump in Energy Density
At a time when the need to replace fossil fuels is urgent, it is amazing to see the results of human innovation and creativity to meet the challenge. Researchers at Berkeley Lab are working on a new producer of biofuel that creates a material that boasts an energy density far higher than jet fuel. The new fuel candidate is a particular bacteria but, without getting into the technical nitty gritty, scientists at Sandia National Labs then generated computer simulations of the fuel to estimate their properties compared to conventional fossil fuels. The analysis shows that the new fuels would be safe and stable at room temperature, and would have an energy density thats 50% better than gasoline’s energy density, and 40% better than jet and rocket fuels. Scientists are now working to make it ready to be put on the market.
"When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you." Nora Ephron
On this Day
25 November 2002: In London the Agatha Christie play The Mousetrap celebrated its 50th anniversary with a royal gala, and this performance being its 20,807th. The play is still running today - making it the longest running show, of any kind, in the world.
There’s a genius street artist running loose in NYC - Let’s hope nobody stops him!