Eclectic bundle of good news nuggets from all around the world.
After seven years of lobbying, 661,416 hectares of wetland in Argentina has been declared as a new protected area, the Ansenuza National Park. It’s the largest wetland in South America and a crucial ecosystem for 66 percent of all migratory and shorebird species, including three species of flamingos.
If you're looking for a definition of 'regenerative,' how about this? As America’s coal industry recedes, it's leaving behind barren, acidified sites across Appalachia. However, chestnut seedlings thrive in those soils, and conservationists are now planting tens of thousands of them on former mines across the region, says Bloomberg.
Squeaky Bum Time
What a colourful phrase. It definitely deserves a place in the hallowed pages of the Oxford English Dictionary, and indeed it does have one. 'Squeaky bum time' was coined by former Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson during a press conference in 2003 to describe the pressures of extreme competition in the English football league. The OED describes it as "a reference to the sound of someone shifting restlessly on plastic seating during tense closing stages of a contest."
App Detects Covid
Pharma giant Pfizer has shelled out nearly US$120 million to acquire a small Australian company claiming to have developed a smartphone app that can accurately diagnose Covid-19 by analyzing the sound of a cough. Trials found the system could accurately detect 92 percent of positive Covid cases solely from the sound of a cough. The system also recorded 80 percent specificity, meaning only two out of every 10 people screened received false positive results. Pfizer said: "We look forward to refining this algorithm further and working with regulators around the world to bring this important product to consumers as quickly as possible."
Clean Power Sufficient
The energy crisis has some companies and politicians calling for an increase in fossil fuel exploration, but new data shows that this solution is unnecessary as well as detrimental to avoiding the worst impacts of the climate crisis. All of the increased electricity demand during the first half of 2022 was met by renewable energy, data released from the energy think tank Ember has shown. “Wind and solar are proving themselves during the energy crisis,” says Ember's report. “The first step to ending the grip of expensive and polluting fossil fuels is to build enough clean power to meet the world’s growing appetite for electricity.”
Europe has closed 87 sensitives zones to bottom trawling in the Atlantic, putting 16,419 km2 of waters below 400 metres off limits. This comes after a ban four years ago on bottom trawling below 800 metres, providing further protection for vulnerable marine ecosystems such as cold water reefs, sea mounts and sea pens. Meanwhile, new fishing regulations will ban bottom trawling in Kattegatt, a 30,000 km² sea area between Sweden and Denmark, which is home to porpoises and endangered Swedish shark species. Conservation groups have fought for the measures for over a decade and the new regulations are now the strongest in Europe.
Sculptures Stop Illegal Trawling: If there aren't enough police to patrol the coastline, the ingenious solution of dropping huge marble artworks into the Mediterranean produces the required results and enables damaged ecosystems to regrow. Read on...
Quote of the Day
"An obstacle is often a stepping stone." William Prescott
On this Day
11 October 1975: The TV sketch comedy and variety show Saturday Night Live debuted on NBC and became a landmark in American television. And it's still running!
UK beer brand Carling Black Label ran a series of funny parody ads in the 1980s. Here's 'Launderette' from 1986.