Collection of good news nuggets from all around the world to brighten the day.
Leanne Fan has always been an inventor, starting in the first grade when she made contraptions out of toothpicks and marshmallows. Now 14, the San Diego resident has stepped up her game with the Finsen Headphones, which aim to use blue light therapy to detect and treat mid-ear infections without the use of antibiotics. Worldwide, there are 700 million cases of mid-ear infections every year, and nearly 21,000 deaths. Fan started working on the Finsen Headphones three years ago, and entered them in the 2022 3M Young Scientist Challenge. She took home the top prize, earning the title of America's Top Young Scientist and $25,000. She hopes to inspire other young women who want to go into STEM or become inventors.
From dump to urban wetland: Birds, fish and flowers are returning to the Mapocho River in Santiago, Chile, after a decade-long effort has transformed it from a garbage filled 'dead river' with no vegetation, to an urban refuge for nature and wildlife, reports Reuters. "It's been ten years that wastewater outlets don't go into the river, ten years of clean water flowing." Mauricio Fabry, head of the regional government's environmental office, said it is working with local districts to officially declare Santiago's Mapocho River an urban wetland, with legal protections to safeguard environmental gains.
Cat Walks Home
Laëtitia De Amicis moved with her family and their three cats to Normandy because of work reasons a year ago, leaving the Orne region of France. After a short while, one of the cats - Cocci - disappeared. Remarkably, 13 months later, Cocci was discovered a couple of miles from her old home, having walked nearly 300 miles to get there. Happily, the long lost cat has now been reunited with her family and Laëtitia De Amicis says “It’s unbelievable. I still can’t believe it.”
EU Emissions Shrink
The EU’s carbon emissions from energy use shrank by 5 percent over the last three months, bringing an end to a 16-month emissions surge that began after the pandemic. That’s according to analysis by Carbon Brief, a London-based climate reporting website. It suggests that demand for fossil fuels is falling in the bloc, despite some countries temporarily turning to coal during the energy crisis. It said that high oil and gas prices, and the rollout of renewables were driving the decline.
More than 6,000 hatchlings of endangered taricaya, charapa and teparo turtles have been released into Peru's Amazon basin to help them repopulate. The eggs were collected from natural sites and then allowed to incubate in protected areas. "With the release of these species at risk, it will be possible to repopulate the lagoons and rivers of the Amazon." It's all part of conservation efforts to keep the Amazon's ecosystem intact.
French senators have given the green light to a bright idea that could be replicated anywhere: car park solar farms. Under recently approved legislation, the owners of car parks will be required to install solar panels above parking spaces. Operators with between 80 and 400 spaces will have five years to comply with the new law, while those with more than 400 spaces have just three years. The government claims the new measure could generate up to 11 gigawatts of power - equivalent, it says, to a dozen nuclear reactors.
"A good rule to remember for life is that when it comes to plastic surgery and sushi, never be attracted by a bargain.” Graham Norton
On this Day
15 November 1904: American inventor King Camp Gillette was granted a U.S. patent for the first razor with disposable blades.
Socrates was an Ancient Greek philosopher who is credited as founding western philosophy. This video contains some of his wisest quotes, narrated by a voice actor.