Smorgasbord of good news nuggets to help perk up the day.
Vaquitas, the world's smallest porpoise, belong to the cetacean family of dolphins and whales, and have, sadly, become the world’s rarest marine mammals. With large dark rings around their eyes and dark patches on their lips resembling smiles, they’ve long been a poster child of conservation groups. And there are only around 10 left in the wild in Mexico; but now scientists are more optimistic that they are not ‘doomed’ to extinction. A team of biologists have found that the species remains healthy and can survive - so long as illegal fishing in their waters stops. Happily, the researchers report that the surviving mammals are actively reproducing and appear healthy.
Net Zero City
Burlington, Vermont, is the state’s largest city and has gained national recognition for its achievements in renewable energy. Most notably, the city was the first in the US to draw 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources in 2014. The city, which once relied mostly on coal, currently gets its energy from four different sources: biomass, hydroelectric, wind and solar. The city plans to achieve Net Zero Energy by 2030 across all sectors, including transportation.
As part of the Great Pacific Race, teams of four row 2,400 nautical miles from San Francisco to Hawaii. And four women just broke record books, becoming the fastest all-female team to complete that distance, clocking it in 34 days, 14 hours, and 11 minutes. Rowing in 2-hour shifts, averaging 90 minutes of sleep at a time, the Lat 35 team endured rough waters, ate freeze-dried meals, had moments of sea-sickness and exhaustion along the way. But they never lost sight of their mission to break barriers, whilst also raising money for the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Pushing through hard times is not just for rowers, they say.
Today's Barry Cryer joke: A man says to his doctor "I think my wife is going deaf, but I don't want to mention it as it'll be tactless and insensitive. Is there any way I can gauge it, preferably without her knowing?" The doctor replies: "There is, it's quite easy, choose a moment when she has her back to you, say something in a normal voice and if she doesn't answer, move a little nearer and say it again and you'll get an idea about her hearing." So when he comes home from work, his wife is standing with her back to him in the kitchen. He says "What's for dinner love?" but gets no answer. He moves in a little closer "What's for dinner love?" again, no response, and moves in again "What's for dinner love?" - nothing. By now he's right behind her, he says again "What's for dinner love?" She turns round and says "For the fourth time - chicken!!"
Vertical Home Grown
World’s largest vertical farm is being built in the UK and it’s the size of 96 tennis courts (stacked on top of each other). The UK is heavily dependent on imported foods - especially when it comes to fruit and veg. Nearly half of all food eaten in the country comes from overseas. But one company is hoping to solve this problem by building what will be the world's largest vertical farm in Lincolnshire, England. It is set to open in autumn this year. With a lower environmental impact than traditional agriculture, they hope that this innovative solution will produce certain crops 365 days a year without increasing air miles. Brits could be enjoying home-grown strawberries at Christmas!
Yosemite's grove of giant sequoias (the rare, majestic trees that can live to be several thousand years old) has re-opened after escaping unscathed from nearby fires. Park officials say that decades of prescribed burns helped keep the 500 historic trees, within the Mariposa Grove, safe.
Global electric vehicle adoption is already lowering oil consumption by millions of barrels per day. A new analysis from Bloomberg NEF found that in 2021, electric vehicles prevented the consumption of about 1.5 million barrels of oil per day and will continue as EV sales continue growing. The bulk of oil demand avoided - 67 percent - came from two- and three-wheeled EVs thanks to rapid adoption in Asia. Adoption of electric buses helped avoid 16 percent of oil demand, followed by passenger vehicles at 13 percent, which is the fastest growing segment, according to the report.
Quote of the Day
“You can never leave footprints that last if you are always walking on tiptoe.”
On this Day
17 August 1945: English author George Orwell published Animal Farm, an anti-utopian satire that became a classic.
Summertime: A video to accompany the music of the incomparable duo that is Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.