Keeping the week on an upbeat note with today's global selection of good news nuggets.
Good News in Oregon
Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has donated $44 million to the Oregon-based mentoring organization, Friends of the Children, which supports children at risk of entering the welfare system by pairing them with a longtime mentor. This adds to the many billions that the ex-wife of Jeff Bezos has already given to charitable causes from her $38bn Amazon fortune.
A research team has developed an oral tablet that can deliver insulin to the body without the use of needles. Scientists at the University of British Columbia in Canada have developed a pill that delivers an entire dosage of insulin to a person's liver. Previous attempts at oral insulin medication have been foiled after large portions of the doses ended up in the stomach - where it provides no value. The tablet is therefore just as effective as an injection.
The iNaturalist app is a convenient companion for nature lovers to identify plants and wildlife while walking in the woods, climbing mountains or poking around in tidal pools. But along the way, it has become something more - a valuable repository where, simply by sharing their observations, citizen scientists are helping to supply researchers with valuable data about the state of the ecological world, from identifying rare plants to detecting the presence of invasive insects to helping understand the complexities of the planet’s biodiversity. Why not sign up to iNaturalist?
To travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination.
Every year, about one-third of food is lost or wasted, globally. According to the UN, this contributes a whopping 9 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. In the face of that, tech outfits around the globe are designing apps that resell unused food through mobile phone apps. Singapore's treatsure app turns unused luxury hotel meals into "buffet-in-a-box" offerings. They estimate that 30 metric tons of food has been rescued since it launched in 2017. In Hong Kong, the Phenix by OnTheList app, has sold 25,000 discounted "Mystery Baskets" of food from stores. The app, which launched in France in 2014, estimates that 150 million meals have been preserved. Another app, Too Good To Go, which launched in Denmark and operates in 17 countries across North America and Europe has provided over 152 million meals through its "Magic Bags" of rescued food. Why not give one of them a go?
One slither of good news has emerged amidst the terrible flooding in Pakistan. The Indus River is home to a super rare species of dolphin that is found nowhere else in the world and they are relishing the flood waters. The Indus River dolphins are usually between 7 feet to 8.5 feet long - females are usually bigger than males - but what they're really known for is their "melon" heads. The big round foreheads help the dolphins' hearing, which is crucial to the way they explore their surroundings and communicate with other dolphins. It's hoped the flood waters will enable these rare creatures to increase their numbers.
French-based company Alstom has announced that the world’s first hydrogen train, the Coradia iLint, reached another historic milestone in Germany. Hydrogen fuel-cell trains have now entered passenger service along a route in the Lower Saxony area. The use of hydrogen as a fuel for trains noticeable reduces the burden on the environment. With a range of 2,000 km (around 620 miles), the Coradia iLint model can run all day on just one tank of hydrogen. This emissions-free regional train emits only steam and condensed water while operating at a low level of noise.
Quote of the Day
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
On this Day
6 September 1975: Czech tennis star Martina Navratilova asks for US political asylum in New York City during the US Open.
This video takes us on a journey that zooms through space to reveal the Cartwheel Galaxy - 590 million light years from Earth.