Plenty of bite sized chunks of uplifting news to perk up the day.
Take inspiration from an 89-year-old Rhode Island man who has achieved a goal he spent two decades working toward and nearly a lifetime thinking about - earning his Ph.D. and becoming a physicist. Manfred Steiner recently defended his dissertation successfully at Brown University in Providence. Steiner cherishes this degree because it’s what he always wanted - and because he overcame health problems that could have derailed his studies. “But I made it, and this was the most gratifying point in my life, to finish it,” he told APnews.
Current smartphone manufacturing methods have a hefty carbon footprint. These poor environmental credentials are only worsened by yearly device releases and hard-to-repair phones, contributing to an already overwhelming amount of e-waste. Some of the carbon-intensive components inside the device, like gold, tungsten, and cobalt, may also come from sources with a questionable human rights record. Amsterdam-based company Fairphone has been working over the past eight years to redesign a more sustainable and ethical smartphone. Its latest model, the 5G Fairphone 4, sets a new industry sustainability standard with a repairable phone made with responsibly sourced materials. As you might suspect, it comes with a 5 year warranty. Time to switch?
The Leonids meteor shower will peak tonight - with up to 15 shooting stars potentially visible each hour through to dawn tomorrow. The spectacle, which happens every November, occurs when small rocks burn up in Earth's atmosphere after breaking off from a comet called 55P/Tempel–Tuttle. According to NASA, the Leonids are considered to be some of the fastest meteors known, travelling at speeds of 44 miles (71 km) per second.
Solar power is considered one of the most promising alternatives to fossil fuel. However, in order to embrace this sustainable energy entirely, there are still challenges we need to overcome - one of which is the long-term storage of solar energy. Storage is vital to ensuring we have access to power even when the Sun isn't shining. A series of research papers offer hope though, as they outline a novel approach to storing the sun's energy. Scientists in Sweden have developed "solar thermal fuel," a specialized fluid that can reportedly store energy captured from the sun for up to 18 years. Hopefully, in the not too distant future, we'll be taking advantage of MOST (Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage System).
Last year, the Canadian Women’s Foundation introduced a hand gesture that is meant to communicate a plea for help due to a violent home environment. This hand gesture was subsequently circulated on the social media platform TikTok and adopted by women around the world who must discreetly inform others of their distress. Just last week, the hand signal proved crucial in the rescue of a missing 16-year-old girl who had been kidnapped by an older man.
France-based Gaussin unveiled its H2 Racing Truck, which is the first model in the new range of the firm's zero-emission, 100 percent hydrogen, and electric road trucks lineup that is set to launch in 2022. And to demonstrate its performance and reliability to the world, the H2 Racing Truck will take part in the Dakar Rally. The truck will race across the sand dunes to show off its hydrogen-electric prowess, and it's ready to withstand whatever the desert may throw at it.
Multiple studies have demonstrated that Black drivers get pulled over far more frequently for low-level infractions than other drivers in the US. These stops - which are described as “pretextual,” or covering for racial profiling or fishing - have a pattern of turning into violent and even fatal interactions. So, it's good news that Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has signed the Driving Equity Act, making it the first major city in the US to ban low-level traffic stops. Philadelphia drivers can no longer be pulled over for infractions like driving with a single brake light out or with obscured license plates. Instead of an in-person ticket, these infractions will result in a ticket that is either mailed to the driver’s residence or placed on their windshield while parked.
"Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. After that who cares?… He’s a mile away and you’ve got his shoes!" Billy Connolly.
Dive in Deeper
Don't watch this clip if you suffer from vertigo! Remarkable footage of a wingsuit jump from the towering Monte Agner in the Italian Dolomites.