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Today's Good News

Updated: Apr 15

Celebrating the start of the weekend with a global round up of good news nuggets.


River Cam, Cambridge
River Cam running through Cambridge University.
Fossil Funding

In a UK first, the University of Cambridge has stopped accepting donations from fossil fuel groups, amid concern about big oil’s influence on academic research. It follows an independent report last year which recommended that the university halt funding from fossil fuel interests. The report found that oil and gas groups donated an average of £3.3m ($4.15m) per year to the university over the previous six years. “This is a huge deal for ending greenwashing, safeguarding research integrity, protecting academic freedom, and ending institutional support for an industry profiting from harm to people and the planet alike,” said the student group Cambridge Climate Justice, in a statement. “This is a key step towards a permanent fossil free research policy.”


Petting a golden retriever labrador
Dogs promote our alpha brainwaves.
Paws and Relax

A new study shows that it only takes three minutes of playing with a dog to see an increase in a person's alpha brainwaves, indicating a state of relaxation. South Korean researchers attached headsets with electrodes to 30 adults and had them meet, play, feed, massage, groom, hug, walk and photograph a poodle. In addition to a boost in alpha brainwaves, participants also had stronger beta brainwaves, signalling their concentration improved.


A Hubble Space Telescope image of the Sombrero Galaxy
A Hubble Space Telescope image of the Sombrero Galaxy | Credit: NASA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
The Sombrero Galaxy

M104, commonly known as the Sombrero Galaxy, is an edge-on galaxy located 28 million lightyears away in the Virgo constellation. It cannot be seen with the naked eye, but you can easily see it through binoculars or a small telescope on a clear, dark night. It's an edge-on galaxy, meaning we see only see it edge-on from our perspective on Earth, as opposed to the beautiful face-on spiral galaxies that tend to hog the limelight!


Stat of The Day

48: The percentage share of electricity generated by the Netherlands in 2023 that was from renewable sources.


Kermitops Gratus

A 270-million-year-old fossil that sheds light on the murky origins of amphibians has been named after Kermit - the world's most famous frog. Scientists found the fossilized skull in a collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. They say it's a new species of proto-amphibian and have named it Kermitops gratus because it bears a likeness to the Muppet. The much-loved, but famously shy frog would doubtless blush at the attention.


World's Largest

Adani Green Energy, a company in India, is turning large swathes of barren land in the western state of Gujrat into the world’s largest clean energy plant. When ready in five years time, the plant will be five times the size of Paris and cater to the energy demands of 16 million homes, a CNN report said.

 

“There was nothing like a Saturday - unless it was the Saturday leading up to the last week of school and into summer vacation. That of course was all the Saturdays of your life rolled into one big shiny ball.” Nora Roberts

 
On This Day

23 March 1857: American inventor Elisha Otis installed the first commercial elevator, in a department store in New York City.

 





 
Mood Booster

Yukon Wilderness Cam: 5.5 months of passing wildlife in 5.5 minutes.



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