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Wednesday's Upbeat News

An upbeat bundle of positive news stories from around the globe.

Band of Brothers cast members in parachute uniforms
Band of Brothers cast members
Paying Homage

Band of Brothers cast members will make a parachute jump over Normandy in the D-Day commemorations to honour the legacy of the soldiers they played. One British actor in the Second World War drama said the jump was intended as the “ultimate way to really pay homage to who we portrayed”, as well as raising money for veterans charities. The cast members have been training in the US for two events, on June 3 and June 8, in which they will jump from an original C-47 plane that was used on D-Day in Normandy carrying paratroopers. The critically acclaimed 2001 series Band Of Brothers, which starred Damian Lewis and David Schwimmer, was created by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.

Mammoth bones found in a cellar near Vienna
Archaeologist with the Austrian Academy of Sciences excavates bones
What's in Your Cellar?

Andreas Pernerstorfer was renovating his wine cellar in northern Austria when he stumbled upon something unusual. Initially, he thought he’d found a piece of wood that had been left behind by his grandfather. But then Pernerstorfer remembered something his grandfather had mentioned once about finding teeth in the cellar while renovating it decades ago. He wondered if what he thought was a piece of wood was actually something more special. When he reported his discovery, it turned out his instincts were right: Pernerstorfer’s wine cellar was full of huge mammoth bones - at least 300 of them. So far, experts have found bones that belonged to three individual mammoths, plus charcoal and stone artifacts. They believe the bones are between 30,000 and 40,000 years old. It’s not clear how or why three different mammoths ended up in the same spot.

Coffee Concrete

In a world first, the researchers who used waste coffee grounds to make concrete are putting their innovative material to the test by laying sidewalks made of the stuff to see how it fares when it's subjected to foot traffic. Last year, researchers from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, found that replacing up to 15 percent of the sand ordinarily used in concrete with waste coffee grounds made it 30 percent stronger. It's a case of killing two birds with one coffee bean: the production method not only reduces reliance on sand, a non-renewable resource, but also reduces the amount of organic waste sent to landfills, thereby reducing its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. OGN will let you know how the sidewalk gets on.

artist’s concept of two new climate satellites in space
Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
New Climate Satellite

For the first time, a NASA satellite has been launched with the purpose of improving the ability to predict climate change by measuring the heat that escapes from Earth’s poles. The satellite - the first of a pair - is in orbit following lift-off from Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket in Māhia, New Zealand, at the weekend. “This new information - and we’ve never had it before - will improve our ability to model what’s happening in the poles, what’s happening in climate,” said Karen St. Germain, Earth sciences research director at NASA.

Borrowdale Valley, Lake District, England
Borrowdale Valley | Credit: Paul Harris/National Trust/PA
England Rainforest

The Borrowdale rainforest is now a national nature reserve, a designation that will protect the rare habitat for future generations. The Lake District rainforest is part of the 1% of land in England that is considered “mysterious and untouched”, as many of the habitats like it have almost entirely disappeared due to natural climate change during prehistoric times and human deforestation in the 1800s. The announcement comes as part of King Charles’s Series of National Nature Reserves, in which five will be created each year for the next five years. The scheme will help conserve the native rainforest, linking it up with other nearby habitats and reducing the risk of flooding to homes and farms.

The SuperTruck 2 by Kenworth
Kenworth's SuperTruck 2.
Maximum Efficiency

Kenworth has unveiled a sleek-looking SuperTruck 2 at the Advanced Clean Transport expo in Las Vegas, attempting to squeeze the maximum possible efficiency out of a diesel powertrain. It works, too, reducing fuel consumption by a whopping 50 percent. It's the result of a six-year project with the US Department of Energy, in which truck makers have been challenged to improve freight efficiency without dropping diesel as the main energy carrier.


"All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better." Ralph Waldo Emerson

On This Day

 Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay

29 May 1953: Following numerous failed attempts by others, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers to surmount Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world (29,032 feet).

Today's Articles

Mood Boosting Video

Interesting observation about happiness by psychologist Hillel Einhorn.


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