Wednesday's upbeat bundle of good news nuggets to perk up the day.
If you've ever noticed a large, bright star over the horizon just after sunset or before sunrise, you've likely spotted Venus. Nicknamed the evening or morning star, Venus is by far the brightest planet visible from our own. The second planet from the sun is easy to view most nights of the year, but Venus reaches peak brightness right now. That's because the sun will illuminate the greatest portion of the planet visible to Earth in the night sky. If you look toward the eastern horizon, you'll catch the planet at its most brilliant.
One of the world’s most iconic animal species, koalas, have suffered significantly in recent years. Since 2018, Australia’s koala populations have declined by 30 percent due to bushfires, drought, and habitat loss. Thankfully, efforts are underway to reverse that trend and help the marsupial bounce back. One of the most notable recent efforts comes from the Australian government, which announced that it will spend a record A$50 million (US$35 million) over the next four years to ensure the long-term protection and recovery of koalas in the country.
One reason why people might still refuse to be jabbed is a fear of needles. How about taking a pill instead? Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have invented a capsule engineered to smuggle mRNA into the stomach and 'jab' patients from the inside.
Fed Up With Mosquitos?
We all have our own methods of avoiding mosquitoes, whether it is citronella candles, a pungent spray or electric zappers. But now, the good news is that scientists have come up with an easy way to stave off the pesky, blood-sucking bugs. The answer, they say, is simple: avoid red clothes. Only certain wavelengths of light - and therefore colours - are considered to be food sources by the bugs, and red is the chief antagonist. The reason for this is that skin and human flesh gives off red light, so mosquitoes are particularly attuned to that signal. But while crimson is like catnip for mosquitoes, a red rag to a bug, other colours go unnoticed because they are not associated with being a source of food. White, green, purple or blue attire, say scientists at the University of Washington, are best for flying under the mosquito radar.
UK law stipulates that the reigning monarch owns whales, sturgeons and porpoises within three miles of Britain's shore. It was enshrined in a statute from 1324, during the reign of King Edward II, which stated: "The king shall have wreck of the sea throughout the realm, whales and sturgeons taken in the sea or elsewhere within the realm, except in certain places privileged by the king." That law still stands today so if you accidentally catch one, you must first contact Buckingham Place and offer it to the Queen as a gesture of loyalty.
Since its discovery in 1535, the Galápagos archipelago has fascinated researchers and visitors from all over the world. In an effort to preserve its lush and biodiverse ecosystems, Ecuador has recently created an extensive new marine reserve north of the islands. The new reserve, called Hermandad (Spanish for “brotherhood”), forms a Pacific corridor as far as Cocos Island National Park in Costa Rica and serves to protect sea turtles, sharks, and other migratory species. Spanning an area of more than 20,000 square miles, the reserve is an addition to the already existing 50,200 square mile Galápagos Marine Reserve that has been under protection since 1998, reports EcoWatch.
EV Charging Road
The technology to charge electric vehicles while driving is now a reality and will soon be used on a U.S. road, according to a press release by the Israeli provider of wireless electric vehicle charging technology Electreon. The development may forever change how electric cars travel, giving them a much-needed boost. The new technology, dubbed inductive charging, will charge electric vehicles whether they're in motion or standing still. Gas cars and those not equipped with this advanced feature will be able to use the road as a simple normal stretch of land. The road, however, may ease so called 'range anxiety' and, if widely adopted, could boost sales of EVs across the U.S., paving the way for a greener more sustainable country.
Quote of the Day
"Believe you can and you're halfway there."
On this Day
9 February 1979: England footballer Trevor Francis signs for Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest side in Britain's first £1m transfer deal.
Dive in Deeper
Mystery Artist's Literary Sculptures: A set of delicately carved sculptures cut by hand from the pages of famous Scottish literary works have been sold at auction for more than £50,000, to fund a reading charity. Read on...
Attenborough on Seeds
Giant seeds, tiny seeds, floaty seeds and flying seeds. Sir David Attenborough gives us a quick 3 minute biology lesson in all of them.