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Tuesday's Upbeat News

An eclectic bundle of positive news stories to perk up the day.


Chris Martin of Coldplay
Coldplay's front man Chris Martin.
New Standard

Kinetic dance floors that turn dance moves into green energy helped Coldplay reduce emissions by 59 percent on their latest tour - according to data verified by Massachusetts Institute of Technology which said the band had set a “new standard for the music industry”.

Eighteen shows were powered by a battery system made from recycled BMW batteries. The band arrived at some shows by train, cutting plane emissions. And for every ticket sold - 7m so far - a tree was planted via the global reforestation nonprofit One Tree Planted. Live touring is a vital source of income for bands in the streaming age. However, it’s intensive work and bands like Coldplay is one of those trying to clean up the industry. Prof John Fernández, who reviewed Coldplay’s data, said the band were “modelling a trajectory toward a low carbon, biodiverse and equitable future” that set a benchmark for the industry.


Yosemite National Park lake and waterfall
Yosemite National Park.
US National Parks

As part of the Inflation Reduction Act, the National Park Service was given $700 million to make its land more protected and resilient to inevitable climate change - and conservation and restoration projects are already underway across the country. In Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks, for example, efforts are underway to preserve and protect whitebark pine trees, which are now a threatened species on the Endangered Species list. While their goals are wide-ranging - from protecting coral reefs to studying fish in warming streams - all the projects underway will help federal lands weather the climate-changed future.


Melanoma Vaccine

The first vaccine for melanoma - a skin cancer usually caused by sun damage - halved the risk of patients dying or the disease returning in a trial. Researchers combined a vaccine using the same mRNA technology as many Covid jabs with an established immunotherapy called pembrolizumab. It was given to patients after they had surgery to remove stage 3 or stage 4 melanoma. After three years, 75 percent of those who had the vaccine and pembrolizumab were still cancer-free, compared to 56 percent of people who only received pembrolizumab. Prof Charles Swanton, chief clinician at Cancer Research UK, said the results were “extremely impressive”, but that more research is needed.


ET movie poster
Movie poster
E.T.

Forty-two years ago today, a quirky extraterrestrial with a penchant for Reese’s Pieces made contact with Earth. Directed by Steven Spielberg, then 34, E.T. was an immense success, earning four Oscars and becoming an instant classic. Spielberg worked closely with screenwriter Melissa Mathison, drawing on his own experience as an “unusually imaginative, often lonely child of divorce” to shape the heartwarming movie. Watch the incredible audition that earned 9-year-old Henry Thomas the starring role of Elliott - and be prepared to shed a few tears.


More Oil or Gas?

Existing fossil fuel projects will be sufficient to meet projected energy demands until 2050 - while the planet transitions to renewable energy - debunking some politicians’ claims that more permits should be granted for oil and gas. So says a new study by researchers at University College London (UCL) and the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

The research, published in the journal Science, extends work by the International Energy Agency, which found in a 2021 report that no new fossil fuel extraction projects are needed in the transition to net zero.


Airline Ratings

The Airline Excellence Awards from AirlineRating.com are in, including a ranking of the top 25 flight purveyors for 2024. Qatar Airways took the No. 1 spot, dethroning last year’s winner, Air New Zealand. The airline still made it into the top five, though, along with Korean Air, Cathay Pacific Airways, and Emirates.

 

"There's something about childhood friends that you just can't replace." Lisa Whelchel

 
On This Day

Florentine scientist Evangelista Torricelli

11 June 1644: Florentine scientist Evangelista Torricelli describes his invention of the mercury barometer in 1643 in a letter to Michelangelo Ricci.

 
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