Global round up of positive news nuggets to help put a spring in your step.
The Perseids are one of the best meteor showers of the year, so it’s an event not to miss. Make a note in your diary for the peak display on the nights of 11 and 12 August. While we (unfortunately) have a very bright Moon competing with the Perseids this year, if you head outside after midnight local time the Moon should be below the horizon so that you can enjoy the sights. Otherwise, NASA informs us the meteors are at least moderately active from now to 24 August. Look up!
Brits could soon marry on the beach or at their kitchen table under proposals to scrap current restrictions on where weddings can be held. The Law Commission is recommending that weddings should be able to take place anywhere, providing the presiding official considers it safe and dignified. Currently, religious weddings must generally take place in a registered place of worship and civil weddings in a registry office or on another approved premises. The Guardian said the move would be “the biggest overhaul to marriage regulations in England and Wales since the 19th century”.
Aisha Nieves from Pennsylvania lost her beloved dog, Kovu, about two years ago. She was recently searching to adopt a new pet at a local animal shelter, but to her amazement, Aisha saw Kovu there. It was a happy reunion. Everyone in Aisha’s family was happy and excited to have him back home.
Random Fun Fact
The James Web Space Telescope cost a whopping $10 billion to build - and it's already proving to be a worthy successor to NASA's historic Hubble observatory. But there's one line on its spec sheet that has caught us off guard: the observatory has an absolutely tiny 68 gigabyte solid-state drive - about half the size of an entry level iPhone.
Indie Book Stores
The American Booksellers Association, the trade group for independent bookstore owners, says it now has 2,010 members at 2,547 locations - 300 more than it had in Spring 2021, and the most members it's had in years. That’s doubly significant because in 2020 the ABA also tightened its rules to only allow stores which “primarily sell books” (over 50 percent of inventory), as opposed to any stores offering books.
A new Harvard study found higher levels of optimism were linked with longer lifespans in women across ethnic and racial groups. In the study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers found that the 25 percent who were the most optimistic were likely to have a 5.4 percent longer lifespan and a 10 percent greater likelihood of living beyond 90 years than the 25 percent who were the least optimistic.
The Importance of Optimism: Optimists experience many benefits that make them lead happier and more fulfilled lives. Such an attitude even improves the immune system and helps prevent chronic disease. So how can the rest of us foster optimism?
A Polish startup has designed an award-winning "wind panel" that can generate power as a compact free-standing structure or as an enclosure. The company, Panel Wiatrowy, says overall energy production will be comparable to solar installations with the same capacity and will provide a return on investment within three to seven years. The device is expected to last for at least 50 years. If placed along a 1km stretch of motorway, capacity could reach 200kW - enough to power about 150 homes. With energy prices soaring and about 70 percent of Polish electricity coming from from coal, transforming the country's energy sector has become more urgent.
Quote of the Day
"Believe in yourself and all that you are, know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle."
Christian D Larson
On this Day
21 July 1983: The world's lowest recorded temperature, −128.6 °F (−89.2 °C), was measured at Vostok Station, Antarctica.
Gorgeous collection of timelapse clips featuring northern Norway's dramatic landscapes.