|Good News 2010|
20,000 People Boycott Bluefin to Help Save Majestic Tuna
SAN FRANCISCO, California, December 9, 2010 (ENS) - Just 10 days after the Center for Biological Diversity called for a boycott of bluefin tuna in sushi restaurants, the advocacy group said today more than 20,000 people from all 50 states and 91 countries have signed a pledge not to eat bluefin or patronize restaurants where it is sold.
Bluefin tuna are being pushed to extinction by decades of overfishing. Market prices soaring to $177,000 for a single bluefin earlier this year motivate illegal and unreported fishing, and a large black market was documented in a report published in October by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
Read the full story at: ens-newswire.com
Scottish scientists develop whisky biofuel
By-products from distilling process could be used to power cars and even aviation, according to researchers in Edinburgh.
It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "one for the road". Whisky, the spirit that powers the Scottish economy, is being used to develop a new biofuel which could be available at petrol pumps in a few years.
Using samples from the Glenkinchie Distillery in East Lothian, researchers at Edinburgh Napier University have developed a method of producing biofuel from two main by-products of the whisky distilling process - "pot ale", the liquid from the copper stills, and "draff", the spent grains.
Read the full story at: www.theguardian.com
New Zealand changes laws to keep The Hobbit
NZ government will modify its labour laws after Peter Jackson says actor's union put a 'gun to his head'
The two movies based on the J.R.R. Tolkien book The Hobbit are to be filmed in New Zealand despite weeks of uncertainty and negotiations, which director Peter Jackson described as like having "a gun to his head".
Trouble began in August when the NZ Equity actor's union called for an international boycott of The Hobbit last month, claiming that producers had refused to negotiate a deal guaranteeing wages and working conditions for performers in New Zealand.
Read the full story at: Reuters
UK wind power hits record generation output
Britain's wind farms hit record power output levels on Monday and at peak period was generating the same amount of electricity as almost four nuclear power stations, according to energy network operator National Grid.
National Grid said 1,860 megawatts was being generated briefly on Monday night at 1930 GMT, mostly from Scotland, which accounted for 4.7 percent of total generation. A single nuclear power station in Britain generates around 500 megawatts.
Read the full story at: www.reuters.com
Solving the 800-year mystery of Pisa's Leaning Tower
Professor John Burland has spent the last two decades striving to save - and understand - the Leaning Tower of Pisa. After defying gravity, Italian bureaucracy and accusations of corruption, it seems he's finally cracked the case.
All six donkeys were impeccably behaved. They'd been ridden into Pisa's main square, the Piazza dei Miracoli, last year by vexed vets from Pisa University and ceremoniously set down beneath its Leaning Tower. In protest at government cuts across Italian education, the profs duly gave an al fresco lecture on donkey anatomy to hundreds of bewildered tourists. Silvio Berlusconi's photo appeared on many a banner, beside the words 'The biggest ass of all'.
Read the full story at: www.telegraph.co.uk
German Autobahn Closed for Gigantic Party
From Manhattan's Summer Streets to Bogota's Ciclovia. A town in Germany recently shut down an entire section of Autobahn - that's right, the famous German highways with no speed limit-in order to hold a gigantic party for upwards of 3 million people! But what was it all for?The event, called "Still Life", was being held to celebrate the naming of the Ruhr region as the European Cultural Capital for 2010. According to the Huffington Post, which has a fabulous slideshow of the Still Life festivities, 3 million people turned out, with one million of them making an appearance on their bicycles, to enjoy the 37 miles of closed highway. To top off the festivities, everyone sat down to break bread at a 60 kilometer (37 mile) table made up of over 20,000 individual tables.
It goes without saying that events like this are an exception from the norm. But what an exception! The more we can learn to look at our public spaces not as routes to get from A to B, but as spaces to celebrate and get to know one and other, the more chance we have of digging ourselves out of the hole we find ourselves in.
EU sees solar power imported from Sahara in 5 years
June 20, 2010 -- Europe will import its first solar-generated electricity from North Africa within the next five years, European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said in an interview on Sunday.
The European Union is backing projects to turn the plentiful sunlight in the Sahara desert into electricity for power-hungry Europe, a scheme it hopes will help meet its target of deriving 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources in 2020.
Read the full story at: www.reuters.com
BP calls in Costner's $26m vacuum cleaners to mop up huge oil spill
Desperate times call for desperate measures. So with hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil still spewing into the Gulf of Mexico each day, and its corporate image starting to resemble the tar-covered sea creatures now washing on to Louisiana's fragile shoreline, BP has called on Kevin Costner to help stave off environmental Armageddon.
The Hollywood star has been bobbing around the Mississippi Delta helping representatives of the British oil firm and US coastguard test-drive a stainless steel device called the Ocean Therapy. In a claim which sounds as unlikely as the plot premise of Waterworld, he says it can quickly and efficiently clean oil from tainted sea water.
Read the full story at: www.independent.co.uk
Madonna Visits Millennium Village in Malawi, Reviews Substantial Progress
GUMULIRA, Malawi, April 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Madonna today visited Gumulira, a Millennium Village of approximately 5000 people in rural central Malawi. Raising Malawi, an organization co-founded by Madonna, has been a partner in the Millennium Villages project in Gumulira since its inception in 2006. Madonna was joined in Gumulira by Hans Vestberg, President & CEO of Ericsson, and Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, the director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University and co-founder of Millennium Promise.
Read the full story at: www.prnewswire.com
Why women over 40 are good at math
Not only do female math students outperform men at Ontario's community colleges, but it's the 40-something female multi-taskers juggling jobs, families and mortgages who edge out their classmates of either sex at any age, new research shows.
Their secret? They simply might have mastered the time-management skills younger students lack, notes Graham Orpwood, professor emeritus of education at York University. He is co-author of the College Math Project, released Tuesday, which examined 31,000 first-year math students across the province's 24 community colleges.
"Women in their 30s and 40s who go back to school have had to juggle so many roles that they can organize their time and study independently - life skills many young students haven't mastered," said Orpwood, who coordinated the joint tracking project by York University and Seneca College.
Read the full story at: thestar.com
Mosquito 'nose transplant' a breakthrough in wiping out malaria
Five years of exhaustive research has yielded the key to thwarting "the most dangerous animal on the planet:" its nose.
Scientists at two American universities have pulled apart the 70 different and distinct receptors that work in a mosquito's nose, or antennae, and let the insects navigate a deadly accurate course for human flesh.
The discovery represents a major advance in the all-out war by scientists around the world and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to eradicate malaria.
Read the full story at: thestar.com
Good News in Race to Save Tasmanian Devils
Fierce as they are, Tasmanian devils cannot beat a contagious cancer that threatens to wipe them out. Now scientists think they've found the disease's origin, a step in the race to save Australia's snarling marsupial.
The furry black animals spread a fast-killing cancer when they bite each other's faces. Since the disease's discovery in 1996, their numbers have plummeted by 70 percent. Last spring, Australia listed the devils - made famous by their Looney Tunes cartoon namesake Taz - as an endangered species.
There is no treatment, and little hope of finding one until scientists better understand what is fueling this bizarre "devil facial tumor disease." So an international research team picked apart the cancer's genes, and discovered that it apparently first arose in cells that protect the animals' nerves.
Read the full story at: CBSnews
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