Daily Digest 10/9 – Good News Friday: Nobel Prizes For Genome and Black Hole Research, Ideas For Post-Covid Cities, Visualized

This is Good News Friday, where we find some good economic, energy, and environmental news and share it with PP readers. Please send any positive news to [email protected] with subject header “Good News Friday.” We will save and post weekly. Enjoy!


It’s Getting Better and Worse at the Same Time (tmn)

Are you worried about climate change? You should be, as its costs are becoming increasingly evident, but there are some hopeful developments: Over the last 10 years, costs for solar modules have fallen by about 90% and for lithium-ion batteries by 87%, with further progress likely in both cases. Neither of those gains were obviously in the cards until they happened, and they were brought about by a sense of crisis. These innovations still need to be integrated into the energy infrastructure, but the idea of a near-zero-carbon-emissions future no longer seems absurd.

The Dangerous Approach of Living Without Purpose (DennisC)

Napoleon Hill once said “There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.

In order to get what you want, you have to choose one direction and move towards it, constantly improving over a prolonged period of time.

In a pandemic-driven world, trust in science is rising (jdargis)

Similar things happened in terms of trust, with post-pandemic answers showing the highest level of trust in science recorded since 3M started polling. The same is true for trust in scientists themselves. The actual rise was small (about 5 percent), but the numbers were high to begin with. When you start at about 80 to 85 percent, there isn’t much room to grow.

(If you pay attention to these percentages, you’ll notice some people say both that they’re skeptical of science and that they trust science. That sort of thing isn’t unusual in these sorts of polls and may represent people responding to the different contexts the questions are asked in.)

2 Scientists Awarded Nobel Prize In Chemistry For Genome Editing Research (TS)

“Once in a long time, an advance comes along that utterly transforms an entire field and does so very rapidly,” says Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, which has long supported Doudna’s research. “You cannot walk into a molecular biology laboratory today, working on virtually any organism, where CRISPR-Cas9 is not playing a role in the ability to understand how life works and how disease happens. It’s just that powerful.”

Physics Nobel Awarded for Black Hole Breakthroughs (JK)

Black holes are regions that contain so much matter packed within so little space that gravity has a runaway effect: The matter collapses toward a central point of immense density, called a singularity. Everything within a certain distance of the singularity becomes gravitationally trapped, destined to fall inward. Even light that passes inside the black hole’s spherical surface of no return, called the event horizon, gets sucked in, which makes black holes invisible.

A Choir Finds a Way to Sing. Just Ignore the Steering Wheel. (jdargis)

It started with David Newman, a baritone on the voice faculty of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. In May, after a widely discussed web conference on the dangers of singing, Mr. Newman set up a sound system with four wireless microphones, an old-school analog mixer and an amplifier. Several singers gathered in their cars on his street, and he conducted them from his driveway.

LeBron James joins ‘Breakfast of Champions’ along with Akron I Promise kids on next Wheaties box (TS)

James’ mother, Gloria, told those attending a breakfast at the conference Wednesday morning that as a single mom she had to resort to cereal for dinner some nights because money was so tight.

And sometimes, she said, it was Wheaties and a young LeBron would marvel at the athletes on the box, never imagining that someday he would join them. “This is something I never dreamed of,” she said.

From garden streets to bike highways: four ideas for post-Covid cities – visualised (tmn)

In our pandemic summer of 2020, cities exploded with bicycles as millions of people avoided public transport and took advantage of the sunny days to get around on two wheels.

The expansion of cycling infrastructure in car-centric cities from Moscow to Mexico City to Mumbai – and the corresponding pedestrianisation of space by closing streets to cars – has been one of the great global urban success stories of the 21st century, and architecture practice SOM proposes extending these measures.

The Winners of the 2020 Drone Photo Awards (JK)

Lots of good aerial photography in the 2020 Drone Photo Awards in several categories (abstract, urban, people, nature, wildlife).

Gold & Silver

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Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the “3 Es.”

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