Daily Digest 6/26 – Good News Friday: Cleaner Air Could Reshape What We Know About The Atmosphere, The Great Wonders Beyond the Great Reef

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!


Stranger stuns performer during recording of national anthem: ‘Unity not division’ (Sparky1)

Madisen Hallberg, a graduate of PSU’s College of the Arts, was working with the university’s video crew — who was in the process of recording speeches and performances to celebrate the graduating class of 2020 — when the chance moment took place.

While the team was recording Hallberg’s rendition of the national anthem on an outdoor stage, Emmanuel “Onry” Henreid, a professionally trained singer who performs with the Portland Opera, took notice and asked if he could join in.

U.S. House on verge of approving Washington, D.C., statehood (Sparky1)

Proponents say Washington’s 700,000 inhabitants – more than Vermont and Wyoming – have no voice in the federal government, despite paying federal taxes.

That status is protested with a slogan on Washington’s automobile license plates that screams: “Taxation without representation.

NASA Names Headquarters After Mary Jackson, Its First Black Female Engineer (TS)

While Jackson’s career spanned more than three decades, her contributions were largely overlooked until long after her death in 2005. She was one of the three trailblazing “human computers” portrayed in the 2016 film Hidden Figures, which tells the story of Black women’s work in the space race.

The portion of E Street SW in front of NASA Headquarters was renamed Hidden Figures Way in 2019. Bridenstine called the names a “reminder that Mary is one of many incredible and talented professionals in NASA’s history who contributed to this agency’s success.”

World’s 2nd-deadliest Ebola outbreak is over (TS)

“It wasn’t easy and, at times, it seemed like a mission impossible,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa, said in a statement Thursday. “Ending this Ebola outbreak is a sign of hope for the region and the world that with solidarity and science and courage and commitment, even the most challenging epidemics can be controlled.”

Europe officially sets its sights on a giant LHC successor (jdargis)

The tunnel would be truly enormous, with a circumference of roughly 100km, meaning a diameter of roughly 30km. That would mean it would pass under the nearby Lake Geneva, requiring much deeper tunnels than those used for the LHC. It would be a major and expensive construction project. But it would potentially get us a two-for-one, just as the tunnels occupied by the LHC did. Initially, an electron-positron collider would be built for a detailed characterization of the Higgs boson.

The Great Wonders Beyond the Great Reef (jdargis)

The Coral Sea lies northeast of Australia, adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef, and includes a vast protected zone known as the Coral Sea Marine Park. The investigation of its depths ran from late April to mid-June. In an apparent global first, the expedition was conducted remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic. A team of eight Australian scientists worked from their homes and linked up wirelessly with the Schmidt institute’s research vessel Falkor. The setup let them direct, in concert with the ship’s crew, the mapping, as well as the streaming of live video from a tethered robot, opening the dark abyss to human eyes.

Crows are watching your language, literally (tmn)

Ask any crow feeder about their ritual and there’s a good chance that it starts with more than just making themselves visible. To get “their” bird’s attention, about half of crow feeders start with some kind of auditory cue, like a whistle or gentle name calling.¹ Given that American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) can be individually distinguished by their calls, and many corvids—including the large-billed crows (Corvus macrorhynchos)—can recognize familiar conspecific* calls, this strategy seems far from superstitious.2,3 In fact, previous work has demonstrated that crows can discriminate human voices.

Pandemic’s Cleaner Air Could Reshape What We Know About the Atmosphere (jdargis)

Three other moments in recent history have seen economies slow suddenly and the skies clear enough to create a valuable research opportunity: Sept. 11, 2001, when airplanes were grounded and the skies were briefly free of chemical airplane pollution; the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when Chinese officials shut down the city and the soot-choked air cleared for about two weeks; and the financial meltdown in the fall of 2008.

But the pandemic clearing has been more dramatic, in duration and scope.

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