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A Rare Giant Plant Has Flowered for the First Time in 25 Years
After an incredible 25-year wait, a rare Agave succulent has finally bloomed at the University of Leicester's botanic garden, defying its old nickname "century plant." This stunning plant, native to Mexico and southern North America, typically flowers once in a lifetime after 25-30 years, and this particular Agave grew from seed in 1998 before revealing its magnificent flower spike, which can reach up to eight meters tall. The university's gardeners are ecstatic about the bloom and are looking forward to caring for the plant.
What Went Right: A Roundup of This Week's Best News
In a world full of negative headlines, it's easy to forget the good that's happening too. But we believe that good news matters, and there's tons of it to go around! Some of this week's best headlines include a UK hub nurturing the next generation of conservationists, a species that once vanished making a remarkable comeback, and a new research fund supporting BIPOC scientists! Plus, solar farms in space might be closer to becoming a reality!
A New Color-Changing Coating Could Provide an Eco-Friendly Method of Cooling Buildings
Scientists in China have drawn inspiration from the chameleon's ability to adapt to temperature changes and created a color-shifting coating for buildings that can regulate temperature passively. The coating changes color as the temperature fluctuates, reflecting or absorbing sunlight to keep buildings cool in summer and warm in winter without additional energy consumption. This innovative, cost-effective solution could significantly reduce energy use in regions with varying seasons, offering an environmentally friendly approach to heating and cooling.
The Internet's Favorite Time of the Year: Fat Bear Week is Coming
It's that time of year when Alaskan brown bears, who've fasted for about six months, are waking up and feasting on salmon, growing plumper by the day. This can only mean one thing: Fat Bear Week is upon us. This quirky yet endearing competition celebrates the bears' incredible journey from lean to chubby and lets viewers vote for their favorite one, and it provides a window into their lives for millions of online viewers. Beyond the fun, it highlights the health of the Katmai ecosystem, offering a glimpse into nature's wonders.
Two Family Dogs Kept a Missing Toddler Safe Overnight When She Was Lost in the Woods
A heartwarming story unfolded in Michigan's Upper Peninsula when a 2-year-old girl who had wandered away from her home was found safe in the woods, sleeping with two family dogs who had accompanied her. The girl was discovered about 3 miles from her home, using one of the dogs as a pillow while the other kept her safe. The community, along with state police and police dogs, came together in the search effort, leading to this remarkable and uplifting outcome.
New Research Shows That Lucid Dreaming Could Help Those Recovering From PTSD
New research suggests that lucid dreaming may have healing benefits, particularly for individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder. In the study, participants suffering from PTSD symptoms completed a six-day online lucid dreaming healing workshop. The results showed that 76% of participants were able to achieve at least one lucid dream during this period. These dreams were associated with significant improvements in self-reported PTSD symptoms, nightmare distress, well-being, and a decrease in negative affect.
The Fall Equinox Starts This Weekend - Here's What It Means for Your Day
The arrival of the fall equinox marks the official start of the autumn season in the Northern Hemisphere. During this special moment, Earth's axis aligns with its orbit, ensuring that both the northern and southern hemispheres receive nearly equal amounts of sunlight. This alignment results in day and night lasting almost the same duration, a phenomenon that gives the equinox its name, derived from Latin words meaning "equal" and "night."
How This AI-Powered Bird Migration Tracker is Saving Bird Lives
BirdCast, an AI-powered tracking technology developed by researchers at Cornell University, is helping to protect migratory birds and mitigate the impact of human activities on them. BirdCast uses radar data from the National Weather Service to monitor and predict the movements of birds during their migrations, providing real-time information to cities and organizations. By forecasting bird migrations and alerting communities to turn off lights, BirdCast has reduced bird fatalities and it has also been used to help predict avian flu outbreaks.
San Diego is Closing a Beach for Seven Years to Protect the Sea Lion Population
The San Diego City Council has unanimously voted to close Point La Jolla and parts of nearby Boomer Beach for seven years to protect the local sea lion population from human disturbances. he closure, spanning about 150 yards of coastline, aims to provide a safe space for sea lions to give birth, nurse, and breed without human interference. Visitors will still be able to observe the marine mammals behind barriers, and ocean access from the closed area will remain open.
How a High School Class Helped NASA Discover a Space Mystery
High school teacher Jonathan Swift and his students observed unexpected changes in the behavior of the asteroid Dimorphos following NASA's intentional crash into it during the DART mission. Dimorphos, which orbits its parent asteroid Didymos, appeared to be tumbling in its orbit and continuously slowing down for at least a month after the impact, contrary to NASA's predictions. The class's observations brought attention to these findings, and the DART team is planning to release more information, with further investigation scheduled for 2026 .
Global Rhino Numbers Are Rebounding in a Conservation Win
Global rhinoceros populations have shown signs of recovery, increasing to approximately 27,000, despite the devastating effects of poaching and habitat loss, according to figures released by the IUCN African Rhino Specialist Group. This increase is especially significant for southern white rhinos, which saw their numbers rise for the first time since 2012. The resurgence has been attributed to conservation efforts and the establishment of new populations.