This Week’s Good News From Around The World (February 18th, 2017)

Animals

Rare Owl Spotted in Utah

A rare Great Grey Owl was spotted in Utah this February for the first time in 30 years. Footage of the owl was captured on February 9th by Utah resident Chris Olpin, and the species was later verified by Russel Norvell, a biologist and avian conservation coordinator with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. [KSL.com]

Iowa City Plans Ambitious Bee Paradise


The city of Cedar Rapids in Iowa has revealed an ambitious plan to devote 1,000 acres of land to the creation of a “bee paradise,” populated with bee-friendly prairie grasses and wildflowers. This spring, the city will seed 188 acres with a mixture of 39 species of wildflower and 7 species of prairie grass. Over time, city officials hope that the new habitat will help to reverse some of the damage done by agriculture, pollution, and loss of habitat due to development. [PopSci.com]


Art and Culture

Palmyra Busts Restored in Rome

Ancient stone sculptures that were destroyed by Isis extremists in Palmyra, Syria have been meticulously restored by Italian conservationists. The sculptures, funerary busts dating back to the 2nd century A.D., were smashed with hammers during the 2015 siege of the ancient city, which was designated as an archaeological site and a museum. Experts in Rome have been able to create 3-D resin copies of the smashed faces, reattaching what was lost. [Telegraph.co.uk]

App Database Aims to Make First Nations History Accessible

Adrian Duke, a Saskatchewan resident originally from the Muscowpetung First Nation in the southeast of the province, is creating a digital database of First Nations’ history. The app, which was launched in its pilot form this week, is called Wikiupedia, a play on the words “Wikipedia” and “Wikiup,” a traditional aboriginal form of housing. During the app’s beta phase, Duke hopes to collect hundreds of stories from First Nations’ people. [CBC.ca]


Environment

Ultra-Green Office Building Under Development in Waterloo

In Waterloo, Ontario, developers are constructing one of the most energy-efficient buildings in existence. The building, known as Evolv1, will house offices in the David Johnston Research and Technology Park. A collaboration between the Sustainable Waterloo Region, the Cora Group and EY Canada, the building will be so energy efficient that it will produce more energy than it consumes. [TheRecord.com]

Denmark School Installs Record-Breaking Solar Facade

A school in Denmark has installed the world’s largest solar facade, according to developers. The Copenhagen International School is completely covered in solar tiles that will produce 300MWh of energy per year, or roughly half of the school’s annual power consumption. Based on new technology developed in Switzerland, the tiles reflect only a certain spectrum of light, creating a beautiful sea-green color on the outside of the school. [DailyPlanet.org]

American Support for Renewable Energy Grows

According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of Americans now believe that developing alternative energy resources is more important to sustain the U.S.’ power supply than the production of fossil fuels. Pew’s survey indicates that support for alternative energy grew 5 percent since December 2014 to reach 65 percent. [PewResearch.org]

Pope Francis Expresses Support for First Nations Against DAPL

In a U.N. agricultural meeting on Wednesday, Pope Francis expressed his support for First Nations who are fighting the installation of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Speaking to aboriginal leaders who attended the meeting, the pope noted that “the right to prior and informed consent” should always take precedent in any negotiation over development on First Nations’ land. [AHTribune.com]


Science and Medicine

First 3-D Printed Spinal Surgery in India Helps Woman Walk Again

A 32-year-old woman suffering from spinal tuberculosis can walk again thanks to new 3-D printed vertebrae. The surgery, which occurred on Tuesday at Gurgaon Hospital in Haryana, India, was the first of its kind in the country, and used titanium implants that were 3-D printed from detailed CT and MRI scans of the woman’s spine. [HindustanTimes.com]

Harvard Scientists on Track to Create Hybrid Woolly Mammoth

A team of scientists at Harvard University says they are close to being able to “resurrect” the Woolly Mammoth, a species that went extinct over 4,000 years ago. Professor George Church stated that he and his team are two years away from being able to produce a hybrid embryo which would combine some Woolly Mammoth  genetic traits with Asian elephant DNA. [TheGuardian.com]

Saskatchewan First Nations Discuss Success of HIV Awareness Program

First Nations health care professionals met in Saskatoon this week for a forum to discuss the success of the “Know Your Status” program. The program was devised as a way to improve HIV testing facilities in First Nations’ communities, and to allow residents to get the proper testing and medical care. Thanks to the program, the Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation and Big River First Nation report that 90 percent of HIV+ individuals are aware of their status and have treatment. [GlobalNews.ca]

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Dallas Jeffs is a freelance writer, art school grad and lover of all things sci-fi. Visit her personal website HappySpaceNoises for book and art reviews, or follow her on Twitter.