• Daily Digest

    Daily Digest 12/6 – Good News Friday: Farming For The Future, Why Children Really Believe In Santa Claus

    by Daily Digest

    Friday, December 6, 2019, 5:44 AM

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!


Researchers Find A Remarkable Ripple Effect When You Give Cash To Poor Families (tmn)

Edward Miguel, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, and a co-author of the study, says that until now, research on cash aid has almost exclusively focused on the impact on those receiving the aid. And a wealth of research suggests that when families are given the power to decide how to spend it, they manage the money in ways that improve their overall well-being: Kids get more schooling; the family’s nutrition and health improves.

How a Curious Mammal Evolved Its Venom (jdargis)

Another venomous mammal among the solenodon’s relatives, the northern short-tailed shrew, also has kallikreins in its venom.

“To us, it was a real surprise to find very similar proteins in the venom of the solenodon and shrews,” Dr. Casewell said.

Americans Finally See Climate Change as the Urgent Crisis It Is (tmn)

Age is another key variable. While 70% of 18- to 29-year-olds think climate change is a serious problem or crisis, just 58% over 65 concur. Younger people are far more likely to consider it a personal responsibility to address the climate crisis and to believe that a transition to 100% renewable energy is viable.

Turner Prize nominees form a collective so they all win (tmn)

On their joint win – which is a first in the history of the coveted prize – the winners said they wanted to make a collective statement in this divisive political era. Their joint letter to the jury said: “At this time of political crisis in Britain and much of the world, when there is already so much that divides and isolates people and communities, we feel strongly motivated to use the occasion of the prize to make a collective statement in the name of commonality, multiplicity and solidarity – in art as in society.”

Why children really believe in Santa Claus (Thomas R.)

Childhood is a unique, evolved life-stage in which sexual maturation is delayed in favor of brain growth and social learning. Historically, the only way to learn about something you haven’t directly experienced was to rely on testimony. Children can differentiate between fantasy and history, evaluate the strength of evidence, and prefer claims with scientific framing. Children in many cultures are less likely than adults to appeal to supernatural explanations for unlikely events. In fact, children learn to make supernatural claims.

Low Carbon Living: Solar Shower Blues (Kara S.)

My shower soundtrack is the absolute best. As I soap my stinky armpits, there’s a woodpecker hammering in the drooping river birches over the ravine. There’s a mourning dove saying hoo-HOO-woo-woo off to the south near the pond. And right behind me is an indigo bunting, the bluest blue bird on Earth. I can’t see him, but I can hear him insistently calling his mate, or possibly calling out his rival: chip-chip!

Scientists used speakers to make dead coral reefs sound healthy. The fish came back (Adam)

“Healthy coral reefs are remarkably noisy places — the crackle of snapping shrimp and the whoops and grunts of fish combine to form a dazzling biological soundscape. Juvenile fish hone in on these sounds when they’re looking for a place to settle,” said one of the study’s authors, Steve Simpson, a professor of marine biology and global change at the University of Exeter.

Farming for the Future: Improving soil health for better yields (newsbuoy)

What’s the greatest challenge facing farmers in the Midwest?

Many would say the erratic weather. In 2019, farmers in the Corn Belt experienced some of the rainiest springs on record, leaving many fields unplanted because of flooding and excess moisture. According to the USDA, farmers affected planted only 71% of their planned soybean crop in May. And by mid-June, Iowa temperatures generally become too high for successful planting. Nationwide, nearly 20 million acres were prevented from planting.

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