His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
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World's first solar panel 'carpet' on railway tracks may generate electricity
23 March 2023 - European startup Sun-Ways has devised a mechanical device to deploy removable solar panels along railway tracks. This innovation could be implemented on half of the railway lines across the globe, according to the Swizerland-based energy startup. (more)

Swiss organic food sales jump sharply
22 March 2023 - Sales of organic food have risen 22.5 percent in four years, compared with an increase of 6.9 percent for non-organic food in Switzerland over the same period. According to the survey by the Federal Office for Agriculture, the vast majority of respondents intend to maintain or increase their organic consumption in the future. (more)

'A living pantry': How an urban food forest in Arizona became a model for climate action
21 March 2023 - Near downtown Tucson, Arizona, is Dunbar Spring, a neighborhood unlike any other in the city. The unpaved sidewalks are lined with native, food-bearing trees and shrubs fed by rainwater diverted from city streets. One single block has over 100 plant species, including native goji berries, desert ironwood with edamame-like seeds, and chuparosa bushes with cucumber-flavored flowers. (more)

Persian New Year 2023: What is Nowruz spring festival all about?
21 March 2023 - Fireworks, light shows, and even celebrations with people jumping over fire are happening across the world to mark Nowruz, a festival marking the Persian New Year. It's a celebration which goes back over 3000 years, which makes it one of the oldest festivals in the world. It happens every year in the build up to the first day of spring, which varies between the 19th and 21st of March. (more)

UK: Poet Laureate writes new poem in celebration of World Poetry Day
21 March 2023 - The poet laureate, Simon Armitage, has written a new poem which pays homage to spring, in celebration of World Poetry Day. Plum Tree Among the Skyscrapers is the first in a collection of poems inspired by blossom and commissioned by the National Trust. Its publication marks the beginning of the Trust's annual blossom campaign, in which the charity will vow to bring blossom back to landscapes across the UK by planting 20m trees by 2030 to help tackle both the climate and nature crises. (more)

World Poetry Day
21 March 2023 - Held every year on 21 March, World Poetry Day celebrates one of humanity's most treasured forms of cultural and linguistic expression and identity. UNESCO first adopted 21 March as World Poetry Day during its 30th General Conference in Paris in 1999, with the aim of supporting linguistic diversity through poetic expression and increasing the opportunity for endangered languages to be heard. (more)

The world's happiest countries for 2023
20 March 2023 - There's cause for optimism in the latest report on world happiness. For one, benevolence is about 25 percent higher than it was pre-pandemic. 'Benevolence to others, especially the helping of strangers, which went up dramatically in 2021, stayed high in 2022,' John Helliwell, one of the authors of the World Happiness Report, said in an interview with CNN. (more)

Finland named happiest country in the world for sixth year in a row
20 March 2023 - Want to live in the happiest country in the world? It might be time to move to Finland. The Scandinavian nation has just been named the happiest country in the world by the World Happiness Report for the sixth year in a row, beating other countries such as Denmark, Iceland, and Israel to nab the top spot. Both Norway and Sweden join Finland in the top 10. Other countries included in the top 10 are the Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg and New Zealand. Lithuania is the only new country to be listed in the top 20, moving up more than 30 places since 2017. (more)

International Day of Happiness 20 March
20 March 2023 - What is the International Day of Happiness? It's a day to be happy, of course! Since 2013, the United Nations has celebrated the International Day of Happiness as a way to recognize the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world. Happiness is a fundamental human goal. ...The United Nations invites each person of any age, plus every classroom, business, and government to join in celebration of the International Day of Happiness. (more)

Report: People happier during pandemic due to kindness
20 March 2023 - COVID-19 caused widespread disruptions to people's lives and global economies -- but a major new study finds people are slightly happier than before the pandemic began. ...The report found global misery declined slightly during the pandemic. The 'undoubted pains' the world faced over the pandemic 'were offset by increases in the extent to which respondents had been able to discover and share the capacity to care for each other in difficult times,' according to the report. (more)

Rare star on the brink of going supernova photographed by the James Webb Space Telescope
19 March 2023 - In the short time since it was launched into outer space, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has been dazzling the public with stunning views of the universe. A newly released photo by NASA is a reminder of how much incredible imagery is yet to come. This JWST photo of a Wolf-Rayet star named WR 124 is a rare look at one of the luminous -- and massive -- stars that exist. (more)

NASA's Webb Telescope captures rarely seen prelude to supernova
19 March 2023 - The rare sight of a Wolf-Rayet star -- among the most luminous, most massive, and most briefly detectable stars known -- was one of the first observations made by NASA's James Webb Space Telescope in June 2022. Webb shows the star, WR 124, in unprecedented detail with its powerful infrared instruments. The star is 15,000 light-years away in the constellation Sagitta. (more)

NASA scientist inspired by Dr Maggie's appointment
18 March 2023 - A woman who is working at NASA has spoken of how inspired she was by the appointment of Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock as her former university's chancellor. Dr Aderin-Pocock, who presents The Sky at Night, took on the role at the University of Leicester this month. Naomi Rowe-Gurney, 32, a former student at the university, said she had been inspired by Dr Aderin-Pocock's career. 'I couldn't believe a black woman was on TV talking about space science,' she said. (more)

UK: Clean up of nurdle-polluted Southampton Chessel Bay nature reserve
18 March 2023 - A nature reserve in Southampton [England] is one of the worst cases of micro plastics pollution in the country, environmental campaigners have said. Chessel Bay on the banks of the River Itchen has been blighted by millions of nurdles, plastic pellets washed ashore. The site is being cleaned by not-for-profit company using its specially-designed machinery. (more)

St Patrick's Day: Thousands gather for events in Northern Ireland
17 March 2023 - Thousands of people have taken part in St Patrick's Day festivities in Northern Ireland. Celebrations kicked off in County Fermanagh on Thursday night with the inaugural St Patrick's Eve flotilla. Friday's music-themed parade in Belfast started at 13:30 with hundreds gathered around City Hall to enjoy musicians and Irish dancers. Pipers joined the Belfast parade, which had a music theme this year. Celebrations started early in County Fermanagh with several dozen vessels lit up for the occasion on Thursday evening. The boats sailed through Enniskillen, past the illuminated castle, and people gathered along the banks of the River Erne to watch them. (more)

Biden hosting Irish Prime Minister on St. Patrick's Day
17 March 2023 - President Joe Biden is set to host Ireland's Prime Minister [Leo Varadkar, known as the Taoiseach,] on Friday, after the COVID-19 pandemic scuttled the longstanding St. Patrick's Day meetup two years in a row. ...Biden will also host a reception for Varadkar later Friday at the White House, which was itself designed and built by an Irish-born man, James Hoban. He oversaw the initial construction, rebuilding after it was burned down, and adding renovations until his death in 1831. (more)

For years he sang about the Irish teen who was Ellis Island's first arrival. Then he learned she was his cousin
17 March 2023 - The story of Annie Moore captivated audiences from the moment she arrived on American shores. On January 1, 1892, reporters from New York newspapers looked on as Moore walked through the large double doors of the new federal immigration depot at Ellis Island. She'd traveled on the SS Nevada on a 12-day journey from Queenstown, Ireland, with two younger brothers by her side. ...According to the newspaper accounts, a Catholic priest blessed Moore and a top official handed her a $10 gold coin to commemorate the occasion. Then she and her brothers were escorted to a waiting room to reunite with their parents, who'd been living in New York for four years. (more)

US: EPA sets 'groundbreaking' limits on toxic 'forever chemicals' in drinking water
17 March 2023 - The US Environmental Protection Agency has taken the extraordinary step of setting legal drinking water limits for six of the most studied and toxic PFAS compounds, known commonly as 'forever chemicals', that are at the center of an ongoing environmental crisis. The new limits mark the first time in 26 years that the EPA has set legal limits for a contaminant in drinking water. (more)

Our Ocean Conference in Panama draws nearly $20 billion, marine biodiversity commitments
16 March 2023 - International delegates attending the eighth annual Our Ocean Conference in Panama March 2-3 have pledged billions to protect the world's oceans. Participants made 341 commitments worth nearly $20 billion, including funding for expanding and improving marine protected areas and biodiversity corridors. Previous Our Ocean conferences have generated more than 1,800 commitments worth approximately $108 billion. (more)

St Patrick's Day: Thousands expected at Northern Ireland festivals
16 March 2023 - Towns and cities across Northern Ireland, and many other parts of the world, will host parades and other festivities on Friday [17 March] to celebrate St Patrick's Day. BBC News NI [Northern Ireland] lists some of the biggest events on offer this year. (more)

Still time to save Our Wild Isles, say UK conservation charities
15 March 2023 - Three of Britain's biggest conservation charities are joining forces to try to halt the destruction of UK nature. They say they want to use their collective voice to call on everyone to act now to protect the natural world. Between them, The National Trust, WWF [World Wildlife Fund], and RSPB [Royal Society for the Protection of Birds] have 8.5 million members. The 'Save Our Wild Isles' campaign aims to use Sir David Attenborough's new five-part series focusing on UK nature to help catalyze action. (more)

US: EPA to limit toxic 'forever chemicals' in drinking water
15 March 2023 - The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday [14 March] proposed the first federal limits on harmful 'forever chemicals' in drinking water, a long-awaited protection the agency said will save thousands of lives and prevent serious illnesses, including cancer. The plan would limit toxic PFAS chemicals to the lowest level that tests can detect. PFAS, or per- and polyfluorinated substances, are a group of compounds that are widespread, dangerous, and expensive to remove from water. (more)

UK swan conservation success gives cause for hope
14 March 2023 - Numbers of whooper swans are predicted to double in the UK by 2030, thanks to efforts to protect the wetlands where they spend the winter. The bird, known for its trumpet-like call, flies in from Iceland to overwinter at nature reserves. (more)

What to know about pi on Pi Day
14 March 2023 - Here's why we care about pi and its day of celebration, which is March 14. Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, or approximately 3.14. Pi Day occurs on March 14, because the date is written as 3/14 in the United States. If you're a serious math geek, celebrate the day exactly at 1:59 a.m. or p.m. so you can reach the first six numbers of pi, 3.14159. March 14 is also Albert Einstein's birthday. (more)

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