2022 ends in two days, and the team at Wendover Productions put together a list of 22 problems that have been “solved” during the year. It’s a nice video recap of some of the good things that humanity got up to this past year. Let’s hope 2023 sees even more solutions we can celebrate.
YouTube user, @kapitanbaobao9222 summed up the list with timestamps:
1) 1:48 NASA nails asteroid
2) 3:03 US joins Kigali amendment
3) 4:05 purportedly extinct species make comeback
4) 5:11 malaria vaccine progresses through trials
5) 6:33 lyme disease vaccine nearing market return
6) 8:04 US soccer teams strike monumental deal
7) 8:58 free lunches programs expand
8) 10:04 Europe standardizing charging ports
9) 11:02 US ev tipping point hit this year
10) 12:13 plan created for plugging orphan wells
11) 13:28 Canada pilots prescriptions for outdoors time
12) 14:18 military suicides see decline
13) 15:26 HIV vaccines progressing through trails
14) 16:18 art museums solve funding issue
15) 17:08 battery swap technology spreading
16) 18:22 ethereum achieves major efficiency gain
17) 19:42 MLB figures out authentication
18) 20:54 Klamath river set for return
19) 22:03 Intel launches deepfake detector
20) 22:47 solution for removing pfa’s found
21) 24:16 US States ban slavery
22) 25:42 nuclear fusion breakthrough
Plastic waste is everywhere and the tinier the plastic is the harder it is to deal with. These microplastics are proving to be very difficult to address which has sent researchers looking into all sort of solutions. One solution is already up and running in some places: sand filters in water systems. It turns out that some existing sand filtration systems can capture plastic nano particles.
The results are now in, and they include some reassuring findings. In areportpublished today in theJournal of Hazardous Materials, the researchers show that even if untreated water contained considerable quantities of nanoplastics, these particles were retained in sand filters very efficiently during water treatment. Both in laboratory tests and in a larger test facility located directly on the premises of the Zurich Water Works, the biologically active slow sand filter was the most effective at retaining nanoparticles – achieving an efficacy level in the region of 99.9%.
Exciting personal space law news! In 2018 a whistleblower told me about a new satellite thruster that used mercury, the poisonous liquid metal, as a propellant, and that it would inevitably fall back to earth when used, thus beginning my Space Lawyer arc
Kevin Bell, space lawyer, got word from a whistleblower that a company planned on making satellites that use mercury as a propellent. Thanks to their efforts a global rainstorm of mercury was avoided.
They took their concerns to the American government and were confronted by a lot of departments denying it was their responsibility. So they went further and got the United Nations to ban the use of the deadly metal in orbit!
“The Minamata Convention on Mercury seeks to eliminate all mercury uses where technically-achievable non-mercury alternatives are available,” said Elena Lymberidi-Settimo, ZMWG Coordinator at the European Environmental Bureau. “In the case of satellite propulsion systems, mercury-free alternatives have been available and used for decades.”
COVID-19 revealed to many the precariousness of modern “free trade” supply chains, indeed the pandemic supply chain issue is still impacting us to this day. Various international deals that favour profits over people put us in this situation, so how do we get out of it? This is the question many are trying to answer and now there’s a website to help. Import Yeti lets NGOs, companies, and anyone examine the supply chains of any company based in the USA.
Bill of ladings are public information that every large eCom owner or FBA seller I know uses but they are too cost prohibitive, challenging to obtain and difficult to use for the average joe. ImportYeti’s goal is to solve that problem.
Animals warn each other whenever a predator approaches, and in some cases they help each other. In the case of sperm whales they share defensive measures to avoid being killed by whalers. When whalers first started hunting sperm whales they were very successful; however, their effective harpooning rate soon started to drop. Researchers have been able to demonstrate that the whales shared knowledge to help them survive.
This provides another example of group intelligence in animals and can add to the argument that animals need protection as nonhuman persons.
Animals can mitigate human threats, but how do they do this, and how fast can they adapt? Hunting sperm whales was a major 19th Century industry. Analysis of data from digitized logbooks of American whalers in the North Pacific found that the rate at which whalers succeeded in harpooning (striking) sighted whales fell by about 58% over the first few years of exploitation in a region. This decline cannot be explained by the earliest whalers being more competent, as their strike rates outside the North Pacific, where whaling had a longer history, were not elevated. The initial killing of particularly vulnerable individuals would not have produced the observed rapid decline in strike rate. It appears that whales swiftly learned effective defensive behaviour. Sperm whales live in kin-based social units. Our models show that social learning, in which naïve social units, when confronted by whalers, learned defensive measures from grouped social units with experience, could lead to the documented rapid decline in strike rate. This rapid, large-scale adoption of new behaviour enlarges our concept of the spatio- temporal dynamics of non-human culture.