His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
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Five groundbreaking women researchers who mapped the ocean floor, tested atomic theories, vanquished malaria and more
30 March 2023 - Behind some of the most fascinating scientific discoveries and innovations are women whose names might not be familiar but whose stories are worth knowing.Here are five profiles from The Conversation's archive that highlight the brilliance, grit and unique perspectives of five women who worked in geosciences, math, ornithology, pharmacology and physics during the 20th century. (more)

Indian startup uses rice crop waste to make biodegradable foam packaging instead of burning it
29 March 2023 - A Delhi-based engineer has designed a replacement for polystyrene packaging out of 'rice stubble' the dead stalks left over after the rice season in India, millions of tons of which are burned every year. Mr. Arpit Dhupar he turns 250 metric tons of rice stubble harvested from 100 acres of farmland in Punjab and Haryana into packaging, while paying the farmers a rate of $30 per acre for something they would usually burn. (more)

Albania designates Europe's last 'wild river' as a national park
28 March 2023 - Albania's government has designated the Vjosa River in the southern part of the country as a national park, marking a victory for environmentalists who have been fighting for years against plans for hydropower plants along the waterway. Environmentalists and scientists have dubbed the Vjosa the last 'wild' river in Europe, as it flows uninterrupted for 270 km (170 miles) from Greece across southern Albania to the Adriatic Sea, without any dams or power stations. (more)

UK: Grazing animals introduced to Kent bison rewilding project
27 March 2023 - A bison rewilding project has welcomed a new cohort of grazing animals which ecologists say will improve biodiversity. Longhorn cattle, iron-age pigs and Exmoor ponies have joined the bison herd at the Wilder Blean Project near Canterbury, Kent. The animals have been introduced to naturally manage the woodland. (more)

Vatican returns Parthenon sculptures to Greece
26 March 2023 - The Vatican has returned three fragments of the Parthenon sculptures to Greece in a move that has been described as a 'gesture of friendship'. Greece hopes the move will spur other overseas institutions that hold Parthenon sculptures to return them. (more)

Indigenous funding model is a win-win for ecosystems and local economies in Canada
25 March 2023 - Over the past 15 years, First Nations in Haida Gwaii and central and northern coastal British Columbia, Canada, have turned the tables around: once subjected to massive economic, social and cultural damages due to the extractive logging industry, they have now successfully built a sustainable economy that focuses on protecting sensitive ecosystems, while increasing communities' well-being, a recent report shows. (more)

Finland is offering free vacations for people to come and learn how to be happy after being named the happiest country in the world
24 March 2023 - Finland has been named the happiest country in the world for the sixth year running. It's now offering 10 people a free trip to take part in a 'Masterclass of Happiness.' After repeated success in the area, Visit Finland is now offering ten people the chance to come to the country and learn how to be happy like the Finnish. (more)

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)

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