Happy Monday, dear friends! I hope you all had a lovely weekend and are ready for an awesome new week. We had a terrific weekend with a beautiful drive through fall foliage, a great anniversary celebration, and a wonderful wedding with lovely friends to boot.
So let’s all get settled in with a good strong cup of coffee, and get to the news, so we can move on with our day! Today, we jump all over the place for our stories.
Imagine a world where your debts are wiped clean. It happened for some folks this week!
Wonga, a payday loan company in the UK, has written off the debts of 330,000 individuals who have gotten behind on their loans. The company is also going to rework the loans of another 45,000 people, wiping out their interest and giving them more time to repay their loans. The move comes after pressure from the country’s financial watchdog, who says their lending practices must be revised, and new clients should be selected based on their ability to pay back their loans. This story really made me think of a future where we are all debt free! Another step in the right direction.
US citizens living abroad are handing in their passports in record numbers.
This summer, new rules went into affect in the US, that make it harder to avoid paying taxes. Citizens living abroad must fess up to their wealth, according to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, and pay their share of taxes. With the US looking for tax dodgers, and putting pressure on foreign banks to disclose information on individuals hiding their assets, over 9,000 Americans, living abroad, have given up their citizenship in the last 5 years. I guess they don’t feel like paying taxes to a country that they don’t live in, which seems odd to all the other countries as well, because the US is the only Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development nation that taxes citizens no matter where they live.
DNA sequencing of a thigh bone shows that humans interbreed with Neanderthals around 50,000 years ago.
A thigh bone, found in Siberia, is filled with secrets that challenge theories of human migration out of Africa. Scientists have analyzed the bone and done DNA sequencing, which represents the oldest human remains ever to be sequenced. The bone is about 45,000 years old and shows that modern humans existed in northern Asia, at a much earlier time than previously thought. The analysis showed what the man ate, and that his DNA contains a significant portion of Neanderthal genes. While the Neanderthal race became extinct, as humans flourished, most humans still carry traces of their DNA, which indicates significant interbreeding about 50,000 years ago. I guess love was blind, even back then!
What are those things flying backwards across the sun?
I love Suspicious Observers for their down to earth examination of all things space and weather. A dear reader sent in a comment about the video from October 25, 2014, saying that Observer was asking for help to identify two objects that moved slowly across the sun during the recent eclipse. It’s very exciting footage, and neat that he comes within a hair of saying they are galactic craft. He also says that the objects are flying in the opposite direction that an earth satellite would be moving, so that rules out a stray satellite or the International Space Station. Just a bit more proof that our galactic family is here and keeping an eye on things for us!
A simple solar still can create pure drinking water from sea water.
Gabriele Diamanti has traveled extensively, and he was very interested in the scarcity of fresh drinking water globally. After graduating from the Polytechnic Institute in Milan, he began to refocus on fresh water and created the Eliodomestico, an open-source variation on a solar still. The still is filled with salt water in the morning, and using the heat of the sun, water vapor is compressed through a tube and collected in the bottom of the still. The salt is removed in the process. He hopes that local craftsman, in areas that have a high need for fresh water, can take his instructions and create the simple design out of materials easily available in their area. The idea of using the sun to create drinking water means there are no energy costs involved in the process. It is a simple, affordable and green way to create fresh water, at the household level, for those in developing nations, which is really wonderful.
What do opera, food shopping and smiles have in common?
Another dear reader sent in this link, to help brighten your day. I really loved it and will simply share it so that you get the full effect! No spoilers here!
That’s the news for today! Have a great day, and I hope to see you back here tomorrow for more news!
Be Well. Be Joy. Be Love!