3 Good Things: Catching rays, counting blessings and listening to space

Karlotta Freier / For The Times

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Soak up the sun

Nature’s solar panels just got a little better at collecting energy and turning it into food. Researchers have altered the genes of soy plants so their leaves are more efficient at photosynthesis, which improves yields from the plant. This technology isn’t ready for farms just yet, but it has the potential to someday feed billions of people — not by devoting more land to agriculture or by adding more fertilizer, but simply by making better use of sunlight.

And baby makes ... 101

A 99-year-old woman in Pennsylvania just met her 100th great-grandchild, and then in short order her 101st arrived. Peggy Koller grew up an only child and resolved to surround herself with family. She and her husband had 11 children, who had 56 children, who had 101 children — so far.

The sound of a black hole

Space isn’t quite as quiet as we thought. Sound waves can’t travel through a vacuum, but NASA has collected data on a galaxy cluster that contains so much gas that that region of space can transmit sound. The space agency used data from there to create audio so we can hear a black hole. I defy anyone to listen without feeling a little disturbed and a lot impressed.


And one more ...

There’s hope for September and October to bring smoother air travel than this hellacious summer, because demand is likely to drop. Already, U.S. domestic airfares have been down 37% for September and October travel from their highs over the summer.

A weekly feature aiming to provide some relief from doomscrolling.

May 6, 2022