Terrorism at home, chemical warfare abroad, continued economic problems most everywhere . . . The bad news can be overwhelming. It is important, then, to keep an eye on the good news, both as an act of justice toward the rational and productive people who inspire the headlines, and as spiritual fuel for our own lives and efforts.
Here are a few such stories recently in the news:
- On April 29, Virgin Galactic “completed the first rocket-powered flight of its space vehicle, SpaceShipTwo.” Richard Branson, the company’s founder, said, “Now we’ll be ramping up the building of spaceships. . . . We’ll be ramping up the building of rockets. It’s going to be the start of a whole new era of space travel. It’s going to be tremendously exciting—everything is possible, I think, after today.”
- In South Korea, “A 2-year-old girl born without a windpipe now has a new one grown from her own stem cells.” This technology may eventually lead to doctors growing a variety of organs in a lab for patients.
- Last month researchers at the University of Southampton in England announced progress in creating “fiber cables that can move data at 99.7 percent of the speed of light.” Rather than send data through silica glass—through which data moves at “only” 69 percent of the speed of light—the new cable sends it through a hollow-core fiber, achieving the massive increase in speed. This technology could lead to essentially light-speed supercomputing and, if researchers can solve problems of data loss over long distances, a radically improved global internet.
- Swedish inventor Christian von Koenigsegg is working on a new type of “camshaft-free” combustion engine that may lead to a more powerful and more efficient engine. Koenigsegg and his team project their engine will soon provide 30 percent more horsepower while burning 30 percent less fuel.
Congratulations to these scientists and researchers for advancing technology in ways that dramatically improve human life—and for providing such powerful fuel for the soul.
As Ayn Rand said, “the sight of an achievement [is] the greatest gift that a human being could offer to others.”
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Image: Virgin Galactic