Wind power is an important part of any future renewables mix - and while the cost of wind turbines has come down substantially in recent decades, there's always progress to be made, as we continue from the old, wooden windmills grinding grain to sleek, modern nacelles of power.
And in this case, the progress is... making them out of wood. Now, this may sound a bit weird, but modern engineered lumber is incredibly strong - stronger than steel, if done correctly - and quite light, relatively. A lot of houses in North America are built with LVLs now rather than steel beams - and they're growing in popularity elsewhere, though nobody else has quite the abundance of wood that the US and Canada do.
As for the wooden turbines, they've already built one demonstration tower, and it seems like they're on the way to ramp up to full production. I'm a big fan of the aesthetics of wind turbines, and they're useful in a lot of the world where solar power needs some help, so I wish them the best of luck.
Art conservation is a painstaking, thankless process. People toil away in the background of museums and galleries to ensure that works of art don't degrade, and so future generations can enjoy them and see them as they were intended to be viewed, rather than through decades or centuries of decay.
Centuries-old sculpture, though, is particularly tricky to conserve, especially given it's generally hard to move around and place it in a controlled environment when it's part of the structure of a building. The tombs at the Medici Chapels in Florence are one of those, and rather than turn to the usual chemical or abrasive solutions - which themselves cause a little damage - they turned to bacteria.
A special strain of the bacteria Serratia ficaria was chosen which only ate the stains they wanted to remove, and didn't touch the surrounding stone, and it seems to have worked really well. The selectivity of the process seems particularly useful for other restorations - though since they've very specific, each stain type will probably need its own investigation and bacteria selection.
As a lot of the US heated up this week (though fortunately not as badly as the heat dome area), the pressure rose on electricity grids as everyone turned on their air conditioning. And, in many cases, those grids were designed and built in a previous era when people weren't using nearly as much power - or, in some cases, bad regulation means the capacity just isn't there.
While some utilities use a sneaky clause they made people agree to that lets them turn up thermostats remotely, New York City decided to just... ask nicely, and sent their residents an emergency message asking them to try and cut their load.
And, what do you know, it actually worked. Sure, it's not sustainable in terms of power management, but hopefully it helps while the US tries to finish building a reliable, modern power grid.
From New Zealand comes this story of two prison inmates who swapped from making meth to making yoghurt, and getting the idea so popular that it spread all over the country's prisons. It's weirdly heartening for a tale of incarceration.
It's also a good illustration of what could come from treating prisoners a bit more like the humans they are, and more rehabilitation-focused programmes rather than punishment-focused ones, I say. And, above all else, it just seems very in character for New Zealand.