Blue Sky Times: Pompeii, Four-Day Work Weeks and Legally Protected Whales

The news column of The Loyola Phoenix.

The year is coming to a close and with that comes the end of the Blue Sky Times. Over the last academic year, us news editors have brought The Phoenix good news stories from all around the world.

Though Blue Sky Times stories won’t be in The Phoenix for a while, one of the goals of the column was to inspire people to find the good news even in times when it’s not directly presented to us. Over the summer months, look for something uplifting to read, get excited about sunny days and always remember there are good times ahead. Here are this week’s good news stories.

New Paintings in Pompeii

New paintings were discovered this week by the director of Pompeii archaeological park Gabriel Zuctrica. The paintings are known as Frescos, paintings done on fresh plaster, and depict Greek myths such as Helen of Troy, the BBC reported

Zuctrica said he believes the paintings would have been used by the owners and guests of the house to tell stories to each other at night, according to BBC. He said when light would hit the paintings it would make it look like “the paintings were almost coming to life.”

Pompeii is an ancient city in Italy that was buried after Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, according to the BBC. Pompeii is seen as a way to look into the Roman Empire and archeologists learn more and more about it after each dig, according to the BBC.

Four-Day Work Weeks

Nearly one-third of major U.S. companies are considering the implementation of a four-day or four-and-a-half-day work week for their employees, according to a CNN.

Of U.S. workers, 77% have said they would appreciate a shortened work week, according to the article, which said shortened work weeks have a positive effect on employee productivity and happiness.

Artificial intelligence may play a role in the implementation of this new schedule as it has the ability to take over more mundane tasks such as writing emails while employees are out of office. 

Whales Personified

Indigenous leaders in New Zealand continued a global trend of protecting nature by personifying it with a recent treaty granting whales legal personhood early this month, NPR reported.

The treaty is a first step towards protecting the whales, called tohorā by the Māori, from ship collisions by enabling legislation to be written protecting them by governments across their vast migratory ranges, according to NPR.

Whales are especially important in combating climate change and capture massive amounts of carbon throughout their lives. After death their carcasses sink to the sea floor and bring the carbon down with them instead of returning it to the atmosphere. Ralph Chami, CEO of Blue Green Future, estimates the value of this carbon-capturing could be worth $2 million per whale, NPR reported.
Have a great few months everyone. It has been a pleasure bringing you good news over this last year. Remember, as The Beatles once said and as we quoted in the first edition of the Blue Sky Times, “The sun is up, the sky is blue / it’s beautiful, and so are you.”  

This story was written by Isabella Grosso, Lilli Malone and Hunter Minnè

Featured Image by Aidan Cahill / The Phoenix.

The Phoenix Staff

The Phoenix Staff