Only Good News

Updated: Sep 15

Today's uplifting bundle of good news nuggets.

  • What if Olympic medal tally performance was related to population size? Some countries over-perform, like USA and China, given their population size. How about an alternative ranking system which looks at the number of medals won per million people? In this scenario, the tiny European nation of San Marino, with a population of just over 33,000, comes out on top, even though it earned only three medals.

  • Missing the Olympics? Netflix’s thrilling new show will fill the gap with its deep dives into astonishing moments from sports history. Check out Untold.

  • Raise a glass to Max Woosey: In early 2020, the 11 year set out to raise £100 for a Devon hospice by being sponsored for camping in his garden. But his charity pitch became a marathon as the money kept rolling in. This week, Max, from Braunton in north Devon, will enjoy – and he insists it really is enjoyment – his 500th consecutive night camping out, an adventure that has thus far raised a very impressive £640,000 ($885,000) for charity.

  • Hats off to Brian Schwartz of New Jersey: He was laid off from his job in June 2020 due to the pandemic but, to stay busy, he started mowing lawns for the elderly and veterans in his community for free. And so, IWantToMowYourLawn.com was born. The website allows users to type in their ZIP codes from anywhere in the country to find volunteers for yard work; or to sign up as a volunteer. What started in a few counties of New Jersey has expanded to 16 states. "It's a little overwhelming, but it's inspiring," Schwartz said, "just to know that I'm making a difference."

  • The UK’s low carbon economy is now worth more than £200bn, four times the size of the country’s manufacturing sector, with growth expected to accelerate in the coming years, according to new analysis. The report found more than 75,000 businesses from wind turbine manufacturers to recycling plants employ more than 1.2 million people in the green economy. Experts say the sector not only has the potential to help tackle the climate crisis but also create sustainable jobs and improve people’s quality of life – with cleaner transport, reduced air pollution and better insulated homes.

  • The world’s biggest balloon, the size of a soccer stadium, is to be sent to the edge of space. The instrument, known as SuperBIT, will fly above the Earth’s atmosphere next April carrying a wide field telescope to rival Hubble, but at a fraction of the cost. SuperBIT will study dark matter, the invisible ‘glue’ that makes up 80 percent of all the stuff in the universe. The collaboration between NASA, the Canadian Space Agency, Durham, Toronto, and Princeton universities, cost £1.5 million ($2 million) to build compared to the £3.6 billion ($5 billion) for NASA’s Hubble.

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What happened next...

A man decided to hang up a boxing bag in a forest (and install a spy cam) to see what happened.