Good News Friday

Updated: Sep 15

Wrapping up the week with a bundle of good news nuggets.

  • It's been a good year for Richard Hutchins, the homeless artist who became an Oprah-endorsed sensation. He spent years in jail and more on the street but now the 62-year-old’s artwork is selling for tens of thousands to stars like Oprah Winfrey.

  • Three portions of colourful fruit and vegetables a day can cut memory loss in old age by a fifth. When researchers at Harvard University followed 75,000 people in their late 40s and early 50s over a period of 20 years, they found that those with a diet rich in colourful foods were 20 per cent less likely to suffer cognitive decline. So, don't forget!

  • Following the good news that the mysterious “lost continent” of Zealandia had been discovered, it now seems Iceland may be the last exposed remnant of a nearly Texas-size continent - called Icelandia - that sank beneath the North Atlantic Ocean about 10 million years ago, according to an international team of geophysicists and geologists. The theory goes against long-standing ideas about the formation of Iceland and the North Atlantic, but the researchers say the theory explains both the geological features of the ocean floor and why Earth's crust beneath Iceland is so much thicker than it should be.

  • In previous Olympics, US Olympians won $37,500 for gold medals, while US Paralympic athletes won just $7,500. This year the playing field is finally being evened with the announcement that Paralympic athletes will be paid as much per medal as their Olympic counterparts.

  • On Tuesday, two alternative asset managers - TPG and Brookfield - closed a combined $12.4 billion in climate investment funds. That’s more committed in one day to green financing than used to be raised in years. At the same time, money for climate tech companies is going out the door at a record pace. According to Pitchbook, investment in climate tech this year had surpassed $14 billion by the end of June. Annualized, that pace would easily set a record.

  • Archaeologists in Casablanca, Morocco, have announced the discovery of north Africa’s oldest stone age hand-axe manufacturing site, dating back 1.3m years. The find pushes back by hundreds of thousands of years the start date in north Africa of the Acheulian stone-tool industry, associated with the human ancestor Homo erectus.

  • Public companies with too few women on their boards will be forced to explain themselves to the City of London under new proposals meant to boost diversity, amid claims the top table of corporate Britain remains “very male and white”. Those with fewer than two out of five female directors will be required to provide an annual statement to investors on why they have fallen short. At least one of the key board positions of chairman, chief executive, finance director or senior independent director should also be held by a woman under the “comply or explain” rules, the Financial Conduct Authority said.

  • Luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz just revealed its plan to go all-electric by the end of this decade. To kick off the transition in style, the company will unveil the EQXX concept car with a range of 620 miles (1000 km) next year, publishing this teaser picture. Elon Musk and engineers at Tesla surely have a lot of work ahead of them as competition heats up in the electric vehicle field. That's good news for us all.

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Rare and Sublime

Today's mood boosting nature video: Extraordinary collection of film clips of the magical behaviour of a wide selection of ocean creatures.