Celebrating the start of the weekend with an eclectic bundle of upbeat news nuggets.
Jared Leto has become the first person to legally scale the Empire State Building - that's a whopping 1,250 feet (380m). The oscar-winning actor and singer climbed the iconic landmark to announce his band’s upcoming world tour. Thirty Seconds to Mars’ Massive Seasons 2024 world tour is the band’s first headline tour in five years and kicks off in Buenos Aires on 15 March 2024. There you go. Mission ccomplished. But he probably didn't do any shopping on the way up...
A tiny wooden shed perched on a steep cliff has earned the nickname of “most inconvenient convenience store” in the world. Hanging a whopping 120 meters (394 feet) above the ground, the tiny shop replenishes climbers with drinks and light refreshments in the Shiniuzhai Scenic Area in the Chinese province of Hunan, according to a recent report by state-run English-language newspaper China Daily. So, for a select few, it's likely to be considered a highly convenient store.
Place of Spirits
A massive initiative is underway to combine generations of Inuit knowledge and cutting-edge technology to protect and map 15,000 km2 of marine area off the coast of Torngat Mountains National Park - a Canadian national park located on the Labrador Peninsula. The area is a transition zone between Arctic and Atlantic habitats as well as a habitat for migrating ringed seals, narwhals, and minke whales, reports The Narwhal. Torngait, in the Inuttitut dialect, means “place of spirits.” It’s from this word that the Torngat Mountains derive their name and from the Inuit that they derive their protection.
A Good Decline
Incarceration rates in the US have been declining steadily over the course of this century. From 2000 to 2021, the imprisonment rate fell by 70 percent for Black women and by 48 percent for Black men. There's still a long way to go to overcome racial inequality, but this is genuine progress, says The 19th, an independent, nonprofit newsroom reporting on gender, politics and policy.
Strange But True
Road workers were "baffled" when they found a man stuck inside a traffic cone, reported Metro. The workers in Sao Paulo, Brazil, were removing the cones from an area of roadworks when they realised one of them was heavier than the others. Looking more closely, they spotted the outline of a man inside. After they freed him, he told the crew he had squeezed himself inside to get out of a rain storm but could not get out when the extreme weather passed.
T. Swift Jar
A man has created a Taylor Swift Jar which sees his wife paying a quarter whenever she mentions the music legend. Dan Rice, from Maryland, created the jar in response to how often his wife, Dana, mentions the star. A note on the front of the jar reads: "Taylor Swift Jar - Any mention of T. Swift and you owe $0.25. I can't take it anymore." The jar is a "spin" on the "swear jar" - which requires anyone to pay a fee to the jar after using a curse word.
Across the US, restrictions are going into effect to quiet the roar of leaf blowers. Gas-powered blowers have recently been banned in Washington, D.C., Florida's Miami Beach and Evanston, Illinois, with other cities soon to follow. Not only are the machines noisy, they pump out pollution. A recent report found lawn equipment emitted 30 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2020, more than the whole city of Los Angeles.
"The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls." Pablo Picasso
On This Day
11 November 1865: For her work as a surgeon during the American Civil War, physician Mary Edwards Walker became the first woman to be granted the U.S. Medal of Honor; the award was rescinded in 1917 but reinstated in 1977.
Beautiful Phenomenon: Starling Murmuration.