Monday's Good News

Updated: May 7

Kick starting the week with another upbeat bundle of good news nuggets.


Embarrassy

In response to Mad Vlad's 'special military operation' in Ukraine, cities around the world have been endeavouring to embarrass Russian embassies by changing the street name where they're located. In Albania, the street in Tirana where the Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, and Kosovan embassies reside was renamed to Free Ukraine Street (Rruga Ukraina e Lirë); in Latvia, Riga City Council renamed where the Russian embassy is located to Ukrainian Independence Street; in Lithuania, the Russian embassy is now on Heroes of Ukraine Street; in Norway, the Russian embassy in Oslo now resides on Ukraine Square. Unfortunately, the Irish authorities bottled out of doing something similar in Dublin, but shouldn't more countries be deploying 'embarrassy'?


Glass bottle on a beach with its cork intact, containing a rolled up piece of paper
Message in a Bottle

Victoria Kay, a Tennessee native, was visiting St. Simon's Island in Georgia in January 2020. While she was there she placed a small watercolour painting in a bottle with her email and a new year's wish written on the back. She sealed the bottle and tossed it into the ocean. A little over two years later it was found thousands of mile away on a beach in Brittany, France by Martine Bosc. The two women hope to meet in the not too distant future. "It is just like a miracle, you know, and there's a lot of news that's really dark and I thought this is just so magical that, that actually the bottle was found," Kay says.

 

A reminder of one of the most beautiful etymologies out there: the 'pupil' of the eye is named after the Latin 'pupilla', meaning 'little doll' - because when we look into the eyes of another, we see a tiny, doll-like reflection of ourselves.

 
Hillside covered in wind turbines
US Wind Milestone

Power generated by wind turbines in the U.S. hit a milestone last week, becoming the second-highest source of electricity in the country for a 24-hour period, according to the Energy Information Administration. Wind turbines generated more electricity than was provided by nuclear and coal power plants that day. Wind power, which is renewable and does not release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, still trailed the electricity produced by natural gas, but it was the first time in U.S. history that wind turbines outperformed nuclear and coal power.


Meanwhile, 40 percent of new car sales were electric in France in the first three months of this year, overtaking petrol-powered vehicles for the first time, reports Reuters.


Extinctus?

Biologists are celebrating that a South American wildflower, long believed to be extinct, has been rediscovered. Gasteranthus extinctus was found by biologists in the foothills of the Andes mountains and in remnant patches of forest in the Centinela region of Ecuador, almost 40 years after its last sighting. Despite its endangered status, Gasteranthus extinctus will keep its name.


Anytime Anywhere

Solar-powered electronics are one step closer to becoming an everyday part of our lives thanks to a “radical” new scientific breakthrough. In 2017, scientists at a Swedish university created an energy system that makes it possible to capture and store solar energy for up to 18 years, releasing it as heat when needed. Now the researchers have succeeded in getting the system to produce electricity by connecting it to a thermoelectric generator. The concept developed at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenberg could pave the way for self-charging electronics that use stored solar energy on demand. “This is a radically new way of generating electricity from solar energy. It means that we can use solar energy to produce electricity regardless of weather, time of day, season, or geographical location,” explains research leader Kasper Moth-Poulsen.


White toothbrush being rinsed under a basin tap
Zero Waste Toothbrush

Approximately 3.5 billion plastic toothbrushes are sold worldwide annually that are used for only a few months before thrown away and ending up in a landfill. Now, a new company called Reswirl has created the world’s first zero-waste, fully recyclable toothbrush to help address the plastic pollution. Reswirl brushes are made from something called Bio-PBS. It's a biodegradable and industrially compostable material mixed with calcium carbonate for stiffening and whitening. The company offers these brushes through a subscription service where new brushes are sent out quarterly. In exchange, used brushes are returned in provided pre-paid packaging to be recycled. Worth a try?


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Quote of the Day

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” Mae West

 
On this Day

18 April 1956: Abandoning her Hollywood career, American actress Grace Kelly wed Prince Rainier III of Monaco, in a civil ceremony; an opulent religious ceremony took place the following day.

 

Dive in Deeper


Paris' Forgotten Waterway


The Bièvre once provided an idyllic urban oasis, but a century later it became a health hazard and was covered over. But will soon be re-established. Read on...


Antarctic Post Office is Hiring


Fancy a change of scene? The Antarctic Heritage Trust is hiring staff for its post office, museum and conservation site - and counting penguins is part of the job. Read on...

 
Musical Mood Booster

Old movie stars dance to Michael Jackson's Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough.