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Good News Only Tuesday

Updated: Jan 1

Today's smorgasbord of tasty good news nuggets.

Humble Christmas Tree

One of the world’s first mass-produced Christmas trees, bought for 6p (8 cents) in 1920, has sold for £3,400 ($4,300) at auction. Described by the auctioneer as “the humblest Christmas tree in the world”, it's 79cm (31in) tall and has 25 branches, 12 berries and six mini candle holders. The tree sits in a small, red-painted wooden base with a simple decorative emblem and was bought in 1920 by the family of eight-year-old Dorothy Grant. It served as Grant’s Christmas tree until her death at the age of 101. It was expected to sell for a mere £70 ($89). The auctioneer said: "I think it’s down to the power of nostalgia. Dorothy’s story resonated with people.”

Spiral galaxy NGC 1566
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, C. Kilpatrick)
Spanish Dancer

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has snapped the dramatic swirling lines of spiral galaxy NGC 1566, also known as the Spanish Dancer Galaxy. The Dancer, 60 million light-years away, is one of the most visually spectacular galaxies we can see, largely because of its orientation. While some galaxies are seen side-on from Earth - meaning we only see the thinnest part of the galaxy - NGC 1566 is seen face-on, making its bulge and spiral arms clearly visible.

Whale tail breaching the water
Credit: Happy Whale
When Whales Win

The village of Barra de Potosí is off the beaten path, along Mexico’s southwest coast, but humpback whales travel thousands of miles to breed in this patch of the Pacific. A decade ago, Katherina Audley, founder of the non-profit Whales of Guerrero, began working with local fisherman to develop a conservation-focused eco-tourism program. "'When the whales win, everyone wins," she said. Former fishing boats have been repurposed into vessels to watch the whales, concentrating on their tails or flukes. Every whale's tail is unique but it wasn’t until Ted Cheeseman and Ken Southerland asked Silicon Valley companies to help develop an algorithm to recognize them that there was an easy way to see that. Since launching in 2015, the Happy Whale website has received more than 100,000 photo submissions. "If you know that whale by name, you're going to care more about that whale,” Cheeseman said. “And if you care more about that whale, you care more about the oceans."

Costco Gold

Costco shoppers are snapping up a surprising number of gold bars from the big box retailer. The company sold more than $100 million worth of the precious metal last quarter, CFO Richard Galanti said. A single bar of gold is both expensive enough to be a store of real value and cheap enough that a large proportion of Costco's membership can afford it, reports Axios. The retailer sells 1 oz. gold bars for about $2,000 a pop on its website, with a limit of two per Costco membership.

Tequila Fever

Whether served neat, with salt and lime or in a margarita, tequila fever is surging, leaving gin and vodka gathering dust in the drinks cupboard. Tequila was the only spirit where sales and value rose in Britain last year, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

New Canada EV Law

According to Reuters, a senior government source has told the outlet that Canada expects to announce this week that all new cars will have to be zero emissions by 2035. Zero-emission vehicles - which include battery electric, plug-in and hydrogen models - must represent 20 percent of all new car sales in 2026, 60 percent in 2030 and 100 percent in 2035, the source said on condition of anonymity.

Biden's Judiciary

President Joe Biden has made historic strides in judicial appointments, with nearly two-thirds of his appointed federal judges being women and from racial or ethnic minority groups, according to a Pew Research Center analysis. As of November 5, Biden had appointed 145 judges, with over two thirds being women, surpassing any other president at the same point in their term. Additionally, over two thirds of these judges are from racial or ethnic minority groups.


“Live life to the fullest. You have to color outside the lines once in a while if you want to make your life a masterpiece. Laugh some every day. Keep growing, keep dreaming, keep following your heart. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” Albert Einstein


On This Day

19 December 1843: English author Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol, which became one of the outstanding Christmas stories of modern literature.



Mood Booster

Yoga Practice For Wine Lovers: Something to try over the holidays?


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