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Good News Only Friday

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

Some tasty bite-sized chunks of good news from around the globe.


Statue of Liberty, New York
Better Than You Think

Yes, everything in America is awful, apart from the fact that it's recovered from the pandemic faster than any major economy (says The Washington Post), GDP has grown three times faster than during the previous administration, real incomes are rising, manufacturing is booming, inflation has eased for ten straight months (says The New York Times), unemployment is at record lows and workers are the happiest they've been since the 1980s (says The Wall Street Journal), and the country is on the verge of one of the most important public health victories of the 21st century.


Silhouette of a bird chirping
Stop and Listen

The next time you hear a bird sing, stop and listen - your body will thank you. Two recent studies found that seeing or hearing birds can be good for mental health, with the benefits lasting for hours. "The special thing about birdsongs is that even if people live in very urban environments and do not have a lot of contact with nature, they link the songs of birds to vital and intact natural environments," says Emil Stobbe at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. The easiest thing to do is just "try to be aware" when out of the house, Stobbe said, adding, "with this little step, you can be one step closer to getting those beneficial effects or enhancing the time that you spend outdoors."

 
 

Long Odds

A pub landlord and family friend of a young cricketer decided to place a £100 ($124) bet on 11 year old Josh Tongue one day playing for England. He got odds of 500-1 with bookmakers Coral, meaning that he will stand to earn £50,000 ($62,000) as soon as Tongue is presented with his Test cap. Well, that happened yesterday when Tongue will made his Test debut at Lord’s against Ireland, becoming the 711th player to represent England in Test cricket. Tim Piper, the pub landlord, originally tried to make the bet when Tongue was six, but the bookmakers did not allow him to do so. “I phoned up the bookies when he was six but they didn’t take it seriously - I’m not sure why,” he said.


US Endangered Species

The US government has announced a $62.5 million plan to hire biologists to help 32 threatened and endangered species currently listed under the Endangered Species Act, reports the US Fish and Wildlife Service. This comes on top of more than $2 billion that has been set aside under the IRA to restore the country's lands and waters.


5,000 New Species

Scientists have discovered more than 5,000 previously unknown species living at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. The creatures, which were spotted by remote-controlled vehicles sent down to the ocean floor, include worms, octopuses, corals and “gummy squirrels” – neon-coloured sea cucumbers with large tails that roam the seabed like “wildebeests travelling across the Serengeti”, according to a co-author of the study. They were found in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, a vast area of the ocean floor between Hawaii and Mexico.


Minnesota Good News

First Nations tribes in Minnesota have made a first-of-its-kind agreement giving them a greater voice in managing more than three million acres of land ceded to the federal government in 1854, reports Star Tribune. Furthermore, the US Centre for Biological Diversity says that Minnesota has banned the commercial collection of wild turtles, meaning tens of thousands of the animals will now be saved from becoming food, traditional medicines or pets. 'This ban is a big victory for all of us who care about the health of our state’s wildlife and waterways.'


Range Anxiety?

Chinese automaker Zeekr has unveiled a new model, the 2023 Zeekr 001, an electric car that can reportedly travel a whopping 641 miles on a single charge - representing a milestone moment in EV development. Automotive news website Motor1.com writes that it's “the world’s longest-range production vehicle to our knowledge”. Currently the 2022 Air from California carmaker Lucid is the top performer with a range of 520 miles. That’s more than 100 miles fewer than the Zeekr - and the Zeekr model is approximately $125,000 less expensive.

 

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

 
On this Day

2 June 1953: 27-year-old Elizabeth II, the elder daughter of King George VI, was crowned queen of the United Kingdom at Westminster Abbey, having taken the throne upon her father's death in February 1952.

 





 
Mood Booster

Monarch butterfly life cycle: The remarkable transition from egg to larvae to pupa to adult.



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