Friday's Good News

Updated: Sep 27

Wrapping up the week with an eclectic bundle of positive news nuggets.


Capitol building at night
Aerial Phenomenon

In 2021, Congress charged the Department of Defense (DoD) with establishing a replacement for the short-lived Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force after releasing a largely inconclusive preliminary assessment of 144 documented UAPs. What we all used to call UFOs. We haven’t heard much about it since then, and neither has Congress, apparently. What’s more, it just made it very clear that it thinks the DoD aren’t moving fast enough to address the issue. So, it's just given them a proverbial kick in the backside. That's good news for alien theorists and, possibly, national security - and certainly a long way from consistently denying that UFOs (sorry, UAPs) might even exist.


Pedestrian standing on sidewalk at crossing
Credit: Hong Kong Transport Department
Sidewalk Safety

These days, pedestrians waiting to cross the street are apt to be looking down at their phones - checking email, responding to texts and scrolling through TikTok videos - rather than watching their surroundings. In a bid to keep distracted walkers safe at traffic signals, Hong Kong has installed downward-facing LED lights that cast a red glow on the sidewalk when it’s not safe to cross. The lights are in a six-month trial period at four busy intersections. Depending on how effective the experimental lights are at those places, transportation officials may decide to add them elsewhere, too.

 

171: The number of certified 'bio-energy villages' in Germany which cover at least 50 percent of their energy and heating needs with renewables.

 
Phantom Galaxy, formerly known as M74

Phantom Galaxy

Stunning new images produced by the Hubble Telescope and the James Webb Telescope showcase the Phantom Galaxy, a spiral of solar systems 32 million light-years away from Earth. The galaxy is located in the constellation Pisces, according to the European Space Agency, which collaborates with NASA on both the Hubble Telescope and the James Webb Telescope. The Phantom Galaxy is a kind of spiral galaxy known as a "grand design spiral." This means that it has well-defined spiral arms, visibly winding out from the center in the newly released images.

 
Deipnosophist

A person skilled in table talk. Basically, this is a four-syllable word for "great dinner party guest," which could very well be a great dinner party topic.

 
Offshore wind turbine in Hornsea 2
Credit: Orsted
World's Largest

The world's largest offshore wind farm is now fully operational, 55 miles off the coast of Yorkshire, north east England. The Hornsea 2 project can generate enough electricity to power about 1.3 million homes - that's enough for a city the size of Manchester. A decade ago renewables made up just 11 percent of the UK's energy mix. By 2021 it was 40 percent, with offshore wind the largest component. Hornsea 2 has taken the title of "world's largest" from its neighbour Hornsea 1. With even larger projects in construction nearby in the North Sea it's unlikely its title will last long.


(Un)Truth Social

Former US President Donald Trump's social media platform has been barred from Google Play. Google says the platform violates its policies on prohibiting content like physical threats and incitement to violence. The move makes it difficult for users with Android phones to download the app.


The Rings of Power

It's a big day for Lord of the Rings fans as Amazon Prime's hotly anticipated new series - reportedly the most expensive TV series ever made ($465m for eight episodes) - launches today. Apparently it's a cinematic feast.

 
Quote of the Day

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” Epictetus

 
On this Day

2 September 1945: World War II came to an end as Japanese Foreign Minister Shigemitsu Mamoru and General Umezu Yoshijiro signed Japan's formal surrender aboard the USS Missouri.

 
Happy Friday Quotes

Some upbeat quotes to help you look forward to the weekend. Read on...


Safer Neighborhood

A new street sign to protect a boy with autism is helping this family ‘feel included’. Read on...

 
Mood Booster

Old movie clips cleverly synced to the Bee Gees classic: Stayin' Alive.