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Good News Wednesday

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

Today's eclectic bundle of upbeat news nuggets to brighten the day.

Hummingbird flying
Hummingbird Clinic

Catia Lattouf has turned her apartment in Mexico City into a clinic for sick, injured or infant hummingbirds. She began caring for the birds in 2011 after recovering from colon cancer; taking in a bird which had lost an eye and nursing it back to health. Her place is now a makeshift clinic where about 60 hummingbirds currently fly about. Over the past decade she has nursed hundreds of the tiny birds, which can arrive with injuries to wings after collisions or falling from nests, while others have infections from drinking contaminated water. Lattouf, who studied French literature, has become a reference source for bird lovers, amateur and professional alike: Mexico's National Autonomous University even refers cases to her due to a lack of resources. "Nothing is guaranteed," she said. "I believe God gives life and God takes it, but we do everything possible."


Secret Ingredient

Typically thought of as a bendy black confection, the root form of licorice has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a range of conditions. Now, a new study shows that a compound from the root is highly effective at fighting pancreatic tumor growth. The research has been published in the journal, Phytomedicine and was just presented at the Annual Congress of the European Association for Cancer Research 2023 in Torino, Italy.

Portrait made out of tin cans
Credit: Chibuike Ifedilichukwu
Can Do Attitude

Nigerian artist Chibuike Ifedilichukwu creates his art using recycled aluminum cans, cut into strips and expertly woven to produce images of Nigerian public figures. In Nigeria, recycling is largely an informal process controlled by small companies, and Ifedilichukwu uses his eco-conscious art to make a statement about waste management in the country. The artist even trolls dumpsters near his neighborhood in Awka, which he knows invites some strange looks. “When I go scavenging, people see me as a mad person,” he said. “But I’m making a living out of it … and I’m creating awareness to make our environment safe.”

$2m For This..?

The burnt-out shell of a Ferrari racing car that burst into flames in a race in the 1960s has been sold to a collector for a smidge under $2 million. The 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider Series I was the second of 13 cars built with the Pininfarina iconic spider framework. It was left untouched for about 40 years but the surviving scorched wreck still has its factory-issued chassis plate, its rear axle corners, gearbox and large 3.0 litre Tipo 119 Lampredi inline-four engine. It has now been sold in Monterey, California, during Monterey Car Week at an RM Sotheby auction for $1,875,000 (£1.5 million).

Loch Ness monster
Monster Hunt

It was 90 years ago that Aldie Mackay, manager of the Drumnadrochit hotel, burst into the bar one evening to tell dumbfounded patrons she had just witnessed a “water beast” in Loch Ness. It was this sighting - zealously reported in the Inverness Courier - that began the modern myth-making around an elusive monster surviving in the depths of the Highland loch - and this weekend hundreds of Nessie enthusiasts are expected to take part in the biggest organised hunt for the mysterious creature in 50 years.


"During a recent grocery trip (my first since moving to Portland), I made the mistake of leaving my reusable bags at home. I was therefore forced to use paper bags instead .... a torrential downpour of rain began just as I walked home. Slowly but surely, my bags ripped until all of their contents eventually spilled out into the middle of the street. As I quickly picked up as much of my groceries as I could (while trying to avoid oncoming traffic), a man ran out with a plastic trash bag for me to put my groceries in while another woman stepped out of her car to cover me with an umbrella to keep me as dry as possible. These kind people prevented me from losing all of my groceries and made me fall in love with the city of Portland! I will truly never forget their kindness!"


"Anything that reduces fuel consumption and cuts down on greenhouse gasses is good news." Norman Foster

On this Day

23 August 1946: The Big Sleep directed by Howard Hawks and starring Humphrey Bogart (Philip Marlowe) and Lauren Bacall, premieres.


Mood Booster

After his thoughts on European police sirens, Bill Bailey performs his Downton Abbey theme tune Jamaican Dub Reggae version.


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