Thursday's Good News

Updated: Apr 8

Today's collection of bite sized chunks of good news to brighten things up.


Celebrity Donations

A number of A-listers have used their fortunes and their platforms to support relief for Ukrainians. J.K. Rowling has pledged to match every pound sterling up to £1 million ($1.3 million) in donations to Lumos, a charity that’s focused on helping children in war zones. Mila Kunis and Aston Kutcher have pledged $3 million from their film and TV fortunes towards a GoFundMe drive with a target of $30 million. “While my family came to the US in 1991, I was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, in 1983,” Kunis wrote on the GoFundMe page. Last week they passed their goal, exceeding it by $4 million. Another celebrity couple helping out are Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, who tweeted that they would personally match any donation towards helping Ukrainian refugees up to $1 million.


Red and white bicycle wheel photographed against a turquoise wall
e-Bike Boom

Sales of e-bikes are booming across both Europe and America, with manufacturers and retailers reporting record sales, reports Bloomberg. For example, Dutch brand VanMoof says sales over the last few weeks have been twice as high as forecasted. Meanwhile, Pedego CEO Don DiCostanzo, who oversees the e-bike brand’s 208 dealerships across North America, says “We’re seeing a big spike in orders coming in way ahead of the season. Every month there’s another record.” Though he can’t prove it, DiCostanzo is convinced that rising fuel prices are driving sales. “I’m not going to tell you it’s all because of fuel,” he says. “But I absolutely believe it’s acting as a catalyst to get more people to consider alternate forms of transportation.”


A wolverine standing in a forest clearing
Wolverine Tracker

Utah state officials have captured a live wolverine and fitted it with a GPS collar for the first time ever in the state. These rare animals have only had eight confirmed sightings in Utah since 1979, according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR). "It's amazing to get a chance to see a wolverine in the wild, let alone catch one," DWR Northern Region Wildlife Manager Jim Christensen says in a statement. "This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience." The GPS collar will provide “invaluable information to biologists” in order to manage wolverines in Utah.


Black and white aerial photo of the bustling docks on the river Humber
The Humber and Prince's Docks, in Kingston upon Hull, seen in 1925 when it was a major centre for imports and exports. Credit: Historic England
Aerial History

Historic England has made its 100-year-old photo archive available to the public for first time online. The newly-digitised archive of aerial photographs, dating back to 1919, makes for fascinating views for anybody who wants a 'now and then' aerial view of any particular neighbourhood. The 400,000 aerial photographs covers a third of England. The aerial photograph explorer is freely accessible to the public. The new online tool will continue to expand as Historic England digitises more of the two million images in its collection.


Mega-Museum

From its “grey box-like” appearance and eye-popping price tag to protracted construction delays, Norway’s new National Museum is now scheduled to open on 11 June. Located on Oslo’s western waterfront, the £500m museum will be the biggest in the Nordic region, so it's good to know that, after extensive delays, renowned artworks such as Edvard Munch’s most famous version of The Scream will be back on public display in a couple of months. It's a museum on an epic scale: 13,000 sq.m of exhibition space with 5,000 works on show.


Forest in Western Australia
Conservation Success

Down under, landmark legislation in Western Australia will end native logging and secure 1,544 square miles (400,000 hectares) of one of the most diverse native forests on Earth. Activists are rejoicing, having campaigned for decades to protect these forests, containing rare tingle, jarrah, karri, marri, tuart, and wandoo trees found nowhere else on the planet, which had been increasingly depleted by logging. “We’re going to stop logging in our native forests… to preserve these beautiful, magnificent, wonderful areas for future generations of West Australians,” WA Premier Mark McGowan said, allegedly stunning green party members and protestors alike.


Green Trucking

EU member states are to implement a new system of road tolls which give big incentives for zero-emissions trucks - a watershed for green trucking which will benefit the climate, air quality and hauliers. By May 2023, hauliers operating zero-emissions trucks - battery electric or hydrogen - must be given discounts of at least 50 percent on distance-based road tolls. Member states could opt to levy extra CO2-based charges on fossil fuel lorries instead, or implement both measures. With road tolls costing hauliers up to €25,000 ($27,500) a year per truck annually, switching to zero-emissions vehicles will cut their overheads considerably.

 
Quote of the Day

"A smile is an inexpensive way to change your looks." Charles Gordy

 
On this Day

24 March 1945: With the debut of the Billboard magazine pop album chart, American pianist and singer Nat King Cole's King Cole Trio became the first album to appear at No. 1.

 

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