Good News Friday

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

With its brilliantly colored head, the eastern sarus crane can reach just under 6-feet (176 cm) tall. Antigone antigone sharpii, the world’s tallest flying bird, is critically endangered but they are now getting a helping hand and a safe haven from Cambodian rice farmers, who are switching part of their crops to native short-grain wild rice varietals which the cranes prefer. All supported by NatureLife Cambodia which ensures that the farmers are appropriately rewarded for their endeavours.

  • Bees survive volcanic eruption! Rescuers digging out beehives from under the ash from September's eruption in the Canary Islands recovered five beehives (and their tens of thousands of buzzing residents), 50 days after being buried. Remarkably, the bees had survived by creating propolis, a resinous material which they used to seal up the holes in their hive, protecting them from the choking ash. Safely inside, they kept themselves sustained by eating their winter honey stores, which the beekeepers had, fortuitously, not yet collected.

  • Fancy a mini-tranquiliser? Therapists say that regular controlled breathing can help combat stress, sharpen your mind and keep your brain in tip top condition. One technique suggested is called ‘365’ wherein you breathe six cycles per minute, inhaling for five seconds and exhaling for five seconds, at least three times a day, for five minutes at a time and then repeat for all 365 days of the year.

  • Brazilian artist, environmentalist, and animal lover Amarildo Silva Filho was inspired to transform a pile of used and abandoned tires in his neighborhood. Where some saw trash, Silva Filho saw an opportunity for upcycling that wound up making a world of difference to stray cats and dogs. After collecting the tires and giving them a thorough cleaning, Silva Filho put his artistic vision to work fashioning personalized pet beds. Once the custom paint jobs were complete, with the addition of hand-sewn mattresses, the colorful comfy cots were ready to be distributed to local shelters.

  • Clothes rack saves life of 82 year old woman in China: Chinese firefighters rescued an elderly woman who slipped over the edge of a balcony and got caught in a clothes rack. The woman was hanging out her washing on the 19th floor balcony of her apartment in Yangzhou when she slipped and fell over the edge. However, her luck improved considerably when her legs became entangled on a clothes rack of the 18th floor while her head, arms and torso were dangling over the 17th floor. Firefighters held her legs on the 18th floor while another team attached a rope around her body on the 17th floor. Happily, the rescuers were then able to pull the woman in to safety without any serious injury.

  • Magical return on investment: In 2016, a sharp-eyed shopper at a Massachusetts estate sale bought a drawing on a whim. The square of unframed, yellowed linen featured an elegant sketch of a mother and child - and a modest $30 price tag, reports Smithsonian. Though the sketch bore one of the art world’s most well-known monograms - Albrecht Dürer’s “A.D.” - neither the buyer nor the sellers believed it was a genuine work by the German Renaissance artist. Now, after careful study, multiple scholars say that the delicate ink sketch is an authentic Dürer drawing that could be worth upward of $50 million. It’s also an art historical rarity says Art Newspaper: the sketch - likely a preparatory work for a circa 1506 painting - is the first “totally unknown” drawing by the artist to resurface since the 1970s.

  • On 1 January 2022, the use of plastic packaging for fruits and vegetables under 1.5 kilograms will be banned in France. The ramifications are considerable. Currently, 37 percent of fruits and vegetables in France are sold in packaging, according to the French Ministry for Ecological Transition. Some 2.2 million metric tons of plastic packaging is used each year, and the recycling rate is just 27 percent. The government estimates the ban will mean that over a billion fewer units of plastic packaging will be used each year.

  • Sticking to a French theme, here's a great quote from Voltaire: "Behind every successful man is a surprised mother-in-law."

Dive in Deeper

Ice Ice Baby

UPS driver goes above and beyond to deliver a parcel on a driveway covered in sheet ice. This delivery guy is awesome!