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Tuesday's Uplifting News

Updated: Oct 9, 2023

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

Pilot Ruben Flowers with his son
Credit: Southwest Airlines
Special Final Flight

Ruben Flowers' final flight as a commercial pilot was one to remember, thanks to who was sitting next to him in the cockpit. Flowers' first officer was his son, also named Ruben Flowers. "That was an awesome feeling," he told CNN Travel. "To look over there and see my son, next to me, for my last landing." The elder Flowers worked at Southwest Airlines for more than three decades, while the younger Flowers more recently joined the company. "It was a dream of mine to make it to this point to fly with my dad, it was probably my No. 1 aviation goal," he said. Flying is a family affair for the Flowers crew - the older Ruben's three sons, brother, nephew, and cousin are all pilots.

US Cancer Progress

America is making remarkable progress in the war on cancer, says ACS Journals. Here’s how far the US has come: In 1970, the number of people who were still alive five years after a cancer diagnosis was 49 percent. By 2018, it was 68 percent. Survival rates for childhood cancer have risen from 58 percent to 85 percent in that same period. All told, the cancer death rate fell by one third from 1991 to 2020. Had it stayed the same, about 3.8 million more people would have died of the disease. The even better news: Researchers estimate that, if current trends continue, cancer death rates will decline another 44 percent in the next 25 years.

Val Kolpakov's toothpaste collection
Credit: Guinness World Records
Toothpaste Collection

The world's largest collection of toothpaste has 2,037 different toothpaste tubes, reports UPI, with unusual flavours including wasabi and whiskey. Dr Val Kolpakov said his collection includes rare toothpastes from countries including Japan, Korea, China, India and Russia. "I started my collection in 2001 to learn more as a dentist about all available toothpastes on the market," he told Guinness World Records. He quickly decided it was a "very interesting hobby", he said, and he widened his search to take in old toothpastes and tubes from other countries.

Remarkable Royal Find

“A woman’s name raises doubts until her work is seen,” wrote the artist Artemisia Gentileschi to a collector of her paintings in 1649, going on to assure him that her canvases “will speak for themselves”. It took three-and-a-half centuries for the name of Gentileschi to triumphantly step out from the shadows of art history, but it has taken even longer for one of her forgotten paintings to re-emerge from the dark. A remarkable find made in a royal storeroom at Hampton Court, near London, followed by hours of careful conservation effort, has led to the unearthing of Susanna and the Elders, a genuine lost Gentileschi. “It really is super-exciting,” Anna Reynolds, the deputy surveyor of the king’s pictures, told the Observer.

Reversing Trump

The reversal of a Trump-era rule will restore the power of Native American tribes to block energy projects that could pollute local rivers and streams. Meanwhile, 2.8 million hectares of forest in eastern Oregon and southeast Washington state may soon be protected, after a federal court judge ruled against another Trump-era rule that allowed for the logging of old-growth forests.

UK Peatland Restoration

The UK is ‘supercharging’ peatland restoration with new funding for 12 projects across 35,000 hectares (135 square miles). Peatlands cover 10 percent of the UK’s total land area, but it's estimated that 87 percent of the peatlands are degraded. Even in their degraded state, they contain more than half of the country’s terrestrial carbon stores. They also provide natural flood defences and water filtration. Restoring them could prove crucial to delivering the UK’s legally binding climate and nature targets. The Environment Minister said that the £16m ($20m) just announced, part of a wider £50m ($61m) peatland funding commitment, will “drive collaboration and supercharge peatland restoration across the country”.

German Renewables

Germany is likely to generate more than half of its power from renewable energy this year but needs to ramp up the speed of its transition towards the end of the decade, says the Economy Minister. The expansion of onshore wind energy was also progressing well, he said, with 2022's full-year volumes already reached by the end of July 2023.


"You better live every day like your last because one day you're going to be right." Ray Charles

On this Day

26 September 1960: The first ever televised presidential debate was broadcast (seen by some 85 to 120 million viewers) between U.S. presidential candidates John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard M. Nixon.


Mood Booster

100 years of women's fashion condensed into 2 and a half minutes.


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