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Today's Good News

Updated: Apr 15

Today's eclectic collection of positive news nuggets from around the world.


Aurora borealis
Shimmering northern lights
Aurora Night Train

Europe's burgeoning night train network just got a fabulous new addition. You can now catch a 6pm sleeper train from Stockholm, Sweden's capital, and wake up the following morning in the snow plains and fir trees of Sápmi - the traditional territory of the Sámi people, which encompasses northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia’s Kola Peninsula. Travellers disembark in Abisko, a small town about 150 miles north of the Arctic Circle - one of Sweden’s northernmost settlements that enjoys has some of the clearest skies in Europe, a golden ticket for aurora hunters. Those seeking the northern lights have extra incentive to head to Abisko in 2024 as experts say the sun is reaching the peak (called the “solar maximum”) of its roughly 11-year cycle, in which solar activity will be greatest.


Caribbean beach
Caribbean sea
Rights of Nature

The Caribbean island of Aruba has drafted a constitutional amendment that would make it the second country in the world to recognize that nature has inherent rights. The amendment also affirms that people are entitled to a “clean, healthy and sustainable environment,” reports EcoWatch. Once the amendment is approved, Aruba will be the second nation in the world after Ecuador to recognize the rights of nature in its constitution. About 30 countries have already recognized the inherent rights of particular species or ecosystems. Inded, his month a court in Peru ruled that the Marañón River, which flows from Peru’s Andes mountains into the Amazon river, had a legal right to exist and thrive.

 
In Stranger News...

Street Cred

Alan Titchmarsh can count himself among the few British celebrities to appear on North Korean state television - but only from the waist up. The broadcaster had his jeans blurred by Pyongyang’s censors in an episode of the BBC’s Garden Secrets when it was aired on TV in the hermit kingdom this week. North Korea has outlawed jeans since the early 1990s because they are viewed as a symbol of US imperialism. "I've never seen myself as a dangerous subversive imperialist - I'm generally regarded as rather cosy and pretty harmless, so actually it's given me a bit of street cred really, hasn't it?"


Anybody Else

A maths teacher in Texas has announced his presidential bid as an independent candidate and legally changed his name to "Literally Anybody Else" as he thinks that some voters want “literally anybody else” other than President Joe Biden or his predecessor Donald Trump to return to the White House for another term. Formerly known as Dustin Ebey, the 35-year-old man is a seventh-grade maths teacher and a US Army veteran.

 
Bye Bye Asbestos

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced that the U.S. will join 50 others nations worldwide enacting a comprehensive ban on asbestos, a carcinogen that kills tens of thousands of Americans every year but is still used in some products.


JertZero's blended wing aircraft
Illustration of JertZero's blended wing aircraft | JetZero
Cleared For Takeoff

The basic shape of a passenger jet hasn’t changed much for decades, but a radical new design is on the horizon. JetZero has announced that its ultra-efficient blended-wing demonstrator has been FAA-approved to begin test flights. JetZero claims its blended wing would use 50 percent less than a standard jet. That extra fuel efficiency would be huge. The benefits could be even more valuable if this concept was combined with clean aviation powertrains like battery-electric, hydrogen or ammonia-fuelled concepts, where range is still a key impediment to widespread adoption.


 

“Live each day like it’s your second to the last. That way you can fall asleep at night.” Jason Love

 
On This Day

28 March 1989: The Louvre Pyramid designed by I. M. Pei is inaugurated by French President François Mitterrand in Paris.

 







 
Mood Booster

Here's what happens if you put a boxing bag in a forest.



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