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Thursday's Upbeat News

Updated: Mar 26

Celebrating the year's extra day with an eclectic bundle of upbeat news nuggets.

Mount Merapi, Indonesia
Credit: Gunarto Song
Perfect Timing

Photographer Gunarto Song was taking photos of Mount Merapi, a very active volcano in Indonesia, when something amazing happened. He witnessed meteors streaking across the sky. And with his camera trained on the volcano, captured in long exposure, a beautifully lit meteor flying directly toward the mouth of Mount Merapi. While the streaking meteor most probably descended behind the massive volcano, the perspective shows it flying right into the centre of it. Remarkable timing!

Leap Day

An excerpt from The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration by Vera Nazarian: “Today is an ephemeral ghost... A strange amazing day that comes only once every four years. For the rest of the time it does not "exist." In mundane terms, it marks a "leap" in time, when the calendar is adjusted to make up for extra seconds accumulated over the preceding three years due to the rotation of the earth. A day of temporal tune up! But this day holds another secret - it contains one of those truly rare moments of delightful transience and light uncertainty that only exist on the razor edge of things, along a buzzing plane of quantum probability... A day of unlocked potential. Will you or won't you? Should you or shouldn't you? Use this day to do something daring, extraordinary and unlike yourself. Take a chance and shape a different pattern in your personal cloud of probability!”

Monica Modelling

Monica Lewinsky has made her modelling debut as part of a campaign urging people to vote in the 2024 US elections. The 50-year-old has been described as a personal hero to young women by fashion brand Reformation, which is collaborating with a non-partisan voting rights group on the adverts. It's a remarkable shift in public appeal for Ms Lewinsky, who was catapulted to fame after Bill Clinton, a former president, admitted to having an affair with her while she was working as an intern in the White House in the mid-90s.

Remarkable Survival

In an extraordinary story of survival, a trail camera in Colorado has captured an image of a missing dog named Ullr, who managed to survive 11 months alone in the wilderness following an avalanche that separated him from his owner. Jacob Dalbey, Ullr's owner, received the long-awaited confirmation of his beloved Border Collie Rottweiler mix's survival through photos captured on Saturday and Sunday by trail cameras set up by a team of canine tracking experts he had employed. "After 341 days, 11 months to the day of setting up trail cameras/food and moving them around in hopes of luring Ullr into one to finally get confirmation of what I have known all along, it has happened," Dalbey shared with the online community.


Scientists at Queen Mary University of London have developed a drug to treat mesothelioma, a notoriously deadly and hard-to-treat cancer linked to asbestos, in the biggest breakthrough in two decades. An international trial spanning five countries found that the new drug, ADI-PEG20, cuts off the tumour’s food supply and quadruples three-year survival rates. It is the first of its kind to be successfully combined with chemotherapy in 20 years. The results were published in the journal JAMA Oncology.

New Renault 5 EV
New Renault 5 EV | Renault
Cheap European EVs

Renault SA’s electric R5 E-Tech city car is betting on price and tech offerings like a digital voice assistant in the fight for Europe’s mass market as Chinese competitors move in. Priced from €25,000 ($27,100), the Renault 5 E-Tech is the first car to roll off the carmaker’s new EV platform that aims to cut costs and attract consumers balking at high prices. The new version of the 1970s boxy classic is set to deliver an initial 400 km (249 miles) of driving range on a single charge. Starting deliveries in September, the R5 is going up against the €23,300 electric Citroën ë-C3 that’s made by rival Stellantis NV.

EU Nature Law

The European Parliament has approved a flagship law to restore nature. The nature law is one of the EU's biggest pieces of environmental legislation, requiring countries to introduce measures restoring nature on a fifth of their land and sea by 2030.


“Let this year leap in your heart and give you one more day to live and enjoy life with loved ones.” Divyaasingh

On This Day

29 February 1940: For her performance in Gone with the Wind (1939), Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win an Academy Award, for best supporting actress.


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Mood Booster

Courage: Stirring and beautifully read poem by Edgar Albert Guest.


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