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Positive News Tuesday

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

Today's tasty bite-sized chunks of positive news.

Couple getting married
Credit: Tara Lilly | IWPOTY
Top Prize

A photo of a bird interrupting a wedding ceremony by perching itself on top of the bride’s head as the couple were saying their vows has taken home the top prize in the International Wedding Photographer of the Year competition. Tara Lilly was shooting Mikaela and Mitch’s wedding in a remote location on a mountaintop in Whistler, Canada when a curious whisky jack landed on Mikaela’s head just as Mitch had started saying his vows. “I’m Snow White!” Mikaela cried out. The hilarious moment earned Lilly the title of 2023 International Wedding Photographer of the Year.


The Gapminder Foundation, the Swedish foundation created by Hans Rosling, has just done a big refresh on a bunch of its data, including extreme poverty. Two decades ago, a quarter of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. That fell to 8.3 percent by 2022. The pandemic caused setbacks, but the really good news is that it didn’t change the fact that life has continually improved for most people in the world in this century.


Rizz, an internet slang term for romantic appeal or charm, has been named word of the year by Oxford English Dictionary. It was one of eight words on a shortlist, all chosen to reflect the "mood, ethos or preoccupations" of 2023, said the BBC. The first recorded use of "rizz" was in 2022, but it went viral in June after the actor Tom Holland, in an interview with Buzzfeed, said: "I have no rizz whatsoever. I have limited rizz." The word might not mean anything to you if you're not Generation Z, but it's used massively online. According to the OED, it is defined as style, charm, or attractiveness, and the ability to attract a romantic or sexual partner. The term is thought to be a shortened form of the word "charisma".

Tortoise named Jonathan, world's oldest animal
Jonathan | Wikipedia
World's Oldest Animal

A tortoise named Jonathan has celebrated his 191st birthday on the island of St. Helena, cementing his status as the world's oldest animal. Although his exact age is unknown, he was at least 50 years old when he was brought to the island from the Seychelles in 1882, making him at least 191 years old, and possibly much older, said Guinness World Records. "In spite of losing his sense of smell and being virtually blind from cataracts, his appetite remains keen," said veterinarian, Joe Hollins.

Lights on in Tanzania

Tanzania says that all 12,318 villages across the country will be electrified by June 2024, marking the culmination of a journey that began three decades ago, says The Citizen. This achievement, a year ahead of the original 2025 target, will provide over 70 percent of the rural population with access to electricity, following the construction of over 40,000 km of power lines in the past few years.

Crowning Glory

A British doctor has been crowned as Mullet of The Year in Australia for the curls he started growing during the lockdowns. Dr Alastair Bush’s 12 inch (30cm) long light brown hair won for best international mullet at the annual Mulletfest competition in the small Australian town of Kurri Kurri, which attracts thousands of visitors. Bush first grew his mullet during the pandemic, but decided to keep his hairdo as he works in the British army, and found that “the soldiers are mainly in their 20s and find the mullet funny”.

Google's geothermal project in Nevada
Credit: Google
Geothermal Google

A first-of-its-kind geothermal project is now up and running in Nevada, where it will help power Google’s data centers with clean energy. It’s part of Google’s plan to run on carbon pollution-free electricity around the clock by 2030. To reach that goal, it will have to get more sources of clean energy online. And it sees geothermal as a key part of the future electricity mix. Unlike wind and solar farms that are sensitive to weather and time of day, geothermal projects can generate electricity on a more consistent basis.


"Truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it. Ignorance may deride it. Malice may distort it. But there it is." Winston Churchill

On This Day

5 December 1848: In his annual message to Congress, U.S. President James K. Polk confirmed the discovery of gold in California, helping to spark the Gold Rush, which brought an estimated 300,000 people to the territory.


Mood Booster

Phantom of the Opera performed by the Prague Cello Quartet.

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