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Friday's Positive News

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

Wrapping up the week with some bite-sized chunks of positive news.

Strange But True

Italian cheesemakers are putting edible microchips into wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano in an attempt “to protect the market for the world-famous pasta topping”, said The Wall Street Journal. Producers of the original Parmesan cheese, which has protected status, “have been fighting against imitations for years”. Now, they are hoping to help stamp out “food fraud” through the use of silicon chips made by Chicago-based firm p-Chips that use blockchain technology to trace the cheese supply chain. Fears that the chips could also be used to track people were dismissed by p-Chip’s chief technology officer Bill Eibon, who explained that the chips can’t be read remotely nor after being ingested. “I ate one of the chips and nobody is tracking me, except my wife, and she uses a different method,” he said.

Montana landscape
Another Victory in Montana

Hot on the heels of the successful youth climate court case (the first ever victory in the US against the fossil fuel industry), conservationists in Montana have won another victory, convincing a judge to halt a 95,000-acre logging project due to its impact on global climate change and an isolated population of grizzly bears.

End of Polio?

Could 2023 be the year that humanity stops polio? Pakistan has reported just two wild polio cases this year; Afghanistan, five. The virus appears to be cornered - transmission is now restricted to just seven districts in Pakistan and two provinces in eastern Afghanistan. 'We’ve never seen what we’re seeing now,' reports Nature.

Mexico Conservation

Mexico just announced 13 new conservation areas covering 44,276 acres, adding to the now 200 total federally protected areas, says Mongabay. Since taking office in 2018, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's administration has protected over four million hectares of land and water.

Major Progress in Kenya

Kenya looks increasingly like it could become an anchor for broader progress in East Africa. Last year it conducted peaceful and democratic elections, 87% of the population now has access to the internet, electricity access has increased from 32% of households in 2013 to 75% in 2022, and the grid is already over 80% renewable, says Bloomberg. The last decade has also seen significant progress in healthcare. The percentage of mothers who deliver under skilled care in Kenya is now 89%, compared to 66% in 2013, resulting in a dramatic decline in maternal and child mortality rates.

Removing Microplastics

Researchers may have found an effective, green way to remove microplastics from our water using readily available plant materials. Their device was found to capture up to 99.9 percent of a wide variety of microplastics known to pose a health risk to humans. Researchers from the University of British Columbia in Canada may have devised a biodegradable, renewable solution. Their device, which they’re calling bioCap, exploits the properties of wood residues - including sawdust - and natural polyphenols, which generate strong molecular interactions with polymer particles, including many microplastics. The researchers say bioCap is simple and cheap to produce and can be scaled up or down, depending on its intended use. The study was published in the journal Advanced Materials.


“Getting mythology wrong is my Hercules ankle” - Comedian Olaf Falafel at the Edinburgh Festival. For more Fringe jokes and this year's winning one-liner, check out Edinburgh 2023.

On this Day

25 August 1835: New York's The Sun began running a series of news accounts that falsely claimed British astronomer John Herschel had observed all sorts of life on the Moon, including winged human creatures about four feet tall; it became known as the Great Moon Hoax, though The Sun never retracted the stories.


Mood Booster

Vintage British Humour: Rare clip of Terry Thomas telling a joke about a budgie.


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