Mid-week collection of uplifting news nuggets from around the world.
An astrophotographer has captured three rare phenomena in one shot. British photographer Stephen Pemberton, who goes by NorthernPixl, has demonstrated how determination, preparation, and good luck can result in beautiful night sky photographs. When photographing auroras in Northumberland (north east England) in November, the photographer was treated to a rare night sky phenomenon called STEVE. He captured incredible images featuring brilliant northern lights, the Milky Way, and STEVE, which stands for Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement. STEVE, named in late 2016 by Canadian aurora observers, is caused by a wide ribbon of hot plasma at a specific altitude - about 280 miles (450 km). Combining these three elements in a single night of photography is exceptional and unusual.
A tiny, twisted fragment of a gold torc made thousands of years ago has been uncovered by a metal detectorist. The "beautifully made" Bronze Age piece was made from a twisted gold rod just 0.09in (2.4mm) thick and had been bent into an 0.43in (11mm) loop. The piece was found in a field in, Norfolk, south east England, and dates to between 1400-1100BC. It could have been intended for reuse, or as "a neat little offering to the gods", said historian Helen Geake.
The bestseller HumanKind: Changing the World One Small Act At a Time is a heartwarming, feel-good book filled with true stories about moments when one small deed changes a life or has a ripple effect transforming thousands of lives. Plus, 100% of author royalties benefit the nonprofit Big Brothers Big Sisters. Jane Green, an author of 18 New York Times Best Sellers says: “This might be the most beautiful book I’ve ever read. HumanKind has lifted my soul and brought me to tears in all the good ways.”
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As 3D-printed architecture continues to grow in popularity, architects and designers are finding more and more creative uses for the cutting-edge tech. A new project by Studio RAP is the latest example of this and uses a 3D printing system to transform a retail store with a decorative knitted fabric-like ceramic facade. The project, named Ceramic House, is located in a busy area of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and involved giving a luxury boutique store a facelift, helping it stand out among the surrounding buildings.
Student Debt Relief
The Biden administration has announced that it will forgive an additional $4.8 billion in student loan debt, for 80,300 borrowers. That means they have now cancelled nearly $132 billion in student debt for more than 3.6 million Americans.
Mine Ordered to Shut
The Supreme Court in Panama has ruled that the contract for the country’s largest copper mine is unconstitutional, requiring it to shut down. Minera Panamá, a subsidiary of the Canadian company FQM, must now close. The decision comes amid nationwide protests that blocked roads and shipping routes as Panamanians fought back against expansion of the mining sector. “The people have spoken and expressed that they don’t want more mines, that they want sustainable economic development and have no intention of destroying the country for profit,” said Kherson Ruiz, executive director of the Sustainable Development Foundation.
"Hope is not prognostication. It is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart. It transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons." Václav Havel
On This Day
13 December 1956: Anastasia - the comeback film for Ingrid Bergman - is released in the US, and wins her the Academy Award for Best Actress.
Today, 13 December, is a special day in Sweden, when they celebrate the Lucia tradition with candles and song.