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Wednesday's Upbeat News

Updated: Nov 25, 2023

Today's eclectic bundle of upbeat news nuggets to brighten the day.

Victor Vescovo, explorer
Victor Vescovo | Wikidata
Only Person Ever

Victor Vescovo is the only person on Earth, indeed in history, to have climbed the Seven Summits - the highest mountains of the world’s seven continents - to have descended to the deepest points of the world’s five oceans (the deepest of which is 7 miles), and to have been into space, as a passenger on board New Shepard, as part of Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin mission. Furthermore, Vescovo has also skied to both the North and South Poles, which is very much his equivalent of a walk in the park.

Gothenburg City Library, Sweden
Gothenburg City Library | Wikidata
Civic Responsibility

A door at a Swedish library was accidentally left open on All Saints Day (a celebration sometimes also called All Hallows Day, the precursor of Halloween) - and 446 people came in, even though the library was technically closed, and borrowed 245 books. Every single one was returned, reports ZME Science. They say a reader does not steal and a thief does not read. In the city of Gothenburg, Sweden, that's definitely true. The City Library published a loving post, thanking people for their well-behaved visits.

Long-beaked echidna
The lost echidna rediscovered | Expedition Cyclops
Several Surprises

In a surprising discovery, an expedition team has found the elusive echidna in the Cyclops Mountains of Indonesia's Papua Province. This rare long-beaked egg-laying mammal was last recorded in 1961. This elusive species is one of only five remaining monotremes, a unique group of mammals that lay eggs. Using remote trail cameras, the team captured the first-ever photos of the creature. But that's not all. The expedition yielded other exciting discoveries like the Mayr's honeyeater, a bird missing from scientific records since 2008, a new genus of tree-dwelling shrimp, numerous unidentified insect species, and an undiscovered cave system.

Nosy Parker Good News

Being a nosy parker helps us live longer, according to a study by psychologists at Univ-ersidad Complutense de Madrid, in Spain. Researchers who spoke to people aged 100 or over found curiosity is a vital trait for longevity and more important than humour, optimism or faith, the Daily Star reported. "Be curious, travel and read," the experts said. "Curiosity is the zeal for knowing, travelling, being up-to-date. Stay intellectually active, finding new areas of knowledge and learning."

Christmas Tree galaxy cluster MACS0416
Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Jose M. Diego (IFCA), Jordan C. J. D'Silva (UWA), Anton M. Koekemoer (STScI), Jake Summers (ASU), Rogier Windhorst (ASU), Haojing Yan (University of Missouri)
Christmas Tree Galaxy

The James Webb Space Telescope may be the successor to Hubble, but the old-timer still has some life left in it yet. These two magnificent instruments have now teamed up to take a star-studded deep-field image of the sparkling 'Christmas Tree galaxy cluster'. Hubble has been a constant source of stunning images since its launch in 1990, but it’s not headed for the scrapheap just because a flashy newcomer has taken to the skies. Hubble observes the universe primarily in visible wavelengths - those that the human eye can see. Webb, meanwhile, focuses on infrared light, which is better for seeing objects farther away in space and time. Now, astronomers have combined these two unique views of the universe to image the MACS0416 cluster known as the Christmas Tree galaxy, located about 4.3 billion light-years from Earth.

Eco Portugal

The country has one of the most ambitious timeframes in Europe for being carbon neutral and, last week, Portugal made strides towards its 2045 deadline, by producing more renewable energy than it needed for 149 hours straight - a new record. Portugal aims to generate 85 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2045 - five years earlier than most European nations.

On Track

The US government is investing $16.4 billion into rail infrastructure between Boston and Washington, the largest rebuilding investment since the tracks were laid in the mid-19th century.


"Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow internet to see who they really are." Will Ferrell

On This Day

15 November 1904: American inventor King Camp Gillette was granted a U.S. patent for the first razor with disposable blades.


Mood Booster

Australian reporter tells a joke about the Dalai Lama to the Dalai Lama. He reckons it's his most successful joke ever.


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