Only Good News

An upbeat mid-week collection of good news snippets from around the world.

  • Researchers in Hawaii have finally completed a comprehensive online map of the world’s coral reefs by using more than 2 million satellite images from across the globe. The Allen Coral Atlas, named after late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, will act as a reference for reef conservation, marine planning and coral science, and greatly assist researchers and scientists in their efforts to preserve and expand these fragile marine ecosystems.

  • New York Governor Kathy Hochul has signed into law a bill that sets a goal for all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks to be zero-emission models by 2035, joining the state of California in attempting to rapidly eliminate gasoline-powered vehicles.

  • It's been a great week for three stonemasons working on a centuries-old estate in Plozevet, Brittany, after they found a hidden metal box embedded in a barn wall. They were shocked to find it stuffed with rare gold coins, minted during the reigns of French Kings Louis XIII and Louis XIV. In all, they found a total of 239 gold coins. The cache is being put up for auction on 29 September, says Ivoire Auction House, which estimates them to be worth well over a quarter million euros, or $300,000. French law states that the haul will be shared 50-50 between the owners of the property and those who discovered the coins - so the trio of stonemasons are likely to be lifting a glass or two to toast their luck.

  • A school custodian no longer has to walk to work, thanks to the generous faculty from his school. Chris is the head custodian at Unity Grove Elementary School in Atlanta, and the school posted on their Facebook page: "Through the generosity of our staff, we have been able to bless our head custodian Mr. Chris in his time of need. In the past few months, Ms Combs and Ms MacDonald have orchestrated collection for funds to help him find housing and utility payments." When Chris got his surprise car, he happily announced that "There is a God," with his hands extended in the air. "I never would have dreamt of something like this," he said. "This is mind-blowing to me." The school said staff didn't know at the time that they happened to purchase his favorite type of car.

  • In Malawi, a country where only 11 percent of the population has access to electricity, having a reliable and renewable source of energy is a game-changer - especially in the schools. So, hats off to Colrerd Nkosi who has managed to provide free electricity to his village by using his ingenuity. In the beginning, he put a bicycle in the river and brainstormed about how the current moved the pedals, and how it might be turned into power. Then, he used an old refrigerator compressor that converted power for 6 homes. His neighbours were clamoring, so he continued to upgrade. According to the self-taught inventor, his latest turbine has the potential to produce enough power to provide electricity to 1,000 homes. The hydro power has the added benefit of lessening deforestation by removing the need for locals to cut down trees in order to obtain charcoal.

  • The Biden administration has announced that the United States will aim to produce almost half of its electricity from solar energy sources by 2050, reports The New York Times. The figures were released in a Department of Energy report, saying the aim is to raise the percentage of electricity sourced from solar to 40 percent by 2035, up from its current level of only 3 percent. By 2050, it then aims to raise that level again to 45 percent.

  • The Wallabies, Australia’s national rugby team, will permanently and proudly represent the Australian coat of arms along with a First Nations design on their primary playing uniform for the first time in history. According to Rugby Australia, featuring this Indigenous artwork on their gold playing jersey “celebrates and recognizes Australian rugby’s First Nations peoples.”

  • Harvard University's $42 billion endowment fund is ending its investments in fossil fuels, the school's President has announced, drawing praise from divestment activists who had long pressed the leading university to exit such holdings.

  • Fun Fact: Though there are short people and tall people everywhere, Indonesia is home to some of the shortest people in the world, according to data compiled from various global sources by the Telegraph. When taking both genders into account, the average adult is around 5 feet, 1.8 inches (158cm). The tallest people among us live in the Netherlands, where the average adult height is 6 feet (183cm).

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