Good News Monday

Updated: Oct 2, 2021

Today's mood-boosting good news nuggets from around the globe.

  • Despite the rather unedifying colour of London’s River Thames, marine biologists are happy to report that the river is actually healthier than people think. In the 1950s, researchers proclaimed the river “biologically dead,” but these days, the stable seal population suggests that the river is thriving. The Zoological Society of London has just reported the presence of 2,866 grey seals and 797 harbor seals. New Yorkers may be wondering about the state of the East River. Here's an innovative idea to help clean it up.

  • Good news for residents of Copenhagen. It has been named the world's safest city in a new wide-reaching study from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), scoring 82.4 out of 100. The Danish capital surpassed former frontrunners like Tokyo, Singapore, and Osaka in the fourth edition of the EIU's biennial Safe Cities Index, which for the first time included environmental security metrics. The European city was followed closely behind by Toronto with 82.2 points.

  • Your next pair of shoes may be made from mycelium, the root-like threads that grow under mushrooms. Bolt Threads, a sustainable materials startup that transforms mycelium into “unleather,” is scaling up production in the Netherlands to make a million square feet of its material annually. It’s partnering with brands like Adidas, which will soon release sneakers that use the new material.

  • The best one liner joke at this year's Edinburgh Fringe has been won by Masai Graham with: "I thought the word 'Caesarean' began with the letter 'S' but when I looked in the dictionary, it was in the 'C' section."

  • After essentially disappearing from Illinois, the osprey is making a comeback thanks to a decades-long effort to eliminate harmful pesticides and provide safe places for the large, slender hawks to nest.

  • The world’s largest floating office building has just been opened by King Willem-Alexander in the Netherlands where, appropriately, it will house the offices of the Global Center on Adaptation - headed by former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Anchored in Rotterdam, both office and organization will make a fighting partnership in the attempts to lessen the impact of climate change, particularly in a country that’s below the level of the sea. The building also uses the waters of the Dutch harbour as a heat sink to regulate temperatures in the offices without using climate control. And the offices are fully recyclable after the materials are no longer safe for continued use.

  • More than 70 women have “married” trees to protest against their deforestation in the UK. The environmental organisers planned the ceremony in response to a planning application that is set to build 166 apartments where 74 mature trees currently reside in the city of Bristol. Each bride wore wedding dresses from a number of different cultures in a ceremony performed by a celebrant, according to the BBC. Even though the marriage is not legally binding, the women are confident they’re making their voices heard in the fight to preserve local nature.

  • A Doberman named Ruby, who just had a litter of puppies, has adopted a tiny kitten as one of her own. Brittany Callan, from rural Geneseo, N.Y., says she thinks the kitten, who she's named "Ramblin' Rose", was about two or three days old when she found her and brought her home. Since Ruby just had her litter, she thought she would see if Ruby would accept the kitten. Callan says she did right away. "Seriously cannot get over how well Ruby has taken to this kitten," Callan wrote on Facebook.

  • Maersk has agreed to buy a minority stake in a green-fuel startup backed by Warren Buffett, as the world’s largest container line latches on to new technologies to de-carbonize its fleet. Maersk consumes about 12 million tons of marine oil per year, roughly equal to all the oil produced in the world in a single day. The company needs to find green alternatives for all that fuel by 2050, when it plans to be carbon neutral.

  • Fun Fact: That tiny dot above lower case i and j letters has an actual name: tittle. It is thought that the phrase "to a T" is actually derived from the phrase "to a tittle" - a phrase that was used in the same sense dating back to the early 17th century. (The first recording of the phrase is in the 1607 play Woman Hater by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, in which the line reads, "I'll quote him to a tittle.")

Dive in Deeper

Evolution of Dance

To get Monday off to an upbeat, foot-tapping start, enjoy a video mash-up of the evolution of dance from the Roaring 20s to the Naughty 90s.