Today's Good News

Updated: Oct 2

Upbeat collection of postive news nuggets to perk up the day.

  • Actor and comedian, Robin Williams, who was 63 when he passed away, used his contract riders to help people in need. A rider lists out an artist’s specific personal and technical needs for hosting them for an event, and it can be absolutely anything - usually food, drinks, etc.⁠ "When I got Robin Williams' rider, I was very surprised by what I found," Brian Lord, a booking agent, commented. "He actually had a requirement that, for every single event or film he did, the company hiring him also had to hire a certain number of homeless people and give them a job." ⁠

  • These 17th Century glasses are expected to fetch millions on the auction block at Sotheby's New York. What makes them so special? Their lenses are made of pure emeralds. The pair pictured, dubbed the "Gate of Paradise," are believed to have been cut from a Colombian emerald weighing over 300 carats. The spectacles are a, well, spectacular example of Mughal jewelry craftsmanship (the Mughal Empire once ruled over the Indian subcontinent), and they are purported to help the wearer reach enlightenment and ward off evil. Could be handy, even at $3m plus.

  • Researchers from Purdue University have developed a paint so white that coating a building with it could eliminate the need for air conditioning. It's so white, in fact, that it has been awarded a Guinness World Records title for the world's whitest paint. The paint reflects 98.1 percent of solar radiation. Because the paint absorbs less heat from the sun than it emits, a surface coated with this paint is cooled below the surrounding temperature without consuming power. Typical commercial white paint gets warmer rather than cooler, but not this stuff. Tests found that the paint lowered the temperature by up to 40 percent.

  • Nowhere does "big" and "spectacular" quite like Dubai. The glittery Emirati city is home to the world's tallest tower, the world's highest restaurant, the world's highest infinity pool, the world's largest fountain show, the world's fastest roller coaster, and the world's largest indoor theme park. Now, yet another record-breaking spectacle is set to open there next month. Ain Dubai, the giant observation wheel, when it opens on October 21, will be far and away the largest observation wheel in the world. The wheel is roughly 820 feet tall - twice as tall as the London Eye over the River Thames.

  • 27,000 trees are cut down daily to make toilet tissue. That's 27,000 too many, so a couple of innovative companies created toilet tissue made from 100 percent bamboo. Why is bamboo better? It grows 80 times faster than an average tree - meaning that it can create thousands of toilet tissue rolls in the same time it would take for a single tree to grow back. Its short fibers are perfect for making toilet tissue, and made with 3-ply texture it strikes the perfect balance between soft and strong. It feels just like your usual high quality loo paper, but it's biodegradable, 100 percent plastic-free and ships straight to you. If you give a crap, try it. In Europe, go for Bumboo. For America, try Honeycomb.

  • Paris: The Notre Dame cathedral is on track to reopen to the public in 2024. The public body responsible for the 850-year-old building’s conservation and restoration said the securing of the cathedral had been completed on schedule, two years after it was damaged by a fire. “That means that we’re officially saying that the cathedral is now saved, that it's solid on its pillars, that its walls are solid,” they said.

  • Rolls-Royce has completed the maiden flight of its all-electric aircraft, flying for 15 minutes. The company intends to hit 300mph flight, to achieve a world record, in a few weeks time. The maiden flight was propelled by the most energy-dense battery pack ever assembled for an aircraft. "We are focused on producing the technology breakthroughs society needs to decarbonize transport across air, land, and sea, and capture the economic opportunity of the transition to net-zero," said Rolls-Royce CEO. "This is not only about breaking a world record; the advanced battery and propulsion technology developed for this program has exciting applications for the Urban Air Mobility market."

  • Fun Fact: The iconic stone heads protruding from the ground on Easter Island are familiar to most, but many don't realize what lies beneath the surface. Archaeologists studying the hundreds of stone statues on the Pacific Island excavated two of the figures, revealing full torsos, which measure as high as 33 feet. The Moai monoliths, carved from stone found on the island, are between 1,100 and 1,500 CE. A bit of an aside, but CE refers to the "Common Era" and sometimes replaces the use of AD in historical and archaeological communities. As with many things on Earth, time took its toll on the statues and buried them in sediment and rocks, hiding and preserving the torsos of the Easter Island heads.

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Mood boosting nature video:

An army of comical Adélie penguins arrive to lay claim to their breeding grounds. 90 second video narrated by Kate Winslet.