TGI Friday!

As another tumultuous week comes to close, let's relax with some good news nuggets.


Brad Pitt standing next to one of his sculptures
Brad Pitt with one of his sculptures
Surprise Debut

An A-list Hollywood star has unveiled his sculptures – what he calls a “radical inventory of self” – at the Sara Hildén Art Museum in Finland, in a move that came as a surprise. It is the first time the “largely self-taught” artist presented his sculptures to the public, the gallery said. But, in good news for Brad Pitt, his exhibition has received considerable applause. Here's what one critic said: 'Pinch me – I must be dreaming. Brad Pitt is an extremely impressive artist. I certainly didn’t expect to be saying that when I got up this morning. He has sidestepped the embarrassment of celebrity art to reveal what by any standard are powerful, worthwhile works.'


Action Not Words

Denmark has just promised 100 million Danish crowns ($13.2 million) to developing nations damaged by climate change, thus becoming the first country to offer “loss and damage” compensation for those in the most climate vulnerable regions of the world. “It is grossly unfair that the world's poorest should suffer the most from the consequences of climate change to which they have contributed the least,” said Denmark’s development minister Flemming Møller Mortensen. He added that it was time for action, not just words.


South Pole observation post
NOAA facilities in the South Pole
Significant Milestone

Earth’s ozone layer protects all life on Earth from the sun’s harmful radiation. But in the late 20th century, human emissions of certain damaging chemicals began to affect the number of ozone molecules in the atmosphere. This resulted in a dramatic hole opening up over Antarctica every year caused by complex meteorological and chemical processes. In 1987, just seven years after scientists discovered man-made chemicals were damaging the ozone layer, the Montreal Protocol was signed to try and curb the amount of harmful chemicals in the atmosphere. In early 2022, NOAA scientists found that concentrations of harmful chemicals had declined by just over 50 percent in the mid-level of the stratosphere compared to the 1980s. Scientists at the NOAA say it is a “significant milestone” on the path to recovery.

 
Penumbra

The partially shaded outer region of the shadow cast by an opaque object.

 
Hollywood sign in Los Angeles

Birthday Paint

In preparation for its 100th birthday next year, the Hollywood sign is getting a makeover. The giant letters on the hill - which initially read ‘Hollywoodland’ - are being cleaned and repainted, a process that’s estimated to take the next eight weeks. Anyone who wants to watch the paint dry on the 45ft-tall letters can follow along on the sign’s 24/7 webcam. The last time the sign was freshened up was on its 90th birthday.


Gobbledegook

Internal pain points, change-adaptability, enhanced performance capability and the overlaying of certain planning provisions: these are the bewildering, often-enraging spectres of government gobbledegook that haunt official documents. Now, the New Zealand government is attempting to drawing a thick red line through the worst offenders, with a new law - the Plain Language Bill - demanding bureaucrats use simple, comprehensible language to communicate with the public.


Street singer in São Paulo
No Car Sundays

When the mayor of São Paulo, a Brazilian megalopolis of over 12 million, decided in 2016 to close the city's most famous avenue to cars on Sundays, many residents and business owners weren't happy. But nowadays, most city residents think the Paulista Aberta program should be expanded to other major streets, and store managers hope the ban can be expanded to other days of the week. "With the closing for cars, people started to walk a lot more, to stroll around, and the sales on Sundays grew sevenfold," says Erivan Soares, manager of Martins Fontes, a large bookstore. "Sundays are now, by far, our busiest days."

 
Quote of the Day

"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." Carl Bard

 
On this Day


23 September 1846: German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle became the first person ever to observe the planet Neptune, the existence of which had been mathematically predicted by Urbain-Jean-Joseph Le Verrier and John Couch Adams.

 
Clever Idea

A smart new idea for ropeless fishing gear might just help protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale. Read on...


Lightning Bugs

If Van Gogh was an astronaut, this is what his photograph from the ISS may have looked like. Read on...

 
Mood Booster

Top 10 'Only Roger Federer' Shots at Wimbledon.