Monday's global round-up of good news nuggets to help get the week off to a positive start.
A ground-breaking contraceptive pill for men could be just around the corner after scientists identified a gene that once removed, temporarily renders sperm infertile. The potentially historic breakthrough contraceptive pill would also have no hormonal side effects, according to scientists at Washington State University. Crucially, and exactly like the female contraceptive pill, the destabilization of the infertility protein is not permanent, meaning sperm will recover once the person stops taking the pills.
Trashin’ is no longer in fashion. Massachusetts has officially made it illegal to throw out clothing and other textiles, becoming the first state in America to do so. Under the new law, residents must recycle their used garments. It's designed to decrease the strain of textile waste on the state’s landfills and other garbage processing facilities and introduce a more circular economy. Will other states follow Massachusetts’ lead? Progressive activism site Care2 has drafted a petition demanding that the rest of the states in the U.S. mandate the recycling of clothing. “This is a massive environmental victory, and especially in an age of fast fashion, it will help the state dramatically reduce waste,” the petition says.
What Goes Around
A Florida woman who spent her life savings to help her daughter beat breast cancer is now a millionaire. Geraldine Gimblet's $10 ticket was turned out to be a $2 million winner. Gimblet said she purchased the last available ticket the store had of her favorite scratch-off game. Gimblet's daughter, Lawrencina Jackson, said she was so happy to learn her mom won the lottery just one day after Jackson rang the bell at a local hospital, signifying the end of her breast cancer treatment.
Saturday Suit Fever
It’s one of film’s iconic images: a smouldering John Travolta, in a white three-piece suit, lapels licking the shoulders, raising his right arm on a glowing dance floor. And now, the white polyester outfit from Saturday Night Fever - the 1977 chronicle of the dying days of disco - could be yours for a quarter of a million dollars. The suit, which was bought for $100 off the rack from a small menswear shop in Brooklyn, New York, is expected to sell at auction for close to $250,000.
Booming Book Sales
Book sales are booming on both sides of the Atlantic. These days, Barnes & Noble stores are “unequivocally book-driven” and that’s a big change for the US’s largest book chain whose 600 stores now offer unique and highly curated content to suit their local communities. Chief executive James Daunt, who revived the Waterstones chain in England, is applying the same independent bookseller’s playbook to Barnes & Noble. Publishers no longer dictate titles for prime display spots for a fee and the company’s corporate staff is much smaller. Sales are rising, and Barnes & Noble will open about 30 new branches this year - many of them being stores once shut to cut costs. “The absolute joy of this is that the stores are better the less you do,” says Daunt. Meanwhile, sales hit a whopping £6.9 billion ($8.5bn) for the UK’s publishing industry last year, with readers snapping up 669m physical books to add to their burgeoning shelves – the highest ever recorded. “The statistics truly are a testament to the timeless appeal of books,” says Publishers Association chief executive Dan Conway.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." Benjamin Franklin
On this Day
24 April 1800: The Library of Congress was officially founded as U.S. President John Adams approved the $5,000 appropriated to acquire “such books as may be necessary for the use of congress”; it eventually became the largest library in the world.
Hilarious photoshopped video compilation of birds with arms and voices.