Monday's Good News

Updated: Oct 29

Getting the week off to an upbeat start.


  • The UK’s rarest nesting seabird, the roseate tern, has broken breeding records for the sixth year in a row in England, says the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). The charity monitors the UK’s only breeding colony of roseate terns on Coquet Island in Northumberland, where the population has risen from 104 breeding pairs to 150 in five years.

  • If you've ever wanted to search for distant worlds, your time has come. The team behind a planet-hunting telescope array called the Next-Generation Transit Survey is looking for help with the large volume of data the instrument has produced. The NGTS scans large areas of the sky with a collection of small, robotic telescopes to detect dips in stars' light that are caused by a planet passing between the stars and Earth. The team now has a lot of data, which it has sifted through using computers. But computers have difficulty distinguishing a likely planet from various sources of noise, so the researchers are asking the public to double-check the computers and provide a final call on what a signal is.

  • "When you've seen beyond yourself, then you may find peace of mind is waiting there" wrote George Harrison in the Beatles song Within You Without You. Lyrics and quotes from all four members of the Fab Four were included on NASA's Lucy spacecraft, which just embarked on a 12-year mission to explore ancient asteroids. The craft carries messages of wisdom and inspiration from all kinds of Earthlings, including a poem by inaugural National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman and quotes from Albert Einstein, Carl Sagan and Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Good news for Adele as she smashes the record for the most-streamed song in a week in the UK, earning 24m streams for her new single Easy on Me – over seven million more than the previous record-holder. The song – a poignant and tearjerking ballad about a breakup, in the time-honoured Adele style, becomes her third UK No 1 single after Someone Like You in 2011 and Hello in 2015.

  • The sale of electric vehicles and fossil-fuel alternatives is soaring in Europe as the bloc seeks to combat global warming. Almost one in five vehicles sold in the European Union was an electric model during the third quarter, says the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association.

  • As Iron Age hillforts go, Hembury Fort Cross is up there with the best, according to its Historic England listing: it’s in ‘exceptionally good condition’ with a ‘well defined circuit of defences’ causing the site to have huge archaeological significance and importance. This particular hill fort was constructed on the site of a far older site, a former Neolithic causewayed enclosure (no shame in googling that one) that’s between seven and eleven thousand years old. The hillfort also played a role beyond the Iron Age, being occupied by the Roman Army in 1st century AD. Fancy owning it? Hembury Fort Cross is currently for sale via Savills at a guide price of £100,000 ($138,000).

  • Donald Trump is launching his own network, TRUTH Social, a name which feels par for the course from arguably Earth’s most committed liar. Really the only entity for whom this is long-term good news is Facebook, which – against all odds – now has at least the promise of a more toxic social network than its own.

  • ‘Climate crisis’ has made it into the Oxford English Dictionary. The eco-lexicon got a major update just in time for the Glasgow summit. Other new entrants include: global heating, eco-anxiety and food insecurity. Will Trump-anxiety be next?

  • Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s top oil exporters, has announced it aims to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2060 and more than double its annual target to reduce carbon emissions.

  • Now and then, when he drives by, Indianapolis Police Officer Jeff Stagg stops to clean off a roadside memorial for a young woman who was killed by a drunk driver. He's been doing it for 22 years, ever since Shelby Smith's loved ones put it up after her death. A little dusting of the wooden cross, new flowers - it never seemed like a big deal to Stagg. That is, until a video of him tending to the memorial went viral and reached the girl's parents. For Smith's mother, it was a very big deal. Sherry Smith also used to keep an eye on the memorial until she moved away 12 years ago. When Smith saw the video of Stagg, she was floored. "It was overwhelming and I was just so grateful because I had no idea that, you know, anyone had had been doing that," she told CNN. Smith and Stagg were recently able to meet while she was in town, sharing an embrace at the spot where they have so lovingly kept Shelby's memory alive.

  • Edinburgh is one of 13 sites in Scotland recognized by UNESCO as a place of international importance. Now the city, along with the nearby Forth Bridge connecting it to Fife, will become part of the world's first ever UNESCO trail. Designed to help transform Scotland into a world-leading responsible tourism destination, the digital trail connects together for the first time all of Scotland's UNESCO world heritage sites, biospheres, geoparks, and cities of culture.

  • Fun Fact: Originally built on a lake in 1325AD, Mexico City is sinking. The Aztecs filled in Lago de Texcoco to create an artificial island and the Spaniards built a second location atop the ruins in 1521. Because the majority of locals rely on water extracted from the aquifer below the city, it's dropped 32 feet in the last 60 years.

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