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Good News Saturday

Updated: Jun 11, 2023

Ensuring the weekend gets off to a sunny start with a global round up of positive news nuggets.


Victor Hugo, author
Victor Hugo
Question: ? Answer: !

It's exactly 179 years since the first telegram was sent by inventor Samuel Morse, with the four-word message: “What hath God wrought?” - a quote from the Old Testament. Telegrams went on to become a leading form of communication “for most of the rest of the 19th century and remained significant in the 20th”, until India, the last place routinely sending such messages, withdrew its telegraphy service in 2013. The shortest ever telegram exchange was reportedly between author Victor Hugo and his publisher, in 1862. Wanting to find out how well his latest work Les Misérables was selling, Hugo sent a simple: “?” - to which his publisher replied: “!”.


Brad Ryan with his grandmother Joy Ryan
Credit: Brad Ryan
Every National Park

If you asked any American what they’d like to do after they retire - and you offered them the chance to go on a road trip to see all 63 national parks - many would probably consider it a great way to sail into the sunset. Well, a 93-year-old grandmother has just done it, becoming the oldest person ever to do so. It took her 8 years to visit all 63 parks, but Joy Ryan didn’t do it on her own. She had Brad, her grandson, for company, who described the adventure as “the greatest privilege.” Their journey began in October 2015 when they visited Great Smokey Mountains National Park in Tennessee and concluded this month when they made it all the way out into the South Pacific to American Samoa.


River Revivals

Paris is getting close to the end of a $1.5-billion-dollar effort to clean up the Seine, meaning people will be able to swim in it again for the first time in a century; in London, 40 different restoration projects are bringing buried rivers to light and re-wilding many of the city's waterways, and the city is about to open a super-sewer to let nature return to the Thames; and in Washington, the Potomac will shortly become safe for swimming again, too.


Rewilding Mode

Sweden's Husqvarna has added a new new "rewilding mode" feature to its robotic lawn mowers. "Rewilding Mode uses GPS wizardry to set aside 10 percent of your lawn for biodiversity," Husqvarna says. "That means leaving a part of your lawn unmown, so the pollinators, like the bees, butterflies and beetles have a place to work and live."


US Drinking Water

In 2021, the US Environmental Protection Agency implemented a new set of rules on lead and copper in drinking water. A study has now revealed that the regulations cost $335 million a year to implement while generating $9 billion in health benefits annually. 'We thought the benefits might exceed costs by an order of magnitude, but they were many times that,' said co-lead author Ronnie Levin, instructor in the Department of Environmental Health.


Plastic Progress

Malaysia, one of the ten biggest plastic polluters in the world, is ramping up its campaign to ban the use of all plastic bags. After starting with fixed business locations like supermarkets and shops, the ban will now expand to roadside stalls, and by 2025, will be extended to all physical outlets in the country, reports Straits Times. Meanwhile, Australia's largest supermarket, Coles, will stop selling soft-plastic shopping bags by the end of next month, a move that will remove 230 million plastic bags from circulation in the space of a year.

 

“Where flowers bloom so does hope.” Lady Bird Johnson

 
On this Day

27 May 1660: The Treaty of Copenhagen between Sweden and Denmark-Norway was signed, concluding a generation of warfare between the two powers as well as helping to establish the modern boundaries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

 





 
Brain Teaser

Matchstick mental test puzzles: Move only one stick to make these equations correct.



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