Only Good News Saturday

Updated: Nov 16

Global collection of positive news nuggets to help ensure the weekend gets off to a sunny start.


Letter with Charles Darwin's signature
Credit: Sotherby's
Rare Signature

A manuscript autographed by Charles Darwin is going up for auction, and it could sell for up to $800,000. The 1865 document is a rare example of the English naturalist’s full signature, as he often signed his name with abbreviations like Ch, Ch. Darwin or C. Darwin, says Sotheby’s, which is selling the document as part of its Age of Wonder auction this month. The existence of the note itself is also rare because Darwin often threw away his notes and drafts or used them as scrap paper; his children also drew or wrote on their father’s discarded manuscript pages.

 

Mystery of Darwin's Stolen Journals: Seminal works left in pink gift bag with ‘Happy Easter’ note for Cambridge University librarian after going missing twenty years ago. Read on...

 
Healthy Brain

Many people are a little self-conscious about the idea of wearing a hearing aid, but you might be surprised to know that your risk of dementia actually doubles if you have mild hearing loss.

If your hearing loss is severe, then you have five times the dementia risk of someone with normal hearing. In fact, hearing loss has been identified as the largest potentially modifiable risk factor for dementia, more than diabetes, smoking or leading a sedentary lifestyle. So why is this? Scientists say that poor hearing increases the amount of work the brain has to do to try to perceive speech and other auditory information. The good news: it's easy to fix.

 

New Study: Vitamin D Wards Off Dementia and Strokes. Sunshine could ward off dementia and strokes after scientists have shown a direct link between vitamin D and the conditions, in a world-first study. Read on...

 

Bees Like to Play

Bumble bees - just like humans and dogs - like to play with balls, UK scientists have found. Researchers have, for the first time, observed insects interacting with inanimate objects as a form of play. The team said its findings, published in the journal Animal Behaviour, add to growing evidence that bees’ minds are much more complex than previously imagined. Samadi Galpayage, a PhD student at Queen Mary University of London, and author on the study, said: “It is certainly mind-blowing, at times amusing, to watch bumble bees show something like play. It goes to show, once more, that despite their little size and tiny brains, they are more than small robotic beings.”


Celebration!

Now this is how you celebrate a graduation! Kendra Busbee rented a digital billboard in Camden, New Jersey, to let the city know how delighted she was that her daughter, Dr. Kristine Smalls, had earned her doctor of psychology degree from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. "I am the proudest mom knowing that I have the most awesome daughter," Busbee told Good Morning America. "I can't even explain the feeling that I have right now. She has done everything that a mother could wish their child could do."


15 Billion Trees

Kenya says it's going to grow five billion trees in the next five years and an additional ten billion by 2032, with the hope of restoring 10.6 million hectares of degraded lands. The government plans to immediately recruit an additional 2,700 forest rangers and 600 forest officers to support the program, says Bloomberg. Meanwhile, President Macron of France has just announced the country will be planting one billion trees too.


slow watch with just one hand
Slow Watch

Slow watches, made in Switzerland, were created to shift the way people read time. How? It has just one hand. So rather than focusing on the second or the minute, the company has produced an instrument that is designed to measure the moment. Slow does not describe a speed…. It’s a mindset that most of us somehow lost, they say. The slow watch is designed as a subtle reminder that time is the most precious thing we have so we should enjoy everything we do and stop chasing every minute.

 
Quote of the Day

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”

C.S. Lewis

 
On this Day

5 November 1605: Celebrated with fireworks as Guy Fawkes Day, this English holiday marks the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot, when Roman Catholics led by Robert Catesby tried to blow up Parliament, the king, and his family.

 
The Joys of Saturdays

A dozen reflective, often amusing, quotations about Saturdays. Read on...


Psyche Mission

NASA is off to visit an asteroid that's loaded with so many precious metals that it's worth more than our entire global economy. But that's not why they are going. Read on...


From the Archives

Zero-Carbon Fertilizer: Wouldn't it be good news if every time you threw out your garden waste you were fighting global warming? That’s now on the cards. Read on...

 
Mood Booster

Joyscroll: Another gloriously whacky advert for Iceland.