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Good News Wednesday

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

An eclectic bundle of uplifting news nuggets gathered from around the globe.

Girl with a Pearl Earring painting by Vermeer
Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring | Wikipedia
Most Successful Ever

The blockbuster exhibition of paintings by Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer has now closed its doors, with the art and history national museum of the Netherlands hailing the show as its most successful ever. The Rijksmuseum said the exhibition that drew on collections around the world to bring together 28 of the 37 paintings generally ascribed to Vermeer attracted 650,000 visitors from 113 countries during its 16-week run that started in early February. The exhibition included seven paintings that had never previously been displayed publicly in the Netherlands, among them three from The Frick Collection in New York. For art lovers who didn’t manage to get their hands on one of the highly-sought-after tickets, six Vermeer paintings will remain on show in the Rijksmuseum’s Gallery of Honour.

Chicken or Egg?

Scientists believe they may have finally found the answer to the question: which came first, the chicken or the egg? The chicken’s earliest reptilian ancestors, “dating back millions of years before even the dinosaurs evolved, may not have laid eggs”, said The Times. Researchers from the University of Bristol in the UK and Nanjing University in China believe the early ancestors of modern birds and reptiles may have given birth to live young rather than laying eggs.

Eliminating Meningitis

Successful trials of a new meningitis vaccine in Africa have raised hopes for the elimination of a disease that kills about 250,000 people a year. The NmCV-5 vaccine, which will become available in coming months, will protect against the five main meningococcal strains, including the emerging X strain, for which there is currently no protection. "It should be game changing for epidemic meningitis control in the meningitis belt. We look forward to seeing the vaccine rolled out in the region as soon as possible," says Ed Clarke, co-author of the study, New England Journal of Medicine.

Sea turtle
Marine Park

Australia is going to triple the size of its Macquarie Island Marine Park and close off an area larger than Germany to fishing and mining. Located between Tasmania and Antarctica, the park will expand to 183,500 square miles (475,465 km2), protecting millions of seabirds and wildlife including elephant and fur seals, whales, and the royal penguin, which is found nowhere else on earth.

Russian Propaganda

In winter last year, Russian media released a propaganda film showing freezing Europeans huddling together for warmth and cooking their pets, reports Politico. Six months later, the continent has more or less kicked its addiction to Moscow's gas, is entering next winter with healthy reserves, nobody's had to eat a hamster, and gas prices have reached a two-year low.

EU Breaks Record

Wind and solar produced more electricity in the EU than fossil fuels in May, for the first full month on record. Almost a third of EU electricity was generated from wind and solar, while fossil fuels generated a record low of 27 percent. 'Europe’s electricity transition has hit hyperdrive. Clean power keeps smashing record after record,' says energy think tank Ember. And this is significantly due to Vladimir Putin creating fresh urgency to Europe's switch away from fossil fuels.

Zero-Emission Cruise

A futuristic vessel that runs on batteries and has huge, retractable solar sails could become the world’s first zero-emission cruise ship, according to plans unveiled by cruise line Hurtigruten Norway. The company, which has been sailing up and down the Norwegian coast since 1893, wants to launch the pioneering ship in 2030. Envisioned as part of the cruise line’s emissions-cutting “Sea Zero” project, the vessel will rely primarily on power from 60-megawatt rechargeable batteries. Since renewable energy sources provide nearly all of the electricity in Norway - some 98 percent of it - the batteries will have the added benefit of drawing on clean energy while in port.


“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” Socrates

On this Day

14 June 1777: The Continental Congress approved the Stars and Stripes as the first national flag of the United States.


Mood Booster

Newton's Pendulum Gangnam Style: Well, this is certainly something a little bit different!


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