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Saturday's Upbeat News

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Positive news nuggets to celebrate the start of the weekend.

Eiffel Tower, Paris
Bio-climatic City

The city of Paris has announced a new urbanism plan that breaks from its centuries-old tradition of prioritizing aesthetic trees in favour of species more resistant to heat. Part of a previously established goal of planting and sustaining 170,000 trees by 2026, the adaptation of drought-resistant trees includes introducing diverse species, such as Turkish hazel, Montpellier maple, European nettle tree and the holm oak, maintaining a biweekly watering schedule and providing additional support via stakes and metal girdles. The city is currently on track to meet its tree-planting goal, with over 50,000 trees expected to be in place by the end of this planting season. In addition, the plan includes increasing plantings on roofs and in public squares, creating more public housing, and establishing additional green space in lower-income neighbourhoods. Meanwhile, also in France...

Neanderthal Art

Hundreds of faint stripes, dots and wavy lines that adorn a cave wall in central France are the oldest known engravings made by Neanderthals, according to scientists who analysed the ancient markings, reports the Guardian. The patterns, called finger flutings, appear on sections of the longest and most even wall of the cave in La Roche-Cotard in the Loire valley, and were created more than 57,000 years ago, before modern humans arrived in the region, the researchers say. “These drawings have been applied, are structured, and were not made quickly or without prior thought,” said Jean-Claude Marquet, an archaeologist at the University of Tours. Some of the panels were so rich in markings they might be the product of collaborations, he added.


An Australian woman is hoping to cash in after making a “one in a billion” discovery in her grocery shopping, said the Daily Mail. Jacqueline Felgate, a former newsreader, posted a social media video showing off a perfectly round egg that she bought from a local store in Melbourne. “Literally one in a billion eggs are round and the last one that was found sold for over $1,400!” she wrote. The video “set off a string of puns amongst those who marvelled at the ‘eggcellent’ find”, the paper reported. But one commenter was sceptical about the egg’s potential price, quipping: “That’s eggtortion.”

High Seas Treaty

Members of the United Nations adopted the first-ever treaty to protect marine life in the high seas this week, with the U.N.'s chief hailing the historic agreement as giving the ocean 'a fighting chance.' Delegates from the 193 member nations burst into applause and then stood up in a sustained standing ovation when Singapore's ambassador on ocean issues, Rena Lee, who presided over the negotiations, banged her gavel after hearing no objections to the treaty's approval.

Carmel Valley, California
Paul Melzer | The Wildlands Conservancy
New Public Preserve

An early Apple employee who bought a vast ranch in California’s Carmel Valley 40 years ago is selling the property to a conservation group to become a new public preserve and cultural site. The Rana Creek Ranch, a working cattle ranch for about 200 years, is about half the size of San Francisco. Mike Markkula, an engineer who became Apple’s third employee, will sell the land to the Wildlands Conservancy for $35 million. The conservancy plans to open the property to the public for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding, and operate a regional conference center for environmental groups and education center for children. The Esselen Tribe, which was removed from its lands in the late 1700s, plans to purchase about 1,800 acres of the land from the Wildlands Conservancy. Tribal members will work with the conservancy to manage the wider landscape and plan to recreate their original village, Cappany.

The Lightyear 2 solar powered car
Credit: Lightyear
Lightyear 2

After a brush with bankruptcy, the solar car company Lightyear is back with a new model that gives drivers free power and lets them go over 500 miles between charges. The big highlight? The price tag. The car, called the Lightyear 2, will reportedly come with a remarkably low price tag of $40,000. If that happens, we could soon see an explosion of long-range solar EVs, which have previously been too expensive for the average driver.


Most people experience the hiccups only occasionally, and only for a few minutes. But Charles Osborne began hiccuping on 13 June 1922 - and didn’t stop until almost seven decades later. Originally from Iowa, Osborne was working on a farm in Nebraska when, one day, he suddenly fell down. He had “busted a blood vessel”, he told People in 1982, and doctors concluded that the injury impacted the part of his brain that controls the hiccup response. “For reasons unknown”, he finally stopped hiccuping in 1990, said Smithsonian magazine. Osborne died the following year, “after what must have been a blissfully hiccup-free few months”. He was estimated to have hiccuped 430 million times during his life. He learned to speak in a way that concealed his condition, married twice and had eight children.


"What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness."

John Steinbeck

On this Day

24 June 1947: American businessman Kenneth Arnold saw a number of objects “flying like saucers” while piloting a small plane over Mount Rainier in Washington; it was considered the first modern sighting of UFOs and gave rise to the term flying saucer.


Mood Booster

Wild bear likes to relax in a hammock in the afternoon.


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