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Good News Thursday

Updated: May 25, 2022

Selection of bite-sized chunks of good news from around the world.

Hero Dog

A mine-sniffing dog credited with detecting more than 200 explosives since the start of the war in Ukraine has been given a medal for his services to the country. Patron, a two-and-a-half-year-old jack russell, was presented with the award by Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, at a ceremony in Kyiv. The terrier, whose name means “ammo” in Ukrainian, sniffs out Russian mines and explosives in the north-eastern city of Chernihiv and acts as a mascot of the country’s state emergency service. He has become a national symbol of Ukraine’s resistance against Russia, featuring regularly in videos on official Ukrainian social media channels.

Megalodon Tooth

A six-year-old boy has found a shark tooth belonging to a giant prehistoric megalodon that could be up to 20 million years old. Sammy Shelton found the 10cm-long (4in) tooth on a Suffolk beach in south east England. It has been confirmed as belonging to a megalodon - the largest shark that ever existed - by expert Prof Ben Garrod. His dad Peter said Sammy was sleeping with it near his bed as he was "very attached to it". The megalodon could grow up to 18m (60ft) in length, scientists estimate, and weigh up to 60 tonnes.

Carbon Negative

Tasmania has become one of the few places in the world to achieve net carbon negative emissions. It's gone from being an emitter of carbon dioxide to now removing more than it is emitting to the atmosphere. The mitigation benefit is about 22 million tons of CO2 a year. It's made this remarkable achievement by changing its forest management practices a decade ago. “Most people don’t realize that when you log native forests, it has a huge carbon footprint,” Professor Mackey, one of the researchers, said. “And when you change the forest management to reduce the amount of native forest logging you use, you avoid very significant amounts of CO2 emissions."


Today's obscure word: Sesquipedalian - given to using long words (adjective).


Kuru Kuru

In the mountains of Japan’s Shikoku island, a town of 1,500 residents is on an ambitious path toward a zero-waste life by 2030, having made a declaration in 2003. The town is well on its way to having a circular economy and estimates that it is more than 80 percent toward meeting its goal. The Zero Waste Center is the town’s recycling facility, where residents can sort their garbage into 45 categories. At the Kuru Kuru Shop (meaning "round and round"), local residents can drop off items they no longer need so others can take them for free. The craft brewery collaborates with different companies to use leftover food ingredients. You will not need a menu at Café Polestar, since only one dish is available for lunch to reduce waste. About 40 people share a handful of cars so they can drive residents or visitors where they need to go.

Credit: Tarisio
World Record?

Crafted in Italy by Antonio Stradivari, the 1714 “da Vinci, ex-Seidel” violin is estimated to sell for around $20 million by Tarisio, an auction house that specializes in bows and string instruments, on 9 June. This Stradivarius violin is expected to surpass the previous sale record for a Stradivarius; eleven years ago, the auction house sold another of the rare instruments in a charity auction that raised $16 million for victims of Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Unlike its predecessor, the “da Vinci, ex-Seidel” is not only meant to be collected - it can also be played.

Thorium Reactor

A Norwegian company, Ulstein, has unveiled a new vessel concept with a molten salt reactor (MSR) that holds the potential to deliver zero-emission cruises and other ocean industry applications. How does it work? An MSR uses a naturally occurring metal with low radioactivity to produce electricity. Thorium is dissolved in molten salt, and the chain reaction that ensues heats up the salt to produce steam, which is then used to drive turbines and produce electricity without any emissions. The good news is that this new concept could serve as a blueprint for making future electric vessels self-sufficient.

Quote of the Day

"If ever there is a tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we are apart, I’ll always be with you."

A. A. Milne

On this Day

12 May 1215: English barons serve ultimatum on King John which eventually leads to the creation and signing of the Magna Carta.


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Dive in Deeper

Nature Mood Booster

A wildlife artist has captured on film the very moment when, seeing a pair of rescued owlets in her nest, a tawny owl whose eggs had failed immediately adopts them with a cuddle and a clean.


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