Thursday's collection of good news nuggets to brighten the day.
The Brooklyn Museum has returned more than 1,300 ancient artifacts - some older than 2,000 years - to their country of origin: Costa Rica. Tycoon Minor Keith brought the artifacts, looted during the construction of a railway, to the US in the 19th or early 20th century. The artifacts include an unfinished tombstone, a large ceramic vase painted with beeswax, human representations and ancient tools. "The tombstone is a piece we have only seen as illustrations in study books here," says Daniela Meneses, a researcher at the National Museum of Costa Rica. "It's amazing to see that piece now. It's very emotional."
Following our story on Tuesday about an Atari console selling for $10,000, now really, really is the time to check the back of your cupboards for what may be super valuable old tech. Why? A sealed, mint condition copy of the 1996 video game Super Mario 64 has just sold at auction for more than $1.5m (£1.1m), making it the most expensive video game ever sold. Super Mario 64 remains one of most critically acclaimed video games of all time, with its three-dimensional platforming helping to sell millions of Nintendo 64 consoles upon its launch.
Good news from the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh: In just a single day, they have planted an impressive quarter-billion tree saplings as millions of residents of the most populous Indian state continue what is now a yearly tradition. The last four major plantings in the state have achieved an impressive average saplings survival rate of 80 percent. “There has been an increase of 127 square kilometers (79 square miles) in the forest cover in Uttar Pradesh as compared to 2017,” a state government spokesperson was quoted as saying in The Indian Express newspaper.
Anthropologists and linguists often warn about how much oral tradition the human race loses to modernity every year. It can happen anywhere, including Ireland. So, the Song Collectors Collective - a small gang of intrepid and inquisitive young Irish musicians - have taken it upon themselves to preserve and record traditional songs. Focusing on the Irish, Scottish, and English traveler communities, their project aims to put the elders of a nearly-past generation in front of a microphone, to enshrine their songs and stories for musicians and folklorists to hear and study for all time.
After Sunday's successful trip to space by Sir Richard Branson, SpaceX founder Elon Musk will soon join the list of billionaires leaving Earth. However, Musk's planned trip will not be aboard a SpaceX. He will be using Branson's Virgin Galactic services, for which he has put down a $10,000 deposit, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Within the next few weeks, Pfizer and its partner BioNTech plan to ask US and European regulators to approve a booster dose of its coronavirus vaccine.
Bloomberg says the European Union is shortly expected to share its plans to ban the sale of new fossil-fuel guzzling vehicles in 2035. Before falling to zero, the EU wishes to decrease new vehicle emissions by 65 percent before 2030. This will all assist Europe in achieving its goal of net-zero emissions by the year 2050.
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