Global round up of positive news nuggets to get the day off to a bright start.
As far as birthday parties go, you might get balloons or even a bouncy castle, but what about a global superstar singing to you? For one lucky six-year-old from Belfast, that is exactly what happened. Daniel Keating could not believe his luck when he attended an Ed Sheeran concert and the multi-award winning artist spotted him in a crowd of more than 40,000 people. With the help of the crowd and a colourful hand-made sign, Daniel caught the singer's attention. Not only did the singer-songwriter spot Daniel and wish him well on his special day, but he also got the whole crowd to join him in serenading the six-year-old with a special rendition of Happy Birthday.
For nearly a century, Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer has overlooked the city. Arguably one of the most iconic statues in the world, the towering depiction of Jesus Christ immediately became a national symbol when it opened in 1931. But now, a small Brazilian town has bested the statue with its own massive Jesus: 143 feet (44m) tall and called Cristo Protetor (Christ the Protector). It’s in Encantado, a small locale of just 23,000 people, but it’s put itself on the map with the statue, which is now the tallest of its kind in the world. When access to the interior of the statue is permitted, visitors will be able to take in the surrounding views from the glass-encased heart at Jesus' chest.
Lost in Translation
About 10 million people speak Quechua, but trying to automatically translate emails and text messages into the most widely spoken Indigenous language family in the Americas was all but impossible. Happily, Google has now added Quechua (the lingua franca of the Inca Empire) and several East African languages like Oromo and Tigrinya, which also have millions of speakers - to its Google Translate offering.
Today's obscure word: Peristeronic - of or relating to pigeons.
WWII Pilot's Wallet
Dennis Gray, a pilot in the U.S. Navy, went missing in May 1945. His plane went down during the Battle of Okinawa in the Pacific and his body was not recovered. 77 years later, a California woman found a wallet with the name of Dennis Gray among her grandparents’ belongings. She wanted to return it to the original owners, so she signed up on Ancestry.com and found Luci Willits - the daughter of Dennis Gray’s niece. A short time after, she mailed Luci the wallet. In the wallet, Luci found Dennis’ ID, a photo of her mother at the age of 5, and other photos of family members. “We have very few things from him,” Luci commented. “To have something like this from him is a treasure. It is truly irreplaceable.”
Switzerland has voted to boost the availability of transplant organs by making everyone a potential donor after death unless they have expressly objected. The legal change was approved by 60 percent of voters in a referendum. In a bid to reduce the backlog, the Swiss government wanted to change the law to a “presumed consent” model, something already adopted in a number of other European countries.
EU Solar Boost
The EU has set out a scheme called the “European Solar Rooftops Initiative,” that would oblige the EU and national governments to provide funding and launch support programs for the installation of rooftop panels and solar energy in all suitable public buildings by 2025. According to EU Green lawmaker Michael Bloss, “the solar turnaround has never been tackled in concrete terms.” Thus, he, along with other countries, is calling for the EU to handle the transition to clean energy with legal tools instead of voluntary schemes. This means legally requiring new buildings, public buildings, and supermarkets across Europe to have solar rooftops. This is good news because even though solar photovoltaic costs have gone down by more than 80 percent over the past 10 years, solar only accounted for five percent of EU’s electricity in 2020, and its share in heat production sat at a very low 1.5 percent.
Quote of the Day
"There is too much bad news to justify complacency. There is too much good news to justify despair." Donella Meadows
On this Day
19 May 1962: Marilyn Monroe performs her famous rendition of Happy Birthday. Monroe gave her sultry performance at a party for U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
Dive in Deeper
Travel Mood Booster
Enjoy a 4 minute flying visit to the temples and landscapes of Myanmar.