Good News Saturday

Today's collection of positive news snippets.

  • The American bald eagle population has quadrupled since 2009 with an estimated 316,700 now soaring over the country. They reached an all-time low of 417 known nesting pairs in 1963 due to hunting, habitat loss and insecticides, so this is a remarkable recovery. "This is truly a historic conservation success story," said US Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.

  • Joe Biden has announced he's setting a new goal of having 200 million vaccine doses for the coronavirus administered during his first 100 days in office. That's double his initial target and shows how well the vaccine roll out is progressing.

  • A typo in a road marking has caused amusement in a town near Rome, helping to break the monotony of lockdown. A photo of the error was posted by Giada Gervasi, the mayor of Sabaudia, on her Facebook page, inviting ironic comments, including suggestions the typo should be maintained as a tourist attraction.

  • Napoleon's brother lived in New Jersey: He built the largest private home in America, where he displayed his extensive collection of fine art and allowed townspeople to take tours of his library, which held more volumes than the Library of Congress, making it the biggest collection in the country at the time. Now the estate is to become a public park and museum.

  • Hats off to the very impressive Tom Cornish, aged 96. Tom has been weaving hats for the needy (giving them to the Salvation Army), throughout the pandemic, making one a day. He's also shared his expertise with his neighbours and says: "I really enjoy helping others. Others really come first."

  • Yorkshire's rhubarb triangle: Ancient tradition where farmers harvest their crops by candle light for extra sweetness.

  • Meat consumption will start falling in Europe and North America from 2025, thanks to the profusion of plant-based, protein-rich alternatives. The report provides more evidence that people in developed nations are changing their diets to benefit the planet.

  • The race to net zero stepped up a gear in Scotland this week, as tidal powered electric vehicles hit the road in Shetland. It is believed to be the first time cars have been powered by tidal turbines.

  • Good news in solving the plastics problem as UK technology company Mura says that construction has begun on the world’s first commercial-scale plant to use a new “hydrothermal” process that's designed to tackle the plastics that cannot currently be recycled. The plant is set to be operational in 2022 and Mura claims it will be able to process 80,000 tonnes of plastic waste per year.

  • Event Horizon Telescope: New image will help scientists examine and understand the magnetic fields around black holes.

  • The greatest quest in science is the search for an equation which can unify all the laws of the universe, and perhaps allow us to “read the Mind of God,” in the words of Albert Einstein. In an online talk on 29 April, professor of theoretical physics, Michio Kaku will describe the 2,000 year journey of humanity’s greatest scientists to find this fabled theory. Book early for £15.

  • LA is going fully green: The city of angels plans to fly closer to the sun to completely eliminate fossil fuels from its power supply.

  • In good news for Venice and basic common sense, Italian authorities have finally promised to divert cruise ships from the Guidecca Canal and St Mark’s Square. Cruise ships will now have to dock at the city’s industrial port on the mainland, in nearby Marghera. The Culture Minister said the decision was “to protect a cultural and historical heritage that belongs not only to Italy but to the entire world.”

  • Life is tough the higher up you get towards the Arctic Circle, particularly on laundry day. Here's an amusing take on how Nordic people do their laundry.