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Just Good News Monday

Ensuring the week gets off to a sunny start.

Palette knife painting of a flower
Credit: Joshua Davidson
Blooming Marvellous

Artist Joshua Davidson is known for his stunning flower paintings. By using a palette knife to apply and manipulate thick paint on the canvas, the New Zealand-based artist is able to mimic the three-dimensionality of different blossoms. Davidson's vibrant paintings look as though they are blooming out of the canvas, with petals reaching out to touch the viewer. To follow the artist's work and keep up with his creative journey, you can follow Davidson on Instagram.

Asthma Prevention

Researchers at King's College London have announced a potential breakthrough in asthma treatment that could prevent respiratory attacks. Most current therapies are based on the idea of asthma being an inflammatory condition and treat the aftermath of an attack. The new study, suggests the damage and inflammation from an attack could be prevented by blocking a process that kills the epithelial cells that line the airways of lungs. Researchers also identified a chemical called gadolinium that can ease airway restriction. More trials are underway.

Three Asiatic lion cubs born at London zoo
Credit: London Zoo
Conservation Boost

The London Zoo recently welcomed three critically endangered Asiatic lion cubs into the world. Asiatic lions can now only be found in Gujarat, India's Gir Forest. After their birth, the very happy head big cat keeper at the zoo, Kathryn Sanders, posted: "Only 600 to 700 Asiatic lions remain in the wild and they are found in just a single habitat, which makes our cubs a hugely important addition to the conservation breeding programme." Ms Sanders added: “We expect that the three-week-old cubs will likely stay inside with mum for a little while yet, although as the weather gets warmer, we might see them venturing outside soon."

Fox caught in a shaft on sunlight
Human companion
Pet Foxes

According to a growing body of evidence, foxes were once a favourite companion of humans. Scientists conducted years of tests on a fox found in an ancient burial site in Argentina and discovered that the fox ate the same food that this group of humans did, and may have even been fed by multiple members of the community. Given its honoured placement, was likely tame and kept as a pet. The notion of foxes as pets in South America aligns with evidence from other fox burials in Europe and Asia. All in all, it adds to the very likely assumption that humans have always turned to other nearby species for companionship.

Front cover of The Little Engine That Could
Sparking imagination in children
Dolly's Free Library

Dolly Parton’s free children’s book program is now expanding statewide in Virginia. Thanks to Dolly’s Imagination Library program, all children in the state up to the age of 5 will receive one free book a month through the mail. The Little Engine That Could left an indelible mark on her. She loved the classic tale of perseverance so much as a child, the country singer wanted it to be the first book kids receive when they sign up for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. Children registered with the Imagination Library from birth will receive up to 60 books, free of charge, until they're 5 years old. The last book children receive from the program is Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!

Circular Fashion Boost

Online auction site eBay has given UK shoppers even more reason to love pre-loved clothing, by ditching selling fees for vintage garments. The measure aims to unlock an estimated £16.3bn ($20.4bn) of unworn clobber languishing at the back of UK wardrobes, and means that individuals will no longer be charged for selling unwanted clothes. It applies to worn clothes as well as new items with tags.

Sublime Cement

A zero-carbon cement mixture might change the way buildings go up. This new concoction is manufactured by the company Sublime Systems, and while it acts like traditional cement, it is processed in an entirely new way. Traditionally, cement is heated in a kiln, which produces approximately 8 percent of annual global carbon emissions. Sublime Systems makes its cement through an electrochemical process, with no kilns required. For its inaugural project, the cement is being used to construct a building in the Boston area.


"Whatever seed you are, bloom." Atticus

On This Day

Ray Kroc in 1955

15 April 1955: American fast-food pioneer Ray Kroc opened the first McDonald's in Des Plaines, Illinois.


Mood Booster

What a very chatty starling!


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