Today's eclectic bundle of positive news nuggets from all corners of the globe.
Sale of This Century
Paintings by Paul Cezanne, Georges Seurat and Lucian Freud will go under the hammer next month in a sale of artworks from the estate of late Microsoft Corp co-founder Paul Allen that is expected to raise more than $1 billion for philanthropic causes. Described as "the sale of this century" by auction house Christie's, the collection of more than 150 pieces spans 500 years of art history from Sandro Botticelli to David Hockney. Christie's Global President Jussi Pylkkanen said he expected overall proceeds "well in excess of $1 billion." The collection will be sold in two parts in New York on 9 and 10 November.
Malawi has eliminated trachoma as a public health problem, the first country in southern Africa to do so, and the fourth country in Africa after Ghana, Gambia and Togo. In 2015, there were 7.6 million people at risk of infection. In just seven years, that number has fallen to zero, says the World Health Organisation.
Investing in Innovation
A recent report from the IEA says that to meet global climate goals, the world needs to mobilize $90 billion in public funding for commercial-scale demonstration projects by 2026. Never going to happen right? Except it already has. This month, according to the US Department of Energy, 16 countries delivered $94 billion in funding, exceeding and achieving the goal four years early.
Here's the second of this week's series on collective nouns...
A Blessing of Narwhals
Narwhals are rare species of whale that spend their entire lives in the Arctic waters of Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia. Since narwhals are rarely seen by humans, these groups are known as a ‘blessing’ - something that is gifted and not taken for granted. Most males have a single tusk, earning the species another distinctive title: “the unicorns of the sea.”
A new world's quickest electric vehicle has been crowned, and it isn't made by Tesla or Bugatti. It was built by students at the University of Stuttgart - and no, it isn't for sale. The pint-sized, home-built racer became the fastest-accelerating electric car on Earth last month (certified by Guinness) when it rocketed from a standstill to 62 mph in a blistering 1.461 seconds. The school's 20-student GreenTeam beat the previous record of 1.516 seconds set in 2016.
A small covering, such as a piece of cloth put over the back of a chair to protect it from dirt or as an ornament.
First Gen iPhone
Apple's newest phone, the iPhone 14, retails at $799 - but one of its very first models just sold for far more than that. The very first iPhone came with a 3.5-inch screen, a 2-megapixel camera, and a web browser. When the late Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs first introduced it 15 years ago, he called it a combination of "an iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator" all in one. Now, one of these first-generation iPhones from 2007, still unopened in its original box, just sold in an online auction for $39,339. That's 65 times its original price.
Chinese Vase Sells for 4,000 Times its Estimate: In the four decades of wielding the gavel at his auction house on the outskirts of Paris, Jean-Pierre Osenat had never seen anything like it. “This is a crazy story,” he said. “Quite extraordinary.” Read on...
Portugal has raised its debut offshore wind power auction target to 10 GW, more than three times the target at the start of 2022, reports Reuters. That kind of capacity should be able to produce around 45 TWh a year, equivalent to 90 percent of the country's 2021 national electricity consumption. In a single auction!
Quote of the Day
"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all." Stanley Horowitz
On this Day
18 October 1922: The British Broadcasting Company, Ltd., was established, to be replaced by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in 1927.
Some of the best bits from the BBC's hilarious Walk On The Wild Side series.