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Just Good News Thursday

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

Today's smorgasbord of good news nuggets to help perk up the day.

Lucy Kellaway of Now Teach
Lucy Kellaway | Linkedin

This year, the over-55s accounted for the biggest rise in new trainee teachers in England, with a 75 percent increase in applications. They are all empty nesters, ‘“unretirees”, those who have been made redundant or who have had a life-changing experience. “This is a really interesting trend and we’re just at the beginning of the change,” said Lucy Kellaway, who quit “the world’s nicest job as a journalist on the Financial Times to train as a maths teacher in an inner-London school” in 2017 when she was 58. Kellaway is co-founder of Now Teach, a charity whose direct targeting of older people has seen their numbers rise 88 percent year on year, compared with a 6 percent rise across all age groups.

Three women laughing together
The Best Medicine?

The old adage that “laughter is the best medicine” may contain an element of truth when it comes to heart health. A study has demonstrated that having a chuckle causes the tissue inside the heart to expand - and increases oxygen flow around the body. Patients with coronary artery disease who engaged in a course of laughter therapy had reduced inflammation and better health, the research found. “Our study found that laughter therapy increased the functional capacity of the cardiovascular system,” said the lead author, Prof Marco Saffi, of the Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre in Brazil. The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology in Amsterdam, the world’s largest heart conference.

Student Loan Forgiveness

Earlier this month, more than 800,000 student loan borrowers in the United States started having their debts discharged, after the government announced it would forgive a combined $39 billion in federal student loan debt. In total, the Biden-Harris Administration has approved more than $116.6 billion in student loan forgiveness for more than 3.4 million borrowers.

Giving it Away

Associated Press reports that MacKenzie Scott, former wife of Amazon's Jeff Bezos, has given more than $14 billion to 1,621 charities since 2020.

Gray wolf
New Pack Discovered

In a victory for California's conservation initiatives, a new pack of gray wolves has been discovered in the Sequoia National Forest - roughly 200 miles away from any other known pack - the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced. Researchers collected samples and confirmed that all of the pack members were gray wolves, including five individuals that hadn't previously been detected. This is the farthest south that a pack of gray wolves has been seen in California in a century. The species was hunted to extinction in the state in the 1920s, and sightings remain fairly rare.

Removing trash from the Pacific Ocean
Ocean CleanUp

Located in the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and California, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is largest of the world’s five ocean garbage patches. It’s a massive pile of plastic and other trash carried and collected by ocean currents and winds. And the nonprofit organization, The Ocean Cleanup - which recently received a major financial boost from a co-founder of Airbnb - just removed the largest amount of trash from the patch yet - 25,000 pounds (12.5 tons) in a single extraction. It’s a major milestone as the group works to remove 90 percent of the garbage from the patch by 2040.

Record Investment

A critical part of decarbonization and the fight against climate change is in switching to renewable energy sources - and according to new data published by Bloomberg, the world continues to make record-breaking investments in that switch. In just the first six months of 2023, global new investment in renewable energy grew to $358 billion, representing a 22 percent rise compared to the same period last year, and an all-time high for any six-month period. The vast majority of investments were in solar energy, with a total of $239 billion invested, which was a 43 percent rise compared to the same time period last year.


“We have a duty to show up in the world with meaning and purpose and commitment to doing good. And to use any privilege that we have to make positive change and to disrupt oppressive systems.” Meena Harris

On this Day

31 August 1980: Polish labour activist Lech Wałęsa and Mieczysław Jagielski, Poland's first deputy premier, signed an agreement that conceded to workers the right to organize freely and independently. Walesa won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1983.


Mood Booster

Extraordinary Guitar Instrument Animation: From the remarkable imagination of Julian Lachniet.


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