Wednesday's Uplifting News

Mid-week round up of good news nuggets from all corners of the globe.


Helena Bonham Carter
Female President

It’s a 181-year-old institution that’s never had a female president - until now. The London Library, located in St James's Square, has announced that the actress Helena Bonham Carter will be its next president, taking over from the author Sir Tim Rice. Open to all since 1841, the library provided access to literature before state-backed libraries existed. It is funded by membership and counts Charles Dickens among its founding members. “The library is truly a place like no other, inspiring and supporting writers for over 180 years, many of whom have in some way informed my own career,” said Helena.


Pygmy People in the DRC
Pygmy People

Central Africa: The Democratic Republic of Congo's Indigenous Pygmy people have won a major human rights victory with a new law that recognizes them as a distinct people with rights and access to free, prior and informed consent before the government or industry can exploit their land. We, a network of 45 Indigenous organizations, worked for 14 years to get these protections enshrined into law.

 

Climate is a Human Right: In a far-reaching but little-noticed decision, the UN recently ruled that Australia violated the human rights of Indigenous peoples living off the country’s northern coast, by not protecting them from the ravages of climate change. Read on...

 
Pile of Scrabble pieces
Word Play

Raise your hand if you've stopped a Scrabble match to consult the Scrabble dictionary over a word's validity. It happens! You're going to have to expand your horizons a bit, though, because Hasbro and Merriam-Webster have added more than 500 new words to the official Scrabble dictionary. They include "guac," "vax," "deepfake," "adorbs," "zedonk" and "Google." Proper nouns? In my Scrabble? Apparently so - but only a few. "Jedi," for instance, is now playable, but "Yoda" is not. Feel free to argue that amongst yourselves. “English speakers like to have fun with words, and no one does it better than Scrabble players, who make excellent use of words both obscure and common,” said Merriam-Webster editor at large Peter Sokolowski.

 
Fun Fact

The island nation of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean Sea is the only country in the world that’s named after a woman, in this case Saint Lucy of Syracuse. French settlers were the first Europeans to arrive on the island, and gave it that name.

 
Mangroves bordering a lagoon

Mangroves

The Global Mangrove Alliance has reported a decline in the overall rate of mangrove loss. More than 42% of the world’s mangroves are now protected, an increase of 17% since 2012. Indonesia holds one-fifth of the world’s total mangrove coverage with more than 2,000 km2 ripe for restoration. The GMA aims to increase mangrove protection globally to 80% by 2030. Mangrove soils are highly effective carbon sinks, locking away large quantities of carbon and stopping it from entering the atmosphere. In addition, they are vital in helping society adapt to climate change impacts, reducing the impact of storms and sea-level rise.


Two golfing pals are celebrating both getting a hole-in-one
17 million to 1

Two golfing pals are celebrating a sporting ‘miracle’ after both getting holes-in-one in consecutive shots on the same hole - beating odds of 17 million to 1. It was 69-year-old Jaswant Sidhu who first achieved the feat on the 145 yard, par three hole. His friend, 72-year-old Peter John, followed suit and the two couldn’t believe what had happened. “He [Sidhu] teed a lovely shot and got a hole in one. We celebrated and it was absolutely phenomenal,” said John. “I stepped up and them somehow did exactly the same thing. It’s so unique. It’s our first hole-in-one for both of us. You don’t expect to get a hole-in-one in your career.”


Wildlife crossing in Montana
Wildlife Crossings

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes collaborated with the Montana Department of Transportation to design and build one of the largest networks of wildlife highway crossings in the U.S. Previously known as one of Montana's most dangerous roads, Highway 93 was upgraded to include 42 wildlife crossings that were built based on Indigenous traditional knowledge and values. According to a recent study, animal collisions have declined by 71 percent.

 

"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."

Abraham Lincoln

 
On this Day


23 November 1963: The first episode of the British science-fiction television series Doctor Who aired, and the show became a landmark of British popular culture. It's still running today.

 
Like a Sun Flower

A new floating solar power farm is stalking the sun’s movements and radically improving conversion efficiency. Read on...


What's for Lunch?

US school lunches are getting fresher and more local, thanks to increasing adoption of farm-to-school programs. Read on...


From the Archives

There wasn't a dry eye in the house after Chris Nikic became the first person with Down Syndrome to finish the Ironman World Championship. Read on...

 
Mood Booster

Released yesterday, the latest trailer is designed to further whet our appetites for its release in cinemas on 16 December.