Today's selection of upbeat news snippets from around the globe. A positive way to end the week.
Good news for Beautycounter, the startup known for its clean formulations. It just hit unicorn status, showing there’s a lot of money to be made in non-toxic makeup. The company received an investment from the Carlyle Group, raising its valuation to $1 billion. The money is designed to fuel the company’s growth, including expansion beyond the US. But it’s also a testament to how mainstream - and lucrative - the clean beauty sector has become.
Couple adopts 7 siblings: In an extraordinary act of kindness, a nearly retired couple - who already had 5 children who have 'flown the nest' - decided to adopt 7 siblings whose parents had died in a car accident.
Here's a handy trick for Windows users who like emojis. Why type an email at all when you can just string a bunch of emojis together? To access the emoji panel, hold down the Windows key and press the period (or full stop if you're not in America!). You’ll see a panel of emojis along with a little navigation strip along the bottom for finding more obscure ones. If you would rather just dictate your reply, the Windows key and H are all it takes to get your machine to start listening.
New earthquake and tsunami detection system: There are about a million miles of fibre optic cable running across the ocean floor. Clever seismologists have figured out a way to put them to another use.
A project in Washington state has brought prisoners out of their cells to create a forest - and helped them connect with nature. Inmates have begun planting 5,000 native trees, and 36 species will eventually make up the ‘healing forest’. As to the impact on inmates: “I am going to be able to come by here and show my kids that I did that,” said one prisoner. “It feels great. It makes my heart feel good.”
World's first subterranean farm: Far below London's busy Clapham High Street, an enormous underground garden grows hundreds of thousands of the capital's fresh greens.
Hats off to Matt Criddle who launched Naturesave Insurance 25 years ago. By its very nature, insurance is designed to protect against risk, so his company - Britain’s greenest insurance provider - has always looked to the future. Each year, Naturesave takes 10 percent of the income it receives from its home and travel premiums, and puts it in a connected charity, the Naturesave Trust. The trust hit the £1m milestone earlier this year, no small feat for a business that employs only 12 people. The trust has donated to grassroots environmental projects across the UK via grants of between £500 and £5,000 apiece. Time to switch your insurance provider?
Autonomous vehicle testing is gathering pace in California. WeRide, the Chinese startup, has just received a permit to test driverless vehicles on public roads in San Jose, making it the seventh such company. A further 56 companies have an active permit to test autonomous vehicles with a safety driver. Driverless testing permits, in which a human operator is not behind the wheel as 'back up', have become the new milestone and a required step for companies that want to launch a commercial robotaxi or delivery service in the state.
Brits are being offered a free MOT by Halfords. All you need to do is purchase anything from one of their stores (or online) and you qualify for a free MOT. But, be quick! You need to make your purchase by 19 April to get the voucher. You can redeem your voucher until 21 May and the last available date you are able to have your free MOT carried out is 21 November 2021.
Feeling in need of a mood-boosting fix? Check out these Ugandan kids strutting their stuff. Guaranteed to make you smile!