Thursday's bundle of uplifting news snippets to brighten the day.
Thirty white rhinos have been introduced to Rwanda's Akagera National Park from South Africa, to create a secure new breeding stronghold for them. The 3,400km (2,100 mile) relocation from Phinda Private Game Reserve is the largest operation of its kind in history, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) said in a statement. “This is timely for the conservation of these incredibly threatened species,” Ariella Kageruka, RDB chief tourism officer, told journalists. A dedicated team will monitor the rhinos daily and a specialist veterinarian will oversee their acclimation.
It was well documented that, during lockdown, Brits drank even more than usual. Now, says major UK retailer John Lewis, there has been a surge in demand for smaller wine glasses. It's not yet clear whether this is occuring because people think that having a smaller glass will make them drink less or whether it's an effort to take more exercise because, every time you drain your diminuitive glass, you have to get up and go to the fridge for a top up.
Just after the November full moon, researchers witnessed a banner year that inspired hope for the revitalization of the world’s coral reefs. At Australia's Great Barrier Reef, different corals synchronized the release of their sperm and eggs, which look almost like the shaking of a giant snow globe - and this year it was uniquely impressive. “Unbelievably beautiful spawning from last night! The party sure has started and the corals are going off,” Reef Teach exclaimed on Twitter. Billions of new coral babies born are good news for the reef, after a difficult few years. “It is gratifying to see the reef give birth. It’s a strong demonstration that its ecological functions are intact,” Reef Teach marine scientist Gareth Phillips told EcoWatch.
Other news from Australia: 'Strollout' has been announced as the Macquarie dictionary’s word of the year for 2021. The Australian people have spoken and their opinion – for only the second time – is the same as the experts, with the colloquial noun “referring to the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination program in Australia, with reference to the perceived lack of speed” taking both the people’s choice award and the judging committee’s selection. For more on the UK's words of the year, click here.
A kind man selling ice cream from his van in Florida shared this great little message and a photo on Twitter: “A little girl just came up to the ice cream truck and asked if she could buy ice cream with a blue rock she found. I am now one blue rock richer.”
British Columbia’s provincial government has recognized that its old-growth forests are irreplaceable, vital ecosystems, and has spared 10,000 square miles, or 2.6 million hectares of forest from logging. The woods are filled with Douglas fir, western red cedar, and Roosevelt elk, black bears, wolves, and endangered birds. Some of the forests have remain undisturbed essentially since the last Ice Age.
A British child has finally been reunited with her stuffed toy, 'Cowie', thanks to the great efforts of kind strangers. After losing the stuffed cow toy on holiday in Iceland, 2,300 miles from home, the father of 10-year-old Hattie asked for help online. Thanks to an Icelandic tour guide, Óðinn Yngvason, 'Cowie' was treated to a tour of Iceland before his return to the UK. Sif Björnsdóttir, a flight attendant who helped bring Cowie home, said: “Cowie was such an exemplary passenger that he got to sit within the cockpit with the captain and co-pilot.”
Nigerian-American musician Davido has announced he will donate more than $600,000 to orphanages across Nigeria, after hosting an impromptu online appeal. Davido has been one of Africa's most prominent artists over the last decade and is the African artist with the highest number of followers on Instagram. The musician, whose real name is David Adeleke, says he will 'do this fundraising every year to celebrate my birthday and give back to people in need.' He said he would also make a personal donation of $120,000.
Short poem by James Freeman Clarke:
To know that there are some souls, hearts and minds,
Here and there who trust us and whom we trust:
Some who know us and whom we know:
Some on whom we can always rely and
Who always rely upon us,
Makes a paradise of this great world:
This makes our life really life.
Dive in Deeper
New Definitions: The Washington Post asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Some of their readers' submissions are hilarious. Here are a handful of our favourites. Read on...
Up Up and Away
Beautiful short film of ballooning over Myanmar's wonderful landscape and majestic ancient temples.