Good News Thursday

Updated: Sep 15

Today's bundle of uplifting news snippets.

  • This is extraordinary: 97 year old Lily Ebert was liberated from a concentration camp in Pfaffroda, Saxony in 1945 by American forces and, as a gesture of goodwill, one of the troops gave her a banknote inscribed with: ‘A start to a new life. Good luck and happiness.’ Lily's grandson discovered the note in an old photo album and took to Twitter to see if he could uncover the soldier's identity. Only eight hours later, the mystery had been solved by piecing together clues from an old photograph and newspaper articles. He was called Hyman Schulman.

  • What does kindness really mean and is our motivation truly selfless, or are we driven by more selfish goals? A new kindness survey aims to get to the bottom of these questions. The online questionnaire, which is being run by Professor Robin Banerjee, head of the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex, in partnership with Claudia Hammond, Radio 4 presenter and professor of psychology, and BBC Radio 4, "digs into not just what individuals think it is to be kind, but also what kind of individuals we are to think that way in the first place". If you want to join in, take The Kindness Test

  • In a world first, the legendary Glasgow nightclub SWG3, is testing an innovative scheme that aims to generate energy from its dance floor - all in a bid to power the venue more sustainably. The body heat that’s harnessed can then be converted into energy to keep the lights on and the music playing all night long. The heat can also be stored for months until needed. SWG3 estimates that the project will enable it to save 70 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

  • As demand for wood keeps growing, scientists are seeking to find alternative sources for the material to cut the industry’s environmental footprint. From lab-grown wood to wood 3D-printed with the help of logging waste, innovators are hard at work finding viable solutions. Design student Gabe Tavas at the University of Illinois is one of them. His invention is a material called Pyrus - a wood alternative made from kombucha brewing waste, and the winner of this year’s national James Dyson Award. (Kombucha is a fermented, lightly effervescent, sweetened black or green tea drink commonly consumed for its purported health benefits.)

  • Plans for a floating swimming pool that filters Hudson River water has been greenlit for construction in New York. In the simplest terms, it’s an Olympic-sized pool shaped like a giant plus sign which will float on the waters of the Hudson River. There will be no chlorine or chemicals used in the pool - just river water. Once its up and running the pool filters should be able to clean more than 600,000 gallons of water a day. ‘Instead of trying to clean the entire river, what if you started by cleaning it piece by piece?’ a mission statement on the +Pool website asks, ‘And what if you could change how New Yorkers see their rivers, just by giving them a chance to swim in it?’

  • Fun Fact: It might seem safe to assume that the Canary Islands were named after canary birds, but the location was actually named for a different animal. Although it's off the coast of northwestern Africa, the archipelago is actually part of Spain. In Spanish, the area's name is Islas Canarias, which comes from the Latin phrase Canariae Insulae for "island of dogs."

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Mood Booster

Enjoy a beautiful 8K time-lapse adventure in Norway, discovering the magically changing scenery as the season pass.