Only Good News Nuggets

Updated: Oct 2

Tuesday's collection of positive news stories from around the world.

  • London's Kew Gardens has set a new record for the largest living plant collection at a single site, according to Guinness World Records. Established in 1759, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew has 16,900 unique plant species. 'It re-enforces the importance of botanic gardens around the world, as not only beautiful places to enjoy, but as essential hubs of inspiration and education,' said Richard Barley, director of horticulture at the gardens.

  • On a similar theme, more school children in Wales are to get access to edible playgrounds. The environmental charity Trees For Cities said that it has started work on raised beds, greenhouses and wormeries for 10 schools in Cardiff, which is striving to become a UNICEF Child Friendly City. “This initiative will allow pupils to benefit from greener spaces in their playgrounds, access more outdoor lessons and understand in greater depth about where their food comes from,” said Trees For Cities. The charity has already installed edible gardens at 180 schools in the UK.

  • A Dutch museum has unveiled a previously unknown work by Vincent van Gogh - a study for one of his best-known drawings, "Old Man" - in which an old man sits in a chair with his head in his hands. Van Gogh "was really interested in the ordinary person, he was also looking to express emotion," said Van Gogh Museum Director Emilie Gordenker. "I think we’re all coming out of the Covid period feeling like this and the amazing thing is that we can share this with our visitors. We’re open, we’re delighted to be open.” Discoveries of works by the famously troubled artist, who died in 1890, are extremely rare. The drawing is owned by a private collector and had never been known of or displayed.

  • It's true that every Italian thinks their grandma - or nonna - is the best cook around. So it was a genius idea when Joe Scaravella decided to gather up as many nonnas as he could to work in his restaurant in Staten Island. Enoteca Maria combines the skill of these delightful, talented grandmothers and has them create and cook recipes from their own family cookbooks.

  • A house in dreamy Sicily could still be yours for the price of an espresso and a croissant. But be warned: the prices have doubled. In 2019, you could pick up a dilapidated abode in Sambuca di Sicilia for as little as €1. In the second batch of 20 houses to be auctioned from November, the bidding starts at €2.

  • A glass bottle that was released into the sea 37 years ago by high school students in Japan has been found on the island of Hawaii, about 6,000km away. Students of the natural science club at Choshi High School in the eastern prefecture of Chiba released the bottle in 1984 as part of a project to investigate ocean currents, Japanese newspaper Mainichi reported. Recently, nine-year-old Abbie Graham found the bottle on a rocky beach in Hawaiian Paradise Park. Inside were contact forms in Japanese, English and Portuguese explaining it had been released off the coast of Choshi, and asking the finder to contact the school. Mayumi Kanda, 54, a member of the natural science club in 1984, said: “I was surprised, it revived nostalgic memories of my high school days. I thank those involved.” Abbie also enjoyed the experience. She told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald: “I want to go look to find another one.”

  • After his dream to have his own tech startup failed, 26-year-old David Casarez, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Information Systems, ended up sleeping on a park bench in a park in Mountain View, California.⁠ Down, but not ready to quit just yet, David made a hand written sign: “HOMELESS. HUNGRY 4 SUCCESS. TAKE A RESUME”, printed out a bunch of resumes and headed to a nearby highway.⁠ A passing driver stopped and asked him if she could take a photo of the sign and post it online. With David’s consent, she tweeted it the same day, impressed that the homeless man is looking for job, not just asking for money.⁠ Less than a day later, David received more than 200 job offers. He was amazed by how quickly his life had turned once again.⁠

  • Fans of rock band Genesis will be pleased to hear that they are busing rehearsing for their Last Domino? world tour which, as the name suggests, is likely to be their last. UK dates commence on 20 September, whilost US dates begin in Chicago on 15 November.

  • Fun Fact: Hummingbirds are known for being tiny creatures, but Bee Hummingbirds are the teeniest versions of these beautiful tiny flyers. They're actually the smallest bird in the world - and are only found in Cuba.They are so minuscule that they are sometimes mistaken for insects (which explains their name), according to the National Audubon Society. The birds are just two and a quarter inches long and weigh less than a dime.

Dive in Deeper

Bobcat Hunting in Winter

BBC Earth: Throughout winter, the rivers are full of food for those who know how to hunt it, and this tenacious bobcat is trying to catch his next meal.