Only Good News

Updated: Nov 8, 2021

Thursday's upbeat collection of good news nuggets.

  • Boom time for Cape Verde’s sea turtles as conservation pays off. The West African island nation was considered the world’s third-largest nesting site for loggerheads (in terms of numbers of nesting females), after Florida and Oman. But nest numbers have risen so dramatically in recent years that some scientists believe Cape Verde may now be the second largest, or even largest.

  • It was less than one square inch and cost just a penny but it launched a revolution in communications. Now the first “penny black”, the postal stamp bearing an image of Queen Victoria’s profile, is expected to fetch up to £6m when it is sold at auction. The stamp was a runaway success when it went on sale in 1840, allowing people to send a letter weighing up to half an ounce to any destination in the country for a flat rate of one penny. Eventually more than 68m stamps were sold. The stamp is to be sold by Sotheby’s in December.

  • For those of us with smartphones and smartwatches, the change to Greenwich Mean Time in the UK this Sunday night will happen automatically whilst we sleep. But spare a thought for the horological conservator at 900 year old Windsor Castle as he will be busy changing more than 400 clocks from the Royal Collection Trust. It takes him about 16 hours!

  • In years to come, few will remember Emma Raducanu recovering from a set down against Polona Hercog in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, to secure her first win since becoming US Open champion. But for the teenager, there was huge relief in getting the first WTA win of her career under her belt. With the pressure building after the 18-year-old lost her opening match at Indian Wells earlier this month, she said that breaking her tour-level duck was "huge".

  • Dame Cindy Kiro has been formally sworn in as New Zealand’s first Indigenous Māori woman to be named Governor-general. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made a speech at Dame Cindy’s swearing-in ceremony, saying: “I know as the first Māori woman to hold this role you are mindful that your opportunity here also provides inspiration that reaches far and wide for many from all walks of life.”

  • Remember when cell phones needed hours to fully charge? If you thought that was a pain, try waiting 60 years. Fortunately, with the advances of solar electricity, communities in Sierra Leone who have been beyond the reach of the state’s power supply for decades finally have power to call their own. Financed as part of the UK’s Rural Renewable Energy Project, the 32 solar micro-grids will provide power to communities totalling 80,000 people, and 23 health centres. One such grid has already gone online - in the commune of Foredugu, which has been without regular power for six decades.

  • It’s the dream scenario that, for one Canadian man, really happened. Jerry Knott bought a Lotto ticket for an August draw. He tucked it in his wallet and promptly forgot all about it until this month, when he remembered to scan his ticket while visiting Winnipeg. “I saw a two and a bunch of zeroes and thought, ‘Cool! I won $20,000!'” he said, according to a news release. “The store retailer looked at me with wide-eyes and said, ‘This is the missing ticket!'” Jerry was perplexed. “I didn’t know what she was talking about until she scanned it again and I saw there were a few more zeroes than I had originally thought,” he said. “That’s 20 and six zeroes - $20 million!”

  • Tesla long promised big changes for its future batteries, and Panasonic hopes its latest prototype battery will deliver for the electric carmaker. Automotive News reports that the Japanese company's new prototype battery, created specifically for Tesla, promises fives times more energy storage. In addition to more energy, the battery will cost 50 percent less to produce. These elements could produce a game-changing battery pack for Tesla with a lower cost and greater driving range.

  • In good news for the awakening of the climate debate in the USA, the majority of Americans say they want to see oil and gas companies held to account for lying about the climate crisis and contributing to global heating, according to a new YouGov poll commissioned by the Guardian, Vice News, and Covering Climate Now. The poll reveals that the US remains sharply divided over the causes of the deepening environmental emergency following the fossil fuel industry’s long campaign to downplay and deny climate science. However, the poll found that 70 percent said global warming was happening. More than 60 percent said oil and gas companies were “completely or mostly responsible”.

  • Fun Fact: 71 percent of the Earth is made up of water, yet only .007 percent of it can be used by humans. How is this so? For one thing, only 2.5 percent is freshwater; the rest is saline and ocean-based. Moreover, of this freshwater, only 1 percent is readily accessible, with the rest trapped in glaciers and snowfields.

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