Only Good News

Updated: 2 days ago

Tuesday's collection of upbeat news nuggets.

  • Norway is already the country with the highest share of renewable energy in the world, and now believes that it can build on its half-century legacy of piping fossil gas from the North Sea to Europe by doing the same in reverse for carbon emissions - for both themselves and neighbouring countries. The Northern Lights carbon capture project plans to ship liquid CO2 from industrial sites fitted with carbon capture technology to an onshore terminal on the Norwegian west coast. From there, the liquified carbon will be transported by pipeline to a storage location under the North Sea, where it will be stored permanently. The country is investing heavily to achieve this and it's part of Norway's plan to cut its carbon emissions by 95 percent by 2030 compared to levels in 2009. Friends of the Earth Europe has called Norway’s carbon capture and storage plans “a spoke in the wheel of the energy transition."

  • Doctors in Brussels will be able to prescribe museum visits as part a three-month trial designed to rebuild mental health amid the Covid pandemic. Patients being treated for stress at Brugmann hospital, one of the largest in the Belgian capital, will be offered free visits to five public museums in the city - including the Museum du Roi (pictured).

  • A New York City-based startup called C16 Biosciences has discovered a way of producing oil with very similar chemical and functional properties to palm oil. This is great news! Why? Well, putting a permanent halt to the advance of palm oil cultivation will stop people destroying rainforests to make space for growing palms. And to help matters along, Bill Gates is investing in the company.

  • A 700-year-old illustrated and annotated Hebrew prayer book that provides a window into the lives and rituals of Jewish communities in medieval Europe is expected to fetch up to $6m when it is sold at auction next month. The Luzzatto High Holiday Mahzor, created in southern Germany in late 13th or early 14th century, is one of fewer than 20 such prayer books believed to be in existence. According to Sotheby’s, it is the most important medieval illustrated prayer book to be offered for sale in a century.

  • You've no doubt heard that, after 40 years, ABBA have released a new album. They have also announced a new concert experience in London, also called Voyage, beginning in May 2022. Digital versions of themselves (not holograms, their team asserted) will appear nightly alongside a 10-piece live band at a new 3,000-capacity venue in the city’s Olympic park, called the Abba Arena. Tickets go on general sale today.

  • Since the start of the lockdown Steve Derrick, an artist from New York, has painted at least 100 portraits with the faces of healthcare workers. He captured every blood vessel, every bruise from wearing PPE, as well as every emotion in their eyes from fighting the pandemic. "That's when they're strongest – not when everything is rainbows and butterflies behind them," Steve told CBS. To show his gratitude for the selflessness of the workers, Steve gave away his paintings to the people depicted in them for free.

  • Hats off to Calum Maclean and Jenny Graham: The adventurers just became the first people to walk the longest straight line in the UK without crossing a paved road, after spending four days crossing 78.55km (48.8 miles) from the Pass of Drumochter to Corgarff in north Scotland, over the heather covered Cairngorms. They chose the route after reading an Ordnance Survey blogpost that identified it as the UK’s longest linear walk between roads.

  • Fun Fact: During his lifetime between 1162 and 1227, Genghis Khan fathered countless children. And while we may never know exactly how many offspring the leader of the Mongol Empire had, scientists now believe that around 1 in every 200 men - 16 million people! - are direct descendants of his.

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