Only Positive News

Tuesday's upbeat global round up of positive news.

  • Good news for art lovers as glass display cases filled with artworks take centre stage in the Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen, a bowl-shaped art storage building - clad in mirrored glass, with a roof garden filled with trees - which is now open in Rotterdam. Billed as the "world's first publicly accessible art depot", the building brings together the entire 151,000-piece art collection of the neighbouring Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Unlike most museum storage depots, this one is open to the public, and allows the museum to display its entire collection, whereas most other museums can only present around 20 percent or less at any given time.

  • The Biden administration is to waive immigration-related fees for up to 70,000 Afghan evacuees as they are resettled in the United States. The administration will now exempt Afghan evacuees - many of whom arrived in the United States with little to nothing - from paying costly application fees to get authorization to work or apply for lawful permanent residence.

  • England’s long-awaited Environment Act has finally passed into law. “The act is a big milestone,” said Ruth Chambers of Greener UK, a coalition of NGOs that campaigned for the bill. “Its breadth is enormous.” The act, among other things, provides a framework for legally binding targets to be set in four key areas: air quality, water quality, the state of nature and waste management. It has also created a new independent watchdog - the Office for Environmental Protection - to hold the government to account.

  • Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso has announced an expansion of the marine protections around the Galápagos Islands by 23,000 square miles - nearly 15 million acres. Lasso also announced the creation a protected underwater superhighway from Galápagos all the way to Costa Rica, which is great news for a variety of endangered migratory animals such as scalloped hammerhead sharks, whale sharks, rays, sea turtles, and tuna. The route will connect with Cocos Islands National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site off the coast of Costa Rica. The new marine sanctuary expands the existing Galápagos Islands reserve by 45 percent - and there is already a fleet ready to police the area.

  • A diet rich in fruit, vegetables, beans and tea could help guard against dementia. Researchers at the University of Athens monitored around 1,000 people in their 70s, analysing their intake of foods believed to reduce inflammation in the body, such as vegetables. They found that the volunteers who ate the most of these foods were three times less likely to develop dementia than those who ate the least. It may be that the participants who ate healthily also did other things to reduce their risk of dementia, such as exercise. So, more research is required, but it's an interesting start.

  • Japan endures 26 typhoons and lower-level storms per year on average, and partly for this reason wind energy capacity in the country remains very low. Atsushi Shimizu, founder of Challenergy, has radically changed the look and function of the traditional mill-like wind turbine to allow it to generate power under extreme storm conditions - and capture that tremendous energy in typhoon-plagued countries where normal wind turbines need to shut down. The company’s “Magnus Wind Turbine” features large vertical blades spinning around a horizontal axis, which is the opposite of the long, pointed blades spinning from a vertical axis in normal wind turbines.

  • Take inspiration from Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins: Last week, the 105-year-old set a world record for the 100m dash for women in the 105+ age category at the Louisiana Senior Games. However, despite her world-record-breaking performance at the race, where she recorded a time of 1:02:95. Hawkins has a long history of athletic excellence. When she was 80, she started competing at the National Senior Games, specializing in cycling time trials. During her time competing, she won a number of gold medals, but had to put an end to her cycling career because “there wasn’t anyone left [her] age to compete with.” Instead, she decided to take up sprinting at the ripe age of 100. Not a stranger to setting records, Hawkins set the 100m world record for women over the age of 100 back in 2017, with a time of 39:62.

  • UK-based startup Travel Hands is launching an app designed to help visually impaired people navigate the busy streets of the London metropolitan area. The app, modeled after Uber, solves this problem by connecting the visually impaired with a volunteer guide in proximity. Once the app’s geolocation services pair the user with a guide, they can arrange to meet. Every volunteer goes through a mandatory training module provided by the company to learn the best practices for providing guided assistance and is screened through the Disclosure and Barring Service for a criminal record background check.

  • They say lightning never strikes twice, but on Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela that’s not true. This large inlet of the Caribbean Sea, next to Catatumbo River, holds the Guinness World Record for the most lightning strikes per square kilometre – some 250 per year on average. And they happen all the time: about 260 days a year, thousands of flashes an hour, all night long – as if you’re watching the sky transform into a plasma globe on full beam.

Dive in Deeper

Flying Visit to Norway

Enjoy Norway's mighty mountains, rivers, waterfalls and fjords in this beautiful film, shot by drone.