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Good News Friday

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

Wrapping up the week with an eclectic bundle of good news nuggets from around the world.

  • Yuengling claims to be the oldest brewery in America, after a young David Yuengling arrived from Germany in 1829 and set up production in the coal-mining town of Pottsville, Pennsylvania. The other day, the brewery decided to make a special delivery to a Margaret Dilullo, who will shortly be 107 years old, and is quite probably the oldest beer-drinker in America. They dropped off 20 cases of her favorite beverage because she has famously attributed her longevity to drinking a can of Yuengling Lager every day. There's hope for us all!

  • Sticking to the longevity theme, Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal made a 97-year-old fan's dream come true last weekend. Leonid Stanislavskyi, 97, holds the Guiness World Record for being the oldest competitive tennis player. He holds an ITF ranking and even competed at the 40th ITF Super-Seniors World Individual Championships a few weeks ago. When Nadal, 35, welcomed Stanislavskyi to his tennis academy in Mallorca, Stanislavskyi asked: "Could I play a point with you?" Of course he could!

  • It's one of the most remarkable success stories of the pandemic: the unproven technology that delivered the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines in record time, helping to turn the tide on Covid-19. The vaccines are based on mRNA, the molecule that instructs our cells to make specific proteins. By injecting synthetic mRNA, our cells are turned into on-demand vaccine factories, pumping out any protein we want our immune system to learn to recognise and destroy, reports The Guardian. The further good news is that there is now a growing confidence that mRNA vaccines could have far-reaching applications in tackling numerous other diseases. Scientists are already exploring mRNA based solutions for cancer, malaria, flu, and HIV. Watch this space.

  • A Chicago cop was called to arrest a teen for sneaking into a gym. But what Officer Mario Valenti did next surprised everyone. He offered to pay $150 of his own money for a gym membership, instead of arresting the kid. He said he’d rather have the boy shooting hoops instead of “being on the street and possibly getting into trouble”.⁠

  • 50 years after being classified as a Schedule I drug in the US, psychedelic therapy has officially received federal funding from the government in what researchers see as a huge shift in the medical and public perception of the benefits of psychedelics. Johns Hopkins Medicine, a long-time pioneer in the field of psychedelic therapy, has been awarded a $4 million grant by the National Institutes of Health to continue investigating psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy to treat tobacco addiction.

  • According to a new report from Dealroom and London & Partners, it seems as though many of us are ready to get serious about tackling the climate crisis, not just talking about it. The report states that this year climate tech startups have raised $32 billion so far - an amount that far surpasses any other year and is almost five times more than what was raised in 2016 directly after the Paris climate agreement was signed.

  • In good news for EV drivers, Tesla has decided to trial the idea of opening up its super-charging stations to other electric cars, with a pilot program in the Netherlands. Charging prices for non-Tesla drivers will include extra costs to support a broad range of vehicles and site adjustments to accommodate these vehicles, Tesla said. The price to charge can be lowered with a charging membership, it added. "This move directly supports our mission to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy," the company said.

  • Once at the helm of sustainability in the automotive sector with its hybrid cars, the Japanese automaker, Toyota, now has to play catch up with the likes of Tesla in the electric vehicle market. Hoping to regain its top spot, Toyota's first electric compact SUV, the BZ4X, includes an ingenious surprise, given Toyota's reputation as a conservative automaker. The new vehicle is equipped with a solar roof, thus minimizing reliance on charger networks. Why don't all EVs have solar roofs?

  • Delta Air and Peloton are teaming up to take Peloton classes to the skies. Long flights can be cramped, stressful affairs, and the new partnership should offer Delta customers some relief, says CNet. Don't worry, though - the person sitting next to you won't start cycling midway over the Atlantic. Peloton says the new classes will focus on stretching and mid-flight meditation. They're designed to help you stay limber, relax and maybe even fall asleep during your flight. We're not sure how stretching will work in the close quarters of coach class, but anything that helps take the stress and muscle cramps out of flying is a welcome change.

  • Britain has become the first country in the world to approve a potentially game-changing COVID-19 antiviral pill jointly developed by U.S.-based Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, in a boost to the fight against the pandemic. Britain's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) recommended the drug, molnupiravir, for use in people with mild to moderate COVID-19 and will be administered as soon as possible following a positive COVID-19 test and within five days of the onset of symptoms, the regulator said, citing clinical data.

  • Fun Fact: Elephants can run up to 25 miles per hour. However, they remain the only mammal on earth that can't jump. They always keep one leg on the ground - even when running.

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