Getting the week off to a bright start with a global round up of positive news nuggets.
While building the Lincoln Memorial between 1914 and 1922, crews dug out a cavernous space underneath the monument. They filled this hidden, 43,800 square-foot area, called an undercroft, with rows of tall, concrete columns to help support the memorial’s weight and create the illusion that it was situated on top of a hill. By 2026, the undercroft will serve a new purpose. After extensive renovations, at a cost of $69m, it will become an immersive museum dedicated to the popular monument on the surface above. Exhibits will explore how the Lincoln Memorial was built, as well as its significance as a site for civil rights demonstrations: Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his I Have A Dream speech from its steps in 1963.
A record number of women launched a business in the UK last year. Some 150,000 firms were created by female entrepreneurs in 2022, more than twice the number of 2018. Female-led companies now represent a fifth of all UK businesses, up from 16 percent in 2018. The figures are from the Rose Review 2023, an independent analysis of female entrepreneurship, led by the CEO of NatWest Group, Alison Rose. It suggests that the UK economy could benefit from a £250bn boost if women set up businesses at the same rate as men.
Smiles All Round
Kayzan, aged 8, is a regular at the Waffle House in Little Rock, Arkansas, and got to know his favourite server, Devonte, pretty well over the years. Recently he discovered that his friend had to walk to and from work every day, over quite a considerable distance, so Kayzan decided to see if he could help out. With assistance from his parents, he set up a GoFundMe appeal for Devonte. “I hope your heart is as big as mine and you will help me spread kindness in the world,” the boy wrote. The 8-year-old said Devonte is one of the most joyous and positive people you’ll ever meet, always greeting everyone with a big smile. His smile is even bigger now! Kayzan successfully raised $70,000 for a car.
It’s hard to believe now, but not so long ago the idea of using the sun to power your home seemed vaguely eccentric. Many dismissed solar as a serious energy provider. How things have changed. A new report by the International Energy Agency forecasts solar to be the world’s leading source of electricity by 2027. A decade ago it accounted for just 1 percent of global electricity.
River's Legal Rights
For the first time, a river in England could be granted the legal right to good health. A motion passed by Lewes district council (on England's south coast in Sussex) states that the river Ouse’s wellbeing could be secured by recognising its right to flow, to be free of pollution, and to have native biodiversity. Matthew Bird, the local councillor who filed the motion, described it as “first but important step” towards bestowing rights on the river. He added: “Just getting the concept of ‘rights of nature’ recognised by a council in England is a first as far as I know.”
Panama Landmark Law Recognises Rights of Nature: Panama joins a handful of other countries who have enacted similar legislation, such as Bolivia, Ecuador, Uganda, and Chile. Shouldn't every country enact similar legislation? More...
Many people’s first phone was a Nokia. Can the Finnish firm win us back with its latest release? Recently unveiled, the G22 was built with repair in mind. The handset has a removable case and internal design that allows components to be easily unscrewed and replaced, including the battery, screen and charging port. The firm said the G22 was a response to growing demand for products that go the distance, rather than being thrown away earlier than necessary. No price has been announced for the handset yet.
At the beginning of a new school year, a class teacher stands up in front of her students holding a $100 bill. She tells them, “Put your hands up if you want this money”. Every hand in the room goes up, to which the teacher says, “I am going to give this money to someone here, but first, let me do this…” She takes the bill and crumples it up in her hands, before asking, “Who still wants it?” The hands stay up. The teacher then drops the bill on the floor, stomps and grinds it into the ground, and picks it back up. “How about now?” she asks again. The hands stay up. “Class, I hope you see the lesson here. It didn’t matter what I did to this money, you still wanted it because its value stayed the same. Even with its creases and dirtiness, it’s still worth $100.” She continues, “It’s the same with us. There will be similar times in your life when you’re dropped, bruised, and muddied. Yet no matter what happens, you never lose your value.”
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“When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.”
Abraham Joshua Heschel
On this Day
6 March 1899: The German company Bayer trademarked the name Aspirin for its drug made from acetylsalicylic acid.
In the Atlantic rainforests of Argentina and Brazil, hummingbirds gather around flowers in a spectacular dance.