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Thursday's Uplifting News

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

Smorgasbord of tasty good news nuggets to perk up the day.

An artist's impression of Juice flying by Europa
An artist's impression of Juice flying by Europa | Credit: ESA
JUICE Mission

Today, the European Space Agency (ESA) is set to launch a new major mission to explore Jupiter and its icy moons - which scientists think could be potentially habitable for life. The JUICE mission - the snappy acronym stands for Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer - will make detailed observations of the solar system’s largest planet, as well as three of its biggest moons. Callisto, Europa, and Ganymede are all thought to have subsurface oceans - and are seen as candidates for potentially hosting life. The spacecraft will be launched from ESA’s spaceport in French Guiana from an Ariane 5 rocket - the same rocket that launched NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope in 2021.

Indigenous Rights

In yet another report that reinforces the importance of Indigenous rights, a study that looked at changes in forest cover in 129 Indigenous territories in Brazil's Atlantic Forest between 1995 and 2016 has found that deforestation rates were lower and reforestation rates higher in those where land tenure had been formalized. Among the reasons for this, researchers suggest, is the fact that Indigenous peoples felt more encouraged to revive the forest, safe in the knowledge that they will be protected by the law.


Crucifix Returns

A church destroyed in France during The Somme has regained its holy crucifix lost in the battle. Plucked from the mud in 1916 by a British reverend, it was brought back to Britain and has proudly sat on the altar of All Saints Church in Tinwell since 1936. The crucifix is due for a return to its rightful home this June after some All Saint’s parishioners discovered the church in Doingt-Flamicourt had been rebuilt.

Electricity Transition

Wind and solar reached a record 12 percent of global electricity in 2022, up from 10 percent in 2021, according to a new report by energy think tank Ember – and predicts that power sector emissions have now peaked. Ember asserts that its open data and in-depth analysis provide the first accurate picture of the global electricity transition in 2022. The report forecasts that as soon as 2023, wind and solar will push the world into a new era of falling fossil-fuel generation and, therefore, a reduction in power sector emissions.

House Plants

Keep buying that greenery - a new study has found that a plant-filled home could help protect from disease, including Covid-19. "This is a very good proof-of-concept study on whether plants can help disinfect air," Kristian Dubrawski, a study co-author, told i. "Indoor plants could contribute to deactivation of pathogenic bacteria and viruses, such as airborne Covid-19 in homes and workplaces." Plants produce hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) during photosynthesis, which the report says "contributes to atmospheric cleansing." Furthermore, says Simon Williams of Swansea University, "If evidence like this grows, then low-cost behavior, like buying more plants, would likely be something that people would much more be willing to do." Dubrawski says the research hasn't yet been peer-reviewed, and more studies are needed.

Private jet
No Private Jets

On 5 November 2022, scores of climate activists gathered in front of luxury planes and private jets at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, preventing them from taking off for several hours - because private and small business travel aircraft emit around 20 times more climate-warming carbon dioxide per passenger than commercial aircraft. Now, nearly five months later, the airport has declared that private jets will be prohibited, as well as additional actions to limit noise pollution - by raising the bar for the kind of planes that can use the airport in order to phase out louder models. The new measures will be implemented between 2025 and 2026.


"A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in."

Robert Orben

On this Day

13 April 1964: For his performance in Lilies of the Field (1963), Sidney Poitier became the first African American to win the Academy Award for best actor.


Mood Booster

Old movie dance scenes mashup, artfully synced to Can't Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake.


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