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Thursday's Uplifting News

Updated: Apr 2

Tasty bite sized chunks of good news to perk up the day.

Lego Water Lillies

Claude Monet’s monumental triptych Water Lilies 1914 -26, which depicts nature’s tranquil beauty as part of the French impressionist’s world-famous series, will take on new meaning in a giant recreation by artist and activist Ai Weiwei in his new London exhibition. Monet’s brushstrokes in his water and reflection landscapes are replaced by about 650,000 studs of Lego bricks, in 22 vivid colours, in the 15-metre-long work at the centre of Weiwei’s biggest UK show in eight years, opening next month at the Design Museum gallery. Ai Weiwei: Making Sense runs at the Design Museum from 7 April to 30 July 2023. Tickets are available to pre-book now.

Think Dirty

Decode the unintelligible list of toxic ingredients on the back of 350,000+ cleaning and personal care products with Think Dirty. Simply scan the product’s barcode and the app will generate a “dirty meter” based on its ingredients. Read explanations of each ingredient and why it’s considered “dirty,” and make an informed choice about whether or to purchase the product based on Think Dirty’s 0-10 safety rating. The best part: it’s free!

Baby zebra sharks
Credit: | Georgia Aquarium

Out in the wilds of Indonesia, zebra sharks are extremely rare. Overhunted, these striped bottom dwellers were at risk of going extinct. Now though, an international consortium of 44 aquariums in 15 countries is banding together to create a huge captive-breeding-and-release program that aims to reintroduce 500 sharks to their native waters. Such an effort has never been undertaken before, and rewilding is typically reserved for mammals and other terrestrial species. “It’s such a milestone,” Nesha Ichida, an Indonesian marine scientist helping manage this work for ReShark, told NatGeo. “This is such a hopeful, momentous moment.”

Bookworms Rejoice

Did you know that reading increases your lifespan? Researchers at Yale asked 3,635 participants over 50 years-old about their reading habits. They analyzed the data and followed up 12 years later. People who read over 3.5 hours a week lived a full 23 months longer than the people who didn’t read at all.

Dog Behind Bars

Don't worry, he loves it. Inmates in a Tasmanian prison have adopted a dog that was so anxious no one else wanted him. “Caesar would fret so much when he went out that he was actually only happy when he was here,” says prison officer Wayne Schulze. Ten-year-old Caesar suffers from such extreme separation anxiety, he can’t be left alone for more than 30 minutes. He is now enjoying a happy, secure life behind bars, showered with attention.

Tipping in Europe

In many western and northern European countries, such as Germany and the UK, a 10 percent tip is considered polite when dining out. In some restaurants, a 10 to 12 percent discretionary service charge is automatically added to the bill. Elsewhere, it is voluntary but expected - particularly in higher end establishments. Tipping is less common in France and Italy, though it is still appreciated. In countries like Greece, there is not a strong tipping culture among locals but it has become more expected from tourists. Unlike in the US, restaurant staff are usually paid minimum wage without relying on tips to top up their salaries. The good news for US staff is when the Europeans remember that 20 percent is the norm in America!


“Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” Albert von Szent-Györgyi

On this Day

23 March 1998: James Cameron's epic drama Titanic (1997) won 11 Academy Awards, tying the record set by Ben-Hur (1959).

Plum Tree Poem

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Eye in the Sky

Launching in April, the satellite mission TEMPO will detect pollutants at a neighborhood scale across the US. Read on...

From the Archives

Modified Cold Sore Virus Wiped Out a Terminal Cancer: A ray of sunshine that indicates that a cure for cancer may not be too far off. Optimism...

Musical Mood Booster

Extraordinary, somewhat surreal, collection of 'imagined' musical instruments playing together.

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