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Just Good News Saturday

Updated: Feb 14

Celebrating the start of the weekend with a global round up of positive news nuggets.


Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill | Unsplash
Unusual Auction Item

One lucky collector will soon have the chance to own a unique piece of British history, as a set of Winston Churchill’s false teeth heads to auction next month. The used dentures won’t be cheap: They’re expected to sell for up to £8,000 (roughly $10,000), according to the Cotswold Auction Company, which is hosting the auction on 6 February. The teeth “must be among the most unusual items we have ever sold,” says Liz Poole, the auction house’s director. Churchill long suffered dental problems and had lost some of his teeth by his 20s, so he had several sets of upper dentures made. The false teeth helped Churchill maintain his distinctive speaking style, and he usually carried two sets with him at all times.


Emperor penguin colony
Emperor penguins, Antarctica | Pixabay
New Colonies

Four new emperor penguin colonies have been identified in Antarctica from satellite imagery. It brings the number of known nesting sites around the White Continent to 66. With the discoveries, scientists believe they now know the whereabouts of all the world's remaining breeding pairs. It's vital information for conservationists monitoring a species that's under increasing pressure as a result of climate change. The four new sites are welcome news, even though they add just a few thousand extra individuals to what's estimated to be an overall population of about 550,000.


Flowing Again

The Klamath River, which runs through Oregon and California before emptying into the Pacific Ocean, is beginning to flow freely for the first time in over one hundred years. Removing the Iron Gate Hydroelectric Dams, long advocated for by tribal communities and ecologists, is the first major step in restoring riparian ecosystems and reestablishing ancient salmon runs and breeding grounds. Members of the Yurok tribe view it as a generations-long effort that will restore the river, its salmon, and a significant part of their cultural heritage.


The Chicago Rat Hole
Credit: @WinslowDumaine
Strange But True

A hole in the pavement that's shaped like a rat has become Chicago's hottest new tourist attraction. Unsurprisingly, given its outline, it's known as the 'Chicago Rat Hole'. Located in the Roscoe Village area of the Illinois city, the Chicago Rat Hole is a distinctive sidewalk hole shaped like a rat (or possibly a squirrel). Despite existing for decades, it gained sudden fame as a viral sensation on social media this month. And both locals and visiting tourists have been descending on the site to take a look.


Today's Stat

For a music format that was once considered 'over', a total of 49 million vinyl records were sold in the US in 2023, up from 43 million in 2022. Leading last year’s vinyl sales are Taylor Swift, who retains her No. 1 spot for the third year in a row with over 3 million albums, distantly followed by Lana Del Rey at No. 2 with 646,000 copies.


Good Neighbours

A Pew Research study found that roughly a quarter of American adults under 30 didn’t know any of their neighbours - which is, of course, easily solvable. Neighbourhoods are fertile ground for deep, rich communities, where people can count on one another, delight in their shared humanity, and add meaning to what might seem like just another residential street. In the book The Little Book of Lykke: The Danish Search for the World’s Happiest People, author Meik Wiking details how the art of togetherness impacts lifelong satisfaction and health, quoting a Danish proverb: “It is better to have a good neighbour than a distant friend.”


230-megawatt Desert Sunlight Battery Energy Storage System, California
Credit: NextEra / Bureau of Land Management California
US Transition

In order to help the United States transition to renewable energy, the Department of the Interior has announced a new solar energy “roadmap,” including 22 million acres of public lands to expand solar energy development in the West, a press release from the Bureau of Land Management said. New facilities will likely look like this photo of the 230-megawatt Desert Sunlight Battery Energy Storage System on 94 acres of BLM-managed public lands in California.

 

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

 
On This Day

27 January 1880: American inventor Thomas Edison patented the incandescent lamp.

 

Ice has been discovered on Mars that's over two miles thick, raising as many questions as answers. Head scratcher...



All-electric Seaglider given the 'Go' to connect the islands of Hawaii, saving time and money. Innovative...



A dozen reflective, often amusing, quotations about the joys of Saturdays. Quotes...

 
Mood Booster

Remarkable 8 year old Angelina Jordan performs Fly Me To The Moon.



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