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Thursday's Positive News

Updated: Oct 14, 2023

Ensuring the day gets off to a sunny start with a global round-up of positive news nuggets.

Dorothy Hoffner, aged 104, skydiving
Credit: YouTube
You're Never Too Old

Efforts are underway to have a 104-year-old recognised as the oldest person to go tandem skydiving. Skydive Chicago said Dorothy Hoffner, 104, took a tandem jump on Sunday in Ottawa, unofficially breaking the record set by 103-year-old Swedish skydiver Ruth Larsson in 2022. Hoffner is no stranger to the pastime: she previously went skydiving to celebrate turning 100 years old, UPI reported. "It was wonderful up there," she told reporters. "Age is just a number."

Global Web Access

According to the UN agency ITU, 5.4 billion people are now online, an increase of 100 million from the previous year and the highest number ever recorded. This means that two-thirds of humanity now has access to the internet. "This improvement in connectivity is another step in the right direction, and one more step towards leaving no one behind in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals," said ITU Secretary-General Doreen Bogdan-Martin in a statement.


Owing to the vast range of options at Starbucks in the US (from cup size to type of milk to toppings), there are 383 billion different ways of ordering a caffè latte, says Bloomberg Businessweek.

The YOLO Economy

Millions of millennials turn 40 this year. Despite every reason not to splurge (rising interest rates, high inflation, dwindling pandemic savings, and a cooling job market), they are shelling out for once-in-a-lifetime experiences before they fear it’s too late, according to a new study. While prioritizing short-term fun over long-term stability is nothing new, economists and financial advisors have marked the current moment as different. Whether or not they can afford to, people are jumping at every opportunity to check things off their bucket lists, which could explode the concept of “a rainy day fund” and shift the focus to “fun funds” instead. YOLO: You Only Live Once!

World's Oldest Whisky

Scotland’s Blair Castle has a long history - and, as it turns out, that history also includes a hidden trove of historic whisky. How historic, you might ask? “Distilled nearly 200 years ago and potentially sampled by Queen Victoria” historic, apparently. And if the idea of owning some whisky deemed fit for royalty sounds intriguing to you, well, you might be in luck this fall.

Last year, Blair Castle Resident Trustee Bertie Troughton discovered a cache of 40 whisky bottles in the castle’s cellar. According to the announcement by Whisky Auctioneer of the forthcoming sale, the whisky was likely distilled in 1833 and bottled eight years later, then rebottled in 1932.

Beaver Born in London

A baby beaver has been born in London for the first time in 400 years, 18 months after an initiative began to reintroduce the species to the capital. Enfield council began London's beaver reintroduction programme last year as part of a wider rewilding and natural flood-management project.

Ingenious Beds

The current cost of buying 1,000 camp beds for a refugee camp is $110,000 to $220,000, it takes two weeks to produce them, another two weeks to ship them (by land or sea) and 24 hours to set them up. By comparison, 1,000 Humanitaria beds cost $17,000, can be produced in hours on existing, readily-available packaging machinery in every major city in the world, delivered folded flat by plane next day and a single person can set up 70 beds in an hour. The first 24 hours is critical in disaster response and this invention brings massive promise! Furthermore, this simple idea seems likely to contribute billions of dollars in humanitarian aid by making existing aid significantly more efficient. Bravo Humanitaria!

India Gender Parity

India is to reserve one-third of parliament's lower house seats for women, reports Reuters. It's positive progress. Women account for almost half of India's 950 million registered voters but make up only 15 percent of parliament and about 10 percent of state legislatures, pushing the world's largest democracy to the bottom of global rankings on gender parity in legislatures.


"Age is something that doesn't matter, unless you are a cheese." Luis Buñuel

On this Day

5 October 1962: The first James Bond movie, Dr. No, had its world premiere; the British spy film was adapted from Ian Fleming's novel and starred Sean Connery and Ursula Andress.


Mood Booster

Incredible ibex defies gravity on near-vertical dam wall.


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