Good News Nuggets

Ending the week on an upbeat note with a selection of good news nuggets.

  • Ireland's All-Ireland Pollinator Plan was started in 2015 and aimed to reduce mowing and herbicide use in parks, roadsides, and other green spaces. By letting native plants grow instead of maintaining monocropped, chemical-laden lawns, native insect, bird, and bee populations have begun to thrive. Thanks to this initiative headed by the Dublin City Council, 80 percent of the city's green spaces are now "pollinator-friendly."

  • Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are all the rage these days. But, if you had invested £10 in Bitcoin 10 years ago, you would have made just over £2 million. If you had bet £10 on Tesla, it would now be worth just under £117,000. Perhaps more remarkably, if you had taken a £10 slice out of Domino Pizza stock, you'd be up £18,350 - beating Amazon, Netflix, Apple and Microsoft.

For years, the contented face of Mr. Trash Wheel has been a feature of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The googly-eyed rubbish collector has been scooping up tons of the city’s river-borne garbage for years, and has inspired other US cities to embrace similar ideas; so there's now several water-wheel allies like Capt. Trash Wheel and Prof. Trash Wheel.

Good news for the staff at the Stumble Inn Bar & Grill in Londonderry, New Hampshire. An anonymous diner who ordered a couple of hotdogs and some drinks left a $16,000 tip on a $38 bill. Unsurprisingly, the staff are wildly grateful and praise his generosity and kindheartedness, especially after lockdown devastated the restaurant industry. "He’s kind of a mystery man," bartender Michelle McCudden told NBC Boston. "I’ve been doing this a very long time and I never thought anything like this would happen to me."

  • Australia has caught on to the biophilic cities movement: a different design approach that brings nature and urbanites together, welcomes back native species, and makes even the densest cities more "natureful."

  • If a Covid-caused fuel-demand collapse hasn’t been bad enough for Europe’s oil refineries, they are now facing yet another jolt to profitability: a world-leading shift to electric vehicles. The continent’s electric car purchases surged 142 percent to 1.4 million in 2020, surpassing China as the top buyer, according to the International Energy Agency. At the end of the decade, electric vehicles will account for almost 10 percent of the continent’s road-fuel demand, Bloomberg estimates. That would be equivalent to the entire output of about five mid-sized European refineries.

  • Eighty-four-year-old Lawrence Silk, who completed three tours of duty during the Vietnam War, now has dementia and insists he needs to return to the country to carry on fighting. It worried him unnecessarily and made his relatives even more concerned for his wellbeing. So they put an ad on Facebook and found a Lieutenant Colonel from the same squad who kindly agreed to visit him and tell him he doesn't need to go back and that his duty is done.

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Line Rider No.2

Yesterday's mesmerising line drawings accompanying Beethoven's 5th proved rather popular. So we thought we would follow up with Beethoven's 9th. Enjoy!