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Thursday's Uplifting News

Updated: Feb 22

Bite sized chunks of uplifting news to get the day off to a positive start.

polar stratospheric clouds

Rainbow Clouds

Jónína Guðrún Óskarsdóttir loves to photograph and share her surroundings. Luckily for us, since she lives on the eastern coast of Iceland, her surroundings are incredible. As you might imagine, she has plenty of opportunities to photograph the aurora borealis. But what really caught our eye was the photograph she took during the day when a rare rainbow cloud filled the sky. These polar stratospheric clouds (PSC) paint the sky with different colored stripes. PSCs are a type of wave cloud that are most often found downwind of mountain ranges. As expected, therefore, Óskarsdóttir's stunning rainbow cloud features prominent mountains. These extraordinary clouds only form when the lower stratosphere hits -114°F (-81°C).

psilocybin mushrooms
Psychedelic Medicines

While psychiatric professionals and academics have long championed psychedelics as potentially groundbreaking therapies for a variety of mental illnesses, the world's governments have been slow to take action. That's now beginning to change. Australia has just become the world's first country to recognize two specific psychedelics - psilocybin mushrooms and MDMA - as medicines. Beginning this July, Australian psychiatrists will be able to prescribe psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression and MDMA for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Environmental Victory

Tribal nations and environmental groups in the U.S. Southwest scored a victory last week when a federal appeals court rejected nearly 200 new oil and gas drilling permits in the Greater Chaco region of New Mexico.

Cleaner and Healthier

In the first-ever study of real-world data looking at the relationship between electric vehicles, air pollution, and human health, researchers found that as electric vehicle adoption increased within a given zip code, local air pollution levels and emergency room visits dropped. In other words: More electric vehicles leads to cleaner air and healthier people. We largely think about climate change and the health of the planet on a global scale, but the researchers rightly point out that “the idea that changes being made at the local level can improve the health of your own community could be a powerful message to the public and to policymakers.”


Dogs Definitely Prefer Electric Cars: There are plenty of compelling reasons to make the switch to an electric vehicle, but here’s a new one that nobody saw coming. Research shows that dogs like them way better. Read on...


Creative Positioning

Switzerland’s longest dam - also the highest dam in Europe - has now been adorned with nearly 5,000 solar panels. It's yet another innovative location for harvesting solar energy. Being surrounded by reflective snowy mountains boosts the solar panels' generation in the winter, producing three times more power than plants in lower altitude residential areas.


Remarkable Swiss Water Battery: A revolutionary new form of energy storage is operating in Switzerland after 14 years of construction, and is changing the energy landscape - both literally and figuratively. Read on...


Electric 'Wallpaper'

Another clever innovation: Thin, metallic sheets - hidden behind wall plaster - that are connected to the mains electricity of the property or can be powered by solar panels. No gas or oil involved. Made by iHelios, these electric sheets emit heat by infrared waves. As well as being available for private installation, the company is currently trialling the technology with social housing landlords and other housing groups, as they want to save money and meet green targets. Whilst air source heat pumps are a more efficient way to use electricity to heat the home, these pumps come with higher upfront costs than electric wallpaper and are not always straightforward to install.


"Each person must live their life as a model for others."

Rosa Parks

On this Day

9 February 1997: Fox cartoon series The Simpsons airs 167th episode, becoming the longest-running animated series in cartoon history.

Space Oddity

5 years ago, SpaceX launched Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster into space. Where is it now?

First of its Kind

The Japanese penchant for wielding huge swords goes back much further than thought, excavation of 4th century tomb discovers. Read on...

From the Archives

LA Lifeguard Earns Over $500k: Thought lifeguards were in a lowly paid profession? Think again...

Mood Booster

Who knew that robots could dance so well?

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