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Friday's Good News

Updated: Jul 6, 2023

Today's smorgasbord of tasty bite-sized chunks of good news from around the world.

Nonagenarian Master

A 90-year-old master who’s still limber enough to get on the mat every once in a while has just been awarded his ninth degree, or dan, in Judo. Only 6 individuals in the UK hold a ninth dan, and Michael Leigh is the oldest judoka in the country to reach what is the second-highest rank in the sport. "I find myself amongst peers I greatly admire and respect. I appreciate this recognition of my lifetime of commitment to the amazing sport of Judo and I will hold the grade with great pride and honour.”

Strange But True

A Belgian who felt “underappreciated” faked his own death before turning up at his funeral in a helicopter. David Baerten, aka Ragnar le Fou, enlisted the help of his wife and children to pull the prank on his extended family. One of the 45-year-old’s daughters posted a fake tribute to her supposedly deceased father on social media that triggered a series of similar messages. But after mourners gathered for his funeral, near the city of Liege, a helicopter landed nearby carrying a camera crew and Baerton, who leapt out and announced: “Cheers to you all, welcome to my funeral.” He subsequently told The Times that he had wanted to teach his family the “life lesson” that “you shouldn’t wait until someone is dead to meet up with them”.

A white rhino
White Rhino Returns

The Democratic Republic of the Congo recently welcomed the reintroduction of 16 southern white rhinoceroses to Garamba National Park, according to officials. The last wild northern white rhino was poached there in 2006. The white rhinos were transported to Garamba from a South African private reserve. In the late 19th century, the southern white rhino subspecies was believed to be extinct due to poaching until a population of fewer than 100 was discovered in South Africa in 1895, according to WWF. If you're wondering what the difference is between a white and black rhino... white rhinos tend to be significantly larger than black rhinos. Their body is long, imponent and barrel shaped. Black rhinos, on the other hand, are shorter, sturdier and more compact. An adult white rhino can weigh up to 2,300 kg, while a black rhino doesn't usually go over 1,000 kilograms.

Pregnancy Test

World's first saliva pregnancy test goes on sale in England and Ireland. The days of urinating on a stick, and then sharing those sticks online, might be numbered, with the world’s first saliva pregnancy test hitting the market. The SaliStick can be taken anytime, anywhere, and in trials it has proven to be 95 percent accurate.

Right to Repair

The European Union will require all smartphones to have batteries that can be replaced by the user by 2027, says PCmag. It’s a major step for the “right to repair” movement, and the new rules also include strict targets for collecting waste and recovering materials from old batteries.

Trees to Regenerate

According to Yale 360, recent studies show that small farmers from Senegal to Ethiopia to Malawi are allowing trees to regenerate on their lands, resulting in improved crop yields, productive fruit harvests, and a boost for carbon storage. It's 'dramatic good news' about Africa's tree cover.

Boom's Overture supersonic aircraft
Boom Supersonic aims to have Concorde-style jets flying by 2027 | Credit: AP/Boom Supersonic
Son of Concorde

A plan to build the first supersonic passenger jet since the Concorde has taken a significant step forward after the company behind the effort signed key deals to design and build the plane. Boom Supersonic, which aims to have Concorde-style jets flying by 2027. The company has 130 orders and commitments for its planes already, including deals with United, American Airlines and Japan Airlines. Boom’s Overture craft will fly 65 to 80 passengers at Mach 1.7, or about 1,300 miles per hour, at 60,000 feet. The jets will use Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), which is seen by the industry as the major hope for decarbonising long-range aviation. The fuel can be made from bio waste, as opposed to the fossil fuels that today’s jets rely on.


"A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in." Robert Orben

On this Day

23 June 1868: American inventor Christopher Latham Sholes and two others were granted a patent for a typewriter.


Mood Booster

The Sex-Shifting Fish: In every female kobudai... is a male in waiting.


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