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Today's Good News

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


Sean Ono Lennon and James McCartney
Sean Ono Lennon and James McCartney | Credit: James McCartney
Familiar Faces

There is new music from the Lennon and McCartney partnership, but not as you might expect. James McCartney and Sean Ono Lennon - the sons of Beatles bandmates Sir Paul McCartney and John Lennon - have co-written a song, titled Primrose Hill. The reflective, acoustic ballad is an ode to the power of London's panoramic viewing spot in Regent's Park and their music has a distinctly Beatles vibe about it. Announcing the release with his "good friend", McCartney said the track left him feeling "excited". Want to hear it? Click here


Old tree in Florida
'Big Tree' in Orlando
Inspiring Tree

At over 400 years old, 'Big Tree' in Orlando, Florida, has survived hurricanes, lightning strikes, diseases, and more. Now, arborists with the nonprofit Archangel Ancient Tree Archive are embarking on a mission to clone the resilient southern live oak and plant replicas across the Southeast. “There’s something in that DNA that, in spite of everything it’s been through, it’s still growing, it’s still healthy. That’s the type of tree we need,” said David Milarch, the organization’s co-founder.

 
 
Lone Star State

In March, for the first time ever, solar generation in Texas beat by coal-fired generators. It’s the first time solar has beaten coal over a whole month in Texas, the largest user of coal for power generation of any state in the U.S.


Greek actors performing the ceremonial flame lighting in Olympia
Greek actors during the ceremonial flame lighting in Olympia
Olympic Flame

The Olympic flame was lit at the birthplace of the Games in Greece this week in a ceremony rich with ancient traditions that will launch a 3,000 mile torch relay culminating in Paris on 26 July. In ancient times the flame was lit with the energy of the sun, and it would remain lit in a sanctuary at Olympia known as the Prytaneum. In keeping with the custom, actor Mary Mina, a “high priestess,” asked the sun god Apollo for help in lighting the flame in the ruins of the temple of Hera, the wife of Zeus and queen of the gods. The message, organizers say, also remains the same. “The Olympic flame has been a symbol of peace and friendship among nations since antiquity,” the International Olympics Committee said.


Proposed design of a train station in the Chinese city of Nanjing
Credit: Weibo
What's That?

The proposed design of a train station in the Chinese city of Nanjing has attracted the attention of Chinese internet users - for all the wrong reasons. Authorities say the design of the North Nanjing station takes inspiration from plum blossoms, which the city is known for. But online, others are pointing out its resemblance to something rather different - a sanitary pad. The topic has generated millions of views across various Chinese social media platforms. "Why can we all tell it is a sanitary pad immediately, but the architects can't?" one Weibo user said.


The Path to Scale

New online tool is first to track funding to Indigenous, local, and Afro-descendant communities - developed in a partnership between the Rights and Resources Initiative and the Rainforest Foundation Norway - provides information on funding from 133 donors since 2011 based on publicly available information. According to the developers, this publicly accessible Path to Scale dashboard will help donors, NGOs and rights holders identify critical funding gaps and opportunities in global efforts to secure communities’ rights.


Illustration of Vantaa Energy's thermal storage in Finland
Varanto | Vantaa Energy
Heat Storage

A seasonal thermal energy storage will be built in Vantaa, Finland's fourth largest city. When completed, the seasonal energy storage facility will be the largest in the world by all standards. The operating principle of the seasonal thermal energy storage, called Varanto, is to store heat in underground caverns so that it can be used to heat buildings via the district heating network whenever it is needed. In Finland and other Nordic countries, the heat consumption varies significantly between seasons. Heat consumption in the summer time is only about one-tenth of the peak load consumption during the cold winter months. The possibility to store cheap and environmental friendly waste heat from data-centres, cooling processes and waste-to-energy assets in underground caverns is a revolutionary innovation in terms of the energy transition.

 

"A champion is afraid of losing. Everyone else is afraid of winning." Billie Jean King

 
On This Day

Grace Kelly and Rainier III, Prince de Monaco

18 April 1956: Abandoning her Hollywood career, American actress Grace Kelly wed Rainier III, Prince de Monaco, in a civil ceremony; an opulent religious ceremony took place the following day.

 





 
Mood Booster

Boston Dynamics bids farewell to Atlas, the world’s most dynamic humanoid robot with a compilation video of thrills (and hilarious spills).



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