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Just Good News Thursday

Thursday's tasty bite-sized chunks of uplifting news.

Close up of a human iris
Credit: Iris Photo
Eye of The Beholder

We see the world through our eyes, but it turns out there's a whole world to see within our eyes. Photographers like Mitchell Zeer, founder of Iris Photo, are placing the spotlight on our mesmerizing orbs. Through macro photography, high-resolution images of our irises (the coloured circle around our pupils) are transformed into otherworldly deserts and galaxies. Irises are unique for each person, just like our fingerprints - and it is this distinctiveness that makes iris photography so intriguing. Want to see some more? Visit Iris Photo.

Cheese board
Feeling peckish?
Healthy Ageing

A massive study of 2.3 million people has found that, independent of socio-economic factors, mental well-being may be the most important single aspect to healthy ageing and living longer lives. But a surprise finding (published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour) was that those who reported the best mental health and stress resilience, which boosted well-being, also seemed to eat more cheese.

Proof of Concept

At the beginning of 2023, Colorado began enforcing a 10 cent charge on all single-use plastic and paper bags at major retailers in the hope it would encourage the use of reusable ones. This hope sprung into a massive success. A report from 9News claims that Colorado used 1.5 billion fewer plastic or paper shopping bags since the implementation of the Plastic Pollution Reduction Act of 2021 that entered into force at the beginning of last year.

Kevin, the world's tallest dog
Credit: Guinness World Records
Tallest Dog

Measuring three feet and two inches (97.5cm), a Great Dane in Iowa has been named the world’s tallest dog, according to an announcement from Guinness World Records. The record-breaking pup, Kevin, is eight inches taller than the average male Great Dane. Measurements are taken from the ground to the dog’s withers, the highest point above the shoulders. However, you don't really get a true impression of Kevin's size until he jumps up to say hello to his owner, Roger Wolfe. Mind you, not even Kevin could jump as high as the robot just unveiled at England's Manchester University...

Jumping Robot

Engineers at The University of Manchester have unlocked the secrets to designing a robot capable of jumping 120 metres – higher than any other jumping robot designed to date. Using a combination of mathematics, computer simulations, and laboratory experiments, the researchers have discovered how to design a robot with the optimum size, shape and the arrangement of its parts, allowing it to jump high enough to clear obstacles many times its own size. The current highest-jumping robot can reach up to 33 metres, which is equivalent to 110 times its own size.

Upside Down Energy

Energy prices in France turned negative following a surge in renewable output last week. Negative energy prices are becoming increasingly common thanks to favourable weather and large-capacity renewable energy production. California is experiencing negative prices thanks to a glut of solar energy, and Germany has similarly seen prices dip below zero. While it's a windfall for the environment, negative prices are also a symptom of storage solutions struggling to even out power availability over time.


"The only people who see the whole picture are the ones who step outside the frame." Salman Rushdie

On This Day

Poster for Steven Spielberg's thriller Jaws

20 June 1975: Steven Spielberg's thriller Jaws was released in theatres, and it was a huge success, essentially creating the genre of summer blockbusters.

Today's Articles

Mood Boosting Video

Nature's Dive Bombers: Gannets plunging into the ocean in search of food.


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