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Positive News Saturday

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

What better way to start the weekend than with a global round up of positive news nuggets?

Lionel Messi holding one of his world cup shirts from 2022
Credit: Sam Robles Photography | Sotheby's
Donating His Shirts

Football shirts worn by Lionel Messi during Argentina's winning run at the World Cup in 2022 are set to go under the hammer - and are predicted to become the most valuable collection of sports memorabilia ever to sell at auction. Proceeds will be donated to the Unicas Project, led by the Sant Joan de Deu Barcelona Children's Hospital, for children suffering from rare diseases. Sotheby's estimates the six shirts worn by the Argentina captain in Qatar, including during the nail-biting final against France, could fetch more than $10m. Messi's shirts will be auctioned between 30 November and 14 December and will be on view during these dates at Sotheby's in New York as part of a free public exhibition.

Banksy mural
Girl with a Balloon | Wikipedia
Who is Banksy?

It is one of the art world’s, perhaps even pop culture’s, most enduring mysteries since the street artist burst onto the scene in the early 2000s. But we may be one step closer to the artist’s true identity following the recent discovery of a lost BBC interview in which Banksy appears to confirm his name. The BBC said that it had unearthed a 2003 interview between the young, up-and-coming street artist Banksy and the former BBC arts correspondent Nigel Wrench. In the discovered audio from the summer of 2003, Wrench speaks to Banksy, who was in his 20s at the time, and asks if his name is Robert Banks, and the artist replies, “It’s Robbie.” Mystery, possibly, solved.

A Blue Whale in waters off the Seychelles
Credit: Oceanic Films
Blue Whales Return

Blue whales - the largest animals on Earth - are making their home in a part of the Indian Ocean where they were wiped out by whaling decades ago. Researchers and filmmakers in the Seychelles captured footage of the whales in 2020 and 2021. It features in the Imax film Blue Whales 3D. A year of underwater audio recording revealed the animals spend months in the region. This means they could be breeding there, scientists say. The researchers described their discovery as a "conservation win" after the Soviet whaling fleet decimated the population in the 1960s. One of the lead researchers, Dr Kate Stafford, told BBC News: "It turns out if you stop killing animals on mass scales and you give them a chance to rebound, they can recover."

Young boy's face
Olfactory Process

Each of the human nostrils works independently, smelling the surroundings separately, according to a new study that sheds more light on how the brain processes sensory inputs. The research, published in the journal Current Biology, found that the left and the right nostril smell the world independently, with the sensory signals processed a small fraction of time apart in the brain to get the complete picture of the surroundings. However, “despite extensive work on odor responses in the olfactory system, relatively little is known about how information from the two nostrils is integrated and differentiated in the human olfactory system,” researchers, including those from the University of Pennsylvania, write.


Leslie Dart is among thousands of foresters helping to repopulate Canadian forests but the sheer volume of trees she has planted is extraordinary. She planted 372,290 trees across three summers, often documenting it on TikTok, with one video earning 8.7 million views. “You just really have to be prepared for everything, be open-minded, roll with the punches,” she says. “It just makes you a stronger person mentally and makes you more adaptable and ready to take on the world.”

US Conservation

American voters have supported five significant conservation measures in four states in the November elections, resulting in $1.2 billion in conservation and park funding. The victory represents “a collective effort to safeguard natural areas, protect wildlife habitat, mitigate wildfire risks, enhance park access, and invest in climate resilience,” says the Trust for Public Land. This includes Texas, where three quarters of voters supported a $1 billion fund for state parks, the largest investment in nature in the state’s history. Dozens of new parks will be created, protecting critical water resources and wildlife habitat. Also, a legal victory for wildlife corridors in California will uphold a program to protect connectivity between key habitat areas from development.


The Indonesian island of Java is one of the most densely inhabited places on Earth, but it still found space to install the third-largest floating solar farm in the world thanks to a little creative thinking. All 340,000 individual panels making up the facility are floating on top of a reservoir, meaning their installation does not compete with farmland or native habitat for space. According to NASA, these ‘floatovoltaics’ have added benefits: they stay cooler and thus run more efficiently; they prevent the evaporation of important water supplies; and they likely minimize unwanted algae blooms.


"Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it." Nelson Mandela

On This Day

25 November 1905: Telimco makes the first ever advertisement for a wireless telegraph, by advertising a $8.50 set in the Scientific American which claimed to receive signals for up to one mile.


Mood Booster

Photographer reveals what goes on behind the scenes on a meerkat photography project in Botswana.


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