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Today's Good News

Updated: Mar 6

What better way to start the week than with a bundle of upbeat news nuggets?


Chess prodigy Ashwath Kaushik
Credit: Carleton Lim/Singapore Chess Federation
Chess Prodigy

Eight-year-old Ashwath Kaushik from Singapore just beat 37-year-old Polish grandmaster Jacek Stopa at Switzerland’s Burgdorfer Stadthaus-Open, thereby smashing the record to become the youngest player ever to defeat a grandmaster in classical chess. Reflecting on his achievement, Ashwath told Chess.com: "It felt really exciting and amazing, and I felt proud of my game and how I played, especially since I was worse at one point but managed to come back from that."


Moon Phases by Jeff Koons
Credit: Jeff Koons | Instagram
Moon Art

The lunar touchdown of the Odysseus spacecraft last week brought the very first authorized work of art to the moon. American artist Jeff Koons had a new sculpture series hitch a ride with Odysseus which consisted of a clear plastic box containing 125 mini-sculptures of the moon, each measuring about one inch in diameter. Called “Moon Phases,” they show 62 phases of the moon as seen from Earth, 62 phases visible from other viewpoints in space, and one lunar eclipse. Each sculpture is inscribed with the name of a groundbreaking figure in human history, including Aristotle, David Bowie, Leonardo da Vinci, Gandhi, Billie Holiday, Gabriel García Márquez, Andy Warhol and Virginia Woolf.


humpback whales

Helloooooo There!

Scientists think they've unlocked a mystery behind one of the most majestic sounds on Earth. While whale songs have been studied for decades, it's been tough to say how, exactly, some of these ocean giants produce such haunting tones. While toothed whales, which include dolphins and killer whales, developed a vocal organ in their nose to produce sound, a new study claims baleen whales actually use a larynx - or voice box - in their throat. Using computer simulations, researchers concluded that the baleen whales’ voice box has "a completely novel mechanism that is not described in any other animal." Among the specialized structures was a fatty cushion that vibrates when air is pushed out from the lungs, allowing the whales to create low-frequency sounds underwater to communicate over large distances.


Stat of the Day

24: The number of times that Joe Biden's dog Commander is confirmed to have bitten Secret Service agents between October 2022 and July 2023, according to internal documents from the federal agency obtained by CNN.


Abatacept

A drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis could also slow its progression in patients showing early symptoms or stop it entirely, King's College London researchers reported in The Lancet. In a clinical trial with 213 participants at risk of rheumatoid arthritis, half were given a drug called abatacept, while the others received a placebo. A year later, 92.8 percent in the abatacept group did not have arthritis, compared to 69.2 percent in the placebo group.


Hot Equerry

Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Thompson, dubbed "the hot equerry" when he shot to unintentional fame during the coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla, has been reassigned to a less public role at the Palace. Thompson gathered a large fan base online, and was named "Major Eye Candy" after being seen with Charles and Camilla on engagements. Despite being absent during the recent introduction of the new equerry, Lieutenant Commander William Thornton, the 'hot equerry' is still playing it cool as a senior equerry to the King and Queen.


Lucky Find

An original work by Banksy that was painted over by a property owner is up for sale for £700,000 ($890,000) after being saved by art conservationists. The famous street artist spray-painted Apache attack helicopters with pink bows on them on the outside wall of an east London office building in 2006. But the former owner of the building became fed up with a security light being constantly activated by Banksy fans turning up to view it. So he had it covered over in black paint and when he sold the premises to the current owner he failed to mention the hidden Banksy. So, after spotting and then restoring the painting, the new owner of the building looks set for a lucky windfall.


Practically Zero

Western Europe has broken free of Russian oil imports for good in a blow to Vladimir Putin, research by the European energy consultancy Rystad suggests. Analysts found that the UK and much of Europe have reversed a years-long rise in reliance on Russian oil and gas before the Ukraine conflict, shifting instead to other suppliers such as the US and Canada. Jorge Leon, Rystad’s senior vice president for oil markets, said: “I think people underestimated how flexible the energy system is. Just before the war, just the idea of, we’re going to stop buying oil and gas directly from Russia, would have been crazy. But it has largely happened.”

 

"Children learn more from what you are than what you teach." W.E.B. Du Bois

 
On This Day

26 February 1919: The U.S. Congress established Grand Canyon National Park in northwestern Arizona.

 





 
Mood Booster

Beautiful time-lapse flying visit to British Columbia and Alberta.



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