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Good News Only Friday

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

Wrapping up the week with a bundle of positive news nuggets.

Not So Havenly

In 2015, the equivalent of 9 percent of global GDP was held in tax havens. Today, thanks to the automatic exchange of bank information, this is down to around 3 percent, reports EU Tax Observatory. There's still a long way to go on a global minimum corporate tax and taxation on billionaires, but this shows that progress can be made when there's the political will to do so.

Chat-Tea Train

The 'Chat-Tea Train' hosted a group of over-60s to chat (chat-tea / chatty) and connect as part of Positive Aging Month in northern Ireland. The Western Health and Social Care Trust organized the unique event, thanks to an idea from a couple in the local dementia social café. The passengers stopped for tea, coffee and lunch on arrival in Coleraine before returning home to Derry that same afternoon. A theatre company for people with learning disabilities performed at the train station before departure and the passengers clapped along with a ukulele band as the train meandered along the scenic coastline.

Cargo ship with WindWings
Credit: BAR Technologies

Looking to the past has made a more sustainable future possible in the shipping industry, with the latest wind-powered vessel taking to the seas for its first voyage. The Pyxis Ocean from the Mitsubishi Corporation has been retrofitted with two “WindWings” sails on the cargo ship’s deck. Measuring 123 feet (37.5 meters) high, the sails enable approximately 30 percent fuel savings which, in turn, cuts carbon pollution.

William Blake's etching of The Canterbury Pilgrims
William Blake's The Canterbury Pilgrims | Wikipedia
Digital Chaucer

The entire collection of Geoffrey Chaucer’s works held by the British Library is being made available in digital format after the completion of a two and a half year project to upload 25,000 images of the often elaborately illustrated medieval manuscripts. In a “major milestone” for the library, which holds the world’s largest surviving collection of Chaucer, it is hoped the digital platform will enable new research into the 14th-century poet, courtier, soldier, diplomat, and MP who is most famous for his Middle English epic, The Canterbury Tales.

Super Water-Repellent

Scientists have developed what they call the most water-repellent surface ever. By giving it a liquid-like coating that defies usual designs, water will roll off the surface at angles 500 times shallower than other superhydrophobic materials. The ability to repel water is important for many materials, particularly in the automotive, marine and aerospace industries, and most such surfaces usually boast sliding angles (the angle at which water will roll off) as low as 5°. But this new product does the job at an astonishing 0.01°, meaning water will run off basically any surface that’s not perfectly level.

Best Seller

Tesla may dominate the global EV market - but for drivers in Japan, a $13,000 car is proving a better investment. Data compiled by Bloomberg shows the Sakura - a minicar developed jointly by Nissan and Mitsubishi - is the best-selling electric car in Japan this year, accounting for about half of all EVs sold in the country. Isn't it about time we had more cheap EV options outside of Asia?


"Never be limited by other people's limited imaginations." Mae Jemison

On This Day

27 October 1795: Pinckney's Treaty, an agreement between the United States and Spain, was signed, giving the United States navigation rights on the Mississippi River.


Mood Booster

A parody of Top Gun Maverick with a cat.


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