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Only Good News Friday

Updated: Feb 26

Wrapping up the week with some tasty bite-sized chunks of good news.

Blue Card

Expected to be announced today, a blue card is to be introduced to football as part of sin-bin trials. The game’s law-making body, the International Football Association Board, has signed off on what would be the first new card to be used in the sport since the advent of yellow and red cards at the 1970 World Cup. The revolutionary new sin-bin protocol will see players removed from the field for 10 minutes if they commit a cynical foul or show dissent towards a match official.

Snow leopard
Credit: SAPI / Wildlife Institute of India
Snow Leopards

The first-ever snow leopard survey in India has confirmed the country is home to 718 big cats, roughly 10-15 percent of the global population. The survey reported that understanding the precise population is important because the apex predator indicates the health of - and challenges facing - the entire Himalayan ecosystem. It's one of the defining questions of our time: how do we save species while improving the lives of the world’s poorest? The India-based Snow Leopard Trust has pioneered an innovative model of conservation by implementing, among other things, insurance programmes to compensate herders when they lose livestock to snow leopards - a move designed to reduce both pre-emptive and retaliatory killings.

If it Bleeds, it Leads

Ten people died from unprovoked shark attacks globally in 2023, a slight uptick over the five-year average. This makes sharks less dangerous than lawn mowers, ladders, champagne corks, jet skis, and lightning strikes. Guess which one of those things got an entire article in ABC News?


New emojis for spring 2024
Credit: Emojipedia
New Emojis

Over a hundred new emojis are on deck to arrive in the coming weeks, including six brand new designs such as a fiery phoenix, a lime wedge, a broken chain, and a (nonpoisonous!) mushroom and an overhaul of all family options. Selected from the Unicode Consortium’s September 2023 recommendations, the latest additions are expected to start appearing on our devices this spring.

Gen Z Early Bedtime

Although experts say that people really only need seven to nine hours of sleep per night, Gen Z (those born between 1997 and 2012) is inching towards ten hours… and going to sleep early to accommodate. At 9pm, says the Wall Street Journal. The new sleep schedules are a byproduct of hybrid work schedules, a lack of spending money, and a focus on health and wellness… all of which may force nightlife culture to start the moment the sun sets if it hopes to attract a younger crowd. Sorry, night owls… it’s apparently now cool to go to sleep early.

Duck-billed platypus swimming
Duck-billed platypus | Wikipedia
Platypus Progress

The first-ever platypus translocation program has introduced ten furry trailblazers into Sydney’s Royal National Park after a 50-year absence, with hopes they will breed in the area. Over the past three decades, the areas where platypuses live in Australia have shrunk by 22 percent, reports Concrete Playground, but early reports from the program say the animals are thriving in their new home.

Portugal Powers Up

According to Reuters, renewable power sources made up 61 percent of Portugal’s electricity in 2023, up from nearly 50 percent in the year prior. REN, Portugal’s electric grid operator, reported that wind energy accounted for the majority of renewable energy usage at 25 percent, followed by hydropower (23%), solar (7%), and biomass (6%). With one of the highest ratios of renewable energy in Europe, the country is well on the way to its goal of generating 85 percent of its annual electricity from renewable sources by 2030.


“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” Dalai Lama

On This Day

9 February 1997: Fox cartoon series The Simpsons airs 167th episode; becoming the longest-running animated series in cartoon history.


Humorous initiative calls on singles to finally get rid of old love letters and get them turned into sustainable, 100 percent recycled toilet paper. Flush your ex...

Britain’s first “private” nuclear power station using mini reactors given green light for cheap, clean energy. SMRs...

There's a new distraction-free space for reading and discovering newsletters, separate from your email inbox. Add your newsletters in seconds and liberate your inbox. It’s free...

Predicting the Unpredictable: In 1861, a Vice-Admiral invented the term 'weather forecast' and published his first in The Times - to a barrage of complaints. It's tricky...

Mood Booster

Try this matchstick puzzle. You've got 10 seconds.


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