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Just Good News Tuesday

Updated: Jan 27

Today's smorgasbord of upbeat news nuggets.


Oppenheimer movie poster
Credit: YouTube
In Case You Missed It

Oppenheimer, the blockbuster biopic of J. Robert Oppenheimer's creation of the A-bomb, dominated the 81st Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills at the weekend with five wins - the most of any film - including Best Motion Picture, Drama. The Globes have an erratic track record for predicting eventual Oscars success, but give contenders a huge momentum shot. And let's not forget Barbie, the other half of Barbenheimer, which won the new award for Cinematic and Box Office Achievement.


Has China Peaked?

China, the world’s economic giant, is on the verge of a watershed moment in its environmental history. After decades of rapid development and skyrocketing emissions, signs point to a near-term peak in carbon output, providing hope for global climate efforts.

According to the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air, “China’s emissions may have peaked in 2023,” citing a systemic economic slowdown and the rise of renewable energy sources as the main drivers of this trend.


Insulin Progress

For many years, research has focused on identifying novel therapies that stimulate beta-cell growth and function to restore insulin production in type 1 diabetics. Now, Australian researchers at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne have brought us a step closer to making this a reality, regenerating damaged pancreatic cells so they can produce insulin and functionally respond to blood glucose levels, reports New Atlas. The novel therapeutic approach has the potential to become the first disease-modifying treatment for type 1 diabetes.


New Smellphone

The cellphone of the future may be able to detect air quality and smoke levels near the person carrying it, alerting users about dangerous findings. A startup, Mobile Physics, developed the technology and it's being embedded in a forthcoming Android phone platform. That's important as air pollution is becoming a more urgent health issue in many places. Mobile Physics, an Israeli firm backed by Oracle founder Larry Ellison, says it can transform any cellphone into a personal "envirometer" and weather station. It uses a phone's existing sensors to measure air quality, smoke levels, temperature and UV exposure.

 
 
Restaurant bill showing a generous $500 tip
Credit: @clairinthecity
Go See Merrily!

In a lovely act of kindness, patrons at a restaurant in New York City's bustling Theater District turned a 27-year-old server's dream into reality. While attending to a table discussing their plans to see the Broadway production of Merrily We Roll Along, Clair Howell couldn't help but express her own desire to catch the show. Regrettably, the cost of tickets had proven to be a barrier for her. Little did she know that her words would spark an incredible act of kindness. When the diners finished their meal, they left Clair a jaw-dropping $500 tip and attached a friendly note, saying: "Go see Merrily! Sit in the orchestra!"


Helpful Mouse

A mouse has been filmed tidying up a man's shed every night, reported the BBC. After repeatedly discovering that things had been "mysteriously tidied" overnight, retired postman Rodney Holbrook set up a night vision camera. The resultant footage showed a mouse picking up clothes pegs, corks, nuts and bolts and sorting them into order. "Ninety nine times out of 100 the mouse will tidy up throughout the night. It is incredible really that they put them all back in the box, I think it's possible that they enjoy it." Rodney added: "I don't bother to tidy up now."


US Offshore Wind

In December 2023, Danish wind energy developer Ørsted and the utility Eversource announced that their first turbine was sending electricity from what will be a 12-turbine wind farm, South Fork Wind, 35 miles east of Montauk Point, New York. Now, the joint owners of the Vineyard Wind project have announced the first electricity from one turbine at what will be a 62-turbine wind farm 15 miles off the coast of Massachusetts.

 

"Summer friends will melt away like summer snows, but winter friends are friends forever." George R.R. Martin

 
On This Day

9 January 2001: Apple introduced iTunes, a digital media player application that, with the year's later debut of the iPod, revolutionized digital music.

 





 
Mood Booster

Mountain Flowers: Beautiful collection of flower images in mountain locations.



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