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Tuesday's Upbeat News

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Worldwide collection of upbeat news nuggets to brighten the day.


Ring Upgrade

A nine-year courtship culminates in a happy engagement. It sounds rather too conventional for this Rolling Stone. And yet, at the grand old age of 79, Sir Mick Jagger is making an honest man of himself and marrying the mother of his eighth child, Melanie Hamrick. Friends claim the diamond Hamrick has been wearing for some time (and laughing off as merely a “promise ring”) has been upgraded to an engagement ring. Why has old snake hips come over quite so traditional, then? Perhaps a looming milestone birthday has something to do with it? He will turn 80 on 26 July. Of his many relationships (to date, he has had eight children with five separate women), he was only ever married once (in 1971), to Bianca Jagger.


Small gold book found in Yorkshire
Credit: Buffy Bailey
Striking Gold

A treasure hunter wielding a metal detector on farmland near York, England, has literally struck gold - shaped like a book. Weighing less than an ounce, the half-inch-long artifact appears to date back to the 15th century. Experts at the Yorkshire Museum identified the figures depicted in the book’s open “pages” as Saints Leonard and Margaret, patron saints of childbirth. The gold book was found near Sheriff Hutton Castle, a former home of Richard III. Experts say the ornate object may have been owned by a relative of the English king - perhaps his wife, Anne Neville - and worn for protection during pregnancy and childbirth.


Joshua Trees

The Western Joshua Tree Conservation Act has passed in California. The act is the first legislation in the state to protect a species from climate change. It prohibits any person or public agency from importing, exporting, removing, owning, buying or selling western Joshua trees or any of their parts. Western Joshua trees are native to California and other southwestern states. These outlandish “trees” are actually monocotyledons, or monocots, a type of grass-like, flowering plant.

 
 
Medical Discoveries

This is an exceptional era in medicine, with researchers saying to expect even more groundbreaking treatments in the near future. Discoveries are being made at a quicker pace, Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna, a biochemist at the University of California, Berkeley, told The New York Times. Doudna, who helped discover CRISPR gene editing, has been running her research lab for nearly three decades, "and I can say that throughout that period of time, I've just never experienced what we're seeing over just the last five years," she said. "I think we're at an extraordinary time of accelerating discoveries." The Covid-19 vaccine is one recent breakthrough, and in the near future, mRNA could be applied to other applications, like treating cancer, RSV, Zika, and HIV. "It's stunning," immunologist Barney Graham, who helped develop mRNA vaccines, told the Times. "You cannot imagine what we're going to see over the next 30 years. The pace of advancement is in an exponential phase right now."


Connectivity

The Biden administration announced its plans to invest $40 billion to support broadband installation nationwide. Each state will get at least $100 million as part of the administration’s goal of connecting everyone in the U.S. to high-speed broadband by 2030.


New Dawn?

One thousand kilometres (620 miles) on a single charge sounds like the stuff electric motoring dreams are made of, but it could become reality after the world’s biggest EV battery maker announced a technological breakthrough slated for mass production this year. China-based Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) claims that, pound-for-pound, its new ‘condensed’ battery can store almost double the power of Tesla’s top-of-the-range 4680 cell, itself hailed a game-changer mere months ago with its reported range of 450km (279 miles).

As well as opening up the possibility of long distance motoring without the need to stop for a top-up, CATL says it shatters the technological barriers hampering development of electric-powered passenger flight.

 

“I feel these days like a very large flamingo. No matter what way I turn, there is always a very large bill.” Joseph O’Connor

 
On this Day

4 July 1865: Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was published, though the first print run was soon recalled because of quality issues; a new first edition was released in November.

 





 
Mood Booster

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