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Saturday's Upbeat News

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

Celebrating the start of the weekend with a global round-up of positive news nuggets.

Yosemite National Park
Yosemite Facelift

For the last two decades, volunteers have donated their time and energy to help clean up trash in Yosemite National Park. This year, they’re getting a special reward for their efforts. Rush Creek Lodge and Spa, a resort located near the park, is offering free spa treatments to guests at the lodge who help with the park-wide cleanup effort, called Yosemite Facelift. The Yosemite Facelift will take place September 20-24, though volunteers must register online before September 11 to participate. This fall marks the 20th anniversary of the annual cleanup project. In 2003, the Yosemite Climbing Association’s founder, Ken Yager, decided that climbers should do their part to beautify Yosemite at the end of the busy summer tourism season.

Professor Richard Kingsford
Prof. Richard Kingsford | Credit: John Porter, NSW Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.
'Best Job in The World'

For almost 40 years, Professor Richard Kingsford has climbed into a small plane to lead one of the world's biggest and longest-running wildlife surveys, scanning and recording waterbirds across almost a third of the Australian continent. Kingsford and his Waterbirds Aerial Survey team were awarded a prestigious Eureka prize this week for their efforts that have influenced the conservation of the Murray-Darling Basin and helped create three new national parks. 'I've got the best job in the world', prestigious Eureka prize winner says.

£1 to £1 Million

Cars worth £1 that sit idle in a barn for two decades don’t often find themselves on auction floors with bids coming in for more than £1 million ($1.27m). However, one classic Jaguar which was plucked from a barn in central England twenty years ago and meticulously restored to its former glory, is set to complete that exact journey next month. On September 1, a one-of-its-kind Jaguar E-type is set to be sold and predicted to achieve well over £1m. The 1961 E-Type Series 3.8-Litre Fixed Head Coupe is one of only four “outside bonnet lock” right-hand-drive production Jaguar E-Type ever built, with the other three no longer in existence.

Green sea turtle
Green sea turtle | Unsplash
Species Recovery in US

Three species recovery stories from the United States. The golden paintbrush, an endangered plant, has recovered from 20,000 plants in 1997 to over 325,000 today. A record-breaking number of green sea turtle nests have been counted on Texas beaches, and in Florida the Okaloosa darter, a tiny two-inch fish, has swum off the endangered species list thanks to a 30-plus-year conservation effort.

Pretty in Pink

Barbie has topped The Super Mario Bros. Movie to become 2023's highest-grossing film at the US box office with just over $574m domestically and $1.28bn worldwide.

Wind Power

A breakthrough in the shipping industry, the first wind-powered cargo ship just set sail on its first voyage. The shipping industry is notoriously carbon-intensive, burning an immense amount of fossil fuels to carry food and other goods around the world. In an effort to lower its fuel consumption (and emissions), one ship just implemented new wind-powered technology. The 750-foot-long Pyxis Ocean is equipped with WindWings, which are made from the same material as wind turbines. The ship’s new wings could lead to about a one-fifth reduction in emissions. Though more decarbonization needs to happen in the industry, the real-life implementation of this technology is helping it get closer to its net-zero goals.


“The Christians gave Him Sunday, the Jews gave Him Saturday, and the Muslims gave Him Friday. God has a three-day weekend.” George Carlin

On this Day

26 August 1682: English astronomer Edmond Halley first observes the comet named after him.


Mood Booster

Embarrassing your little brother at the school bus stop every day.


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