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Wednesday's Good News

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Today's smorgasbord of tasty good news nuggets to perk up the day.


Snail Racing World Championships Congham
Credit: Snail Racing World Championships Congham | Facebook
Snail Racing

A snail racing event, which has finally returned after the pandemic, has been awarded a Guinness World Record as the longest running humane snail-racing world championships, reports UPI. The Snail Racing World Championships in Congham, England, features snails attempting to cover a distance of 13 inches, the world record of 22 seconds was set by a snail named Archie in 1995. The first prize in the race is a tankard of lettuce. The event was founded by Tom Elwes in the 1960s after he attended a snail racing event in France.


Brazil's Amazon

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon fell by 34 percent in the first six months of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's term compared with the same period in 2022, the government says. That, sadly, still means there's a lot of tree chopping going on, but at least matters are now moving in a positive direction. The really good news will be if Lula achieves his pledge to end deforestation, or forest clearance, by 2030.


Chaucer's handwritten request to take a holiday
Chaucer's handwritten request | Credit: National Archives
Holiday Request

A 14th century “bureaucratic document requesting time off work for a civil servant” has been confirmed as the only surviving handwriting of Geoffrey Chaucer, reported The Guardian. It was previously assumed that the application was written by a clerk, on behalf of the author. However, now a leading scholar believes that it was actually written by Chaucer himself and submitted by him for King Richard II’s approval. It is “both informal in tone and casual in execution”, said an expert. The document, a thin strip of parchment, bears a spidery hand written in French, the primary bureaucratic language of the day. The applicant requested permission to appoint a proxy to perform his duties.


Camouflage

This devoted Taylor Swift fan in Ohio called in sick from work to spend her morning (like, super early morning - she got there at 2:45 a.m.!) waiting in line for a prime spot at Swift's Cincinnati tour stop. When reporters from local news station WKRC showed up to document the scene, the anonymous Swiftie assumed this impenetrable camouflage in case any of her colleagues were watching and planned to tattle. Apparently, the blanket-and-glasses combo also appears in a Swift music video, but it's still a pretty ingenious way to appear on TV without getting in trouble for feigning illness.


Arctic Ocean creature called a benthic hydromedusa
Credit: Franco Banfi | Monaco Foundation’s Environmental Photography Award.
Benthic Zone

Behold, an alien! Well, not an alien, but a little-known creature that provides a pop of colour in the icy Arctic Ocean called a benthic hydromedusa. The image of this 'tiny umbrella' was one of the contestants in the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation’s Environmental Photography Award, which celebrates images that emphasize the importance of conservation. Because the jellyfish relative lives in the benthic zone, near the sea floor, it remains mostly mysterious - but if we don't protect its sea home, we won't have the chance to learn more about it.


Alzheimer’s Drug

The first Alzheimer’s disease medication shown in trials to slow progression of the disease by 27 percent has been given full approval by the Food and Drug Administration, paving the way for its costly price tag to be covered by Medicare.


Northern Lights

Look Up!

A solar storm forecast for tomorrow is expected to give skygazers in 17 American states a chance to glimpse the Northern Lights, the colorful sky show that happens when solar wind hits the atmosphere. Also known as aurora borealis, they are most often seen in Alaska, Canada and Scandinavia, but an 11-year solar cycle that's expected to peak in 2024 is making the lights visible in places farther to the south. Even as far south as New York.

 

“Places move into people just as much as people move into places.” Nicola Dinan

 
On this Day

12 July 1984: Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale put forward Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate, making her the first woman ever nominated for vice president by a major U.S. political party.

 





 
Mood Booster

The first official trailer for Ridley Scott's new movie - Napoleon - due for release in November.



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