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Positive News Wednesday

Mid-week collection of positive news nuggets to put a spring in your step.


Abba portrait photo
License to Boogie

Swedes will soon be able boogie the night away, care-free of special dancing permits. The Swedish government said it intends to scrap the 67-year-old law that required owners of night clubs and bars to obtain a license for dancing. The law, which has been the subject of debate for decades, dates back to 1956 when politicians were trying to rein in a surge of dance meets around the country where unchaperoned youths would consume alcohol and listen to what some at the time considered immoral music and dancing.

 

The Glamorous Italian Club Scene for Oldies: Diehard fans of liscio, an Italian music genre and dancing scene, has dedicated venues called balere, and a fan base that's generally over 50 (more often, over 65). Read on...

 
Indie Bookshops

Times are tough for Britain’s high streets, but indie bookshops are bucking the trend. According to the Booksellers Association, the number of independent shops that it represents grew for the sixth consecutive year in 2022. It now stands at a 10-year high. The revival was in full swing before the pandemic, but accelerated in lockdown. “During the pandemic we saw a frankly astonishing number of new entrants to bookselling,” said Meryl Halls, MD of the Booksellers Association. She added: “Bookshops are crucially important - and valued - parts of our high street communities. They bring social and cultural capital to every town, village, suburb or city centre they are part of.”


Men at Work road sign
Plastic Roads

California, Hawaii, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Virginia are all piloting programs that repave roads with asphalt containing recycled plastic waste. While officials are still assessing its efficacy, initial results are promising. So far, there is no evidence of microplastic runoff from the roads. Further, researchers believe the new roads will actually have greater durability and performance than traditional roads.



Better Than Therapy

A new study has concluded that performing acts of kindness can reduce depression and may benefit some people more than therapies offered by the UK's National Health Service. Researchers at the Ohio State University divided adults with moderate or severe depression, anxiety and stress into three groups, one of which was asked to perform regular acts of kindness for others a couple of days each week. People in that group “showed a larger improvement in depressive symptoms after 10 weeks than others who were instead assigned cognitive behavioural therapy”, said The Times.


Cunning Plan

Tesla is slashing its prices. Among the price reductions include the Tesla Model Y now at $52,990, down from $65,990. In the US, both the Model 3 and Model Y now qualify for a $7,500 federal tax credit, bringing down costs further.


No More Walls

Congratulations to environmental activists who stepped into the line of fire to stop Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s illegal border wall. After months of grassroots action, the federal government has finally forced Ducey’s hand. By camping out in the frigid scrubland since November, activists halted wall construction through this critical habitat for endangered Ocelot, Bighorn Sheep, and even Jaguars. A DOJ lawsuit followed this direct action in mid-December, cementing the demise of Ducey’s project. With wall removal beginning the following week, the entire region (in addition to the illegal wall in neighboring Yuma County) is slated to open this month.

 

“My definition of an intellectual is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture without thinking of the Lone Ranger.”

Billy Connolly

 
On this Day


18 January 1986: Martin Luther King, Jr., Day was first celebrated as a national holiday.

 
Time for an Upgrade

When Benjamin Franklin made the first lightning rod in the 1750s after his famous kite experiment, he would be amazed it remained the solution for centuries. Until now...


Unlikely Star

A singing bus driver has become an unlikely Youtube sensation after a feel-good music video he made about his job racked up tens of thousands of views. Read on...


From the Archives

Silly Sausage: Renowned physicist apologises for his (most would say) hilarious prank of posting a ‘planet’ photo which was actually piece of chorizo. Read on...

 
Mood Booster

Why is this ice so slippery? Both cats and dogs agree that there is something wrong with this slick, shiny, annoying surface.



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