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Monday's Positive News

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

Some tasty bite-sized chunks of positive news to get the week off to a sunny start.


Michael Caine
Debut Thriller

Michael Caine has announced that his debut thriller will be published in November. The actor’s novel, Deadly Game, features an ex-SAS police officer called Harry who must grapple with neo-Nazis, wealthy Russians and Colombian drug cartels. The actor, 90, has long harboured the desire to write a thriller, and was inspired to do so by a news item, says his UK publisher, about “the discovery of uranium by workers on a dump in London’s East End”.


Strange But True

Last week, commuters in England on the Bedford to London St Pancras line were baffled by an "engineering work" update on the ThamesLink railway website that declared: "Engineering work is taking place between X and Y, closing Z lines." After all, don't most people simply want to get from A to B?


Preston Mutanga
Preston Mutanga | Sony Pictures
Career Boost

An early scene in the hit Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is set in an animated-Lego dimension… and the team behind the movie hired Preston Mutanga, a 14-year-old amateur animator in Toronto, to pull it off after wowing the producers with a video of his own. The remarkable story may demonstrate that if you have real talent, social media has truly given artists of any age or background the ability to impress their heroes and launch their careers.


New Alzheimer's Test

Scientists have moved a step closer to developing a blood test that can predict whether people are at risk of Alzheimer’s, reports The Times. The disease has long been associated with the build-up of a protein called amyloid in the brain, but although everyone with Alzheimer’s has these amyloid plaques, not everyone with the plaques gets Alzheimer’s, suggesting that something else is involved. Now, researchers have identified what that might be: a star-shaped cell called an astrocyte. The hope is that it will now be possible to develop a test for Alzheimer’s which would lead to much earlier diagnoses, and perhaps new treatments.


GOAT?

Since his emergence, Novak Djokovic has used the dizzying bar set by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as inspiration, never doubting that he would one day rise above it. What once seemed unlikely eventually became inevitable. On another Sunday final in Paris, his seventh, Djokovic finally surpassed his great rivals in the most significant category of all as he defeated Casper Ruud in Paris to clinch his 23rd grand slam title. This historic victory means that Djokovic is now the men’s sole grand slam record holder alongside countless other records - including the only man to win all grand slams at least 3 times. Many say that makes him the GOAT - greatest of all time.


The former train sheds of the Atelier Luma
The former train sheds of the Atelier Luma | Credit: Adrian Deweerdt/LUMA
Farm-to-Building

Its door handles are made of salt. Its walls are made of sunflowers. Its furniture is made of Japanese knotweed. And it was stained with dyes made from filtered urine. Is this recycling marvel in southern France the future of architecture? You’ve no doubt heard of farm-to-table food. Well, this is farm-to-building architecture: the latest low-carbon weapon in the battle against climate change. “We call it bioregional design,” says Jan Boelen, artistic director of Atelier Luma. Given that the built environment accounts for around 40 percent of global CO2 emissions, he argues it is time we embraced locally sourced, organic methods of construction.


Lady Chief Justice

A woman will become lord chief justice for the first time, ending a “male stranglehold on the post dating back 755 years”, said The Telegraph. Victoria Sharp, 67, a senior high court judge, and Sue Carr, 58, an appeal court judge, were the only judges to make the final shortlist for the role. Both have been interviewed and an announcement on which of the two women will be head of the judiciary in England and Wales is expected within two weeks. The title is expected to be amended to “Lady Chief Justice.”


The JD1 galaxy captured by the JWST
Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, Swinburne University of Technology, University of Pittsburgh, STScI
Far, Far Away

The James Webb Space Telescope has identified one of the most distant galaxies ever seen - an ancient, nearly invisible star cluster so remote that its light is the faintest scientists have ever detected. Called JD1, the galaxy - whose light traveled for roughly 13.3 billion years to reach us - was born just a few million years after the Big Bang. Twinkling from within the Sculptor constellation in the southern sky, JD1's light left its source when the universe was just 4 percent of its current age.

 

"I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God's business." Michael J. Fox

 
On this Day

12 June 1987: Speaking about the Berlin Wall as he stood at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, U.S. President Ronald Reagan famously entreated the Soviet leader, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

 







 
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