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Positive News Wednesday

Updated: Jul 6, 2023

What better way to start the day than with an uplifting collection of good news nuggets?

David Jenkins and friend Bridget Beck at Glastonbury 2022
David Jenkins and friend Bridget Beck, Glasto 2022 | Credit: David Jenkins
You're Never Too Old

Last year, David Jenkins, a sprightly-ish 74-year-old, enjoyed his first Glastonbury in nine years. He told The Telegraph: "I’d done some prep on YouTube and had loved the look of the still relatively unknown band Wet Leg, who were now rocking out to a delirious reception just a few rows in front of me. About 15 minutes in, I felt sharp prodding in my back. I turned, and a young - say 25-year-old - woman demanded: ‘Do you know the band?’ ‘No,’ I said, ‘but I think they’re great.’ I turned back, wondering what on earth she’d meant. And then I got it: I was the only snowy-white head in sight. She thought I was someone in the band’s uncle. Or father. Or grandfather." Mr Jenkins still enjoyed putting the hip in hip replacement.

Enceladus, a moon of Saturn
Enceladus spews material from its ocean into space, which spacecraft from Earth can study to learn more about what lies below | NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Enceladus Wow Moment

Scientists find phosphorus - a key element for life (as we know it) - on a Saturn Moon. This is the last of six essential elements for life to be detected on Enceladus, giving the strongest indication yet that its ocean is habitable. Previous studies had spotted signs of the other five elements needed for life - carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur - in material from Enceladus’s ocean. Now, in a paper published in the journal Nature, researchers have added phosphorus to that list. “This was basically the last piece that was needed to finally, now, deem Enceladus’s ocean to be habitable without any doubt."

Free Sunscreen

Redundant dispensers deployed during the pandemic to dispatch hand sanitiser are being repurposed in the Netherlands, where they’re being filled with free sunscreen. In an idea that would do well to catch on, the dispensers are going to schools, seafronts and festival sites as part of a strategy to reduce cases of skin cancer, reports Dutch News.

Vaquita porpoise
Vaquita porpoise | Wikipedia
Reason for Optimism

Mexico's vaquita porpoises are holding steady in the Gulf of California. For two weeks in May, researchers sailed around part of the gulf, which is the only place vaquitas - the most endangered porpoise in the world - live. The team estimates it saw 10 to 13 of the porpoises, about the same number spotted in 2021. Vaquitas are small and elusive, and many of the sightings were through binoculars. The researchers saw at least one or two calves in the water, which was a hopeful sign. Because of illegal fishing, the vaquita population has dropped from 600 in 1997. Alex Olivera, the Mexico representative for the Center for Biological Diversity, told The Associated Press the new research is "encouraging news and it shows that vaquitas are survivors ... but we still need urgent conservation efforts to save these tiny porpoises from extinction."

Birds and Bees

The New York State Legislature has passed the Birds and Bees Protection Act, a first-in-the-nation bill that will rein in the use of neurotoxic neonicotinoid pesticides ('neonics'). It is the first law to address neonic seed coatings in the United States—far and away the largest and most widespread neonic use nationwide.

Land Restoration

Malawi is on track to reach its goal of restoring 17.4 million square miles (4.5m hectares) of degraded lands by 2030. Since 2015, it has put about 1.7 million hectares of land and forest under restoration, almost 40 percent of the goal. "This tree is magic. It is pure magic. It has rehabilitated the soils here so rapidly and I like how it coexists with other crops while also fertilizing the soils for their growth."

3D Printed School

Give Thinking Huts a few days, and they'll turn an empty lot into a school campus. Founded by 23-year-old Maggie Grout, Thinking Huts is a nonprofit devoted to making education accessible in Madagascar. Using a 3D printer, in 18 hours Thinking Huts can build a structure a community can use as a classroom. In 2022, Thinking Huts completed its first campus in Fianarantsoa, a city of 200,000 people in south-central Madagascar. It has huts, solar panels, potable water, toilets, and WiFi. "We're really just aiming to be a stepping stone for [the community] to be successful on their own," Grout told Fast Company.


"The truth is the kindest thing we can give folks in the end." Harriet Beecher Stowe

On this Day

21 June 1893: The first Ferris wheel (invented by George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., a Pittsburgh-based engineer) made its debut, at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.


Mood Booster

Always Look on The Bright Side of Life!


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