Thursday's Uplifting News

Getting September off to a bright start with a global round up of positive news nuggets.

Cezanne painting
Charitable Art

An estimated $1bn (£847m) worth of art belonging to the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen will be sold at the largest art auction in history. Christie's auction house said proceeds of the November sale would be given to charity, as Mr Allen wished. Mr Allen, who co-founded Microsoft in 1975 with his childhood friend Bill Gates, died in 2018 aged 65. The auction will sell 150 works of art spanning 500 years and will include La Montagne Sainte-Victoire by French painter Paul Cezanne, pictured, valued at more than $100m (£85m). Christie's CEO Guillaume Cerutti said the auction would be like no other. "The inspirational figure of Paul Allen, the extraordinary quality and diversity of works, and the dedication of all proceeds to philanthropy, create a unique combination that will make the sale of the Paul G Allen Collection an event of unprecedented magnitude," he said.

The Louvre glass pyramid at night

Eco-Cooler Paris

The cooling system that serves the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, is being expanded to cope with more frequent heat waves. The little-known network underneath the city is Europe’s biggest “urban cold” system. Paris City Hall has signed an ambitious contract to triple the size of this network by 2042 to 252 km (about 157 miles) – and make it the largest in the world. The new system, which will see the city extend this system to hospitals, some schools, and metro stations, is intended to mitigate the dangerous effects of global warming. The cooling system uses a network of underground water pipes. It functions by injecting the air with chilled water to reduce temperatures. “We actually use the water of the Seine,” explained Maggie Schelfhaut, communication manager for Fraicheur de Paris, the private company that runs the system. “It is a resource that allows us to evacuate heat…and change this heat and evacuate it to the Seine.”

Augend and Addend

The first and second quantity in an addition of two things.

Have you ever found yourself staring at a piece of paper with “3 + 4” written on it, and wondered ‘what is the proper term for each of these two respective quantities?’ No? The first number is the augend and the number that is added to it is the addend.


Researchers from Oxford University have “definitively” debunked the belief that statins cause aches and pains, according to a “monumental” new study. Instead, any muscle pain experienced is likely a natural side effect of ageing. Statins can significantly lower cholesterol and cut the risk of heart attacks, so this is great news for doctors, who can now reassure their patients about the potential side effects.

Not So Dull

Dulles International Airport could soon be home to the largest airport-based solar and battery development in the United States, one that at peak production could provide enough energy to power more than 37,000 Northern Virginia homes. Once built, Dulles would join a growing number of airports across the country looking to solar developments as a way to meet sustainability goals, save money on electricity, and generate revenue from land that might otherwise be undeveloped.

US Public Support

Public support for green policies is more robust than Americans think, according to a study recently published in the journal Nature Communications. People across all demographics, including Democrats and Republicans, assumed that only a minority of Americans, between 37 and 43 percent, want climate policies such as a price on carbon or a Green New Deal. The reality is that a majority of Americans, 66 to 80 percent, support those kinds of measures, according to polling analyzed by the authors of the study.

Quote of the Day

“Some women choose to follow men, and some choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.” Lady Gaga

On this Day

1 September 1972: Bobby Fischer (on the right) defeated Boris Spassky of Russia to become the first native-born American to hold the title of world chess champion.

Kindness Reciprocated

A beloved math teacher in L.A. was surprised and delighted when his students bought him a brand new car. Read on...

Magic Mushrooms

Researchers now believe that psilocybin – the active compound in magic mushrooms – could also help tackle alcoholism. Read on...

Mood Booster

Starling murmuration: Rome plays host to one of the world's most amazing displays of aerial acrobatics: a super-swarm.