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Thursday's Uplifting News

Updated: Oct 14, 2023

Smorgasbord of uplifting news nuggets from around the globe to perk up the day.

Europe's Largest

A dinosaur unearthed on the Isle of Wight, off England's south coast, may be the largest land predator that ever roamed Europe, say some very excited palaeontologists. It was almost like a cross between Tyrannosaurus rex and the great white shark, as it was also able to hunt in water too, according to experts. The enormous creature had a face like a crocodile, razor-sharp teeth, claws and a whip-like tail. It dates back 125 million years and was as big as a bus – more than 33ft (10m) long and weighing more than five tons.

Giant western red cedar found in British Columbia
Credit: Colin Spratt
Behemoth Tree

A biologist has found one of the widest-ever recorded trees in British Columbia. Ian Thomas measured the giant western red cedar to be somewhere between 4.8 to 5.8 metres in diameter, and 1,000 to 2,000 years old. The tree's diameter still needs to be officially verified and depends on how it's measured on a rugged, steep slope. He and his self-described "tree hunter" colleague Colin Spratt nicknamed the "awe-inspiring" tree they found in a grove of "primordial" red cedars the North Shore Giant.

Circular Economy

The rising popularity of electric cars is good news for lowering emissions but bad news for battery waste. However, the team at German startup Voltfang offer one helpful solution by repurposing used car batteries to power private home electricity storage solutions.


A cluster of cats.


Ukrainian Mathematician

A Ukrainian who proved the best way to pack spheres in eight dimensions to take up the least space, is among the winners of the Fields medal, considered the equivalent of a Nobel prize for mathematics. Prof Maryna Viazovska, 37, was presented with her prize at the International Mathematical Union awards ceremony in Helsinki. While the first Fields medal was awarded in 1936, there was a hiatus until 1950, since when it has been presented every four years to up to four mathematicians who are under 40.

Battery Ends Coal

Oahu, a Hawaiian island, is to free itself from a major coal-fired power plant with the introduction of 158 Tesla Energy Megapacks batteries - one of the largest autonomous batteries in the world. Oahu and Hawaii as a whole are looking to accelerate a transition to 100 percent renewable energy, with the former set to decommission a coal power plant that generates 15 percent of the island’s electricity - courtesy of the batteries that are powered by renewable energy that can be released when necessary - rather than firing up the coal-fired plant to meet intermittent demand.

Micromobility Hub

Amazon is launching a fleet of electric cargo bikes and a team of on-foot delivery staff to replace thousands of van deliveries on London’s roads. The online retailer is opening its first “micromobility” hub in east London, which – along with an existing fleet of electric vehicles – will contribute to 5m deliveries a year across about a 10th of the capital’s ultra low emission zone postcode districts. Amazon plans more such delivery hubs around the UK this year as part of its efforts to cut its carbon emissions.

Quote of the Day

“Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.”

Noam Chomsky

On this Day

7 July 1928: Isaac Newton graduates from Trinity College, Cambridge.


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