Synopsis of last week’s good news from around the world.
Celebrating the good news
Profane Parrots: A zoo has elected to put three bad-mouthed parrots in amongst its flock in the hope that good manners will triumph over the “really offensive, swearing parrots with 92 non-swearing ones.” What could go wrong with this risky strategy?
Deaf to Hearing: A breakthrough clinical trial using gene therapy has restored hearing to five children born deaf. After six months, the children were able to recognize speech and hold conversations, raising hopes for wider use in the near future. The study was conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, and China’s Fudan University.
Project of the Century: An Egyptian pyramid is being re-clad in granite blocks in a renovation programme that will eventually enable visitors to experience the monumental structure in the way it would have appeared 4,000 years ago.
World Kitchen: José Andrés and World Central Kitchen always seem to find a way. They just announced they’ve served over 22 million meals in Gaza. They’ve been able to dispatch over 800 trucks to the area and set up 27 kitchens and over 750 clean cooking stoves.
eSTOL: Remarkable electric plane takes $8 billion in pre-orders and should come into service is sometime in 2028. It carries nine passengers, has astonishing lift, can land at incredibly slow speeds, and use tiny runways. Oh, and introduces the world to a new acronym.
Credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium | Tyson V. Rininger
Sea Otters: A new study by Monterey Bay Aquarium reveals that sea otters’ presence along California’s central coast led to increased kelp forest canopy. According to Harvard University, coastal ecosystems can sequester up to 20 times more carbon per acre than land forests.
Early Detection: New study shows that a simple blood test can detect early signs of Alzheimer’s years before people develop symptoms, raising the prospect of routine screening for all those over 50. The blood test detects ‘p-tau217’, a protein that can cause Alzheimer’s, and typically starts to build up on the brain 10 to 15 years before symptoms start showing. As with all diseases, early detection is important. On a similar theme…
AI Cancer Check: America’s FDA has granted clearance for the first AI-powered handheld medical device to assist physicians in detecting all three common skin cancers: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. That’s good news as providing a more accurate way of identifying skin cancer will enable patients to access necessary treatment more quickly.
Earhart’s Plane? For nearly 90 years, the world has searched for the missing aviator and theorized where she and her plane ended up. An ocean exploration company is now claiming it has discovered an object of similar shape and size to Earhart’s aircraft located deep in the waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Brain Health: Playing a musical instrument or singing throughout life is associated with better brain health in older age. Scientists at England’s University of Exeter found playing an instrument was associated with improved memory and brain function. Singing was also linked to better cognitive ability.
England’s Hedges: New study shows that England’s hedgerows could wrap around Earth ten times. Culturally and historically important, they are teeming with life, provide landscape-scale connectivity and make an immense contribution to halting biodiversity decline and tackling climate change.
Geiranger, Norway | Unsplash
Cruise Control: Starting in 2026, only ships powered by sustainable fuels will be allowed to visit Norway’s fjords. Lawmakers want to protect the unique natural environment and stop marine diesel oil and mass tourism from damaging the climate. Some ships are now powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), but that will no longer qualify as an acceptable fuel for cruise ships visiting the fjords of Norway.
No Greenwashing: The European Parliament has approved a new law aimed at preventing greenwashing and misleading environmental claims on products. The directive prohibits terms like “environmentally friendly,” “biodegradable,” and “climate neutral” in advertising or packaging without concrete evidence.
Pothole Prevention: On the principle that prevention is better than a fix, the world’s first pothole-preventing robot is poised for its debut road test in the UK. Wouldn’t it be sensationally good news never to have to worry about potholes again?
EU Emissions: The European Union pumped out 8 percent less carbon dioxide from the fossil fuels it burned in 2023 – pushing these emissions down to their lowest level in 60 years, according to analysis from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air.
Coal For Solar: One of the largest coal plants in the US will soon be replaced by the nation’s biggest solar farm. Xcel Energy has shut down one of three power generating units at Minnesota’s largest power plant, and plans to shutter the other two units in 2026 and 2030. Retiring just one of the units is the equivalent to taking more than 780,000 cars off the road.
Solar Superstar: Last year alone, China installed more new solar capacity than the total amount ever installed in any other country, including the USA, reports Bloomberg.
Colorado Plastics: After a year of the statewide fee on single-use plastic bags in Colorado, it’s estimated there was a reduction of roughly 1.5 billion plastic bags used in the state last year.
Clean Energy: For the first time, a huge underground deposit of hydrogen has been discovered.
Beautiful and Edible: Humble slices of toast artistically interpreted into what this daily staple can look like with enough love and attention.
Not so Dull and Boring: One day, a woman from Dull visited Boring on vacation, and asked the town councils if they felt like spicing things up.
Top Performers: Trio of last week’s most popular (and hilarious) articles, plus the most watched mood boosting video.