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5 stories to kickstart 2022

Putting the happy in our new year
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January has already generated a number of heavy headlines – and we’re only a few weeks in! We could all do with a break from the doom-and-gloom news, so with that in mind, here’s our first round-up of positive stories for 2022.

  1. It might feel like a lifetime ago, but for some, Christmas is only just getting started. Case in point: a herd of goats at Whinnies Community Gardens in the UK is currently digging into a festive feast of unwanted Christmas trees. With tree paraphernalia accounting for around 160,000 tonnes of waste nationally each January, the goats offer an environmentally friendly recycling option. Plus, they get to enjoy a tasty treat. Win win.
  2. While we’re on the topic of all creatures great and small, there’s been some surprising action on Australia’s music scene lately. In December, an album of bird songs reached third spot on the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) charts, succeeding the likes of Taylor Swift, ABBA and the Christmas king himself, Michael Buble. Songs of Disappearance, which features the ‘voices’ of 53 threatened native species, was compiled as a call to action to curb the effects of climate change. Check it out here.
  3. Moving on to all things human, telepathy is a communication tool that’s long been relegated to the realm of science fiction, but it’s now being put to good use in the real world. Last month, for example, an Australian man tweeted the world’s first direct-thought social media post. Philip O’Keefe, who suffers from paralysis caused by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), was able to turn his thoughts to text and post them on Twitter thanks to a computer interface implanted in his brain. Over time, it’s hoped this kind of thought-control technology will enhance the quality of life for more people living with paralysis, helping them operate computers and even regain movement in their limbs. The power of thought, eh?
  4. Speaking of cool technology, not-for-profit housing provider Habitat for Humanity has recently completed construction on its first 3D-printed house. It took just 28 hours to build the exterior of the three-bedroom, two-bathroom concrete home, which was customised for its new owners in Virginia, US, and built to withstand hurricanes and tornadoes. Not only does this incredible technology enable a faster turnaround time for new homes, it also makes them more affordable for the low-to-medium income families who use Habitat for Humanity’s service.
  5. In health news, New Zealand’s government has taken serious steps towards stamping out smoking – reducing the number of shops that are allowed to sell cigarettes and banning anyone born from 2011 onwards from ever buying tobacco. Under its Smokefree 2025 plan, the country aims to reduce the number of smokers to less than five per cent of the population. There’s only a handful of other nations (including Bhutan and Costa Rica) that have such strict rules around smoking. Fingers crossed they’re the first of many.

That’s it from us for now. Have a wonderful week!

– The Coach Place Global

Image by @istock

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