No Bad News

In today’s world, there seems to be more bad news than good news. The truth is, there’s just as much good news out there; the media just isn’t reporting it. If you’re tired of being fed only bad news by the media, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find lighthearted news: inspirational, funny, uplifting and interesting.

Smiley face

A 120-Year Lease on Life Outlasts Apartment Heir



In 1965, Andre-Francois Raffray thought he had a great deal. He would pay 90-year-old Jeanne Calment 2,500 francs (about $500) a month until she died, and would then move into her grand apartment in a town that Vincent van Gogh once roamed. Raffray died in 1995, by which time Calment had received more than double the apartment's value from him, and his family had to continue making payments. Calment commented on the situation by saying, “In life, one sometimes makes bad deals". In 1985, Calment moved into a nursing home, having lived on her own until age 110. She continued to live another 12 years, passing away on August 4, 1997.
Continue Reading...

Banner Blindness: When Web Users Subconsciously Ignore Ads



Chances are, you’ve never heard of “banner blindness.” It’s actually a form of selective attention, in which web visitors ignore information presented in banners. This can be either conscious or subconscious and is usually done to avoid interacting with ads that may disrupt the user experience. That might sound like a good thing, but it affects one group negatively: advertisers. That’s because when people ignore ads, the advertiser doesn’t earn any revenue or generate interest in the company. The first banner ad was introduced in 1994, and it garnered a 44% click-through rate. Today, web users are more likely to summit Mount Everest than to click on a banner ad. Even more deadly for advertisers today than banner blindness are ad-blocking programs. Online users are smarter than they’re given credit for, and when advertisers bombard them with non-stop banner ads, they leave them with no option but to bring out the big guns. The last laugh? Companies that engage in online warfare by creating anti ad-blocker programs are waging a war they can’t win. For every anti ad-blocker program that exists, there’s a script out there that allows web users to push on through to the content they’re after. There’s a middle ground somewhere, but neither side seems to want to go there.
Continue Reading...

Spite Buildings: When Human Grudges Get Architectural



“Spite buildings” are constructions specifically intended to irritate or protest — our smallest human pettiness made manifest in brick and mortar. Because long-term occupation isn’t the primary purpose of these houses, they frequently sport strange and impractical structures. They can create obstructions — such as blocking out light or blocking access to neighboring buildings — or they can be flagrant symbols of defiance. The earliest such case was in 1716, when sailmaker Thomas Wood built a house in Marblehead, Mass., that became known as the Old Spite House. The 10-foot-wide house was just tall enough to block the view of two other houses on the street and was built because its owner was upset about his tiny share of his father’s estate and decided to spoil his older brother’s view. The Old Spite House is still standing and occupied. They say that home is where the heart is, but if that heart is filled with malice, home might just be a spite house.
Continue Reading...

The Poison Garden



In the town of Alnwick, Northumberland, England, there’s a complex of formal gardens, including the Poison Garden, which features poisonous plants. The garden was the idea of the Duchess of Northumberland, who wanted the garden to have something that was different from other gardens. The mission of the Poison Garden also includes drug education, with featured plantings of cannabis, coca and the opium poppy. The Duchess is said to have believed that people would be more interested in hearing how a plant killed, how long it would take you to die if you ate it, and how gruesome and painful the death might be. The boundaries of the Poison Garden are kept behind black iron gates, only open on guided tours. Visitors are strictly prohibited from smelling, touching, or tasting any plants, although some people still occasionally faint from inhaling toxic fumes while walking in the garden.
Continue Reading...