Facts that prove life is beautiful

So January's over: and here's why it's now OK to feel chipper. Spring is coming. Maybe tonight's the night you'll break a month long detox. It's Friday. And these facts, collected by Ink Tank blog, will (temporarily) make you feel like the world is a brain-meltingly wonderful place (which it might be).

Pearson's Penguin joins Random House

Pearson agreed to combine its Penguin publishing unit with Bertelsmann's Random House to create by far the largest book publisher in Britain and the United States.

Scientists p-p-pick out penguins from space for new head count

Emperor penguins, lots and lots of them – and now we know just how many. Antarctica contains more than half a million – nearly double the number previously thought, a satellite survey has revealed. In the first comprehensive census of a species taken from space, high-resolution photos of 44 colonies around the Antarctic continent showed there were 595,000 birds – the previous estimate was 350,000.

More headlines

Scotland: The perfect winter getaway

It's St Andrew's Day, a reminder that Scotland is now at its atmospheric best. Here's how to enjoy the majestic scenery – and stay warm at the same time

Massimo Vitali: The seaside snapper who's making waves

When Silvio Berlusconi won the Italian election in 1994, Massimo Vitali packed his camera and headed to the beach. "I wanted to see who had voted for him," says the photographer. "It was such a shock for me when he won." Vitali, 67, has been working on his beach series ever since – setting up his large-format (11in by 14in) camera on clifftops or assembling 20ft-high scaffolding to shoot his "sociological" seaside panoramas.