OGN Wednesday

Updated: Feb 26

Mid week collection of positive news nuggets.

  • Last July, during an Earth-to-Mars launch window that occurs only every two years, three spacecraft blasted off within days of one another. The United Arab Emirates’ orbiter reached Mars orbit yesterday (to study Martian weather) and China’s arrived today. China's will remain in orbit until May, when its rover separates to descend to the dusty, ruddy surface. If all goes well, it will be only the second country to land successfully on the red planet. The third in the trio of arrivals is NASA’s rover which will arrive on the scene on 18 Feb. to collect rocks for return to Earth - a key step in determining whether life ever existed on Mars. The U.S. is still the only country to successfully land on Mars, beginning with the 1976 Vikings. Two spacecraft are still active on the surface: Curiosity and InSight.

  • Trouble sleeping? This breathing technique promises to send you off to the land of nod in just 60 seconds.

  • Good to see Downton Abbey's Earl of Grantham doing his bit as a marshal at his local vaccination centre. It goes to show it doesn't matter how grand you are, you can still help out. The actor, Hugh Bonneville, said '‘Delighted to be part of the support team as a volunteer marshal. I get to wear hi-vis and everything. Jabtastic!'

  • Now that Democrats control both chambers, they are reintroducing a bill called the Green Act. As the Deputy Legislative Director puts it: “We need a bill that is bold enough to fully unleash a clean energy transition equal to the challenge of the climate crisis, that cuts dirty subsidies which prop up detrimental energy sources, and which helps advance environmental justice for communities nationwide."

  • Pompeii is the most visited archaeological site in the world and now its museum, called the Antiquarium - home to artifacts from the most famous casualty of a volcanic eruption in history in 79 AD - is open again for the first time in 40 years.

  • Ancient Florentine wine windows revived: When a retired Florentine man founded an association in 2015 for the preservation of a small, centuries-old, ubiquitous yet overlooked architectural feature in Florence, Italy, little did he expect that a global pandemic would re-establish their popularity and provide welcome relief.

  • Governments must step up their efforts ahead of vital climate talks in November by agreeing to negotiate formally online for the first time. António Guterres told a meeting of governments and officials that negotiations for the Cop26 summit must start virtually, now. He said: "The stakes are too high to do otherwise.”

  • Brits know that online grocery deliveries have been booming in recent times and Ocado have now put a number on it, with sales up 35 percent in 2020. Ocado, the home delivery pioneers, recorded sales of £2.2bn ($3bn).

  • Disposable face masks generate a massive amount of waste every day, but some canny Australian scientists have figured out a way of including millions of them in road construction. The result? Stronger and more durable roads.