OGN Friday

Updated: Jan 17

Finishing the week with a collection of positive news nuggets.


  • The Fauci Effect: The pandemic has placed a nearly unparalleled spotlight on doctors and nurses around the world, but at least one good thing has come out of it: more students than ever are applying for medical school. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the number of applications to medical school is up 20 percent in 2020, even as enrollment to undergraduate programmes has decreased.

  • Cambridge University dons have prevailed in a free speech row after voting down an attempt by university chiefs to force them to be “respectful of the diverse identities of others”.

  • Denmark has agreed a deal with parliament to put at least 775,000 electric or hybrid cars on Danish roads by 2030 in its latest move to reach its ambitious target reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 70% in 2030. The government also announced a broader aim of having as many as one million low or zero-emission cars on the road by 2030 - just under 50% of all cars on its roads - but the current deal would secure financing for the first 775,000.

  • The much-loved combination of beer and crisps is being harnessed for the first time to tackle climate change. An ingenious double whammy!

  • Following the UK's lead, the department responsible for Canada's federal health policy has given emergency approval to Pfizer and BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine.

  • World's biggest wind turbines: There's no doubting that clean wind energy is part of the solution to tackling climate change, and these behemoths take matters to a whole new level.

  • Norway's sovereign wealth fund - the largest in the world - gains £140 billion in 2019, the equivalent of £26,400 per citizen; bringing its total value up to £160,000 for each of the country's 5.3m inhabitants.

  • Tasmania is now powered entirely by renewable energy. The Australian island state of Tasmania now runs on 100 percent renewable energy, having met its goal to be fully self-sufficient on green energy two years ahead of schedule.

  • Act of Kindness: Most brides and grooms-to-be have had to postpone or scale back wedding plans as a result of lockdowns. But one Chicago couple had an idea to pivot their wedding celebrations to something even better - by giving back to others. The $5,000 deposit they had pre-paid to caterers was put to good use by providing food to those in need. The couple got married in a city hall ceremony instead, with only a photographer. However, the newlyweds' wedding deposit donation has already inspired other Chicagoans to give back to their community.

  • Starbucks are getting in on the spirit of generosity too. They're offering free coffee to all front-line responders this month, though it appears to be only in the US.

  • If you've got young kids at home this weekend, what could be more festive than a walk in the deep, dark wood or a generous serving of roasted fox? Children’s theatre specialists Tall Stories present a live-streamed performance of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s bedtime - well, anytime - favourite. 11-13 December.

  • Incredible video of small plane making emergency landing on busy road in Minnesota and everyone's fine.