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OGN Saturday

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

Uplifting selection of good news nuggets.

  • The UK Soil Association delivered some positive news for the organics sector this week: last year saw the biggest year-on-year sales increase for 15 years. The association said sales of organic food surged by 12.6 percent as more consumers sought produce grown to higher environmental standards. The organics market, it says, is now worth £2.8bn ($3.9bn).

  • Should friendship be legally protected? Is it time for a conversation about the vital role of friendship in our lives, and its lack of official recognition...?

  • To escape the coronavirus blues, Hungarians have flocked to the country’s famous National Blue Trail to savour the calm, open air of the woods. Meandering for about 700 miles, the Blue Trail originated in 1938 and was Europe’s first long-distance path - NatGeo describes it as among the best walks in the world. In previous years roughly 7,000 people bought the Trail’s booklet to collect stamps proving they had hiked various sections, in 2020 more than 26,000 people did so as “People have realised that ... spending time in the forest can have a great healing impact, it relieves stress, there is fresh air and quiet ... so you get a different sense of time.”

  • Walking has brain benefits: Almost all of us have gained a renewed appreciation for simply going on a walk. We know it's a worthwhile form of exercise, but it's also good for your brain too.

  • If grapes are among your staple snacks, then we have good news for you! According to a recent study from Alabama University, grapes can help protect your skin against damage from ultraviolet light (UV). The findings show that eating around two cups of grapes a day can increase resistance to sunburn by nearly 75 percent. The benefits are associated with the presence of natural compounds in the fruits, called polyphenols. Obvious next question: would wine work too? Probably, yes, as red wine also represents a rich source of polyphenols - but may lead you to forget to apply sunscreen! Obvious next question: when are we going to be able to apply sunscreen again? Hopefully soon!

  • During a recent inventory of items at the Muséum de Toulouse in southern France, researchers re-examined a conch shell and realized it was a 17,000 year old musical instrument - the oldest known wind instrument of its type.

  • Here’s a question: rapper or malware? To highlight the growing convergence of internet-speak and popular culture, Promon (the security company that exposed the hackability of Trump’s election app in October) has tested whether rap fans and cyber-security pros can tell the names of contemporary rappers and infamous malware apart. It turns out, the cyber-security pros did a little worse than the rap fans! What about you? Take the test yourself here.

  • Beat the February fatigue: The cold weather, boredom, and lockdown-induced anxiety is leading to exhaustion - here’s how to put a spring back in your step.

  • UK coronavirus infections 'will be back to summer levels by early March'. King's College prediction leads experts to say restrictions could be lifted 'sooner rather than later'.

  • Ever wondered what the Aurora Borealis (and lightning strikes) look like from above? Here's the answer, as filmed aboard the International Space Station. Spoiler alert: it's spectacular!

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