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OGN Saturday

Updated: Apr 10, 2021

Today's bundle of positive news nuggets.

  • It looks like Sergey Brin's airship company is planning to break hydrogen full cell records, as well as provide huge disaster relief airships. Brin, co-creator of Google, is looking to revolutionize transportation through airships capable of crossing oceans in an eco-friendly way, to deliver passengers and disaster relief when required. The vision for his airships is to "complement - and even speed up - humanitarian disaster response and relief efforts, especially in remote areas that cannot be easily accessed by plane and boat due to limited or destroyed infrastructure."

  • China built more than half of the world’s new wind power capacity in 2020, says Bloomberg. This was more than the world’s combined wind power growth in 2019. While every region commissioned more wind capacity than the year prior, the unprecedented global growth observed in 2020 should be credited to the Chinese wind market.

  • Decoding Ancient Mystery: Researchers claim breakthrough in study of 2,000-year-old Antikythera mechanism, an astronomical calculator found in the Aegean Sea - often described as the world’s first analogue computer.

  • America and the European Union suspended tariffs that each has imposed on the other in a dispute over state aid to the aerospace industry. The suspension is a goodwill gesture from both sides that will last four months, as they hold talks on how to resolve their disagreements on the issue, which stretch back 16 years. Ursula von der Leyen, EU Commission president, described it as a “fresh start” for the US-EU partnership, which came under a lot of strain during the Trump presidency.

  • World's first ever clinical trial: We've all got used to the phrase 'clinical trial' in recent times, but who conducted the first ever trial and when?

  • American employers added 379,000 jobs to their payrolls in February. The bulk of the increase came from restaurants and bars hiring more workers, as states and cities begin to ease their lockdown restrictions on indoor dining.

  • Converting classic cars into EVs is quickly becoming big business. Following our stories on conversions of a classic 1961 Rolls-Royce Phantom V and an equally impressive Bentley Continental S2 Flying Spur, it's now the turn of a drop-dead gorgeous Mercedes SL280 Pagoda. If you need to ask the price, sadly you will not be able to afford it! But it's good news to know that classic motors can be updated to zero-emissions so we'll still be able to admire them on the roads in future.

  • Plastic roads better than asphalt: A dozen countries have now built roads that incorporate plastic. It's great for recycling and the results are equal to or better than bog-standard asphalt.

  • Now that space exploration is all the rage again, it's probably inevitable that space orientated clothing for mere mortals stuck on terra firma would start appearing in stores. Enter Converse All Starsw with their natty NASA themed sneakers - perfect for frustrated non-astronauts.

  • On the subject of space, this evening at 18.00 GMT, comedian Jon Culshaw and astronomer Pete Lawrence will host Armchair Aurora, a free-to-attend, live online event discussing the science of the Northern Lights and what makes the aurora such a mesmerising sight. The event will include aurora footage, interviews and a Q&A with aurora scientists and astronomers, and discussions on what causes the Northern Lights. You can view the event via the livestream link below.

  • If you’ve been waiting for Covid-19 vaccine eligibility and you live in Alaska, we’ve got good news for you. This week, the state became the first to open up vaccine access for anyone over the age of 16. The new vaccination eligibility comes after a successful campaign to inoculate Alaska’s most vulnerable populations, achieving over 90 percent vaccination rates among seniors.

  • Write here, write now: Share the love! The Canadian government is sending every citizen a free pre-paid postcard for them to then send on to someone who would really, really appreciate it.

  • The city of Minneapolis has agreed to pay $27m to settle a civil lawsuit with the family of George Floyd, even as jury selection was under way in the murder trial of the former police officer, Derek Chauvin, who killed him.

  • Joe Biden has directed states to make all American adults eligible for coronavirus vaccines by 1 May (much earlier than originally forecast) and set an audacious goal of 4 July for gatherings to celebrate “independence” from the pandemic.

  • Fancy a quick trip to Mongolia? Enjoy this beautiful 4 minute film of the country's extraordinary landscapes...

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