OGN Monday

Bite sized chunks of positive news to get the week off to a bright start.

  • Grandparents who hadn’t hugged their grandsons since March shared a loving embrace, thanks to a bright idea to use inflatable polar bear costumes. Barbara and Clive Walshaw said the heartwarming hug was the “best six minutes” they had all year. They had originally planned to spend Christmas “together” on a Zoom call with a laptop at the end of the dinner table. But the ingenious grandmother stumbled upon the inflatable polar bears while Christmas shopping online and realized she had found a way to hug her beloved grandchildren safely, on 25 December.

  • Eighty-eight rarely seen drawings of Dante’s The Divine Comedy have been put on virtual display as Italy begins a year-long series of events to mark the 700th anniversary of the poet’s death. The drawings, by the 16th-century Renaissance artist Federico Zuccari, are being exhibited online, for free, by the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

  • A family of 12 siblings broke the Guinness World Record for highest total combined age, with the oldest at 97 and the youngest at 75. The D'Cruz family has a combined age of 1,042 years and 315 days, and their record was just been confirmed, according to a news release from Guinness. The siblings were all born to the same parents in Pakistan, and now live all over the world, including Canada, London, Switzerland, and the US.

  • New hope for world's most endangered turtle: The last known male giant Swinhoe’s softshell turtle is no longer alone on the planet after the discovery of a female of his species in Vietnam.

  • The San Francisco Bay is home to rolling fog, ferry boats, and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Soon, the bay may be home to something new: sea otters. The species, once hunted to near extinction, has now rebounded to 3,000 and conservationists are looking for new habitats to allow the population to expand further. Although busy with boats and located near a large city, researchers from San Francisco State University’s Estuary & Ocean Science Center have found that certain pockets of the bay are actually well suited for otters.

  • Burp catching masks for cows to slow climate change: A single industrially farmed cow produces roughly as much pollution as six average European cars; there are around 1.4 billion cattle in the world. By one estimate, cows emit more climate pollution globally than the entire economies of Japan or Germany.

  • Christmas kindness: A police officer paid for a family's Christmas groceries instead of charging two women with shoplifting. A Massachusetts police officer used his own money to buy food for a family in need instead of charging two women with shoplifting. Somerset Police Officer Matt Lima was called to a Stop & Shop grocery store on 20 December after store security said the women didn't scan everything that they put in their bags at a self-checkout register. "I have two girls myself, similar on age to the two girls that were there, so it kind of struck me a little bit," Lima told CNN. Lima took one of the women aside so they could talk about what happened without the children hearing. Store employees kept the kids occupied, so they wouldn't know what was going on. Then Lima stumped up $200 of his own money to pay for everything. Nice!

  • White House planetary protection: The White House has released its strategy for "Planetary Protection", outlining how to prevent terrestrial contamination of other worlds and vice versa.

  • This gorgeous little video shows that flowerworks can easily be as as captivating as fireworks.

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