OGN Monday

Updated: Mar 16

Getting the week off to an upbeat start with a collection of good news snippets.

  • Grandfather becomes oldest person to row 3,000 miles solo across Atlantic from the Canaries to Antigua. Frank Rothwell, 70, raised more than £640,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK and said crossing the finish line was a “completely euphoric moment.” And mighty impressive!

  • Sounds promising: A new coronavirus drug which successfully cured 30 cases of the disease in Israeli hospital patients has been hailed by scientists as a ‘huge breakthrough’. The EXO-CD24 substance was developed in Tel Aviv and successfully just completed its first phase of clinical trials. The treatment was given to 30 patients with coronavirus, whose conditions ranged from moderate to severe. Twenty-nine of the patients were then discharged from the hospital in the following three to five days, while one patient took slightly longer to recover.

  • Meteorite prices go stratospheric: More than 70 of the most spectacular meteorites ever found will go under the hammer at Christie’s auction house tomorrow in a sale that is expected to generate millions of pounds.

  • Up until recently, scientists believed that there was only one Swinhoe turtle left in the world - a male turtle at the Suzhou zoo in China.⁠ But recently, conservationists discovered that the most endangered turtle in the world is not alone anymore. A female Swinhoe’s softshell turtle was found in a lake in Vietnam. “This is the best news of the year, and quite possibly the last decade, for global turtle conservation,” said the Turtle Survival Alliance.⁠

  • America’s economy is growing again at a faster rate than many had expected. The Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan agency, thinks GDP will roughly return to its pre-pandemic level by the middle of this year, even without any more stimulus. Meanwhile, Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey says UK economy should make a strong recovery from the pandemic when lockdown lifts as Brits are expected go on a spending binge.

  • Ski resort with no lifts: When America's newest ski resort opened in Colorado, it was uniquely adapted to social-distancing measures because it lacked one thing that every other ski resort in America (and everywhere else) has: lifts.

  • A gastroenterology ward might seem an unlikely place for a concert but, at London's Northwick Park Hospital, patients are listening to the soothing sound of their consultant playing the violin. The gentle sounds from Dr Maxton Pitcher’s violin permeate through the halls, bringing nurses and doctors rushing to their next emergency to a standstill. They pause for a moment, listening at the window to the bay, smiles spreading across their faces. For the patients it brings a welcome moment of comfort.

  • A brilliant young Kenyan woman manufactures bricks from recycled plastic. Amazingly, it not only cleans up Nairobi's plastic waste but her bricks are at least five times stronger than concrete.

  • NHS vaccinated almost 1000 people a minute for an hour on Saturday, UK government vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi reveals, saying he was 'confident' all priority groups would be vaccinated by May.

  • Following GM's pledge a few days ago to only be producing electric vehicles by 2035 (and become a carbon-neutral company by 2040), Ford has now jumped on the bandwagon and made the same promise.

  • Over the summer, Americans looking to get out of the house snapped up boats, bicycles and patio furniture, figuring they were safer socializing and being active outdoors than inside. Now that temperatures have dropped, they’re buying snowshoes, skis, boots and winter coats, boosting the beleaguered retail sector. When shoppers aren’t looking for ways to stay active many are looking to stay comfortable, meaning sales of items like slippers and warm pajamas have also skyrocketed.

  • Forest xylophone plays Bach: A carpenter and a sound engineer built an enormous wooden xylophone that plays Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring - with just a wooden ball. Intricate, clever and inspiring!

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