Making it a magic Monday with lots of positive news.
The Female Ambassadors’ Club: How times have changed. Until 1946 women were banned from being British diplomats - but from this week, with the posting of Menna Rawlings to Paris, all key British ambassadorships will be held by women, for the first time in history. For much of its 239-year history, the Foreign Office found a number of creative ways to make things very hard for women. Even after the lifting of the outright ban in 1946, women had to resign if they got married, and their postings were cancelled if (God forbid) they had a baby. It wasn’t until 1987 - when Margaret Thatcher had been Prime Minister for eight years - that the first married female ambassador was posted overseas.
Seychelles? Sea you there! As of this week, 95 percent of adults in the beautiful Indian Ocean island nation have been given their first Covid jab. Some 82 percent have also had their second jab in the country that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose for their honeymoon. And with a population of a mere 98,000, the Seychelles seems one of the safest places to go for a taste of sun, sand and getting away from it all.
Good news for Apple watch wearers as the company is exploring advanced smartwatch technology that monitors wearers’ blood pressure, glucose and alcohol levels under a deal with a British electronics start-up, Rockley Photonics. Next-generation sensors could be in gadgets next year.
Forget tunnels, bridges, or drawbridges, aqueducts over roads is the way to go. The Veluwemeer Aqueduct in the Netherlands is a stunning work of architecture and engineering. Unlike other solutions for allowing vehicular traffic and waterborne traffic to pass over or under one another, engineers decided on a different approach: a water bridge. The road itself is also interesting as it connects the mainland to Flevoland - the largest artificial island in the world.
The owner of a pawn shop in Texas posted a heart warming story about a polite young boy who wanted a fishing rod but couldn't afford to buy one. "This is the third time, this young gentleman (maybe 9 years old) has come into my store. Every time, he has been full of yes sir's, no sir's, please's and thank you's. He's been wanting to buy a fishing rod and reel. Today he came in with five dollars. Because of his extraordinarily good manners and politeness, he left with a $50 rod and reel, and his $5. Go fishing, buddy. Be a kid."
Filling a gap in the market? Pothole-busting machine offers hope for drivers fed up with smashing their tyres into (yet another) pothole. In good news for Brits (and, no doubt others elsewhere in the world, in the not too distant future) as JCB's brilliant new invention fixes six times as many holes in an hour than workmen, and has repaired more roads in three months than most councils do in a year.
Last August, OGN published a piece on Pothole Mosaic Art: Isn't it great, when you're strolling around town, to spot something that makes you smile? Treats in the streets...
Dive in Deeper...
Huge conservation land donation: Conservation philanthropist donates 'globally significant' 7,500 pristine acres in the Roan Highlands to the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. [ 1 minute read ] Priceless gift...
Hilarious labrador facial expressions: Funnily enough, it turns out that dogs have not always been able to convey a range of expressions through their eyes. This is something that has happened due to growing up and evolving with humans. [1 minute read] See more...
'Carbon tax is just common sense': The idea would mean that big polluters have financial incentives to reduce their emissions and should help accelerate the transition to sustainable energy. [2 minute read] So say Musk and Kerry...
Two videos for you today. As the first is quite intense (but fascinating) and may need a cup of coffee to get your brain in gear, we also have a second, entirely flippant video for your amusement.
Where does Earth reside?
Earth was long thought to be at the centre of our solar system but, of course, we now know that it's not. But where does our pale blue dot actually reside? Take a tour through the trenches of the universe, spanning 500 million light-years, and showing more than 100,000 galaxies in this extraordinary video.
Max, a 26-year-old Moluccan Cockatoo, is well known for his chicken impressions - they call him the original Cluckatoo.