OGN Friday

Concluding the week with a collection of good news nuggets.

  • In good news for NASA's boffins, their Curiosity Rover has now spent 3,000 days on Mars. It’s made many discoveries and will likely continue to do so as it rambles about, millions of miles away from home.

  • Les Champs des Possibles: The world famous Champs-Élysées in Paris, and the surrounding area, are set to be transformed into an 'extraordinary garden' in the heart of the French capital as Anne Hidalgo, the city's mayor, gives the green light to a $300 million restoration and rejuvenation project.

  • Can you handle a beast as heavy as a small car, that can hurdle high fences from a standing start, and is a peaceful bulldozer for biodiversity? If you’re not intimidated by the weightiest wild land mammal in Europe, you could become Britain’s first ever bison ranger. Two people are being sought to manage a small herd of wild European bison [OGN - July 2020] being introduced into Blean Woods, near Canterbury, to help restore the woodland for wildlife. To apply, visit kentwildlifetrust.org.uk before 7 February.

  • Archaeologists have discovered the world’s oldest known cave painting: a life-sized picture of a wild pig that was made at least 45,500 years ago on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia.

  • Nigeria has launched a programme that promises to provide jobs for more than 750,000 young people amid worsening youth unemployment. The scheme, launched this month, is being hailed by government officials as the largest job creation initiative in the country’s history, and targets low-skilled workers

  • More Life-Saving Treatments Found for Covid: Good news from covid-19 wards is hard to come by these days. But the results from clinical trials of two 'strikingly effective' drugs improves the prognosis, for both patients and hospitals, reports The Economist.

  • The truth is out there. Well, maybe. Thousands of CIA documents on unidentified flying objects were released this week in a document dump that the agency says includes all their records on UFOs. They're currently available on the Black Vault, an online archive of declassified government documents.

  • Plants for a healthier home: As doctors, psychologists and wellness gurus give 'green prescriptions', advising us to go for walks in nature, what about greening our homes? Which houseplants should we buy for the benefit of our health?

  • Finnish company, Nokian Tyres, has just launched a new all-season tyre. Designed to absorb impacts from potholes, it uses a high-strength material also found in bulletproof vests. Thanks to the rugged construction, Nokian is able to warranty the new tyre to 80,000 miles and its standard pothole protection policy will replace any tyre that's damaged beyond repair thanks to a road hazard, free of charge.

  • The environmental activist Greta Thunberg has been featured on a new Swedish postage stamp, in recognition of her work to “preserve Sweden’s unique nature for future generations”. Thunberg, who turned 18 on 3 January, is pictured standing on a rocky cliff top wearing a yellow raincoat, with swifts flying around her, as part of a set by the artist and illustrator Henning Trollbäck titled Valuable Nature.

  • In good news for movie fans, Netflix's staggering slate of new films escalates the streaming wars. With a star-studded promo video promising a new movie every week, Netflix has stated its intention: to blow Disney+ and its kind out of the water.