Christmas Eve Good News

Updated: Jan 9

Getting the festivities off to an upbeat start with a collection of good news nuggets from around the world.


  • Be it the crest of an icy mountain peak, the depths of the dense native bush, or the slopes of sleeping volcanoes, New Zealand’s wild and remote landscapes are coveted by outdoor enthusiasts the world over. But what really sets the country’s nature apart from the rest is what is at one’s disposal when nature calls – spectacular loos with views. These scenic spots – small, remote, and lacking in plumbing – are a curious quirk in New Zealand’s landscape, and offer up some of the best panoramas in the country. Very good news for hikers!

  • Some Brits spent the lockdowns of 2020 baking bread, perfecting yoga poses or learning a few words of Japanese. Others got into a slightly more unusual hobby: amateur treasure hunting. These people contributed to the 50,000 archaeologically significant finds that were recorded by hobbyists in 2020 and which shed further light on Britain’s history, according to the portable antiquities scheme annual report published by the British Museum. Among the finds was the millionth archaeological find made by the British public, a copper alloy medieval harness pendant found in Lincolnshire.

  • Bellwether Industries, a U.K.-based eVTOL startup, successfully completed the first untethered test flights of its electric two-seat Volar aircraft prototype in Dubai. The battery duration is estimated to be roughly 90 minutes, which is similar to many flying taxi designs currently in the works. Bellwether aims to bring Volar to market by 2028, and it's specifically positioning its aircraft as a private flying car, so it will be interesting to see if public urban air mobility truly takes off before the company releases its flying machine.

  • "Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." Steve Jobs - Commencement address at Stanford University, June 2005.

  • Scientists from Berkeley Lab developed a smart roof coating that keeps buildings warm during cold periods of weather, and cool when it gets hot, a report from New Atlas reveals. The coating is comprised of a radiative cooling system that reflects sunlight and heat when it's warm and then automatically switches off in the winter. The researchers say their system will help to reduce energy use all year round.

  • The world's largest study, consisting of nearly 3,000 participants, has just produced some stunning results on the use of commercially-available - off-the-shelf-anyone-can-buy-them-right-now - cannabidiol (CBD) products. Known as the ACES trial, (Advancing CBD Education and Science), participants experienced a 71 percent improvement in their well-being on average, while 63 percent experienced an improvement in anxiety and sleep quality, and 47 percent experienced improvements in pain levels. 61 percent of participants reported an effect within one to four hours of taking their product. What are you waiting for?

  • In a further sign that life is becoming less restrictive for women in ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, the kingdom hosted its first ever female boxing tournament last weekend. Given that women weren’t allowed in sports stadiums until 2018, it shows just how far Saudi has come in a short time. Before the tournament, the New York Times reported more good news from the kingdom: the percentage of Saudi women in the workforce has doubled in the last five years to 32 per cent. There’s still a way to go, but progress is being made.

  • Doctors have gained a powerful new tool, just in time for the Omicron wave. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have issued emergency use authorization for an antiviral pill to treat mild to moderate cases of Covid-19. This is the first antiviral pill researchers have approved. The move comes after the pill, called Paxlovid, was found to reduce the risk of hospitalization or death from the disease by roughly 89 percent in a clinical trial.

 

Wise Words

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

Nelson Mandela


On This Day

24 December 1777: Kiritimati, also called Christmas Island, is discovered by English explorer Captain James Cook.

1877: Thomas Edison files a patents for the phonograph.

2021: Christmas Eve celebrations begin!

OGN will be taking a festive holiday for the next few days, so we would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas.

 

Jingle Bells

 

Birds in Flight

Fabulous collection of clips to make you marvel and smile.