OGN Saturday Nuggets

Updated: Sep 15

Today's ecelectic bundle of good news and an uplifting video to get the weekend off to a sunny start.

  • It's been 30 years since the first tree was planted in a rewilding revolution in the heart of England, aiming to reclaim an industrial landscape scarred by centuries of mining. Since then, more than 9m trees have been planted to create the National Forest in the Midlands - the first forest to be created at scale in England for more than 1000 years. It now covers 200 square miles across three counties. Old coal mines and quarries have been repurposed as parks and nature reserves - and 5,000 jobs have been created.

  • We all know that the hospitality industry has been particularly hard hit in the last 18 months and that, even in good times, it's hard work for not a lot of pay. So, imagine the delight of the 10 staff on duty at the Wahoo Seafood Grill in Florida last week when a customer gathered them all together after his meal and gave each one of them a $1,000 tip. The owner of the Grill said: "The last year and a half hasn't been easy on this industry. We're hurting and we're exhausted, but this incredible act of kindness has restored our faith in humanity."

  • The Yara Birkeland could be the future of cargo vessels. The Norwegian container ship runs on battery power, produces zero emissions and has no manned crew. This big boat sails autonomously with a crew monitoring its movements miles away. Now, after four years of work, the Yara Birkeland is ready for its maiden voyage. Onboard the ship is 7 megawatt-hours' worth of energy from batteries, which gives the ship a top speed of 13 knots, or 15 mph. While it silently glides along, it can carry 103 containers in the process.

  • Blue whales, the world’s largest mammals, are returning to Spain’s Atlantic coast after an absence of more than 40 years.

  • A new study from the Universities of Chicago, Peking, and Guizhou reveals that inserting a gene linked to human obesity and fat into crops could help them grow bigger and ampler - around 50 percent bigger. Modifying plant RNA is a promising strategy to dramatically improve plant growth and crop yield, the team explained in the study published in the journal Nature. University of Chicago lead researcher said: "The change really is dramatic. What's more, it worked with almost every type of plant we tried it with so far, and it's a very simple modification to make."

  • Fancy buying some solar or wind power with your furniture? Well, if you live in Sweden, IKEA will now sell you affordable, certified electricity from solar and wind. Even better, customers who have already bought solar panels from IKEA can also track their own production in an app and sell back the electricity they don’t use themselves. Hopefully it won't be too long before the retail bohemoth enters other utilities markets too.

  • Good news for those who enjoy power ballards. Diane Warrren, the world's most successful female song writer, worth a reputed $100m, who has penned mega-hits for the likes of Celine Dione, Cher and Lady Gaga, is finally releasing her first album today: The Cave Sessions Vol 1.

  • A costume designer for the Batman and Black Panther movies has created the ultimate facemask. A mask that protects against Covid-19 and makes you look like a superhero? Yes, please! After three decades designing and building masks and costumes for superhero movies, Jose Fernandez was uncommonly prepared for the sartorial demands of the pandemic. That's why he has created the xupermask - costing around $300.

  • A date has been set for Qatar’s first general election. While the absolute monarchy remains a long way off being a democracy, the development is a sign of progress. Voters will go to the polls on 2 October to elect members of the country’s Shura Council, which advises the prime minister. The council consists of 45 members who, like the prime minister, have traditionally been appointed by the hereditary emir of Qatar.

  • In good news for children in Africa, a new approach to protecting the young from malaria could reduce deaths and illness from the disease by 70 percent. A trial in Mali and Burkina Faso saw 6,000 children receive three doses of a malaria vaccine, resulting in hospitalisations and deaths plummeting. The trial was run by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. “The results are very striking and could pave the way for a potential new approach to malaria control,” said Professor Brian Greenwood.

  • Did you know that it's the male seahorse that goes through pregnancy and gives birth to babies? They are the only animal on earth where the male carries the baby rather than the female.The male seahorse has a pouch on its stomach in which to carry babies - as many as 2,000 at a time.

More Good News


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Love Heart Made From Sheep

An Australian sheep farmer stuck in lockdown in New South Wales who was unable to attend his aunt’s funeral has honoured her memory with the ultimate Aussie tribute: a love heart made from sheep. He achieved the feat by laying out their food in the perfect shape and then sending up his drone to film it. Not a dry eye in the house!