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OGN Thursday

Updated: Mar 14, 2022

Today's smorgasbord of bite sized chunks of good news.

Beautiful Canadian lake surrounded by trees and towering mountains
Natural Prescription

Doctors across several Canadian provinces can now prescribe patients a pass to the country's national park system in a bid to improve their mental and physical health. Recently, Parks Canada joined the national nature prescription program which aims to get patients into nature for a minimum of two hours per week. With Parks Canada backing the program, health care professionals can now prescribe a Parks Canada Discovery pass - worth over $70 - to a patient. A growing body of research has shown anxiety and mental health problems can be effectively treated by spending time in nature. Interestingly, studies have also shown that immersing oneself in nature offers a virtuous circle: the more people are connected to nature, the more likely they are to protect it.

Edited Hubble Space Telescope montage (created by NASA) of galaxies with growing black holes due to galaxy collisions, by Stuart Rankin – CC 4.0 license (cropped)

A galaxy featuring a pair of supermassive black holes could be about to receive a pretty loud wake up call, as the titanic entities will spiral together and merge in just a few months, with an expression of energy that will literally shake the entire universe. This big bang could be the first of its kind that scientists will be able to witness, and that we know when and where such an event will take place has made scientists around the world wildly excited and scrambling for telescope time to try and catch a glimpse in X-rays, gamma rays, and radio waves.

Ron and Joyce Bond kissing on their wedding anniversary.

Ron and Joyce Bond, aged 102 and 100, married in 1941 in Buckinghamshire, England. Their daughter Eileen said: "It was said of them at the time of their wedding it would not last long. How wrong did folks get that?" Last year, the couple received written congratulations from the Queen on reaching their Oak anniversary and this year the couple celebrated their 81st anniversary. The pair agree it was love at first sight and believe they are evenly matched in the relationship.

"There is no boss in our relationship. We both give and take," said Mrs Bond.

Olivier Poivre d’Arvor, France's ambassador for marine issues.
Ocean Summit

One Ocean summit, which is currently hosting 40 world leaders in the French port of Brest, aims to mobilise “unprecedented international political engagement” for a wide range of pressing maritime issues, said its chief organiser, Olivier Poivre d’Arvor - who also happens to be France’s ambassador for the north and south poles and marine issues. It would be good news if the assembled company lived up to the pre-event hype by making “ambitious and concrete commitments” towards combating illegal fishing, decarbonising shipping and reducing plastic pollution at what is billed as the first high-level summit dedicated to the ocean.

Fun Fact: Cleopatra lived closer to the release of the first iPhone than she did to the building of the pyramids of Giza. The pyramids of Giza were built between 2550 BCE and 2490 BCE, by historians' estimates. Apple co-founder and then CEO Steve Jobs debuted the first iPhone in 2007, only 2,037 years after Cleopatra's death. And on a similar note… The woolly mammoth still roamed the earth while the pyramids were being built.

Aerial view of archaeological dig site showing circular outline
Roman Amphitheater

Archaeologists monitoring the construction of a new boathouse on the Rhine River in Switzerland have discovered the remains of what may be the last Roman gladiator arena ever built - dating to the fourth century C.E. Jakob Baerlocher, lead archaeologist at the site, believes it is the youngest arena of its kind. He tells Live Science that the style of construction is similar to those built near the end of the Roman Empire. According to archaeologists, the amphitheater measures about 164 feet by 131 feet. By comparison, the Swiss amphitheater is much smaller than the Colosseum in Rome, which was built about 70 C.E. That grand arena measures about 600 feet by 500 feet and could hold more than 50,000 people.

Nuclear fusion machine.
EUROfusion research facility in Oxfordshire. Credit: UK Atomic Energy Authority
Fusion Optimism

Britain has taken a “meaningful” and “important” step towards nuclear fusion power after breaking the world record for the amount of energy produced from the process in one go at the test facility in Oxfordshire. The experiment consumed far more energy than it produced, but it is a major step forward towards sustainable nuclear fusion reactors. Dr Amy Gandy, Senior Lecturer in Nuclear Materials Engineering at the University of Sheffield, said: “These results really do represent exciting and meaningful strides forward in adopting fusion as a source of power.” Nuclear fusion has long been touted as a panacea for the world’s energy crisis, as pound for pound it releases nearly four million times more energy than burning coal, oil or gas. And it's clean!

Quote of the Day

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."


On this Day

10 February 1942: Glenn Miller awarded first ever gold record for selling 1 million copies of "Chattanooga Choo Choo."


Dive in Deeper


Night Sky at the South Pole

The South Pole is one of the coldest, driest and harshest places on earth. The Aurora Australis can be seen together with the core of the milkyway only in Antarctica.


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