Saturday's Good News Nuggets

Today's upbeat bundle of good news from around the world to get the weekend off to a positive start.

  • This gorgeous image shows the bond between a rescued African elephant and his handler. Makhavusi, a hand-reared elephant, and Marupia Chivanga, an elephant handler, are at the Imire Rhino and Wildlife Conservancy, near Harare, Zimbabwe. Makhavusi was destined to be sold to a zoo as a calf but was instead rescued and brought to the wildlife conservancy where he bonded with Marupia. They're now best mates.

  • Late last year, OGN shared a story about how Portugal has made it illegal for employers to contact workers outside of working hours in an effort to encourage a healthier work-life balance. Now, Belgium’s Minister of Civil Service has introduced a similar law for the country called the “right to disconnect.” This law, which will be implemented from the 1 February, outlines the right for federal civil servants to not answer phone calls from their employers after normal working hours - in other words, to be unreachable. A similar arrangement is in the pipeline for the private sector, a spokesperson for the Federal Labour Minister told The Brussels Times.

  • One of England's most recent and notable conservation efforts is the transformation of a former quarry in East Anglia into a vast wetland nature reserve that’s offering vital sanctuary to endangered birds. One of these birds is the elusive bittern, for which the marshy plain in the Fens outside Cambridge has become an attractive habitat in recent years, reports Phys.org. Along with conservation efforts elsewhere, the bittern is now no longer on the Red List of endangered species.

  • Preventing infection is vital after surgery to avoid a range of complications. Currently, to monitor the progress deeper in the surgical wound a clinician needs to assess the site or expensive radiological tests need to occur. Unfortunately, both tend to fail detection of an infection before it becomes life threatening, therefore a more advanced monitoring process is needed. And the good news is that scientists from the National University of Singapore have come up with a clever solution to this problem using tiny bioelectronic sensors, creating 'smart sutures', a battery free, bluetooth device which still ensures the same level of healing ability as medical-grade materials. The monitor stays attached to the patient during the healing process and is later removed in a minimally invasive procedure, as with surgical stitches and staples.

  • Until now, researchers have never been able to watch a supernova (a massive explosion of a dying star) as it plays out. Although, as the chaotic aftermath is widely available in the universe to observe, scientists could take a pretty good guess at what actually occurs during the deadly process. In an exciting first, a research group from the University of California Berkeley was finally able to test hypotheses against the real thing, reports The Astrophysical Journal. “This is a breakthrough in our understanding of what massive stars do moments before they die,” stated lead author Wynn Jacobson-Galán. “For the first time, we watched a red supergiant star explode!” The Keck Observatory, in Hawaii, was used to record the massive star as it “went supernova”.

  • A house cat in California that sports a "mustache" bearing an uncanny resemblance to that worn by Queen frontman Freddie Mercury is becoming a bit of an Instagram star. The one-year-old cat, appropriately named Mostaccioli, has a streak of black fur between her mouth and nose, giving the impression of a mustache. Some fans are calling her Freddie Purrcury.

Quote of the Day

“If my mind can conceive it, if my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.” Muhammad Ali

On this Day

15 January 2009: US Airways flight 1549, piloted by Captain Chesley (“Sully”) Sullenberger, landed in the Hudson River after the plane flew into a flock of Canada geese shortly after takeoff, resulting in severe damage to the plane's engines; there were no fatalities.

Dive in Deeper


Simple movement aids brain health in older adults: It's common knowledge that taking regular exercise offers plentiful benefits for our overall health but now, the first ever data of its kind, demonstrates a connection between movement in old age and synaptic and cognitive aging. Read on...

Chateau Chambord

Enjoy a quick tour (by drone) of this stunning chateau in the Loire.