OGN Wednesday

Updated: Feb 4

Mid week collection of good news nuggets from all around. the world.

Cluster of Monarch butterlies on a yellow shrub

Butterfly Revival

Amazing quarter of a million Monarch butterflies in 2021 Western Migration in the US, up from just 2,000 the year before. The Xerces Society just released numbers from their annual Western Monarch count - and the tally was remarkable. The nonprofit announced that 247,237 monarch butterflies were observed across overwintering sites, a 125-fold increase over last year. The total of nearly a quarter million monarchs illustrates a considerable rebound from 2020’s all-time low of less than 2,000 - and the two previous years’ tallies of less than 30,000 individuals overwintering.


Electric Scooters

Ather Energy, India's top electric scooter maker by revenue, is ramping up annual production to one million scooters per year amid a surge in demand, the startup's co-founder and chief executive told Reuters. That's good news for cleaner air in India's cities.


Perforated brick with a bee flying towards it
Bee Kind

The city of Brighton, on England's south coast, has introduced a new policy that specifies that all new buildings must have bee bricks and bird nesting boxes that are suitable for swifts, a bird species that is experiencing a grave decline in population. The idea behind the law is to increase opportunities for biodiversity and to support the pollinators on which natural ecosystems rely. The special bee bricks are the same size as conventional bricks but integrate a series of narrow openings that resemble spaces where solitary bees are known to nest.


Dale Schroeder wearing a cap and smiling at the camera
Gift of Education

Dale Schroeder grew up poor, and never got an education or got married. He became a carpenter and stuck to that trade for 67 years. His frugal lifestyle meant he managed to save almost $3 million over his lifetime. When he passed away, he had no descendants to inherit the money, but he wasn’t about to let it go to waste. He had placed it all in a scholarship fund. And that fund put 33 strangers, high school graduates, through college. "He wanted to help kids that were like him that probably wouldn't have an opportunity to go to college but for his gift," said Steve Nielsen, a friend of Dale’s. Now, 14 years after he passed away, the people who call themselves 'Dale's Kids' got together to celebrate the life of the man who changed their lives.


Illustration of a swirling black hole in space

How Many Black Holes?

Black holes are tricky to spot at the best of times, so how do you calculate how many there really are? Cleverly, astrophysicists from the International School of Advanced Studies in Italy, applied information we already know about star evolution. The group created a computer program including many aspects of the journey of a star, including; rate of formation, size, and elements they contain. Then, the model figured out which of these candidates could be transformed into black holes, as only extremely large stars develop into these. With all of this considered, the group was able to estimate the number, distribution, and mass of the black hole population across the universe. The computer program predicted a whopping 40 quintillion (40,000,000,000,000,000,000) black holes populate the observable universe, making up around one percent of all matter.


Two policemen and two ploicewomen, each holding a cute puppy
Puppy Christmas

A litter of 5 five-week-old puppies was found on the counter of an Oklahoma QuikTrip convenience store on Christmas Day. The animals were dumped in a zipped up duffel bag, the Tulsa Police Department said. The four responding officers who came to the spot decided to adopt four of the puppies. And the fifth one went home with an employee from the store. “If you are looking for a pet, please adopt, don't shop,” Tulsa police urged in a statement.


Graphic showing underground network of storage pipes
Nuclear Waste

Nuclear power is a powerful form of energy that allows us to produce clean electricity. However, the waste it produces is difficult to tackle and is often the reason nuclear power has not become as popular as perhaps it should be. Now, the Swedish government has just approved a plan by Swedish nuclear fuel and waste management company SKB to develop a storage facility that will keep the country’s spent and highly radioactive nuclear fuel safe for the next 100,000 years. Although Swedes had voted in 1980 to phase out nuclear power, their opinions on the form of energy have since changed. It is now seen as an essential step to ending the country's reliance on fossil fuels and is more welcomed by citizens.

 

Quote of the Day

“It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” Paulo Coelho

 

On this Day

2 February 1990: South African President F.W. de Klerk lifted the 30-year ban on the African National Congress, resulting in the release from prison of Nelson Mandela and marking the beginning of the end of apartheid.

 

Dive in Deeper

Children holding a collection of Lego toy characters

Lego Removes Gender Bias From Toys: That may sound rather woke, but it's actually the result of an enlightening survey. Read on...

 

Do you speak English?

Hilarious comic sketch about the perils of asking for directions in a foreign country.