OGN Friday

Updated: Jan 17

Rounding off the week with a selection of uplifting good news nuggets.


  • Iconic Paris bookstore - Shakespeare and Company - has suffered a severe drop in business due to lockdown, so put out a message to its customers to ask for their help. They were deluged with so many online orders - a record 5,000 in one week, compared to 100 under ordinary circumstances - that they had to temporarily shut down their e-commerce site to catch up with the demand.

  • In an effort to stop illegal trawling that's devastating both marine life and marine ecosystems, an Italian fisherman persuaded sculptors to create huge marble artworks - then dropped them into the Mediterranean off the Tuscan coast.

  • Canada: TD Bank is the latest financial institution to say it will not fund oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The bank, the second largest in Canada, ruled out providing financial resources for any oil and gas related activities that fall within the Arctic Circle, joining six other large banks that have made similar commitments.

  • If graphene batteries do everything scientists say, they could be a game-changer. They hold way more power. They charge almost instantly. Graphene batteries show a 50 percent increase in run time compared to conventional lithium-ion ones, a 25 percent drop in carbon footprint, and half the weight needed to provide the same output. And, to tick the last important box, they're cheaper than lithium-ion batteries too.

  • $1m donation by Dolly Parton to covid vaccine research supported the development of the Moderna vaccine, which shows 95 percent protection from the virus. Moderna says it could potentially produce 1bn doses by the end of 2021 if it receives emergency authorization. It's such good news that both Moderna and Pfizer appear to have an effective vaccine and that that they should both start being distributed soon!

  • Crackdowns drive Trump supporters to Parler: Steps to restrict misinformation and downright lies on Twitter (Trump's mouthpiece of choice) have left believers in baseless election theories fleeing elsewhere. That's potentially good news for the rest of us.

  • Thank you to one of our readers for sending this to OGN: "I am passing this on to you as it definitely worked for me today, and we could all probably do with some more calmness in our lives. Some doctor on the TV this morning said that the way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you've started. So I looked around my house to see things I'd started and hadn't finished and so far I've managed to finish off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of Chardonnay, a bodle of Bailey's, a butle of wum, a pockage of Prungles, tha mainder of bot Prozic, the res of the chesescke an a box of chocletz. Yu haf no idr how fablus I feel rite now. Plaese sned this orn to dos you fee ar in ned ov iennr pisss. And telum u fakn luvum. xxx

  • Wildfires have devastated millions of acres of forest in California, but a few rare spots escaped relatively unscathed. They've now figured out why and, going forward, aim to cultivate forests to better withstand wildfires.

  • E-scooters to rent are expected on the London streets from next spring after the capital gave the go-ahead for trials. Up to three firms will be permitted to operate schemes, which are likely to start in a limited number of boroughs. Transport for London said the trials were part of plans to encourage greener forms of transport and, in particular, to avoid a “damaging, car-led recovery from coronavirus.”

  • If you're a huge theatre fan, then there's a treat in store with some of the most famous names in British acting. Lockdown Theatre are presenting Dame Judi Dench, Sir Derek Jacobi, Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Maggie Smith live in conversation with Sir Kenneth Branagh on Sunday 29 November - with the audience providing the questions. For One Knight Only will be raising money for the theatrical charity Acting for Others.

  • Various stars of Chicago, past and present, including the brilliant Ute Lemper, have united for a special lockdown charity performance of All That Jazz. It's terrific.

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