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OGN Saturday

Getting the weekend off to a bright start with a collection of positive news nuggets.

  • There are a lot of productions hoping that they can spread some festive cheer. The English National Ballet will be presenting The Nutcracker, while Creation Theatre are putting on a virtual immersive Wizard of Oz, which means you can watch it with friends and family, wherever they are.

  • Facial Recognition for Grizzly Bear Conservation: Artificial Intelligence to replace invasive collars and tags in Canada. Likely to be very useful for other species in many more countries too.

  • A 33 year old coffin maker in Indonesia found a meteorite in his garden after it came crashing through his roof, making him a millionaire. The meteorite is allegedly worth $1.85 million, so you could say he's now a rock star. How about that for good luck!

  • The US Senate has just approved $5 million in funding for the protection of North Atlantic Right Whales. It's great news as Right Whales are the rarest of all large whales.

  • Scientists have designed a set of “green” tableware made from sugarcane waste and bamboo that doesn’t sacrifice on convenience or functionality and could serve as a potential alternative to plastic cups and other disposable plastic containers. The next step for the team is to make the manufacturing process more energy efficient and bring the cost down even more, to compete with plastic. Although the cost of cups made out of the new material is already half that of biodegradable plastic, traditional plastic cups are still slightly cheaper. Hopefully not for long!

  • Perfect for children: Visit Finland have set up a scenario whereby Father Christmas is inviting boys and girls from around the world to send in a note for their loved ones. Santa will then read out a selection in special personalised video messages. Applications are open until 29 November – and you can find out more from their website.

  • Climate Hero: Kenya. The country has substantial renewable resources to tap, prompting many observers to say it has the potential to bypass fossil fuel-driven economic development.

  • You probably know that, as weird as it may sound, Hollywood duo Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have just purchased Wrexham Football Club. However, you may not be aware of Aiden Stott, a Wrexham fan, who has cerebral palsy, and started crowdfunding for an adapted bath to help him. Good news for Aiden: McElhenney donated the entire amount on his Go Fund Me page. Nice!

  • A fleet of autonomous green medicine-delivering cars has begun trials on public roads in London. If all goes according to plan, the Kar-go will be the first custom-built autonomous delivery vehicle to make last-mile deliveries on public roads in the UK.

  • Who’s afraid of the big, bad wolf? Japanese black bears, it seems - or at least they’re afraid of big, bad robotic wolves. With bear sightings at a five year high and dozens of attacks reported in Japan this year alone, city officials in the town of Takikawa on the island of Hokkaido took action by buying and installing a pair of Monster Wolf robots in their community. Looking like a cross between Wolverine and the Terminator, each cyborg Canis Lupus comes equipped with flashing red eyes, a blinking tail, and a repertoire of loud, threatening sounds - growls, roars, and heavy machinery noise - all triggered by motion detectors.

  • As it's Saturday, you may have 20 minutes to spare to enjoy the gorgeous music of Michael Kiwanuka who performs a 'tiny concert' from his home (just him and it's brilliant).

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