OGN Tuesday

Today's uplifting collection of good news nuggets.

  • Scientists have finally figured out how butterflies fly! For a long time, it was a mystery, since the creatures have unusually short, broad and large wings relative to their body size, when compared to other flying animals. But biologists from Sweden's Lund University recently confirmed a 50-year-old theory behind the butterfly secret: The little guys "clap" their wings together, which pushes out the trapped air and creates a jet that propels the animal in the opposite direction. Also, when the wings come together, they don't just slam into each other like two fly swatters. They cup to make a little pocket, which captures more air between the wings.

  • Tribe in Panama wins landmark case: After a 50 year struggle, Panama’s Supreme Court has ceded much of the largest nature reserve in Central America to Indigenous land claims.

  • Rumours are circulating that Trump secretly pardoned Charlize Theron in his final blitz of executive power. Despite aides explaining how movies and acting works, Trump pardoned Theron for all the ‘crimes’ she committed in her role as killer Aileen Wuornos. A separate pardon was issued for her villainous turn in the Fast and The Furious movies.

  • Proof the Pfizer Covid vaccine works in the real world? Israel, the world's leading vaccination country, says coronavirus infections have plunged by at least 60 percent among vaccinated over-60s.

  • India: World's Vaccine Capital. The tale of how an Indian family became the world’s vaccine kings, fighting off stiff competition from some of the world’s biggest companies, is as curious as it is remarkable.

  • In 1851, Joe Biden's great, great, great grandfather, Edward Blewitt, left the little Irish town of Ballina for the US. Once known as the salmon fishing capital of Ireland, the tight-knit community of Ballina can now boast of their US presidential connection. Celebrations broke out across the town when Biden's presidential victory was declared - and for the youth, it meant that anything was possible, no matter where you come from.

  • IKEA buys 11,000 acre US forest: The more we learn about this Swedish company, the more we like it. It's a leading light in recycling and carbon neutrality.

  • France's environment minister has announced that the country will gradually ban the use of wild animals in circuses and will close dolphinariums.

  • Renewables overtook fossil fuels as the European Union’s main source of electricity for the first time in 2020 as new projects came online and coal-power shrank, a report showed on Monday. Renewable sources such as wind and solar generated 38 percent of the 27-member state bloc’s electricity in 2020, with fossil fuels such as coal and gas contributing 37 percent.

  • “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.

  • Hardly news, the mountain of research on the benefits of walking was recently augmented with yet another study. The science is quite clear: walk and live longer; exercise and live even longer.

  • Soar over Iceland's incredible landscape in this 3 minute NatGeo film, shot by drone.