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OGN Wednesday

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

Mid week selection of uplifting news snippets.

  • Lakshitha Karunarathna was on safari in Kenya's Maasai Mara when she spotted an unusual sight - a lilac-breasted roller riding a zebra. Normally they prefer to perch high up in the foliage, but this roller spent an hour or more riding around and enjoying the occasional insect meal. Lakshitha waited for the surrounding zebras to form the perfect background before taking this tight crop. And her photo is now one of the finalists in the 2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

  • UK furlough scheme, which has supported the wages of millions of workers through the pandemic, is to be extended until the end of September.

  • One of the most spectacular bronze age weapons discovered in northern Europe has been found in the Channel Islands on a Jersey beach, by a metal detectorist. It's 3,000 years old! Carbon dating has confirmed that the rare and complete 35cm long metal spear-head dates from between 1207 BC and 1004 BC.

  • Five great home office improvements: We won’t be leaving our home offices for a while. Or ever, for those that (or can) choose. Even with the sweet siren call of the vaccine on our horizons, it's never too late to invest in making the space more comfortable, efficient.... and healthier.

  • When a video surfaces of the Fijian national rugby team singing a rousing song from the balconies of their hotel rooms, you know it’s going to be good. At the end of a mandatory 14-day quarantine in Australia, the players and coaches sang a traditional Fijian song to thank the hotel staff for looking after them so well.

  • Rolls Royce electric plane: Hailed as a key moment in aviation as Spirit of Innovation electric aircraft taxies out for first time ahead of world speed bid.

  • A new report published in America by Energy Innovation has great news about affordability of sustainable energy technology. Solar panels are 90% cheaper than they were in 2009. Wind turbines are more than 70% cheaper. LED light bulbs are 80% cheaper. Batteries used in electric vehicles or to store renewable energy are 80% cheaper than they were in 2013.

  • Still imposing after 2,000 years, a vast funerary monument that was once the resting place of Rome’s emperors is to reopen to visitors today after a €12 million restoration. It has taken 5 years to restore the Mausoleum of Augustus, a fortress-like tomb for the one of the greatest of all Roman emperors, as well as his successors. It's a place that, despite being right in the heart of the capital and just a stone’s throw from busy shopping streets, has rarely been open to Romans during the last 80 years.

  • Financial Times reports that the British government is to establish a fund to spend up to £375 million (about $522 million) on stakes in "later stage" tech startups. The move would theoretically help promising firms that still need a financial boost to compete on a global scale.

  • Antiques Roadshow in Oxfordshire delivered a happy surprise when a painting by L.S. Lowry was valued at £80,000, decades after being purchased for £175. Art expert Lawrence Hendra confessed that he was ‘nervous’ when he was first presented with the artwork, describing Lowry as ‘one of the most faked’ artists. The man who brought the painting said he came across it after buying a bike for a good price, leaving him with some extra cash. What a great result!

  • Sustainable cosmetics: There are numerous organisations battling to reduce food waste, and a new Spanish entrant to the scene is using food waste to make sustainable cosmetics.

  • Act of kindness: A businessman from Lincoln, who read about a fundraising effort to buy a bionic arm for a six-year-old, has offered to pay for it. Eloise Clark was born without her left hand, and her mum said: “I can’t put into words how much this means to both me, and most importantly Eloise. It’s such an unbelievably generous thing to do."

  • Flying fish can glide for hundreds of metres. The perfect escape mechanism when under threat. If only we could all fly!

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