Monday's Good News

Updated: Feb 18

An upbeat bundle of good news nuggets to kick-start the week.



Low Cost Medication

According to a September 2021 Gallup poll, 18 million Americans were recently unable to pay for at least one prescription medication for their household due to ever-rising costs, and 1 in 10 Americans have skipped doses to save money. However, the good news is that a new online pharmacy - Cost Plus Drugs - has just launched, representing the first milestone in bringing affordable generic medications to millions. Notable savings include Imatinib, a leukemia treatment that has a retail price of $9,657 per month but with CPD costs $47 per month; Mesalamine, an aulcerative colitis treatment that retails at $940 per month comes in at $32; the gout treatment Colchicine retails at $182 per month, but with CPD it costs $9. "Everyone should have safe, affordable medicines with transparent prices," says founder Mark Cuban.


Orange and yellow frog perched on a leaf
Sky Island

While studying the local diversity of amphibians and reptiles in eastern Panama, a group of researchers have identified a new species of frog, which they have named after well-known climate activist Greta Thunberg. The new rainfrog - Pristimantis gretathunbergae - was discovered on the tallest mountain of the Majé range, Mount Chucanti. The cold and humid environment at those heights forms what is known as a sky island - a habitat quite distinct from the lowland tropical rainforest below. The rare cloud forest habitat makes for a fantastic area for researchers to look for new species.


Boy Lands Nike Deal

12 year old Joe Whale from Shrewsbury, England, has just signed a lucrative deal with the sports giant Nike, says The Times. He was sent to an after-school art club by his parents when he was ticked off for drawing during lessons. He set up an Instagram account for his artwork and soon attracted nearly 120,000 followers, with fans including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Whale is now a “co-creator” for the multibillion-dollar sports brand, which will involve promoting Nike online and encouraging children to be more artistic. He has also landed deals to illustrate childrens' books, decorate hospitals, restaurants and even a TV set in the USA.


Black diamond known as the Enigma Diamond
Diamond from Space

London auction house Sotheby’s has unveiled the so-called “Enigma Diamond,” a 555.55-carat black diamond that will go up for sale next month. It’s not entirely clear where the diamond was discovered or who cut its 55 facets. Back in 2006, Guinness World Records listed the Enigma as the largest and hardest diamond in existence, with the diamond’s shape inspired by the Middle Eastern palm symbol of Khamsa, often used in jewelry and wall hangings as a talisman to ward off the evil eye. Sotheby’s says the gem is a carbonado diamond, “a treasure from interstellar space.” The auction house claims the diamond is “thought to have been created either from a meteoric impact or having actually emerged from a diamond-bearing asteroid that collided with Earth.”


Peanut Allergy

The Evelina London Children’s Hospital recently conducted peanut allergy trials. The clinical trials tested an oral treatment which successfully decreased the severity of peanut allergy symptoms. Children with peanut allergy, who previously reacted to 10mg peanut protein, could now eat as much as 1000mg after the treatment. The good news for such children (and their parents!) is that England's National Health Service is now offering the treatment. “This pioneering treatment can be life-changing for patients and their families and, thanks to the deal the NHS has struck, people here will be the first in Europe to benefit,” says Stephen Powis, national medical director of NHS England.


Redwood forest in California
Ancestral Land

Returning land to indigenous people is a proven solution to deforestation – and that’s what just happened in California. A redwood forest was handed back to the descendants of Native American tribes by the conservation organisation Save The Redwoods League. The 532 acre forest was a sacred place for indigenous Americans before European colonialists forced them out. Now the land is being handed back, along with the responsibility to conserve it. The forest will also revert to its original name Tc’ih-Léh-Dûñ, meaning ‘Fish Run Place’ in the Sinkyone language. Buffie Schmidt, a descendant of the Northern Pomo, said: “As I listen to the wind, I feel like my ancestors – who I’ve never even known in my lifetime – are here and happy that we call this place something that they’re familiar with: Tc’ih-Léh-Dûñ.”


Climate Victory

A US federal judge has blocked a highly controversial sale of oil and gas drilling leases across 80 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico, ruling that Joe Biden’s administration did not properly consider the leases’ impact upon the climate crisis. The decision, handed down by the DC court, represents a landmark victory for environmental groups that had sued the government to prevent what was the largest ever auction of oil and gas leases in the gulf’s history.


Record Breaker

Rafael Nadal described yesterday's Australian Open triumph as his greatest comeback after he recovered from two sets down against Daniil Medvedev to win a record-breaking 21st grand slam title. Nadal defeated Medvedev, the second seed, 2-6, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in five hours and 24 minutes, the second longest grand slam final. It is the first time in Nadal’s career he has come back from two sets down in a slam final. The Spaniard has now won two titles at all four grand slam tournaments.


Need a Laugh?

If you missed it in yesterday's OGN Sunday Magazine and you feel that Monday needs perking up with a good chuckle, you might find that a handful of brilliant Barry Cryer jokes does the trick...

 

Quote of the Day

"When you are a young person, you are like a young creek, and you meet many rocks, many obstacles and difficulties on your way. You hurry to get past these obstacles and get to the ocean. But as the creek moves down through the fields, it becomes larges and calmer and it can enjoy the reflection of the sky. It's wonderful. You will arrive at the sea anyway so enjoy the journey. Enjoy the sunshine, the sunset, the moon, the birds, the trees, and the many beauties along the way. Taste every moment of your daily life."

Thich Nhat Hanh

 

On this Day

31 January 2020: The United Kingdom formally left the European Union, more than three years after the country voted for Brexit.

 

Dive in Deeper


World's Best New Building: The Friendship Hospital in rural Bangladesh has just been declared winner of the 2021 RIBA International Prize as the world’s best new building. Judges praised the structure for putting “care and humanity at the heart of its design”. Read on...

 

Avian Casanova

When looking for a mate, the male red-capped manakin snaps his wings and 'moonwalks' to impress the ladies.