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OGN Monday

Kick-starting the week with a global round up of good news nuggets.

  • During the pandemic Kenya has experienced an elephant baby boom with over 200 calves born last year. To better protect all wild animals, Kenya is taking advantage of its quiet parks to conduct its first-ever comprehensive animal count of all animal and marine life across its 58 national parks. The good news is that the census will be completed by the end of July so it can begin designing and implementing conservation projects informed by the data they collect.

  • What if the Eiffel Tower had been built on a craggy ravine, rather than on the flat landscape of Paris? If you visit the Eiffel Tower over the next month, you’ll be able to see this scenario play out. French artist JR has created an art installation beyond the 132-year-old structure that makes it look like a gaping hole has opened beneath it, with scenes of Paris streets in the distance below and ahead. The playful exhibit invites visitors to interact with it, taking pictures of themselves appearing to fall into the canyon. With or without umbrellas.

  • Following in the footsteps of AllotMe, a sort of Airbnb for gardens in the UK, comes a new initiative in Los Angeles called Crop Swap. It's rethinking the traditional front lawn by transforming them into vegetable patches to feed entire neighbourhoods. By establishing what Crop Swap calls microfarms, people pay monthly subscriptions for the ultra-local food, and homeowners get both a share of the produce as well as a cut of the profit. “We maintain it, but they get part of the income every month,” say Crop Swap.

  • Autonomous shuttle bus, able to carry up to 10 passengers, takes to the streets for the first time in Cambridge. Autonomous vehicle maker, Aurrigo, say they have claimed "another UK milestone" in autonomous technology with its Auto-Shuttles officially beginning trials in the famous university city. It's anticipated that passengers recruited for the project will be able to use an Aurrigo App that will allow them to be picked-up at a number of locations across the 2-mile route.

  • For those desperate for Mediterranean sunshine (who isn't?), the Greek government has unveiled the first EU Covid passport, described by the country’s prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, as a “fast lane to facilitate travel”, after a successful dry run of the technology. Mitsotakis, who has led calls for a way to open up Europe in time for the summer tourism season, said the system would be up and running in Greece before a deadline set by Brussels for 1 July.

  • A startup based in California says it can help farmers be greener and more profitable by offering what it describes as the world's first fully electric, self-driving tractor. The tractor can be programmed to perform tasks such as plowing, harvesting and mowing, and can operate for more than 10 hours from a four to five hour charge, according to its makers, Monarch Tractor.

  • The Uk Supreme Court has announced that it will offer paid internships to aspiring lawyers from underrepresented communities in a bid to boost diversity within the judiciary. All 12 Supreme Court justices are white and just two are women. “It is our intention that this programme will support the progression of under represented groups into the legal profession and ultimately into judicial roles,” said Vicky Fox, the chief executive of the UK supreme court.

  • In a greenhouse in Missouri, a tree listed as critically endangered produced a flower which had never been recorded before by science. The botanists caring for it believe there’s no question they can save the tree since collecting pollen from this flower, as they can now cross-pollinate its thirty-strong sapling neighbours to restore genetic diversity. Karomia gigas is a member of the mint family. It grows wild only in East-Central Africa, in Tanzania, and in the past in Kenya. It’s so rare that there’s no name for it in English, Swahili, or any other African language.

Dive in Deeper


Ozone Wasp V2

As everyone is planning on hitting the beach at every opportunity, how about getting hold of one of these kites to add to the fun and games?

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