OGN Thursday

Updated: Jan 17

Today's collection of positive news snippets to put a smile on your face.

  • Numbers of gray wolves have soared over the last four decades - from under a hundred refugees hiding out in northeastern Minnesota and Michigan’s upper peninsula to around 6,000 individuals. 45 years since one of the most charismatic and persecuted carnivores on Earth was listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), management of the gray wolf in the lower 48 states will now be passed to state and tribal governments, in what has been one of the ESA’s great successes.

  • Modern alchemy creates diamonds: Company creates diamonds 'made entirely from the sky' using nothing but atmospheric CO2 and rainwater.

  • China’s aggressive tree planting policy means it's now the country with the fastest rate of greening. This will help China with its intention of achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.

  • Manchester named as Europe's fastest-growing tech hub. The city attracted more than £500m in venture capital funding last year, putting it ahead of Cambridge.

  • Everyone knows that Leonardo da Vinci was a brilliant artist and all-round polymath. We have, amongst other genius scribblings, his drawings for helicopters and parachutes - and a 280m single span bridge from 1502 which those clever people at MIT have now proved would actually have worked.

  • After being re-elected in a landslide victory last month, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern continues to make positive progressive change in the country. She has now appointed Nanaia Mahuta as the country’s first indigenous female foreign minister. Mahuta joins an already incredibly diverse team and nearly half the lawmakers in Arden’s incoming parliament will be female, a proportion far above the global average of 25 percent.

  • There has been a lots of news lately about the importance of avoiding vitamin D deficiency in the battle to protect ourselves from coronavirus, but it's now also been shown to be important for an infant's health and wellbeing throughout childhood. A new study indicates higher levels of vitamin D in the first year of life can help protect children against obesity in adolescence.

  • As lockdown continues, it's good to know that Netflix is releasing 52 new original movies and series in November.

  • Good news for General Motors: GM's mini car becomes China’s most sold EV, surpassing Tesla’s Model 3.

  • “Santa will not be prevented from delivering your presents on Christmas Eve,” Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, declared in a speech this week. “Santa is a key worker and he has got lots of magic powers that make him safe to do that. Santa will be delivering presents across the world as normal.”

  • Act of kindness: Mr. Lee barely got his car into the Chick-Fil-A parking lot in Maryland. He was a regular there. But this time when the 96-year-old World War II veteran strolled up to the counter, he was shaking, and almost in tears. He told the clerk he had a flat tyre, and didn’t know what to do. That clerk quickly alerted the manager, Daryl Howard, and he walked Mr. Lee back out to his car. There, Daryl took care of things, jacking the car up and putting the spare tire on the car. In all, it took him about 15 minutes. Another store manager there at the time, Rudy Somoza, took pictures of Daryl changing the tyre and posted them on social media. Says Rudy: “His action of kindness was beautiful. Daryl has always been so helpful to anyone in need and deserves this recognition.” And we think so too.

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