Global round up of good news nuggets to perk up your day.
“It’s medicinal.” How many times has an utterance of this type accompanied a glug of red wine? And justifiably so: studies have long shown that the presence of polyphenols, plant-based micronutrients, give red wine a healthy edge over other forms of alcohol. According to recent research from Dr Rudolph Schutte of Anglia Ruskin University, the health benefits derive from the grapes, which are packed full of the wonder micronutrients, which can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, blood clots and cancer, as well boost our gut health and sharpen mental acuity, guarding against dementia. That's the good news. The bad news is that it's most definitely not the case that the more you drink, the healthier you will be.
Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, one of Europe’s busiest transportation hubs, has recruited a team of 20 pigs to help prevent geese and planes from colliding into each other, which is often fatal for the birds and hazardous for the planes. In the last year alone, 150 bird strikes were recorded.The fertile land surrounding the airport attracts birds looking to forage and roost, but now the pigs are tasked with grazing the farmland in between the airport’s runways, effectively clearing the residue from the sugar beet harvest. The pigs ensure that there’s nothing left for the geese to snack on, which keeps the birds off the fields - and planes and passengers safe.
Vilma Wong, a nurse at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in California, was shocked to discover that the second-year paediatric neurology resident at the hospital, Brandon Seminatore, was in fact the 29-weeks born baby she was a care nurse of 28 years ago. Brandon’s mum had given him a photo of her and asked him to keep an eye for her while at the hospital.
NASA’s next mission sounds like a Hollywood movie, but this spacecraft is for real. Later this month, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) will attempt what no mission has done before, which is to slightly deflect an asteroid’s moon from its path to test potential planetary defense techniques. The good news is that this is not a critical mission, it's just a wise precaution to test the idea out for possible future deployment.
In 2018, the University of Sussex became the first British university to set Ecosia as the default search engine across its campuses. Using the search engine, students contribute to Ecosia’s plan to restore deforested areas and regenerate ecosystems. For the past three years, 20 other universities worldwide have made Ecosia their official default search engine in support of ecosystems and livelihoods across the globe. That inspired students at over 280 universities to launch their own campaigns ‘Ecosia on Campus’ and promote Ecosia. And now over 300,000 students use Ecosia. So far, students have helped to finance the planting of more than 140,000 trees across the world. Thanks to all the users, Ecosia has now reached the 137 million planted trees mark. Why not switch yourself? See Ecosia
Meet Electra, a new fully electric ferry with hydro-foils to reduce drag and improve speed. Electra, named after the Greek Goddess of the Sea Clouds can reportedly carry 150 passengers and cover up to 100 nautical miles on a single charge, reaching a blistering 40 knots at full tilt. Indeed, eco-friendly Electra could service more than 90 percent of commuter ferry routes in the US, as well as a number of far-reaching international sea lanes, thereby considerably reducing the industry's carbon footprint and providing a quieter mode of transport.
Waitrose, the British supermarket group, says the UK wastes 3.1 million glasses of milk a day. It takes 358 million cubic metres of water and 31,000 hectares of land to produce this milk. If we used every drop, it would do the same for the climate as planting 5.9 million trees. Also, if all Brits went one day without wasting food, it would have the same positive impact as planting half a million trees. It just goes to show how easy it is for us all to make a difference. Celebrity chef Ian Haste puts it rather well: "My grandparents never dreamt of throwing anything away or letting it go out of date. If we want to protect our world for the future, we need to take the same attitude today."
Who would ever have imagined that they would discover a walrus taking a snooze on a walrus-class submarine? Certainly not the Dutch navy, but it's unclear if this particular walrus is conducting a protest lie-in or is just waylaid. Freya, as the animal has been named, is the first of her species to visit the Netherlands in 23 years. She was spotted kipping on a submarine in the naval port of Den Helder by Jeroen Hoekendijk, a Dutch scientist specialising in marine mammals.
A group of trick-or-treaters who bought gifts for a great-grandmother are being sought by the woman's family to say thank you, reports the BBC. Brenda Burdon, 86, was visited at home in Newcastle, north east England, by three children called Jessie, Olivia and Walter. She apologised for having no treats to give them. The next day, she was astonished that the kids kindly returned with a card and chocolates for her!
The career of the Bee Gees singer Sir Barry Gibb has been honoured on a new set of stamps in the Isle of Man. Gibb, 75, was born on the island in 1946 before moving to Manchester in 1955. He and his brothers Robin and Maurice sold more than 200m albums worldwide in a career spanning five decades. The seven stamps show Gibb at various stages of his career between 1969 and 2019. A statement hailed his “peerless musical career” and “tireless charitable work”.
You don't need a big showy celestial event like an eclipse to have a magical moment with the night sky. Sometimes, the subtler experiences are just as moving. Head out tomorrow evening to witness the scenic crescent moon posing with Venus nearby. "Should be really pretty, so don't miss it," says NASA. The sliver of the moon will appear below and a little to the right of Venus.
Finally some good news from Hong Kong: Its top court quashed attempts by the city's government to prosecute people for rioting or illegal assembly even without being present at the scene - a ruling lawyers described as a landmark.
OGN Sunday Magazine: amongst other articles tomorrow, we summarise the most positive news to come out of COP26 thus far.
Fun Fact: You can still stay at the world’s oldest hotel, Nisiyama Onsen Keiunkan in Japan, which was founded in 705 AD.
More Good News
Why not surf around the OGN website? Enjoy some of our recent positive news articles:
Dinosaur Speaks at COP26
Just before the start of the COP26 climate summit, in Glasgow, the UN Development Program posted a video of a special guest speaker: Frankie the Dinosaur. Let's hope his motivational speech did the trick.