OGN Tuesday

Updated: Jan 17

Bite sized chunks of good news to get the day off to a bright start.

  • In a fabulous and deeply inspiring display of the power of an individual, Leydy Pech, an indigenous Mayan beekeeper, led a coalition that successfully halted Monsanto’s planting of genetically modified soybeans in southern Mexico. The Mexican Supreme Court ruled that the government violated the Mayans’ constitutional rights and suspended the planting of genetically modified soybeans. Because of the persistence of Pech and her coalition, in September 2017, Mexico’s Food and Agricultural Service revoked Monsanto’s permit to grow genetically modified soybeans in seven states.

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will ban single-use plastics by 2021.

  • Hundreds of homes in Scotland will soon become the first in the world to use 100 percent green hydrogen to meet their heating and cooking needs as part of a new trial that could help accelerate the UK’s transition towards renewables.

  • A teenage scientist and inventor has just been named Time magazine's first-ever 'Kid of the Year' and says she hopes to inspire others to come up with ideas to 'solve the world's problems'. Gitanjali Rao, 15, has invented technologies including a device that can identify lead in drinking water, and an app that detects cyber bullying. She was chosen from more than 5,000 US nominees for the landmark title. 'If I can do it, you can do it, and anyone can do it,' she said.

  • How often have you booked a cab, a considerable time in advance because you're being organised and you need to get to the airport or an important meeting, and the damn thing shows up late? Or, it turns up on time and you're running 10 minutes late packing your bag, and get charged as the car waits for you outside. Uber has a plan to fix that.

  • The Chinese island province of Hainan has put a new plan in place to keep its beaches clean by banning all single-use plastic items. According to one Chinese newspaper, local shopkeepers and residents understand that costs of doing business will go up due to the need to buy the more expensive reusable or biodegradable products, but that over time the benefit to nature and the environment will pay off.

  • For years, zoologists have assumed that the New Guinea singing dog is extinct in the wild. That assumption has been proven wrong after an analysis of the DNA of three wild dogs living 14,000 feet high on the island matched the DNA of captive New Guinea singing dogs.

  • Denmark is currently the biggest oil producer in the European Union. That’s why it’s a big deal that the Danish government voted last week to bring an immediate end to all new oil and gas exploration in the Danish North Sea. The move is part of a plan to phase out fossil fuel extraction by 2050.

  • Trapped on a shrinking island in the middle of a flooding lake filled with crocodiles, eight endangered giraffes faced a serious challenge. But racing into action were conservationists, government officials, and local community members of Ruko Community Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya to try and construct a “giraffe-raft” in order to ferry them across the lake to the safety of dry land. Which they duly did! And they all are going to live happily ever after.

  • Big cities can have some strange odours, but one thing you won’t smell anymore if you live in a San Francisco apartment building is tobacco smoke. Last week, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 10-1 to outlaw tobacco smoking in the city’s apartments. The ban applies to apartments with three or more units and is intended to protect residents, even in other apartments, from the dangers of secondhand smoke. San Francisco joins 63 other cities in the state with similar bans.

  • Chinese movie star, Chow Yun-fat plans to leave his entire fortune of $714 million for charity. “The hardest thing in life is not about how much money you earn, but how to keep a peaceful mindset and live the rest of your life in a simple and carefree manner,” commented Yun-fat. The movie legend claims that he spends only $102 per month, uses public transportation and wears clothes from discount clothing stores. “I don’t wear clothes for other people. As long as I think it’s comfortable, then it’s good enough for me.” Among his many movies, he is best known to the international audience for his role in Ang Lee’s martial arts film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which won Best Foreign Language Film at the 2000 Academy Awards.

  • To get you in to the festive spirit, how about listing to Bing's classic? White Christmas is an Irving Berlin song reminiscing about an old-fashioned Christmas setting. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the version sung by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single of all time, with estimated sales in excess of 50 million copies worldwide.