OGN Wednesday

Updated: Jun 18

An upbeat, eclectic bundle of positive news nuggets to perk up the day.


Oldest Yearbook

School yearbooks date back to Ancient Greece, historians have discovered, after they translated a 2,000-year-old stone signed by Athenian teenagers. The marble relief, dating from between 41 and 54 AD, bears the names of thirty 18-year-old men who had undergone the ephebate - a year of “rigorous” military and civic training designed to prepare them for adult life. Researchers believe the cadets may have hung the small plaque inside their gymnasium and etched their names on to it to create a sense of “camaraderie and comradeship”.


Tūī bird in a tree
Tūī; Sid Mosdel, CC license
Halo Effect

New Zealand: Just ten minutes beyond the center of Wellington lies a wild paradise, where the birdsong of as many as 40 species ring out. The massive urban forest of Zealandia is helping prove that if you restore native forest in cities, native species will come back, and for a place with as unique an ecology as New Zealand, that’s all the more important. The park, described as an eco-sanctuary, is delightful on its own, but it’s having a halo effect on bird communities in suburban, and even urban areas of the nation’s capital.



Good News for Kate

Kate Bush has earned her first ever US Top 10 hit with Running Up That Hill, 37 years after it was released. The song is a key plot point in the new series of Netflix’s supernatural drama Stranger Things, and has exploded in popularity since the show debuted on 27 May. It is now at No 8 in the US, and reached the same position in the UK singles chart last Friday.


Man staring up at the stars in the night sky
Hamster Wheel

After two years of a life-altering pandemic, Americans are re-evaluating their priorities when it comes to work and how it impacts their overall life satisfaction. Nearly two-thirds of Americans said their idea of a happy life shifted during the pandemic. The shift among younger workers was even more dramatic: 74% of millennials and 68% of Gen Z are reassessing their lives and goals. "There's a great reassessment happening," said Libby Rodney, chief strategy officer at The Harris Poll." There's this kind of "awakening" that Americans are having now where they're realizing that making money is no longer the most important thing for them, she said.

 
Floccinaucinihilipilification

The action or habit of estimating something as worthless.

 
Oil Demand

Electric vehicles of all types are already displacing about 1.5 million barrels of oil a day worldwide. Most of that is from electric two and three-wheelers and electric buses in China. Thanks to all those batteries, 3.4 percent of global transport oil demand is now gone.


UK EV Tipping Point

Britain has reached a “tipping point” in the electric car revolution with almost half of all buyers in the UK now seeking to purchase a fully battery-powered vehicle. 49 percent of drivers looking to buy a car said they would choose an electric vehicle, a significant leap on 21 percent just two years ago. It's due to a combination of environmental concerns and rising penalties on petrol and diesel cars, a survey by EY reveals. The accountancy firm said the speed of the shift was “eye-opening.” Maria Bengtsson of EY said: “These findings truly mark a tipping point in the UK car-buying market."


Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Green Bins

26 years after San Francisco pioneered city-wide composting, it’s now collecting over 500 tonnes of compost from green bins every day, diverting 80 percent of the city’s waste from landfill and turning it into high-quality compost. Inspired by the city’s success, California is set to enact state-wide composting to reduce landfilling of compostable materials by 75 percent by 2025.


Fossil-Free Steel

Volvo will be the world's first truck maker to use fossil-free steel. The steel is produced by the Swedish steel company SSAB using hydrogen, and will initially be used in the trucks' frame rails and vehicle backbones where other components are mounted. Production will begin in the third quarter of 2022.

 
Quote of the Day

“Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart.” Anthony D’Angelo

 
On this Day

8 June 1949: Secker & Warburg publishes George Orwell's seminal novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four"

 

Dive in Deeper


The Last Shangri-La


This Himalayan kingdom is unspoiled, steeped in ancient traditions and has been aptly described as the last Shangri-La. Read on...


Limitless Renewable Energy


Japan's deep ocean turbine could offer limitless renewable energy. Very soon.

 Read on...

 
Musical Mood Booster

Drummer with just one bucket in a remarkable, virtuoso performance.