OGN Sunday

Updated: Jan 17

Positive news from around the planet to get the day off to a great start.

  • A good one for the pub quiz when they re-open: 2021 is the first year ever that is both a sequence of consecutive two-digit numbers (20 and 21) and the product of two consecutive primes (43 and 47).

  • Adidas, the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe, revealed that in 2020 it produced 15 million pairs of shoes made from recycled plastic waste and said its goal is to produce 17 million pairs this year.

  • How to stay happier in tough times: Psychology Today describes 5 proven daily habits that bring more joy into your life.

  • In good news for the path towards reclaiming the truth, Donald Trump's former lawyer Sidney Powell is being sued for $1.3bn over 'wild' vote rigging claims. She faces a claim for defamation from Dominion, the company that made voting machines for the 2020 election. The claim, filed in a Washington federal court, states she "falsely claimed that Dominion had rigged the election, that Dominion was created in Venezuela to rig elections for Hugo Chávez, and that Dominion bribed Georgia officials for a no-bid contract".

  • Older women are revered in France: Catherine Deneuve, 77, fronts new Saint Laurent campaign, proving that models don't always have to get younger and younger.

  • New test demonstrates that the Pfizer vaccine protects against the new UK and South Africa variants, but more research still needed before it's conclusive.

  • Does locking yourself up somewhere all alone for a week and just watching movies sound like your idea of bliss? Yes? We have a film festival for you! Sweden's Gothenburg Film Festival is conducting a “pandemic cinema experiment” in the form of a contest. One candidate chosen from applicants around the globe will be treated to a week’s stay at the site of the historic Pater Noster Lighthhouse located on the craggy west coast island of Hamneskär. The winning cinephile will get free room and board along with unlimited access to this year’s festival roster of films. Interested? Apply here

  • It was just three weeks ago that the Queen used her annual Christmas broadcast to praise scientists for giving Britain "hope" during the pandemic, with a direct nod to their success in developing vaccines against coronavirus. Yesterday, both Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh were given the vaccine at Windsor Castle, marking a milestone moment not just for the couple personally but also, the nation. Not only is the announcement likely to serve as a morale booster to the hundreds of NHS staff and GPs engaged in the mammoth task of rolling out the programme, but it is also hoped it will undercut opposition among vaccine sceptics.

  • Apple has blazed a trail over the last couple of decades, creating products that everyone wants and loves. Currently, the company has around $200 billion in cash, so plenty of financial power to develop new products - like an Apple car - which it has been quietly working on since 2014.

  • National Theatre at Home: After the success of its streams during lockdown, the NT launches a catalogue of past hits online. Either become a subscriber, or pay per play. Titles include classics such as Phèdre with Helen Mirren, Amadeus with Lucian Msamati and Coriolanus with Tom Hiddleston. New plays are added to the collection each month.

  • Plastic straws and single-use plastic shopping bags vanish in China as ban kicks in. It's one of fewer than 10 nations to ban plastic straws outright.

  • Huge changes set to transform the solar industry: People from all over the world are seeking alternative energy solutions to help minimise their carbon footprint. Solar is the easiest option.

  • Last year, OGN reported on California’s commendable decision to ban the sale of new fossil-fuel powered cars by 2035. Now, Massachusetts says it will do the same. Two down, 48 to go!

  • After the Great Conjunction on 21 December, when Jupiter and Saturn came together in the night’s sky, forming what appeared to be a single bright star above the horizon, tonight's the night for a rare Triple Conjunction when Mercury joins the party. The best time to see this phenomenon will be around 45 minutes after sunset. Wrap up and look low in the sky toward the southwest horizon.

  • The pastor of a church that was at the heart of the civil rights movement has become the first black senator to represent Georgia, a former confederate state that fought for slavery during the American civil war. Rev Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, beat his Republican rival, Kelly Loeffler, in one of the state’s two runoff elections on Thursday.

  • Deforestation dropped by 18 percent in two years in African countries where there's a new service using satellites to detect decreases in forest cover. Launched in 2016, Global Land Analysis and Discovery provides frequent, high-resolution alerts when it detects a drop in forest cover. Governments and others interested in halting deforestation can subscribe to the alerts and then intervene to limit forest loss.

  • Rudy Giuliani responded to President Donald Trump’s permanent ban from Twitter by tweeting a question: 'What happened to POTUS?' Twitter users had some sharp comebacks for the president’s personal lawyer; our favourite response: 'America has been asking the same question for 4 years.'

  • On the eve of the election in November, comedian James Corden took his audience down memory lane, giving a comprehensive recap of the the last four years. Buckle up!