Upbeat collection of good news nuggets to brighten the day.
Need a creative boost? The good news is that a sleep technique practised by surrealist artist Salvador Dalí and famous inventor Thomas Edison might actually work to inspire creativity, researchers have found. To get the creativity boost, you essentially need to wake up just as a certain sleep stage sets in, where reality seems to blend into fantasy. To use the technique, visionaries such as Dalí and Edison would hold an object, such as a spoon or a ball, while falling asleep in a chair. As they drifted off, the object would fall, make a noise and wake them up. Having spent a few moments on the brink of unconsciousness, they would be ready to start their work. Worth a try?
A coral reef in Indonesia that was destroyed by dynamite fishing a decade ago is now teeming with life, according to researchers at England's University of Exeter. They used underwater recording gear to listen to the ecosystem after it had been re-seeded with corals. Their research, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, discovered that the reef is “growling” and “whooping” with life as fish return to it. “Restoration projects can be successful at growing coral, but that’s only part of the ecosystem,” said lead researcher Dr Tim Lamont. “This study provides exciting evidence that restoration really works for the other reef creatures too – by listening to the reefs, we’ve documented the return of a diverse range of animals.”
‘Slob-ebrity’ style: Adam Sandler is 2021’s most Googled fashion icon. Think of the world’s most stylish people and, until recently, the likes of David Beckham, Rihanna, Justin Bieber or Kate Moss might have been mooted. But in 2021, according to Google’s Year in Search report, they have been trumped by an unlikely name: Adam Sandler. If others put serious effort into what they wear, 55-year-old Sandler’s style is significantly more relaxed. He combines long basketball shorts with XXXL T-shirts, boxy trainers, Ugg boots and wraparound shades. He has worn slippers and shorts to film premieres. Sandler's relaxed, ‘embarrassing dad’ outfits make him the perfect lockdown style star, say experts. There's hope for us all!
As the shenanigans rumble on about illicit Christmas 'gatherings' at 10 Downing Street, and Boris Johnson's obvious disappointment that he wasn't even invited to a party in his own house, it's good to learn that Cressida Dick, head of the Metropolitan Police, has appointed a policeman to properly investigate what's been going on. Meanwhile, OGN has learnt that grassroot supporters of the Conservative Party have started a petition to rename it as the Christmas Party. Lastly on this vexatious subject, if you missed the brief spoof video of last year's Downing Street Disco we published on Friday, click here.
People aged 14 and under will never be able to legally buy tobacco in New Zealand, the government has announced. New legislation will see the country’s legal smoking age increase every year to create a smoke-free generation. New Zealand’s associate health minister, Dr Ayesha Verrall, described the announcement as “a historic day for the health of our people”.
A German court has ruled that a man who slipped while walking a few metres from his bed to his home office can claim on workplace accident insurance as he was technically commuting.
Hats off to Michael Yellowlees and his trusty canine companion. The Scot and his dog recently completed an 8,000km fundraising walk across Canada, all while wearing a kilt (no, not the dog). Michael undertook the epic trek to raise money for Trees for Life, which is working to rewild the Scottish Highlands and the country’s Caledonia pine trees. The Caledonian Forest once covered most of Scotland, but it has reached a breaking point after centuries of excessive logging. Thankfully, conservation organizations like Trees for Life have started a co-ordinated effort to help restore the Caledonian Forest, and Michael's efforts have raised about $63,000 towards funding the rewilding.
The Manguinhos neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro was once a polluted and dangerous area, but thanks to community efforts, the area is now a thriving vegetable garden that feeds 800 families in the city. The size of four soccer fields, the community garden is one of the largest in Latin America. Called Hortas Cariocas, meaning Carioca Vegetable Gardens, the initiative now employs dozens of locals while providing nutritious and affordable food to residents. Hortas Cariocas has started 40 similar smaller gardens around Rio de Janeiro.
Author and activist Helen Keller on the importance of doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way: "I long to accomplish a great and noble task; but it is my chief duty and joy to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. ... The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker."
On This Day...
13 December 1577, Francis Drake sets sail from England on a circumnavigation of the world, arriving back home in September 1580. 1920: League of Nations establishes the International Court of Justice in The Hague. 2003: Saddam Hussein is captured near his home town of Tikrit, during Operation Red Dawn by US forces.
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Flowers Can Dance
Beautifully choreographed 90 second film set to soothing, uplifting classical music. Delightful mood-booster!