Wrapping up the week with an eclectic bundle of good news nuggets.
Solar-powered motorbikes are a poacher's worst nightmare! Anti-poaching rangers on petrol-powered bikes can be heard up to 45 minutes before they arrive so a Swedish company called cake has come up with a sturdy solution to help rangers in South Africa. Now, rangers on silent electric motorcycles (charged by abundant sunshine) can sneak up on poachers undetected and bust them, whereas previously the poachers would have had time to pack up and run away. It's great news for wildlife conservation!
The World Harmony Orchestra, with musicians from across London, has been bringing music directly to the communities where people were isolating, helping to brighten the day. Two years later, they continue doing so for those who are lonely or vulnerable due to the pandemic. Singer Patricia Hammond said, “Sometimes the concerts can be really unusual in that you start it in the middle of a street and you don’t know that anybody’s listening and then comes the surprise when you finish the piece and suddenly people pop out of their windows and they start to applaud or start to sing along. It’s amazing.”
Flight of Inspiration
Zak Khogyani knows the terror of having to flee Afghanistan as a boy. So, while watching the news about the Afghanistan situation in the summer of 2021, the airline pilot realised he "had to do something.” He took part in three round-trip flights, flying more than 1,000 refugees to the United States. He spent time in the cockpit as well as the cabin, translating for people and bringing them great comfort. Khogyani recalls: “The overwhelming thing that they conveyed was that one, that they were very proud of me, which was very humbling, and also that it gave them a lot of hope to see that someone who left under similar circumstance and had overcome similar obstacles ... and succeeded in life."
Spritely Old Fellow
Next time you catch yourself thinking, "Darn, I'm old," just remember that you are still far younger than Jonathan. With 190 years under the shell, Jonathan has witnessed the rise and fall of empires - all while munching away on cabbage and sparing nary a thought to the rapidly changing world around him. Jonathan lives on St. Helena, a remote island territory in the South Atlantic, and has even been spotted in photographs dating back to the 1880s! Born in 1832, Jonathan has received a Guinness World Record title for his whopping age of 190. Not only did he smash records in the chelonian department – a category that encompasses turtles, terrapins and tortoises – but also he officially claimed the title of the oldest living land animal.
Junk Shop Bonanza
In spectacularly good news for a lady living on England's south coast in Brighton who purchased a wooden chair in a junk shop for £5 - and was later stunned to discover its century-old roots in the avant-garde art school in Vienna, Austria - as it has just sold at auction for over £16,000. The checkerboard design turned out to be an important example of Vienna Secession furniture designed by Koloman Moser, an Austrian artist who was a considerable influence on 20th-century graphic art before he died in 1918.
According to the Central Michigan University website, the Centralis Scholars Award is considered its premier merit scholarship. 58 prospective students received congratulatory messages that they had won this award giving them full tuition, room and board, and money toward books and supplies. Unfortunately, that was a mistake leaving students and their families disappointed and angry. The message, officials said, went out “inadvertently” when staffers were “testing a new messaging technology over the weekend.” With great regret for the mistake CMU "will be reaching out to each of the 58 students who saw the congratulatory message regarding the Centralis Scholarship and offering to increase their award amount to the equivalent of a full-tuition scholarship," said the university.
Srikanth Bolla was born blind to poor, illiterate parents in a rural India. Most school boards refused to teach him because the law stated it was too challenging to teach blind students. His parents were supportive, however, and eventually found a school in Hyderabad that was willing to teach him. Meanwhile, a teacher encouraged Bolla to seek out a lawyer to overturn the law, and within six months, Bolla won the case, enabling blind students to study in all state boarding schools. As for Bolla, he loved engineering. Succeeding in science and math exams, he secured admission to the prestigious MIT University in Massachusetts. Upon graduation, he turned down job offers, feeling called to return to his home country. "I had to struggle so much for everything in life," he said, "whereas not everybody can fight like me or have mentors like me." So in 2012, he founded a company called Bollant Industries which welcomed people with various disabilities and medical conditions. The eco-friendly manufacturing company is now thriving with nearly 500 employees and valued at £48 million.
Quote of the Day
“Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness in people.” Roy T. Bennett
On this Day
4 February 1789: George Washington was elected to serve as the first U.S. president by a unanimous vote in the first electoral college.
Dive in Deeper
Kid sneaks his self-made book on to library shelf: There's a rare book in high demand at a public library in Boise, Idaho. It's the original manuscript, there are no copies, and it now has a years-long waitlist to borrow it. Read on...
Best Beach Boys Song?
After much discussion at OGN Towers, this gorgeous number got the most votes. Just.