OGN Friday

Rounding off the week with some positive, uplifting and entertaining news snippets.

  • London’s Natural History Museum has just announced that, over the last 12 months, they’ve identified a total of 503 new species belonging to almost all kingdoms of life - providing valuable information to the scientific community across the world. “Once again, an end of year tally of new species has revealed a remarkable diversity of life forms hitherto undescribed,” said Dr. Tim Littlewood, executive director of science at the museum.

  • Did you know there was already a law banning criminal activity on the moon? A new offence that can only take place on the moon was signed into law by Congress earlier this month, but don't expect Space Force to be on patrol.

  • Winter can be devastating for homeless people and that's why the city of Stockholm, Sweden, replaced their electronic ads with digital emergency notices to direct people in need to the nearest homeless shelter.⁠ Clear Channel, the marketing agency, responsible for the city’s public screens ensure the screens show automatic emergency messages when temperatures drop below a certain threshold.⁠

  • A record half a million Brits have signed up to the 31 day Veganuary challenge so far this year, and UK supermarkets are finally waking up to the economic potential of plant-based diets. More and more people are switching temporarily, occasionally or permanently to plant-based diets as its good for individual health and the environment (14 percent of greenhouse gas emissions are from meat and dairy).

  • One of the Trump administration's biggest environmental rollbacks suffered a stunning setback on Wednesday (you might have missed it, what with everything else going on!), as a decades-long push to drill for oil in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge ended with the auction attracting no interest. Amid a global recession, low oil prices, aggressive pressure campaigns against leasing by drilling opponents, and all major US banks pledging no funding, oil analysts have for months been predicting little interest in the sale. Happily, they were right.

  • There have been so many wonderful stories of Christmas kindness. Here's another one: Residents in the Clifton area of Nottingham received £100 in envelopes posted through their doors on Christmas Eve. Each said simply: Random Act of Kindness.

  • When not to say thank you: The environmental impact of a two word email is astonishing.

  • As millions of elderly and vulnerable people in the UK face yet more time stuck inside with limited social contact, a new online service is offering them a valuable lockdown lifeline. The Living Memories Online portal, a not-for-profit community interest company, contains more than 2,000 archive films and newsreels from the 1930s to the 1970s. As well as capturing important world events, the clippings cover everyday life at home and work. The idea is that the films help spark memories and encourage older people, including those with dementia, to reminisce with families, friends and carers.

  • Horse takes an unaccompanied daily walk around Frankfurt, Germany: Every day, Jenny takes herself off for a stroll around town in order to get her daily exercise and has become, unsurprisingly, a bit of a local celebrity.

  • It's official: The safest thing for the British public is to be stopped from going to pubs, football matches and places like Spain. This has only become more true now that corona virus has hit.

  • Emperor penguins are as heavy as a small hippo, so what's the trick that enables them to leap out of the water once they've finished diving for food? This 4 minute BBC video gives the answer.

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