OGN Wednesday

Mid-week round up of uplifting news snippets.

  • England and Germany neck-and-neck in race to produce first vaccine. Experts say the result is too close to call but will be decided by evidence and data, not penalties.

  • Channel swimmer beats men's record (and quarantine) as she moves to second on list of most crossings.

  • Paris: When fire ravaged Notre Dame cathedral last year, many presumed that the three colonies of bees living on its roof had perished. But against all odds, the 40,000 bees survived the inferno and continue to thrive.

  • Nigeria: One of the great inventions in human history, refrigeration, is being brought to rural fish and produce markets in Nigeria through an entrepreneur’s invention of 100% solar-powered walk-in cold storage rooms, enabling farmers to cut spoilage and earn 25 per cent more.

  • Running Machine Epic Fails: There's no way the inventor of the running machine - that staple of gym gear and home fitness kit - ever imagined it would also be the source of much merriment. But, at least, both exercise and laughter are good for you. Take your pick.

  • Austria: Vienna is rewarding those who get around the city on foot, by bicycle or by public transport instead of using their cars. A smartphone app uses motion-tracking to measure the distance covered and the CO2 saving made. When users have saved 20kgs of CO2 - the equivalent of about two weeks of walking, cycling or using public transport - they receive a “culture token” that can be exchanged for free tickets at cultural venues.

  • Britain's government said it had subsidised more than 35 million restaurant meals (to the tune of £10 per head) over the past two weeks as part of a temporary programme to encourage diners to support the hospitality industry as it reopened after lockdown.

  • Pre-loved, second hand, recycled, vintage - whatever term you prefer, it looks like boom time. That's good news for sustainability and common sense.

  • It's surely good news that Michelle Obama is speaking up against the orange coloured president, saying, amongst other critical comments: 'Trump cannot meet this moment'.

  • Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, has gained popularity in recent years as a health-boosting relaxation tool. This non-psychoactive component of cannabis has been used for everything from treating sore muscles to preventing seizures and new research shows CBD could even be effective in preventing Alzheimer’s. 

  • UK still believes it can agree a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU next month, according to Downing Street.

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