Only Good News Thursday

Updated: Jan 9

Today's bite sized chunks of good news to perk up the day.

  • Are centenarians the poster children for a healthy lifestyle? For the general population, watching your weight, not smoking, drinking moderately and eating at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day can increase life expectancy by up to 14 years compared with someone who does none of these things. But astonishingly, this needn’t be the case. A study by the US National Center for Biotechnology Information found that up to 60 percent of Ashkenazi Jewish centenarians have smoked heavily most of their lives, half have been obese for the same period of time, less than half do even moderate exercise and under 3 percent are vegetarians.

  • Anyone who lives in a big city knows that stars are a rare sight due to light pollution, but that may soon change in one American metropolis. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has announced that it will become a dark sky city in 2022, joining others like Tucson and Sedona in Arizona, and Fulda in Germany in limiting the negative effects of nighttime lighting. As a dark sky city, Pittsburgh will follow the International Dark Sky Association’s new values-centered outdoor lighting guidelines and switch to lower wattage LED bulbs in streetlights, bridges, and other public spaces. These new bulbs will emit less blue light, reducing the lighting’s negative impact on birds, insects, and other wildlife species. Thats good news as taditional nighttime lighting has been shown to be disorienting for these animals, disrupting feeding and mating patterns.

  • The pandemic is doing wonders to the market in superyachts. According to Boat International, more than 1,200 superyachts are currently on order or under construction - making 2021 a record year.

  • The weekend is about to get longer in the United Arab Emirates, which is condensing the working week to 4.5 days from January. The changes are intended to “boost work-life balance and enhance social wellbeing, while increasing performance to advance the UAE’s economic competitiveness”, the government said in a statement.

  • What's your annual holiday budget? If your name is Princess Haya and you've just received your divorce settlement from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, it would be £5.1m ($6.81m) per year.

  • When the Galloway hoard was unearthed from a ploughed field in western Scotland in 2014, it offered the richest collection of Viking-age objects ever found in Britain or Ireland. But one of the artefacts paled in comparison with treasures such as a gold bird-shaped pin and a silver-gilt vessel because it was within a pouch that was mangled and misshapen after almost 1,000 years in the ground. Now that pouch has been removed and its contents restored, revealing an extraordinary Roman rock crystal jar wrapped in exquisite layers of gold thread by the finest medieval craftsman in the late eighth or early ninth century. About 5cm high, it may once have held a perfume or other prized potion used to anoint kings, or in religious ceremonies.

  • She's married to former US president Donald Trump but now you, too, can stare into the “cobalt blue eyes” of Melania Trump at the touch of a button with your very own piece of trendy, digital art. The former first lady has jumped into the latest internet craze by launching a non-fungible token (NFT) just in time for Christmas. It puts Melania right in the middle of a fashion frenzy in hi-tech art circles – though critics may regard it as the latest attempt by the Trump family to cash in on political success. An irony-free statement from her office says it is “a breathtaking watercolor art by Marc-Antoine Coulon, and embodies Mrs Trump’s cobalt blue eyes, providing the collector with an amulet to inspire.The limited-edition piece of digital artwork will be 1 SOL (approx $150) and includes an audio recording from Mrs Trump with a message of hope.”

  • Need a last minute Christmas present? Why not gift a friend or loved one a free subscription to OGN Daily?

Wise Words

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” Henry Ford

On This Day

23 December 1690: English astronomer John Flamsteed observes Uranus without realizing it's undiscovered.

1888: Vincent van Gogh cuts off his left ear after argument with fellow painter Paul Gauguin.

1968: Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders become the first men to orbit the Moon.

Dive in Deeper

Acoustic Guitar Solo

Uplifting acoustic rendition of the classic guitar solo in the Dire Straits smash hit: Sultans of Swing.