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OGN Wednesday

Good news snippets from around the globe to brighten the day.

When a car packed with explosives detonated in the busy Mansour district of Baghdad, Karim Wasfi, the conductor of Iraq’s National Symphony Orchestra, did something unusual and heroic. As police secured the area, he took out his cello, sat on a chair and began to play amidst the debris. “It was an attempt to overcome grotesque acts of terror by an act of beauty,” he says.

  • Breaking Smartphone Addiction: We're all guilty to a greater or lesser degree... but the good news is that there's a new app to reward you for taking a break from your smartphone.

  • A Smarter Wheelchair: The design of the wheelchair has changed little since it was invented in the late 18th century. But now a group of young Swiss innovators has designed a revolutionary new mobility device for the disabled. Their “wheelchair of the future”, named Scewo, can climb stairs thanks to a set of retractable rubber tracks, allowing users to reach places that would otherwise have been inaccessible.

  • Amsterdam's Repair Café: Another way of fixing our first world throw-away culture.

  • Benefits of Reading: When it comes to your brain, researchers have found there's no better superfood than a book.

  • Togetherness: With a population of just under 700, Milestone, Saskatchewan, is the kind of place where the mayor knows your name - and your phone number. Recently, the mayor learned that Brian Williams, one of his constituents had died, after a brief illness. The farmer had left behind a wife, three sons and about 640 acres of unharvested durum wheat. The next day, 20 farmers and their combines arrived at the farm and completed the harvest. It took about three hours for them to do what would have taken the Williams sons several days. “Years ago, when the farming machines weren’t so big, families would get together more to help out like this,” says Brown. “It’s in our DNA.”

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