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OGN Wednesday

Mid-week collection of positive news stories from around the world.

Beryl Gastaldello poses in the Apollo Fountain at the Chateau de Versailles

Statuesque Olympians

As excitement mounts, French swimmer Beryl Gastaldello poses in the Apollo Fountain at the Chateau de Versailles, as part of a photo series of athletes at Paris landmarks released ahead of the Summer Games. Apollo is among the 12 Olympian gods and goddesses in Ancient Greek mythology.

EU Landmark Vote

A new law to restore a fifth of the European Union’s land and sea by 2030 has been approved by the European Parliament, following months of delays. The proposal for the nature law had been weakened as European elections approached, but even with the concessions, it very nearly didn’t pass. “Today marks a significant day for Europe as we transition from merely protecting and conserving nature to actively restoring it,” said César Luena, Spain’s member of parliament who led negotiations for the policy, as reported by The Guardian. “Today’s vote is a massive victory for Europe’s nature and citizens who have been long calling for immediate action to tackle nature’s alarming decline,” said an environmental coalition led by WWF Europe.

Pothole filled with colourful mosaic
Credit: Ememem
Street Treats

Based in Lyon, France, an anonymous artist known as Ememem (France's answer to Banksy) has been filling in street potholes and sidewalk divots with striking geometric mosaics - colourful bursts of beauty amid the asphalt that brings a moment of joy for passers-by. He calls himself the bitumender, referencing bitumen, a substance used for paving. As soon as Ememem laid the first tile, “he understood he was going to do it again and again, until the end of his life.” He calls his unique practice “flacking,” from the French word “flaque,” meaning puddle. Want to see some more of his work? Click here

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy with his family | Credit: Vivek Murthy / X
Health Label

One of America's most senior health officials has called on the country to impose smoking-style warning labels on social media platforms. Writing in the New York Times, external, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said social media increased the risk that children would experience symptoms of anxiety and depression. He wants people who visit these platforms to be shown a message warning that they are "associated with significant mental health harms for adolescents". He said such a label would "regularly remind parents and adolescents that social media has not been proved safe". With allies on both sides of the aisle, the plea could get the support it needs to pass.

a papyrus fragment
Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg/Public Domain Mark 1.0
Jesus' Childhood

For decades, a papyrus fragment lay forgotten in the Germany's Hamburg University Library. Recently, however, it was identified by two professors as the oldest written record of Jesus' childhood. This discovery is highly significant for the field of early Christian studies. The newly identified manuscript dates back to the 4th or 5th century, making it the oldest known Greek version of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. Previously, the earliest known copy was from an 11th-century codex. The Infancy Gospel, likely written in the 2nd century AD, narrates episodes from Jesus's childhood and is part of the biblical apocrypha - writings not included in the canonical Bible but widely popular in antiquity and the Middle Ages.


An interesting website for space enthusiasts. It lets you explore real-time satellite data, debris, and space weather. Visit Satcat.

Artist's impression of a Dyson Sphere
Illustration of a Dyson Sphere
Dyson Sphere

Do you know what a Dyson Sphere is? It's a science fiction-inspired bit of theory put forth by the renowned British American physicist Freeman Dyson. He hypothesized that advanced civilizations would likely have found a way to create infinitely renewable energy, perhaps by constructing a shell made up of mirrors or solar panels that completely surrounds a star - harnessing all the energy it produces. While the actuality of it seems quite far out, literally, scientists have always liked the idea that, in order to find these advanced civilizations, you could start by looking for waste heat detectable as infrared radiation. Now, scientists have actually found several instances of infrared radiation of this kind. Are they Dyson spheres? There's no evidence to suggest it, but it's a good starting point for more advanced work into these unusual indicators of energy.


"The two of us were on fire every time we sat down to write." Paul McCartney on his collaboration with John Lennon.

On This Day

Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey

19 June 1846: Alexander Joy Cartwright arranged a baseball game between the New York Knickerbockers and the New York Nine at the Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey - the first baseball game to use the set of rules on which today's game is based.

Today's Articles

Mood Boosting Video

Mission Impossible: Squirrel performing in a classic British beer advert in 1989.


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