OGN Wednesday

Updated: May 7

Eclectic bundle of positive news nuggets to help brighten the day.


Miniature book of poems hand written by Charlotte Bronte
A Book of Ryhmes by Charlotte Bronte | Courtesy of James Cummins Bookseller, Inc.
Miniature Poetry

Nearly 200 years ago, a 13-year-old created a tiny book of poems in minuscule, print-like text and sewed it into a miniature book (about the size of a pack of cards) with needle and thread. That teenage author was Charlotte Brontë, who would later go on to write Jane Eyre and become one of English literature’s most acclaimed novelists. And that manuscript - lost for years and only recently rediscovered inside a 19th-century schoolbook - just sold for $1.25 million in New York. The little book of poems was last publicly seen when it was sold for $520 in 1916.


An Arctic tern flying
Record Breakers

The bar-tailed godwit has the longest recorded non-stop migration, with one individual spending eleven days travelling from Alaska to New Zealand without a break – that’s a huge journey of around 12,200km (7,580 miles). But the Arctic tern (pictured) is the true champion, making a round trip of 35,000km (22,000 miles) from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back again each year. This huge migration means that it lives in a constant summer – experiencing more daylight than any other animal – as it stops off in countries including Mauritania, Ghana and South Africa, during its global trek.


The Finger

Kyiv's central post office has been swamped after Ukraine's postal services released a special edition stamp that shows a soldier giving the finger to the Russian cruiser Moskva. Footage across social media showed queues around the block in an attempt to get their hands on the stamps. After just five days of the launch, the postal service Ukrposhta said that almost half a million had been sold. The stamps were inspired by an interaction between Ukrainian border guards, who rebelled against a Russian ship who told them to surrender near Snake Island. Instead, they said: “Russian warship, go f**k yourself”.


Marriage Saviour

Samsung is touting its recently unveiled 55″ 3D high-def S9C OLED TV set with a special feature called “Multi-View,” which enables 2 people to enjoy different shows on the same TV simultaneously. It’s almost like having 2 TV sets in one and eliminates those unavoidable squabbles over who gets to watch what at any given moment. Husbands and wives can sit close together on the couch while each being able to watch their chosen movie. It sounds almost zen. The catch? You need (a) special glasses and (b) $9,000.


Cold Solar

Those who don't support renewable energy continue to claim that reliability is a significant issue for solar power, stating that solar panels can't function in snowy or extremely cold weather. While power storage is still an issue, the latter seems to be only a myth, as a small but mighty solar-plus-storage microgrid project in Alaska proves. This new system doesn't just reduce the village’s carbon footprint - it also dramatically decreases the fuel and maintenance costs of running diesel generators in remote Alaska. In total, it’s expected to save 25,000 gallons of fuel per year, and an estimated $200,000 per year on fuel costs. In other news - which would be better described as hot solar - the UK is about to start importing solar power from the Sahara Desert.


Bubbles in an oily liquid
EU Detox

Thousands of potentially harmful chemicals could soon be prohibited in Europe under new restrictions, which campaigners have hailed as the strongest yet. Industry groups say that up to 12,000 toxic substances could ultimately fall within the scope of the new proposal, which would constitute the world’s “largest ever ban of toxic chemicals”, according to the European Environmental Bureau. The plan focuses on entire classes of chemical substances for the first time, including all flame retardants, bisphenols, PVC plastics, toxic chemicals in single-use nappies and PFAS, which are also known as “forever chemicals” because of the time they take to naturally degrade.

 
Quote of the Day

"The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also." Harriet Ann Jacobs

 
On this Day

27 April 1992: Betty Boothroyd becomes the first woman to be elected speaker of England's House of Commons; she held the post until 2000.

 

Dive in Deeper


Winning Argument


Perhaps somewhat implausibly, Arnold Schwarzenegger appears to have the answer to tackling the climate debate.  Read on...


Act of Kindness


Teenager discovers sunken treasure and kindly returns it to the rightful owner from whom it was stolen 22 years ago. Read on...

 
Nature Mood Booster

Beautiful 3 minute time-lapse film featuring the stunning landscapes of Norway.