Global round up of good news nuggets to get December off to a bright start.
Medieval Diamond Ring
Every metal detectorist dreams of unearthing something valuable. For one man the English countryside yielded an incredible find when he stumbled upon a medieval diamond wedding ring in "almost perfect condition" in Dorset. Better yet, the item is expected to fetch between £30,000 and £40,000 ($35,500 and $47,300) when it goes on auction later this month. Lucky David Board, 69, called the ring "a once-in-a-lifetime" find. On the inside of the 14th century band is the French inscription 'Ieo vos tien foi tenes le moy', which means: 'I hold your faith, hold mine.'
Beginning of the End
A cure for Alzheimer’s could be close after a drug was proven to slow the disease for the first time. A trial found that lecanemab slowed memory decline by 27 percent over 18 months. The research breakthrough “ends decades of failure”, said the BBC, and has been hailed as “momentous and historic”. Experts said that it was the most significant breakthrough in a generation, marking the “beginning of the end” of Alzheimer’s and offered “real optimism that dementia can be beaten and one day even cured”.
New Zealand's national bird vanished from the capital 100 years ago, but a new cohort of kiwis is changing all that. Along a windswept ridge on Wellington's south coast, 11 kiwis - New Zealand's treasured national bird - are making themselves at home for the first time in generations. The unique flightless birds have been busy in the week since their arrival. They have each moved out of their temporary human-made homes and begun digging burrows into the hillsides with their strong claws. Soon they will line their dens with leaves, soft moss and feathers in preparation for their enormous alabaster-like eggs.
Clean Jet Fuel
On a military site in England, a Rolls-Royce AE-2100A jet engine - used in regional aircraft all over the world - is undergoing flight tests using hydrogen fuel for the first time, reports BBC News. The tests are being conducted in partnership with airline easyJet. In the short term, the purpose of the tests is to demonstrate that jet engines can run on hydrogen power. The larger aim - which would be really good news - is for the use of hydrogen as a clean-burning fuel to grow, replacing fossil fuels and slashing greenhouse gas emissions.
The first man to fly a plane and the first man to walk on the moon were alive at the same time. Orville Wright (1871-1948) and Neil Armstrong (1930-2012).
The Gates Foundation just announced it will spend $7 billion over the next four years to support African countries in confronting hunger, disease, gender inequality, and poverty. “The big global challenges we face are persistent. But we have to remember, so are the people solving them."
In August, OGN featured a story about Paolo Fanciulli, a fisherman in Italy who created an underwater gallery of giant sculptures made from Carrara marble to stop illegal bottom-trawling along the coastline of Tuscany - by snagging their nets. Today Paolo’s idea for anti-trawling sculptures has spread up the coast and now spans from Porto Santo Stefano to the Ombrone River, protecting 137 km2 of seagrass meadows (which are brilliant as sucking up CO2) and fish habitat. “It’s small but it’s remarkable given the lack of any official backing or funds.”
If part of your trip to and from the office involves popping on a train or bus, a folding ebike can help make the remainder of the commute a lot less sweaty than a motorless ride. The C1 from startup Wowcat aims to get you there in style too - with total weight of just 38 lb (17.4 kg) - and prices starting at $799. Available in early 2023.
“When enough people come together, then change will come and we can achieve almost anything. So instead of looking for hope - start creating it.” Greta Thunberg
On this Day
1 December 1913: The world's first moving assembly line debuted, used in manufacturing Model Ts at a Ford factory in Highland Park, Michigan; the innovation was the idea of owner Henry Ford, and it revolutionized the auto industry.
A beautiful flying visit over the majestic scenery of ancient Scotland.