Good News Friday

It’s our last roundup of the year. Who’s glad to shut the door on 2012? (Me! Me!) This year was too weird for me. Some big high notes (re-electing President Obama for one), and some major lows. I for one am glad to move on.

Without further ado, some links to check out:

• The Top 5 Greatest Smackdowns of 2012, courtesy of Upworthy.

• This story of a man who tracked down his third-grade teacher to thank her for the support she gave after his mother died really warmed my heart.

• Good Samaritans save a 9-year-old Brooklyn girl trapped beneath a car.

• Carbon taxes pay off economically and environmentally in Ireland: the country’s greenhouse gas emissions have dropped more than 15% since 2008, and the tax has raised $1.3 billion.

• Life expectancy for those born in New York City reaches a record high of 80.9 years; the national average is 78.7 years.

• Ron Paul makes some sense, blasting the NRA’s idea for putting armed guards in schools as ridiculous and fostering an “Orwellian surveillance state.”

• The New York Times declares the Tea Party is over. Some of us think the Times was wrong to ever view the Teanuts as a force in the first place, but whatever.

• Chicken farms turn to a natural antibiotic, oregano. I had a friend who swore by oregano oil to ward off colds and flu. I tried it once and it tasted so nasty I decided I’d rather have the cold or flu. To each his own.

• In the wake of the Newtown shootings, Los Angeles moved up its annual gun buy back event, and people waited in line for up to two hours to exchange their guns for grocery gift cards. The program brought in 1,962 guns and two rocket launchers. Wait, what? Rocket launchers? WTF.

• On a related note, in Edison N.J. the city council voted to oppose allowing the city police department to resell its used guns.

• Philadelphia high schools are installing free condom dispensers. I kind of remember this being a big issue back in the pre-AIDs era and all the Bible bangers getting up in arms about it.

• Actress Kate Winslet is now Kate RocknRoll. This is neither good news nor bad news, just very odd. And a good reminder for the next time some RWNJ starts getting hysterical about someone named Mickey Mouse registering to vote. There are apparently 58 people in the U.S. and Canada named Mickey Mouse.

• Video game maker EA has been forced to remove links to gun shops from its Medal Of Honor video game website. Yes, that’s right: after all of this nonsense about video games being the cause of gun violence, it turns out it’s the gun shops which have been advertising on video game sites. Imagine that!

• Slowly but surely, working conditions improve at Chinese electronics factories, thanks to efforts of consumers and activists.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Tennessee’s aging transit vehicles will be replaced, thanks to a $10 million federal grant.

• Hands On Nashville donated more than 300 bicycles to needy kids through its ReCycle For Kids program.

• Speaking of bicycles, Nashville is tackling its bike safety issue by adding more bike lanes. Let me add, this is a really serious problem in Nashville. Drivers here a) can’t drive for shit, b) can’t see for shit, and c) are assholes. I’ve been run off the road on my bike so many times that I simply don’t ride it anymore, not on the public streets. At least one person did it on purpose, thought it would be oh so funny and cute to run the bicyclist into a ditch, to which I say: fuck you. I know some people who have been seriously injured riding their bikes here. It’s insane. We really need dedicated bike lanes, like they have in places like Copenhagen. But that will probably never happen.

Here’s a video of a dancing chihuahua. The video below it is one of my dog Riley dancing. Tell me which one you think is cuter (and yes, there’s a wrong answer!):

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “Good News Friday

  1. The program brought in 1,962 guns and two rocket launchers.

    Thank you, LA. That’s some quality crazy.

  2. The NRA is too crazy for Crazy Uncle Liberty? Who would have predicted that?

  3. Roadmaster1968

    On the subject of bike lanes: I have but do not ride a bike in my home city of Durham. The modern class of drivers (more like ‘steering wheel handlers’) these days can’t drive worth a damn. If I didn’t know better, I would swear that the license test would consist merely of checking the body temp (via anal thermometer) for a body temp somewhere in the upper 90s. I could save a buttload of $$ and be in much better shape physically (already not in bad shape as it is) riding my bike to work, but I’m not willing to risk my life to do it. I am seeing more bike lanes ‘built’, but also see a lot of drivers not respecting them.

    • One of my big pet peeves about Nashville’s bike lanes is all the freaking joggers who run 3 and 4 abreast in them, instead of using the damn sidewalks. They’re forcing bikers into auto traffic! It really pisses me off.

  4. Jim from Memphis

    Memphis has been making good strides to be a more bike friendly city. The policy recently has been to add dedicated bike lanes to city streets when they are repaved. We also landed some assistance from the Bikes Belong Foundation – http://dc.streetsblog.org/2012/04/04/bikes-belong-selects-six-cities-to-fast-track-protected-bike-lanes/

  5. democommie

    “Ron Paul makes some sense, blasting the NRA’s idea for putting armed guards in schools as ridiculous and fostering an “Orwellian surveillance state.”

    Considering that Ronbo thinks that the federal gummint’s involvement at any level in schools is a violation of the Constitution, I’d say this is a logical conclusion, or as logical as the Pauls ever get.

    • Yes but he at least articulated the whole police state scenario the NRA-tards are presenting as rightfully ridiculous and another case of faux-conservatism. You can’t say it’s fascism to regulate the for-profit insurance industry but be perfectly fine with armed guards in our schools. Jesus fucking Christ.

  6. OMG, the dancing chihuaha ! ! It’s so adorable ! Thanks for sharing. And Happy New year to you and your family. keep up the good work! And by the way, my family and I are ready for the fiscal cliff fall. We prefer that than getting half-assed compromises.

  7. democommie

    Southern Beale:

    Sorry, I didn’t mean that the comment itself was untrue, just that, knowing Paul’s history vis-a-vis those “unconstitutional gummint’ agencies” (and DoE is one of them) I suspect that he’s more informed by his anti-fed delusions than any love for his fellow beings.

    And, yes, you’re completely right about the Party of Plunder having no problem with armed guards in schools and running in horror when someone suggests regulation that will cut into their bloated profits.

    • I have a feeling if the NRA said the answer to gun violence was for everyone to wear live animals as hats and hop around on one foot their brainwashed followers would say that was a FABULOUS idea.

  8. thomas

    The chihuahua is creepy, but watching a dog chase its tail is a never ending source of entertainment. Kind of like watching politicians chase their tails or cover their asses. The only redeeming quality in Ron Paul is that he never waffles or has two faces… That I have witnessed, anyway. That doesn’t make him better or right, but gives him a little higher honesty rating in comparison to a “McCain” or…..

  9. i would bid 2012 a fond farewell and FOAD, except I don’t see 2013 as being any better (for me, at least).
    ~~~:[

    • I’m sorry to hear that. I sometimes have to remind myself that destiny turns on a dime. Nothing ever stays the same forever, change is the only constant in our world. So maybe 2013 will be better.

  10. democommie

    themadkansan:

    I have had many years like that. I look at the bright side and say, at the end of each year, “One year closer to not having to put up with this shit, anymore; Yay!”. Hey, you do what ya gotta do {;>)