Good News Friday

Your weekly progress report! Enjoy!

• We dodged an asteroid. Whew.

• A Canadian company has developed carbon-capturing technology that literally cleanses the air of greenhouse gases.

• Crowdfunding project Solar Mosaic — a Kickstarter funding service for rooftop solar systems — sold all the shares of its public projects in less than 24 hours.

• U.S. oil imports are expected to fall to a 25 year low by 2014. Energy independence, another Obama promise fulfilled. I’m not always happy about the way we’ve gone about it (U.S. oil production is expected to jump 25% by 2014), but if nothing else this shows how dishonest those “drill baby drill” attacks against Obama have been. We are drilling, idiots.

• Solar lamps make childbirth safer for women living in remote regions of Kenya.

• Meet Simple, the banking service for people fed up with large, corporate, customer-unfriendly banks.

• Scientists and archaeologists may have found the solution to acid rain destroying all of those iconic cultural monuments across Western Europe: olive oil.

• A local Boy Scouts chapter has awarded an openly gay teenager the rank of Eagle Scout over the objections of the Boy Scouts Of America.

• Canada’s Supreme Court rules a gay couple who had a civil partnership in the UK, where same sex marriage is illegal, are in fact legally married.

• The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. announced it will host same-sex weddings.

• A survey by the Southern Baptist Convention-affiliated Lifeway Research found that only 37% believe homosexuality is a sin, a sharp decline from the last time the question was asked.

• Caught on tape for the first time ever: the elusive giant squid.

• The California State Teachers Retirement System, the country’s largest teacher pension fund, has begun divesting itself from companies manufacturing guns and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

• The U.S. incarceration rate hits its lowest levels since the Clinton years.

• The NHL lockout is over.

• A 19-year-old Socialist beat the incumbent to win a seat on the Red Bank (N.J.) Board Of Education.

• The SEC will consider a proposed rule requiring corporations disclose their political spending to shareholders.

• Gabrielle Giffords has launched a PAC to take on the NRA.

• Gun violence survivors have petitioned Wal-mart to stop selling assault weapons. The petition has more than 250,000 signatures.

• Thanks to Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, military women now have insurance coverage for full reproductive health services, including abortion care in the case of rape, incest and when the health of the mother is at risk.

• A federal judge has ruled New York’s “stop and frisk” program is unconstitutional.

• Archaeologists discover a 2,000-year-old Roman theater in Kent, England.

• Bank of America will pay Fannie Mae $11 billion to settle fraud charges. In addition, BofA joins other lenders in paying $8.5 billion to settle claims of foreclosure abuse.

• Scientists copy nature to make super-efficient LEDs.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Nashville got some great PR in the New York Times.

• This may be pushing the local connection a bit, but congratulations to Nashville native Matthew Parker, co-producer of “Beasts Of The Southern Wild,” which received four Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. Let me say, I was absolutely floored by this movie. If you haven’t seen it, you must. And if you can see it on the big screen, do. It’s a gorgeous film.

• Priests from two Nashville churches push for an assault weapons ban.

This week’s cool video requires some translation. Take it away, Upworthy:

When AC Milan’s midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng hears some vulgar and racist chants from the crowd, he decides enough is enough. He punts the ball toward the racist fans, and in a display of sportsmanship that will surely be talked about for some time, he proceeds to leave the field followed by his teammates and the ENTIRE opposing team. As all the players left the field together, the message to the fan community couldn’t be clearer: It doesn’t matter if you’re a supporter, we will not play for racists.

My Italian is pretty rusty but it seems the word “incredible” is the same in both languages:

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Good News Friday

  1. deep

    “Carbon Engineering, formed in 2009 with $3.5 million from Bill Gates and others…”

    I don’t know why people bash him so much. That dude has done a lot a philanthropy and certainly a helluva lot more than Steve Jobs. Wasn’t he also one of the millionaires who petitioned the gov’t to raise their taxes?

    • Not true about him doing more philanthropy that Steve Jobs, IMHO. Seems like they went about it differently.

      • deep

        admittedly, I have no idea. It’s been a meme going around lately that Gates > Jobs on the nice guy front but who knows if it’s true.

      • Steve Jobs really hated public philanthropy, he thought it was showy, ego-driven and a way of begging for public adulation. He believed in a more holistic philanthropy, a more organic way of giving. Basically, just be nice and give to people and don’t be screaming for attention when you do it. From day one Apple was giving away computers to teachers and schools, and yes it was part of their business model (get kids hooked on Apple computers), but it was a huge benefit to the recipients. I worked at an education center back in the 80s that got free Apple computers, we were a tiny environmental ed center in the Pennsylvania mountains, but they didn’t ask if we were big enough or important enough. We were a school and we got computers, end of story. And they did it without a lot of fanfare and setting up a special foundation and holding press conferences. Big schools, little schools, didn’t matter.

  2. deep

    Also, lol, from the LED article:

    “Bonus: Rebranding LEDs as “firefly bulbs” will attract a whole new market of 8-year-olds, nostalgic, displaced East Coasters, and Joss Whedon fans”

    heh

  3. Ann

    Thank you so much for this week’s good news. It’s really great.

  4. …is there a different link for the Simple story? The NYT apparently hates me, and if it keeps up, the feeling’s gonna be come mutual…