Category Archives: Good News

Good News Friday

Your weekly round-up. Enjoy!

More good news from election day:

• Tallahassee, FL made history for passing the country’s first-ever anti-corruption act.

• Gina Raimondo became the first Democrat elected governor of Rhode Island since 1992 — and its first-ever female governor.

• In Wisconsin, 12 metropolitan areas passed referenda amending the U.S. Constitution and overturning Citizens United.

• Despite that right-wing talking point, Democrats actually gained significant support among women voters in the 2014 midterms.

In other news:

• New York firefighters rescued workers trapped over 60 stories in the air at the World Trade Center. Amazing. So much respect for FDNY.

• Suckit, Koch Bros.: Wall Street is bullish on solar power. Here’s why.

• We landed a dang space probe on a freaking COMET, everybody. Holy cow.

• China and the U.S. forge a ground-breaking climate deal.

• AOL is ending its membership in ALEC, the latest in a flurry of tech firms to do so.

• Craig Spencer, the New York doctor, is Ebola-free. So, America is also Ebola-free, no Americans have died of Ebola, and yet right-wing media managed to scare Amygdala America to the voting both over Ebola. Impressive.

I wonder why all of those Americans were cured of this supposedly lethal disease while all of those poor Africans were not? Thinking ….

• The Netherlands opens the world’s first solar road to bicyclists. The 70-meter road will generate electricity as well as serve as a public bicycle roadway.

• A potential Ebola outbreak in Mali was thwarted thanks to quick action.

• As anticipated, our awesome hippie pope demoted Cardinal Raymond Burke, the highest-ranking American at the Vatican, to a position with no responsibilities. Burke is a homophobe and wingnut who once denied John Kerry communion over abortion. Enjoy your time in irrelevancy, douchebag.

• Horrible person Don Blankenship — ex-CEO of Massey Energy of Upper Big Branch mine disaster fame — has been indicted for violating and conspiring to cover up mine safety violations.

• Denmark is ditching coal in favor of wind energy. Coal currently accounts for 30% of Denmark’s electricity production, but the Danes plan to ban coal by 2025.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• The UAW says it’s close to getting recognition at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant.

• Lynchburg’s Jack Daniel’s Distillery has donated $100,000 to help enlisted military and their families be together over the holidays.

This week’s video is from last week’s Colbert Report:

Oops sorry, saw the video has been removed. Will have to find you another one.


Filed under Good News

Good News Friday

I’m a day late and a dollar short on this week’s Good News roundup. Sorry, I’m sure y’all need some cheering-up from the eternal optimist wing of the Democratic Party, too. Here ya go!

We start with some more election night good news that didn’t make my first round-up:

• Chevron tried to buy the election in Richmond, CA and got resoundingly thwacked for its trouble.

• A soda tax passed in Berkeley.

• Voters in 78 Tennessee cities approved referendums (referenda?) allowing the sale of wine in grocery stores. Let me add: while I am in favor of wine sales in grocery stores, this was the most fucked-up, protectionist piece of legislation I’ve ever seen come out of a Republican legislature since forever. In particular, it mandates grocery stores markup their wine 20% — that’s big gummint sticking its nose in the pricing business. Gee, I thought the free hand of the market was supposed to do that! How is that not government overreach? Republicans don’t seem to mind when big corporations use their muscle to put the little guy out of business in any other area of trade. Does anyone remember Republicans demanding Walmart require a 20% markup on all of their products to keep the retail giant from undercutting mom-and-pop stores in small town America? Me, neither.

• Biology-textbook-censoring Tea Party wackaloons on the Gilbert, AZ school board got ousted.

• Voters in towns in California, Ohio and Texas banned fracking.

• Tribal elections in North Dakota could mean tighter restrictions on oil companies drilling on tribal lands.

• Californians voted against mass incarceration with a ballot initiative that reclassified six nonviolent felonies as misdemeanors.

• Voters approved paid sick days in Massachusetts; Oakland, CA; and Trenton and Montclair, N.J.

In other news:

• I was never a fan of the concept but you young kids might enjoy this trip down nostalgia lane: ’50s restaurant chain Johnny Rockets plans to open 200 drive-in theaters by 2018.

• Two more Americans were freed from North Korean labor camps. First off, let me say: welcome home. Now, let me say to Jeffrey Fowles, arrested for leaving a Bible in a night club bathroom; Matthew Miller, who (allegedly) destroyed his tourist visa and demanded asylum; and Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American missionary with YWAM:

You fucking idiots. You go to a place like North Korea and do stupid shit like leave Bibles lying around, what the fuck did you think would happen? You are fucking lucky that the supposedly “anti-Christian” Moooslim Usurper-in-Chief moved heaven and earth to get you religious crackpots out of that hellhole. Did an angel of the lord bust you out of jail, like Paul from Acts 12:3? No, it was power and might of the American government led by a man so many of you religious fanatics despise. Suck on that and stop doing stupid shit. I feel about you the same way I felt about those idiots from Arizona, the Gastonguays. I am tired of all of you. Your religion doesn’t make you bulletproof and it sure hasn’t made you any smarter.

You know what? If you want to be Super Christians and help people in foreign lands, go to fucking Sierra Leone and help the people dying of Ebola. Then the only people trying to keep you from coming home will be the Republicans in America.

• Atheists scored a major win in federal court, which ruled that Secular Humanism is a religion.

• Gay marriage is legal in Kansas. So much rich irony in that.

• Read this Christian ethicist’s argument for why he is is pro-gay.

• A Malaysian appeals court overturned an Islamic law against cross-dressing.

• The U.S. Army Command Policy has removed “Negro” as an acceptable term for black soldiers after it was discovered last Thursday in the manual’s race and ethnic code definition section. No one knows how long it’s been there.

• Bittersweet: a dying British woman who once worked at the racetrack was granted her last wish, to say goodbye to her favorite horse. Apparently they shared a goodbye kiss. So sweet and sad:


This week’s video:

A woman’s life captured in a 3:40 minute animated short. Cool.


Filed under Good News

Good News Friday

It’s been a super busy week for your humble scribe. I’ve scraped together a few items of good news, however.

• A judge rejects the quarantine order for nurse Kaci Hickox.

• He’s out and proud: Apple CEO Tim Cook comes out. Amazing culture shift: I really am so old, I remember when top business executives went to great lengths to hide their sexual orientation.

• There’s a new soda can called the “evercan,” made from 90% recycled aluminum. Now if we could only get Coca Cola and PepsiCo to use it.

• Best news ever: New Alzheimer’s research indicates chocolate keeps the brain young and healthy.

• A federal court dismissed Tea Party-affiliated group True The Vote’s two lawsuits against the IRS.

• The U.S. economy continues to improve, with growth at 3.5% for the third quarter.

• Everyone’s excited that our Awesome Hippie Pope is saying that evolution and the Big Bang Theory are not at odds with religion. I’m pretty sure that this has been Catholic doctrine for at least the last two Popes but whatever, it’s fun to see the Vatican remind American flat-earthers that they’re still getting it wrong.

• They’ve discovered a new species of leopard frog that lives on New Jersey’s I-95 corridor. Pretty sure Gov. Chris Christie will tell it to “sit down and shut up.”

• Researchers find there’s a genetic component to the different responses to the Ebola virus.

• Not good news per se but interesting: Did you know there’s a copyright infringement suit over the Robin Thicke/Pharrell Williams song “Blurred Lines”? And the plaintiff is the family of Marvin Gaye, who say Thicke and Pharrell borrowed from Gaye’s hit “Got To Give It Up”? There is, they are, and the suit has cleared its first major hurdle.

Copyright law is an interesting, convoluted thing. I was always amazed that Kenny Loggins never sued Garth Brooks over Brooks’ “Standing Outside The Fire,” which is basically Loggins’ “Conviction Of The Heart” set in a different key with some twang added. It was a blatant, obvious rip-off, in my book.

The “Blurred Lines” thing is a little less obvious to me. Here’s Got To Give It Up and here’s “Blurred Lines.” What do you think?

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Maybe the beginning of the end of negative campaigning? Probably not, but it’s good to see Bo Mitchell fighting back against an outright lie spread through a negative campaign ad.

• Former Marine Eric Malloy of Nashville can now afford to get his canine buddy Cash, who was his partner in Afghanistan, needed surgery, thanks to a GoFundMe campaign which raised over $3,000 in less than an hour. Read the full story here.

• Taylor Swift, whose new album contains the song “Welcome To New York,” says she is donating all of the song’s proceeds to New York public schools.

• Vanderbilt University received a $15 million federal grant to develop a national training center for special ed teachers.

This week’s cool video: I can’t remember the last time anyone had the cojones to openly mock an advertiser the way The Daily Show just went after Koch Industries. Absolutely hilarious.


Filed under Good News

Good News Friday

Some good news to start off the weekend … Ebola-free!

• Honey Boo-Boo has been cancelled and our long, national slide into Redneckistan is finally (hopefully) coming to an end.

• Three major chains announced that they will remain closed on Thanksgiving Day to allow workers to spend time with their families.

I honestly do not understand the national “shopping on Thanksgiving” disease. The very last place you will find me on Thanksgiving weekend is the damn mall. But that’s just me.

• This is sorta interesting:

A photographic notebook from Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s ill-fated Antarctic expedition has been discovered after a century trapped in ice.

Conservation specialists from New Zealand’s Antarctic Heritage Trust found the notebook outside Scott’s Terra Nova base during last summer’s ice melt.

The notebook belonged to British scientist George Murray Levick, who was part of Scott’s 1910-1913 expedition and a member of the Northern Party.

• U.S. citizen Jeffrey Fowle is on his way home, after being detained in North Korea since April.

• Four Blackwater security guards have been convicted in the Sept. 16, 2007 shootings of over 30 Iraqis, an incident which sparked an international outcry and focused world attention on the U.S.’s privatized military arm.

• Polish and British surgeons used a first-of-its-kind nerve transplant to enable a man whose spinal cord had been severed to walk again. By the way, remember during the healthcare debate when Republicans like Sen. Bob Corker said there had been no great medical innovations outside of the U.S.? To bolster their argument that America’s for-profit healthcare system was the best evah and socialism stifled innovation? I wonder how they can live with themselves, being perpetually proven wrong time and time again?

• Car batteries that last 1,000 years? The Swedes think they’ve found a way.

• Our Awesome Hippie Pope demoted the conservative ex-Archibishop of St. Louis, Cardinal Raymond Burke. He’s the asshole who denied John Kerry communion because of all those bay-beeez and ‘bortion.

• When it comes to Ebola, there’s actually some good news. Update: Now that Americans are in a panic they’re finally testing an Ebola vaccine that is 100% effective on monkeys. Also: Dallas nurses Amber Vinson and Nina Pham have been declard Ebola-free — and Pham’s dog, Bentley, too. Ditto NBC cameraman Ashoka Mukpo.

So the only U.S. patient who died of Ebola is the guy the hospital in Texas sent home with a bottle of antibiotics.

• It’s not much but it’s something: Social Security benefits will go up a smidge.

• How Portugal switched from using fossil fuels to generate electricity to using renewable, in 7 short years.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Bittersweet: A Tennessee-born World War II soldier who died in combat in 1945 but whose remains were only found last year by French hikers was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

This week’s video: Watch these kids get hysterical when their 13-year-old cat Maddy, who had been missing for two months, returns home:


Filed under Good News

Good News Friday

Some good news for the weekend. Enjoy!

• The British parliament voted overwhelmingly to recognize Palestine alongside Israel.

• Michael Dunn was sentenced to life in prison for the first degree murder of a Florida teenager over loud music.

• Lockheed Martin says it has made a major breakthrough in fusion technology.

• I love this story: A parrot with a British accent disappeared for four years, then returned home fluent in Spanish and asking for a guy named Larry. Hilarious.

• The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily blocked Texas from shutting down its abortion clinics.

• A N.C. judge upheld a ban on concealed firearms at the North Carolina State Fair.

• A new report from the Vatican says the church should welcome gays and lesbians.

• Queens, New York is poised to get a super-cool greenway project. We’ve been to the High Line in Manhattan and it’s absolutely incredible.

• Harvard scientists say a cure for Type 1 diabetes is imminent.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

Nashville is hosting the 2016 NHL All-Star Game! WOOT! Wonder how much seats on the glass will cost?

• The “Vote No On 1″ side of the constitutional amendment that would give the Tennessee state legislature (as in, scary government) more power over abortion in Tennessee has outraised the pro-Yes On One side this quarter.

I’ve been deeply amused to see several of my known Tea Party-supporting, big-government-hating neighbors sporting “Yes on 1″ signs in their yards. Proving once again how phony their ideology is. Don’t they just love big government when Republicans are in charge! But guess what, folks: the Tennessee legislature will turn left some day. Pendulums swing, ‘cuz that’s what they do. And your handing the abortion issue over to the legislature now will come back to bite y’all on your butts when that inevitable day comes. Idiots.

This week’s cool video: Putting the goober in “gubernatorial debate,” this week Florida Gov. Rick Scott had a huge hissy fit over a battery-operated fan under Charlie Crist’s podium and ended up looking like a ginormous fool:


Filed under Good News

Good News Friday

Here’s a smattering of good news for you … Enjoy!

• All universities in Germany are now free of charge.

• SCOTUS ROUND-UP: The court rejected an appeal on same-sex marriage, clearing the way for same-sex marriage in Indiana, Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia and Wisconsin. SCOTUS also blocked Wisconsin’s Voter ID law. And the court rejected an appeal by an Ohio public school teacher who was fired for insubordination after teaching creationism in the science classroom and refusing to remove religious materials.

• This would be a shocker if it’s actually true: “Obama Might Unilaterally Close Guantanamo.”

• My old stomping grounds have been declared a National Monument: 350,000 acres of the San Gabriel Mountains, including Mt. Baldy and Wrightwood, are included in the new San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.

• An intellectually disabled, functionally illiterate death row inmate in Texas was released from prison after evidence of his innocence was found. His original team of “attorneys” failed to uncover evidence that Manuel Velez was 1,000 miles away in Tennessee at the time of the crime. The ACLU represented Velez. And no, this is not proof that “the system works”:

Velez’s initial court-appointed attorneys failed to discover that evidence, and “after his conviction, Manuel received the death penalty, largely because a state prison expert presented false testimony to persuade the jury that Manuel would pose a danger to society if given life without parole instead,” the ACLU said.

Anyone who thinks America’s death penalty system is anything but unjust needs to have their head examined.

• U.S. cars and trucks are more fuel efficient than ever before.

• Could you pass this 8th grade exam from 1912? I aced the English, geography and history portions. I completely failed math. No surprise there.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Nashville’s historic Studio A was saved from the wrecking ball.

• A hiker found an entire abandoned town in the middle of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

• End of an era: Oak Ridge’s K-31, a Cold War-era uranium enrichment plant, has been demolished.

This week’s cool video: from the aforementioned abandoned town in the Smokies, I bring you Tennessee Wonderland:


Filed under Good News

Good News Friday

** tap tap tap ** This thing on?

Oh, hello, dear readers. Bet you thought I’d forgotten about you! Well, no. First, an explanation: my workload literally doubled as of September 14. This was completely self-inflicted: they said, “do you wanna?” and I said, “yeah, sure! Sounds fun!” And it is fun and challenging and everything else, except it has left very little time for me to blog, for which I apologize. I’ve even thought about putting the blog on hiatus again.

This week was especially bad for me and I was basically a giant stress ball. I still managed to compile some good news but until I get a better handle on things I’m afraid blogging is going to be erratic. Totes sorrz, guyz.

Without further ado, your Good Friday roundup:

• Here’s a welcome headline:


• Germany hits a new renewable energy milestone, getting 27.7% of its electricity from renewable sources so far this year. That’s a 3% increase over last year.

• Not so much good news as No Shit, Sherlock news but, it appears access to birth control prevents pregnancy and abortion in high-risk teens.

• The U.S. will pay $554 million to the Navajo Nation to settle claims about mismanagement of reservation funds and resources. It’s the largest-ever settlement between the U.S. and a single Native American tribe.

• This is intriguing: an insect-based livestock feed that could save us all.

• Democrats finally find their spine on culture war issues.

• A federal appeals court has struck down two of North Carolina’s most horrendous voting restrictions.

• California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that allows family members to ask a judge to remove guns from a relative believed to be a risk to themselves or others.

• Related: California becomes the first state in the country to ban single-use plastic bags. Over 100 cities in the state have already enacted bans. This is such great news I can’t even tell you. What this means for litter and wildlife is tremendous.

• Old news by now but congrats to Bill & Hill and Chelsea and Marc on the birth of a future president!

• The Montana teacher who was given just 30 days for raping a 14-year-old student has been re-sentenced for 10 years. This is a horrendous story. The victim, who has since committed suicide, was blamed by the original judge.

• Florida actually convicted a white man of killing a black kid for the first time in, like, ever.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Brown’s Grocery & Hardware, an old-time country store in Carter County, has installed solar panels on its roof that will generate 44 kilowatts of electricity.

This week’s cool video: If you missed John Oliver’s truly excellent expose on the bullshit known as the Miss America “scholarship” program, do yourself a favor and watch it here. It’s the best 15 minute investment you’ll have made in quite a while.

I’ve always thought a “scholarship” that requires you to parade around in a bikini is not one that’s interested in scholarly pursuits.


Filed under Good News