Good News Friday

Hope everyone had a good week! Lots and lots of good news to share.

Usually around this time of year I start planning my annual November blog hiatus for NaNoWriMo. I’m so busy with the new job and other things that I don’t know if I have NaNoWriMo in me this year. But a blog hiatus is still enticing. I’ll let you know what I decide.

Without further ado:

• Doctors in China grew a girl’s face on her chest and successfully transplanted it. Weird, I know.

• This was so very, very cool! Visions of the future, imagined by children and drawn by adults.

• The largest wind farm in sub-Saharan Africa goes on line this month. Ethiopia’s Ashegoda Wind Farm will produce 120 mw of electricity.

• A team of 9th grade girls from Providence Day School in Charlotte, N.C., has developed a school desk which generates electricity:

The Green Renewable Current Desk System is envisioned as a set of six desks arranged in a grid, DelleFave explained. Under each desk is a pedal akin to those used to power sewing machines. As children tap the pedal, it turns a flywheel that generates electricity.

“All of the generators will be charging an absorbed glass mat (lead acid) battery and the energy stored in that battery can then be used to power lights or a fan or whatever the classroom needs,” she said.

While desks that double as exercise stations to keep office workers fit and healthy have been around for a while, none of these are wired together to generate electricity to power lights and appliances, which is the focus of the students’ project, DelleFave noted.

And that, my friends, is what I call girl power!

• Confessions of a FOX News contributor/Obamacare guinea pig: “I signed up. I saved. And so will millions of Americans.”

• U.S. CO2 emissions in 2012 were at their lowest level since 1994. The news gets even better:

The drop in 2009 was largely due to the contraction in the U.S. economy during the Great Recession, yet the falling carbon dioxide emissions in 2012 occurred while GDP rose 2.8 percent. Energy consumption fell by 2.8 percent.

This means we’re getting more efficient. I love efficiency. It’s like chocolate.

• The rabidly anti-tax U.S. Chamber of Commerce says we should raise the gas tax to fund road improvement projects. That’s a switch.

• Ohio expands Medicaid to low-income people. Your move, Gov. Haslam. Your move.

• Our fabulous new hippie Pope has expelled a German bishop from the diocese of Limburg over his plans to build a luxurious $42 million residence complex. Looks like the Pope takes this poverty stuff seriously.

• Same-sex marriages begin in New Jersey. Newark mayor and newly-minted U.S. Senator Cory Booker officiated at seven same-sex ceremonies at 12:01 Monday morning; previously he had refused to officiate at any weddings until marriage was available to all.

• Related: N.J. Gov. Chris Christie dropped his administration’s State Supreme Court appeal of same-sex marriage.

• Victories at the Supreme Court for climate change.

• Former “Price Is Right” host and mega-animal rights activist Bob Barker paid $1 million to move three elephants to a sanctuary in California.

Fun fact: your humble scribe Southern Beale met Bob Barker when she was about 5 years old and attended a taping of the show “Truth Or Consequences” (you young kids will have to ask the Great Gazoogle what that is.) He came into the audience and actually said hello to me and commented on the stuffed kitty I had clutched in my arms. I don’t remember much about my early childhood but I never forgot that.

• Walmart says it will rehire a Michigan worker it had fired for violating company safety policy when he tried to help a woman being attacked in the parking lot.

• Construction begins on California’s voter-approved high-speed bullet train project.

• Decommissioned San Francisco transit buses have found a new purpose, turned into mobile showers serving the city’s homeless.

• A 7-year-old girl in Syracuse, N.Y., raided her piggy bank to send $10 to a family on food stamps.

• Texas Republican Judge Carlo Key of Bexar County has renounced the Republican Party and switched his affiliation to the Democratic Party. Calling himself a moderate, he says,

…he cannot be in a party that allows “hate speech to elevate someone to higher office rather than disqualifying them” …

Well put.

• Related: that idiot North Carolina Republican Party county executive who gave an unbelievably racist interview to Aasif Mandvi of The Daily Show has resigned.

People, this interview was so bad I thought it had to be a parody. He hit every cliche: “I’m not racist because I have a black friend,” “those lazy blacks who want free stuff,” etc. etc.

• Thirty-year-old gamer Caitlin Oliver became the first woman to set an arcade game scoring record since 1984. Seriously? That’s for real? Guess we’re busy doing other things.

Sorry, gamers, I couldn’t resist the snark.

• Women are better than men at multitasking. That’s not me talking, that’s SCIENCE!

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Couples are challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

• Nashville’s economy earns praise. Have we ever had a Republican mayor? I can’t remember. Certainly not as long as I’ve lived here.

• Partnering with Franklin, TN-based Nutro pet food company, Middle Tennessee’s Meals-on-Wheels will begin delivering pet food to seniors. The program began after volunteers noticed seniors giving the food they’d been delivered to their pets. This just made me feel al squishy inside:

“I never thought I’d be this attached to a cat,” Smithson said. “Bob is a lot of company when there’s no one around and you’re staring at the walls.”

Mwahh.

The Dayton, Tenn. La-Z-Boy plant is unrolling a series of green initiatives which it’s hoped will be a model for similar energy-saving retrofits nationwide.

• Tennessee received a $5 million solar energy grant from the DoE’s SunShot initiative.

• Remember those racist rallies the League of the South was going to stage in Middle Tennessee? Yeah, those. Turns out counterprotesters outnumbered protesters two to one.

• I’m not really the pageant type but congratulations to 61-year-old Carolyn Corlew of Mt. Juliet, who was named Ms. Senior America in Atlantic City, N.J. last night.

There were a lot of contenders for cool video of the week. There’s the one where labor activists recorded a 10-year McDonald’s employee being told how to get food stamps and Medicaid by a corporate “McResources” rep (“McResources”? Really? Y’all don’t know the “Mc” thing is a pejorative?). Then there’s the one where dogs shake off water in super slo-mo. That was cute, but nothing compares to this one of 31-year-old freerider Kelly McGarry’s wild ride.

I imagine this is what flying must feel like:

12 Comments

Filed under Good News

12 responses to “Good News Friday

  1. “• The rabidly anti-tax U.S. Chamber of Commerce says we should raise the gas tax to fund road improvement projects. That’s a switch.”

    Their pet economists just realized that the gas tax can only be written off by their members who own the major polluters and road wreckers,–trucking fleets? Nah, it would be cynical of me to think that.

    “Confessions of a FOX News contributor/Obamacare guinea pig: “I signed up. I saved. And so will millions of Americans.”

    Owwwwwwwwwwwww! that’s gonna leave a mark on Jimbo’s psyche.

    But she’s prolly a “No TRUE FOX Contibutor (TM)”, just another SorObama sleeper cell plant!

  2. Freeriding appears spectacular but I’m not sure it’s consistent with longevity.

    • I hate to be a buzzkill but it’s also pretty hard on nature.

      Some of those scraggly ass shrubs that the rider is going by (and apparently over and through) are likely to be creosote bushes. They are considered to be one of the oldest living things on the planet. They can handle desert heat, cold, drought (once established) and reproduce by cloning. They don’t do so well against humans and their machines.

      And it’s not the bikers that are the real problem, it’s all of the vehicles and detritus of civilization that the spectators, organizers and others bring to the party.

      I’m all for wilderness adventuring but not at the expense of the wilderness.

      Having said all of the above–that is an awesome video!

  3. “The Green Renewable Current Desk System is envisioned as a set of six desks arranged in a grid, DelleFave explained. Under each desk is a pedal akin to those used to power sewing machines. As children tap the pedal, it turns a flywheel that generates electricity.”

    Shit. 50 years too late for my ADHD to have PURPOSE!!

    “Walmart says it will rehire a Michigan worker it had fired for violating company safety policy when he tried to help a woman being attacked in the parking lot.”

    Newest NRA slogan:

    “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy* with a gun!”

    * “Disclaimer: Aforementioned “good guy” may not be an employee of Walmart or its affiliates, predecessor or successor companies too, also.”

  4. yutsano

    Creosote is a pretty tough plant. It has to be to survive in the deserts!

    Sally Kohn, as it turns out, is a progressive activist. She wrote a column for CNN highlighting the positives of ACA yesterday. And I’m seeing more and more how this is gonna morph into single payer in ten years. If California gets off their asses could even be 7.

    • Wouldn’t that be hilarious, if all the bitching and moaning the Republicans are doing led to that. I mean, “you said it was a failure … and clearly what we had wasn’t working, sooo …..” Bwaaahaaaa…

  5. If anybody would like to see Don Yelton weigh in, here it is. Look for the irony. After all, Obama did carry NC in 2012. He certainly doesn’t want anything like that to happen again.

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-october-23-2013/suppressing-the-vote

  6. deep

    This was so very, very cool! Visions of the future, imagined by children and drawn by adults.

    This link seems to go to the wrong place.

  7. C B

    “Looks like the Pope takes this poverty stuff seriously.”

    If Francis has any success at all in turning the church away from the propensity to wear her wealth in public, it will be a good thing. Catholicism is not the only Christian sect to do this, just the largest and wealthiest. My heart yearns for a such precedent that would extend throughout Christendom. When a congregation is asked to open their wallets, yet again, to fund the construction of a fitness center as part of the church complex, something is wrong.

    “Remember those racist rallies the League of the South was going to stage in Middle Tennessee? Yeah, those. Turns out counterprotesters outnumbered protesters two to one.”

    I may have mentioned this here before (I’m old; I forget), but about two years ago, the KKK planned a rally here in Augusta, GA in support of a student who sued our fair university for dropping her from the master’s in counseling program because she was an unrepentant homophobe. In fairness to the student, whose case was found to have no merit, she did not ask for their support. Anyhoo, six — count ’em, 6 — KKK members from SC showed up. According to local news reports, about 300 local counter-protestors filled the streets to let them know how unwelcome they and their attitudes were. It was a proud day.🙂

    • I spent some time in rural Mexico, and it was heartbreaking to see the poverty that some of these folks lived in while gold and silver decorated the church altars. Then again … gold and silver decorated the church altars. No one stole from the church to feed their family. So that in itself was interesting.

      Similarly, offerings of food and wealth to the Hindu temple Gods while people starve strike a similar note.

  8. chrome agnomen

    beulah the buzzer. heh heh remember it all well.