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:

12 Comments

Filed under Good News

12 responses to “Good News Friday

  1. Very cool quiz at the CSN site. If I hadn’t blown by it, I would’ve made a perfect score.🙂 As it was, I missed three, so I’m happy.

    Don’t worry too much about the math part. Word problems are the hardest!

  2. Kathleen

    Good Grief. I might as well just join the Tea Party. I’d fit right in based on my dismal score. Most humbling exercise.

  3. greennotGreen

    I has a sad. I only got 78% on the quiz! Of course, it didn’t help that the map of Europe as displayed in my browser was actually missing Romania.

    • I had the same problem. I also missed two on the “who settled where” section, but I was perfect on math and grammar. I find it amazing that their math section included something as trivial as writing numbers using words.

      And I can’t say how happy I am to see the new National Monument. I only wish they had included more land immediately adjacent to the cities in the Pasadena area.

  4. Brett

    It sure would be nice if the US could do tuition-free public universities (I doubt you’d ever get the private universities to go along, even if you want them to). Even if the funding is only such that it makes them harder to get into, at least they’d be able to go free of debt Cooper Union style.

    More generally, it was a stupid decision to start relying on subsidizing student loans to get people into college. It’s money that would have been better spent expanding the public colleges and universities.

    • Agreed. This country has completely lost the concept of public investment. The idea that we’ve got an entire generation leaving college saddled with massive debt is completely ludicrous. That reverberates throughout the economy: that’s money these kids aren’t spending on a whole rash of other things, not the least of which being getting out of mom and dad’s house and starting households of their own. After WWII we gave our veterans an education with the GI Bill and look how it paid off.

      • democommie

        “After WWII we gave our veterans an education with the GI Bill and look how it paid off.

        Yeah, sure;and look how they paid back our benevolent overlords by refusing to support.without question, our next three foreign adventures and causing the overlords to only have caviar, saddle of roast unicorn and and their post-prandial infantohemolattes SIX nights a week!.

  5. I watched the video. Very interesting. There’s a blogsite here on WordPress that’s all about abandoned structures. ( Abandoned Kansai )

    • CB

      The Digital Library of Georgia has an image site, Vanishing Georgia, all pictures of structures/places that no longer exist.

  6. Martin Norred

    Completely off topic, but not being on Facebook or anything else,I comment where I can! I just figured out why the RWNJs hate/are afraid of ISIS so much! ISIS believes in scorched earth policies, kills anyone who dissagrees, and is willing to govern “sensibly”, for everyone who goes along! Why, ISIS is trying to take over the rightful place of the RWNJs! CAN’T HAVE THAT!!!