Black Stars

In “The Visit” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, gender roles are reversed. Men are expected to be house husbands while their wives work. Medical research focuses on women, so men’s health issues like enlarged prostate are not funded. Male masturbation is outlawed instead of abortion. Single men who go out without a woman are harassed. This story has a very obvious message about gender discrimination, so readers who don’t like being preached at will likely bounce off this story, but at least the characters are realistically drawn.

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Good News Friday

  • China reduced air pollution in 7 years as much as US did in three decades. Bloomberg.
  • The number of homeless people in Houston has been cut by 63 percent since 2011 by moving more than 25,000 homeless people directly into apartments and houses. The New York Times.
  • The percentage of youths referred to adult courts dropped from 8% in 2010 to 2% in 2019. AP News.
  • People of Gaza swim in ‘crystal blue’ sea again, as sewage pollution reaches its lowest rate in years due to sewage treating facilities stepping up their operations. Euronews.
  • Local efforts have cut plastic waste on Australia’s beaches by almost 30% in 6 years. CSIROscope.
  • In Bali, bird sellers help endangered mynah make a comeback. AP News.
  • Golden lion tamarin conservation efforts have been successful, growing the population from a one-time low of 200 animals to more than 2,000 today. Mongabay.
  • Rats fitted with tiny backpacks are being trained to help earthquake survivors. Study Finds.
  • Australia’s minimum wage earners to get $40 a week pay rise. The Guardian.

For more good news, check out The Progress Network, and Future Crunch.

Good News Friday

  • More than 250 self-declared gun enthusiasts in Texas have signed on to an open letter supporting efforts at bipartisan gun reform legislation. The Texas Tribune.
  • The collective wealth of the bottom 50% of households in America has nearly doubled in two years. Bloomberg.
  • These Republican states are passing clean energy bills in the name of freedom and economics. Grist.
  • How an experimental service in a library prevents incarceration. Next City.
  • Monarch butterflies saw a resurgence in Mexico. The Verge.
  • Breast cancer drug trial results in ‘unheard-of’ survival. The New York Times.
  • German lawmakers approve €12 minimum wage. DW.
  • Togo eliminates trachoma as a public health problem. WHO.

For more good news, check out The Progress Network, and Future Crunch.

Good News Friday

  • Bipartisan lawmakers target addiction crisis by boosting non-opioid pain management. The Hill.
  • Pfizer to offer all its drugs not-for-profit to 45 lower-income countries. The Guardian.
  • Plastic packaging might be biodegradable after all, say German scientists. DW.
  • The living coffin that transforms your body into compost. Positive News.
  • Ban has prevented 2 million surprise medical bills so far, insurers say. Axios.
  • Four new states will extend postpartum Medicaid coverage to 12 months. The 19th.
  • ‘Mind blowing’ ancient settlements uncovered in the Amazon. Nature.

For more good news, check out The Progress Network, and Future Crunch.

Good News Friday

  • Benin, Uganda and Rwanda eliminate sleeping sickness as a public health problem. WHO.
  • Happier employees, higher profits: Restaurant owners spend more, and it pays off. The Counter.
  • Wild mammals are making a comeback in Europe thanks to conservation efforts. Our World in Data.
  • Electric vehicles displaced roughly 1.5 million barrels per day of oil last year, new analysis shows, an amount slated to grow as EV sales keep rising. Axios.
  • Conservation win for Bangladesh as efforts to halt vulture decline pay off. Mongabay.
  • It was a toxic wasteland. Now it’s a national park. National Geographic.
  • Waste wood chemically recycled to produce material stronger than steel. NewScientist.
  • Hawaii-based startup unveils world’s first ocean carbon-removing machine. Optimist Daily.
  • Cancer deaths among Black people drop, but still higher than other groups. STAT.
  • Workers’ leverage is here to stay. Axios.
  • Morocco extends paid paternity leave from 3 to 15 days. Morocco World News.
  • Alcohol use among young people has declined in many western countries over the past two decades. Addiction (PDF link).
  • US citizens are eating less meat—and that’s driven a 35% decrease in dietary carbon emissions over 15 years. Anthropocene.

For more good news, check out The Progress Network, and Future Crunch.

Good News Friday

For more good news, check out The Progress Network, and Future Crunch.

Good News Friday

  • The poverty rate in Vietnam dropped from 16.8 to 5 percent between 2010 and 2020, and over 10 million people were lifted out of poverty. World Bank.
  • There are 1.4 million fewer Canadians living in poverty. Straight.
  • A cutting-edge form of urban energy independence could make cities more resilient to blackouts — and greener in the process. Reasons to be Cheerful.
  • There has been a nearly 40% decrease in motor vehicle–related deaths among young people between 2000 to 2020. New England Journal of Medicine.
  • The Texas university that charges low-income students precisely zero. Reasons to be Cheerful.
  • Endangered condors are soaring again over Northern California’s coastal redwoods for the first time in more than a century. NPR.
  • More employers offering child care benefits to lower-wage workers. The Hechinger Report.
  • California just shy of 100% powered by renewables for first time. Desert Sun.
  • To decarbonize the grid, we need extraordinary power storage. This new device gets us closer. Anthropocene.
  • A road surface not to be sniffed at: the highway made of used nappies. Positive News.
  • US hits a record 20% of electricity from wind and solar in April. electrek.
  • This high schooler invented a low-cost, mind-controlled prosthetic arm. Smithsonian Magazine.
  • Hawaii Legislature passes bill raising minimum wage to $18. AP News.
  • Over 60 million Americans have taxes so simple the IRS could do them automatically. Vox.
  • Record number of women appointed to Fortune 500 boards. Axios.
  • Smallpox used to kill millions of people every year. Here’s how humans beat it. Vox.

For more good news, check out The Progress Network, and Future Crunch.

Good News Friday

  • When the University of Michigan made a minor change to how it talks about financial aid, enrollment among kids from low-income families surged. Reasons to be Cheerful.
  • A new bipartisan act aims to make America get along. Reasons to be Cheerful.
  • New Mexico to offer a year of free childcare to most residents. The Washington Post.
  • Reading and math skills have improved for students since the 90s. The New York Times.
  • Researchers build a portable desalination unit that generates clear, clean drinking water without the need for filters or high-pressure pumps. MIT News.
  • Dartford warbler is welcomed back from near-extinction. The Guardian.
  • Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions fall to lowest on record. Al Jazeera.
  • Plastic-eating enzyme could eliminate billions of tons of landfill waste. UT News.
  • The global decline of polio. Our World in Data.
  • US pediatricians’ group moves to abandon race-based guidance. AP News.

For more good news, check out The Progress Network, and Future Crunch.

Good News Friday

  • Malaria vaccine reaches more than one million children in Africa. Africanews.
  • 10 recent climate policies that could make a difference. The Washington Post.
  • Army approves sweeping new parenthood policies. Military.com.
  • California advances bill to improve air quality in country’s top polluted region. The Hill.
  • Study shows ‘procedural justice’ police training led to better interactions with residents, fewer arrests, and a reduction in crime. CommonWealth.
  • Harvard will establish a $100 million fund to actively address the impacts of slavery that it benefitted from in its earliest years. NBC News.
  • The brain-reading devices helping paralyzed people to move, talk and touch. Nature.
  • For kids with Down syndrome, a new device offers hope for treating difficult sleep problems. STAT.
  • Unbelievably sensitive NACHOS satellite is ready to save lives by providing an early warning system for volcanoes. Freethink.
  • YouTube algorithms don’t turn unsuspecting masses into extremists, new study suggests. Reason.
  • Since the Kansas City nonprofit started planting gardens and orchards in 2013, its footprint has expanded to more than 330 orchards in 10 cities. The Kansas City Beacon.
  • A simple chemical twist turns plastic waste into a carbon-soaking sponge. Anthropocene.
  • Federal buildings agency cuts emissions 51% since 2008. Axios.
  • Fewest Americans collecting jobless aid since 1970. AP News
  • There are 1.4 million fewer Canadians living in poverty. Straight.
  • Bangladesh’s poverty declines to 11.9%. The Daily Star.
  • Humans destroyed forests for thousands of years – we can become the first generation that achieves a world in which forests expand. Our World in Data.
  • 10 practical ways to improve happiness. The Atlantic.

For more good news, check out The Progress Network, and Future Crunch.

Dead Stars & Stone Arches

“There is something out there, just beyond the reach of human understanding. It flits at the corner of our eyes and titillates the hairs on the back of our necks. You can feel it sometimes, just under your skin. Fortunately, most of us will never know the full extent of what lies sleeping in the cosmos. They are the lucky ones. However, those few who glimpse the maddening truth become forever changed.”

Dead Stars & Stone Arches is a collection of cosmic horror. You can help bring it to life over at Kickstarter. One of my stories, Fog of Sand, will be included. It’s inspired by ancient Babylonian mythology, but takes place in the future after the Great Salt Lake has dried up. The anthology features dozens of other authors and poets as well as a forward by Betty Rocksteady. Rewards for different backers include other books from Timber Ghost Press, other collections of Utah Horror, and a cool limited edition enamel pin. As I write this, it’s already over 30% of the way to its goal. Be sure to check it out!