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!

Good News Friday

  • Abandoned oil and gas wells could be used to generate geothermal energy which would help people who work in oil and gas extraction to transition into clean-energy jobs. Vox.
  • Wildflower believed to be extinct for 40 years spotted in Ecuador. The Guardian.
  • Multiple sclerosis breakthrough as scientists reverse condition with transplant of immune cells that fight glandular fever. Daily Mail.
  • French tech company is building an exoskeleton that helps wheelchair users walk. Euronews.
  • These upcoming cancer vaccines may prevent tumors before they appear. Freethink.
  • Silencing one gene with CRISPR boosts crop yields by 10%. Freethink.
  • Hospital robots are helping combat a wave of nurse burnout. Wired.
  • 3D printing saved this Brazilian town’s coral reef. Grist.
  • A community in Austin, Texas is using geothermal energy to cut home energy bills to just $1 per month. Big Think.
  • Biden student loan pause could give 7 million borrowers a higher credit score. The Wall Street Journal.

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

Good News Friday

  • Sweden sends just 1% of its trash to landfills. Reasons to be Cheerful.
  • How a homeless shelter in a school paid off in the classroom. Reasons to be Cheerful.
  • This startup designed an electric cargo ship to cross the ocean. Fast Company.
  • Argentina’s new genetically engineered, drought-tolerant wheat could have large environmental benefits. The Breakthrough Institute.
  • Largest double-sided solar farm in Europe opens in Greece, supplying power to 75,000 households. Euronews.
  • Researchers have rejuvenated a 53-year-old woman’s skin cells so they are the equivalent of a 23-year-old’s. BBC.
  • World’s largest bee, thought to be extinct, found in Indonesia. Freethink.
  • Advocates back new federal legislation to end homelessness across the country. The Progressive.
  • New blood test predicts risk of heart attack and stroke with twice previous accuracy. The Guardian.
  • New UV light safely kills 98% of airborne pathogens indoors. Freethink.
  • Disney creating over a thousand affordable housing units in Central Florida. The Hill.
  • Community land trusts are making housing affordable because it’s owned by the community. Goodgoodgood.
  • Medical drones in Rwanda deliver blood faster than by road, and there’s been a 67% decrease in blood product expiration. The Lancet.
  • Instead of a wall, the cities of Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico are building a binational park on the border for citizens of both countries to share. Dezeen.
  • Massachusetts, which now has its lowest incarceration rate in 35 years, is closing its oldest prison. WBUR.
  • Indonesia passes landmark bill to tackle sexual violence. Al Jazeera.
  • India’s maternal mortality rates are in decline. The Telegraph.
  • India has almost wiped out extreme poverty. Hindustan Times.
  • Wind power has become the main source of electricity generation in Spain. Tech Xplore.
  • By 1952, Svalbard’s walruses were nearly gone, due to more than 300 years of ivory hunting. The latest study, in 2018, put that number at 5,503. Smithsonian.
  • Fishing net deaths of endangered sea lions drastically reduced in South Australia. ABC.

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

Good News Friday

  • In 2021, clean electricity sources generated more of the world’s electricity than coal. Ember.
  • New Jersey’s last coal plants to close, saving customers as much as $30 million. Bloomberg.
  • Despite the $4.3 million that Amazon spent on anti-union consultants in 2021, workers at a Staten Island Amazon warehouse successfully voted in a union. CNBC.
  • Guinea worm has nearly been eradicated. Cases have dropped from 3.5 million in 1986 to just 15 cases in 2021. The National.
  • The most accessible tuition-free college plan just became law in New Mexico. Jezebel.
  • House passes bill to limit cost of insulin to $35 a month. The New York Times.
  • The World Happiness Report says we became kinder and more generous last year. Giving, volunteering, and helping strangers were all up 25%. The Nonlinear Life.

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

The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones

“White Americans desire to be free of a past they do not want to remember, while Black Americans remain bound to a past they can never forget.”

The 1619 Project is a collection of essays, flash fiction, and poetry from a variety of writers concerning the experience of Black Americans. Black history is not well taught in US schools. Unbelievably, in 2017, only 8 percent of high school seniors named slavery as the central cause of the Civil War!

Continue reading

Good News Friday

  • New unemployment claims drop to lowest level since 1969. Axios.
  • The portentous comeback of humpback whales. Nautilus.
  • Biden administration takes on racial disparities in home valuations. Bloomberg.
  • Skilled-trades programs are booming. NPR.
  • First ever gene therapy gel corrects rare genetic skin condition. New Scientist.
  • Drugs seem to help regenerate mouse lungs damaged by cigarette smoke. New Scientist.

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

Good News Friday

  • Between 2000 and 2020, 52 out of the WHO’s 59 priority countries achieved elimination of maternal and neonatal tetanus, global cases decreased by 88%, and deaths decreased by 92%. WHO. (PDF link)
  • In the past decade, the Clean Cooking Alliance has helped over 400 million people access clean cooking fuels and technology, saving an estimated 4.6 million lives from premature deaths linked to household air pollution. Clean Cooking Alliance.
  • Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has donated more than $3.8 billion to 465 non-profit organizations, including Planned Parenthood and Habitat for Humanity since last June. Reuters.
  • After a decrease at the beginning of the pandemic, black business ownership is now higher than pre-pandemic. Women are driving that growth. NPR.
  • The Nigerian state of Zamfara is close to eliminating lead poisoning cases among children linked to hazardous gold mining in the region. The Guardian.

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

The Outsiders edited by Joe Mynhardt

The Outsiders is a shared-world anthology which takes place in a small gated community in the UK called Priory, home to a cult that worships a colossal squid. Five different authors each contribute stories which fit together nicely. Each of our viewpoint characters are outsiders in some way either for being largely friendless, being black in a largely white neighborhood, being an unbeliever, or being gay in a religious community that frowns upon that. I felt like each story in the collection was better than the one before.

Continue reading

Good News Friday

  • Endangered bat not seen in 40 years found in Rwanda. The Guardian.
  • NIH launches clinical trial of three mRNA HIV vaccines. NIH.
  • In Sweden, drones are beating ambulances to the scene — and saving lives. Reasons to be Cheerful.
  • In a remote corner of California, a state program successfully shelters homeless people. LA Times.
  • Covid restrictions prevented dengue in hundreds of thousands of people in 2020. The New York Times.
  • New Mexico’s governor just signed a bill to make college tuition-free. CNN.
  • New York closes 6 state prisons as inmate numbers drop. NBC New York.
  • EPA OKs plan to release 2.4 million more genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida and California as part of an expanded effort to combat transmission of diseases like Zika, dengue fever and canine heartworm. NBC News.
  • “Drug factory” beads implanted in mice take out tumors within a week. New Atlas.
  • State-of-the-art “living” concrete alternative soaks up carbon and heals itself. Anthropocene.

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