Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Good News Tuesday for May 17, 2022: Reversing Deafness Due to Aging, Aerobic Digester in The Bronx, Sheep Rescued from Rooftop, Reading for Money, and the Commencement Speech by a Nonspeaking Valedictorian with Autism

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Hope for Reversing Deafness Due to Aging

Scientists have overcome a major hurdle in reversing deafness due to aging with the discovery of a master gene that can change ear cells into either outer or inner sensory hair cells. The following article from the Good News Network explains more and contains this lovely quote describing the coordinated movement of the inner and outer cells: “It’s like a ballet… The ear is a beautiful organ. There is no other organ in a mammal where the cells are so precisely positioned with micrometric precision.” Professor Jaime Garcia-Anoveros. Click HERE for details.

Aerobic Digester at NY Housing Development Converts Food Waste to Fertilizer

A new community housing development in the Bronx will include an on-site aerobic digester that can turn 1,100 pounds of food scraps into 220 pounds of high-quality fertilizer every day. You can learn more about it from the Good News Network.

Sheep Rescued from English Rooftop

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue built a bridge to rescue five sheep from an English rooftop. Here’s more from the Good News Network.

Company Wants to Pay People to Read Novels and Take Notes

Newsweek reports the company Words Related wants to pay people to read books and take notes on specific details. The current focus is on the representation of women in modern novels. Click here to learn more.

“Life is for Service,” the Commencement Speech by the Nonspeaking Valedictorian with Autism

College graduate Elizabeth Bonker, who has autism and does not speak, was one of four valedictorians at Rollins College, the alma mater of Fred Rogers. Her valedictorian peers voted for her to give the commencement speech. You can read more about Elizabeth Bonker from CNN. Here’s a video of her speech:

Got Good News?

Feel free to share your good news in the comments!


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SoCS: Fancy Hats, Plain Hats, Funny Hats… Improvise if You Have To

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “hat.” Use it literally or metaphorically. Have fun!

Nothing is jumping out at me, yet, except that I’ve never been much for fancy hats – the big ones ladies wear to church on Sundays some places but more so in the olden days. I don’t want to be snob about something I perceive as snobby sophisticated. I should be more accepting. If someone gets joy from wearing a fancy hat, that’s nice. I should leave it at that.

I should also wear a hat more often outside because I have fair skin. So far, so good. The cap I’m wearing in my profile pic is more my style, though it does sometimes leave my ears and jaw exposed. Sometimes I wear sunscreen, but most of them have chemicals that are harmful to the environment, so the free stuff from Medicare OTC store, well, it will last a while.

Speaking of the environment, our water here has PFAS contamination. Thankfully, I got a reverse osmosis system for the kitchen sink last year, but lots of people can’t afford that. Three private wells are contaminated in our area, and I hope the wells at the farm animal sanctuary are okay. They need to be tested, but the testing and research is being done by consultants connected to the company, Chemours, doing the polluting. I went to a hearing Monday about the well situation to speak for the sanctuary. Then I asked a question about how we can stop the release of contamination at the source. What I meant was, alternatives that don’t create PFAS chemicals. These are created in the manufacture of non-stick cookware, water repellant clothes (probably like my windbreaker) and I think sunscreen. The panel from the state didn’t get what I was getting at.

We do what we can with the things we can control. Eat healthy, exercise moderately, don’t stress too much, and wear hats outside. Fancy hats, plain hats, aluminum foil hats, cowboy hats, whatever. Here’s a very old picture of my husband David wearing something on his head that looks like a hat, but I think it’s a planter that sticks into the ground. Hats. Improvise if you have to.

Circa 1958

And let’s not forget my dad’s M*A*S*H hat.

~~~

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by our famous and fearless leader, Linda Hill. You can read more about it and find more streams by visiting Linda, HERE.


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Thursday Tree Love: Tolerating Human Intrusion

Tree in the median near the Basilica of Saint Mary

In the older parts of my city, including downtown and my neighborhood, electrical/utility lines still crisscross overhead. The branches of old trees are cut away from the lines in what often appear as grotesque deformities. Still, most of the trees seem to adapt. In newer neighborhoods, the utility lines are buried underground which looks better from a human perspective and reduces storm damage. Who knows what the trees and mycelium network prefer? They would probably prefer we let them grow naturally without intrusion. I am grateful for these trees putting up with us as they continue to provide shade, habitat, and oxygen.

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more tree love, visit Parul at: https://www.happinessandfood.com/thursdaytreelove-129/


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Good News Tuesday for May 10, 2022: Sea Lion Pups, Decarbonizing Scooters, AI Testing, and Prosthetic Arms (x2)

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Watching Sea Lion Pups in New Zealand

Volunteers in New Zealand are “babysitting” endangered sea lion pups. Meet one teen volunteer and read more about sea lion history in this article from CNN.

Decarbonizing Scooters

The Taiwanese company Gogoro has created a system to convert polluting scooters to electric with battery swapping stations. Here’s the story and podcast from Voltz.

Artificial Intelligence is Gradually Replacing Animal Testing

The company Smarter Sorting realized they could use a computational model to determine substance toxicity, “…which is not only faster, more cost effective, but also more humane,” says CEO Jacqueline. Claudia. Read about how AI can help reduce suffering from animal testing from FAST Company.

Teenager Invents a Mind Controlled Prosthetic Arm

High school student Benjamin Choi created a “non-invasive, mind-controlled robotic arm … able to withstand weights up to about four tons…. And it only costs around $300 to manufacture.” Read this fascinating story from Smithsonian Magazine.

And in related news….

8-Year-Old Beknur Gets a News Prosthetic Arm made from Legos

Got Good News?

Please share your good news or GNT link in the comments!


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SoCS: Things my Parents Said about Possibility, Goats, Food, Wishes and Spit

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “a phrase you grew up with.” Include in your post a phrase your mom/dad/grandparent/sibling used all the time when you were growing up, or just write whatever inspires you based on that phrase. Enjoy!

I have to start by honoring my father, Jim, who would have been…. 91 on May 2 if he was still in this world. You may have read that my father inspired the title of my blog by telling me when I was 12 years old:

“Nothing is Impossible.”

He was told that by his scoutmaster, probably in the 1940s and passed it on to me in the 1960s. He didn’t make this statement a lot, but the tone of his voice and the state of my impressionable mind made it stick. “Nothing is impossible” became “Anything is possible.”

My dad also said,

“Outstanding!”

I think that was a common military word. It felt good to hear that one. He also said things in what sounded like Korean or Vietnamese (he served as a Marine in both those wars), but I think they were curse words, so I’m not going to try to guess how they might be spelled.

Mom often said,

“Kids are baby goats,”

She said that whenever someone would call children kids. Dad picked that up, too. Sorry, Mom, but I sometimes say kids. Mom also said,

“We don’t throw away food.”

That came from growing up during “The Great Depression.” The other thing mom said a lot was,

“Wish in one hand and spit in the other and see which one gets filled up first.

There are other versions of that saying which Mom would not want me to share. Still, I think there is some value in wishing as long as we do the footwork to make our wishes come true. Not that we can MAKE them come true every time, but we can manifest our dreams. We can move in the direction of our hopes and dreams, one step as time. Sometimes we manifest something even better!

As I look at that word, manifest, it conjures up all kinds of trash in the stream of consciousness. It’s not a pleasant-sounding word, but it has a powerful meaning. What would be another word that means nurturing dreams into reality? Well, I don’t know. But I know this:

Dreams do come true!

Reading these sayings from my parents, it sounds like my dad was more of a dreamer and my mom was stern. That was not the case at all, at least not on the surface. Dad was practical and hardworking. Mom was more romantic, though dad had his romantic side, too. Just for the record.

I could write a whole other post about goats. Summing it up: Don’t take baby goats away from their mamas.

Esther and Delilah came to the sanctuary pregnant. It was the first time they were allowed to keep their babies. I don’t have a good picture of Delilah, but Jack and Henry are her sons. Esther’s daughter was named Miracle, aka Mira, because she was a complete surprise, and her mama is so old.

Happy Mother’s Day to goat mamas, dog mamas, cat mamas, llama mamas and

all the mamas everywhere.

~~~

For more sayings, streams, and rules, visit our most excellent host, Linda G. Hill HERE.


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One-Liner Wednesday for May 4: Focus

Lately when I’m driving, I’ve been telling myself out loud to FOCUS. That turns out to be the theme for today’s post. It’s May 4th so I looked up some Star Wars quotes, and narrowed it down to two:

“Many of the truths that we cling to depend on our point of view.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi

and

“Your focus determines your reality.” – Qui-Gon Jinn

Then I remembered the focus quote on my refrigerator.

That’s my bucket list on the right.
Need to add Northern Lights.

May the Force Be with You!

For more one-liners and rule-ish things, visit our host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


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Good News Tuesday for May 3, 2022: Free Gym Memberships for Teens, Turning Sewage into Green Energy, a Congolese Nun with Special Skills, and the Mysterious Journey of a One-Eyed Cat

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Planet Fitness Offers Free Summer Memberships to High School Students

Teenagers 14-19 can work out for free at Planet Fitness this summer. If they register early, they’ll have a chance to win a scholarship. Younger teens can sign up with a parent. According to their website map, Planet Fitness has gyms all over world. You can read more about it here.

Oregon Town Turns Sewage into Green Energy

Treating wastewater consumes a lot of energy, but a town in Oregon is turning wastewater to green energy. The process “creates heat for five of the buildings on site and an estimated 4,324 megawatts of electricity, providing about half of the facility’s energy usage.” I learned a lot from this article from Reasons to be Cheerful.

Congolese Nun Creates and Maintains Hydro-electric Plant

A Congolese nun became an electrician and raised money so her town would have more consistent electricity.  Through her work, Sister Alphonsine Ciza helps provide reliable electricity for convent, a church, two schools, and a medical clinic. Here’s more from the Good News Network.

One-Eyed Cat Shows Up on an Offshore Oil Rig after Missing for Five Years

Here’s a mystery with a happy ending. A friendly black cat named Dexter went missing five years ago. Turns out he’d been living at a prison in Scotland where he was fed and loved by staff and inmates. Dexter had a habit of hanging out in shipping containers and was accidentally shipped to an offshore oil rig in the North Sea. The folks at the oil rig put his picture on Facebook which got him shipped back home to his original owner who plans to take him to visit the prison.

Got Good News?

Share your good news or GNT link in the comments!


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SoCS: The Power of Zero, Cat Stevens, and a “Submerged Object”

 The prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “zip, zero, zilch.” Use one, use ’em all, bonus points if you use all three. Have fun!

Zero is the number of romantic partners I had in the second half of the decade after my divorce. Five years doesn’t seem like such a long time now to be celibate or anything else. In the big picture, five years is not a long time when you have an abundance, a few quality friendships, dogs, and work to do on yourself. I had a romantic relationship with myself and with nature, and spiritual growth that required zero romantic distraction from other people. Of course, I didn’t know that at the time it was happening. There is power in zero, in solitude, in simplicity. Not to say my life was simple by any means.

One is not always the loneliest number, and zero doesn’t necessarily mean zilch. If you add zeros to a number, it increases the value.

Dave at Daily Ramblings shared a short Ted Talk on the origins of the number zero which started as a dot. It got me thinking of the old Cat Stevens/Yusuf album, Numbers, A Pythagorean Fairy Tale, which came out in 1975. The songs sort of told the story of the numbers one through nine and how everything changed when this new dude showed up named, Jzero. I listened to this album a lot in the second half of the decade that was the 70s. It was a confused time of my life when I kept getting distracted from college and from myself. My romantic partners during that time were distractions. I often felt lost or lost my sense of myself.

One of my favorite songs from the Numbers album was, “Drywood.” Part of it went something like,

“Like drywood takes to fire, the truth will come to you.

Like streams that seek the ocean, you will find ways through,

Like morning meets the moon, my love will guide the way.

It’s time to wipe your eyes now, and awake…..”

The song provided encouragement I needed and still holds a special place of gratitude in my heart.

Another of my favorite songs from the album was, “Home.” It’s a sweet song. Here’s an older Cat Stevens, aka, Yusuf, singing it. At the end he whispers, “Peace be with you.”

Well, time to zip up this post. Right after I add a few photos from the beach… Oh, there’s a video at the bottom.

~~~

For more streams of consciousness, rules, and such, visit our dedicated host, Linda Hill, by clicking HERE.


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Thursday Tree Love: On the Curve

(If you zoom in, you can see the resurrection fern growing on the branches.)

This live oak tree has been living on the inner edge of the curve for a long time. I’m thankful it’s still there being so close to the street. Diving around this curve was a bit of a challenge when I moved into the nearby neighborhood thirty-something years ago. Now it’s a comforting landmark telling me I’m almost home. Most things get better with practice.

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month.

For more tree love, visit Parul by clicking HERE.


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Good News Tuesday for April 26, 2022: Defending Lions, A Miniature Heart, Teacher of the Year, and a Very Supportive Dad

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

The Lion Defenders of Tanzania

Lions are classified as vulnerable in Tanzania. But people and livestock are at risk from lions. A project called Lion Landscapes has developed innovative ways to protect lions and help villagers, including a team of Lion Defenders of the Barabaig tribe who track lions to let herders know where the safest grazing areas are. Here’s more from CNN’s Good Stuff.

Miniature Heart Designed to Help in Treatment Research

 A miniature heart replica, built by a Boston University team, will help with heart disease research and treatment. The “mini-pump” is roughly the size of a postage stamp and made from nanoengineered parts and human heart tissue. Here’s more from Boston University (via my 1440 Daily Digest).

Teacher of the Year

There are many excellent teachers all over the world. This one, Kurt Russell of Ohio, was named 2022 “Teacher of the Year” in the US. He talks about engaging students for a diverse education in this video from CBS.

Supportive Dad: She’s Gonna be a Nurse!

Want to see some happy tears? Just watch Shannon Rose and her dad, Mark, as they find out about Shannon’s nursing board exam:

Got Good News?

Share your good news or GNT link in the comments!