“Hotel Rwanda” Hero Paul Rusesabagina Freed from Prison
Rwanda’s government has freed Paul Rusesabagina, who inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda” for saving hundreds from genocide. AP reports, “Rusesabagina was credited with sheltering more than 1,000 ethnic Tutsis … during Rwanda’s 1994 genocide in which over 800,000 … were killed. He received the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom for his efforts.” His family alleged he was kidnapped and taken to Rwanda against his will, convicted of terrorism, and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Here’s more of the story from AP, and additional coverage in the following video:
World Happiness Report: Benevolence is Still Up
Benevolence is about 25% higher than it was pre-pandemic according to the latest World Happiness Report. “Even during these difficult years, positive emotions have remained twice as prevalent as negative ones, and feelings of positive social support twice as strong as those of loneliness,” said John Helliwell, one of the authors of the report in an interview with CNN. The report also identifies the world’s happiest countries. CNN has more HERE.
Ringling Bros. Circus Coming Back Without Animals
After years of declining ticket sales and public concerns about the treatment of circus animals, the famous Ringling Brothers circus took down their tents. Now, they’re coming back, redesigned without the animals. Read all about it in this article from ABC News.
100-Year-Old Grace Linn Made a Quilt and Speaks Out For Reading Freedom
You’re never too old to be an activist. One-hundred-year-old, Grace Linn is a great example. She’s been speaking out against book banning and in favor of reading freedom. She’s made a quilt of banned and targeted books. She explains more on MSNBC:
“Every human being is just as important as any other.”
Got Good News?
Feel free to share your good news in the comments!
Sharing this poem by James the Wandering Poet who encourages us to find the person that brings peace. Having someone in our lives with whom we can be ourselves is and be at peace so important, even if that someone is a dog, a cat, or God.
The day is coming, The moment when you realise, Those that make you nervous, That set you on edge, They aren’t what your soul craves, Find the person that brings peace, Sets the deep endless lake within you, To complete stillness, Perfect tranquillity, Where you can be yourself, With total confidence, This is your soul food.
Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “the last thing you emptied.” Think of the last thing you emptied or something you empty often and use it as your prompt any way you like. Have fun!
We arrived at the mountain house late Thursday afternoon. I thought David had gotten everything out of the back of the car, then discovered he had not gotten the yoga mats and something else. I forget what. Hopefully, I will actually use a yoga mat while I’m here. Probably Monday, or tomorrow, when the kids will be going to see their paternal grandfather who’s in town for the visit since some family have come from Indiana.
In preparation for the trip, I washed clothes and actually got to the bottom of my laundry hamper. That had not happened in a while, so I got to empty little pieces of debris that had collected in the bottom. They looked like tiny pieces of leaves which are abundant in the home of this tree lover. But I really don’t want to know. Now, it’s clean at the bottom.
What’s something more interesting I could write about? Surely there are interesting things that have happened or been talked about. The air here in the NC mountains is fresher than on the coast. The trees are different and have more of an earthy-airy smell, while on the coast, there are different kinds of pine needles, sand, and more pollen since Spring comes earlier. My sinuses are not empty but seem less stuffy. I was reading about the worst cities for allergies. They only looked at big cities, and I don’t think mine was quite big enough, so didn’t make the top 20 list, though Raleigh, the state capital, did. Florida had more cities than any other state.
On Friday, I did a two short hikes with grandkids with a nap in between and more to come. Here are a few photos so far:
On our first night we saw a smiling crescent moon with maybe ? Venus above. My phone camera does not even come close to doing the scene justice, so just imagine it being a smiling crescent moon.
Do you see a face in the mossy tree trunk below?
Do you see a little green man stepping out of the cave?
(Yesterday, we were travelling to visit family, and I didn’t get back to finish this post until today. So, here’s some Friday Tree Love)
You might have seen pictures of this live oak that lives across from the park in my neighborhood, but I don’t think I’ve shared it with the azaleas that just made it through an unusual March frost. A group of volunteers in the neighborhood planted the azaleas about 20 years ago.
Click on the images below to see the whole picture.
In spite of the challenges Ukraine has faced defending itself from Russian, a Ukrainian energy company has finished the construction of the first 114 megawatts (MW) of a 500 MW wind farm. For details on this story, click HERE.
EPA Proposes Restricting “Forever Chemicals” in Drinking Water
The US Environmental Protection Agency announced a proposal to limit hazardous chemical, polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), aka “forever chemicals” in drinking water. These chemicals are used in non-stick surfaces and being resistant to oil and water are hard to break down. This is something my region of coastal North Carolina has been fighting for years. Here’s more from AXIOS.
People Live Longer in Countries with Gender Equality
A study of 156 countries showed a correlation between gender equality and longevity for both women and men. The biggest connection showed up in the area of education. While this may not be a surprise, it’s good to have the published research. NPR has details HERE.
Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “tape.” Use it as a noun or a verb. Use it any way you like. Enjoy!
It’s Friday evening at 8:16. Earlier this afternoon, after reading the prompt, I became curious about the history of tape. Seems like it’s a relatively recent invention in the big tapestry of time. Tapestry, by Carol King is one of my favorite albums, by the way. But we will come back to music, if the stream goes that way.
“Scotch” tape was a brand name and a household marvel in the 50s and 60s. It was developed to help make a dividing line between paint colors on cars staring around the 1920s. Before Scotch Tape, there was glue and paste, wrapping things in paper, and string. There was a video I watched not long ago about wrapping presents in cloth – like small blankets or bandanas. Very cool way to save resources and reduce waste.
After Scotch tape became a common household tool, there were tape recorders. Or maybe tape recorders were about the same time or earlier. When my dad was overseas in Vietnam, he sent a recording of himself talking to Mom for her to play on the tape recorder which had two small reels. Later there were 8 track tapes that took the place of vinyl record albums, but not completely. I still have a box of vinyls that held up way better than 8 track tapes. But you could play 8 tracks in your CAR! and that was amazing at the time. When David and I dated in the 70s, he had a case of 8 tracks that he brought with him when we hung out with friends. I’m sure Jethro Tull was one of the tapes. Then there were cassette tapes. Sometimes the tape player would eat the tape. If a whole loop came out without breaking, you could sometimes wind it back in with a pencil and it might still play. Then there were VHS tapes for the TV, another amazing invention at the time – to be able to record a TV show or watch a movie whenever you want was quite a revolution for someone who liked TV.
Oh, remember taping posters on your wall as a teenager? Now, it’s considered tacky, but back then, it was fun.
Tape. So many ways to go with this. Duct tape is pretty versatile. I had a coworker years ago who said he (or someone else) needed duct tape on their mouth to keep from saying something inappropriate in a staff meeting.
I have a picture of duct tape on windows somewhere.
Speaking of windows, I have to be careful next time I fly with David in a small plane to not look out the side windows much. Motion sickness has always been a problem for me. Dramamine has usually helped a lot in big commercial planes and on boats, so I figured two Dramamine would work for my first private plane trip with my husband David as pilot. I didn’t quite throw up but came very close.
The first half of the 30-minute flight was interesting as I made myself think of something other than my fear of heights and that I might die. It was fascinating to look down at the Atlantic Ocean and intracoastal waterway. I took a bunch of pictures which probably didn’t help. After turning around to go back to the airport, I started feeling worse and worse nausea to the point of feeling miserable for the second half of the flight.
Before our next flight, I’m going to research additional motion sickness remedies, including pressure points on top of medication, and I’ll try to minimize looking down over the side…. next time.
David did an excellent job as pilot. I’m proud of him for working hard to accomplish his flying goals. There are not many people I would trust to fly me in such a small plane. I hope next time, I’ll be able to enjoy the flight more.
For more on Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit
(Sorry for being late today. I was focused on doing my yoga at home to stay home and do homey things. The good news is, I did my yoga then practiced with my 8 lb weights. I was folding towels when I thought, Wait. What day is it? it’s Tuesday. OMG, Good News Tuesday!)
Solar Company Shifting Away from Plastic
The Swiss solar module company Meyer Berger stated they will transition all of its manufacturing away from plastic to using 100% glass instead. Here are details from PV (Photovoltaics) Magazine.
A New Law in Spain Seeks Equal Gender Representation
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Saturday announced The Equal Representation Law that will require more equal representation of women and men in politics, business and public life including boards of big companies and professional associations. Reuters has more HERE. (From my GoodNewsLetter.)
Clinical Trials in UK to Research New Drug for Endometriosis
Researchers in the UK have been awarded roughly $300,000 to investigate a new medication to treat endometriosis, a debilitating condition causing inflammation, pain, and scar tissue in women. Preliminary studies have shown a reduction in endometriosis lesions. Click here to read more.
A Rescue Team Freed a Right Whale from Lobster Pots and Rope
A team from Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute and others freed a North Atlantic Right Whale, nicknamed Argo, from lobster pots and commercial fishing rope tangled around his tail. Some of the rope was imbedded in his tail and the weight was slowing him down so much he was only able to use his front flippers to swim. At first, Argo tried to avoid the rescuers but later stayed close to the surface, perhaps knowing they were trying to help. We don’t know if Argo will make it, but at least now, he has a chance and time to swim free. Here’s the story and a video.
Michelle Yeoh Wins the Best Actress Award for Best Picture
I haven’t yet seen, Everything, Everywhere, All at Once, the movie voted best picture by the Academy, but I did enjoy Michelle Yeoh’s acceptance speech after winning the best actress award. I believe she is the first Asian American to win the award which she called “a beacon of hope and possibility.” She also said, “Ladies, don’t let anyone ever tell you, you are past your prime.”
Got good news?
Feel free to share your good news in the comments!
Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “mat/met/mitt/mot/mutt.” Choose one or use them all, any way you’d like in your post. Have fun!
I’m not planning a bit, even a minimal as the rules allow if I recall. Not to say I plan a lot or at all on other weeks, but sometimes I mull over the prompt before I start writing the stream. Today, I’m just writing.
No idea what to do with mot. Mottled? Is mot a word? should I look it up? Na. Not right now. I’ll go to the mat. I got a really thick yoga mat for my feet and knees, but it’s harder to balance on, so I went back to the regular yoga mat that lives in my car waiting to go to yoga class. The thick mat might come in handy if I ever go camping again or want to lie out on the deck.
We’ve used an old yoga mat for Marley to practice staying in “PLACE.” We should practice that more and not just use it when we practice being calm and lying down when Mama Cat is on the other side of the gate. The command comes in handy, and Marley’s pretty good at it in situations where there is control and Mama Cat stays behind the gate. We would not try it otherwise. Maybe one day….
David has been getting Marley to lie down when they see a cat on walks – just until he is calmer, though Marley is on high alert when there’s a cat around outside. He’s become less reactive to squirrels, but when the squirrels get close to taunt my mutt, he gets excited.
Mutts are great dogs. I’ve read that they are often healthier with a diverse mix of genes. I don’t know if I like the word mutt as it’s got a sort of negative connotation. Mixed breed might be better. Heinze 57 is okay, I guess, but could there really be a dog with 57 different breeds all mixed together like a melting pot? Who knows? I know there are plenty of mutts and mixed breeds who need homes.
There’s a quote by Jimmy Carter about how we’re not a melting pot, but something better. I’ll go fetch it.
A woman at my church, Alice, is a kitchen designer. For fun she makes mosaics from tiles, broken glass, found objects, and melted marbles. She’s donated several to our church. Here are some of her creations:
Mother Nature also makes mosaics:
Maybe one day I’ll make a mosaic out of my big bottle cap collection.
“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.”
– Kahlil Gibran
Marley and I took a longer than usual walk near sunset a few days ago. We saw these trees waiting for spring with the moon overhead. I don’t know what kinds of trees these are, but I thought they looked pretty in the golden light and a little Spanish moss. Soon we won’t see so many branches.
Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday.
[Note from Annie: I came across this roundup of good news via Robert Hubbell’s Today’s Edition newsletter yesterday. I’m pleased to pass it on. If you make it through the last item–the Bad Lip Reading–the final few minutes may seem familiar; I included them in my January 10, 2023 post.]