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Good News Tuesday: Safety for Children and Animals, Ending Chronic Homelessness, London Air Quality, and Hidden Figures Recognized

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time


Sensor Detects Children and Animals Left in Vehicles

A small, inexpensive device, developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo, can detect unattended children or animals in a car. The device is 100% accurate and uses a combination of radar and artificial intelligence. It’s designed to be attached to the rear view mirror or mounted on the ceiling. I know we shouldn’t have to depend on sensor. We all need to be mindful of safety for those who depend on us to take care of them. But this sensor can help the ones who are vulnerable.

Here are the details:

Ending Chronic Homelessness

Three US cities have ended chronic homelessness and nine have ended chronic homelessness for veterans.

“By ending homelessness, we mean getting to a place where it’s rare, brief, and it gets solved correctly and quickly when it does happen.”

Rosanne Haggerty,  Community Solutions,


The following article explains a program, Built for Zero, a program that uses systemic data to track homeless community members in real time to identify and coordinate services.  The success appears to be related to focus, monitoring, and commitment.

You can click here for the details.

Central London Air Quality Has Improved with New Rules

the Ultra Low Emissions Zone was established in central London, toxic emissions have fallen by 36%.  The city created a toxicity charge for older vehicles that don’t meet standards in the zone.  A big motivator for creating the ULEZ was an increase in children suffering chronic illness and lung damage as a result of air pollution.

“I am determined to stop Londoners breathing air so filthy it is damaging our children’s lungs and causing thousands of premature deaths,” Khan says. “The ULEZ shows what we can achieve if we are brave enough to implement such ambitious policies.”     ___London Mayor Sadiq Khan

For more information, visit this article from NPR.


Women Who Inspired “Hidden Figures” to Get Congressional Gold Medals

In October, the US Congress passed the The Hidden Figures Congressional Gold Medal Act to award Gold Medals to Katherine Johnson and Dr. Christine Darden and posthumously  to Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson.  The women are being nationally recognized for their significant contributions to NASA during the “Space Race” of the 1960s. The US Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian recognition in the United States.

You can  read more about these courageous pioneers in   this CNN article, 

and in this article from Black Voice News

Below are two great scenes from the movie, Hidden Figures, based on the book, Hidden Figures, The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, by Margot Lee Shetterly.  The women who were once hidden figures had to overcome both entrenched sexism and racial prejudice.

Got good news?

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Who Wants To Go To Mars?


A few days ago, I listened to a story on NPR about people seriously working on going to Mars.

The thought of going to Mars appeals to my sci fi side, that Star Trek generated notion of exploring and going boldly. But this NPR story feels closer to home and more like science fact.

One apparent fact is that the founder of Space X,  Elon Musk, “… developed spacecraft for one-tenth the cost and one-third the time that NASA and the aerospace major companies have done.”

One-tenth the cost and one-third the time! How’d he do that?

I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if it had something to do with NASA and those other companies being slowed down by bureaucracy. But I better not get started on that tangent. I might rant.

From a romantic, Trekker, point of view, I find the idea of going to Mars, fascinating.

But mars, as described here, is a cold, dusty planet, exposed to the hazards of radiation due to lack of a protective atmosphere. Yet “NASA is now planning for a manned mission to Mars, which is slated for the 2030s.”

All things considered, I must honor the  fact that I am deeply in love the planet Earth. I wonder if  we should be focusing our time and energy on making our home planet more livable and sustainable instead of gallivanting around the solar system.

Besides, I get motion sickness if I read more than one sentence while riding in the car. So I think I’ll pass for now. But who knows, maybe someday, I’ll change my mind.

Do you think we should go to Mars?

Or should we stay home and clean up our own planet?

Earth, The Blue Marble

“The Blue Marble”. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –