Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


13 Comments

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!


18 Comments

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!


15 Comments

SoCS: Whatever Happens… Sing to the Dog

Today’s Stream of Consciousness post from Linda Hill is:

“….. Use the word “whatever” any way you’d like. Bonus points if you start your post with it. Have fun!” Learn more about #SoCS HERE.

“Whatever,” was a popular response from teenagers in the 80s or 90s. It could be frustrating for parents or teachers who interpreted the word as, “I don’t care.” But now I see it as a useful word when I need to let go of something I can’t control, something I’ve been mulling over or analyzing nearly to death.

On one hand, it could be considered apathetic – a word similar to sin in my book once upon a time. But we can’t care about EVERYTHING. This comes from someone who has cared too much over the years. Oh, I still care, but I need to choose how much energy I’m going to put into caring, cause the energy isn’t what it used to be. Prioritize! That’s my word for this year. I don’t really use the word, “whatever” in that way, but it does have its place.

Some things are priorities, though.

Whatever happens, I’ll always love you, said the mother to the son.

Whatever happens, take care of the children. And the pets.

Whatever happens, life must go on.

Whatever happens, don’t let the gremlins get wet. (Just so we don’t get too serious.)

There’s an old song that goes,

“Wherever we go, whatever we do, we’re gonna get through it together…. “

I looked it up before I started writing. That’s not really planning. I was just curious. Turns out, it’s from the musical, Gypsy originally starring Ethel Merman, I think. I looked it up on YouTube. Her voice is like nails on a chalkboard. Sorry. That was my take on it. Then I thought, what if I could find someone singing that song to a dog? or a cat? Well, I couldn’t find that. But what I did find was people singing with their dogs. Let me see if I can go back and find one now as I drop anchor in the stream just for a moment to take a look in the down below the surface…..

Well, that always takes longer than I thought with diversions and what not. I couldn’t listen to any dogs howling because Mama Cat is next to me as I type this Friday night and she didn’t like hearing dogs howl. Marley, is in the back room with David, and it’s Mama Cat’s time with me.

Anyway, here’s one that came up with no howling. It’s short and sweet:

The girl with a sweet voice is singing, “You Are My Sunshine” to the dog who they are fostering while the dog’s guardian is deployed for a year in the Navy.

Dogs and kids. Gotta love ’em. If not, then…… whatever.

At least be kind.

I found this on Facebook a few days ago. The dogs looks like Marley, but Marley is bigger and has a big head.

Be sure to visit Linda’s SoCS post at the link above for more streams or whatever.


9 Comments

Good News Tuesday: Safety at the Mosque, Kindness Homework, Overcoming Cancer, and Person of the Year

Sunflower w address

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Today’s Good News Tuesday stories all happen to be about young people – children and teenagers – who are the future of humanity.

Students Find Safety at the Mosque

17 year old Duaa Ahmad led about 100 students fleeing from a school shooting in Wisconsin to safety across the street at the mosque where her family worships.  Click here for the video and  the story from CNN.

Acts of Kindness Replace Homework

An elementary school in Ireland has eliminated homework for the month of December and instead assigned acts of kindness.

“We are encouraging our pupils to think of the real spirit of Christmas, the spirit of kindness and giving. With such an emphasis on the materialistic and commercial aspect of Christmas, we often tend to overlook what it’s really all about…. Good will!

Vice Principal Íde Ní Mhuirí

Here’s the story.

14 Year Old Chloe Beats Stage 4 Cancer in Time to Go Home for Christmas

“On Tuesday, the doctors told the family the good news: The cancer was in remission. Though they’ll have to return for follow-up appointments every three months, the family can finally head home on December 21.”

Read the story here.

Person of the Year

Finally, we have Time Magazine naming 16 year old Greta Thunberg their youngest person of the year. It’s good news that Time is taking Greta’s message seriously and honoring her courage. In this recent video she talks about balance.

Got Good News?

Please share in the comments!


4 Comments

Good News Tuesday: Teen Victories in Progress

Jayme Closs is Alive and Safe!

After being held captive for 88 days Jayme Closs, escaped. Jeanne Nutter was out walking her dog when she found Jayme crying, asking for help. They rushed to a neighbor’s house and called 911. The police soon arrested the man who held her captive and who is charged with murdering Jayme’s parents. Now, Jayme is surrounded by love from her extended family.

 

 

 

Teens Meet Veteran after Returning His Lost Wallet

The Vincent twins, 14 year old girls from Detroit, found a wallet on their way to school. They saw that it belonged to a veteran and thought of their grandfather. They returned the wallet and later got to meet the grateful veteran. For the story and video, click here  

 

Wolf Therapy

“Wolves are the first animal humans partnered with.”

Teo Alfero, founder of Wolf Connection

This recent NPR story tells how wolves help troubled teens in California. The wolves and wolf-dogs have been rescued from abusive or neglectful situations. The teens can relate.

In researching the Wolf Connection Program, I found this video. It’s from an older news story, but fit’s well with the NPR story above.

 

 

  …

Tidbits

Here are three more pieces of good news I found this week at Good Morning America.

  • In Arizona, elementary schools must give students recess two times per day
  • In New York all new public rest rooms must have changing tables. All means all.
  • In California only rescued animals can be sold in pet stores.

Click here for the source.

Sunflower w address

 

Got good news?

Please share!


10 Comments

Good News Tuesday: A Rescue, Dog Sense, Good Teens, and Palm Oil Progress

Sunflower w address

 

Sanitation Worker Helps Elderly Woman to Safety

Dane Cummings was told to get out as the fire approached, but he decided to check on the elderly citizens he knew lived along his route.

 

    Good dog (3)

Dogs Help Identify Malaria from Frozen Socks

In a proof of concept study, dogs were able to detect which socks had been worn by children with malaria about 70% of the time. “Moreover the researchers pointed out that the success rate potentially could have been higher if the dogs were actually with the children or were working with socks that had been worn recently, instead of samples that had been frozen for several months while the dogs were being trained.”

We are only beginning to understand the power of a dog’s sense of smell. Dogs have been known to detect other diseases. Like some other animals, dog intelligence is different from ours but in some ways greater.  I hope we will be intelligent enough to treat our animal companions and colleagues with the respect they deserve.

Here’s the story from Good News Network.

Good Teenagers

The student council of this South Carolina high school asked Andrew to sit with them during lunch. This is what good leaders do. They reach out to people who may be different, alone, or needing help. It’s okay to be alone sometimes, but it’s also good to be invited and feel welcome.

Major Company Cuts Ties with Palm Oil Suppliers

The Good News Network reports that Mondelēz International, parent company of Nabisco and other snack foods, has cut ties with 12 palm oil suppliers that contribute heavily to deforestation and habitat destruction. They are putting in place measures to become 100 % sustainable and transparent regarding palm oil.  You can read more about this move here.

palm tree

What’s Your Good News?


10 Comments

Parenthood and the Stream of Consciousness

socs-badge-2015

Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs around. It might just be the toughest, because it’s never really done. A few quotes come to mind, though I’m not going to look up who said them. I’m just going to give them to you:

“The days are long, but the years are short.” Someone told me this after my second baby was born. It’s true. She’s going to be 23 years old in less than two weeks. It seems like only yesterday……

“Having a child is like having a piece of your heart forever walking around outside your body.” I might not have quoted that exactly.  This one hit home for me when my kids each started school, and when they became teenagers, and when they moved out of the house. Even though things are more peaceful now, I still worry about them.

“Raising a teenager is like trying to nail Jello to a tree.” I have no idea where this comes from, but it was helpful to read. It made me  feel a little less alone. I got to thinking: is it possible to nail Jello to a tree? Because anything is possible. So, I imagine creating a platform to put the Jello on and nailing the Jello to the tree after putting it on the platform which would be attached to the tree somehow. But I would not really want to nail anything to a tree, because ouch! I love trees. Of course it’s a hypothetical analogy. I suppose  if the Jello was dried up and turned into solid Jello, you could nail it to a tree. But then, would it still be JELLO?  And where was I going with this?

It is possible to raise a teenager. Teenagers, and children in general, can be lots of fun. Like when my daughter taught me those songs by Pink and Evanescence and shared her dark, silly humor with me. With teenagers, it helps to balance out the hard times with fun times. I’m proud of my outside-the-box adult children, even though, blah, blah, blah. (Letting go of the even though.)

Whether you’re a parent of a human, a parent of a dog, or cat, or a parent of yourself, (because sometimes we need to re-parent ourselves) being a parent is hard work. Being a mother is hard work. So be nice to your mother on mother’s day and every day. Oh, and my mother is an angel in heaven.

(Damn you, stream of consciousness! Did we really have to go there?)

I love you, Mom. Thank you for loving me for all those years. Especially the ones when the Jello would not stay on the tree.

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was: “apparent/a parent.” If you want to join in, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2016/05/06/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-716/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


Leave a comment

Making a Difference In spite of the system

starfish-2

I’m not really surprised that the new Health Care plan website is not user friendly.  I’ve spent many years working in a health care field at the mercy of a growing bureaucracy. It doesn’t matter what political party is in charge. Those at the top with big ideas don’t have much understanding of how things work on the front lines. Trying to help people in spite of the “red tape” is often challenging.

Some of my substance abuse clients were not showing up for their appointments one rainy afternoon, so I got to wade through the abundant “paperwork” that only moves toward getting caught up when I have no shows. When the front desk person told me someone was there to see me without an appointment, I didn’t ask who it was. I was willing to talk to anybody.

It turned out to be a former client who I had not seen in years. He said he just came by to tell me he was moving to a different state. He told me he wanted me to know that I had helped him, that I had given him hope and had helped him see things as not quite as depressing as he thought they were. He was not a “success story” by the usual standards, but the fact that he was still walking around on this earth (and  even able to give thanks) was a miracle.  Since this person was not currently enrolled in the program, he could not be counted under my productivity for direct services for that day. But he still counted. I had made a difference in his life.

My vistor reminded me of the starfish story of the boy/girl or whoever throwing starfish back into the ocean. A passerby pointed out that there were hundreds of starfish stranded on the shore and that no one could possibly hope to make a difference. The hopeful soul tossed another starfish gently back into the ocean and said, “I made a difference for that one.”

There are so many ways we can make a difference. Big ways and little ways. We plant seeds with the hope that they will grow. And some do. Sometimes slowly and sometimes without our knowledge. Sometimes it seems like people aren’t listening to us, like we’re not getting through. If you parented or worked with teenagers, you know what I’m talking about. But we can continue to be an example of hope. Don’t stop believing. Keep giving those encouraging words, even when it seems like they aren’t being heard. Keep planting seeds of hope. And thank people who have made a difference in your life. Your gratitude will make a difference.