Good News Is Good News II

Since 2007, the Doomsday Clock has read five-m...Image via Wikipedia

I decided to do some more “good news” research, to come up with some positive events and accomplishments to ponder on this sunny, crisp Saturday in Victoria BC.  A story on the news last night made me think of it.

As it turns out, the worst news for Haiti, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake in a country that was already impoverished, has turned into a good news story as a result of the enormous number of countries, organizations and individuals who have stepped up to help. Some of them include France, China, Brazil, Panama, the UK, Israel, Japan, Canada and of course the US, which is the largest and richest nation in close proximity.  It is going to take a very long time to help the Haitians find some kind of “normal” life again.  If you wish to contribute individually, you can do so through the Red Cross or the Salvation Army, along with a list of many other organizations who are accepting donations and providing assistance.  As a side note, within 24 hours, Canadians raised well over a million dollars just by contributing online…it has now grown to many millions more.  Let’s keep it up!

Here’s some questionably good news:  apparently scientists have put the hand of the “doomsday clock” back one full minute.  We are now at 6 minutes to midnight…midnight being a metaphorical time of complete human annihilation.  Ain’t that great??  Apparently it’s the first time since World War II that the clock has been set back.  It appears that countries have been more co-operative with each other, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, especially in areas of nuclear bomb-making.  Well, duh.  Is it just me, or did you also think that nuclear business was over years ago?  Anyway, I’m happy to hear we’re a minute ahead :-). I’m tired of practicing the “under the desk” drill anyway.

Speaking of which, more good news that the Mayan calendar was out by 200 years, so the world is NOT going to end on Dec.31/2012.  Phew.  Er, unless Sarah Palin becomes president…

It appears that there is more good than bad economical news lately.  Sometimes you’ll see a “no news is good news” reference in stories about the economy, meaning that when things are flowing normally, it is as it should be.  Unemployment is still too high, but most of the stories you see on the economy these days are guardedly positive.

There’s some really good news for Cha Sa-soon, a South Korean woman who finally passed her driver’s test on the 950th try. She’s 68.  She spent over $4000 over the years taking that test (I believe that’s in the millions in South Korean currency, the “won”).  That’s a lot of money for a country like theirs. I guess she REALLY didn’t like taking the bus. 

Speaking of cars, it appears that people are really catching on to the idea of electric cars now and the demand is growing.  Can you imagine if the big car companies had NOT killed the electric car, how much farther we would have advanced in that technology?  It’s disgraceful!  The only thing I worry about is how we’re going to have enough electricity to power so many vehicles…BUT…this is a good news blog, not a rant 🙂 

And since we’re on the topic of science, “green chemistry” is the new buzz word.  At Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, they’ve developed a type of paint stripper that is not only less hazardous, it’s re-useable!  As the article on the CBC News website says: “Green chemistry is starting to get industry’s attention for several reasons, most involving cost. As laws increasingly require polluters to pay for cleaning up after themselves, the economic arguments for finding cleaner processes get stronger.”  Hit them in the pocketbook…that always gets their attention!

More good news from the technology world:  scientists are an enormously LONG way away from building a computer that mimics the human brain.  Why is that good news?  Oh, come on!  Apparently IBM claimed that they had built a computer with 1 billion neurons and 10 trillion synapses that would approximate the brain of a cat.  Are they kidding?  This is what goes on in the brain of my cat:

“Feed me.”
“Let me out.”
“I prefer fresh, running water.”
“Stop cuddling me, I’d rather be alone.”
“Did I see a bird?”

I’m not sure a computer with the ability of a cat’s brain should be filed under “accomplishment”.  And I’m happy to note that computer’s still can’t compete with my brain.  I think.

When you do a Google news search for “good news”, much of what you come up with are stories about people finding their loved ones or their pets.  And the second most common good news story is sports-related.  So we care about each other and then our pets, and then our local sports teams. Interesting.

More good news to come 🙂

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