Five news stories to keep you from giving up on it all

19 Apr

happyball (1)This week, you guys. It’s not going well. Boston. MIT. TexasSomalia. Mentally disturbed Elvis impersonators. Earthquakes. Suicide bombers. Baby rapists. I mean come on, universe. Not cool.

If you’re having as much trouble with the last five days as I am, let me make a humble suggestion: Read a good book. Something that takes you out of yourself for a little bit. Watch a great movie; look at some fabulous art. Not to minimize or ignore the seemingly daily horrors being foisted on us by people/guns/bombs/nature/fertilizer, but because you should do something to glorify the good and beautiful in life, and not the vile and tragic.

In the meantime, here are five positive(ish) stories from the Worst Week Ever. Because everyone could use a little good news.

1. This Message in a Bottle Totally Sort Of Worked
While cleaning debris from a beach in Croatia, surfers found a half-broken bottle containing a message written by a Canadian man in 1985 to a woman named Mary. “Mary, you really are a great person. I hope we can keep in correspondence. I said I would write. Your friend always, Jonathon, Nova Scotia.” An uplifting story, though I think Jonathan’s friends could have clued him in on the intricacies of mail.
[Reuters]

 2. Now Everyone Can Meet Hot Brazilian Women On the Beach
Reuters photographer Sergio Moraes wrote a really nice photo blog about “Praia para Todos” (Beaches for Everyone), an NGO-sponsored project in Brazil that makes the Barra da Tijuca beach on Saturdays and Copacabana on Sundays accessible to the physically disabled. This story warmed my heart, and made me think sand-covering beach-length ramp-makers should be looking into wider distribution deals.
[Reuters]

3. You’re Going to Be Able to Learn Sooo Much More Stuff From Your Couch
This week marks the momentous birth of the Digital Public Library of America, a 2+ year project aimed at centralizing the resources of all the country’s libraries, archives and museums. Said John Palfrey, co-director of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society (which launched the library): “We aspire to establish a system whereby all Americans can gain access to information and knowledge in digital formats in a manner that is ‘free to all.'” An admirable goal, and totally doable: In less than five minutes, I learned that this 1890s leather vest was way ahead of its time.
[The Atlantic]

4. Tylenol is Actually the Fountain of Youth for Your Brain
A team of psychologists from the University of British Columbia revealed findings that suggest acetaminophen — the primary ingredient in Tylenol — can help certain people overcome the fear and anxiety they feel when contemplating their own mortality. This is great news for anyone who can’t afford weekly therapy sessions, and also seems like a much more work-friendly option than Ecstasy.
[The Week]

5. If All Else Fails, Maybe We Can Leave? 
Astronomers have discovered two planets that appear capable of supporting life. Orbiting a star 1,200 light years from here, in a constellation known as Lyra, the planets are about half as large as Earth and presumably very similar to it in terms of galactic makeup. Of course, chances are humans will never actually get to them, but just in case: It’s all of us on one planet, and Donald Trump on the other, right?
[New York Times]

2 Responses to “Five news stories to keep you from giving up on it all”

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