I live in a suburb of Philadelphia and get my daily news on television. A typical day can include stories about fires, guns, robbery, murder, information on Bill Cosby’s trial, the latest scam affecting older citizens, a politician accused of inappropriate behavior, and weather (eg, the next 6 days will have temperatures in the 90s –with a “real feel” temperature possibly reaching 100+). I need a break. I need some good news. Luckily, I have seen a light at the end of my news tunnel. (And, no, it isn’t the headlight of an oncoming train.)
Last Monday, I read in The New York Times (see top)(I receive it, daily, in my email.) this information: “Subscribe to Our Newsletter Dedicated Entirely to Good News.” It continued: “It isn’t all doom and gloom out there. But sometimes, good news gets lost in the shuffle. To keep that from happening, we’ve created The Week in Good News,a feature that’s meant to help you start your weekend with a smile, or at least a lighter heart. Every Saturday, you’ll receive a note from the writer, Des Shoe, and a rundown of great things we wrote about that week. Want to see a sample? Read previous editions here. Sign up here to get The Week in Good News delivered to your inbox.”
And it’s free, so I signed up. “But,” you say, “ what are the articles like?” Here is a sample of some of the topics in the last few editions of this Good News oasis.
Can’t sleep? Bob Ross can help. For years, Bob Ross (see above)lulled people to sleep as he taught them how to paint. Now, a company which produces meditation products (Calm.com) has begun turning Bob Ross’ episodes of “The Joy of Painting” into “Sleep Stories.” Now, the sound of paint brushes helps listeners doze just as Mr. Ross’ voice did years ago. (Mr. Ross died in 1995.)
Daredevil raccoon climbs Minnesota skyscraper (see above; that’s HIM!)and becomes a sensation. It was first seen sitting on a window ledge 20 feet above a sidewalk, resting. Maintenance workers encouraged it to climb down a ladder to safety. Instead, it climbed higher up the side of a 25 story building. People watched the animal’s progress from street level. Some watched with binoculars. Minnesota Public Radio broadcast the adventure. The journey ended safely, but to learn the exact outcome you had to read the article.
Dairy farms find new life making …beer. A dairy farm in central Massachusetts, like farms elsewhere, had to diversify to exist. The Carter and Stevens farm, in operation since 1938 producing milk, became The Stone Cow Brewery in 2016. Their new product sells for $7 a pint in its taproom, instead of 16 cents a pint for their milk. Dairy farms elsewhere are staying alive by producing “a different kind of liquid capital.”
Weight training (see above)finds a new benefit. Walking and jogging as exercise can help people deal with depression. Now, it appears strength training can do likewise. Plus, the weight training can be successful whether it is done twice a week or five times a week, and regardless of how many repetitions are involved.
A Macy’s goes from mall store to homeless shelter. A vacant mall outside Washington, D. C. has found a new purpose. It’s Macy’s department store has been converted into a homeless shelter with rooms available for 60 beds, hot meals, and showers. As shopping malls struggle to survive in competition with Amazon, some empty stores find new life as offices and classrooms. This story tells one such effort.
Next stop, Summer. This story tells of a man who has delivered Mister Softee joy (see above)for 31 years. His Father has done the same for 40 years. Each man has been driving around NYC (ie, Manhattan and the Bronx), as one of 200 such employees. A truck cost $8,000 in the 1970s. Now, such a truck costs $140,000. He decides what is the ideal location and how long to play the Mister Softee jingle (not very long). He works 7 days a week during the ice cream season (late March to mid-October). Out of season he works in construction. This past season, cold weather cost him 6 weeks of work. He won’t get that time back, but he loves the atmosphere of his self-employment.
Obviously, each story lasts longer than my summaries here. But unlike my local news, the stories are always positive. I think it will make a difference, in me.