In Other News…

This year has consisted of reams and reams of bad news. Behind every door, around every corner, there has been some kind of disaster. This week in particular has been incredibly stressful and upsetting for many, and so I think it is perhaps time for a little good news. Good news often slips under the radar; you’re far more likely to hear about how technology could be making you ill than how technology has helped give someone their life back. We are generally more drawn to things that cause shock or fear, and news channels/papers are looking for the stories that provoke these reactions. It doesn’t help that the majority of the huge world events that take place are overall extremely negative. Anyway, here is a small dose of good news, because we all need some.

1. The owner of a video game company has paid $15 million to protect 7,000 acres in North Carolina – Tim Sweeney, founder of American Company Epic Games, has paid $15 million out of his own pocket to protect thousands of acres of wilderness. Since 2008, the games company owner has bought over 40,000 acres in order to protect wilderness from construction or logging. Sweeney said in a statement: “I’m grateful for the whole Fish and Wildlife Service team’s tireless efforts to preserve vital North Carolina natural areas in partnership with conservation-minded landowners like me.”
2. Professor insists young mother brings her newborn baby to class – A professor at a university in South Carolina, USA, has insisted that Sarah Thompson, a young mother who was only a week into her mathematics course when she gave birth, bring her newborn son into class. Dr Josie Ryan also showed the hesitant Thompson where the campus breast feeding room was, and carried the baby for the duration of the first class. “It’s so reassuring to know that there are professors out there like this,” Sarah wrote on Facebook. “Not only is she an amazing person, she’s also one of the best math professors I’ve ever had.”
3. Levels of mercury in Atlantic tuna on the decline – Since regulations have led to a cutback in emissions from industrial smokestacks, mercury levels in some fish have seen a decline – steadfast evidence of the success environmental protection measures can have.
4. Nine-year-old girl feeds thousands with help from giant cabbage – Katie Stagliano, aged nine, accidentally grew a huge cabbage when taking part in a class project involving growing vegetables. Katie and her family decided to donate the cabbage to the local soup kitchen, which went on to feed 275 homeless people. Since then, Katie has gone on to found ‘Katie’s Crops’, an organisation which encourages children in America to grow vegetables to feed thousands of people in need nationwide. The team of green-fingered young people have already donated thousands of pounds of produce and fed over 2,000 people.