Let’s start this week by hearing some good news stories, here in the Capital Region and beyond!
From Today – “Bike buses” — They are adult-led group bike rides to school and they’re coming to neighborhoods all across the country! Today reported that six years ago, father Devin Olson partnered with Minneapolis Public Schools to start a 2-mile bike bus that dropped off students at two elementary schools. So far, Olson has led 11 semi-annual bike buses that have grown from about 60 participants to nearly 150. Both parents and kids say it makes the children happier. Think about it. How many people have kids that don’t exercise regularly, or are so hyper that they need some exercise to calm them down. Plus the endorphins from exercise can help improve their mood and get them in touch with nature. It also reduces fuel used with buses, and bus drivers can join in as well. Then when the weather gets bad again, they can switch back to using the bus. Bike buses are also popular internationally in countries including Spain and Canada!
Girl Scouts Record Donation
Good News – The Girl Scouts of the USA received their largest donation ever from one person, $84.5 million dollars from MacKenzie Scott! The grant will help make up for the inability to raise money from cookie sales and memberships during the pandemic. The Girl Scout’s CEO Sofia Chang said, “This is a great accelerator for our ongoing efforts to give girls the tools to become the next generation of powerful women leaders. We’re excited to prove how Ms. Scott’s investment in girls will change the world—because when one girl succeeds, we all succeed.” They say the grant will help with an expanded focus on career readiness and mental wellness.
‘RobotFalcon’ to Make Airplanes Safer
Good News – Collisions between birds and airplanes can be dangerous and deadly, and cost the aviation industry more than a billion dollars annually from damaged aircrafts, delays, and flight cancellations. A team partnering with a University in the Netherlands have tackled the problem by developing an artificial raptor, inspired by the fastest bird on earth—the peregrine falcon. Field testing in the Netherlands showed that all flocks were successfully deterred by the RobotFalcon within five minutes after it launched in flight, with half of them resulting in flight paths being free of birds within 70 seconds. I’m thinking this could not only be good for airplanes, but for other things like windmills as well!
New Capital District YMCA Preschool
NEWS10 – The Capital District YMCA will be opening a new preschool center at the Capital Region BOCES near the Airport. The new center can accommodate fifteen students ages 3-5. They say this new preschool will bring affordable childcare to a bunch of parents in the Capital Region! As I’ve heard, preschool can be expensive, and the benefits of preschool for kids can be huge, from meeting new friends, to developing social skills and allowing their parents to work – this all seems great!
Pomegranates Found to Significantly Fuel Tumor-Fighting Immune Cells
Good News – A new study shows that a substance found in pomegranates significantly boosts the immune system to fight cancer—triggering a constant supply of endless rejuvenated T cells. I’m not much of a scientist so you can read more about it in the study, but German scientists have discovered that something in pomegranates rejuvenate immune T cells to make them better at fighting tumors. When the pomegranate agent is introduced, old and damaged mitochondria in the T cells are removed and replaced by new, functional ones. This changes the genetic makeup of the T cells, which are then more capable of fighting the tumor.
“Our findings are particularly exciting because the focus is not on the tumor cell but on the immune system—the natural defense against cancer,” said Dr. Dominic Denk of the Frankfurt University Hospital and first author of the study. “We hope to use this to sustainably improve the therapy of colorectal cancer, but also of other cancers.”
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