WATWB – Your Monthly Shot of News That Doesn’t Suck

Time has no meaning anymore. It’s just a filmy haze of going from room to room in my house, pretending different rooms are different places for different jobs. Living room is writing. Front room is for working.

Like a lot of people, we’ve been working from home full time while a virus runs roughshod over the country. It’s been an experience. I even bought a Bluetooth headset for phone calls. I’ve discovered that Bluetooth headset + lots of phone meetings = plenty of time to develop nunchuck skills.

But, of course, the biggest difference is not driving as much. Although you wouldn’t know it driving around Albuquerque, vehicle traffic worldwide has taken a nosedive. Which, you know, is kind of a pity since gas is so cheap right now. I feel like I should drive around, speeding through school zone and doing a lot of sudden stops and starts just to take advantage of low gas prices. And also to piss off that jackass in the 4×4 with a lift kit who likes to tailgate everyone.

Just like countless songs have crooned over the decades, every cloud has a silver lining. And right now that lining is a precipitous drop in airborne pollutants. People all over the world, stuck in their homes and drinking themselves into a stupor, have suddenly discovered that there’s thing called a “sky” and that “sky” has stuff like clouds and stars in it. Hell, even in Albuquerque, we can now see distant mountain ranges that are normally hidden by smog.

In some cases, and in some particularly filthy cities – I’m looking at you, Wuhan, airborne pollutants are down by as much as 60%. So, that weird feeling you get when take a deep breath outside? That’s air. Without all the crap driving adds to it.

So, while it won’t last forever, take a moment to appreciate the air quality. It’s one of the few good things to come out of this little pandemic. Well, that and I finally get to practice nunchuck twirling in meetings.

Check out the original article here

If you’d like to connect your blog and help spread a little joy (or snark, like I do), it’s easy to sign up. Just ask and ye shall receive. Or go check it out here: here.

Our lovely and talented hosts this month are: Susan Scott, Inderpreet Kaur Uppal, Damnyanti Biswas, Dan Antion, and moi.

~~~GUIDELINES~~~

1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible. (Wow, I totally missed that mark this time around).

2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity and brotherhood.

3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.

4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.

5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.

6. To sign up, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List below.

This is a Blog Hop!

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And now your moment of Zen.

#WATWB – Your Monthly Shot of News That Doesn’t Suck

The normal process for WATWB is to find an uplifting news story, talk it up a bit, and bring a little light to an otherwise dreary world. That’s why I usually title my posts “Your Monthly Shot Of New That Doesn’t Suck”; it’s a little jab to the nose of perceived reality. Normally, I scour the Internet – by which I mean look up Reddit’s Uplifting News section – until I find something that looks good. Then I babble about it for a while and give you a funny picture. Book it. Done.

These days, with a pandemic calling us and breathing heavily into the phone like some kind of damned degenerate, positive news is getting a bit harder to scrounge up and no one really wants to hear about the dog, squid, and spitting cobra that managed to find their way across the country to go home. Toss in a completely incompetent executive branch and a bunch of snapper-heads claiming it’s all a hoax and you’ve got a recipe for telling everyone to fuck the hell off.

But the thing is, this isn’t forever.

This morning, against my better judgment, I hopped on my bike and took a ride down the Tramway trail. 20mph headwind and going out to the end of the trail is mostly uphill. It was brutal. Fingers going numb, wind echoing so loud in my ears I couldn’t even hear my heart pounding. But I made it and let me tell you, coming back down was amazing.

In a way, everything is like that. You struggle, you fight, you get to the end and coast for a little while, then you do it all over again. Sounds miserable, but every time you conquer something, you get a little tougher.

So, yeah, being cooped up sucks. Watching my national government screw the pooch in every way possible while still managing to claim they’re doing a great job sucks. Wondering when this all going to end sucks.

But it will end because nothing is forever. Some things, like most of my comm classes in college, may feel like they’re going to last forever, but they never do. Eventually it all comes to an end and you get to move on to something different.

Except taxes. Those apparently last forever.

Anyway, tuck your chin, keep your hands up, roll with the punches, and know this will end.

If you’d like to connect your blog and help spread a little joy (or snark, like I do), it’s easy to sign up. Just ask and ye shall receive. Or go check it out here: here.

Our lovely and talented hosts this month are: Sylvia McGrath, Damyanti Biswas, Shilpa Garg, Dan Antion, and yours Belinda McGrath Witzenhausen.

~~~GUIDELINES~~~

1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible. (Wow, I totally missed that mark this time around).

2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity and brotherhood.

3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.

4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.

5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.

6. To sign up, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List below.

This is a Blog Hop!

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

And now your moment of Zen.

WATWB – Your Monthly Shot Of New That Doesn’t Suck

As kind of a corollary to last month’s post, police in Delaware have been giving out incredible numbers of citations in recent weeks, but it’s not as bad as it seems.

America’s cops have a bad reputation. Some of it’s deserved, some of it not, but it’s undeniable that a lot of US citizens look at the police less as a peacekeeping force and more as a group of armed thugs with the full backing of the law on their side.

This reputation didn’t spring up over night and it’s not limited to the criminal element in our society. Random shootings, entrapments, breaking into the wrong house, racial profiling, and a whole host of other bad ideas have engendered a sense of hostility between the police and the people they’re supposed to protect. It’s only made worse when the police in question usually get away scot-free, leaving folks nervous and on the defensive.

Unfortunately, the police response to this negative publicity is usually to shrug their shoulders and say, “So?”, which just makes matters worse.

The thing is, most cops are good people. I’ve had very few interactions with the police – largely because I’m not a criminal – but I’ve usually found them to be pretty good people with tough job. And, as I’ve said before, I respect anyone who gets up in the morning, puts on a uniform, and says, “I’m going to put myself between the bad guys and you.”

But, as any cop can tell you, it’s really bad when the people you’re trying to protect don’t trust you. It makes an already tough job even tougher. So, it’s nice to see some police are slowly coming around to the idea of improving their negative image.

Recently, in Middletown, DE, police officers gave out an unprecedented amount of citations. Seriously, they were busting people left and right and handing out tickets like they were candy. But this time it was different. The citations were for performing random acts of kindness and the cost of the ticket was the perp got a free turkey.

“Hey, punk, I saw you helping that old woman with her groceries. Here’s a reward.”

As far as I’m concerned this is a double-whammy of cool. It helps the cops seems like humans and it also encourages people to do the right thing. And all at the cost of a turkey.

Read the whole story here.

November’s awesome co-hosts are Andrea MichaelsDamyanti BiswasInderpreet UppalShilpa GargSusan Scott and Sylvia Stein. Please visit their blogs too.

If you’d like to connect your blog and help spread a little joy (or snark, like I do), it’s easy to sign up. Just ask and ye shall receive. Or go check it out here: here.

~~~GUIDELINES~~~

1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.

2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity and brotherhood.

3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.

4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.

5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.

6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List below.

This is a Blog Hop!

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

And now, your moment of Zen.

Addendum, 11/26. I just realized I forgot to add the moment of Zen. So now, here’s your moment of Zen.

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WATWB – Your Monthly Shot of News That Doesn’t Suck

Earlier this week someone released a video from Anonymous claiming that NASA was about to reveal the existence of extraterrestrials on Earth. While that would have been some mind-blowing stuff to drop into the world’s lap, it turned out they did it just for the lulz.

Which is probably for the better.

There’s been an ongoing conspiracy theory that aliens have been among us for a very long time, but hiding out lest they be seen. Whether or not this is true is a matter of some fearsome debate. What is interesting is a little known sub-conspiracy theory that says the powers that be are well aware of the existence of extraterrestrials and are ready to tell the world. There’s just one teeny little problem: that knowledge – especially after decades of claiming there are no aliens on the planet – would likely blow more than a few minds. So, in an attempt to minimize the damage a bombshell like that would cause, the information will be leaked slowly. Like, over years or decades.

I read that theory a long time ago when I was in college and for some reason or another, it stuck with me. Now, every time I see a new bit of news about new planets in habitable zones or the possible existence of microscopic life out there, I always wonder if it’s just interesting news or if the plan is proceeding as expected.

That said, we’re living on a planet that’s getting a little rough around the edges and run by a bunch of jack offs that don’t seem interested in fixing it up. So, it’s nice to see this might not be the only planet out there that can support life somewhat similar to ours.

We still have that pesky problem of actually getting someplace that’s multiple light years away, but at least we have a good idea that there might be something to get to. NASA has recently discovered ten new potentially habitable planets, so when the Earth finally kerplodes, we might actually be able to find a new place to live as a species.

Hopefully the new planets won’t be run by the slumlords that run the current one.

Check, check, check it out here.

If you’d like to get hold of more news that doesn’t suck, go check out this month’s hosts:

Lynn Hallbrooks, Michelle Wallace,
Sylvia Stein, Sylvia McGrath and Belinda Witzenhausen

If you’d like to join up with We Are The World Blogfest, I have good news for you: it’s free. Go check it out here.

~~~GUIDELINES~~~

1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.

2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity and brotherhood.

3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.

4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.

5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.

6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List below.

This is a Blog Hop!

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Good News, Everyone

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This is my first full-on We Are The World Blogfest post. The idea behind #WATWB was to say in even though it sometimes seems like it, the world isn’t really going to hell in a hand-basket. The bottom line is this: it seems dark and shitty, but the world will march on and eventually the evil bastards will be forced back into their holes with pitchforks and torches. With a bit of luck, we’ll remember these times and, just like the protest/counter-protest that erupted into violence, but ultimately descended into intelligent conversation, some day we’ll look back and wonder how we were manipulated into hatred so easily. Maybe it’s just in our nature.

But, just to prove Emperor Palpatine isn’t pulling the strings of the world, it’s important to remember good things happen, too.

Rather than focus on the differences and find the best ways to fight those things out until only one person remains, it’s still possible to engage those who think differently without resorting to violence. And even if the violence does erupt, that doesn’t mean it has to keep going.

There’s a video that’s been going viral lately about a man who breaks up a fight between a pair of 14-year-olds. In it, he encourages them to stop and think about why they’re doing what they’re doing. It’s far too easy to resort to fighting for everything and finding offense in every little thing, but that doesn’t help things. As I used to tell the kids’ Kenpo class, it’s always easier to avoid a fight than to win one.

Go watch it here.

If you’re down for spreading a little good news every now and then, hop on board with #WATWB, click here or go check ’em out on Facebook. There’s no obligation and, just like the video, sometimes all it takes is one person to make a positive change.