A Round of Good News in Medicine, Science, Technology – And Even Politics

Turns Out Some Good People are Doing Some Good Work

Take a Break

We do a lot about politics and governance in this space. You may have noticed that.  How about we detour a bit and look at six encouraging stories in other areas? Well, one is a political story, but it too is a bit of unexpected, good news.

Read on, enjoy, and reflect. We will get back to current events soon enough

 Let’s Get The Political Stories Out Of The Way First

 A Productive Congress! Who Knew?!

The NY Times had a most interesting article a few days ago about how surprisingly effective this Congress has been.

Good Days, Good News

The Last Few Days Show Promise on Many Fronts

Public Perceptions Count

It seemed as though two thought patterns kind of ran through the country over the last few months.

One has been dissatisfaction with Biden, which in turn led to even worse than normal forecasts for the president’s party in the upcoming midterm elections. The other has been a general national grumpiness, post pandemic peak, which we have commented on in this space before. People, in their eagerness for normalcy, are in something of a bad mood generally, and that reflects back on politicians.

About The Week

The Last Week Was Full of Noteworthy Topics. Some Highlights to Look At Closer

Russia and Ukraine: Good News, Bad News

First the bad news. Russia continues to make some progress in its aggression, now occupying about 20% of Ukraine’s Eastern sectors. And it continues a clear policy of terrorizing civilians and destroying communities. Bombing cities can be an acceptable if terrible thing in wars with much at stake, as WWII. But doing so in this conflict is clearly immoral. The list of war crimes and abuse gets ever longer.

But there is good news,

The Week That Was

A Few Less Obvious Reflections on the Past Week

Well, THAT was Quite a Week – We Were Deluged with News

We cannot say the past week was a boring one. A hastily schedule but powerfully executed January 6 Insurrection hearing. Important battlefield changes in Ukraine. A series of disastrous Supreme Court decisions. An historic NATO summit. And more, in every sector .

Today is the Fourth of July. We have much to think about, America. Somethings to celebrate, some things to regret. Let’s briefly observe some of the important side notes to some of these sagas.

Disconnect to Reconnect

We All Need Time and Space to Chill Out. Here are a Couple of My Favorites

Why We Need to Sleep, Dream, and Chill Out

The picture with today’s post is of our beloved lab Lizzie. That girl knew how to relax!

In truth, we don’t know exactly why we need sleep or why we dream, but the evidence is compelling that these states of being have something to do with our ability to recharge and refresh. The same appears to be true for pretty well all creatures, not just humans.

I submit that as important as these things may be,

Ruminations at Large

A Few Quick Notes on Assorted Items in the News

Trump’s Waning Influence

As the primaries conclude, one can take some encouragement from the results in terms of Trump’s impact. When he backed the best known candidate in a crowded field, he had some luck. But in a number of places, on both candidates and issues, he came up short.

This is not an end-state Happy Days just yet, and lots of infected people are asserting themselves and running for office across the country, but there are some hopeful signs. It is important to remember that these were Republican and conservative Independents in many places who said with their votes that they were tired of Trump,

A Little Bit of Everything

All Sorts of Interesting and Varied Stories Catch Our Attention This Week

Noticed of Late

 As is so often the case, all sorts of things rose to the top our consciousness this week. Let’s poke around a bit, shall we?

Macron Wins. So, Too, Does Democracy

 It would be hard to overstate the importance of the just concluded French elections. That Macron won reelection – a first for a French president in 20 years – and by a very wide margin at that, is a relief for all of us. Much has been made of the narrowing of the victory margin from the last time out,

Four Great Reasons to Quit Carbon Energy

No Matter Your Politics or Economics, Now is the Time

Energy Remains a Defining Element of Human Life

The ability to harness energy has been a defining qualify of human existence for a very long time. So much of what we know, do, and assume is based on harnessing energy. That is not going to change any time soon. More likely is that it will never change.

While I admire, and to at least some degree support, calls to minimize energy usage, it is most unlikely that we will economize our way out of the problems this posting highlights.  

What We Need Is Trust

Part II of the Discussion – The Workplace and, Meeting Space Deficits

 

Trust Writ Large

We talked earlier this week about the serious erosion of social trust, including the all -important but often unrecognized weak link trust that makes for a functioning society. We discussed that while a bit of this is a part of human nature, the downside of such distrust got a long term and deep boost from the Reagan era, which fed right into what the conspiracy theorists and far righters have brought to maturity over the last 4-6 years.

Reflections on Memorials

Memorial Services Remind Us of  Important Truths and Priorities

A First Such Gathering in a Long Time

 Last week I attended a memorial service for a friend. It was one of the first such gatherings I have participated in since the pandemic began. After such a long absence, I remembered of why such assemblies are important to us all.

By “us all,” I refer not only to the memory of those lost to us, but also to their families, friends, acquaintances, and the larger community.

Different Communities Do This in Very Different Ways

I am a  Unitarian Universalist,