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Inspirational News Articles

Below are key excerpts of some of the most inspiring news articles from reliable news media sources. If any link fails to function, a paywall blocks full access, or the article is no longer available, try these digital tools.

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The best Yale classes you can take online for free including the most popular course in the university's history
2020-08-31, Business Insider
https://www.businessinsider.com/yale-free-online-courses

Thanks to the internet and MOOC (massive open online courses) culture, it's not hard to find courses from prestigious universities such as Yale online for free or cheap. Counter to the Ivy League's legacy of exclusivity, MOOCs are designed to remove traditional education barriers: price and location. In fact, Yale offers access to a handful of recorded in-person courses such as African American History: From Emancipation to the Present via Open Yale Courses, a platform where anyone can access the lectures. However, lecture-listeners won't earn course credit, degrees, or a certificate of completion. If you're looking for a classroom-like educational experience with more structure, feedback, and peers, you'll want to turn to Coursera. The online learning platform features more than a dozen Yale courses that range in topic from economics to parenting to happiness. Coursera classes typically include video lectures, resources, community discussions, and quizzes. They're free to enroll in, but you'll have to pay a low fee (starting at $49) for features like graded homework assignments or certificates of completion, which can be added to a LinkedIn page. Based on the most popular course in Yale's history, [The Science of Well-Being] combines positive psychology with the real-life applications of behavioral science to increase your own happiness using concrete, productive habits. Read our full review of The Science of Well-Being course here.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Dr Abhay Bang: the revolutionary paediatrician
2011-03-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2011/mar/20/dr-abhay-bang-revo...

Dr Abhay Bang does not look like a pioneer. And yet ... this is the man who has revolutionised healthcare for the poorest people in India and who has overseen a programme that has sent infant mortality rates plummeting in one of the most poverty-stricken areas of the world. Medical experts now believe that Dr Bang's radical beliefs hold the key to tackling the myriad endemic health problems that blight the developing word. Instead of accepting the traditional hospital-based treatment model, Dr Bang has spent the last 26 years training up local volunteers in Gadchiroli, one of the most deprived districts in the Indian state of Maharashtra, to treat simple maladies at home. The World Health Organisation and Unicef have recently endorsed his approach to treating newborn babies and the programme is currently being rolled out to parts of Africa. In 1988, 121 newborn babies were dying out of every 1,000 births in the area. The newborn death rate in Gadchiroli has now fallen to 30 per 1,000 live births. Dr Bang's solution was simple: he trained a group of local women in the basics of neonatal care. They were taught how to diagnose pneumonia (using an abacus to count breaths), how to resuscitate children and how to administer some basic antibiotics. Instead of villagers having to walk for miles to get to the nearest hospital, these health visitors (called arogyadoots, which means "health messengers") went to where they were most needed.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


New Mark Cuban Company Slashes High Drug Prices: 'Life Changing'
2022-06-07, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/mark-cuban-company-slashes-high-drug-prices-praise-s...

Celebrity investor Mark Cuban is receiving praise on social media after he launched a new company that provides patients access to affordable medications. Cuban launched the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company (MCCPDC), a direct-to-consumer online company that offers more than 100 generic medications at discounted prices. The investor said he aims to "be the low-cost provider of medications to patients." He continued: "If you don't have insurance or have a high deductible plan, you know that even the most basic medications can cost a fortune. Many people are spending crazy amounts of money each month just to stay healthy. No American should have to suffer or worse—because they can't afford basic prescription medications." The company's low costs are achieved by working directly with partners, which "allows us to only markup our costs by 15 percent," Cuban explained. Explaining the business model, Cuban cited the drug prescribed for hookworm, Albendazole, which can cost as much as $500 per course. "Our cost for Albendazole is $26.08 per course. We mark that price up by 15 percent so we can continue to run the company and invest in disrupting the pricing of as many drugs as we possibly can," he explained. "That makes the base price of the drug $30. Then we add on the actual cost, $3.00, that our pharmacy partners charge us to prepare and provide your prescription to you. "That makes the sales price on this website $33. Far, far lower than the pricing available in the marketplace."

Note: As big Pharma rakes in the huge profits, Marc Cuban has created a new company called CostPlus which brings many expensive drugs to you at a fraction of the price. Sadly, very few of the major media are reporting on this. Cuban says, “Everyone should have safe, affordable medicines with transparent prices.”


A Cancer Trial’s Unexpected Result: Remission in Every Patient
2022-06-05, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/05/health/rectal-cancer-checkpoint-inhibitor....

It was a small trial, just 18 rectal cancer patients, every one of whom took the same drug. But the results were astonishing. The cancer vanished in every single patient, undetectable by physical exam, endoscopy, PET scans or M.R.I. scans. Dr. Luis A. Diaz Jr. of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, an author of a paper published Sunday in the New England Journal of Medicine describing the results ... said he knew of no other study in which a treatment completely obliterated a cancer in every patient. “I believe this is the first time this has happened in the history of cancer,” Dr. Diaz said. Dr. Alan P. Venook, a colorectal cancer specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved with the study, said he also thought this was a first. A complete remission in every single patient is “unheard-of,” he said. These rectal cancer patients had faced grueling treatments — chemotherapy, radiation and, most likely, life-altering surgery that could result in bowel, urinary and sexual dysfunction. Some would need colostomy bags. They entered the study thinking that, when it was over, they would have to undergo those procedures because no one really expected their tumors to disappear. But they got a surprise: No further treatment was necessary. “There were a lot of happy tears,” said Dr. Andrea Cercek, an oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and a co-author of the paper. Another surprise, Dr. Venook added, was that none of the patients had clinically significant complications.

Note: Will this amazing treatment be suppressed, like so many others before it? Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


'Light responsive' technology turns seawater into clean drinking water in less than 30 minutes
2020-08-10, Daily Mail
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8612107/Seawater-clean-drinki...

Scientists have developed new technology that can turn seawater into clean drinking water in less than 30 minutes. Researchers based in Australia used a metal-organic framework (MOF), a type of lattice-like crystal, to desalinate water. The hollow framework of pores separates the salty solute within the brackish water or even saltier seawater, in a process known as molecular sieving. Under dark conditions, the framework absorbs salts and other impurities in the water in 30 minutes. The MOF itself is then regenerated for reuse in just four minutes, using sunlight to remove the adsorbed salts. The light-responsive MOF was used to filter harmful particles from water and generate 139.5 litres of clean water per kilogram of MOF per day. Scientists say their technology is more energy-efficient than current desalination practices, including reverse osmosis, and could provide potable water for millions globally. Water scarcity is one of the largest global risks in the upcoming years, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). Thermal desalination processes by evaporation using solar energy are widely used to produce fresh water, but can be highly energy intensive. 'Sunlight is the most abundant and renewable source of energy on Earth,' said Professor Huanting Wang ... at Monash University in Australia. 'Our development of a new adsorbent-based desalination process through the use of sunlight for regeneration provides an energy-efficient and environmentally-sustainable solution for desalination.'

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Not So Random Acts: Science Finds That Being Kind Pays Off
2020-07-02, New York Times/Associated Press
https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2020/07/02/us/ap-virus-outbreak-science-of-k...

Research shows that acts of kindness make us feel better and healthier. Kindness is also key to how we evolved and survived as a species, scientists say. We are hard-wired to be kind. Psychology professor Sonja Lyubomirsky has put that concept to the test in numerous experiments over 20 years and repeatedly found that people feel better when they are kind to others, even more than when they are kind to themselves. Acts of kindness are very powerful, Lyubomirsky said. In one experiment, she asked subjects to do an extra three acts of kindness for other people a week and asked a different group to do three acts of self-kindness. The people who were kind to others became happier and felt more connected to the world. The same occurred with money, using it to help others versus helping yourself. Lyubomirsky said she thinks it is because people spend too much time thinking and worrying about themselves and when they think of others while doing acts of kindness, it redirects them away from their own problems. Oxfords [Oliver] Curry analyzed peer-reviewed research like Lyubomirskys and found at least 27 studies showing the same thing: Being kind makes people feel better emotionally. But its not just emotional. Its physical. Lyubomirsky said a study of people with multiple sclerosis ... found they felt better physically when helping others. She also found that in people doing more acts of kindness that the genes that trigger inflammation were turned down more than in people who dont.

Note: If the above link fails, this article is also available here. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Dogs Can Detect Malaria. How Useful Is That?
2018-11-05, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/05/health/dogs-malaria-mosquitos.html

Dogs have such exquisitely sensitive noses that they can detect bombs, drugs, citrus and other contraband in luggage or pockets. Is it possible that they can sniff out even malaria? And when might that be useful? A small pilot study has shown that dogs can accurately identify socks worn overnight by children infected with malaria parasites even when the children had cases so mild that they were not feverish. In itself, such canine prowess is not surprising. Since 2004, dogs have shown that they can detect bladder cancer in urine samples, lung cancer in breath samples and ovarian cancer in blood samples. Trained dogs now warn owners with diabetes when their blood sugar has dropped dangerously low and owners with epilepsy when they are on the verge of a seizure. Other dogs are being taught to detect Parkinsons disease years before symptoms appear. The new study ... does not mean that dogs will replace laboratories. But for sorting through crowds, malaria-sniffing dogs could potentially be very useful. Some countries and regions that have eliminated the disease share heavily trafficked borders with others that have not. For example, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the island of Zanzibar have no cases but get streams of visitors from Mozambique, India and mainland Tanzania. And when a region is close to eliminating malaria, dogs could sweep through villages, nosing out silent carriers people who are not ill but have parasites in their blood that mosquitoes could pass on to others.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Denmark’s Radical Plan for a Plant-Based Future
2024-06-17, Reasons to be Cheerful
https://reasonstobecheerful.world/denmark-radical-plan-plant-based-future/

Trine Krebs is sometimes called “the leek woman,” or even Miss Dry-Legume, of Denmark. The 48-year-old has for decades traveled around the country as, in her words, a “food inspirer,” proselytizing about all things vegetables. So when, in October 2023, the Danish government published the world’s first ever national action plan for shifting towards plant-based diets, Krebs was ecstatic. The Danish government has three main goals: to increase demand for plant-based foods, to develop supply for plant-based foods, and to improve how all the different stakeholders — from scientists to farmers and chefs, food sociologists, and nutrition experts — in this nascent domestic industry are working together. Danish authorities see reducing meat and dairy consumption as key to reaching the Nordic state’s goal of cutting carbon emissions by 70 percent before 2030, when compared to 1990. The climate think tank Concito estimates that more than half of Denmark’s land is used for farming and that agriculture accounts for about a third of its carbon emissions. Yet a published in 2021 found that the emissions made by producing plant-based foods are roughly half the amount incurred by meat production. Denmark believes ... that the necessary shift toward plant-based eating also offers a massive economic opportunity. If the country were to gain a three percent share of the global plant-based food market, it could create up to 27,000 jobs.

Note: Explore more positive stories on healing our bodies and healing the Earth.


Planetary health diet cuts early death risk, new study shows
2024-06-10, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/wellness/2024/06/10/planetary-diet-lower-morta...

Can you eat a diet that’s good for your health and good for the planet? A new study suggests that it’s possible. It found that people who ate mostly minimally processed plant foods such as nuts, beans, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and olive oil, along with modest amounts of meat, fish, eggs and dairy, had lower rates of premature death from heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases. At the same time, their diets had a smaller environmental footprint because they consisted of foods that were grown using relatively less land and water and that were produced with fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The study ... was inspired by a landmark 2019 report from the EAT-Lancet Commission, which designed a “Planetary Health Diet” capable of sustaining 10 billion people and the planet by 2050. The planetary health diet, in broad strokes, encourages people to eat more plants and whole foods alongside small portions of meat and dairy. People whose eating habits most closely adhered to the planetary health diet were 30 percent less likely to die prematurely compared to people who ate the lowest amounts of foods that form the basis of the planetary health diet. Planetary health eaters had a 10 percent lower risk of dying from cancer, a 14 percent lower likelihood of dying from cardiovascular diseases, a 47 percent reduction in the risk of dying from lung disease, and a 28 percent lower likelihood of dying of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Note: Explore more positive stories on healing our bodies and healing the Earth.


How Women Are Helping Their Neighbors Heal From Depression
2024-05-16, Reasons to be Cheerful
https://reasonstobecheerful.world/women-peer-led-therapy-depression/

Rhoda Phiri was having a hard time sleeping. She found it difficult to mingle with people in her community and at church. Even basic chores were hard. She was, she says, in a “dark corner.” Then one day in 2020, a couple of women knocked on the door of her home in Zambia. The women were with StrongMinds, an international nonprofit that provides support for depression, particularly among women and adolescents. She accepted the women’s invitation to join a group therapy program, held under a tree in an area near her home, and as she learned about depression, she recognized the signs in herself. “All the symptoms they were talking about, it’s like they were talking about me,” Phiri says. “It’s like they knew what I was going through.” Instead of relying on mental health professionals, StrongMinds offers group therapy facilitated by trained community members — often clients who have completed the treatment themselves, like Phiri. This group therapy model has proven to be an effective way to treat depression. Since the organization launched in 2013, half a million people have gone through the treatment program. Three-quarters of participants screened as being free of depression symptoms two weeks after completing it. “What we’ve learned in 11 years is that depression treatment can be, what we call, democratized,” says StrongMinds founder ... Sean Mayberry. “You can take it out of the hands of doctors and nurses and give it to the community itself.”

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


The children who remember their past lives
2024-05-02, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2024/05/02/children-past-lives/

Since the 1960s, more than 2,200 children from across the world have described apparent recollections from a previous life, all documented in a database maintained by the Division of Perceptual Studies within the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Sometimes a child presents enough identifying information for relatives or researchers to pinpoint a deceased person, but that level of specificity is elusive; about a third of the cases in the database do not include such a match. The phenomenon, with its aura of the paranormal, has long been fodder for books, academic studies, newspaper stories and dramatized documentaries. All of these explorations tend to orbit the same existential questions: Is reincarnation real? What happens after we die? How can this be explained? Certain consistent patterns have emerged: The most pronounced and convincing cases ... tend to occur in children between the ages of 2 and 6. They might suddenly describe places they have never been, people they have never met, sometimes using words or phrases that seem beyond their vocabulary. Nightmares or sleep disturbances are occasionally reported. Many of these children are highly verbal and start speaking earlier than their peers. Their descriptions of past-life recollections often fade away entirely by the time the child turns 7 or 8.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Why do people forgive? It's messy, complex and 'the best form of self-interest'
2024-04-23, Minneapolis Star Tribune
https://www.startribune.com/forgiveness-project-minneapolis-laura-yuen/600360...

Forgiveness is a principle promoted by just about every faith tradition. Even neuroscientists agree on its mental and physical benefits — from lowered risk of heart attacks to improved sleep. Twenty years ago, UK-based journalist Marina Cantacuzino launched the Forgiveness Project, a collection of stories from survivors and victims of crime and conflict, as well as perpetrators who reshaped their aggression into a force for peace. Cantacuzino documented real-life stories of seemingly supernatural examples of forgiveness. A Canadian woman who forgave her husband's killer. An Israeli filmmaker wounded in a terrorist attack. A Minneapolis mother who grew to love the person who murdered her only child. But even Cantacuzino admits it can seem difficult to relate to those who forgive the seemingly unforgivable. Are they morally superior? Extremely religious? Some are, but they are more likely to share the traits of curiosity, empathy and a flexible viewpoint. It feels like those characteristics are harder to come by today. The cacophony of "if you're not with us, you're against us" has divided families and entire communities. One's ability to recognize the pain on both sides of the Israel-Hamas war can evoke outrage, for example. But Cantacuzino continues to support discussions that bring together Israeli and Palestinian victims of the conflict, stories that require people to embrace complexity and contradiction while honoring the "sanctity of every human life ... Stories stick, whereas facts fade," she says. The Forgiveness Project's exhibit has now journeyed to 17 countries, including Kenya, Australia and Israel.

Note: Explore Cantacuzino's latest inspiring book, Forgiveness: An Exploration, which delves into the politics, mechanics and psychology of forgiveness. Explore more positive stories that reveal the power of healing social division and polarization.


They’re Not Cops. They Don’t Have Guns. But They’re Responding to More 911 Calls.
2024-03-23, The Marshall Project
https://www.themarshallproject.org/2024/03/23/police-emergency-mental-health-911

People experiencing mental or behavioral health crises and addiction have often been subject to police use of force, arrest and incarceration. [There are] efforts around the country to change that. One of the most common new approaches ... are civilian co-responder programs, in which behavioral health specialists, often social workers, show up to certain emergency calls alongside police. These can include situations like suicide threats, drug overdoses, and psychiatric episodes. Typically, the officers on the team have special training in crisis intervention. Generally, these teams aim to de-escalate any crisis or conflict, avoiding arrest and solving the reason for the emergency call, especially if it’s a simple one. This week, the New Jersey Monitor reported that one call “for a welfare check on a woman with anxiety ended with the [state] trooper picking up her new cell phone from the post office and fixing a broken toilet” and the emergency call screener setting up her new phone. The Monitor also found that the program avoided arrests or police use of force in 95% of responses. The B-HEARD program in New York City, which is just three years old in a diverse city of 8.5 million, responded to roughly a quarter of mental health calls in precincts where it operated in the first half of 2023. Mental health calls make up 10% of all 911 calls in the city. In Denver, a study of the city’s STAR program found the alternative response model reduced low-level crime.

Note: Explore more positive stories about repairing the criminal justice system.


Paraplegic Veteran Uses Skydiving to Reclaim Lost Sensation in His Legs and Soul
2024-03-12, Good News Network
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/paraplegic-veteran-uses-skydiving-to-reclaim-...

There was a lot that Army veteran Alex Dillman lost when he became a paraplegic after an IED blew up under his legs in Afghanistan, but now an unlikely activity has allowed him to take some of what he lost back. Hurtling through the air at 120 mph, Dillman doesn’t need his wheelchair to skydive; he doesn’t really need his legs either. In that unique state of concentration and freedom, he says he’s “expected to perform,” a do-or-die state of mind that he says he hasn’t felt since his old life on deployment. Dillman originally saw adventure therapy as a way to combat depression and PTSD he suffered from in the wake of his lost abilities, but he never imagined it would help him get some of those abilities back. Now he’s part of an adventure therapy non-profit called Skydive First Project, where he utilizes outdoor adventures to assist individuals suffering from PTSD and depression. Based in Tampa, activities encompass hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, horseback riding, scuba diving, and tandem skydiving. “[The] great thing about skydiving is that it gets me out of the chair,” said Dillman. “I don’t bring my chair with me, so I’m in a free state. I don’t need to be in the chair to perform the act of skydiving.” “I can feel my legs and my feet to a certain extent. I can get a better sense of my overall being, feel what my legs are doing, feel what my hips are doing. Having that feeling again ... even if it’s for 30 seconds or 60 seconds ... is enough for me!”

Note: Read more inspiring news articles on incredible people with disabilities.


‘Healing spaces’ in post-conflict societies
2024-03-01, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/the-monitors-view/2024/0301/Healing-spac...

The Afghanistan Memory Home is a growing online archive of testimonies of endurance by ordinary Afghans during years of conflict and repressive rule under the Taliban. The virtual museum is an example of the kind of community-led initiatives that Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has described as “healing spaces” – local sites of nation-building where the traumas and resentments of war are salved through traditional forms of civic engagement based on cultural values, spirituality, and listening. These projects in reconciliation quietly persist almost everywhere people seek freedom from conflict or repression, from Afghanistan to Yemen. They often supplant the work of national transitional justice initiatives stalled by political disagreements or lack of cooperation. They also underscore that “justice isn’t just punishment or prosecution and presenting evidence against perpetrators,” said Ruben Carranza, an expert on post-conflict community healing. In South Sudan, for instance, a local peace and reconciliation process called Wunlit gave grassroots strength to a 2018 national peace agreement. Led by tribal chiefs and spiritual leaders, the “peace to peace” dialogue defused cattle raids and abductions between the Nuer and Dinka communities. In Iraq, the Ministry of Human Rights has relied on tribal, religious, and civil society leaders to help forge local support for a national dialogue on reconciliation. History has “taught us that relying solely on military force will not bring about lasting peace and stability,” Hodan Ali, a Somali presidential policy adviser, wrote. The more durable work of peace involves empowering individuals and communities to tell their own stories – and listen to each other.

Note: Explore more positive stories about healing the war machine.


Getting On the Dance Floor Will Shred Pounds in Overweight People, Improve Blood Pressure and Mental Health
2024-01-23, Good News Network
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/getting-on-dance-floor-will-shred-pounds-in-o...

Boogying the night away produces meaningful improvements in one's body mass and waist circumference in people who are overweight or obese, a new study found. Dancing was also seen to improve blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, physical fitness, cognitive disorders, hypertension, cardiovascular ailments, diabetes, and mental health—in other words, all the root causes of the non-communicable diseases that kill most people in the West. The researchers believed that dance would be a more ideal form of exercise because it is sustainable—it's a sociable, entertaining way of exercising that participants will enjoy, rather than a drudgery they have to push themselves through. “Dance is effective on fat loss in people overweight and obese and has a significant improvement on body composition and morphology,” said Zhang Yaya, a Ph.D. student at Hunan University, China. To get their results, published in the journal PLoS ONE, the team studied data from 646 participants who were overweight and obese across ten different studies. They found that dance is very effective for improving body composition and showed that more creative dance types had the most pronounced body composition improvement when compared with traditional dance. Improvements were also found in overweight children and patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


A school in Jerusalem brings Arab and Jewish kids together to boost understanding
2024-01-23, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2024/01/23/1221957556/israel-schools-arabs-jews-gaza-war

When the bell rings at Jerusalem's Hand in Hand school, you hear something that's not common in Israel: the sound of young people's voices rising together in laughter and conversation in both Hebrew and Arabic. Israeli society is largely segregated. The separation begins at kindergarten, when Jewish and Arab children are sent to different schools and experience completely separate education "tracks" or systems. "Arabs go to Arab schools in their neighborhoods and Jews go to Jewish schools in the areas where they live," says Nour Younis, events manager for Hand in Hand. Hand in Hand [was] founded in 1998 by a group of parents who wanted their children to grow up differently. What began as two kindergarten classes in Jerusalem and Galilee has now become six campuses nationwide, with some 2,000 students. The school's eventual goal is to create a fifth track of education within the Israeli school system. Today there are four options: Arab schools and three Jewish tracks — secular, religious and ultra-Orthodox. The students at Hand in Hand campuses are around 60% Arab and 40% Jewish. There is a waiting list of Arab children who would like to attend. Since Oct. 7 ... this school has become a rare oasis of freedom for Palestinians who say they can be harassed or worse for expressing their anguish over the war. "For our students, this is a safe place, a safe environment," says [school vice principal Engie] Wattad.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


For the first time, US prisoners graduate from top university
2023-11-16, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/world/us/first-time-us-prisoners-graduate-top-univers...

Northwestern University's Prison Education Program welcomed its inaugural graduating class of incarcerated students on Wednesday, marking the first time a top-ranked U.S. university has awarded degrees to students in prison. Evanston, Illinois-based Northwestern ... runs the program in partnership with Oakton College and the Illinois Department of Corrections. It was a moving commencement ceremony for the 16 graduating men and their loved ones at the Stateville correctional facility in Crest Hill. "I have no words for this, (it's) otherworldly. Coming from where I came from, the things that I've been through and to be here is indescribable," said graduate Michael Broadway after the ceremony. Broadway attained his degree despite several setbacks, including battling stage 4 prostate cancer. "I'm just so proud of him," said his mother Elizabeth. "I really am. He looks so good in that gown." Due to ill health, she had not seen Broadway since ... 2005. Professor Jennifer Lackey is the program's founding director. "Twenty years ago, some of these guys were in rival gangs, and here they are swapping poetry with each other and giving critical engagements on sociology assignments," said Lackey. "The love and growth that we see in the community is really unlike anything I've experienced at the on-campus commencements." Around 100 students are enrolled in the Northwestern program across Stateville and the Logan Correctional Center, a women's prison.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Eve by Cat Bohannon review – long overdue evolutionary account of women and their bodies
2023-10-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2023/oct/10/eve-how-female-body-drove-200-m...

Over hundreds of thousands of years, women have developed more sensitive noses (particularly around ovulation and pregnancy), finer hearing at high frequencies, extended colour vision, and longer life expectancy than men by an impressive half decade. Forget plasma exchange and supplementation – entrepreneurs trying to extend human life should be studying women, who comprise around 80% of today’s centenarians. American academic and author Cat Bohannon asks how this came to be, tracing defining female features back to our “presumed true ancestors”, our Eves as she calls them. Bohannon calls on her astounding disciplinary range to tell this epic tale. Her writing ripples with references from literature, film studies, biochemistry, cognitive science and anthropology. Evolution, as Bohannon emphasises, doesn’t care about our contemporary preferences or sensitivities. This emboldens her to confront uncomfortable stereotypes, like whether women’s brains have evolved to be inferior to men’s (in fact, the sexes have strikingly similar cerebral equipment). The author’s parting plea is that we learn more about women and girls. In the UK, unlike the US, there is still no regulation that insists women are included in medical research. Not everyone agrees with the ethical good of extending participation. Might they acknowledge that being specific about people’s sex and gender leads to more rigorous and reproducible scientific results?

Note: Read more about author Cat Bohannon's fascinating take on a wide range of discoveries and differences between the male and female body.


The Backyard Farmers Who Grow Food With Fog
2023-09-18, Reasons to be Cheerful
https://reasonstobecheerful.world/lima-fog-catchers-water-scarcity-irrigation/

At the highest point of Los Tres Miradores, a terrifyingly steep urban settlement with soaring views across Peru’s capital, Lima, there is a curious set of large structures that resemble a fleet of ships in the sky. They are so-called “fog catchers.” About 40 of these netted devices, made of high density Raschel polyethylene and spanning several meters wide, are lined up atop a misty mound and linked by a network of tubes that lead to storage containers. Home to a population of more than 10 million, Lima is one of the driest cities in the world. [The nonprofit] El Movimiento Peruanos sin Agua has helped install 600 fog catchers across Lima and a total of 2,000 across Peru, including in the regions of Arequipa, Iquitos and Cuzco. According to [founder Abel] Cruz, one man he supported is even able to raise 1,000 chickens thanks to fog catchers. In June, the project received a significant boost when it signed an agreement with the Mayor of Lima to install 10,000 more fog catchers in the hills surrounding the city in the next four years. The municipality ... said the project has the potential to “reforest, create ecological lungs, ecotourism and at the same time provide water for human consumption, for bio-orchards, botanical gardens, washing clothes, utensils and more.” In Los Tres Miradores, the 40 fog catchers — which were installed in 2021 — provide enough water for 180 families, whether to bathe, clean, drink (after being filtered at home) or to irrigate crops on small garden patches.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.