Grip Toggles, Drag, & Leopards - Good News This Week: May 6th 2023

A photo collage of the Grip Toggle and household items, a portrait of Hannah Rothstein, a person holding a costume, a close-up of an Indigenous woman, and an Indigenous man holding a staff

Every day the Good Good Good team collects the best good news in the world and shares it with our community. Here are the highlights for this week!

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The Best Positive News We’re Celebrating This Week —

A viral TikTok invention is “single-handedly” offering improved accessibility for everyday tasks

Robert Simpson’s “Grip Toggle” is just his latest accessibility invention under his brand Single Handed. The company is a “small and innovative home and hospitality brand” that creates simple, sustainably-designed products that make life easier for able-bodied and disabled folks alike.

The Grip Toggle includes a suction cup and pulley mechanism that allows people with limited grip ability or hand motor function to open cabinets or gain a better grasp on cooking utensils.

It’s intended to “make life a little easier” for folks living with arthritis, carpal tunnel, old age, “or even missing digits,” Simpson said in a now-viral TikTok video. And actually, it's what all of Single Handed’s products are designed to do.

Why is this good news? If the comment section of Simpson’s viral video is any indication (and it usually is), this device is already and will continue to help so many people. Commenters shared stories of their parent with MS, their own struggle with rare diseases, and more — and how the Grip Toggle would make a difference in their life.

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An artist created a Woodstock-inspired collection of poster prints to put a spotlight on climate solutions

Hannah Rothstein has been making climate-focused art for years and unveiled her latest body of work: a series of 60s rock n roll-inspired posters highlighting climate solutions. It’s called “Goodstock: Putting Climate Solutions Center Stage,” and it features psychedelic elements and climate good news phrases. As lovers of all things Good, we're big fans.

The posters laud solutions-focused climate calls to action, with phrases like “Protect our forests,” “Eliminate food waste,” and more. And while Rothstein knows climate action is more than a handful of trippy posters — she also knows that art has the power to move people (and perhaps systems).

In one previous series “The Cost of Denial,” for example, she put the spotlight on the campaign finances of 10 climate-denying politicians, drawing vision from Soviet-era propaganda posters.

Why is this good news? We’ll let the artist take this one: “Every great movement has art that galvanizes it, whether music, posters, or theater,” Rothstein told us. “I hope that by creating climate art, I can play a small part in keeping people inspired and moving them toward positive change.”

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A Philadelphia-based drag troupe created a new children's show about a worm living inside a banned book

Loretta, a well-read bookworm, wears a fun hat and scarf while she looks for “friendly places” to chew pages. When a bookmobile comes to her library to pick up banned books and bring them to libraries that want them, Loretta ends up a stowaway in one of them — a commonly banned book in real life called “Julián Is a Mermaid.”

That story is the premise of a new performance called “Check It Out!!!” developed by Philadelphia-based drag troupe Bearded Ladies Cabaret — and it’s now touring through branches of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

The show will be performed outdoors on the troupe’s Beardmobile, a mobile stage they built on a commercial truck during the pandemic. It will be accompanied by live music, and children will watch Loretta find books that are “delicious and nutritious for a bookworm.”

Why is this good news? While LGBTQ-themed programming isn’t new to libraries, one branch manager said “it does feel extra important right now.” That’s because the past year has seen an unprecedented number of anti-LGBTQ laws proposed by state legislators across the country.

Like in Tennessee, where lawmakers passed laws restricting drag performances and health care for trans people — and heartbreakingly, other states are following their lead.

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A five-year study found that Indigenous territories offer the best protection for the Amazon rainforest

A new report highlighting results of a five-year study of the Amazon, found that, when compared to non-protected areas of the Amazon rainforest, protected areas and Indigenous territories saw one-third of the loss of primary forest. And while protected areas slightly less forest, Indigenous territories saw lower deforestation, which is differentiated by intentional tree felling.

The study took place between 2017 and 2021, and estimates that 27 million acres of primary forest (about one-fourth the size of California) were lost in those five years, 71% to deforestation and 29% to fire. It’s important to note fires don’t naturally occur in the Amazon, but are set to clear land for cattle ranching and soy farming.

Why is this good news? An estimated 70% of all deforestation in the Amazon has been linked to clearing land for cattle. While we didn’t necessarily need more evidence that Indigenous peoples are the best land guardians and stewards — some folks do. And these findings add to a growing mountain of evidence to support it (and make the good news below even more encouraging!).

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A synthetic fur distribution program is protecting a sacred connection to African leopards — and the animals themselves

In southern Africa, leopards have long been harvested for their beautiful spotted furs, which are often used in ceremonies by cultural and religious groups in the area. But it’s also making it difficult to address the region’s dwindling leopard population.

Bridging the gap between animal conservation and cultural heritage, Panthera — a global wild cat conservation organization — has partnered with area communities and world-class designers to instead distribute synthetic furs for ceremonial garb. Since it

This approach is ground-breaking and has the potential to be replicated in other areas of the world. New data even shows that these initiatives have tripled the leopard population in the region.

Why is this good news? Cultural traditions and practices are incredibly important to preserve — but we need to do our best to ensure it doesn’t come at the cost of conservation. Panthera’s work to protect both tradition and wildlife is such good news to celebrate — and apply to other cultural practices that impact wildlife and local ecosystems!

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A Portland woman used her life savings to open a sports bar that only played women’s sports — it’s already brought in $1 million

In 2018, Jenny Nguyen wanted to watch the NCAA women’s championship basketball game with friends at a bar, and had to plead with a bartender to swap the men’s game on a small, no-sound television for it. Frustrated with this recurring experience, she came up with a solution: she opened her own bar.

The Sports Bra in Portland, Oregon plays exclusively women’s sports on TV, and while Nguyen believed her idea was important — s​​he admittedly didn’t think it would catch on. She anticipated it would only stay open for a few months.

She was happy to be proven wrong: the bar just celebrated its one-year anniversary. And that’s not all: in the 8 months it was open in 2022, it brought in nearly $1 million, making it profitable within a year.

Nguyen, her team, and the customers that frequent The Sports Bra are helping elevate women’s sports to the level of access they more than deserve. We hope to see more bars like it popping up around the country!

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More good news of the week —

Mattel unveiled a new Barbie doll with Down syndrome “to allow even more children to see themselves in Barbie.” Criticized in the past for perpetuating unrealistic beauty standards with its dolls, Mattel has changed course and introduced many more diverse dolls.

Sweden is building the world’s first permanent electrified road for electric vehicles to charge while driving. The e-motorway may lead to an expansion of a further 3,000 km of electric roads in Sweden by 2045.

Down from 12.5% in 2020 and 2021, the U.S. adult cigarette smoking rate just hit a new all-time low of 11%. Long considered the leading cause of preventable death, it’s also down from around 42% in the mid-1960s — however, e-cigarette smoking rose to nearly 6%.

A Bay area diner gives free, hot meals to anyone in need — n​​o questions asked. And paying customers can help support the Homemade Cafe’s “Everybody Eats” program by adding  $5 to their bill — many of which are happy to do.

A new treatment has been found to dramatically improve the survival chance of babies with acute leukemia. Combined with chemotherapy, the new drug resulted in 93% of babies still alive two years after diagnosis compared to a 66 % survival rate with chemo alone.

In an effort to save Hawaii’s rare koa tree, two ukelele makers ended up restoring an entire tropical forest. Located on the slopes of the Big Island’s Mauna Loa volcano, the forest is a critical part of Hawaii’s fragile and unique ecosystem.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers unveiled a bill to ban members of Congress from owning and trading individual stocks. Encouragingly, the Bipartisan Restoring Faith in Government Act is supported by lawmakers across the ideological spectrum.

The world’s deepest offshore wind turbine was installed off the coast of Scotland. The Seagreen project will deliver enough energy to power more than 1.6 million homes.

Pope Francis revealed that the Vatican is involved in a “peace mission” to end the war in Ukraine. Francis said he was also doing “all that is humanly possible” to help return Ukrainian children taken to Russia and urged Hungary to welcome migrants.

Reversing the policy of his predecessor, Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva just legally recognized six Indigenous territories. It’s crucial to protect Indigenous lands from increasing encroachment by farming, gold miners, and loggers in the Amazon rainforest.

New York passed the nation’s first statewide ban on gas in all new buildings starting in 2026. While it won’t impact existing buildings, the ban aims to tackle a major source of carbon emissions and air pollution.

Philadelphia’s ban on single-use bags that went into effect in 2021 has already prevented the use of 200 million plastic bags. That would be the equivalent of filling City Hall with plastic bags every eight months.

California just became the first state in the world to ban new diesel medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The decision was unanimous, goes into effect in 2036, and will require a switch to zero-emission big rigs, garbage trucks, and other heavy-duty vehicles.

The FDA just approved a the first RSV vaccine in the world intended for older adults. While it usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms, each year RSV kills 6,000 to 10,000 seniors and a few hundred children younger than 5.

The new bullet train connecting Los Angeles to Las Vegas is now moving forward thanks to bipartisan support. In addition to being a blueprint for more like it, the project is projected to create 35,000 construction jobs, 1,000 permanent jobs, and significantly reduce planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.

Article Details

May 6, 2023 5:00 AM
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