Good News Monday: Prisoners, Planets, and Tears

Here we are, Week 2 of my snippets of 2020 good news.

On a local level: Prisoners can vote

Beginning this year, people in my state and in my county who are pre-trial detainees can vote.

Prior to the January 1, detainees in my county could get absentee ballots. Now they will have educational resources, be able to register, and in some cases, have polling places available. To read more about this program, check out the Northwest Herald article here.

This is good news because many of these people are only detained because they cannot afford bail. If a detainee gets convicted of a felony, he or she will be unable to vote while serving time, same as before January 1st. Those rights are restored once they return to the general population.

In the science world:

Wolf Cukier, a teenager from New York discovered a new planet.

Wolf was just three days into a NASA internship, under the wing of renowned planet hunter Veselin Kostov. Imagine what Veselin thought when Wolf told him,

“I noticed that dimming of light from the stars and that was evidence that something was there..”

The Times

Veselin must have been a bit like the naturalist that refused to believe that Loved-One spotted a sloth in Africa.

"No, you couldn't see a sloth from this distance," Expert told the group.
"I'm pretty sure that's what I'm seeing." Loved-One has a detective's eye, even without the binoculars. I believed him.
"Take a look for yourself." 

The two of them went back and forth for a bit before the guide acquiesced.

"By jove, you're right."  (I'm pretty sure he didn't really say, 'by jove.' I took a little bit of poetic license there.)

Wolf’s planet is over 1,000 light years away, orbits two suns, and is almost seven times the size of earth. I like that he explained it in Star Wars terms. It’s sort of like Luke Skywalders home planet. I wish I could tell you that Wolf named the planet after himself or maybe his mom, but alas, the planet’s name is TOI-1338b.

In the world of writing:

Heather Christle wrote a whole book about crying: The Crying Book.

I already knew some of the science of tears. Like tears of grief are chemically different from tears of joy or tears of anger. I also am acutely aware that a woman crying is much more unacceptable than a man expressing rage. I cry when I’m angry, which gets misinterpreted as sadness, which frustrates me, which also makes me cry.

Still, I like the idea of a whole book devoted to crying. The science, the sociology, and the psychology. Reading about all the times and reasons the author cries seems, well, cathartic.

You can read the review in The New Yorker by clicking here. Or you can buy it on Amazon by clicking here.

I also read another review of a book that was just about butter. The author decided to write it after tasting 27 different types of butter.

If you are a good writer, you can create a book about anything. That is very good news, indeed.

What’s on your Good News radar this week? I’d love to hear.