Nuggets of Wisdom

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

And Now The Good News #03

Pixar has been experiencing a bit of a creative slump since Toy Story 3. Most of its films since then have either been lackluster sequels to otherwise good movies (Monsters University and Cars 2) or lackluster movies of otherwise good concepts (Brave). The next few years don't see anything changing with many more proposed sequels on the horizon (Finding Dory and Incredibles 2). However, the company may have managed to rise above its creative malaise with its most recent film--and the box office numbers confirm this!

Pixar's newest movie, Inside Out, made its box office premiere with a bang with a $91 million gross, which, according to Slate, is "enough to eclipse Avatar’s $77 million debut and claim the largest-ever opening for an original property." In a summer otherwise plagued with sequels and remakes, this movie proves that original ideas are not only possible, but extremely profitable. Hopefully, this box-office success with encourage Pixar and other movie companies to start creating films that isn't more of the same.

But this is but the cherry on-top of this week's good news, which includes a good guy with a gun stopping a bad guy with a gun, a plane traveling around the world without a single drop of fuel, and scientists curing cancer with bubbles--f***ing bubbles! Read the rest of the good news below:

Good Policy

The White House just took a major step forward for medical marijuana. (PolicyMic) "The Obama administration has removed a major regulatory barrier standing in the way of desperately needed research into medical marijuana. On Monday, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which oversees the United States' overall drug-fighting efforts, announced it will no longer require scientists seeking to study medical marijuana to pass a stifling Public Health Service review process."

Senate passes amendment to ban torture as US policy. (Al Jazeera) "The Senate voted 78 to 21 to approve a defense bill amendment that bans torture. It was introduced by Republican Sen. John McCain and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. The amendment bolsters current law and makes the U.S. Army Field Manual on interrogations the standard for all interrogations conducted by the U.S. government. It also gives the International Committee of the Red Cross access to every detainee held by the U.S."

In major victory for property rights, SCOTUS strikes down USDA seizure of California raisins. (Reason) "In a decision issued today in Horne v. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the USDA’s raisin confiscation scheme as an unconstitutional violation of the Fifth Amendment."

Seattle plans to turn its dark alleys into bright community hubs. (Good) "City officials announced plans to renovate and refurbish a number of Seattle’s alleys with both structural and cosmetic improvements, in order to 'turn these utilitarian passageways into inspiring and enlivening elements of the city.'"

Good Science

Solar-powered airplane makes historic flight around the world without fossil fuel. (Upworthy) "The single-passenger plane collects solar energy via panels atop its wings, storing that in four batteries located behind the pilot. This allows the plane to fly at night and, in theory, means that as long as the equipment allowed, it could go on flying, well, forever."

A scientist is working on a revolutionary way to treat cancer, and it involves bubbles. (Upworthy) "Dr. Eleanor Stride is an engineer and scientist who's been working on a way to deliver drugs through tiny micro-bubbles injected into the bloodstream. With chemotherapy, the bubbles would target the cancer cells and go after them instead of flooding the entire body with the toxic substance."

Google is reportedly in talks to back the largest wind power project in Africa. (Business Insider) "Google wants to back Kenya’s Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, a massive undertaking that will require more than $700 million. The project will span 40,000 acres, raise Kenya’s energy capacity by 20 percent, and be an enormous boon to a country where less than 25% of the population has access to power."

Germ-zapping doorknob could get a handle on bathroom bacteria. (Take Part) "Thanks to a science fair project from two Hong Kong teenagers, 17-year-old Sum Ming Wong and 18-year-old Kin Pong Li, [the] handle-to-hand bacteria transmission cycle might soon be disrupted. The duo has created a door handle that zaps 99.8 percent of the bacteria on people’s palms and fingers."

Good Deeds

To get love, you give love. Let a woman from San Francisco show you how she does it. (Upworthy) "For Shannon Weber, it all started with a simple love note on a fridge. A mom of three, Shannon wanted her kids to have a little reminder of her love all the time, so she stuck a note on her fridge. Seeing it every day made her (and her kids!) feel so great that she started placing love notes all over town; she wanted others to feel the same amazing positive mojo...It's been four years since Shannon's kitchen note, and her movement has grown."

See a company that only hires people deemed 'unemployable.' (Upworthy) "It's at a place called Sun Cedar, and they will only hire you if you're a reformed felon or a recovering addict or homeless. Essentially, if you've been deemed as 'unemployable' in today's workforce, you're just who they are looking for."

Something great happened when a group put $40 on a bulletin board in a crowded L.A. train station. (Upworthy) "If you were walking through a busy train station and saw a bulletin board full of dollar bills, what would you do? A group in L.A. recently set out to answer that question. They tacked $40 onto a bulletin board in Los Angeles' Union Station with a simple message: Give what you can, take what you need...The board worked like a charm."

An Uber driver with a concealed handgun prevented a mass shooting in Chicago. (Chicago Tribune) "Authorities say no charges will be filed against an Uber driver who shot and wounded a gunman who opened fire on a crowd of people in Logan Square over the weekend. The driver had a concealed-carry permit and acted in the defense of himself and others, Assistant State's Attorney Barry Quinn said in court Sunday."