Good news should be top news

Posted Friday, November 27, 2009 - 3:33am

The news seems to be sad, especially in recent decades. Don't get me wrong, I want to know what is happening and what I need to be aware of but, a break from murder, disaster and war is welcome.

When I was on the newspaper staff in high school, I would sometimes write a "good news" article to cheer up others and myself when I felt the world was burdening me with depression and anguish. So I decided to continue with that tradition considering the events that took place throughout the year.

Good news to me does not necessarily have to be "Sally gave birth to a healthy baby boy yesterday ... " but something that interests, inspires and impresses. From a grandma passing the written exam for a driving license to new medical breakthroughs in keeping death at bay, I present some good news that will put a smile on your face and urge a "wow" from your mouth.

Cha Sa-soon, a 68-year-old grandmother, FINALLY passed the driving test written exam on her 950th attempt after four years. Cha spent over five million won ($4,200) on the exam application fees and now must face the practical test before hitting the road. The Korea Times reported that Cha wanted the license so she could sell vegetables and other goods by car.

This determination has brought Cha local fame, "She is really famous here. Not only agency employees but even some test-takers know her. Her challenging spirit is really amazing." An official said. After her 775th failure, Cha spoke to the press, "I believe you can achieve your goal if you persistently pursue it, so don't give up your dream, like me. Be strong and do your best."

Researchers say babies begin to pick up their parents' accents while in the womb. The University of Wurzburg researchers studied the cries of 60 babies born in French and German speaking families, they found that the French babies had rising pitch cries while the German babies cried with a falling pitch.

The Current Biology journal says that the babies are imitating their mothers to form a bond with them and that the unborn babies pickup on the first language that enters the womb.

Kathleen Wermke said, "The dramatic finding of this study is that not only are human neonates capable of producing different cry melodies, but prefer to produce those melody patterns that are typical for the ambient language they have heard during their fetal life. Contrary to orthodox interpretations, these data support the importance of human infants' crying for seeding language development."

The researchers say that the babies require only "well-coordinated respiratory-laryngeal systems to imitate melody contours and not the vocal control that develops later." The analysis showed the differences in the babies' cries that imitated their mother's accent. Wermke said, "Newborns are highly motivated to imitate their mother's behavior in order to attract her and hence to foster bonding.

Pink is a girl's best friend in Puebla, Mexico. Thirty-five new pink taxis are on the streets and are driven only by women, and stop only for women. "Some of the woman who have been on board tell us how male taxi drivers cross the line and try to flirt with them and make inappropriate propositions," said Pink Taxi driver Aida Santos, "in the Pink Taxi they won't have that feeling of insecurity, and they feel more relaxed."

Each pink taxi caters to women annoyed of crude male drivers and is equipped with a tracking device and alarm button that informs emergency services. Previous gas station worker and new taxi driver, Lidia Hernandez, called Pink Taxi, "a new and attractive source of employment."

These "women-only" taxis are becoming popular in cites as Moscow and Dubai. Pink Taxi was privately funded with 5.8 million pesos ($440,000) and if the program is successful, Mexico officials plan to expand to other cities.

According to a study from Canada, young adults are more generous than the older generations, especially when it comes to giving blood. Though this is a tally for college-age people everywhere, Canada is having a major problem: they are getting older. Regardless of the fact that pretty much everyone will need donor blood at some point, less than four percent of adequate donors actually donate blood. Researchers discovered patterns in records from the Canadian Blood Services: the 15-24 are group showed the promise of being likely donors while those in age group of 25-54 were not as promising. These researchers say that there are ties to the level of education and the capacity to speak English with likelihood of donation compared to immigrants, the wealthy and "city-folk" who were less likely to donate.

Antonio P ez of McMaster University said, "The fact that those who possessed a higher level of education were more likely to donate lends weight to the assertion that, with 25 percent of Canadians thinking there are some risks in donating blood, educating the public would help expand the donor database." The Bible says Adam lived to be 930 years. We are not quite there yet but, scientists say we are on our way. The majority of babies born in industrial countries during this century will eventually live through their 100th birthday.

Danish experts say that people in these types of countries are living at least 30 years longer since before the 20th century. Amazingly, we show no signs of a slowdown ahead. David Gems of University College London said, "Improvements in health care are leading to ever slowing rates of aging, challenging the idea that there is a fixed ceiling to human longevity. Laboratory studies of mice, including our own, demonstrate that if you slow aging even just a little, it has a strong protective effect," he continued, "a pill that slowed aging could provide protection against the whole gamut of aging-related diseases."

Richard Suzman at the U.S. National Institute on Aging said, "The graying population will slowly radically transform society, and retirement ages may soon be pushed back. We are within five to 10 years of a watershed event where there will be more people on earth over 65 than there under five. Those extra years need to be financed somehow and we need to start thinking about it now."

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