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Good News for Your Friday II

Large white fountain in the Meredith Quad with green trees behind it
Photo by Grayson Morris

Over the summer, on July 8, The Herald posted an article titled “Good News for Your Friday.” Times were extremely tough this summer, and it seems not much has bettered since. As stated in the last installment, binging the current news cycle can be extremely upsetting in all forms. Bad news puts your body in a constant state of stress and can even permanently damage your cortisol levels. That is why The Herald is here to remind you that there is still good out there, even when it seriously feels like there’s not.

Oregon Forgives $14 million in Fines and Pardons 45,000 People for Cannabis Possession Charges

Though Oregon decriminalized simple possession of cannabis several years ago, many people still have felony convictions on their records despite the drug's current legality. On Nov. 21, however, Governor Kate Brown announced the pardoning of 45,000 people found guilty of felony cannabis possession in Oregon. Along with the dismissal of the criminal charges, all related fines, which total over $14 million, will also be eliminated. The state courts will immediately start working to seal every record of a possession charge so that those who were convicted won't encounter financial or professional obstacles.

First female Architect in Pakistan Provides Bamboo-Built Emergency Shelters to Flooded Countryside

Yasmeen Lari, who is now 81, is a co-founder of the Heritage Foundation of Pakistan, a nonprofit organization that constructs bamboo homes for Pakistanis affected by floods. Lari also hosts a training facility for emergency architecture called Zero-Carbon Campus where designs of the original bamboo hut have been enhanced with prefabricated bamboo panels that can be swiftly put together with rope. Fast Company reports that a group of five artisans from the Campus can construct eight of these shelters each day and that these huts have successfully survived the recent flooding.

Scotland Becomes First Country To Offer Free Period Products

The Scottish Parliament decided to make period products free for everyone who requires them, making Scotland the first nation to do so. The Period Products Act was proposed in 2016 by Monica Lennon, a Labour Member of the Scottish Parliament MSP), and went into effect mid-August. Anyone is entitled to free sanitary supplies according to the law. Councils and educational institutions will be compelled by law to offer these products.

Beavers Constructing Dams are Defending Colorado's Rivers from Climate Change Threats

According to recent research, beavers may hold the secret to protecting our water by creating dam safeguards for rivers that are at risk from climate change. The study serves as a reminder that feedback from changes in ecosystems must be taken into account when assessing the long-term effects of climate change holistically. Beavers’ dam-building instincts date back millions of years, and the beautiful and fertile land they adore can be attributed to their very own labor. To read more about the complexities and science behind the beaver dams, click here.

Patients with COVID-19 Recover Smell Using Their Own Blood Plasma

One typical side effect of COVID-19 is loss of smell. Eight weeks after being infected, almost 1 in 5 patients report losing their sense of smell. Currently, a novel technique for helping patients regain their sense of smell is being investigated utilizing the patient's own blood plasma. Platelet-rich plasma treatment has already been used for 40 years but has recently gained traction again. The olfactory neurons, which are found in the nose, are encouraged to heal themselves by this therapy. David Rosen, an otolaryngologist, noted that a patient “who had only received two treatments so far” told him that “grass smelled like grass to her again and chocolate tasted like chocolate. [He is] excited to see people getting back to their normal lives.”

By Evelyn Summers, Senior Copy Editor



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