No Bad News

In today’s world, there seems to be more bad news than good news. The truth is, there’s just as much good news out there; the media just isn’t reporting it. If you’re tired of being fed only bad news by the media, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find lighthearted news: inspirational, funny, uplifting and interesting.

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Restaurant Critic Quits Position After His Annual Physical

New York Times
restaurant critic Pete Wells has resigned his position after discovering the toll that dining out for a living has been taking on his health. In a recent column, Wells revealed that he is suffering significant health issues, including poor cholesterol, high blood sugar, and hypertension. “When, in the line of duty, you have spent enough hours loading up your tray with mashed potatoes, rolls, biscuits, and an extra slice of pie, you eventually have to ask yourself whether you’re standing in the buffet line for the audience or for yourself,” wrote Wells. The food critic went on to explain that all of his 500 or so reviews were the result of eating 3 meals in the place he was writing about. That’s 36 dishes before he could write a single word. Other food critics share in Wells’ challenges, with the job requiring several visits to restaurants each week and everything on the menu taking a toll on them. “You have to sample the full range of the menu,” said food critic Ligaya Figueras. “If I really felt like a salad today, I can’t just have the salad.” Restaurant critic MacKenzie Chung Fegan revealed that there was a time when she was doing a story about a restaurant that specialized in Peking duck. “There was a 2-week period where I was eating more duck than anyone’s doctor would advise,” said Fegan. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that 50% of meals at full-service restaurants in the U.S. and 70% of those at fast-food restaurants were of poor nutritional value. As for Wells, he plans to step down as food critic in August but will remain with the New York Times.
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Why Motorists Keep Driving Into a Hawaii Boat Harbor

The Honokohau Small Boat Harbor in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, has a reputation for luring vehicles into the waters, but authorities say the common theme is “operator error.” In just over a year, three cars have plunged into the water at the marina while following GPS directions. The incidents have baffled Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth, who says it’s just another form of people not paying attention. In one incident, a tourist driving a Chrylser Town & Country had been trying to find a Manta Ray Snorkel tour company and reportedly took a wrong turn while following GPS directions. A few weeks later, another woman was following GPS directions when she took a turn down the boat ramp in her Ford Edge and found herself in the water. Roth said he is working to get the GPS issues figured out by getting in touch with Google and the GPS manufacturers that have their maps. An official with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources said the incidents are operator error and the boat ramp is “hard to miss.” A spokesperson from Google said that while they haven’t identified any routes in Google Maps that lead to the harbor, they are working with local authorities to make updates, if necessary, to accurately route drivers.
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Sick of Commercials For Prescription Drugs? The Rules Are About to Change

If you watch any type of television, or even streaming services with ads, it’s likely you’ve seen commercials for prescription medication. Entire ensembles, in coordinated colorful costumes, moving in perfect sync, choreographed, singing, and parading through the center of town — or an office building for some reason — loudly and proudly singing about their newly lowered A1c. Sure, they mix it up, too. Sometimes they’re dancing through the farmer’s market, mountain biking across trails, or giggling through a mimosa brunch. Prescription drug ads abound, through all hours of the day, during all types of television shows, but they’re seldom filled with the reality of the medications they’re promoting. The United States allowing such ads at all is actually unusual among the rest of the world’s countries. In fact, the U.S. and New Zealand are the only countries that allow direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertisements. In 1996, $550 million was spent by pharmaceutical companies on drug ads. By 2020, that number had risen to $6.58 billion annually. Now, the FDA has released a new ruling for prescription drug ads, and it will take effect on Nov. 20, 2024. So, what are the new rules? 

  1. 1. Major statements must be presented in “consumer-friendly” language. Advertisers must avoid advanced medical jargon and ads can’t be aimed at “tricking” buyers. 
  2. 2. Audio information must be understandable. You can’t jumble your words, read them at a rapid pace, or change the volume in order to squeeze them in and/or make them difficult to understand. 
  3. 3. Text must be presented in a clear, conspicuous, neutral manner. Ads must show information in “dual modality” — a fancy term that means the ad must show visible text as well as verbally speaking and they must be at the same time. 
  4. 4. Text information in drug ads must be readable. Take television ads for instance. Sitting at an average distance from the television, you can’t read the text. That itty bitty fine print isn’t going to cut it anymore. Drug companies must make it fair and enable viewers to actually read the print at the bottom of the screen. Quick flashes of fine print are no longer acceptable. 
  5. 5. Ads must not include “distractions.” Aren’t all drug ads a massive distraction? Instead of seeing a woman throwing up, you see a woman gleefully dancing and serenading us about her newly lowered A1c. Sadly, the ruling doesn’t prohibit music, loud sounds, or choreography, but says they must not play OVER the description of side effects or warnings. 

So, basically what the new ruling means is that the FDA is once again blowing smoke up the posteriors of the American public. Is there a drug for that?

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Sheepdog Penguin Protector Retires After 9 Years

An 11-year-old Maremma (sheepdog) named Tula and her sister Eudy have been guarding breeding penguins on Middle Island near Victoria, Australia, since she was just 2 years old. Now, with a new pup named Mezzo trained to be a penguin protector, Tula can look forward to a well-deserved retirement. “She’s got a bit of arthritis, so she finds it really difficult to get up all those flights of stairs to the top of Middle Island,” said Middle Island Maremma Project Coordinator Patricia Corbett (pictured). Despite being slower than she once was, Tula won’t be completely stepping away from her role. She will still be protecting chickens at a farm and will also help train younger guardian dogs. That’s because sheepdogs are working dogs and don't like to be idle. Eudy will stay on for another season. Guard dogs were first brought to the island in 2006 after fox predation saw a sharp decline in the island’s penguin population. At the time, fewer than 10 penguins remained. Maremmas — large white dogs originally bred to protect flocks of sheep — were placed on the island to protect the penguins during breeding season. In the years since the dogs were first implemented as guardians, the penguin population has grown to 140. After years on the program, Tula will celebrate her retirement with a sentimental farewell surrounded by those who worked with her. "We're going to have a special cake for her. We'll send her off in style,” said Corbett. "I'm not 100% sure which cake I'm going to make just yet. It will probably be some form of meatloaf with either a peanut butter frosting or a mashed potato frosting."

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