Thursday, December 21, 2006

Good News!

Mr. and Mrs. Jones (not their real names -- their names were changed because ... frankly I don't know their real names) lived in sunny Sun City, Arizona. They were getting up in years, so maintaining the lawn and the rest of the house was difficult, but together they managed the task. That is, until Mrs. Jones suddenly passed away. Mr. Jones found it impossible to keep up the job of living as well as the lawn. So it was no surprise when the Home Owner's Association informed him that he needed to remedy the lawn or face legal action. Mr. Jones was at an impasse.

A landscaper in the neighborhood found out about his plight. He checked with his connections at local rock suppliers and got them to donate the rock and desert plants for the yard. Then he organized volunteers and together they met, removed the lawn, and installed a desert-friendly, minimal maintenance front yard. Problem solved.

Mr. Jones was grateful. His gratitude was only magnified by the fact that the neighborhood landscaper was a nine-year-old who mowed lawns and tended yards, and the fact that the oldest volunteer he got to help out was twelve years old.

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Army Pfc. Ross A. McGinnis served at Forward Operating Base Loyalty in Iraq. He was the youngest soldier in Company C, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, attached to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Pfc McGinnis was manning the gunner's hatch when a grenade was tossed into the vehicle. McGinnis could have jumped out to safety, but instead he covered the grenade with his body, taking the force of the blast to protect the crew. The Silver Star Medal has been approved for McGinnis’s actions Dec. 4, and will be awarded posthumously.

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Jaimen Ortiz noticed a toddler hanging from a second-story window. Acting quickly, he jumped the fence and arrived just in time to catch the 2-year-old as she fell screaming. "If I had delayed one more second, she would have fallen to the ground," Ortiz said through a Spanish interpreter, recalling the Oct. 13 incident. Arlington, VA, has awarded him a certificate of recognition for his heroism and quick thinking. But it wasn't his first time at being a hero. As a teenager in Guatemala, he helped save a woman from drowning. It's good to see someone who cares enough to get involved.

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Anybody that knows the cartoon Dilbert will recognize the name of its creator, Scott Adams. Adams has a blog. He entitled this one "Good News Day".

Adams was suffering from Spasmodic Dysphonia. The unusual condition causes the vocal cords to spasm, making speech impossible. There is no cure for the condition. It was possible to get Botox injections into the vocal cords, but that was extremely painful and only temporary. So he suspended the Botox injections and just lived with the problem, all the while trying his own methods of fixing his problem.

One day he discovered that, while normal speech was impossible, he was able to speak in rhyme. (The theory is that the brain maps speech processes, and that this condition blocks that process. Using unfamiliar speech processes could cause the brain to re-map the process.) Scott repeated a nursery rhyme over and over out loud and found, to his surprise and joy, that his speech returned.

Scott Adams is not sure if the change is permanent, but being able to speak again after a year and a half of lost voice is good news indeed.

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Just thought it would be nice to see some pleasant, uplifting news stories.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You just gave my way-too-busy mind and heart a great big "Ahhhh...!" Lovely stories. Thanks.