Maybe the world mightn’t look so great sometimes; but you just have to look harder. There is always good news.
Here’s some you might already know but which is such good news it’s worth mentioning again:
1) Someone has invented undies that filter fart smells. I know, this is the best news ever. My entire family need a pair each for car trips (except for me, my delicate bottom-wafts smell like either licorice or daphne depending on what I’ve been doing that day. I’m like a large ambi-pur, plug me into the air vent for extra efficiency or dangle me from the mirror). What’s even better about flatulence filtering underwear is the campaign that accompanies it – “Fart with confidence” and a hot bloke sniffing/kissing a hot girl’s butt. (This isn’t a sponsored post – they don’t need to pay me to say these knickers are the best thing since sliced bread, in fact better, we can all slice bread but we can’t always hold in farts,)
2) Cuttlefish return. The Giant Australian Cuttlefish has been another one of those “numbers declining” stories that we are getting so familiar with. In the 1990’s, about 200,000 of them gathered in the Spencer Gulf in South Australia, the only place in the world where the breeding ritual takes place. Numbers have steadily declined and last year, only about 13,000 swam in for their shag-fest. State and Federal Governments invested about $700,000 into investigating the drop in numbers but it was looking grim. Scientists, based on recent patterns, didn’t expect there to be any cuttlefish at all this year.
But low and behold, about 120,000 giant cuttlefish turned up for the winter nookie. Experts say they need to see another increase to prove it’s not just a temporary thing, but they are thrilled nonetheless. Craig Wilkinson, CEO of the Conservation Council of South Australia, says, “Oh, it’s great news. It’s surprising, it’s perplexing, it’s exciting and it just shows how little we actually know”.
So who says they hadn’t found a new breeding ground somewhere else? In my experience the nightclub industry is a fickle business, particularly in winter. They probably all got sick of the riff raff at Spencer Gulf and have just rediscovered it again as kind of retro cool. Like Regines. Extra points to you if you know what I mean by that.
NB I wondered how these cuttlefish relate to those white things you find on the beach than Granny used to feed to her budgies. We find them all the time, the dog enjoys a little gnaw on them too. They, as it turns out, are a cuttlebone, which is the internal shell of the cuttlefish. It is chalky and light and filled with calcium which serves as a great calcium supplement for birds (in case you were worried about your canary getting osteoporosis – more good news, you’re welcome).
3) I saw a skink in the wood box today. This to me means one thing – the sun has enough warmth in it to heat up the blood of a reptile. That, if you are not Tasmanian and don’t quite understand, is VERY good news.
Also, I love skinks in my garden because they eat dandelions, slaters and flies, some of the many nemeses of a country wife. Interestingly, the love veggies but only eat them if they’re cooked. Oh I’m soooo sorry Master Skink, I’ve underdone your sprouts.
4) Kale is not a superfood. It’s enjoyed a massive surge in popularity (back in 2010 it was probably a mere leafy weed) as the superhero of green juices and The New Lifegiving Chip (Broccoli and spinach are sooooo cut). But as it turns out, the free-radical absorbing/anti-oxidant rating of Kale is bettered by such “evils” as red wine, chocolate and peanut butter. Yes it is a green and yes it is good for you, but no more so that other greens that aren’t as chewy as a dock leaf or so likely to give you a nasty dose of halitosis (try eating home made kale chips and you’ll smell what I mean).
5) Art always happens. A purely escapist but for the most part well written book, Longbourne by Jo Baker is in development for the big screen. This is the book that helped me through Hamas and ebola etc (I know, poor me reading about this horrible stuff while sucking on a fruit tingle in my safe, warm home).
This is good news, not this particular book or this particular film (which is 90% certain to be a disappointment after the book as they all are except maybe Chocolat and Gatsby but especially The Power of One), but for the fact that while war rages and things die or break or are lost, people are still making films and writing books that give much needed pleasure or escape or meaning. Or laughter. This is perhaps the reason why Winston Churchill asked that question when arts funding was cut to bolster the war effort: “What are we fighting for?”
Thank goodness for people telling stories, whichever way they choose and whatever funding cut they face.
5) Baton twirling is alive and kicking. I was twiddling a cricket wicket today and was struck by the sudden thought, ‘Whatever happened to baton twirling?’ Did it die out with Fergal Sharkey and Australis perfume? As a child I wished wholeheartedly to be struck suddenly with the gift of baton twirling. That and a broken arm, and all the attention and cast signing that comes with it. Not sure what I would have done if I’d been hit with both at the same time.
Anyway, turns out that baton twirling, whilst perhaps not as big as it was in the 80’s, still has a following – I know because Baton Twirling Australia is on Facebook and has 736 followers, which is more than I have. And they have a world championship, which was in Nottingham this year. They pride themselves as an anti-doping sport.
It’s ballet, jazz and gymnastics all in one and I want in.
6) There is hope for World Peace. It seems like everyone’s wish on a star/beauty pageant fall back, but there are real life brainy academic people doing theses on how peace might be achieved.
I sort of thought it was all in the impossible basket but of course there are people looking into it, I mean if there’s a thesis on the stools of foxes then there’s bound to be someone looking at world peace. Of course you can’t squeeze 7 billion people onto one modest sized planet and expect things to be hunky dory without really trying. But still I thought the best try I could give was wish on a birthday cake or maybe a dandelion.
But then I listened to a wonderful speech by a wonderful man – Tasmania’s late and great Governor Peter Underwood, who sadly died while in office on the 7th of July this year. He spoke passionately and profoundly on the topic of peace in his ANZAC day speeches and he gave me the very strange idea that perhaps peace is achievable. In his 2014 ANZAC Day speech he said,
Surely, now that the curtains have closed on mankind’s greatest century of violence, the least we can do is start the next century with a Year of Peace and commit to setting up and maintaining, or otherwise fully financing, a centre that is dedicated to the study of the nature of social conflicts, causes of violence and definitions of peace, as well as engage in research into new approaches for resolving conflicts. That would be a fitting call to remembrance.
He talked about the Rudd Government’s commissioned initiative to open an Anzac Centre for the Study of Peace, Conflict and War and how, while the initiative was rejected at the time, it is one that should be revisited, particularly when money is flying around to commemorate a century since the start of WW2. And then failing that, if we can’t achieve that, that we should at the very least support the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS) at the University of Sydney, which has depended for 26 years on sponsors, membership subscriptions and volunteers. The centre teaches “the causes of conflict and the conditions that affect conflict resolution and peace. Research projects and other activities focus on the resolution of conflict with a view to attaining just societies.”
The Sydney Peace Foundation is an initiative of CPACS which further helps support practitioners of peace by connecting with nice corporations and individuals with bags of money. Some of those Peace Partners are worth naming: Singapore Airlines, Well Mannered Wines and Four Seasons Hotel Sydney – support these peace lovers if you get the opportunity. Or better still, dip into your own money bags if you have some and donate something yourself.
And there are other peace study schools too – one at ANU, Uni of SA, University of QLD…this is just in Australia. That is good news.
This is not all the good news of course, but it’s all the good news I have time for tonight. I feel more at peace for it all though. Especially the baton twirling, those twirlers could twirl the world into happiness I reckon, especially if they thrust their batons into a few terrorists’ eye sockets and into the mealy mouth of Putin. But that’s just souring the tone, so I’ll sweeten it again with this little dose of positivity:
We are Megoracle have a little happy, good news surprise for you next week. Something to hopefully make you smile, chuckle or laugh. Keep your eyes peeled for announcements.
Meanwhile, the bureau forecasts fine weather for both Saturday and Sunday.*
And that, ladies and gentleman, is the good news for this week. Have a splendid weekend, and goodnight.
* PS here’s some trivia for you – I was once the Win News Tassie weather girl. Here’s me (in the blue coat, in front of an impressive old camera complete with autocue) with some other weather girls. I was terrible at it and once got some fan mail from an old man.