This is Good News Friday, where we find some good economic, energy, and environmental news and share it with PP readers. Please send any positive news to [email protected] with subject header “Good News Friday.” We will save and post weekly. Enjoy!
Prof Edward Chang, one of the researchers, said: “For the first time, this study demonstrates that we can generate entire spoken sentences based on an individual’s brain activity.
“This is an exhilarating proof of principle that, with technology that is already within reach, we should be able to build a device that is clinically viable in patients with speech loss.”
That’s what happened to Kentucky residents Lyndi Trischler and Sam Riley. Both needed relief from their duties as patrol officers to protect their pregnancies at work: Trischler’s heavy gun belt and tight bullet-proof vest were causing her pain and health issues. But at the time, their city’s policy only allowed those with on-the-job injuries to participate in the light duty program, so they were pushed off the job and onto leave. The Department of Justice eventually got involved and issued a consent decree, and the city of Florence changed its policy.
“Automatic voter registration works,” says Myrna Perez, deputy director of the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program. She says that registrations increased “irrespective of whether or not the state has a history of pro-voter reforms and when they don’t. In blue states, in red states, in purple states, in big states and small states, we see an increase.” She added that automatic registration systems seem to have a greater impact in states where a smaller percentage of eligible voters are already registered.
Asheville’s story is an unusual and important one—it shows both the problems confronting policing today and the potential of innovative strategies. And such innovation is needed, because American policing faces some of its greatest challenges in modern history.
Some commentators have framed the latest report as a sign that Social Security is healthier. That’s true, in the short term, but the underlying crisis remains unfixed: There just aren’t enough workers the government can tax to cover benefits for all the baby boomers who are retiring. Unless Congress intervenes, GenXers, millennials, and future generations will struggle to afford their own retirement if they can’t get their full benefits.
Let’s start from the diametrically opposed view: the view that thought is the enemy of skill, which the philosopher Barbara Gail Montero at the City University of New York aptly calls the ‘just do it’ view. According to the just-do-it view, skilled action at its best is associated with ‘flow’ experiences that leave no space for thought; when we start thinking about what we are doing, skill breaks down in distinctive ways.
A Wave Of Clean Energy Policies Are Killing Coal (Michael S.)
A carbon tax proposed in green-tinged Washington State failed a voter referendum last year. While the oil industry poured money into the state to defeat that vote, politicians still took note of the defeat. Changing course, the state just passed its 100 percent clean energy standard.
“This is a major step for the RATP and a symbol of its ambition to be a key player in the energy transition in the public transport sector,” said RATP chief executive Catherine Guillouard.
“To put them into service, the company is mobilised to meet an industrial challenge within a very short tight deadline,” she added.
Major issues that didn’t make it into the spending plan include legalization of recreational marijuana. Cuomo and legislative leaders have said the issue was too complex to rush into the budget. Instead, it could be handled in separate legislation worked out over the last three months of the legislative session, scheduled to end June 19.
As a student at Oxford, I discovered with delight a very different garden — the Oxford Botanic Garden, one of the first walled gardens established in Europe. It pleased me to think that Boyle, Hooke, Willis and other Oxford figures might have walked and meditated there in the 17th century.
But the good news is that even a small amount of time in nature can have an impact on our health. A two-hour forest bath will help you to unplug from technology and slow down. It will bring you into the present moment and de-stress and relax you. Numerous studies I’ve conducted have shown that shinrin-yoku has real health benefits.
Other scientists point out, though, that without strict laws to curb carbon emissions, no individual’s choices matter all that much. For them, the most important action is political — to try to change the direction of national and global policies.
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