The Week in Good News: A ‘Time Capsule for Organisms,’ Thanksgiving for Refugees, Neediest Cases

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The Week in Good News: A ‘Time Capsule for Organisms,’ Thanksgiving for Refugees, Neediest Cases

Sometimes it seems as if we’re living under a constant barrage of heavy news. But it isn’t all bad out there. This feature is meant to send you into the weekend with a smile, or at least a lighter heart. Want to get The Week in Good News by email? Sign up here.

Here are seven great things we wrote about this week:

Better management of grasslands, soils and forests in the United States could offset as much as 21 percent of the country’s annual greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study published on Wednesday.

Strategies like replanting trees on degraded lands, changing logging practices and sequestering more carbon in farmland soils could be — on the high end of projections — roughly equivalent to taking every single car and truck in the country off the road.

Working to replenish natural landscapes can also have valuable side benefits. Restored wetlands don’t just pull carbon out of the air, they can also improve local water quality and protect cities from flooding. Read more »

Last Tuesday, the state freed consumers of a 6.85 percent sales tax when they buy tampons and sanitary pads — products that are a necessity for many.

The move is a victory for proponents of “menstrual equity,” a movement that aims to make the items available to in-need populations such as students and those in correctional facilities and shelters. Read more »

The State Department and nine independent agencies sponsor and shepherd refugees through their first year of American life. That includes introducing them to the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, which can often seem rife with unfamiliar flavors and methods.

Mayada Anjari, who arrived from Syria, was delighted with brussels sprouts. “Little cabbages!” she said with pleasure.

Dima King, who sought asylum in the United States because of anti-gay persecution in Russia, said he was intimidated by the thought of roasting a whole turkey but excited about making pumpkin pie. He said that Thanksgiving honored the idea of treating strangers with generosity, charity and humanity: “Of course, that is a holiday I want to cook for.” Read more »

Women of various ages don’t often mingle outside the modern American workplace. But informal, cross-generational gatherings are hoping to change that.

One of them, Moxie!, a free network, aims to share stories, concerns and triumphs in real-life meetings. At a recent gathering in Chicago, guests ranged from 29 to 93. Another group, Travel Circles, helps women of all ages take trips to meet other women around the world. Read more »

Ken Foster runs a community outreach program in the Bronx for the Animal Care Centers of NYC, a nonprofit that operates the city’s animal shelters. He wanted to know more about how dogs lived in the city, so he set out to chronicle their stories in a book.

“No matter how completely different we are, if you have dogs in common it cuts through whatever else you might think would be a barrier,” Mr. Foster said. “We’re different people, we come from different cultures, we speak different languages sometimes, and yet if there’s a dog in front of us, we can find a way to connect.” Read more »

The Zoological Museum of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg has one of the largest public collections in the world, including a 3,000-year-old baby mammoth. It is also a “time capsule for organisms,” according to Ross MacPhee, curator of mammals at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

As animals become increasingly threatened, these exhibits are helping to unlock genetic information and offer precious clues to aid species survival. Read more »

The 2017-18 campaign raised $5,838,425. All donations go directly to eight beneficiary organizations. We hope you will read and share their stories. Read more »

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