Here are five good things that happened this week:
To honor David Bowie, who died Sunday after a year and a half battle with cancer, the British record label Rough Trade is donating all profits they make from selling his albums in January to Cancer Research UK.
We felt it was important to honor the artist and his legacy, and sometimes when you’re selling an album after someone’s passing it can feel a little questionable or exploitative, George Flanagan, the co-store manager of Rough Trade’s Brooklyn storefront, told Huffington Post. “But the decision was made to donate the proceeds towards something positive, and we thought, let’s just have a clear conscience about it.”
After the announcement, fan demand for Bowie albums was so high that Rough Trade’s website crashed.
Last weekend, a disabled elderly man in Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee called 911 and said his former caretaker had stolen his debit card and he had not eaten in two days. A group of police officers quickly went out and bought the man enough food to last a month, pitching in their own money to do so. They took the food to his house and stocked his cabinets for him.
“It’s difficult for us to see as police officers,” one of the officers told WKRN. “We’re out here to take care of the public at large, and that doesn’t always mean stopping a car. Sometimes it’s us doing little things like this.”
The man’s caretaker was arrested, and the Mt. Pleasant police department has started a food pantry to help others in the community.
In 1986, Jimmy Carter announced his mission to eradicate Guinea Worm, a parasite that infected 3.5 million people just that year. Since then, the Carter Center has worked to educate villagers about filtered and chemically treated water. And it seems Carter’s goal is in sight. In 2015, there were only 22 reported cases of the Guinea Worm, as opposed to 126 cases in 2014.
If the disease is wiped out, it will be only the second human disease to have ever been eradicated. In a statement, the former president said, “As we get closer to zero, each case takes on increasing importance. The Carter Center and our partners are committed to seeing that this horrible parasitic disease never afflicts future generations.”
Thirteen-year old Guled Adan Abdi has not been able to go to school consistently because of his family’s financial troubles, but he has become an inventor in his spare time. Guled has been making toy cars and planes for years, crafting them out of bits of trash he finds in his hometown of Buhodle in northern Somalia. A few years ago, he decided he wanted to make his toys electronic. He studied the mechanics of real cars and constructed a battery powered system to make the parts move on his models. He also created a fan that can be used as a light.
Guled’s hard work attracted the attention of others in his town, who often come watch him work on his inventions after school. One of his teachers told local authorities about Guled’s work, and earlier this month, Guled got the opportunity to travel to another city to show his inventions to Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, the president of Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region. The president was impressed with Guled, and promised that the Puntland government would fund the rest of his education.
Guled hopes to eventually learn how to produce real cars.
TV director James Burrows recently aired his 1,000th episode of television. To honor the occasion, NBC is putting together a two-hour special that will reunite the casts of old shows including Will and Grace, Frasier and Friends. All of the main Friends cast members except Matthew Perry have signed on to appear, but because of scheduling difficulties, they may not all be in the same room at the same time. Still, getting to return to that couch in Central Perk can only be a good thing. Bring on the nostalgia.
Caromont Farm in Virginia is expecting about 90 newborn goats to arrive beginning in February, and they recently put out an ad for volunteers to help out. Volunteers will clean equipment, bottle feed the baby goats, play with them and, yes, even cuddle with the kiddos, who are given tiny, adorable sweaters to protect them from the cold. The volunteer slots filled up quickly, but the farm decided to host a “Goatapalooza” for the public on April 3 for “anyone who would still like to come get some goat love in.” Who could resist?
Dargan is a former RELEVANT editor turned freelancer. Find her online at darganthompson.com or follow her extremely random train of thought on Twitter @darganthompson.