Friday Good News Roundup: March 3, 2017
Liz Biscevic—5 Things to Know Today
Happy Friday! If you want something to make you smile, check out what George W. Bush says about his friendship with Michelle Obama. Also, there’s a new lemur facial recognition device to satisfy all of your cute goals for the weekend, and kids open up about how they REALLY feel about the American Girl’s new boy doll in an enlightening video [Watch it below!].
1. Today: George W. Bush opens up about his unlikely friendship with Michelle Obama.
Many of us fail to notice that Bush and Michelle Obama are often seated next to each other at events, and Bush says it’s because he cracks her up. Bush told People that “Anyone who likes my sense of humor, I immediately like,” and he told Ellen DeGeneres that “I’m kind of a needler, and she handles it pretty well.” It’s a sweet friendship, and proof that even people on opposite sides of the political aisle can be friends.
2. Recode: Twitter is taking action against trolls with new anti-harassment features.
Now, you’ll be able to mute specific words, usernames, and those dreaded egg avatars from your timeline. In addition, Twitter is making a stronger effort to identify accounts that engage in abusive behavior, even if the tweets aren’t reported, and not allowing users outside their direct network to see their tweets. These actions have been a long time coming, and may make the Twitterverse a significantly safer space for those previously targeted by online abuse.
3. HuffPo: Kids share what they REALLY think about the American Girl’s boy doll [Watch Video!]
A few weeks ago, America Girl released its first boy doll, Logan Everett. In a “Kids React” video, children share how they really feel about having a boy version of the typical American Girl doll. There's a lot of cuteness, but eight-year-old Lucas and his delightfully gender-neutral toy preferences really steal the show. Watch below:
4. Inhabitat: Scientists in Egypt are turning dried shrimp shells into eco-friendly plastic.
Scientists at Nile University are sourcing shrimp shells from local establishments and fishermen, cleaning and treating them, and grinding them up to extract the shells' chitosan to make a clear, thin, plastic-like substance. The scientists hope that this biodegradable bio-plastic can be used in lieu of petroleum-derived plastic packaging and bags. Not only would this material also cut down on wasted crustacean shells as shrimp and similar shellfish are processed for food, but the chitosan plastic also has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
5. Fast Coexist: Researchers are creating a database full of lemurs’ faces to save the species from extinction.
Instead of using tags or tracking devices, they’ll use photos and facial recognition technology to monitor groups of lemurs in Madagascar's rainforest. A new software called LemurFaceID can identify a lemur with 98.7 percent accuracy, which makes it easier to keep tabs on the population and plan for conservation. Using tracking devices and tags is stressful, expensive, and requires capturing the animals and then releasing them back into the wild. This new system needs only a photo.