And a Happy Friday to you all out there, hopefully enjoying the dog days of summer somewhere cool.
While I happily think about the fact that the U.S. Open is coming soon and the fact that our President really, really should’ve kept his lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen happy (this might really be big and lead to impeachment, I know we’ve said that before but this time we might be right), I throw three happy stories at you.
First up today, a potentially huge breakthrough in the fight against the insidious, awful disease called Alzheimer’s. Researchers have just announced the results of a clinical trial where, for the first time, a new drug was discovered to both reduce the plaques in the brains of patients and slow the progression of dementia.
This, from Thursday’s New York Times: “More extensive trials will be needed to know if the new drug is truly effective, but if the results, presented Wednesday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Chicago, are borne out, the drug may be the first to successfully attack both the brain changes and the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.”
The top-line results of the study? “Of the 161 patients in the group taking the highest dose, 81 percent showed such significant drops in amyloid levels that they “converted from amyloid positive to amyloid negative,” Dr. Kramer said in an interview, meaning that the patients’ amyloid levels dropped from being considered high enough to correlate to dementia to a level below that dementia threshold.”
This is potentially huge. You, me, everyone we all know has seen a friend of loved one affected by Alzheimer’s. It’s a horrible, horrible disease that robbed my Grandmother of her brain for her final years.
This is a possibly-thrilling breakthrough. Of course further testing needs to be done, etc. But it’s a wonderful development.
**Next up today, this is a fantastic and crazy idea that just may revolutionize supermarkets, and restaurants. A man in Melbourne, Australia has started a supermarket called “The Inconvenience Store.”
The store collects produce that stores plan to throw away because it’s not fresh (or pretty) enough to sell and “sells” it by donation.
From this story I read on Upworthy.com: “It receives throwaways from a local bakery — breads that aren’t good enough to sell but are still perfectly edible — for its patrons to take home. Other things that stores are prepared to toss, like items that are dented or just past their best-before dates, also stock the store’s shelves.
There are no cashiers and no set prices — a contribution box sits near the exit as an unassuming invitation to give what you can in exchange for what you take. People can also volunteer at the store as a form of payment and support for the store.”
Very cool idea, and one that I hope catches on.
**Finally today, I have a couple of new heroes to tell you about, and they’re both people you’ve probably never heard of. First, meet Elin Errsson, a 21-year-old Swedish political activist (definitely three words I’ve never typed in a row before) who single-handedly prevented the deportation of a man from Sweden, to Afghanistan, on a flight last week. It’s a pretty amazing story; read it here from The Guardian.
But my other hero is someone closer to home, and Miss Julianne Speyer, you, young lady, are a rock star. Julianne, 12, lives in Russell Township, Ohio, and is a proud member of the Girl Scouts.
At her town’s recent Fourth of July parade, Julianne became bothered by the parade MC’s descriptive differences in talking about the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts.
So she wrote a letter (above) to her local paper, the Geauga County Maple Leaf, printed above, calling out the sexism from the announcer and proudly declaring that women no longer should have to put up with this kind of demeaning attitude.
I love, love, LOVE this letter. Good for you, Julianne.