The week's good news: Oct. 20, 2022
This British physicist has written 1,750 Wikipedia bios for overlooked women scientists
Jess Wade is on a mission to educate everyone with an internet connection about trailblazing women scientists. Wade, a British physicist, spends her free time writing Wikipedia biographies for women in the sciences who should have entries but don't. Wade told The Washington Post she was inspired to start this project in 2017 after meeting American climatologist Kim Cobb. Wanting to know more about her, Wade went on Wikipedia and was astonished to see there was no entry. Wikipedia is "used by pretty much everyone," Wade said, and she realized that "despite it being this incredibly important resource, it was suffering from a lack of content, particularly about women, but also about people of color." Since then, Wade has completed more than 1,750 pages for female and minority scientists and engineers, she told the Post, and she often spends her evenings reading journals, scientific papers, archived documents, and social media to find potential subjects. It takes Wade a few hours to write each Wikipedia entry, but she's not doing it all alone — she also teaches others how to research and put together pages during training workshops. Wade describes herself as a "tiny fish in a massive sea," but she'll "keep doing everything I can to make science a more accessible and inclusive place to be."
For her next act, Texas grandmother becomes a commercial pilot
Tamaron Nicklas is back in the cockpit, right where she wanted to be. Nicklas spent nearly eight years in the Air Force, where she was a pilot who learned how to refuel several types of aircrafts. She was able to fly around the world, stopping in Guam, Australia, the Philippines, and Korea, but after the birth of her third child, it became too hard to balance her home life and career. "I really actually struggled with it for a while after I'd walked away, just in that you know, that it's your identity," Nicklas told ABC News. After staying grounded for 24 years, Nicklas, now a grandmother, decided to return to the sky, taking a job as a flight instructor. She was then hired as a pilot by Southwest Airlines, where her husband has been a captain for 30 years, and arranged to sit alongside his wife during her first flight. Nicklas hopes her story encourages people to return to careers that they once loved. "If you've been away from it and think it's insurmountable, not attainable, take the first step," she said. "There's no reason you can't do it."
Minnesota community comes together to harvest crops for injured farmer
When Minnesota farmer Scott Legried wasn't able to harvest his soybean crop, more than a dozen people showed up to get the job done. Legried was seriously injured in an August car accident; when he swerved to avoid hitting a puppy in the road, Legried went off the road, and ended up breaking his collarbone, a shoulder blade, and seven ribs; cracking two vertebrae; and sustaining a collapsed lung and concussion. Doctors said he wouldn't be able to get on a tractor for several months. This was a problem because Legried runs his farm in the town of Frost almost entirely on his own, and the harvest from his 600 acres of corn and soybeans is his lone source of income. Once word spread in Frost — population 198 — of what happened, one neighbor was able to recruit 18 farmers to help Legried. On Oct. 4, they arrived at Legried's farm with their equipment and in no time had the soybeans harvested; they will come back later this month for the corn. "This is a busy time of year for farmers, so it meant the world to me," Legried told The Washington Post. "But I guess I really wasn't surprised. I'm lucky to live in a community where people have always looked out for each other."
Indiana mom offers salon services for parents with babies in the NICU
Sarah Pulley knows what it's like to have a child in the neonatal intensive care unit, and has found a way to bring comfort to other parents going through the experience. Four years ago, Pulley's daughter spent four months in the NICU. This inspired Pulley, a salon owner, to become a volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House Family Room at the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. These rooms allow families of sick children to take showers and have a quiet place to eat while in the hospital, and when Pulley learned the facility wanted to start offering salon services there, "I knew this could be special," she told Today Parents. The Beauty Bar opened on Sept. 14, with a chair donated by Pulley and free hair care products from one of her distributors. She will be there once a month, shampooing hair and offering scalp massages, and said the treatments are "just as special for me. There's something about the connection between moms and the power of touch."
Anna May Wong becomes 1st Asian American featured on U.S. currency
A new U.S. coin will make history by honoring Anna May Wong, a trailblazing movie star. The U.S. Mint announced it will start shipping quarters featuring an image of the actress, making her the first Asian American ever featured on U.S. currency. Wong, who died in 1961, starred in more than 60 films beginning in the silent era and became the first Chinese American movie star in Hollywood. The coin is part of the American Women Quarters Program celebrating distinguished women, and designer Emily Damstra said it was made to look like Wong is surrounded by lights resembling a movie theater marquee. Wong was "a courageous advocate who championed for increased representation and more multi-dimensional roles for Asian American actors," U.S. Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson said. "This quarter is designed to reflect the breadth and depth of accomplishments by Anna May Wong, who overcame challenges and obstacles she faced during her lifetime."