The week's good news: Jan. 12, 2023
Author looking for an illustrator finds her thanks to a kitchen renovation
Ana Impellizeri and Nora Raikh have construction work to thank for their new creative partnership. Impellizeri is the capital projects manager for 2Life Communities, an organization that provides affordable housing for seniors in the Boston area. Raikh lives at 2Life's Ulin House in Brighton, and when she was hesitant to let construction workers into her unit to renovate her kitchen, Impellizeri came to try to ease her concerns. They started chatting, and Raikh shared that during the pandemic, she began writing children's stories about characters from Russian literature called Brownies. Raikh had a manuscript for a book called Small Secrets of a Big House, and just needed an illustrator. It turns out that Impellizeri also enjoys writing children's stories and is an artist, and volunteered to draw the pictures. Imepllizeri worked on the illustrations during her lunch breaks, and by December, they had a finished book. That month, they held a reading and book signing at Ulin House, and "Nora was so proud and happy, just radiant," Impellizeri said. Working with Raikh "opened up for me a new way of seeing our residents and the value of living in community," Impellizeri added. "I realized that reaching out to someone else can have a big impact."
Viewers delighted by video of dogs in Alaska adorably boarding a bus
One by one, they race up the steps and make their way to their assigned seats, tails wagging as they greet their pals with a lick. This is the Mo Mountain Mutts bus, carrying pups of all ages, sizes, and breeds from their homes to the trails of Skagway, Alaska. Mo Thompson and her husband Lee Thompson are the owners of Mo Mountain Mutts, and a video of them picking their dog walking clients up on the bus has gone viral, with more than 50 million views. There are about 40 dogs in three walking groups, and the Thompsons also provide obedience and socialization training. "It's the dream," Mo told The Washington Post. "I can't believe this is what we do for a living." The dogs have been trained to go to the same seat, and once they are buckled in, the bus moves on to the next stop. One of the regulars is Amaru, whose dad Gary Hisman usually does yard work while they wait for the bus. Amaru "even looks in the direction he knows they're going to come," Hisman said. "He's a very smart guy." The 5-year-old rescue is also a popular guy — he now has fans on the internet, who fawn over him in the video's comments. "All my friends tease me that he's going to leave home and go to Hollywood," Hisman said.
After TikTok food review, family-owned pizzeria becomes a Las Vegas hot spot
It just took one video to turn around Frankenson's fortunes. Frank Steele opened this pizzeria in Las Vegas last year, and had been struggling to attract customers. "I was lucky if I did $400 a day," he told KTNV. That changed after one of his employees contacted TikTok food reviewer Keith Lee, letting him know that the pizzeria's food was incredible, but if people didn't start coming in, they wouldn't be able to make rent. Lee agreed to come in for a review, paying for his own meal. "This taste test is to really see: Is it really the marketing, or is the food bad?" he told Today. While at the restaurant, he met Steele, and they had a long conversation about food and the business. "Frank was so dope," Lee said. In his TikTok, Lee was honest, praising the pizza, Italian sub, and lemon pepper chicken wings, deeming them some of "the best wings I've ever." When the phone immediately started to ring and customers began flooding into Frankenson's, Steele had no idea it was because of Lee's video, which has had tens of millions of views. Steele is now having to deal with running out of food, rather than having too much, and he is thankful for Lee and his new customers. "It's just been overwhelming," he told KTNV. "It's been a blessing. This restaurant has been a dream of mine for 30 years."
Uber driver donates kidney to passenger
Uber driver Tim Letts gave passenger Bill Sumiel more than a five-star drive. In the summer of 2021, Letts picked up Sumiel from a medical appointment and drove him to his home in Salem, New Jersey. They chatted during the 40-minute journey, and Letts learned that Sumiel had just been told he needed to find a kidney donor. At the end of the ride, Letts told Sumiel, "God must have put you in my car," and he offered to be his donor. "That about floored me," Sumiel told ABC 7. "I was shaking so bad I could barely write his name or number." After undergoing testing, it was determined that Letts was a match, and in December 2021, the transplant surgery took place. It was a success, and a year later, Sumiel said his life is almost back to normal. He wants people who are in similar situations to know "there is hope," and said if he "hadn't shared my story with Tim, I never would have gotten a kidney because he would not have known I needed one. Giving a kidney is actually a gift of life, and I feel so fortunate to have that gift."
The ozone will be completely healed by 2066, UN says
A United Nations report has shown that the hole in the ozone layer, which shields the planet from harmful radiation and ultraviolet rays, is on track to fully heal by 2066. An assessment of the layer has been performed every four years since the world's nations agreed to stop using ozone-destroying chemicals like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and the new report says that while progress is slow, the ozone is getting better and is expected to fully heal aside from the poles by 2040. The Arctic will likely heal by 2045 and Antarctica, which has the most severe damage, by 2066, The Guardian reports. In 1987, nations signed the international Montreal Protocol, which eliminated 99 percent of ozone-depleting chemicals, many of which were used as refrigerants. David Fahey, a scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a lead author of the new assessment, described the protocol as "the most successful environmental treaty in history."