The week's good news: April 1, 2021
It wasn't all bad!
Girl Scout shatters record by selling 32,484 boxes of cookies in 1 season
To sell tens of thousands of Girl Scout cookies in two months is an incredible feat — one made even more special when it's done during a pandemic. Lilly Bumpus, 8, made it her mission to sell as many cookies as she could this season. She wasn't able to go door-to-door or set up tables outside of stores, but Bumpus could sell online and had a booth in the front yard of her San Bernardino, California, home. "She sold her freaking heart out til the last day of Girl Scout cookie season," Bumpus' mom, Trish Bauer, told the San Bernardino Sun. Last week, Bumpus, a cancer survivor, learned that she sold 32,484 boxes of cookies, breaking the record for most sold in a season. About 5,000 of the boxes are being donated to pediatric cancer patients, homeless individuals, and soldiers serving overseas. "It feels like the world believes in me and it feels really good," Bumpus told the Sun.
New Jersey man brings new life to a historic men's clothing store
Evan Harris has always been a sharp dresser, and he's hoping that his new men's store will help others embrace wearing their Sunday best all week long. Harris, 21, started working in retail when he was 16. Because of the pandemic, the Trenton, New Jersey, native lost his job at a clothing store, and he took that as a sign to strike out on his own. His mother is a real estate agent, and she found him the perfect space in downtown Trenton to open up shop: the old location of Byers Men's Shop, founded in 1924. "I just want to basically get people my own taste of suit wearing and kind of bring back the suit wearing," Harris told NJ Advance Media. His store is called BeSuited, and clients can choose their fabrics, patterns, styles, and accessories for a totally customized suit. BeSuited opened on Monday, just in time for Harris' 21st birthday.
Iowa teenager invents color-changing sutures that could curb infection rates
Dasia Taylor hasn't graduated high school yet, but she has already come up with an invention that addresses a global problem: surgical wound infection. Taylor, 17, of Iowa City invented a suture that shifts in color from bright red to dark purple when a surgical wound becomes infected. She started working on it in 2019, after learning that, according to the World Health Organization, 11 percent of surgical wounds develop an infection in low- and middle-income countries. Healthy human skin has a pH level of around 5, and the pH goes up to about 9 when an infection is present. Taylor found that beet juice goes from red to dark purple at a pH of 9, so "that's perfect for an infected wound," she told Smithsonian Magazine. She then began testing threads to find one that could properly hold the dye, and discovered a cotton-polyester blend that worked. Taylor plans on getting a patent for her invention, and hopes that one day, the sutures can be dispatched around the world.
Woman uses her treasured postcard collection to stay connected with friends
Over the years, Mary Steinbicker has amassed quite the collection of postcards — she asked for them as wedding gifts, and always picks up a few while traveling — and as her 2020 New Year's resolution, decided she would send out one postcard a day, just to let a friend or relative know she was thinking about them. The Minnetonka, Minnesota, resident didn't know it at the time, but this was the perfect resolution to make for a pandemic year. She kept up with her resolution, mailing one postcard a day, personalizing each note. Sending postcards is "just a little different way to let people know there's somebody out there," Steinbicker told the Star Tribune. She is still regularly writing postcards well into 2021, and has even inspired some of her friends to start using the mail to correspond with their own loved ones.
Boy digging for worms in his backyard discovers ancient fossil
Sid Singh Jhamat was hoping to dig up some worms in his backyard, but instead uncovered a fossil estimated to be between 251 million and 488 million years old. Jhamat, 6, lives in Walsall, England, and told PA Media he just expected to dig up insects and maybe some pieces of pottery or brick. Jhamat was "really excited" when he came across what he thought was a rock shaped "a bit like a horn," and his dad, Vish Singh, quickly took a picture of the object and posted it to a Facebook group for fossil enthusiasts. It turns out the rock is actually a horn coral, and the members estimated it's likely a Rugosa coral from the Paleozoic era that is at least 251 million years old. Singh told PA Media it's been said that "you can find fossils anywhere if you look carefully enough, but to find a significantly large piece like that is quite unique."