Wow, this is my second Thanksgiving as an Austen Author! I just mailed off some prizes to the Fall Giveaway winners (congrats!) and I am so grateful to this community and to all the readers and writers on here.
Since this is the day of Thanksgiving (at least here in the US), I thought I would enumerate a few extra things to be thankful for that maybe you haven’t read about. While 2021 has been difficult in ways both expected and unexpected, there are reasons to be thankful and even optimistic! As Steve Denning in one Forbes article put it, “positive developments happen slowly with no particular event to promote in a headline. ‘More people are healthy today than yesterday,’ just doesn’t cut it.”
So, without further ado:
5 Random Things to be Thankful for in 2021
- The world literacy rate has increased from 42% in 1960 to 86% in 2021. There is still so far to go in education and poverty, but that is worth rejoicing over!
- A design for removing trash from oceans and rivers is being refined and deployed… and it’s working! There’s one working on the Great Garbage Patch in the Pacific, and smaller variations are starting to be deployed in rivers to catch plastics before they make it to the ocean. https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/20000-pounds-of-trash-removed-from-pacific-garbage-patch/
- The number of humpback whales in the Pacific, particularly the Seattle coast, is booming. Last year there were 11 calves spotted there, which was good, and this year there were 21! Globally, humpbacks are estimated to be almost up to pre-whaling levels. I always wanted to be a marine biologist as a kid, so this one makes me particularly happy. https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/500-humpbacks-return-with-record-number-of-calves/
- The history-lover in me was fascinated to find out about a recent discovery in Colombia that’s being called “the Sistine Chapel of the ancients.” It’s 8 miles long and packed with detail like mastodons, giant sloths, and Ice Age horses. Some of the paintings are precise down to hairs on the horses’ tails and they reach far above what could easily be painted by hand, meaning the must have used scaffolds or ladders or something to reach up high. These “primitive” hunter-gatherers, as we’re all learning in the last couple generations, really weren’t that primitive. https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/colombian-cave-painting-discovery-hailed-as-sistine/
And, of particular interest to all of us book-loving Janeites:
- 5. Although the pandemic was awful on a number of levels, it led to a small but real burst of independent bookstores!
And that’s it for me today! I’m going to eat some cornbread dressing and turkey and give thanks to God for my life, my family, and my friends.
I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving, or if you live elsewhere, just a more cheerful Thursday.
P.S. And if you’re also doing NaNoWriMo like me, good luck with the writing! I’m about 10k words behind, but’s eh, that’s life.