Osaka sisters partner with UNICEF to create charity face mask

Good News Notes: On the tennis court, Naomi Osaka and her sister Mari Osaka work hard for the results they seek.  Off the court they are working just as hard.  Hoping to help the world deal with the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have developed a great idea.   They were inspired by what they…

Quit-smoking app greenlighted as Japan’s first digital therapeutic

Good News Notes: “An app to help people stop smoking received government approval Friday, becoming the first prescription digital therapeutic in Japan and heralding an emerging field of treatments developed at lower cost. The software from Tokyo-based startup CureApp to treat nicotine dependence is also believed to be the world’s first prescribed app for smoking cessation.”…

Scientists discovered the perfect hug with baby-hugging test

 Good News Notes: “Researchers in Japan had parents hug their own babies, as well as others’ babies, as an experiment to find the perfect and most soothing hug. They found that infants preferred hugs with moderate pressure from their own parents, not strangers. Parents also felt more soothed when hugging their babies, suggesting there are…

Newly Discovered Pygmy Seahorse Species Is the Size of a Fingernail

 Good News Notes: “In 2017, diving instructor Savannah Nalu Olivier was exploring the eastern coast of South Africa in Sodwana Bay when she spotted something surprising: a tiny seahorse no bigger than her fingernail. When pygmy seahorse expert Richard Smith and biologist Louw Claassens saw photos of Olivier’s find, they realized she had made a huge discovery,…

Japan, UNEP deepen cooperation on plastic pollution and post-conflict recovery

Good News Notes: “Japan and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today announced a new cooperative effort to tackle plastic pollution across Asia and support post-conflict environmental recovery in Iraq and South Sudan. Japan will contribute US$6.9 million to four UNEP-led projects. The bulk of the funding will fund a second phase of the CounterMEASURE project,…

Wild animals are exploring cities during coronavirus lockdowns

Good News Notes: “When humanity’s away, the animals will play. With much of the world driven indoors to quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, some species not often seen — or, at least, rarely in such large numbers, and certainly not against such empty backdrops — are exploring cities, the Guardian reports. Photographers and social-media users…

Jonathan Cohen Launches Latest Fashion Line to ‘Reinvent Waste’

 Good News Notes: “Fashion designer Jonathan Cohen has used Econyl nylon to create his ten fall/winter 2020 pieces in a nod to zero-waste design. The designer says the use of Econyl furthers the company’s commitment to “taking responsibility for its impact on the world.” Cohen says designing with Econyl has given him the opportunity to get…

The Elderly in Japan are Using Exoskeletons to Delay Retirement

Good News Notes: “Exoskeletons aren’t just for super soldiers, automotive assembly workers and the paralyzed — they can assist the elderly in everyday tasks as well. Now, New Scientist reports that older folks in Japan are using exoskeletons to help them do their jobs as they spend more of their lives in the workforce. Japan currently has one of the…

Sound waves used to separate microplastics from laundry wastewater

Good News Notes: “The world’s oceans are currently under threat not only from large pieces of plastic trash, but also from minuscule “microplastic” particles – many of which take the form of fibers that are shed by synthetic fabrics as they’re being washed. A new system uses sound to help capture those fibers at their…