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JoyBinge Ep. 16: Gruesome Twosome

Listen to the episode here!

Listen to the last episode here!

Hi and welcome to JoyBinge, a podcast where we re-learn that good things are happening in the world and celebrate those good things because we are tired of only hearing about the bad crap. We are Kimmy and Sinow, bringing you some good news to celebrate! We are not journalists or professionals of any sort in the news industry. We just want to spread good news to you! Let’s binge on some joy!

News

Cyntoia Brown, In Prison For Murder, Is Granted Clemency By Tenn. Governor

  • NPR, written by Bill Chappell, published on Jan 7

  • Cyntoia Brown has been in prison for the last 15 years for a crime that has been highly scrutinized

  • The article reports that when Brown was a young teenage, “a pimp named “Kut Throat” forced her into prostitution and that this is what eventually led her to kill 43-year-old Nashville real estate agent Johnny Allen in 2004. Allen had taken Brown to his house after picking her up at a restaurant.”

  • According to a radio news episode from WBUR.org, Allen took Brown to his home where he showed her his gun collection. The episode records Cyntoia recounting her thoughts during that time where she realized the amount of danger she was in. She knew no one knew where she was and that she had to take care of herself. So she took out her own pistol she had with her and fatally shot Allen.

  • Awareness grew around this case due to a documentary made in 2011 by Dan Birman called Me Facing Life: The Cyntoia Brown Story which caught the attention of celebrities such as Rihanna and Kim Kardashian.

  • There are many aspects of this particular case that call into question whether Brown should have received the 51 year long sentence in the first place.

  • To quote the article, “Brown’s supporters have said she acted in self-defense when she killed a man who had paid to have sex with her, describing her as a victim of human trafficking who was preyed upon when she was homeless. They also say Brown has remade herself while in prison - and on Monday, Haslam agreed.”

  • Bill Haslam is the Governor of Tennessee who granted Cyntoia Brown executive clemency which shortened her sentence to be served through August 2019 and to have 10 years of parole.

  • Gov. Haslam is quoted from an announcement on the official Tennessee governor’s website as saying, “This decision comes after careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case, … Cyntoia Brown committed, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16. Yet, imposing a life sentence on a juvenile that would require her to serve at least 51 years before even being eligible for parole consideration is too harsh, especially in light of the extraordinary steps Ms. Brown has taken to rebuild her life. Transformation should be accompanied by hope. So, I am commuting Ms. Brown’s sentence, subject to certain conditions.”

  • The reason I wanted to include this in this week’s JoyBinge is that Cyntoia’s case is because she was given a second chance to live her life

  • Cyntoia was sentenced to life as a 16 year old after committing a crime she thought was necessary at the time. I am positive this is controversial for many different reasons but I was quite struck by what Gov. Haslam said, “Transformation should be accompanied by hope.” Cyntoia will not allow the situation that happened 15 years ago to completely define her life. Yes, it was horrible. Yes, it was tragic. But the joy that we can binge on here is that she is progressing, she has changed, she is not a victim, she is not a criminal, she is a person who now has a true second chance at life. Now that Cyntoia has this opportunity to finish her BA and live her adult life outside of the prison system. I hope that we can find true joy in this and celebrate with her and hope and fight for others who have yet to get this vital second chance at life.

Chang'e-4: Chinese rover now exploring Moon

  • BBC News, written by Paul Rincon, published on Jan 4

  • China landed an unmanned rover on the Moon’s dark side on January 3rd

  • The dark side of the Moon is an unexplored area so having the Chang’e-4 spacecraft there is exciting as this mysterious dark side is quite different from the area we can see. They should be able to learn more from this endeavor

  • Landing went smoothly which is exciting since space travel, especially with landing on a surface of a moon or planet or anything else is nerve wracking at best.

  • The article quotes Wu Weiren, the lunar exploration chief on this project, as saying, “The rover rolled only a small step on to the Moon, but it represented a huge stride for the Chinese nation.” The rover Chang’e-4 took to the Moon is called “Yutu 2” which translates to “Jade Rabbit”. Back in 2013, China landed Chang’e-3 on the side of the Moon we see and had the rover called “Yutu” running around collecting data

  • One of the biggest reasons no one has tried to land on the Moon’s unexplored area is because we can’t communicate with anything we send there. The rest of the Moon gets in the way.

  • In order to get around this issue, China launched a satellite called “Quequiao” translated to be “magpie bridge,” which sends images back to their command center

  • The Atlantic has a great article about the history of China’s space exploration and a wonderful video worth watching from Business Insider.

  • The video from Business Insider talks about landing in more detail, where it landed, compares the area to places on Earth to give you an idea. They also detailed the items Chang’e-4 carried with it like potatoes and silkworm eggs to see how plants can grow in the low gravity conditions.

  • The spacecraft name has an interesting story itself. According to CGTN, “China's moon exploration started back in 2004. The name of the project is based on a widely known folk tale in China: The story of Chang'e, the Chinese goddess of the Moon. The project was divided into three phases: Circle, Land and Return. In 2013, the Chang'e-3 landed on the moon. But The Chang'e-4 probe was given an even more challenging mission: to reach the far side.”

  • Can’t wait to hear what they discover on the mysterious dark side of the Moon!

HOMESLICE of Scotland & Texas

Scotland

'Incredibly rare' find in Western Isles prehistoric forest

  • BBC News, published Jan 16

  • In the Western Isles off the west coast of Scotland, there lies a small island of Benbecula

  • On the island is a site called Lionacleit where archeologists found evidence of a prehistoric forest that also contains evidence of prehistoric people who used butchery tools for food preparation

  • The article states, “Bone was also found with a piece of quartz from a stone tool and a quern stone, which was used for grinding stone.”

  • They also found walls, saying, “These include a wall, the possible remains of sub-circular stone structures which could be houses, a quern stone and butchered animal bone associated with struck quartz tools.”

  • The article reports that the “forest was at its peak about 10,000 to 7,000 years ago” and eventually declined around 6,000 to 4,500 years ago to being completely barren today due to sea levels rising and human activity amongst other reasons

  • Year one and two students, around 13 & 14 years old were invited to the site to learn about what the archeologists discovered

  • The archeologists had the students stand in spots where they believe trees stood thousands of years ago and took a picture - you can see it in the article! We found this to be pretty hilarious

  • There are other pictures of what they’ve found and the area they are studying that are really interesting to see so be sure to check the article out!

Texas

Dallas tattoo artist restores breast cancer patients’ most intimate features

  • WFAA, written by Teresa Woodard, published on Jan 7

  • When you suffer something as difficult and scarring as breast cancer, sometimes doing something for yourself to help you feel beautiful is more important than people might think

  • Electric Eye, a tattoo parlor in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, has been providing the opportunity for people to either decorate their breasts with designs or have 3D areolas tattooed where surgery and treatments have taken away what was once there

  • Marie Sena and her husband manage the tattoo parlor

  • Marie specializes in medical tattooing. She told WFAA, “I don’t know a single person that hasn’t been touched by breast cancer in some way. My grandma had it … I feel a great responsibility to really do right by these women.”

  • The Electric Eye website has a link to their medical tattoo services where you can view Sena’s work. I was stunned by how realistic her work looked on her clients

  • When people go through breast cancer treatments, their breasts are left with scars and often do not have nipples or areolas, or at least they don’t look how they use to. Sena’s work allows for both men and women to take back the body, regardless of their experiences. She told WFAA, “A lot of my clients will describe their reconstructed breasts as sort of like a face without features.”

  • Sena has a master’s degree in medical illustration which she uses not only in her tattooing work but also to illustrate books for doctors to use in school

  • When clients come to her for the tattoos, it is usually the final step in their recovery

  • “There’s a lot of - not a lot of pressure - but a lot of responsibility. … It’s the whole reason why I do this. It means so much to use my artwork to help somebody in a critical time in their life. It’s something I’ve never felt before and it’s definitely what I’m supposed to do.”

  • The article interviews a woman who went in to have her breasts tattooed. Read the story, it’s quite beautiful and inspiring!

Thanks for listening to some of the joy found in the world this past week. If you have stories of good people doing good things in your neighborhood or anywhere, send them to me! I’ve got an email, joybingepodcast@gmail.com or tweet at us @joybingepodcast or visit our Facebook page and Instagram account. TELL ME THE GOOD STUFF!

Byeeee

The music for this podcast is "Industrious Ferret" by Kevin MacLeod. Thanks for listening and have a great week!

"Industrious Ferret" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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