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JoyBinge Ep. 27: The Little Boaty That  Could

Listen to the episode here or on SoundCloud through the links below! Artwork by James Cole

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. This week we are covering the dates June 14 - 27, 2019. We just want to spread good news to you! Let’s binge on some joy!


Virtual visits: how Finland is coping with an ageing population

  • Written by Sarah Johnson for The Guardian’s The Upside on June 26th

  • Two of the biggest struggles the aging population faces are keeping their bodies healthy with nutritional food and water as well as staying socially active

  • Finland is one of the countries facing a growing number of seniors in their communities so their need for in home nursing care, even just for nurses to check on senior citizens to make sure they are eating and staying safe, is growing rapidly

  • Johnson reports, “Finland has a rapidly ageing population and recruitment problems in health and care. By 2070, one in three Finns is expected to be over 65. At the same time there has been a huge decline in the birth rate and the number of Finns of working age is expected to fall by around 200,000 by 2050. As a result, the demand for and cost of care services are growing while tax revenues are decreasing, leading politicians to warn that the Nordic model of highly state-funded cradle-to-grave social care will no longer be affordable.”

  • So what do nurses do when they have an ever growing pool of senior patients to check on for meals and other needs? Turn to technology!

  • The article states, “The virtual lunch group is one aspect of Helsinki’s remote care – where clients have a tablet that links up with remote care nurses in a service centre. Remote care appointments are set up to check on clients throughout the day and to make sure they take the relevant medication. There are 800 home care clients, and nurses carry out 24,000 remote care visits a month. By the end of 2019, the service hopes to cater for 1,100 clients.”

  • Not only do these visits allow nurses to check in on more people in a faster way and allows the patients to socialize, the costs go way down too!

  • Apparently, an in home visit costs about £40 but this new system only costs £4.50 according to the article

  • Duvi Leineberg is a remote care nurse who uses computer calls to check in on her patients and have them all come together to eat their lunches

  • This way she can make sure they are all eating what they need, be able to see them, and they all get to socialize with each other at the same time

  • Leineberg told Johnson, “Firstly, the client feels like they are a part of a bigger thing. It’s also guaranteed that they eat properly. If I spot anything that seems out of the ordinary, I can call the home care nurses who will pay them a visit if necessary.”

  • One of the patients, Riitta Koskinen, spoke with Johnson as well, telling her, “I’m old and living alone and it’s nice to have the company. We eat at the same time – food tastes better when you’re with others – and I’ve really enjoyed it. It makes me eat and it’s good to see other people.”

  • The biggest aspect that video communication provides is that patients and nurses can actually meet more often and talk about issues more

  • Going into a home can make the visit feel more formal, I imagine, so the video connection can make the talk feel more comfortable

  • Also this cuts down on driving as well!

  • Now the video communication service won’t completely replace in home visits, just merely cuts down on them when they don’t need to happen as frequently for the patients that don’t need as much in home care

  • The service in Helsinki is hoping to add a remote dinner group in addition to other programs. One planner, Hanna Hämäläinen, was able to hook up 64 clients to a concert: “A screen was placed on the front row and the priest greeted them while they watched at home on their tablets. She remembers: ‘The funny thing is that even if some had memory problems, they knew all the lyrics. That is the power of music and made me see that if there’s a concert, we should be there.’”

  • Integrating more technological ideas such as video communication is a great way to progress care for our aging population. I’m hopeful and excited to see this advancement grow across the world!

Boaty McBoatface, Internet-Adored Sub, Makes Deep-Sea Discovery On Climate Change

  • Written by Merrit Kennedy for NPR on June 18th

  • The internet’s favorite research submarine has made some discoveries in the Antarctic!

  • Boaty McBoatface has been diving deep near Antarctica in the Southern Ocean, gathering information regarding climate change and winds

  • Oh, you don’t remember Boaty McBoatface? The article has you covered, “Back in 2016, Britain's Natural Environment Research Council asked the public for help naming a new cutting-edge polar research ship. Shackleton, Endeavor and Falcon were among the contenders put forth, as NPR reported at the time. But the Internet had another idea. Voters in the online poll overwhelmingly threw their support behind ‘Boaty McBoatface.’ The U.K.'s science minister at the time, Jo Johnson, vetoed the people's choice, saying the vessel needed a name that was more ‘suitable.’ The ship was ultimately named Sir David Attenborough, after the well-known natural historian. But the council did pay homage to the Internet's extraordinary naming powers by naming a smaller, more modest vessel Boaty McBoatface. And the autonomous yellow submarine has had a very successful maiden voyage.”

  • Boaty McBoatface has been traveling for 3 days, covering a whomping 110 miles (180km) measuring the water’s turbulence, temperature, salinity, etc to see what effects increasing greenhouse gases is having on the underwater area. It dove down as deep as 2.5 miles (4,000 meters) during this time.

  • Eleanor Frajka-Williams is an oceanographer with the National Oceanography Centre in the UK and worked with Boaty McBoatface on this project.

  • She told Kennedy, “The stronger Antarctic winds contribute to stronger currents, Frajka-Williams says. This, in turn, leads to more churn, or turbulence, deep under the sea. Boaty was able to pinpoint a previously unknown way in which this mixing is causing water to warm up across large areas, she said. Usually, deeper, colder water mixes with shallower, warmer water — think of vast amounts of water moving up and down. But the measurements taken by the little submarine show that cold water is also mixing with warm water at similar depths — more of a horizontal sort of flow.”

  • Why does this matter? Apparently, as the article reports, “...warm water takes up more space than cold water, so warmer waters deep in the ocean would result in higher sea levels.”

  • So while the discovery doesn’t tell us what to do about the rising sea water issue, it does give us concrete evidence that this is happening and allows scientists to work toward a solution, or at least a better understanding so we can know what to do moving forward.

  • What a successful maiden voyage for our little Boaty McBoatface! Hopefully the little guy will have years of successful and interesting missions we can all support!

HOMESLICE of Scotland & Texas


Scotland to aid poorest families with extra £10 a week for each child

  • Written by Severin Carrell for The Guardian on June 26

  • Scotland is going to give families, starting with those who need it most, an additional £10 a week per child

  • The current system already gives out some support, giving the most for the first child then lessens per child after

  • The article states, “Scotland is facing a spike in child poverty as a result of welfare cuts imposed by the UK government,” [Aileen Campbell, communities secretary] told MSPs on Wednesday. “We will not stand by and simply watch that happen.”

  • While families will need to opt in to the program and will not be automatically enrolled, the goal is to abolish child poverty by 2030 with the first benefit going out to families with children 6 years old and younger in 2021, and continuing on so all children under 16 years of age will receive benefits by the end of 2023.

  • The article reports, “Based on a take-up rate of 83%, the Scottish government estimated the benefit would cost £180m. … Campbell said about 410,000 children would be covered by the time it was fully implemented, helping a third of the country’s under-16s. It would lift about 30,000 children out of relative poverty (a measure which excludes housing costs) by 2024, and reach 80% of all children in poverty.”


A new health program focused on Black Austinites connects seniors and kids through gardening

  • Written by Alyssa Goard for KXAN NBC News affiliate in Austin, TX on June 23rd

  • A great way to bond with people is by going outside and working with your hands. There is something about working together to make something grow or come together that you don’t get at the computer or by yourself

  • University of Texas at Austin created a program in conjunction with Marva Overton, executive director of the Alliance for African American Health in Central Texas that pairs African American citizens with kids to tend backyard gardens together weekly. Overton is credited with coming up with this idea! The program is called Soul to Soul Intergenerational Gardening Initiative.

  • The article explains the project by stating, “The program is part of Dell Medical School’s Community Driven Initiatives, which takes in suggestions proposed by and for residents of Austin and Central Texas to improve health in their communities. Part of the goal behind Community Driven Initiatives is addressing the impacts of unfair economic policies and discrimination which have lead to inequality in health. These projects are chosen from all the community suggestions using a number of criteria, including whether they help underserved populations and address gentrification.”

  • The gardening project address food security, allowing people who may not have easy access to a grocery store to work together in the community garden, gaining access to fresh fruits and vegetables which are crucial to a healthy diet.

  • Nitakuwa Barrett, the Program Manager for Community-Driven Initiatives told Goard, in regards to accessing food, “’s not easy for all of us to get to a grocery store that has high-quality produce and also it has been a tradition in the African American community to have backyard gardens, so getting that going again is a great way to both foster those connections and then get access to healthy foods. … Also, within our community, there are high rates of hypertension and a prudent way to address that is through our diet, so fresh fruits, and vegetables.”

  • Marva Overton told Kennedy, “Kids are learning about the origins of food, the history of African Americans with food, why there sometimes are issues around who has access to what foods, learning about gardening and about why there’s such a rich history with African Americans and gardening … My grandmother grew all their food, my dad grew up in the country, they grew food, so just helping the youth who haven’t had that history or had that connection, helping them to learn about that, I think is just so instrumental and so important.”

  • The article went on to say, “She added that for seniors who may struggle doing yard work, it can be a benefit to have someone younger to help maintain their gardens. The young participants in this program, for example, constructed the raised planter boxes in the gardens.”

  • Kids need to be 12-17 years old to participate and there are adult lead gardeners who work with them and the senior citizens. So far there are 14 youth, 7 seniors, and 7 garden locations

  • The program doesn’t end in the garden, Overton also wants financial literacy education to play a part as that is not taught in schools and is a huge stressor for people of any age

  • Classes are available for the participants covering gardening, food justice, and financial literacy. Plus, each member receives a stipend to plan out the backyard gardens!

  • Getting younger people and senior citizens together is so valuable as they can teach each other a lot about history and how that impacts today

  • The other issue that this program addresses is the displacement the black community has experienced in East Austin.

  • Gentrification is a big issue out there as more and more people with money to spend keep moving in. The article states, “The researchers believe these neighborhoods are most vulnerable because they had historically lower housing costs as a result of 1928 policies which segregated Black Austinites to the eastern part of the city. Those low housing costs have recently been reversed as east Austin becomes more socially and financially desirable for others with more money, the researchers noted. They added that communities of color are among the most at risk of being displaced.”

  • If you live in Austin or Central Texas, the Community-Driven Initiatives program is still accepting ideas for their current “Call of Ideas” promotion. You can submit your ideas here. Please note that submissions end August 11th!

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 us! We’ve got an email, or tweet at us @joybingepodcast or visit our Facebook page and Instagram account. TELL US THE GOOD STUFF!


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

"Industrious Ferret" Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License


Dallas, TX


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