a good good thing

Community matters: reclaiming the streets

June 06, 2019 Neil Thornton + Jack Ratcliffe Season 1 Episode 6
a good good thing
Community matters: reclaiming the streets
Show Notes Transcript

What would happen if we reclaimed the transient spaces that surround us; if roads and intersections were more than just throughways, but social spaces? Well, the community of Sellwood in Portland, Oregon did just that. Also this week, Neil relives a chance encounter at a Parisian café, while Jack gets excited about his first Eid invite. 

Keep up to date with us over on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (@agoodgoodthing) and don't forget to rate, review and subscribe so you don't miss the next episode. 

About your hosts


A computational artist currently undertaking a PhD in virtual reality, Jack is motivated by the positive impact technology can have on our day to day lives both operationally and emotionally. Outside of PhDs and podcasting, Jack is a proud dad to three turtles and an ever-growing number of house plants.  Find Jack at @jacktionman on Instagram and Twitter


A digital content editor by day, Neil is also a men’s lifestyle blogger at whatneildid.com where he covers a range of topics from travel and style to health and mental well-being. You’ll never find him too far from a coffee.   Find Neil at @Whatneildid  on Instagram and Twitter 

Neil:   0:08
Hi, everyone, and welcome to a good good thing. I hope you have a great week full of good things. And if you're not well, you're in luck. Because for the next 30 minutes, this is good vibes Only space.  

Jack:   0:23
Oh that's nice.

Neil:   0:33
Jack, I'm really looking forward to this week's episode

Jack:   0:35
Why are you looking forward to this week's episode?

Neil:   0:37
because I have a great, good good thing for you.

Jack:   0:39
A great personal good good thing?

Neil:   0:41
Yes, a great personal good. Good thing. So I was in Paris yet, as you know, that's the great thing. That is the great thing. Like Paris best. Paris is always a great thing. So it was the last day I last day in Paris, Not like a hype girl. I don't need, like the repetition of what I'm saying at

Jack:   0:59
the time. It was a beautiful, sunny day. Six degrees. My favorite temperature didn't

Neil:   1:04
have this conversation. Yeah, so I was there for a few days. And on one of the days me and my friend Chad that was traveling with May, we went thio the plaster feen to go for lunch.

Jack:   1:13
That sounds like it should have sounded more friends

Neil:   1:16
the Blaster feel like Nerf. The plaster scene Plus to see him play doh feet in, which is a really cute It was square near the partner, Flynn, the not so dumb. But when we got there like it was just pissing down with rain and it was just kind of a massive wash out. And it's a real shame, because it's such a gorgeous little square. On the last day, because we had some time, we decided to go back to get food before heading to the airport. Gorgeously, Sunday is just like blossom trees everywhere, and we were trying to decide which of the three restaurants that open we're gonna eat at Andi. This is really one of those moments where it was just kind of stars, align fate things and just meant to be. So. There was one restaurant that I had a recommendation for, but it looked really busy, and we actually decided to go to a different one. Ah, nde. When we sat at, we ended up sitting inside, even though because it was sunny. But the soul the outsides was taken. And then, while we were sat sat inside, getting ready to order one of the seats outside became available. And then you're like, I'm wondering about whether you should go outside and we decided to use We moved massive Pfaff got all our stuff moved up, and then why we were there. We were just talking about how good the weather words. And all of a sudden, this woman who sat next to us like, leans over, and it's just like agreeing the weather would be great for their trip. And she was American. It was raining at this point. No, no, it was still something was recently in the last on the second time. Okay, I say that we went back is really the first time, so we don't miss Missed out. Went back a second today. Yeah, if you're listening. That's why it said it was 26 time. I'm gonna punch you in the face. So anyway, yet she said that she agreed with weather that they have a great trip. Eso end up chatting to them and her name was Gail and she was with her friend Peggy on. It was actually Peggy's 75th birthday the next day. And it was one of those moments where we just started chatting in a conversation really flowed. And then the next thing we know, we are like, we're just kind of Oh, sh we have another one. And she they say they'll have another one if we have another one and then three hours later seven crafts of wine in We are alone, fairly hammered on. We have talked about their marriages, their divorces, their kids, politics, they did lead. And, like, just so you know, we didn't vote for Trump that were like, Thank God we're talking about growing up gay, and just the depth of conversation was insane on dhe. Got two point when suddenly Chad and I relate were drunk, though it left with us taking a picture together on Dhe stopping Facebook. Details on dhe. They have invited just out to Portland, Oregon, where they live in America to come and visit. So I think we're actually gonna plan on doing it. Maybe next year, So yeah, it was just a really great story. I'm one of those things where if you take the time to actually have a conversation with strangers, you, me, some amazing things gonna happen. So, yeah, that was my, uh, good good thing for the week that I want to share.

Jack:   3:56
That is Ah, beautiful, atypical Paris story.

Neil:   4:00
Yeah, very much so. And Galen Peggy, for listening. Love you. But how about you, Jack?

Jack:   4:05
I were invited to my first aid party

Neil:   4:07
when he'd I didn't want it. That's why I'm asking. Um, no, it's soon, isn't it?

Jack:   4:14
It's It's soon. Also eat changes

Neil:   4:17
to eat Alfa tear on ead. I always get the other one eat LF it here and I don't want

Jack:   4:26
or anyway, I'm going party to a need party which celebrates all leads and is not on actual eat itself. I think that's falling on a week day and the party is on a Saturday. Okay. Um yeah. So I got invited to my first eat party. Very excited to celebrate ead um

Neil:   4:41
you know, the party involves

Jack:   4:43
eating That was a stretch. So wholly involves a lot of eating. I have asked I need to bring anything. Do I need to be dressed in any kind of appropriate fashion? Do I need toe like, be aware of any activities that I should take part in or practice or no, it's gonna happen on They said no just just come and eat.

Neil:   5:06
That's very cool. You have to take some pictures so we can put it on the Instagram.

Jack:   5:09
Well, you know, it's cool for two reasons. One, I get to go to a party, but to I've been invited by one of my neighbors. So we have, like a resident's group for our street on Dhe. It's kind of one of the big goals for the residents will spring together. The residents on dhe I get to go to my first Eve party, invited by my neighbor, which is nice, means it's working.

Neil:   5:34
That's very cool. I have a kind of lived in my place for almost five years, I think almost five years on dhe. I'm only really getting to know my neighbors in the last couple of weeks because our electronic system keeps breaking. We'll get getting locked out of our building so everyone has to call everyone. That was his number to see if anyone's in to let him in.

Jack:   5:52
That's the nicest, Like a lot of houses. They just be like, Oh, well, I guess I'm locked out now. You want to speak? It's funny. We've spoken about communities to me being invited because of my community to my first party on dhe. Also, that we've spoken about Peggy on DDE. Okay? Oh, yeah. Um, thank you. Book

Neil:   6:20
again. And Peggy, but it's fine.

Jack:   6:21
I don't think they have a recognized. So you mentioned Peggy and Gail? Yeah. Who are from Portland? Which did we mention that earlier?

Neil:   6:31
Yeah, Important Oregon.

Jack:   6:32
Um, so they're from Portland, Oregon. I'm talking about community, Michael. Good thing this week is about the glamorous subject of urban planning and making a difference in cities on a story which starts, you know, Portland, Oregon. Neal, What do you know about Portland, Oregon?

Neil:   6:51
Only that that's where Galen negative on and on. And that it's famous for on. But it's near a Seattle.

Jack:   7:01
Yes. So near the west Coast,

Neil:   7:03
on dhe of America yet West coast of America on DDE that one of the characters in the OSI moved there for a bit.

Jack:   7:10
Which character? Sad Carly had. Yeah. Mandy. Oh, see?

Neil:   7:16
Yeah, right. Classic.

Jack:   7:18
I was going to say Terrible, classically terrible, terribly classic. Okay, well, Portland first it has its own flag that, you

Neil:   7:27
know I didn't know that.

Jack:   7:27
Yeah, look it up. I was no point described me is just a flag. Um, it was founded in 18. 45. As far as a city in America can be found it because obviously there were indigenous tribes that live there beforehand. The two people, it is 376 square kilometers. You know, helping London is no no idea. London, 1600 square kilometres. That's what smaller than London population reflects. That only has 650,000 people compared to London's like 10 million something 24 25th biggest city in the U. S. People got there originally by following the Oregon Trail. Jenna, the Oregon Trail?

Neil:   8:08
No, not very well on

Jack:   8:10
this one. My, my, my knowledge of the West Coast of America is

Neil:   8:16
apart from our. Even though we did our road trip, it's very limited. Anything above San Francisco?

Jack:   8:21
I've seen the O. C. What did you and Peggy and Gail? It wasn't the Oregon Trail. The Oregon Trail was this, like Pilgrim's route from the east of the East settled part of America to the West Side when all the people who had moved over relatively recently in history terms decided to kind of expand outwards, and it was immortalized in a computer game about 40 years ago. Being outrageously hard was one of the first computer games for education, and it made a popular mean, which is you have died of dysentery because essentially, the game was so hard or your characters will always die. And I was trying to teach people about how hard and difficult the Oregon Trail was. 268,000 pioneers took that trail off which some ended up settling in Portland. It has a reputation for being pretty weird. You know why? It's weird. You know I don't live there so I can't give like actor ones. I know, but you on bombing started there. The yarn bombing networks Yang is what you like. You need something, and then you throw it on something that cites Maybe you'll knit a wrap around a tree so you'll give like a tree a scarf that you've knitted jumper or you'll Mr cover for entire lamppost on Pull It Over. Or maybe you just throw balls of yarn about CIA. There's your intervening in public spaces using yon

Neil:   9:37
this like they were just become delirious from dysentery. And there's just like an ancestry mentally.

Jack:   9:44
No, I think this started again. Peggy forgave. Feel like they'd be my

Neil:   9:50
friend. I might if I visit them and they're gonna suddenly be like course we've got some

Jack:   9:52
Nitti. It's beyond bombs. So no, it is. I think it started in the 20th century, but it was based on the idea that you can reclaim parts of a public space which really is quite alien. 18 in many respects. Like if you walk down the street, you don't own it. You can't do anything you want with it. You just have to experience it. So young bombers were like Okay, no, not only is it quite ah harsh look in these streets, but also we can't do anything about them. We're not howto modified them. So what's a soft, friendly, approachable, likeable way we can do this yarn bombing? So logical. Yeah, right. A zoological is throwing knitted things on. Things are along with yarn bombing their famous for zoo born banks, which is just small bikes. And it's the home of voodoo doughnuts. I Googled wires. Poland were actually no, I talked in Why is Portland on Google? And like the third auto complete was, um I don't think it was that weird, but apparently it's like people young bomb everywhere nowadays. Not recently. It's like flash mobs of people did it and then it stopped anyway. 19 eighties sell wood in Portland, one of the suburbs. It's an inner suburb was your typical nothing street. It was wide tree lines, but you'd walk down those roads and you wouldn't meet anyone. People would drive everywhere, and the suburbs merely seemed his ways of convenient cut throughs. Really, for people trying to get downtown. You know what that's like, I guess living in London. Yeah, like so many places here. In fact, just you passed through the people passed through them to get to central anthem on. Do you think people from further out, which always frustrates me? You know, you like you just polluting my bit of town. You can get to a different destination in your car, and it's fine if this five of you in there, but it's just one person. Um, so cell would like many places. Today was a location, but not really a destination. I've been a pun down in my notes. You want to hear Yes, please. It was a commuter re not a community.

Neil:   12:00
A Is that a pun? Kamu, Terry. No community was mutually nowhere. Oh, sorry. Wow, I created about That's great, Jack. Really? Enjoy.

Jack:   12:12
That's I Googled that phrase just to see if anyone had made that bomb before. I don't think anyone has.

Neil:   12:17
I think that's really smart to the point where I actually thought commuter is a real word. So Well done.

Jack:   12:22
Thank you. So? So it wasn't really a place you could just hang out. The only place he was a person had somewhere to be was the sidewalk. Because thank you can't walk on the road. That's kind of jaywalking. Which is when you crossing the road, which is a legal in many American state.

Neil:   12:37
You across the road, not designated crossing?

Jack:   12:40
Yes. Which is why I'm gonna go into jaywalking. Because this is a good vibes. Only get do not have good vibes about jaywalking. The roads were just catering food. Only two cars transporting people from one destination and inside cell word was this man, Mark Legman. Now Mark Legman decided that he shouldn't have to put up with this like he was disillusioned of why he couldn't get engaged with his own streets. And so he decided to leave, settle it, decided to explore around the world and see how communities and villages felt built up. How you can create that feeling of place originally, actually, he was an architect, so he kind of had a knife with these things on his travels. It was away from the big bills that he was kind of used to the big project in a small communal village known as ***, where he really started to understand what could make a difference all the way back in his home of self. And that was the community squid. So he realised, sitting in Naja in this place, surrounded by the chief and his 20 Children. And it's three wives and all the other members of the community would come together and talk and eat in the central area that what was missing from I sell wood from Portland from modern American cities, from cities in the U. K and around the world was this idea of a central place where people who live in close proximity, proximity have to be together to do things and from that want to be together to do Public Square, which does not exist in the modern public ground. Having experienced this traveled back to sell with any thought, how can I create this? The closest we've got to a public square is a public intersection where cars are just driving up in the day. And so we thought he'd try this smooth intervention like for him. Luckily, his parents garden was from the corner of this intersection with a beautiful tree on him and his friends scavenged a bunch of wood and old windows. Blackboard on made themselves a communal tear and invited everyone in the neighborhood to come in. So this kind of like scrappy like treehouse type place built on the corner of Big Intersection, and people turned up first, like a few neighbors and in dozens. And then at its peak, hundreds of neighbors were coming to this community tea room, which he built together out of scrap with a few of his friends, just to see if people would come on DDE as it grew. And as the summer got longer, people would start to spill out from this garden onto the sidewalk and then into the intersection into the road, reclaiming the space for somewhere that they wanted to be to be able to communicate with their neighbors.

Neil:   15:28
What the cars do that were coming by kind of work around. The

Jack:   15:31
cars worked around them. They worked around the people, enjoying the roads outside of their own homes, like the people. Finally, people who lived there were using the roads as a place to be, which sounds really logical when you think about it.

Neil:   15:46
It's like when you get those, I mean, I think was like royal weddings and stuff like that. You get the street parties and it's like an entire street of neighbors will come out, bring out all of their tables and chairs, and the entire place has it running together or even somewhere like Oxford Street in London. When, during peak shopping period around Christmas, they close the street on dhe. Everyone can just walk, but on the street. And it is such a nicer experience to actually use these spaces, isn't it? Hey, 100%

Jack:   16:14
just yeah, and you could forget that. I think you don't realize it until you do it until you build a tea room on all of your neighbors turn up and they spread out into the intersection, and then they talk about how they hate the carts around them. Or at least they think there's too many. Or how there have been Children and neighborhood who have been hit by cars when they're on the way to the park, Um, and how they didn't know each other and how it was nice that some of them had things in common and how one of them was a social worker on dhe. Some people had just been looking for someone to talk to or one person waas an electrician's on. Some people really needed their lights fitting, and we're looking for people out of the area to come on. What they realised actually was a 13 year old girl, apparently, who drew a map of everyone who lived there on what people needed. And they realized they had electrician's social workers, plumbers, doctors, all living in this one space. They had a community, and they just didn't even realize it, and they didn't realize it until someone took that stand. And when we are making a place where people can come together here,

Neil:   17:22
it kind of comes out like a self serving community. Like you said, If they've got one of everything type thing and they're so local, everyone can look after each other.

Jack:   17:30
Yeah, exactly. And so here they are on this intersection, drinking from this tea room on dhe. People even began to dance with each others, like the neighbors came out on the street. They drank tea. They walked into the road. They claimed it themselves. They began dancing. Have you ever danced with your neighbors?

Neil:   17:48
No. No. Definitely in the street, at least. Maybe if I bumped into them in a club. But no.

Jack:   17:53
Exactly. And what? How would you feel? What would you feel different if you were?

Neil:   17:56
I love it. I think you know. It's amazing to think, really ties into almost the Paris story because it becomes this thing where, because everything is designed to just be functional for a to B and getting everywhere. No one takes the time, and it's having those situations where you're given the time and given the space to then interact with new people. That's that that West I've had, that's where that stuff happens. Like we were sat at a table. It was a perfect time where we could open ourselves up to that conversation and look where it led on by giving these people a space where they can come and just be it opened up new relationships on Dash reminds me that in Gibraltar they have a community initiative called chatty tables. And if you go into setting cafes, there's a little sign above one on two tables that says, This is a chatty table. So if you're sat there and you're by yourself, it says that you want your happy for someone else to come in, take the other C and start chatting with you. It's just how they are me and it's it's really amazing. And I think that's such a great example of it working on Max.

Jack:   18:57
Yeah, well, I mean and even went beyond this. So this intersection, which they I came to be known to share its square just it kind of kept growing, growing, growing. So the community they built a library which was basically the size of a telephone booth. But they will put books in there which other people could take and share. They built a kid's clubhouse with communal toys for Children in the neighborhood to play with. So everyone didn't need toe, have their own set of toys. And also Children would share the toys, which I think is an important thing to teach Children. Onda Message board where people would leave like notes of support like you're looking great. Have a nice day is in this community nice along with more functional things like, Hey, does anyone have a pressure washer? I comport with those kind of messages. Um, and you know what? They even kept the tea station with a constantly field for mark hottie. The neighbors agreed to make sure that they would always be hottie if someone needs to stop by on half a warm drink.

Neil:   19:54
I mean, that sounds like a lot of effort, but I actually

Jack:   19:56
love that. But that spawned a wayto movement marks first action. He's continued work on this kind of project, started a movement called City Repair on across Portland. About 15 other spaces on intersections tried to do the same thing. They went out. They were like, Okay, it's worked here, worked and sell would maybe we can do it, too, And it did like the's neighbors who had never done any of this stuff before in places where this has only been tried once before, tried to repeat it and saw similar successful results. They met, then it maybe they didn't dance. But they met their neighbors, the shed resources, they felt a community build just by taking these small steps. Um,

Neil:   20:36
I think I'm gonna have to have start. Where's it? Selway Cell would sell word of the day. I'm gonna have to add Cell. Would thio our itinerary if we go visit G and Becky.

Jack:   20:46
Yeah, that's it. We like, we need they'll be like, Yeah, we live in cell. Would, that's how. Imagine. Could you imagine a man that would bring

Neil:   20:52
That's how they know each other? Yeah, and they bonded over margaritas. That's why they booked Paris cause they were drunk.

Jack:   20:57
Nice. There should be a margarita.

Neil:   21:00
That's why do I get on with them?

Jack:   21:02
So inside cell would There have been some studies of these kind of centers thes city repair areas, and they found out the living costs of fallen because people share tools and resources, including, like leftover food. They've shown that people feel their lives. They self report that their lives are easier. They sleep better at night. Depression has fallen. The number of local burglaries has dropped. Number assaults have dropped. People have even taken to the squares to get married. That is the effect that this initiative, this tea room and then this movement have had on the lives of the people who have engaged in this process. Um, and in 2000 so 10 15 years after they started, the City Council in Portland agreed that these intersections should be considered public squares. They were officially designated as public squares and no longer just intersections. That's

Neil:   21:55
brilliant. Wait, So he's in. So cars still use them at an intersection. But was it that, like public had, right of Yes, it's on it.

Jack:   22:03
I think that's kind of the people of the right to gather there in the in the road. And if you go on Google Maps, you can like, look up the place and you'll see like chalk outlines on the floor with a kind of claim to the street with paint. That's very cool. Yeah, So I came across this story after thinking again about being invited to the party in my local community. Andi is from a book by some Uncle Charles Montgomery, the book's called Happy City. Transforming our lives to urban design on dhe. He is. He's when I think 12 stories in there about different examples of where people have taken these things and ranges from people like Mark who's Senate this initiative and was trying to repeat in different places toe mayors of different towns to urban planners. Anyway, I think it seems it's like these kind of stories are all in it where these nice initiatives or this night, this nice thoughtfulness has gone into changing the way we live. We don't just have to put up with what we've been given. We don't just have to assume a road is only a road. I am only allowed to walk on the sidewalk, the public spaces somewhere where I get between different places. I don't have to just say I can only sit in coffee shops to be in a public space and see other people. Maybe there's more we can do. Um, and I wanted to challenge you, actually, Neil, because I was thinking, Is there anything you think you could do in your local?

Neil:   23:24
It's not 100% in the where I live. At the moment, it's where I live. The moment is a rarity in London in that you've got all of these apartment blocks on. Actually, they're almost like a kind of digital figure of a in the middle of them. On one side is a Children's park, and on the other side is a basketball court and football with football goals. And so it's a lot of families and young professionals on Dhe, probably so much that could be done in using those spaces like there are some people that run like football clubs for the kids in there. But there's definitely a lot that could be done to kind of engage with that local community a lot more. So I'll have to look in to see what I can do. Why could get involved with Not that. I mean, I could just sit there would be like, great goal until the kid, that Carly

Jack:   24:14
teacher, maybe you could teach them how not to play,

Neil:   24:17
thank you, but I've seen these people that actually what you go there's an idea. There's a lot of people that she just then use the space tow like do squats and lunges and like some training. So actually you could do like a little community training thing would be quite fun.

Jack:   24:31
There you could you could community yoga get out

Neil:   24:34
there that I need Instructor Day.

Jack:   24:35
That's true. But I mean, when you've got, like,

Neil:   24:37
been the summer could be good

Jack:   24:38
50 people paying Yes, thank you 20 p a session yet? Yes. So there's more I wanted to say, but I've already mattered on a lock. So I'm just gonna quickly do a plug for public practice, which is a social enterprise in the UK, which takes recent graduates in urban planning and architecture. And it embeds them in local councils to try and get some design thinking into counsels, because a recent study shows that something like 60% of counsel's don't actually have any design thinking expertise towards urban planning. So they're planning where we will live in this, but they're responsible for for me tower Hamlets, but they don't have the expertise internally, which allows them to know the impact will think about the impact on dhe one. I saw an interview with one person, and she says I've been embedded in this council and I walk around building sites and I go Is this place gonna bring people joy? And everyone looks at me like I'm crazy. But now, after a few months, people have internalized that, and I'm starting to think if they build a place, does this bring joy? And it's like that minimalist Lady Mary condo Love her. Does it bring you joy?

Neil:   25:48
Does it spark joy?

Jack:   25:49
Does it spark joy? And maybe we could extend that from beyond our things to our streets, our cities, our communities and our relationships with the people around us. 30 seconds to summarize the good news stories that have been floating around the Web in the last few weeks. Are you ready?

Neil:   26:14
I am ready. 321 stuck. A new app. Polio allows people to come. Food waste heroes Genetically enhanced fungus killed 99% of malaria causing mosquitoes in a trial game of Thrones. Actress Emilia Clarke says personal thank you to editors who raised over $60,000 for her charity Farmer stand together in silence or a young man can buy back his family farmhouse. North Carolina Barber shop owner has raised enough money to raise debts of more than a dozen the high school seniors. A new Filipino law requires each student 990.10 trees to graduate. Rosa Parks and helicopter will soon have statues in the Alabama capital state of Illinois. Pastor House Bill Thursday banning BP and paper.

Jack:   26:48
I'm up. Oh, now everyone knows the time that he's a real time.

Neil:   26:55
So we should just get some sort of like countdown music on.

Jack:   26:58
Yeah, that's Oh, you expected to be imposed processing that you like someone add sound for No, no, pure.

Neil:   27:04
I need to I need to find some sort of like a second countdown music. It would be fun

Jack:   27:07
that I should just start talking down the mountain community 29 20

Neil:   27:11
eight. Copyright is written. By doing that, I always think

Jack:   27:14
you think it's an interesting one because normally you got like, you can use up to 10 seconds. But that is I

Neil:   27:18
think that's so blurry as well. Yeah, and that's in context of, like, news reporting. And

Jack:   27:24
I think if we were to make a song with it in, we'd be in trouble. Yeah, but to make money off of

Neil:   27:29
it, But we'll see. Okay, cool. So that's what you got

Jack:   27:33
This is interesting. Um, I have heard one of these stories, actually. Which one? So I have heard farmer stand together in silence. So, young man, convey my back his farmhouse on. I'm seeing on the notes that you saw the story in Cornwall, but I read it about Massachusetts.

Neil:   27:53
Wow. It's happening all over the world. It's a movement.

Jack:   27:56
I mean, it could be a movement, or it could

Neil:   27:59
be Keep a keep a,

Jack:   28:01
um, which I didn't actually. Was that hold great store. And then I looked to the comments on the comments were like, Mmm mmm. No details. Why is everyone saying this? It might not be true. Back to the stories

Neil:   28:14
yet what you pick him?

Jack:   28:15
I was thinking about malaria, but then I thought, I always go for the science one. Maybe I should do one of the other ones, but then I kind of flipped back and was like, but actually, stuffing malaria is, like, really, really great and important.

Neil:   28:28
And you get to hear me talk about science forward.

Jack:   28:30
And then I thought I'm gonna have to hear Neal talk about science. So I went back. I'm ended. I swapped to the North Carolina Barber shop owner who has raised enough money to pay off debts of like, some high school students or because they weren't gonna graduate.

Neil:   28:46
Okay, yeah, this is a very cute story. So already get story.

Jack:   28:49
Police tell me about North Cape because those personal like I like a lot of science. Good news stories. But sometimes it's the human ones, which I think, uh, like individually, we can appreciate the most.

Neil:   29:00
Yes, so this Aziz said. It's in North Carolina on dhe season. Bennett, who is this barbershop owner season season? Bennett, which is a phenomenal name, basically learned that there were 14 seniors at the local high school East Mecklenburg High School that weren't going to be able to graduate if they hadn't finished paying off their fees. Andi,

Jack:   29:25
with high school fees or like

Neil:   29:28
Ah, yeah, yeah, for their for their diplomas. So I think it is part of a It's It's It's tuition based. So he went out into the community to help fund the money to pay the debt on DDE because the school just bands people from graduating. If your fees haven't been paid, eso basically like between donations from the public and help from former Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, Bennett managed to raise the money. Andi said that he was inspired by billionaire technology investor Robert F. Smith, who announced that he'd pay off student loans for graduating seniors of Morehouse College. Um, and uh, yeah, and I just think it's such a brilliant story of community movement Thio help a younger generation progress, and you know that it's a constant theme off access to education, a lack of money to decent education or the tools that you need to access education being the barrier on. And it's such a simple thing like this in the community picture together, that's 14 people. They're going to go on to college and on to further careers on. You know, you don't know who one of those 14 people could turn out to be what they can achieve on Dhe. It's just that thing where they should have even been a problem in the first place, like it it. But the fact that the community was there to say, Hey, this can't happen. People can't not graduate. I was well ready to do the malaria one. It's really exciting. One,

Jack:   30:56
I say so big

Neil:   30:57
that it's fine, but yet really interesting one. They had 1500 mosquitoes in the in this, like basically like a mini village. They don't want any village with like water hearts. And with this kind of stuff

Jack:   31:10
were so like an actor, I was like,

Neil:   31:12
No, it's like a mini village in a giant 10. It was a double lead. Mosquito tend to keep them all in. They were all infected with malaria, and then they basically created this fungus, which they then put on that costume and in water and stuff so that the mosquitoes could eventually land on it and touch it and get infected with it. Andi, in like, 13 days, the population went from 1502 35. You

Jack:   31:34
know why this is a real problematic because they're getting on. That's great. But does that just mean it kills all? Mosquitoes

Neil:   31:44
only kills the ones with malaria. Andi also can't go into other insects. I didn't affect bees or anything else. It was genetically modified to only react to mosquitoes with malaria.

Jack:   31:56
That's okay. So, firstly, that's amazing.

Neil:   31:58
Yeah, And then they specifically say that it's not about making mosquitoes extinct. It's purely about controlling malaria outbreaks in an area.

Jack:   32:08
Oh, so, yes, it would be like if they can just go out. Spread the fungus? Yeah, on dhe. It brings down the mosquito. Malaria, malaria, mosquito population.

Neil:   32:16
Yeah, because they don't know. Mrs. Mosquitoes don't travel over mass distances. So if you've got one village or area that is having malaria problems, they can treat that area and remove malarial mosquitoes from the area. So you may still have mosquitoes, but they won't be infecting people on DSO. It's kind of almost like a spot treatment for malaria, Which It's phenomenal. Yeah.

Jack:   32:36
No, that's like groundbreaking and life changing and hugely important on. I feel terrible that one of my main thoughts is like, this is house on. He's come about

Neil:   32:45
100%. Why love there is that in the B receiver for Red? They went to interview someone at a scientist at Oxford. Anything? And I was kind of expecting to read this, like, really like intellectual response and the sign like professors responsible. Neat. That's really good. Looks just like that's fantastic. That's brilliant. Um, but anyway, you didn't pick that once. We're gonna talk about it anyway. Uh, that's we've got time for guys. Hope you enjoyed this week's episode on Dhe. You go off on Dhe search for all of the good good things. If you liked this episode, don't forget to rate review and subscribe on DDE. Come in the meantime on Find Us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook AG. A good thing. Give us a light, give us a follow on and share all of your stories with

Jack:   33:31
us. And finally, if you like the idea of city repair, you can hit two city repair dot Or get an elder to find out more about the organization.

Neil:   33:38
Yes, and we'll put all of those links in the bottom of the episode notes for this episode.

Jack:   33:43
Thank you for listening. I you know.