☀️ A Vending Machine Can Save Lives

PLUS: After Multiple Tries, Dev Shah Finally Wins the Spelling Bee

Inhale the present, exhale the past.

Now let your breath guide you back to the present moment where peace and mindfulness reside.

Thank you for reading today’s edition of Grateful Gazette 😌

Here’s what to know for Friday:

  • These vending machines are ready for the worst

  • Mississippi is offering a lesson on improving education

  • Dev Shah shows what effort can bring you.

Plus, we’ve got an excellent recommendation for your weekend as part of Feel-good Friday.


Japan is shaking things up with a fresh spin on disaster preparedness.

Imagine if your vending machine did more than dispense soda and chips: it's part of your survival plan during major earthquakes or typhoons.

They've installed two of these literal lifesavers in Ako, a city with an almost magnetic attraction for quakes.

Packed with about 300 bottles, cans of soft drinks, and 150 emergency food items, these machines sit patiently by evacuation shelters.

The catch? The goodies inside only become free of charge when Mother Nature throws a tantrum—either a heavy rain warning or an earthquake that scores a five or more on Japan’s seismic intensity scoreboard.

It's a brainchild of Earth Corp, a local manufacturer who sees these vending machines as a first step to a safer Japan. But, according to them, it's not a matter of 'if' but 'when' the next big shake-up will happen.

With typhoons and earthquakes playing tag in recent years, they aim to install these machines nationwide.

And get this, another vending machine doubles as a radio, issuing automatic emergency broadcasts in Tokyo. Now, that's what I call multi-tasking!

This keeps the residents' nerves slightly more settled with the looming possibility of a “megaquake” in the next few decades.

I don't know about you, but this puts a new perspective on hitting the vending machines. So next time you're in Japan, grab a soda and appreciate the humble vending machine more because it might save your bacon one day!

🗞 More Good News

🏆 Filipino American chefs are starting to rack up James Beard culinary awards

🍎 Mississippi is acing the test on how to handle education reform

🐝 Mars and Venus will align in this special space formation called a beehive cluster

🫏 Two weeks after being stolen, this baby donkey was found and brought back home

🐳 Surrounded by orca whales, this swimmer just keeps swimming

🪼 5,000 new species are identified at the site of a planned deep-sea mine

☀️ The Bright Side

The third time was the charm for 14-year-old Floridian Dev Shah at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

After earlier attempts saw him in 51st and 76th places, Dev finally got the taste of victory, bagging over $50,000 in cash and prizes, courtesy of the word "psammophile."

It turns out Dev's got a knack for spelling tongue-twisters. Some other gems from this year include "bathypitotmeter" and "aegagrus"

Despite a brief wobble last year, when he finished 4th at his regional bee, he rallied, secured his spot in the big league, and hasn't looked back since.

Dev aced the spelling game, beating 228 participants, and nabbed the champion's title.

It's not about the destination; it's about the journey, and for Dev, that journey spelled 's-u-c-c-e-s-s'’

✨ Feel-Good Friday

Dealing with loss is never easy. It’s feel-good Friday, but I’m confident that this album might be the thing your weekend needs.

Here’s the review from AP:

‘But Here We Are’ sounds like the most grown-up of the 11 studio records from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band, a vintage recipe of relentless guitar riffs, unsettled yet subtly sweet melodies, and the raging, raspy vocals of front man Dave Grohl.

Their first release since the sudden death of beloved drummer Taylor Hawkins while on tour last year is essentially the album they needed to make — and probably the one their families, friends and fans needed to hear.

Grohl’s grappling with loss — the album is dedicated to Hawkins and his mother, Virginia — is painfully palpable and artfully woven throughout the 10 songs. There’s no escaping each facet of grief in these characteristically uncomplicated lyrics that are about coping, reflecting and realizing life must go on.

- Thank you for reading Grateful Gazette. Remember to breathe deeply to bring your mind back to your body 💜

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