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The week’s good news: Nov. 30, 2023

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Film crew captures world’s first footage of a humpback whale giving birth

Mark Brownlow and Sarah Gibbs have worked on several series about ocean life and animals, but for years one piece of footage remained elusive: the birth of a humpback whale. The event can take several hours, and “the holy grail of filming a whale birth seemed impossible,” Brownlow, an executive producer with Plimsoll Productions, said. While filming for the new National Geographic series “Incredible Animal Journeys”, the crew worked with humpback scientist Dr. Rachel Cartwright, who guided them as they captured footage of the whales in Hawaiian waters. The team was elated when it found a humpback whale giving birth, capturing the first documented recording of a calf as it emerged into the world tail first. Additional footage showed the mom pushing the newborn to the surface of the water so it could take its first breath. The beautiful scene appears in the “Ocean Odysseys” episode of “Incredible Animal Journeys,” and the footage is also being used to support scientific research conducted by Cartwright and the Keiki Kohola Project.

California boy pledges to perform 10 acts of kindness to celebrate 10th birthday

For Maxx Raser’s birthday, he was the one giving out gifts. Prior to his 10th birthday on Oct. 22, Raser saw a TV news segment about Bryan Tsiliacos, who decided to do 30 acts of kindness the year before he turned 30. This inspired Raser, who told his parents he wanted to do something similar. Raser’s mom Cristina contacted Tsiliacos and told him about her son’s plan, and he suggested they team up for Raser’s first act of kindness: making sandwiches for homeless shelter residents. Using $75 he received as a birthday gift, Raser bought bread, cheese and deli meat and invited relatives to his home to make sandwiches. On Nov. 3, Raser distributed his sandwiches to the Multi-Service Center South shelter in San Francisco, and beamed as residents sang “Happy Birthday” to him. Raser told The Washington Post he thinks it’s “important to spread kindness in the world. I hope what I’m doing inspires lots of people in my generation by the time I’m 11.”

‘Flash Dads’ cheer on Louisville elementary school students

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