3 Good Things: Diamonds, generosity and a career that began at age 84

Karlotta Freier / For The Times

number one

Under pressure

Space exploration is its own reward, but still — wouldn’t it be cool to land on a planet littered with diamonds? On Earth, they are mostly formed deep underground and forced up by volcanic eruptions. Some scientists think Mercury has a different recipe: Meteorites batter the planet’s graphite crust, compressing carbon to make diamonds. Based on a guess that Mercury’s graphite shell is 300 meters thick, one researcher suggests that 4.5 billion years of impacts would have formed 16 quadrillion tons of diamonds.

number two

Lend a helping hand

Marco Burstein and Avi Schiffmann knew they had to do something. The two students at Harvard University were hearing about the struggles of Ukrainian refugees desperately seeking safety. They were sure that others around the world also felt driven to help, but how? So they created a website, Ukraine Take Shelter, where people prepared to host migrants could offer space, and Ukrainian refugees could connect with them. In the site’s first week, more than 4,000 people offered space.

number three

Passing the torch

The oldest active ranger in the National Park Service, Betty Reid Soskin, just retired at the age of 100. She had been working at Rosie the Riveter National Historical Park in the Bay Area, leading educational programs and speaking to visitors about her own experience as a Black woman on the home front during World War II. “Being a primary source in the sharing of that history — my history — and giving shape to a new national park has been exciting and fulfilling,” she said. “It has proven to bring meaning to my final years.”


And one more ...

In the springtime, “eat your vegetables” doesn’t have to be a chore — and neither does cooking them. Vernal classics like asparagus, ramps and fiddlehead ferns are at their best with three simple additions: a little Parmesan cheese, a dash of pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Enjoy the season.