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10 things that brought a smile to our faces this week

Time to celebrate as we head into the holiday weekend! To kick things off, here are ten of the best things we found this week. Kick back, relax, and enjoy these hits of happiness.

1. Watch blind paralympic champion runner David Brown tear up the track in the 100m.

Brown sprints tethered to his guide, Jerome Avery. The rubber finger bands allow Avery to run in exact unison with Brown, guided by his movements. As his guide, Avery calls out potential obstacles and keeps Brown informed of how far he has left to go. The goal is to run as one person. Incredible to watch.

2. Soldier Ethan Houston surprising his mom at the grocery store after being deployed in Germany for two years.

The scream says it all. Probably scared some of the customers at first, but we all get it. It's the ongoing sacrifices of military families and the joy of reunion all wrapped up in 30 seconds.

3. This delightful reminder that little kids are hilarious and deep and have a totally different concept of time than adults do.

Teacher George Pointon shares his year one (kindergarten in the U.S.) students' responses to the question, "If you could travel time, where would you go?" Absolutely delightful answers and analyses. Read the story here.

Photo by Eddie Kopp on Unsplash, George Pointon/Twitter


4. 70-year-old becomes Yankees' bat girl 60 years after being rejected for being a girl


Lifelong New York Yankees fan Gwen Goldman wrote to the general manager of the team when she was 10 years old, expressing her dream of being the team's bat girl. The manager told her she would be "out of place in the dugout." But times change, thankfully, and Goldman got to fulfill that dream this week. Read the full story here.

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5. A woman lost her dog two years ago. When she went to a shelter to adopt a new puppy, there he was.

Aisha Nieves's beloved dog Kovu had been missing for two years, and she assumed he was gone forever. But when she went to an animal shelter looking for a new pup to adopt, she noticed a dog that looked like Kovu. Then she saw the scar over his eye and knew it was him. "He was screaming, trying to get away from the guy holding him and run to me," she told The Morning Call. Then, he just jumped on me, and we started kissing and hugging." Gulp.

6. The best beauty hack and most adorable positive affirmation influencer you'll ever see.

"I wook so cute" should be everyone's mantra when they look in the mirror. And look how responsive she is to her mommy's comments. Maybe we should all get ourselves "sticked up," as she seems to be onto something here.

7. Speaking of adorable, this puppy being overtaken by sleep despite trying his best to fight it is just too much.

Are we all feeling this at the end of a long week? Soooo tired, but refuse to sleep because we don't want to miss anything. (Definitely need to have the sound up for this one. We feel you, dawg.)

8. This story of a BLM flag being torn starts on a down note, but ends with a beautifully uplifting message.

The Millers weren't terribly surprised to find their Black Lives Matter flag vandalized, but an anonymous neighbor who bought them two replacement flags left a note that restored their faith. "I saw it as a chance to remind you, remind myself, remind vandals and kind people alike that you can't tear away someone's humanity, you can't tear away their pride, you can't tear up love and compassion and good hearts the way you can tear up the fabric." Read the full story here.

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9. A homeless artist was discovered, and Oprah surprised him by buying one of his paintings for $5000.

Richard Hutchins has a heck of a life story, from having his art studio burn down to spending time in jail (where he made paintings on the backs of envelopes, using Skittles for paint) to living on the streets of Los Angeles. With the help of Charlie Rocket, he's been rocketed into artistic fame and success. This video of Oprah surprising him is just pure delight.

10. This incredible reminder of the power of art to shift our perspectives and help us see the world in a whole new way.

Human beings are simply amazing, and few things make that as apparent as art. The things we can conjure up in our imaginations and share with the world never cease to amaze.

Regardless of what's happening in the world, there are always stories big and small that can bring a smile to our faces and a moment of peace to our hearts. You just have to know where to look for them—and hopefully, we're making that search a little easier.

And just for funsies, here's a bonus boost of adorableness:

Why is that puppy the cutest thing ever? Why?

Enjoy the long weekend if you get one, and keep seeking joy, everyone!

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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RumorGuard by The News Literacy Project.

The 2016 election was a watershed moment when misinformation online became a serious problem and had enormous consequences. Even though social media sites have tried to slow the spread of misleading information, it doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

A NewsGuard report from 2020 found that engagement with unreliable sites between 2019 and 2020 doubled over that time period. But we don’t need studies to show that misinformation is a huge problem. The fact that COVID-19 misinformation was such a hindrance to stopping the virus and one-third of American voters believe that the 2020 election was stolen is proof enough.

What’s worse is that according to Pew Research, only 26% of American adults are able to distinguish between fact and opinion.

To help teach Americans how to discern real news from fake news, The News Literacy Project has created a new website called RumorGuard that debunks questionable news stories and teaches people how to become more news literate.

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Family

A mom describes her tween son's brain. It's a must-read for all parents.

"Sometimes I just feel really angry and I don’t know why."

This story originally appeared on 1.05.19


It started with a simple, sincere question from a mother of an 11-year-old boy.

An anonymous mother posted a question to Quora, a website where people can ask questions and other people can answer them. This mother wrote:

How do I tell my wonderful 11 year old son, (in a way that won't tear him down), that the way he has started talking to me (disrespectfully) makes me not want to be around him (I've already told him the bad attitude is unacceptable)?

It's a familiar scenario for those of us who have raised kids into the teen years. Our sweet, snuggly little kids turn into moody middle schoolers seemingly overnight, and sometimes we're left reeling trying to figure out how to handle their sensitive-yet-insensitive selves.


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