10 things that brought us joy and delight this week

Everyone can all use a little lift at the end of the week, and we've collected some of this week's best stories to provide just such a pick-me-up. Here are 10 things we want to share, just because they made us so darn happy.

1. Introducing Lila, the U.S. Capitol Police's first emotional support dog.

After the traumatic experiences of January 6th, Capitol Police officers could definitely use some extra support. Lila, a two-year-old black lab, will now serve as the department's first full-time emotional support dog. Look at that sweet face!

2. Speaking of the Capitol, take a look at this week's gorgeous solar eclipse behind the dome.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson shared the stunning "ring of fire" image on Twitter. Always a treat when nature gives us a great show.

3. Colorado sees its first wild wolf pups in six decades.

In the 1940s, the gray wolf was eradicated in Colorado by trappers and hunters, with the support of the federal government. Whoops. This week, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has announced the first evidence of wild wolf breeding in the state, a sign of hope for the endangered species. Read more about the discovery here.

Photo by M L on Unsplash

4. 30-year-old singer with terminal cancer amazed and inspired with her performance on America's Got Talent.

Singer Jane Marczweski, who goes by Nightbirde when she sings, is on her third round of cancer and was given a 2% chance of survival. Her America's Got Talent audition with her original song, "It's OK," brought the house down, but her attitude and unique perspective on life are even more beautiful. Read more of her story here.

Golden Buzzer: Nightbirde's Original Song Makes Simon Cowell Emotional - America's Got Talent 2021youtu.be

5. Meet America's first gay married couple, who legally got married decades before it actually became legal.

Through some careful reading of the letter of the law and some simple name changes, Jack and Michael McConnell used a legal loophole to get married 32 years before Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004 and 43 before it became federally legal in 2015. Read their story here.

The Story Of America's First Gay Wedding 50 Years Agoyoutu.be

6. 43-year-old mother of 4 qualifies for the women's platform diving finals at the U.S. Olympic trials.

Laura Wilkinson has competed in three Olympic games and took home the gold in women's platform diving in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Now, 13 years after retiring from the sport, she's looking for a fourth chance to medal. "When I retired at 30 I was old back then," Wilkinson told TODAY, "so this whole journey has just been a crazy, fun road." Read more about her incredible comeback here.

7. Teen's co-workers at Waffle House come together to ensure he can attend his graduation in style.

Timothy Harrison didn't have his cap or gown or tickets for his high school graduation. He didn't even have a ride to the ceremony. But his manager and co-workers at Waffle House stepped up to support him. Read the story here.

8. Border collie missing after being thrown from a car in an accident was found herding sheep in a nearby farm.

Good doggo's gonna be a good doggo, no matter what. Tilly, a two-year-old family dog from Hayden, Idaho, was thrown from the trunk of the car during a collision and ran off. Thankfully, he was found doing what he was bred to do—herding sheep in a nearby farm. Read the story here.

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

9. High school principal in North Carolina gave graduating seniors a sweet sendoff by serenading them with 'I Will Always Love You.'

Principal Marcus Gause told ABC News that he was a bit nervous because "nobody sings behind Whitney Houston and the greats like Dolly Parton." However, he said, "the lyrics were really what I was trying to portray to my students." (Did we mention the man can SING?)

10. 3-year-old dancing along to choreographed group dances is just the joy we all need to take into the weekend.

Tiny dancer Liang Liang first went viral in 2019 for his impressive dance moves, but this revival was so very needed. There's nothing better than little kids dancing, but when they have actual skill, it's even better. Get it, little man. See more of Liang Liang here.

Hope that brings a little needed light and delight to your week! Keep sharing the good to make the world better.

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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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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