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For a long time, good news for America was all too rare.

A feel-good story in an American newspaper. Photo by Bev Sykes/Flickr.


But slowly but surely, that's changing.

There are many reasons to believe the good ol' U.S. of A. is back on track in 2015.

And they deserve to be celebrated.

The most American way possible: With epic slam dunks.

Boo. Yah. America.

1. 11 years ago, only one state — Massachusetts — had full marriage equality. Now, all 50 do.

Take it to the hole, LeBron. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

2. Since the main provisions of the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare") took effect in 2013, the number of Americans without health insurance has plummeted more than 30%.


Griffin, for two. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.

3. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, greater use of birth control among sexually active teenagers has contributed to the lowest teen pregnancy rate since 1991.

You know. Just walking on the sky. Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images.

4. Since 1965, the smoking rate in America has been cut by more than half.

Oh hey. Just chillin' up here. Photo by Mark Ralston/Getty Images.

5. Unemployment in the U.S. is down 47% since its peak in 2009.

Yeah. I work out. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

6. The three highest-rated network TV dramas with viewers age 18-49 in the 2014-2015 season are produced by and starring people of color.

Engage thrusters. Photo by Pool/Getty Images.

7. Solar power installations are 17 times more common in the U.S. than it was just seven years ago.

Ball delivery. Sign here, please. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.

8. Because of the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, 1.4 million undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children no longer have to fear deportation.

AND LO, Jordan said "Let there be dunks." And the dunks were good. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images.

9. The number of unsheltered homeless people in the United States has declined more than 30% since 2007.

Smoothies for everyone!! Photo by Pool/Getty Images.

10. Three American cities — Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco, will all have a $15 minimum wage within six years.

"You have to understand, it's about ethics in dunk journalism." Photo by Harry How/Getty Images.

11. Babies born in 2012 are expected to live longer — on average — than any Americans in history.

Classic. Photo by Briah Bahr/Getty Images.

Now THAT'S good news.

Keep on dunking, America.

via FIRST

FIRST students compete in a robotics challenge.

True

Societies all over the world face an ever-growing list of complex issues that require informed solutions. Whether it’s addressing infectious diseases, the effects of climate change, supply chain issues or resource scarcity, the world has an immediate need for problem-solvers with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

Here in the United States, we’re experiencing a shortage of much-needed STEM workers, and forward-thinking organizations are stepping up to tap into America’s youth to fill the void. As the leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM education, FIRST is an important player in this arena, and its mission is to inspire young people aged 4 to 18 to become technology leaders and innovators capable of addressing the world’s pressing needs.

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The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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Brando was a shoo-in for Best Actor at the 1973 Academy Awards, so the actor decided to use the opportunity to make an important point about Native American representation in Hollywood.

Instead of attending the ceremony, he sent Sacheen Littlefeather, a Yaqui and Apache actress and activist dressed in traditional clothing, to talk about the injustices faced by Native Americans.

She explained that Brando "very regretfully cannot accept this generous award, the reasons for this being...are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee."

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Ring footage shows Adrian Rodriguez returning a lost purse.

At Upworthy, we are always looking to share the best of humanity and there are few things that reveal someone’s good character quite like when they do good when no one is watching. A recent story from Chula Vista, California, celebrates a teenager who went out of his way to return a woman’s lost purse.

According to NBC News San Diego, Eliana Martin was shopping at Ralph’s supermarket when she accidentally left her purse in a shopping cart in the parking lot. After she left the store, she realized she had lost her purse and began frantically canceling her credit cards.

Shortly after Martin left the parking lot, a recent high school graduate, Adrian Rodriquez, 17, found her purse in the cart. Rodriguez searched the purse to look for an identification card to find where she lived so he could return it to her. He then drove over to the address on the identification card, where Melina Marquez, Martin's former roommate, currently lives.

Marquez wasn’t home so Rodriguez left the purse with a relative. Marquez later saw video of the drop-off on the family’s Ring doorbell camera.

“I looked into the Ring camera, and I was like, ‘Oh my God. He’s such a young kid.’ I was like, ‘We need to find him and just give him a little piece of gratitude.’” Marquez told NBC San Diego.

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