A blind man in a Facebook group asked people to describe their dogs and it's the sweetest post ever
via Dogspotting Society / Facebook

Over the past few years, Facebook has been a lightning rod for controversy, whether it's the 2016 Russia election hacking scandal, privacy concerns or numerous disputes over what it censors and what it does not.

So it's easy to forget that the world's largest social network is also a place where beautiful things still happen on a daily basis.

A blind man named Stephen William Dale Shkuratoff asked members of the The Dogspotting Society public Facebook group to describe pictures of their dogs so that he can get a better idea of what they look like.


"I love being a member of this group!" wrote Shkuratoff. "I am blind and was hoping to ask for more dog descriptions. Personality traits are more helpful than colors. Like how soft the dog is, for example. Bonus as always for dogs full of kisses and snuggles.

RELATED: Speech pathologist teaches her dog to use a soundboard and now it communicates in sentences

"Thanks for making me feel included," he concluded. "Hope no one minds me asking for descriptions a lot recently."

According to its Facebook page, the Dogspotting Society is a "cool place to hang out where you can post your own dogs! Here you can make friends, talk about dogs and Dogspotting. Always remember to take it easy and Be Excellent to Each Other!"

And boy were they excellent to Stephen.

via The Dogspotting Society / Facebook

In just five days, over 2,000 people have provided darling descriptions of their pooches for Stephen.

Amber wrote:

Porter is 100% mutt he is about 2.5 ft tall and has a tail that doubles the length of his body...that never stops wagging! he is missing 2 of his front teeth so his tongue is always hanging out...which is adorable! he has the softed smoothest coat of any dog i have ever met! the fur behind his ears is like velvet!He loves to jump and snuggle with his people. He is very protective of his babies (my boyfriends 3 children) and will stand in the way of anyone who is trying to get near them...he is the number one good boi

via The Dogspotting Society / Facebook


Kaylin wrote:

I have an American Staffordshire Terrier named Zena. She is 9 months old and is 45 lbs of excitement and curiosity. If she sees anyone on the street, she always wants to say hi! Today she wanted to say hi to a weedwhacker but I told her she couldn't. Zena is about knee height, and the colour of a dreary, rainy day. Her ears are soft like a bunny's. Sometimes when you give her scritches she will return the favor and nibble you back, which feels funny! It's like a bunny is nibbling you. She is still learning how to give gentle kisses, as she still thinks ramming you with her teeth is the same thing. We're working on it. Zena likes to cuddle and will be right up against you all night, no matter how much room is in the bed.

via The Dogspotting Society / Facebook


Luisa wrote:

My oldest dog is named amadeus. He is turning 2 tomorrow. His fur is super soft and loves to give people kisses. He hates squirrels and runs quickly to protect his yard on his potty breaks. He barks a lot but to make sure he protects everyone in the house. His favorite treat is cheese.Luna is a feisty puppy with an attitude. She wants all the attention on her and will make sure that she gets the majority of it (and not her brother). She loves to be a lap dog at 7 months, but she weighs 75 pounds, so she is a heavy one. Her fur is soft, but very smooth. Her farts smell terrible, but we really love her either way lol.

via The Dogspotting Society / Facebook


Mary wrote:

Elsa is a red Dachshund/Staffordshire Terrier mix. She has been described as a "giant sausage dog" and "big-ass Weiner dog." She is a very buff low rider!

via The Dogspotting Society / Facebook


Becky wrote:

Our cocker spaniel Mia is a floofy black Tom boy in disguise. She looks like a beautiful princess with her long floppy ears decorated with shiny dark curls. Her body is long and her booty is thick. She loves to shake it like crazy when someone from the pack comes home or throws her a ball.

Even though she is beautiful and girlish with her long eyelashes and bashful eyes, Mia loves to dig and hunt. Her legs are long, but you can't tell most of the time - she loves to lay on her back with all paws in the air. "Belly rubs, peasants!"


So how do blind and visually-impaired people read the text on Facebook?

"The answer is quite simple," Carl Augusto, from the American Foundation for the Blind dais according to Adweek.

"People who are blind or visually impaired use a screen magnification program to enlarge fonts in order to optimize the screen for reading, or they use a screen reading program that reads the text aloud. These are quick, efficient and helpful solutions — that is, if the websites and computer programs are properly designed."

Over the years, Facebook has worked to improve accessibility for visually-impaired users. It has recently implemented Artificial intelligence to describe photos to users and facial recognition technology to explain which friends are in specific photos.

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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

In the hours before he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, then-President-elect Biden was sent a letter signed by 17 freshmen GOP members of the House of Representatives.

In sharp contrast to the 121 Republican House members who voted against the certification of Biden's electoral votes—a constitutional procedure merely check-marking the state certifications that had already taken place—this letter expresses a desire to "rise above the partisan fray" and work together with Biden as he takes over the presidency.

The letter reads:

Dear President-elect Biden,

Congratulations on the beginning of your administration and presidency. As members of this freshman class, we trust that the next four years will present your administration and the 117thCongress with numerous challenges and successes, and we are hopeful that – despite our ideological differences – we may work together on behalf of the American people we are each so fortunate to serve.

After two impeachments, lengthy inter-branch investigations, and, most recently, the horrific attack on our nation's capital, it is clear that the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans does not serve a single American.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.