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upworthy
Heroes

Ellen never gave up on her dreams. And our dream for the Earth isn't unrealistic either.

100% clean energy may be a big dream, but we're ready to dream big.

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The Wilderness Society

It takes guts to dream big.

Because when you're willing to take a stand, it means you actually care about something. And it's scary — to be open like that. It means placing a part of yourself on the line. It's easier to give in to doubts or peer pressure. To hide.

But we've always loved the people who weren't willing to settle. The dreamers.


We look up to them because they've felt what we've felt — in every job interview, or school application, or confession of love — they felt those same doubts and beat them back. They're the people who inspire us to do what seems impossible.

But, what if Gandhi had gotten cold feet?

Image via Don't Panic London/YouTube.

What if Dr. King never had a dream?

Image via Don't Panic London/YouTube.

What if Ellen DeGeneres had stage fright?

Image via Don't Panic London/YouTube.

The extraordinary IS achievable.

As J.K. Rowling says, "We don't need magic to transform our world." Everyone has the power to do something amazing.

That's what this new video from creative agency Don't Panic and the Here Now project wants people to realize.

Because some people say 100% clean energy by 2050 is impossible.

Could the world really be powered by completely renewable sources? "There are a lot of people who say it is not possible," Stanford professor Mark Jacobson told Upworthy. He's out to prove them wrong.

Jacobson and his team weren't involved in Don't Panic's video, but they havecreated a road map to 100% clean energy for 139 individual countries. Jacobson used today's energy data — projected forward to 2050 — and customized the plan for each country based on their natural resources.

Volcanic Iceland, for example, could use a lot of geothermal, while sunny Italy could get more than half of their power from solar plants.

Iceland's famous Blue Lagoon spa is actually run off heated water from a nearby geothermal plant. Image from Vestman/Flickr.

In fact, many countries are already well underway to becoming carbon free.

People should feel confident that 100% clean energy is achievable, according to Jacobson. And moving to a carbon-free energy system could not only reduce pollution and emissions, but also stabilize energy prices, create jobs, make each country largely energy independent, and bring energy to those without access.

"In the end we'll have a system that's a lot cleaner, a lot safer, and our society should be more stable," he added.

But to achieve this, we still need the same determination and heart that Gandhi and King had.

From Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, 2015, world leaders will be meeting in Paris to try to finally solve the climate change crisis.

We need to show them that we're ready to dream big.

Watch Don't Panic's full video here:

The Wilderness Society also has a dream – to keep southern Australia's Great Australian Bight pristine and free of deep-sea oil rigs. Sign their petition to keep BP at bay and protect this untouched stretch of marine wilderness.

Image from YouTube video.

An emotional and strong Matt Diaz.


Matt Diaz has worked extremely hard to lose 270 pounds over the past six years.

But his proudest moment came in March 2015 when he decided to film himself with his shirt off to prove an important point about body positivity and self-love.

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Community

Man uses social media to teach others ASL so kids don't experience what he did as a child

Every child should be able to communicate in a way that works best for them.

Man teaches people ASL so no child experiences what he did

People start communicating from the moment they enter the world usually through cries, faces, grunts and squeals. Once infants move into the toddler phase the combine all of their previous communication skills with pointing and saying a few frequently used words like "milk," "mama," "dada" and "eat."

Children who are born without the ability to hear often still go through those same stages with the exception of their frequently used words being in sign language. But not all hearing parents know sign language, which can stunt the language skills of their non-hearing child. Ronnie McKenzie is an American Sign Language advocate that uses social media to teach others how to sign so deaf and nonverbal kids don't feel left out.

"But seriously i felt so isolated 50% of my life especially being outside of school i had NONE to sign ASL with. Imagine being restricted from your own language," McKenzie writes in his caption.

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Family

Wife says husband's last name is so awful she can't give it to her kids. Is she right?

"I totally get we can’t shield kids from everything, and I understand the whole family ties thing, but c’mon."

A wife pleads with her husband to change their child's name.

Even though it’s 2023 and schools are much more concerned with protecting children from bullying than in the past, parents still have to be aware that kids will be kids, and having a child with a funny name is bound to cause them trouble.

A mother on Reddit is concerned that her future children will have the unfortunate last name of “Butt,” so she asked people on the namenerds forum to help her convince her husband to name their child something different.

(Note: We’re assuming that the person who wrote the post is a woman because their husband is interested in perpetuating the family name, and if it were a same-sex relationship, a husband probably wouldn’t automatically make that assumption.)

"My husband’s last name is Butt. Can someone please help me illuminate to him why this last name is less than ideal,” she asked the forum. “I totally get we can’t shield kids from everything and I understand the whole family ties thing, but c'mon. Am I being unreasonable by suggesting our future kid either take my name, a hybrid, or a new one altogether?"

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Joy

Bus driver comes to the rescue for boy who didn't have an outfit for school's Pajamas Day

“It hurt me so bad…I wanted him to have a good day. No child should have to miss out on something as small as pajama day.”

Representative Image from Canva

One thoughtful act can completely turn someone's day around.

On the morning just before Valentine’s Day, school bus driver Larry Farrish Jr. noticed something amiss with Levi, one of his first grade passengers, on route to Engelhard Elementary, part of Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) in Louisville, Kentucky.

On any other day, the boy would greet Farrish with a smile and a wave. But today, nothing. Levi sat down by himself, eyes downcast, no shining grin to be seen. Farrish knew something was up, and decided to inquire.

With a “face full of tears,” as described on the JCPS website, Levi told Farrish that today was “Pajama Day” at school, but he didn’t have any pajamas to wear for the special occasion.
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via Imgur

Memories of testing like this gets people fired up.

It doesn't take much to cause everyone on the internet to go a little crazy, so it's not completely surprising that an incorrect answer on a child's math test is the latest event to get people fired up.

The test in question asked kids to solve "5 x 3" using repeated addition. Under this method, the correct answer is "5 groups of 3," not "3 groups of 5." The question is typical of Common Core but has many questioning this type of standardized testing and how it affects learning.

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Joy

There are over 30 years between these amazing before-and-after photos.

"It's important for me for my photography to make people smile."

All photos by Chris Porsz/REX/Shutterstock.

Before and after photos separated by 30 years.


Chris Porsz was tired of studying sociology.

As a university student in the 1970s, he found the talk of economics and statistics completely mind-numbing. So instead, he says, he roamed the streets of his hometown of Peterborough, England, with a camera in hand, snapping pictures of the people he met and listening to their stories. To him, it was a far better way to understand the world.

He always looked for the most eccentric people he could find, anyone who stood out from the crowd. Sometimes he'd snap a single picture of that person and walk away. Other times he'd have lengthy conversations with these strangers.

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