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via Unnewscessary. Used with permission.

Headlines from Unnewscessary.

At Upworthy, we know a thing or two about the challenges that come with trying to spread good news in a world that tends to thrive on negativity. There are two main reasons why bad news makes the headlines, whereas the good stuff tends to be hidden on the back page.

First, people have evolved to pay attention to things that could be a potential threat. Hence, why crime, war,and political outrage are usually the top stories of the day. Second, good news sometimes doesn’t happen overnight.

“Obviously sudden, noteworthy, and rare events are the ones that make headlines, whereas long-term slow, steady, incremental progress is just not as interesting,” Chelsea Follett, Editor of Human Progress, another positivity site, told Upworthy.

An illustrator has created a wonderful Instagram page where he illustrates good news headlines so “so you won't forget them,” he told Upworthy.


Unnewscessary presents fun, dramatic visualizations of the day’s positive news headlines to show people what they may have missed and to make the stories “easy to remember.”

@Unnewscessary started the project in 2019, just before the pandemic hit. His original goal was doing 100 illustrations of news items that “cannot be photographed,” but the work soon became an addiction.

He's proud to have posted dozens of positive news stories over the past two years, even though we’ve been living through a pandemic. “When you look over the whole gallery, given that most of them are good news, you can see what went well in the last two awful years,” he told Upworthy.

Waxworms eat plastic and poop alcohol.

The Instagram page has received a lot of positive responses, but @Unnewscessary's favorite was when a scientist contacted him out of the blue. “I got an email from a scientist that told me he's the one that made the discovery about waxworms that I illustrated. He was in awe!” he said.

@Unnewscessary believes that a lot of people are missing out on positive stories because they lack eye-catching share images.

"Some very interesting stories get lost in our feed because they have an ordinary cover picture, like a stock image that doesn’t say much,” he said. “That’s because some subjects are too abstract to be photographed, so editors are pairing them with something neutral and insipid.”

Here are 17 of the most memorable good news illustrations at Unnewscessary. Take a good look, you may have missed these headlines when they first came out.

Doctors in Canada can now prescribe national park trips to patients.

Study finds men wearing face masks are the most attractive.

Pets' welfare will be considered when couples divorce.

Interrupting sleep after a few minutes can boost creativity.

Airbnb opens up housing for 20,000 Afghan refugees.

Nature sounds improve your health.

The excavator driver from the Suez Canal said the memes made him work harder.

The four-day work week is becoming a thing.

QAnon members are going back to reality.

Monkeys at Bali temple can spot expensive items to steal and ransom for food.

Abortion is now legal in Argentina.

San Francisco plans a basic income pilot program for artists.

Pope Francis voices support for same-sex marriage.

Romania establishes the animal police.

The World Food Programme won the Nobel Prize.

The Tasmanian devil returns to Australia.

Brazil's Football Federation announces equal pay for women and men.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Actions speak far louder than words.

It never fails. After a tragic mass shooting, social media is filled with posts offering thoughts and prayers. Politicians give long-winded speeches on the chamber floor or at press conferences asking Americans to do the thing they’ve been repeatedly trained to do after tragedy: offer heartfelt thoughts and prayers. When no real solution or plan of action is put forth to stop these senseless incidents from occurring so frequently in a country that considers itself a world leader, one has to wonder when we will be honest with ourselves about that very intangible automatic phrase.

Comedian Anthony Jeselnik brilliantly summed up what "thoughts and prayers" truly mean. In a 1.5-minute clip, Jeselnik talks about victims' priorities being that of survival and not wondering if they’re trending at that moment. The crowd laughs as he mimics the actions of well-meaning social media users offering thoughts and prayers after another mass shooting. He goes on to explain how the act of performatively offering thoughts and prayers to victims and their families really pulls the focus onto the author of the social media post and away from the event. In the short clip he expertly expresses how being performative on social media doesn’t typically equate to action that will help victims or enact long-term change.

Of course, this isn’t to say that thoughts and prayers aren’t welcomed or shouldn’t be shared. According to Rabbi Jack Moline "prayer without action is just noise." In a world where mass shootings are so common that a video clip from 2015 is still relevant, it's clear that more than thoughts and prayers are needed. It's important to examine what you’re doing outside of offering thoughts and prayers on social media. In another several years, hopefully this video clip won’t be as relevant, but at this rate it’s hard to see it any differently.

Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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