Old episodes of 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood' are streaming. This is not a drill.

In a world gone mad, when war is endless and politics are chaos ... there's only one man who can reassure our troubled souls.

Photo via Everett Collection.

Unfortunately, he's no longer with us (RIP).


Fortunately, we've got a lot of Mister Rogers on tape — and for the next two weeks, you can binge him 24 hours a day.

Twitch, the online video streaming service, is currently marathoning all 866 episodes of "Mister Rogers Neighborhood" in chronological order.

Photo via Everett Collection.

That means you have until June 3 to relive the most soothing, gray sweaterful moments of your childhood.

It's an opportunity every American should be pretty grateful to seize right about now — and it's for a good cause.

The marathon is an effort to raise money for local PBS stations, many of which have trouble keeping their funding levels up.

As of this writing, over $14,000 has been donated.

Periodically, PBS has to fight to survive in the face of apathy and political calls to cut its funding. Now is one of those times.

Photo via HBO.

A budget proposed by the Trump administration in March 2017 would have eliminated funding for the network.

The initial version of the budget did not pass, and PBS remains in on the air for now, but the threat is real for the kind of enriching children's programming that Fred Rogers spent his life making and advocating for.

A 2015 study found that shows like "Mister Rogers Neighborhood" and "Sesame Street" — available to anyone with a TV set for decades — made low-income children who watched regularly 14% less likely to fall behind in school.

"These findings raise the exciting possibility that TV and electronic media more generally can be leveraged to address income and racial gaps in children's school readiness," study co-author Melissa Kearney said in a statement.

48 years ago, Rogers appeared before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications to convince skeptical elected officials to allocate $20 million for public television.

His heart-wrenching, six-minute testimony was key to convincing the lawmakers to provide the funding.

Though Rogers may no longer be with us, this two-week fundraising marathon allows his message of kindness and empathy — broadcast for over 30 years to millions of American children from all walks of life — to speak for itself.

You should check it out — and prepare yourself for a nostalgia-and-classic moment tsunami. In a just world, that would be enough to secure PBS the funding it needs.

Here's hoping.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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