Patrick Stewart and his dog, plus all-pink Starbursts: your weekly dose of good news.

The weather is kind of gorgeous across much of the United States right now.

Never mind that it's probably an ominous sign of our ever-changing climate — the sun is shining and life is grand!

I know it doesn't always seem like it, but there is truly so, so much to be happy about. Don't believe me? I'll prove it.


Here are 11 pieces of news from this week that will definitely boost your mood.

1. Holi, the Hindu festival of color, brings with it stunning photos in all shades of the rainbow.

This year, the Holi celebration will be March 12-13.

Photo by Dmitry Serebryakov/Stringer.

2. Starburst released a special single-flavor bag. (It's all pink. Duh.)

It's real and, frankly, long overdue.

3. A high school in Utah put in laundry machines and showers for its homeless students.

According to WGN in Chicago, East High School officials say they have up to 100 students who aren't able to shower or do laundry on a daily basis. And these aren't just "nice-to-haves"; evidence shows that when kids are embarrassed about their clothes or hygiene, they're more likely to skip school.

Bravo to the folks at East High for tackling the problem in the most direct way possible.

Image by Tim Boyle/Getty Images.

4. A sweet Facebook messaging robot is helping refugees navigate the difficult path to asylum.

Stanford University student Joshua Browder invented the technology to help people automatically fight parking tickets.

Now it's making a much bigger impact on people's lives by helping refugees figure out which applications they need, translating complex language into plain English for non-native speakers, and assisting in completing the necessary forms.

5. This touching photo of a young boy comforting his four-month-old brother with cancer.

"[Big brother] is here," he said, according to his mom, who took the photo. "Everything is OK."

6. These cute 'lil ramps are helping ducklings get in and out of a canal in Indianapolis.

Save. The. Ducks.

7. This professor whose kids wandered into the room while he was giving a live TV interview.

We are all the kid in the yellow shirt.

This professor’s kids hilariously interrupted his live interview!

This professor’s kids hilariously interrupted his live interview!

Posted by Daily Mail on Friday, March 10, 2017

8. This video of actor Patrick Stewart ("Logan") and his adorable foster dog, Ginger.

"Pibble" is dog-owner for pit bull, by the way.

9. This Facebook group in Ohio that is hiding painted rocks to brighten the days of random strangers.

Because who doesn't love a little mystery and surprise?

10. This dude who PADDLEBOARDED across the Atlantic Ocean.

Apparently anything really is possible.

11. And this dad who had a touching talk with his son about getting bullied for having long hair.

"Just because you're unique and don't look like everyone else doesn't mean you're weird or that being different is a bad thing," he told his son.

Talking to my son about getting bullied about his long hair. I'm going to read him the comments.

Posted by Isaac Irvine on Tuesday, March 7, 2017

See, good news is all around us, even when things feel bleak or scary or trying. You might have to look a little harder for it some days, but I promise you, it's worth it!

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Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

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via Tom Ward / Instagram

Artist Tom Ward has used his incredible illustration techniques to give us some new perspective on modern life through popular Disney characters. "Disney characters are so iconic that I thought transporting them to our modern world could help us see it through new eyes," he told The Metro.

Tom says he wanted to bring to life "the times we live in and communicate topical issues in a relatable way."

In Ward's "Alt Disney" series, Prince Charming and Pinocchio have fallen victim to smart phone addiction. Ariel is living in a polluted ocean, and Simba and Baloo have been abused by humans.

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Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

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With many schools going virtual, many daycare facilities being closed or limited, and millions of parents working from home during the pandemic, the balance working moms have always struggled to achieve has become even more challenging in 2020. Though there are more women in the workforce than ever, women still take on the lion's share of household and childcare duties. Moms also tend to bear the mental load of keeping track of all the little details that keep family life running smoothly, from noticing when kids are outgrowing their clothing to keeping track of doctor and dentist appointments to organizing kids' extracurricular activities.

It's a lot. And it's a lot more now that we're also dealing with the daily existential dread of a global pandemic, social unrest, political upheaval, and increasingly intense natural disasters.

That's why scientist Gretchen Goldman's refreshingly honest photo showing where and how she conducted a CNN interview is resonating with so many.

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Schools often have to walk a fine line when it comes to parental complaints. Diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and preferences for what kids see and hear will always mean that schools can't please everyone all the time, so educators have to discern what's best for the whole, broad spectrum of kids in their care.

Sometimes, what's best is hard to discern. Sometimes it's absolutely not.

Such was the case this week when a parent at a St. Louis elementary school complained in a Facebook group about a book that was read to her 7-year-old. The parent wrote:

"Anyone else check out the read a loud book on Canvas for 2nd grade today? Ron's Big Mission was the book that was read out loud to my 7 year old. I caught this after she watched it bc I was working with my 3rd grader. I have called my daughters school. Parents, we have to preview what we are letting the kids see on there."

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