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Reading This List Put Me In The Best Mood I've Been In In 2 Days

It's Thanksgiving! Yeah, I know this holiday has some sketchy origins. That's for another post (and trust me, I'm with you). But since we're here, let's take a look at eight things that happened in 2014 to be grateful for.

8. The data's in, and it turns out the stuff that's being done to help alleviate global poverty and health problems IS WORKING! So let's double down!


7. We are closer and closer to the world being polio-free. In 2014, it was eradicated in India, and now there are only three countries left to quell it in.

6. Time magazine "let" us keep the word "feminism" (where's the sarcasm font when you need it?). And 11-year-old girls everywhere are sitting in little feminist incubators listening to Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, who both fully embraced the best F-word ever this year. Because let's be real: Feminism helps EVERYONE break free of the harmful rules of the patriarchy.

5. This was the year that science made a comeback in America in a big way. Neil DeGrasse Tyson unified everyone who wants to make decisions for our future and sustainability based on empirical evidence.

4. Speaking of sustainability, the United States and China reached a pretty important pact on how to not do ourselves in, Earthlings.

3. Some big retailers are getting the hint and hearing that shoppers aren't interested in making employees work on Thanksgiving. We give thanks to those like Costco and Nordstrom that refuse to be part of the problem. We give thanks for the workers who get to be home with their families and friends, and wish for everyone to be able to.

2. 15% of people who didn't qualify for state-sponsored health insurance now do, thanks to the 2014 rules for Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. And all health insurance plans this year were required to step it up to provide a better standard of coverage. That's better health coverage and less uncertainty for everyone!

1.More dominoes keep falling in the victory for gay rights. State by state, same-sex marriage is becoming the law of the land. And if XKCD's predictions are right, we may achieve it in all 50 states lickety-split (though yesterday wouldn't be soon enough!).

I love thinking of all the things I'm happy about, don't you?

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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Photo by Mark Basarab on Unsplash

It's Fat Bear Week and we pick the winner.

Everyone knows that fat animals are infinitely more visually appealing, much to veterinarians' collective dismay. They may not be at their pinnacle of health, yet we love them anyway, especially when they're babies. Bears, however, are supposed to get chunky so they get a pass. Before the winter when they hibernate, they're all about feeding their faces and storing fat for the winter. Wildlife archivists Explore has put all these fat bears in one place so we can vote on who gets to be supreme Fat Bear. Fat Bear Week is an annual event that anyone with internet access can participate in.

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She's enjoying the big benefits of some simple life hacks.

James Clear’s landmark book “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones” has sold more than 9 million copies worldwide. The book is incredibly popular because it has a simple message that can help everyone. We can develop habits that increase our productivity and success by making small changes to our daily routines.

"It is so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis,” James Clear writes. “It is only when looking back 2 or 5 or 10 years later that the value of good habits and the cost of bad ones becomes strikingly apparent.”

His work proves that we don’t need to move mountains to improve ourselves, just get 1% better every day.

Most of us are reluctant to change because breaking old habits and starting new ones can be hard. However, there are a lot of incredibly easy habits we can develop that can add up to monumental changes.

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