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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?

via Pexels

Three people engaged in conversation at a party.

There are some people who live under the illusion that everything they say is deeply interesting and have no problem wasting your time by rambling on and on without a sign of stopping. They’re the relative, neighbor or co-worker who can’t take a hint that the conversation is over.

Of all these people, the co-worker who can’t stop talking may be the most challenging because you see them every day in a professional setting that requires politeness.

There are many reasons that some people talk excessively. Therapist F. Diane Barth writes in Psychology Today that some people talk excessively because they don’t have the ability to process complex auditory signals, so they ramble on without recognizing the subtle cues others are sending.

It may also be a case of someone who thinks they’re the most interesting person in the conversation.

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10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019, and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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One of these things is not like the other.

Sometimes, life can unexpectedly snatch you away from safety and thrust you into imminent danger. Other times, life can just as quickly turn a dire circumstance into a heartwarming miracle.

Such was the case for a baby hawk who went from being dinner to being adopted by a family of bald eagles near the city of Nanaimo in British Columbia, Canada. The amazing moment was captured by a 24-hour livestream webcam run by GROWLS, a nonprofit organization that helps rescue and rehabilitate injured wildlife.

The video shows the seemingly doomed baby hawk being tossed into an eaglet’s nest. Pam McCartney, a GROWLS volunteer who had been watching the livestream at the time, braced herself.

"Usually when I watch, like, David Attenborough and his shows, I can close my eyes or fast forward or whatever, but this was live at the time, and I was just like, oh, my gosh, oh, my gosh," she told CBC.

Much to her surprise, nature seemed to have something else in mind.

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