The last war in the entire Western Hemisphere has just ended.

UPDATE 10/3/2016: On Oct. 2, 2016, the Colombian peace deal was narrowly struck down by voters, leaving Colombians in shock. Both sides have vowed not to go back to fighting, however, meaning an era of peace is still expected.

As of September 2016, there are no more wars in the Western Hemisphere.

Yep, that's what I said. Read it again if you need to. The entire Western Hemisphere — also known as 50% of the planet — does not have a single war zone.


That's the Western Hemisphere on the left. The whole left. Photo via CIA World Factbook/Wikimedia Commons.

So that's cool.

When the president of Colombia and rebel leader Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri brokered a peace deal on Sept. 26, 2016, the only war happening west of the prime meridian came to an end.

For decades, Colombia has been engaged in a civil war. Not one war exactly — but a rotating series of insurgency groups and guerrilla movements that have taken arms against the Colombian government for over 50 years.

The last of those groups, called the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, signed a peace deal with President Juan Manuel Santos on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. The agreement will need to be ratified by voters, but the vote is expected to pass easily.

Both men wore white and shook hands as the Colombian crowd chanted, "Long live Colombia! Long live peace!"

Photo by Guillermo Legaria/AFP/Getty Images.

A simple handshake ushered in a new wave of peace for Colombia, and an unprecedented era of peace for (one half of) the world.

No matter how cynical you are, half the planet being war-free is a pretty inspiring milestone — though, of course, there are some caveats.

For one, lack of officially declared wars doesn't mean complete peace. Colombia and Mexico still suffer from drug violence.  In fact, after a three-year decline, homicides tied to organized crime in Mexico have been sharply increasing.

There's ongoing political unrest in Venezuela that, just recently, sent 30,000 protestors marching into the streets.

Government protestors running from the Venezuelan National Guard in 2014. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.

Here in America, we've officially ended our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq but still have a military presence in the Middle East. In fact it was just announced that more U.S. troops would be headed to Iraq in the continuing fight to stop ISIS. We've also faced too many mass shootings, police killings, and domestic acts of terror recently to even keep track of.

Photo by Laura Buckman/AFP/Getty Images.

The world is far from being free of problems and conflict, but things don't change overnight. It took decades for Colombia to find a peaceful solution to their conflict, and it was no small accomplishment when they did.

News like this is a reminder that the problems of the world can come to peaceful resolutions — that step by step, handshake by handshake ... we can make the world better and safer.

It's just in time too. Because you've probably been hearing a lot of this lately...

Whether the culprit is ISIS, guns, terror, hackers, nuclear China, or "the cyber," it sure can seem like the whole world is one small step away from becoming a dangerous back alley filled with machete-wielding murderers who want to steal our jobs.

In reality, things are looking up: global poverty is down, world hunger is down, and life expectancy is up.

Whatever metric you want to use, things are looking pretty good for humanity.

Achieving "world peace" has always seemed like a bumper sticker slogan or a pipe dream, but ... that's always been kind of the point.

Photo by Abid Katib/Getty Images.

Maybe we'll achieve that seemingly impossible goal one day, maybe we won't. I don't know if, in our lifetimes, we'll wake up one morning and find out that every war in the world has ended.

All I know is we woke up one morning in September 2016, and we were already halfway there.

True


Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.

Photo by Tod Perry

The first few months after having a newborn are seriously stressful. It's tough to get any sleep and your entire schedule revolves around the needs of the baby.

It's expensive, too! It seems like you're constantly shelling out $25 for a box of diapers and $40 for a can of formula.

So it's understandable that a Facebook user who goes by the name of Chris Blaze asked for a deal when buying a Samsung washer and dryer set of a guy named Dave he met online.

Keep Reading Show less