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Transgender rights, viral good deeds, and the Oxford comma: Your weekly dose of good news.

Did you hear the news?

You may or may not have heard yet, but all over the world, people are showing each other love, lending a helping hand, committing selfless acts of kindness, and fearlessly pushing society forward.

No, it's true. I swear!


In fact, here are 12 things that happened recently that will definitely make you feel good about the world.

1. Best family reunion ever? These orphaned siblings live in separate foster homes, but hopefully not for long.

Bradley, Preston, Layla, Landon, and Olive were recently featured in the Kansas City Star under the headline "Family Wanted." Shortly after their heart-wrenching story reached the public, the state's adoption service had to take down the family's profile due to overwhelming interest.

Hopefully the three brothers and two sisters will be together again under one roof real soon.

2. When a passenger wearing a headscarf was harassed on the subway, this Chinese Peruvian woman Shut. It. Down.

Tracey Tong confronted the harasser (who was berating a fellow passenger on the crowded train) in both Spanish and English, telling her: "I'm asking you to please respect her. In Spanish, in English, in Chinese, in French, whatever language you want me to say it, I will say it to you."

Latina defends Muslim couple from another Latina in the NYC subway. 👍

Posted by I'M STILL SO NYC on Saturday, March 11, 2017

3. A moving campaign by Jews in Tucson, Arizona, raised a ton of money to replace some vandalized Qurans.

Someone broke into a local Islamic center and destroyed over 100 copies of the Quran, the Islamic holy book. So some members of the nearby Jewish Community Center started a campaign to raise money for replacements.

So far, they've raised over $9,000 — enough to replace the books and help the center install better security.

4. Only a couple of hundred years late, this old "boys only" golf club is now allowing women to join.

The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers has been around for nearly 300 years but is just now getting around to allowing female members. It only seems fair since, you know, some of the best golfers in the world are women.

Rui Kitada. Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Staff.

5. This adorable young girl wants to teach you about sharks (and life).

Olivia is a 9-year-old girl who's obsessed with sharks, books, and sharing her wisdom and passion on her blog, The LivBits. Following her is a guaranteed way to brighten your day and feel inspired about the next generation of humans.

6. We finally have proof that the five-second rule might be real.

GIF via "Parks and Recreation."

A study out of Aston University finally confirms what we have all known (hoped?) to be true our entire lives:

"As long as it's not obviously contaminated, the science shows that food is unlikely to have picked up harmful bacteria from a few seconds spent on an indoor floor," said the study's author, Anthony Hilton.

7. The Oxford comma, at long last, got its due.

The lack of a comma in a key document passage sparked a legal battle between dairy drivers in Maine and their employers over whether they qualified for overtime pay. The judge in the case said that without an Oxford comma, the text in question was too ambiguous and open to interpretation.

Boom. History has spoken.

8. This teenager is completely reimagining donated clothes for underprivileged youth, and it's making a big impact.

Dillon Eisman hard at work. Photo by Sew Swag.

Dillon Eisman, a junior at Malibu High School in California, believes kids in poverty shouldn't have to only wear people's baggy unwanted sweaters and old hole-y jeans. So he started the nonprofit Sew Swag to upcycle them into pieces kids could feel confident in, and his work is remarkable.

9. A heartbreaking photo of a selfless dad looking on as his daughters enjoy a meal went viral, and now people are stepping up to help.

After a local man took a powerful photo of a hungry father looking on as his girls ate at a fast food restaurant in Manila, it went massively viral. People from all over the world have offered donations to make sure the family can all eat together for a long time to come.

#KwentongJollibeeI can't contain my emotion when I saw them in Jollibee. Walang kinakain si kuya, mapakain lang ang...

Posted by

Jhunnel Sarajan on Saturday, March 11, 2017

10. The people have spoken, and Monopoly might be getting a T-rex piece.

RAWRRRR. Photo by Hasbro.

Monopoly held a vote to replace some of its iconic game pieces, and if they honor the results, we can officially say goodbye to the shoe, wheelbarrow, and thimble (by far the most boring game piece of all time) and say hello to the Tyrannosaurus rex, among others.

See? Change isn't always bad.

11. This news anchor fired back after a viewer criticized her "revealing" wardrobe.

Anchor Toya Washington of WISN-TV in Wisconsin received an anonymous letter chastising her for "exposed skin" and suggesting that maybe she was starting to "feel her age."

Washington responded perfectly in a Facebook post, writing, in part:

"If 'feeling my age' is in reference to still being able to effectively slay at work and at home as a wife and mother, then yes...I feel star-spangled-banner good for 'my age.'"

Image via Toya Washington/Facebook.

12. And this common-sense bill in Oregon that would help transgender people make changes to their legal documents is gaining momentum.

According to KXL, many transgender people in Oregon have difficulty buying homes, getting health care, and applying for jobs because their birth certificates and other vital records don't accurately reflect their identities.

Oregon is trying to make it easier for those people to make changes without having to go to court, and the proposal cleared the Oregon House just this week.

Woohoo!!

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!

Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.

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Kellogg's CEO tells people to eat cereal to save money

It doesn't matter if you're a single adult or married with children, there's nothing quite like having cereal for dinner or a late night snack once in a while.

Something about it feels nostalgic but it's also really easy to fall back on when you're too exhausted to cook a full meal. There's nothing wrong with grabbing a bowl of cereal for a meal outside of breakfast. You're feeding yourself or your family a food that contains some of the vitamins a body needs.

Maybe that's the thought process Kellogg's CEO Gary Pilnick was going with when he unintentionally sparked some serious backlash. Pilnick was interviewed by CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" discussing the cereal giant's new commercial featuring Tony the Tiger. The commercial itself isn't really the problem. It features a mom holding a box of cereal with kids excitedly awaiting their cereal for dinner chanting along with Tony the Tiger's call to eat the sweet meal.

The backlash came followeing Pilnick's comments about why his company felt the need to create a commercial advocating families eating cereal for diner.

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Photo: courtesy BioCarbon Engineering/WikiCommons

Technology is the single greatest contributor to climate change but it may also soon be used to offset the damage we've done to our planet since the Industrial Age began.

In September 2018, a project in Myanmar used drones to fire "seed missiles" into remote areas of the country where trees were not growing. Less than a year later, thousands of those seed missiles have sprouted into 20-inch mangrove saplings that could literally be a case study in how technology can be used to innovate our way out of the climate change crisis.

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Pop Culture

Monica Lewinsky reclaims the office power suit in new voting campaign

The activist teamed with apparel brand Reformation to combat voter frustration in a fabulous way.

Lewinsky partnered with Reformation for their "You've Got The Power" voting campaign

Monica Lewinsky knows a thing or two about reinvention.

The former White House intern became the source of media obsession after her affair with former President Bill Clinton become public. It solidified her place in history against her will, but through her actions since, Lewinsky has transformed her public persona into a feminist icon and champion of a powerful anti-bullying campaign.

Now, the 50-year-old Lewinsky is lending her household name to sustainable fashion brand Reformation and Vote.org in hopes to encourage people to vote this year.
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Pop Culture

Don't worry, Wendy's isn't raising prices during the busiest times. But changes are coming.

People were very upset after hearing that surge pricing may come to the local drive-thru.

A combo meal from Wendy's.

In a world where prices are continuously increasing, prominent companies are turning to surge pricing to raise prices even further during peak demand times. Uber charges people more for a ride when demand is high. Hotels have been changing prices based on demand for years and Amazon uses AI to keep prices constantly in flux.

Recently, Ticketmaster, known for charging high fees, has been charging customers even more for tickets as demand rises.

On Monday, February 26, news reports began circulating that Wendy’s, America's 5th most popular fast-food chain, would implement dynamic pricing at its restaurants. Many assumed that meant a Dave’s Double burger would cost an extra $3 during dinner time or medium fries would cost an extra buck during the lunch rush.

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Pop Culture

What is in its 'golden age' but not enough people know about it?

There's so much good out there if you know where to look.

Canva

From astronomy to knitting, some fields of human endeavor are having a heyday.

When you peruse the news headlines or dive into discussions on current events on social media, it's pretty easy to feel despondent. Doom and gloom sells, unfortunately, and our natural negativity bias that's meant to protect us can be overworked by a 24/7 bombardment of humanity's challenges.

There is an anecdote to all of that, though: Curating and cultivating the good. Sometimes it's just knowing where to look to find examples of problems being solved, discoveries being made, innovation taking huge leaps and other evidence that humans are moving our collective life forward in incredible ways.

Someone on Reddit asked, "What is currently in its 'Golden age,' but not enough people know about it?" and thousands of people responded. Reading through the answers is an enlightening and uplifting glimpse of things we might not personally be involved with but are happy to see having a heyday. Like, who wouldn't like to know that we're in a golden age of astronomy and paleontology. Space and dinosaurs? It's like realizing our 5-year-old selves' ideal future.

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