Please pardon this brief interruption to your normal programming of doom and gloom.
Blah, blah, blah doom, gloom.
Trump, shooting, rape.
Guns, racism, hate.
These are all dire issues that demand action now … but they're also products of the well-known media adage "bad news sells."
Fear, hate and disgusting acts of inhumanity catch attention and cause outrage, neither of which are bad things when people need to unite for change. But the thing is, the more we're inundated with extreme negativity in the news, the more immune to it we become. And the more immune to it we are, the less capable we are of making the changes that'll allow us to live in a more positive, productive society. Without a little bit of light in the darkness, apocalyptic hellscapes like ours become normalized and we accept the injustices that pervade.
Enough of that.
Every now and then, we need to be reminded that there is still some good left in this world. There is still love, miracles, laughter, peace, understanding and hope. In some small corners of the planet, the world as we know is actually exactly as you'd like it to be.
So, to jog your memory and remind you that we live on an actual planet, not a nightmarish inferno below, here are some uplifting facts about the bright side of life, if only to distract you, for a fleeting, happy moment, from your certain and impending demise.
1. Penguins mate for life, and they propose by giving their prospective mate a pebble.
2. A 6-year-old applied for a job at a railroad museum and was hired as its director of fun.
3. Cows have best friends and they get stressed when they're separated.
4. A group of bunnies is called a "fluffle." In Japan, there's an entire island full of tame fluffles.
5. That ALS Ice Bucket Challenge thing actually worked. Apparently, it made a whopping $115 million in just three days, money that went directly towards a huge ALS research breakthrough that might save the lives of thousands of patients.
6. A prison in Washington pairs up “death row” shelter cats with select inmates as part of a rehabilitation program. It seems to be a pretty wonderful thing for both the inmates and the cats.
7. Mushrooms are showing promise in clinical testing for treating depression. Actually, most psychoactive Schedule 1 drugs — MDMA, LSD, ketamine — show promise for alleviating the symptoms of many mental illnesses.
8. Some old white men are actual human beings.