#culture

12 Tidbits Of Good News From Around The World To Lift Your Spirits At Home [April 2020]

We interrupt your regularly scheduled news cycle with some feel-good stories...

Tired of the seemingly endless barrage of bad news? Yeah, us too. While it's important as ever to be informed, it's also important to keep our spirits up during a time when it's all too easy to be down.

So without further ado, we present 12 stories that (we hope!) will add some inspiration, positivity, and light-heartedness to your day.  

1. People around the world are dressing up to take out the trash, and the photos are hilarious

From wedding and prom dresses to Halloween costumes, people are flaunting their finest outfits for the only “outing” on their social agenda these days...bringing out the trash. It all started when Danielle Askew, a kindergarten teacher from Queensland, Australia started the Facebook group, Bin Isolation Outing, which has since raked up over 970,000 members.

“So basically the bin goes out more than us SO let’s dress up for the occasion!” writes Askew. “Fancy dress, makeup, tutu...be creative! Post photos to cheer us up. After all, laughter is the best medicine.”

2. If Yoweri Museveni, the 75-year-old Ugandan president, can exercise indoors, you can too

In an effort to encourage Ugandans to stay inside, President Yoweri Museveni released his own home workout video. In the 2:20 clip, Museveni runs barefoot around his office and does push-ups while aides count up to 30 in the background.

3. There were 3,000 applications to foster dogs in New York City alone during the month of March

BARRKLI | @fosterdogs

This represents a staggering 250% increase in applications, according to Foster Dogs, a nonprofit that works with 30 shelters and rescue organizations throughout the city. By comparison, the average number of applications per month in 2019 hovered around 140.

Read more here.

4. This 99-year-old British veteran just raised upwards of $10 million for healthcare workers

He did it by walking 100 laps around his garden 10 times per day—all in preparation for his 100th birthday on April 30.

"Remember, tomorrow is a good day. And tomorrow you will find out everything will be better than today, even if today was all right," said Captain Tom Moore. "It will all be right and it might take time, but at the end of the day we shall all be OK again, and all those people who are finding it difficult at the moment, the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away."

Read more (and watch the heartwarming interview with Moore) here.

5. The longest coastal walking route in the world will open next year, and it’s totally social distancing-friendly

The Sunshine Coast of Sussex | @englandcoastpath

The 2700-mile Coast path along England’s coast is slated to open mid-next year. With a total of 66 stretches divided into four sections (north west, north east, south east, and south west), the path will surpass both the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail in length, while providing first-time public access to previously untouched meadows, rocky cliffs, and sandy beaches. Don’t want to commit to the entire route? Travelers will be able to easily complete a short stretch of the path.

Read more here.

6. VAWAA (Vacation With An Artist) has launched virtual small group sessions led by artists and makers around the world

Keep up your creative inspiration at home with one hour of live, interactive sessions—from Moroccan Geometric Patterns to Abstract Collage Painting, and even Bookmaking. During the session, you can hear artists speak about an emerging topic, get a peek inside their studio, see expert demos, work on a project, ask questions, get feedback and more. Programming is scheduled through May 5.  

7. Since we can’t hug people right now, Icelandic Forest Service is recommending the next best thing: hug a tree

Hallormsstaður National Forest | @visitegilsstadir

From reducing stress to increasing rates of happiness, the science-backed benefits of spending time in nature are numerous—which is precisely why representatives from the National Forest are encouraging Icelanders to start their days by going outside and finding a tree to hug—as long as it’s not the first tree you see (since odds are someone else has hugged that one, too, and Coronavirus can live on wood for up to four days!). It helps that Hallormsstaður National Forest, which covers over 1800 acres, is home to over 85 species of trees. In other words, lots of options!

Read more here.

8. And when you can’t hug a person (or a tree), at least you can send a virtual hug through Facebook’s new emoji

Just last week, Facebook rolled out new reactions on its messenger app to express care during our socially distant times. According to Fidji Simo, head of the Facebook app, the icon of an emoji hugging a heart is intended as a shorthand to express solidarity when commenting on coronavirus content.

Read more here.

9. The MoMA has launched free online art classes

In addition to taking virtual tours of New York’s premier modern art museum, The MoMA, you can now take virtual classes, too. The offerings range from beginner courses, such as “What Is Contemporary Art?”, to more advanced topics such as “Postwar Abstract Painting” and “Seeing Through Photographs.” All classes are taught by artists and designers through the online portal Coursera.

10. This Earth Day, you can help NASA classify and map coral reefs from home, all by playing an online game from your phone!  

@nasaearth

All you have to do is download the new NeMO-Net app, which features images from satellites made using special "fluid lens" cameras (so there's no distortion of the moving water). As you map the coral, you'll be helping the supercomputer at NASA's Ames Research Center "learn" how to classify coral on its own.

Read more about NASA's various 50th anniversary #EarthDayAtHome initiatives here.

11. This is not a drill. You can actually be paid to binge-watch all 10 Harry Potter films.

If you have 25 hours to spare (which, let's be honest, is most of us), are a massive Harry Potter fan, and have a sizable social media presence, take note: the college ranking website, EDsmart will pay you $1,000 to watch every single film in the series, in addition to the two Fantastic Beast films. The lucky winner will also get $200 worth of Harry Potter swag and Blu-rays of the movies.

Read more here.

12. Are you following 87-year-old Poppa Joe on TikTok?

@grandadjoe

If not, you should drop everything and go do that STAT. This adorable grandfather’s videos have been viewed upwards of 400 million times—and they’re guaranteed to make you smile.

"I just don't know why I'm popular," said Joe Allington, who was unaware that his following was growing so rapidly. "I've never been popular like that in my life."

There were 3,000 applications to foster dogs in New York City alone during the month of March