We like to think of good news as comfort food for the brain. It’s something you can ease into when you need to take a load off, dig into when you need some nourishment, and snuggle up with when you need some warmth. Try to spend a little time today with whatever makes you comfortable, whether it’s a big bowl of your favorite food, a spacious armchair or just some nice stories about cozy baby birds and storybook boat rescues. We can’t cook, and we don’t offer much lumbar support, but we certainly can give you the Good Stuff. Settle in!
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Our favorites this week
Get going with some of our most popular good news stories of the week
Warm and cozy
Baby. Birds. In. Knitted. Nests. Need we say more? The Carolina Waterfowl Rescue in Indian Trail, North Carolina, recently asked its Facebook followers to put together some knitted or crocheted nests to accommodate the more than 3,000 (!!!) orphaned and endangered baby birds that will come through their doors this year. And wouldn’t you know, people were more than happy to oblige! The rescue is now positively blanketed with thousands of adorable little handmade nests from all over the world. (They’re still accepting more, and have started a program to distribute the nests to other rescues as well.) The nests don’t just keep the little birds warm, they also provide critical support for their fragile, growing bones. Plus, of course, they’re impossibly adorable. (PS — A Japanese knitting group that has made more than 100 nests for the rescue saw this article and tweeted me the cutest pic.)
Winterfell and well-wishes
For “Game of Thrones” superfans, the Battle of Winterfell was probably the most can’t-miss episode in the show’s history. Claire Walton, an 88-year-old hospice patient in Rhode Island, is one such superfan. She jokingly told her care team that she wanted to meet the cast of her favorite show before she died, then scaled back her request to something a little less, well, fantastical: She just wanted to make sure she saw the battle. Sure enough, she got that and a little more: Ten cast members from the show recorded selfies and voice messages wishing Walton well and thanking her for being such a fan. Walton passed away the day after the episode aired, and hospice center staff told CNN they can only imagine what the “GoT” moment meant to her.
New York and nostalgia
Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street? Actually, we can! It’s at the intersection of West 63rd Street and Broadway in Manhattan. (Granted, that location doesn’t have the same alliterative charm, but that’s splitting hairs.) In honor of the show’s 50th anniversary, New York laid down the roots of millions of childhood memories by permanently making “Sesame Street” a real intersection. At the ceremony, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio sang the iconic show’s praises, saying he was proud to honor “50 years of making people’s lives better, 50 years of helping children believe in themselves.”
Raise a glass to …
Brandon Sedin, an Idaho man who can say for sure that there’s something to this karma thing. Sedin donated a few dollars to a homeless man, and on the way home, he picked up a few scratch-off tickets. The next morning, he found out he won $200,000. Now, charity is always best when it comes from the goodness of your heart and not with the expectation of reciprocity, but it’s still nice to know the universe kicks some back every once in a while.
You gotta see this
This beluga just wants a friend! A beluga wearing a peculiar harness has been spotted bopping around a harbor in Norway. Authorities think the whale may have been part of a Russian marine spy program, but it’s clear the whale is now more interested in charming locals and getting pats on the head than in underwater espionage. Either that … or he’s a double agent. You never know!
Heroes among us
When general aviation pilot Jerome Stanislaus (pictured above) and veteran US Navy aviator Courtland Savage started Fly for the Culture, a nonprofit that promotes diversity in aviation culture, they just wanted to show little kids that any of them could be a pilot. Growing up, Stanislaus always wanted to fly planes but literally didn’t think he could since he had never seen a black pilot. (In fact, less than 3% of current commercial airline pilots are black.) Now, the pair has introduced dozens of kids to the joy of flight, and thanks to an increased interest in their work, they’re hoping to take the effort nationwide.
Wanna get away?
Saluti! Tuscany is always a dream getaway, but right now, the region is celebrating the life of one of its most legendary artists. This week marks the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, so a trip to Florence and the beautiful areas beyond would feel especially artistic.
Glass ceilings can be broken wearing either a skirt or pants
– Miss USA Cheslie Kryst was once told to wear a skirt instead of pants to a legal competition. Kryst, a North Carolina attorney who spends some of her free time providing pro bono help to prison inmates, took home the title of Miss USA this week. And you know what else goes with both skirts and pants? A crown.
Tell us something good
Delray Beach, Florida
They say truth is stranger than fiction. Sometimes, it’s more poetic, too. Eric Wagner was sailing his boat from Florida to New Jersey when he heard screams in the distance. Despite the loud engines, wind, and rough water, Wagner followed the sound and found two teens flailing in the surf. They had been swept out to sea while swimming, and they later told Wagner that, as they struggled to stay above water, they started praying for help. Imagine their shock — and relief — when they looked up and saw the name of Wagner’s boat: the Amen.
Shameless animal video
There’s always time for cute animal videos. That time is now.
You ever have that dream where you’re chased by a playful little mini horse? ME NEITHER, but I want it! (Click here to view.)
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