I don’t know if you guys have noticed but there’s a lot of negativity in the world right now. So, this is my personal attempt at making your timeline a tiny bit brighter. This week’s Happy News Tuesday, we’ve got a mix of pups, climate change reversal, and a boy born without a jaw achieving his dreams.
1. Shelter adoptions are on the rise as euthanasia rates plummet.
According to new data from the American Society for the Prevention of the Cruelty to Animals, the annual number of animals ending up in shelters has gone from 7.2 million in 2011 to 6.5 million in 2017. People are also opting to adopt rather than to shop as 3.2 million animals are being adopted from shelters – a steady incline from 2.7 million in 2011. Consequently, euthanasia rates have been cut nearly in half since 2011 – 1.5 million down from 2.7 million.
2. A vertical forest is on track to finish construction and start combatting China’s pollution in 2018.
Nanjing city in eastern China is about to be home to a revolutionary building complex that features two towers and 3,600 trees, shrubbery and other types of local flora. The set of buildings – which will house offices, a museum, shops, restaurants, a private rooftop club, and a “green architecture school” – was designed by Italian architect Stefano Boeri with China’s pollution crisis in mind. The plants on the building will produce 60 kilograms of oxygen each day while eliminating 25 tons of CO2 per year. There’s talk of establishing more of these buildings around the world to combat climate change on a larger scale.
3. A mute teen completely destroyed expectations by fulfilling his dream of becoming a rapper.
Isiah Acosta was born 17 years ago without a jaw or oxygen pathways in his neck. Early on, his doctors said he would be bed-bound, never to walk, talk, or participate in a normal childhood. However, he’s proven them wrong. His condition hasn’t stopped him from much, including communication which he does non-verbally using his phone and “unique gestures”. It also hasn’t stopped him from achieving his dream to be a rapper. Earlier this year, his first single, “Oxygen to Fly” debuted on Spotify, iTunes, and in a 6-minute documentary about his journey, which was produced by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. “Oxygen to Fly” features lyrics by Isiah and vocals by Phoenix rapper Trap House.
4. A couple has nursed a rainforest back to health.
It took 20 years but Pamela and Anil turned a barren 55-acre patch of land in southern India into one of the lushest rainforest sanctuaries in the world. Not only did they revive this small area, but they grew it to the 300 acres it is today. The couple took small steps to get the area to the condition it’s in starting with recovering the grass which would attract the insects and the insects help nurture the return of the native trees. After the return of the trees, animals began to return and now, more than 25 years down the road, the land is not only thriving once again but also now under the protection of the National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.
5. Opposing politicians make friends rather than enemies on a spontaneous and necessary road trip.
Winter Storm Stella did a number on the east coast shutting down school in several states, clogging up roadways, and cancelling countless flights from all over the world. This wrinkle in the system caused many people to miss important events, like business meetings. However, it didn’t stop two Texas congressman from making it to the nation’s capital for a vote at the House of Representatives. It seems like your typical 24-hour overnight Hail Mary road trip with two guys who work the same job, right? Kind of but not really because the best part about this story is that they were of opposing political parties. Representative Beto O’Rourke of the Democratic party and Representative Will Hurd of the Republican party used this moment of inconvenience to show Americans that opposing political views don’t need to drive a wedge between a potential connection with another human being.
“We used the opportunity of the inclement weather on the East Coast to take the opportunity for a Republican and a Democrat to get in a car, spend a significant amount of time together, and talk about the issues,” Hurd told viewers of the livestream on Tuesday afternoon. “Not just the issues that divide us, but the issues that unite us, too.”
The livestream can be viewed here.