The world can feel a little… chaotic…. Sometimes. Between our commutes, texts, calls, meetings, and the raising hysteria in literally all things news – it can all get heavy sometimes.
It’s ok to need a smile sometimes.
We’ve collected some of the best facts out there that remind you we’re all in this mad, mad, world together. It’s not all down and out – it’s time face the haters and all wear the smiles we deserve.
Sperm Whales Make Friends For Life
They say that if you have a friendship that lasts longer than seven years, you’re likely to carry that friend throughout your life. Well, the same can be said for Sperm Whales, too. The social mammals will never forget a face itmeets, meaning they can make lifelong friends in the sea. Just like humans, they have a preference for some whales to others with things like physical attraction and charming personalities. You thought it was just the elephant that never forgets?
A Father Once Helped His Son Complete The Olympics
In the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, the British sprinter Derek Redmond faced a personal and professional tragedy during his 400m race. After successfully running for half of the track, he pulled a hamstring and it became clear he wouldn’t win the race. At the moment of pain, his father Jim rushed into the track from the stands and wrapped his arm around his son, helping him finish the race even if he didn’t win. It’s a heartwarming scene which can be seen here.
Washington State Allows Prisoners to Rehabilitate Cats
In 2012, a partnership was formed between the minimal-security Larch Correctional Center and Cuddly Catz, an animal rescue group. Depending on the specific criteria of the inmate, they could adopt a cat with behavioral problems and learn how to train it properly, all the while giving it care and attention. It was a win-win situation – the prisoners would benefit from animal therapy while helping animals in need. There are similar programs that exist that allow inmates to train seeing-eye dogs.
Two Million Children Have Been Saved By One Man’s Blood
There’s a man who lives in Australia known as The Man With The Golden Arm. The 81-year-old carries a very rare blood that can treat Rhesus disease. The ailment can occur during pregnancy and have tragic effects on young children. Starting in 1954, he donated blood every three weeks until May 2018. To date, he made 1,137 donations over his life and it is estimated that he saved 2.4 million children, including his own daughter. Thank you, James Harrison!
Penguins Propose Like Humans
Penguins are known to mate for life, just like humans (kind of). Did you know they also have a ritual to mark the special event? They don’t have legally-binding marriages like us, and can’t get down on one knee, but the male penguin does present the best looking, smoothest, shiniest, pebble he can find for the penguin he is trying to woo. She can accept the pebble by adding it to her nest. If he’s lucky, they will consummate their new relationship that night.
Dolphins Protect Humans From Sharks
There are many times where humans think they have accidentally swum into shark-infested waters only to see themselves surrounded by dolphins, instead! However, there have been many recorded instances where dolphins have actually deterred sharks from swimming near humans – potentially saving their life in the process. Scientists can’t quite explain this, they believe that dolphins might sense that humans are also mammals, or it’s a natural maternal instinct they hold. Dolphins are friends, not foes! They might just save your life.
Rats Get The Giggles, Too!
We don’t want to know how this was discovered. It’s known that rats and scientists spend a lot of hours together in the labs. Maybe, just once, a scientist got bored and decided to tickle a rat one day? Either way, what he/she found might surprise you. Upon brushing its back or stomach, a rat will let out a cute squeak – resembling a laugh. This kind of play releases dopamine in the rats’ brain, releasing joy and feelings of happiness. Not so different from humans, which is maybe why we use them for experimentation, to begin with.
Bhutan Measures Success By Happiness
In an overexcited speech in 1972, the king of Bhutan proclaimed that “Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product!” The outcry was a joke at first, was actually deemed such a popular idea that the country put it into official policy. It works to build four fundamental pillars of happiness, which it describes as equitable development, environmental conservation, promotion of culture, and good governance. You can read more about the next leader of Bhutan in our piece here.
Colorful Crayons Can Make Us Happy
There is plenty of science to support the idea that we have emotional responses to the colors we see each day. Reds and blacks have different effects on us than blues and whites. It’s an important thing to consider if you redecorate your office or bedroom in the future. Blues and purples are relaxing, whereas green is creative – keep it in mind next time you want to be a little creative with your color schemes. Is it time for a wardrobe change?
Winnie The Pooh Visits Sick Children
Well, not in the flesh – but voice actor Jim Cummings does as much as he can to treat young children when they are in the hospital. The actor voices Pooh and Tigger, and he volunteers with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to speak with children whenever he can. All the time he’s in character, he helps bring a little smile to kids’ faces by chatting to them for only a few moments. It also has a large impact on the parents, too, who benefit from seeing their children smile for the first time in months while sick.
World War I Was Paused For Christmas
The Great War was the first time in human history that the entire globe and human race was at war with itself. It truly was an unprecedented event with no clear outcome at the time. Christmas Eve of 1914 marked a strange time in the history of war: all fighters from both sides caused an immediate ceasefire and met in the middle of the battlefield for a game of soccer. They enjoyed each other’s company for the evening before resuming the battle the following day. It goes to show we’re not so different.
Braille Was Created By A Kid
Braille was invented by Louis Braille, a blind man who created a writing system used by blind people through the sense of touch. It is based on a military code language called sonography. Today, it is used by millions of visually impaired people around the world. However, Louis Braille was only 15 years old at the time it was invented in 1824. Almost 200 years later, his name is famous for opening up opportunities for blind people around the world.
A Woman Bought A Toy Store Just To Give It Away
In 2015, Christine Suchman was passing by a New York store before noticing that it was about to shut down. Realizing that it only a few weeks before Christmas, Suchman bought the entire shop and packed up all the toys to send them to needy children in the city. Through New York’s Department of Homeless Services, thousands of children received gifts for the holidays. You can read more about the selfless act of kindness here.
Liechtenstein Had Peculiar Military Tactics
The small European nation is one of the only countries in the world without a functioning army. Liechtenstein is entirely landlocked and chooses not to enter any conflict with different nations around the world. The last time they embarked in a battle was in the Austro-Prussian War in 1866. History states that they sent 80 men to fight for Austria. The folks were so against fighting, however, that they actually returned home with 81 men. One of the Italian soldiers liked the army that he made friends with them and wanted to visit the country!
A Young Boy Became A Museum’s ‘Director of Fun’
Sam Pointon received some sad news a few years back when he found out that the director of his favorite museum was retiring. At age 6, the English schoolboy wrote a letter to the National Railway Museum in York applying for the job! Even though they knew that he couldn’t fulfill the duties in whole, the museum invited the young boy to run it for an entire day! They were inspired by his love of trains and let him play for an entire day – even naming him the official ‘Director of Fun’.
There Are 8x As Many US Libraries Than McDonald’s
Reading fans, rejoice! It can sometimes feel impossible to avoid the golden arches that represent both American exceptionalism and childhood obesity. It seems that everywhere you go you see cheap and greasy burgers that contribute to the worst of the US. Well, you’ll be happy to know that as of 2017, there are 119k US libraries compared to 14k McDonald’s. This is particularly impressive due to the struggling times that libraries face. When was the last time you went to a library? What about McDonald’s…?
A Kenyan Tribe Gifted The US With 14 Cows After 9/11
September 11, 2001, remains the date of the most terrible terrorist attack on US soil in the country’s history. In the weeks following the attack, dozens of nations offered sympathy and support to New York and America. In 2002, the Maasai tribe in Kenya gifted 14 cows to America, following a cultural tradition. Although it was deeply appreciated by the US government, it was decided by the ambassadors that they would remain in Kenya and that their offspring would help support the tribe with education.
Old Photos Of Yourself Can Make You Feel Better
It may seem counterintuitive, but looking at photos of yourself from a younger age can drastically improve your mood. You’ll realize you were never as fat as you used to be. Even though your hairline might not be as strong, you’ll appreciate the good times you had. According to a study from the UK’s Open University, looking at old photos has a greater impact than wine, chocolate, or music – all things proven to also improve your mood. What photos are your favorite?
An Astronaut Wrote His Daughter’s Name On The Moon
Astronaut Gene Cernan was on Apollo 17 and is one of the only people in the world to walk on the surface of the moon. While driving along the craters, he stopped and carved ‘TDC’ into the ground. His daughter’s name is Tracey and it resembled her initials. Even though Cernan passed away in 2017, his tribute to his daughter will likely remain on the surface of the moon for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. A very charming and poignant daddy-daughter moment to last a lifetime.