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FAKE news! Enemy of the American people! Biased media! Alternative facts! SAD!
For the past few months, reading the newspaper, watching the nightly news, and even scrolling through your Facebook or Twitter feeds has been rough. Unbearable, even.
In fact, if these are the news sources you constantly depend on, chances are you would think we were living in terrible times, and that the entire world was drowning in hate crimes, terrorism, racist acts, and untrustworthy politicians and reporters.
But while the news may be inundated with negativity, there is so much more to the world than that. In fact, in the past week alone, there has been an overwhelming amount of goodness reported across our country and the world. Didn’t hear about it? Don’t worry— we’ve got it here for you!
Pandas on the Rise
When thinking of some of the world’s most notable endangered animals, the giant panda—the very symbol of the World Wildlife Foundation—might come to mind.
But did you know the giant panda isn’t even endangered anymore? While they’re still threatened (in 2014 a census found there were nearly 1,900 alive in the wild), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) downgraded the giant panda’s status from Endangered to Vulnerable. This is a significant improvement for the conservation of the species.
A Key for Those ‘Locked-In’
Locked-in syndrome may be the scariest situation known to humans. For those suffering from it, your body becomes a prison around your mind: The patient is totally aware of their surroundings but cannot move or communicate verbally. Until recently, patients were made to communicate with eye movements or blinking, but a groundbreaking new device could change all of that.
In January, it was reported that doctors were testing a new brain-reading device with locked-in syndrome patients that uses brain activity scans to allow patients to communicate better. In many of the test cases, doctors interviewed patients about their quality of life—mind you they are kept alive by ventilators—but all of the patients on the test run reported they were happy.
Who knows what future innovations will help us prevent and even cure this terrible condition in the future!
Syrian Refugees Stopped a Terrorist
Despite what you might constantly hear and even truly believe, most refugees are not dangerous, and most Muslims are not terrorists. In fact, many are heroes.
In Germany this past fall, police caught on to a suspected terrorist bombing plot that sent the Syrian man behind it, Jaber al-Bakr, on the run. After arriving in Leipzig, al-Bakr asked a fellow Syrian if he could spend the night. Luckily, this man’s roommates recognized al-Bakr, tied him up, and contacted the police. Al-Bakr was arrested for his connections to the Islamic State and terrorist plots.
Just remember this story the next time you hear people say all Syrian refugees, immigrants, or Muslims are the same.
And now meet the teenager that skipped school to sing with Springsteen…