10 Good Things that Happened This Week

And after this week, we really need 'em.

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Between the Boston Marathon Bombing and the ricin scares, the sinkhole in Chicago and the massive fertilizer plant explosion in Texas, this is a week NewsFeed is glad is finally over. But there’s always a little light amid the darkness; here are ten of our favorite bright spots in a week that sorely needed them.

1. A Woman Was Reunited with Her Siblings, 15 Years Later

Siblings reunited
Claire Cordier / Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images

As a teenager, Meredith Richardson had promised her dying grandmother that she would look after her young brother and sister — only to see them be put into foster care and disappear behind a wall of bureaucracy and red tape. Now, after a 15-year struggle with the Los Angeles County foster care system, Meredith, Marilyn and Aubrey have finally been reunited.  “This whole experience has made me want so much more for myself and my future. Unconditional love — there’s nothing like it,” Marilyn told the Los Angeles Times in a heartwarming story published Wednesday.  “I want to live up to my new family’s picture of me and be a good sister for them and to be happy they found me.”

2. Patton Oswalt Made Us Want to See the New Star Wars Movie

Actor and comedian Patton Oswalt pretty much won this week: his inspiring Facebook post in response to the Boston Marathon bombing went viral, he announced he was hosting the 17th Annual Webby Awards and he played the Penguin in a hilarious College Humor Batman spoof. But possibly most impressive was this 8-minute, off-the-cuff pitch for the plot of the new Star Wars film, filmed for his guest spot on this week’s Parks and Recreation, that scaled heights of geekdom that even J.J. Abrams might fear to tread.

3. George H.W. Bush Posed for This Photo


As the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush has had his share of formal duties. But it’s probably the first time an 88-year-old former commander-in-chief introduced the newest members of the Houston Texans’ cheerleading squad. Bush gave a rose to each of the women in a special ceremony on Wednesday and sported some extremely handsome star-spangled socks to boot.

4. Roger Ebert May Be Gone, But Ebertfest Lived On

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Two weeks ago the nation mourned the loss of the beloved Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert. But the 15th annual Ebertfest, which commenced Wednesday at the University of Illinois, was a celebration of everything he valued. Widow Chaz Ebert opened the festival according to the specific instructions left by her husband, including an appearance by a gospel choir who joined the audience in a sing-a-long of the 1960’s hit, “Those Were the Days.”

5. The Circle of Life Continued


Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium announced the births of two new babies, one born to Moka, a Western Lowland gorilla, and another born to Toma, an Amur tiger.  (Both are engangered species.) The babies don’t have names yet —  Moka’s child has bonded so closely with its mother that zoo officials can’t tell yet whether it’s a boy or girl, according to Pittsburgh’s KDKA News — but both are said to be doing well.

6. These Hollywood Kids Held a Dance-Off

Nine-year-old Academy Award nominee and Beasts of the Southern Wild star Quvenzhané Wallis faced off with Rachel Meiselas, the eight-year-old daughter of entertainment lawyer Kenny Meiselas, in a dance-off during an MTV Movie Awards afterparty on Apr. 14. We call it a draw.

7. Jon Hamm Appeared on Sesame Street

We certainly hope most Sesame Street viewers aren’t allowed to watch Mad Men yet, but any grown-ups who tuned in got a kick out of watching Jon Hamm and Elmo teach kids about the word of the day, “sculpture,” in an episode that aired Apr. 18. While Hamm plays a ’60s-era creative genius in the AMC drama, Elmo managed to create his own masterpiece without any of his input.

8. New Zealand Legalized Gay Marriage

New Zealand’s landmark decision to vote in favor of same-sex marriage garnered a Glee-esque response when audience members in the public gallery (and some members of Parliament) broke into a sing-a-long of the Maori love song “Pokarekare Ana” as the law was being read into the record. New Zealand is the 13th country to legalize gay marriage and the first nation in the Asia-Pacific region.

9. Researchers Said Our Booze-Addled Brains May Be Salvageable After All
Exercise brain damage

Mauro Grigollo / Getty Images

It may be time to renew that gym membership. A new study finds that exercise may help undo some of the brain damage resulting from heavy alcohol consumption.

10. A Teenager Saved a 9-Year-Old in Peril at Yosemite

Mmphotos / Getty Images

A 9-year-old boy was nearly swept over a 300-foot waterfall at Yosemite National Park on Saturday — until he was saved by someone not very much older than himself. Alec Smith, 16, after hearing the mother’s cries, leapt over a protective fence and jumped into the raging Merced River, pulling the boy to safety just yards from the massive drop over the Vernal Falls waterfall. Alec was philosophical about the rescue, which park rangers said put him at considerable risk: “Don’t think about what could have happened,” he told the San Jose Mercury News. “Be grateful for what did happen.”

TimMcNeil like.author.displayName 1 Like

More good news: this week millions of people read to a child, took a walk with a friend, sang, danced, made love, watched birds, shared a meal, and smiled at a stranger. My advice, find the best in your moment.


Sorry, guess I should have written something.  Excellent point.  Even more good news - my daughter's dance recital this evening was wonderful.  I mowed the lawn today for the first time this year - yay!  My students once again made me proud with their hard work and their ingenuity.  Good news everywhere - just look around you.  Certainly helps temper the bad a bit...  BTW, never a big Bush fan (Sr. or Jr.), but ya gotta grin when you see that huge smile on elder Bush's face!


Thanks for the list but the scum at nbcParksandRec blocked the video for those outside of the US. I'm sure it was funny but i guess I will never know. Pity because  have never seen the show and I might have become a fan after seeing this clip.

I hope that the ignorant garbage in charge of these networks disappear like the dinosaurs they are and people with a  modern and global view take over someday. 

ratickle like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

You didn't include the best news of the week.  The Senate turned back an assault on the Second Amendment.

pachelbels like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

@ratickle ... the dumbest remark I can imagine from the dumbest person having written  so far


And im going to say the same thing about your comment.... Why shoot down a comment because it goes against your opinions.... Just ignore it and move on

RicardoElsewhere like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

A balance of good news items with the (generally) awful, should be a mandatory policy at Time. Thanks for the good stuff!

Burton56 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

Injecting partisan politics into what should have been a feel-good piece.  Classy, not.

Not everyone agrees that legalizing homosexual marriage is a good thing.

pachelbels like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

@Burton56   perhaps  not, but the majority does, and that's a good thing.  Stay behind along with those who feel emancipation of the slaves was "not a good thing" or the 14th amendment was  "not a good thing" or women suffrage was  "not a good thing"  ... stand along side of the Westboro Baptists and the neo-Nazi skinheads, and the hooded sheet-wearing rednecks ... all of you with your own prejudices



How does my believing that a "marriage" is between a man and woman hurt anyone...like slavery did?

I am open to your feedback....that is if you can ditch the holier-than-thou pompous attitude, like so many others (ahem Kurt_R). Not promising you'll convince me of how I hurt them so....but we could converse.....civilly?

Kurt_R like.author.displayName 1 Like

@Burton56 You can go to your hateful church and see all your fellow hateful friends tomorrow.  But for now, we're talking about adults marrying the adult they love, without worrying about whether or not their government will tell them they've fallen in love with the "wrong person".

This is something any American who truly respects the Constitution will find easy to understand.



Kurt....you need to let go of YOUR hatred too. Not everyone that disagrees with you is full of hate. I believe that :marriage" is defined as between a man and a woman. not just "two people in love". Love is not the only thing in this equation. That doesn't mean that I hate anyone. So you need just stop that....it's simply not true. 

But if you feel you need to cling to your own hatred....okay.


@Kurt_R @SteveK  

 Not sure what you're going on about. You aren't making any sense, as if you found "Response #18" and rolling with it without regard to logic, reason, and heart.  It seems to me you are making assumptions about me, judging me based on...what? A couple sentences that I wrote? You don't know me enough. You can;t tell other to be tolerant of all people and who they are, and at the same time pull out your own judging, prejudice and stereotyping.

  But I suppose you think you are immune to all that, huh Kurt? You have no bias, no prejudice....right? In this short conversation, Kurt...who has shown the most anger and hate? Yes Kurt it has been you. I'v eonly told you how I feel about it...you're the one acting like an angry child, judging and stereotyping me, based on what you THINK you know. 

But Kurt...you don't KNOW me. You don;t know who I am, who my family and friends are. You know nothing...and you have the nerve to stand thei in judgement of me, and insult me even?

 How ironic...you seem just as angry and judgmental as those you speak against. Very hard to look in the mirror, as well as practice what you preach. But give it a try, Kurt. It may do you some good.


@SteveK Hilarious and sad. You see two people. One hates oppression and government intrusion in private lives. The other hates equality. Somehow, with a straight face,  you say, "Gosh. These people have the same problem." 

Stay stuck in the stone age. Your kind will disappear eventually, and we'll all be better off for it. 

toledoman1971 like.author.displayName 1 Like

@Kurt_R @Burton56 Who said the cat goes to church?  


@Burton56  Hey everybody! Get a load of this! The guy who wants the government to tell people who they can love is accusing other people of thinking too simply! What a riot! :-P 


@toledoman1971 @Kurt_R @Burton56 

Good point. I'm an atheist.

Lib goodthinkers have got everything pegged in neat little bins, the better for their allegedly high-IQ but reality-averse minds to wrap around.

bill2 like.author.displayName 1 Like

@Burton56 Intelligent people who know right from wrong all embrace this wonderful news from New Zealand. 

Homophobic hate-filled idiots would tend to agree with you. Perhaps a law that keeps your type from reproducing would be a good thing

rpearlston like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

@Burton56 Too bad,  It's time that you got with the times and understood that all that anyone wants is to be happy, and that if that includes marriage to a same-gender person, it's no skin off of anyone else's nose.  After all, it does nothing whatsoever to change YOUR marriage, or any other marriage.  It simply allows the same happiness for all.

Grow up and stop spewing the hatred that keeps you from allowing others to be happy.

DineshKumar like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Despite the bad things that keep happening, the world is still a good place, thanks to such events.

EmilyBylin like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 5 Like

This is great, thanks for sharing! We could all use a little goodness right now.