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Aparna Atluru, HappyNews Staff:
Veterinarians have named the dog Annie, as it was an orphan with a sad history. Annie was found lying on a snow bank by the side of the road and brought in to veterinarians. Annie had bullet wounds to her neck, and abdomen, areas that usual prove fatal when shot. But this dog was not run over as so many strays do. When they found Annie, she had been shot twice and left for dead. But as a holiday season miracle would have it — she’s recovering quite well. Annie is thought to have belonged to someone, but the owner’s name has not yet been determined.
At first sight, the idea that we can catch the moods, habits and state of health not only of those around us, but also those we do not even know seems alarming. It implies that rather than being in charge of where we are going in life, we are little more than back-seat drivers, since most social influence operates at a subconscious level.
Christakis also found that a person's happiness is dependent not only on the happiness of an immediate friend but - to a lesser degree - on the happiness of their friend's friend, and their friend's friend's friend. Furthermore, someone's chances of being happy increase the better connected they are to happy people, and for that matter the better connected their friends and family. "Most people will not be surprised that people with more friends are happier, but what really matters is whether those friends are happy," says Christakis
One person's happiness can affect another's for as much as a year, the researchers found, and while unhappiness can also spread from person to person, the "infectiousness" of that emotion appears to be far weaker.
The researchers are also looking at the phenomenon on Facebook, which has more than 120 million active users. This study, which has not yet been published, looked at who smiles in their profile pictures who doesn't, and whether their connections also smile or not, Fowler said.
Aparna Atluru, HappyNews Staff
We’ve all heard of paying it forward, but it takes a special person to pay forward a kidney.
When Carey Barrett was watching ABC’s World News Tonight over a year ago, he heard about a program called “Never-Ending Altruistic Donor.” The program matches up a person in need of a kidney with a person willing to donate one of their own kidneys. The program is aimed at family and friends of people needing a kidney. Often times family and friends are willing to donate a kidney, but end up not being good matches. These potential donors enter a database when their family or friend receives a kidney, and they in turn vow to give a kidney when they match someone in need, and so on.
Barrett flew to Texas to donate his kidney to Brenda, the woman his kidney matched with -- a woman he had never met. Both Barrett and Brenda have recovered from surgery. One of Brenda’s family members will in turn donate a kidney to a complete stranger in need.
Aparna Atluru, HappyNews Staff
Chase Book is a teenager, but he wasn’t thinking about his own presents this winter. Instead of thinking of himself he thought about others. He saved up $300 dollars, which Book donated to a family in need.
Book joined the Neigbors4Neighors program in which he “adopted” a family. Tara Gallimore had just moved to the area and had little to money to buy her family Christmas gifts. Book “adopted” Gallimore’s family. "It's the best feeling to give them a Christmas, a holiday that they can actually be happy for," Book said. For teens like Book, giving starts early.
Originally posted by ladysharrowandherbarrow
whilst trying to balance the good news with the not so good, this is a rather sweet link to the Laughter chain it shows people laughing at people laughing..simple..
although it is viral marketing it is also a good chuckle
Donning sunglasses, swimming armbands and dragging a pink blow-up lilo and suitcases on wheels packed with summer clothes, cuddly toys and a few provisions, they walked a kilometre up the road, boarded a tram to Hanover train station and got as far as the express train that would take them to the airport before a suspicious station guard alerted police.
David Johnson, Citizen Journalist
John and Marie Ornelas are a Ft Worth, Texas police husband-wife team who were both school liaison officers. John said that while at work on campus kids would come to them every day with difficult questions. Questions like: “Why is Mama sleeping around?” or “Why is Dad on drugs?”
John said this began to tear them down emotionally. He and Marie began to pray: “God, what can we do?” With tears in his eyes, John said “The answer we got was: ‘I’m going to give you some children and you take care of them’.”
Now they have 9 children to take care of! And instead of the children talking about their parents’ problems, the children sit around a table together, share meals together, talk about their day, and work on their school homework. Like many kids they want their parents to give them the answers, but Marie always replies: “I’ll help you, but I won’t do your work for you!”
When asked what it means to be adopted, the Ornelas’ children’s answers included: “It means you get a new family that loves you”; “It means you know you’re going to have a better life”; and “It means somebody loves you!”
Giacinta Pace, NBC
Each month, Cause Celeb highlights a celebrity’s work on behalf of a specific cause. Here we profile British entrepreneur and adventurer Sir Richard Branson and his involvement with Virgin Unite, the charitable arm of his Virgin companies.
International Rescue Committee
Before last October, patients who needed urgent medical care in Wassit province often relied on family members to rush to Baghdad—over 100 miles away—to secure pints of precious donated blood. Now, thanks to an infusion of support from the International Rescue Committee, Iraqis in this rural area no longer need to race against time to ensure their loved ones receive lifesaving treatment.
By an overwhelming margin, the Ecuadorians backed their president, Rafael Correa, in voting for a new progressive constitution – the first in the world to grant Nature the same inalienable rights as human beings
Aparna Atluru, HappyNews Staff
Dar Durant and his family left at 6 a.m. on New Years Day and drove an hour and a half to Lake Minnetonka, where a 30-by-6-foot hole had been cut in the ice of the frozen-over lake.
Durant, a 53-year old Princeton, Minnesota man, is battling stage 4 cancer and recently learned that it had invaded his lungs, hip, and ribs. Durant’s son Jesse is a Cub Scout, and Durant is a den leader. When other cub scouts heard about Jesse’s father they all decided to start collecting pledges for him.
They were to head to the Lake Minnetonka Ice Plunge which is put on annually by the Active Life and Running club. There, nine scouts and four scout leaders took the plunge into the lake to honor Durant, with temperatures measuring about 20 degrees.
Every year, people come to Minnetonka to take the plunge, then quickly get out of the water. To some it’s a tradition that they’ve been partaking in for years. Organizers were inspired by the group’s goal. Durant, who himself was an Eagle Scout, feels that this show of support is going to make his battle a little easier.