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The Happiness List

A brief, semi random collection of reasons to feel better.

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• Fifty-eight percent of Americans ages 18 to 29 say immigrants strengthen the country.

• Last year, Standard & Poor’s downgraded nearly four times as many companies as it upgraded. This year, it’s upgraded more than it’s downgraded.

• The app iTriage can make a diagnosis and route you to a doctor.

• Scientists studying video from German zoos discovered that gorillas play tag.

• New York City made a deal with cable companies requiring them to offer refunds when their repairmen miss appointments.

• “It gets better” videos, in which gay adults reassure gay teens that their lives will improve, have been viewed more than 9 million times on YouTube.

• In April of this year, the World Wildlife Foundation spotted a pregnant Sumatran rhino, one of the most endangered species in the world.

• A flying car—the Terrafugia Transition—will be available for purchase next year.

• There are more than 800,000 songs available for free-and-legal streaming online (including almost all the good ones).

• In the first quarter of 2009, General Motors reported a $6 billion net loss. In the second quarter of 2010, the company made $1.3 billion.

• The gap between men and women in adult literacy has decreased globally from twelve percentage points in 1997 to nine now.

• The national divorce rate has dropped by 10 percent since 2000.

• Researchers at Caltech used nanobots to “turn off” cancer cells.

• Charitable giving in the United States will increase by 4.5 percent this year, for a total of $225 billion.

• Eighty percent of the world’s countries now hold multiparty elections.

• In Germany, doctors used stem-cell therapies to treat patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, and spinal-cord injuries. More than 55 percent of patients in each group reported improvements.

• It’s not just red wine: A moderate daily intake of Champagne is also good for your heart.

• Average credit-card debt has fallen below $5,000 for the first time since 2002.

• America’s manufacturing sector, considered a bellwether for the economy as a whole, has grown for fifteen months straight.

• Total organ donation has increased by almost 20 percent since 2000.

• In an annual Gallup poll, 77 percent of public-school parents awarded their own child’s school a grade of A or B, the highest level of approval since the question was first asked.

• Since 1997, 353 new species have been discovered in the Himalayas, 1,220 in the Amazon, and 1,231 in the Mekong region.

Compiled by Elien Becque, Alex Daly, Jillian Goodman, Bryan Hood, Phoebe Neel, Andre Tartar, and Chris Tonucci.


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