A group of volunteers gathered in the northern Ukrainian village of Yahidne on July 23 to clean up damaged buildings while dancing to techno music. © Pasha Youz

Our top 10 lists are typically concocted with a blend of humor and sarcasm aimed at world events, leaders and the general absurdity of daily politics. However, in an attempt to avoid a weekly helping of hate mail, violent threats (true story) and 10-minute voicemails ranting about the latest conspiracies, we decided to pump the brakes this week and offer a positive twist to the Top 10. So in case you missed it, there were actually some optimistic stories reported around the globe this week and we have a list to prove not all news is, well, bad news. Always here to help, we present our…


10. “The Techno ‘Clean-Up Raves’ Restoring Ukraine” From tragedy and ashes come inspiration, typically in the form of art. And Ukrainians using raves in bombed-out buildings to build back cities and spirits is worth a read. 

9. “Dolly Parton, Sissy Spacek and others Remember Loretta Lynn” The passing of Loretta Lynn is not a positive story, but her greatness as an iconic female in a male-driven industry is worth celebrating. She changed the game, not just in country but all music, for so many women after her.

8. “SpaceX and NASA Set to Send Crew of International Astronauts to Space” Aside from an array of science experiments the astronauts will be conducting, the crew will include the first Native American woman, Nicole Mann, to ever travel into space. 

7. “President BIden to Tour Hurricane Ian Damage in Florida with Gov. Ron DeSantis” It’s difficult to believe a political headline could be deemed positive, particularly after a devastating hurricane. But there was a time when our nation’s top leaders could actually display signs of unity for a greater cause. Will this joint visit defrost the vast freeze between the two parties? No. But it is good to see that a huge priority is being placed before partisan politics. 

6. “India Deploys Super-Sniffer Dogs to Protect Cheetahs from Poachers” This story has it all, from dogs to protecting an endangered species from extinction. Google it and enjoy. 

5. “Little Leaguer Hugs Distraught Pitcher Who Hit Him in the Head” Two amazing things happened when a little leaguer was beaned in the head by a wild pitch. First, the pitcher was mortified by his mistake and reduced to tears. And then, the hitter consoled him with a hug. Talk about things you would never see from professional players. We could all learn a thing or two from our children. 

4. “107-Year-Old Vet Receives Silver Star” The headline is self-explanatory, but Sgt. 1st Class Harold Nelson’s honor was long overdue.

3. “Aaron Judge Hits Home Run No. 62 to Pass Roger Maris’s American League Record”  If Aaron Judge’s blood is devoid of any performance-enhancing substances (we can only assume he is clean), he is the greatest single-season home run king in the history of baseball. Had it not been for baseball’s steroid era, Judge’s feat would have played out in packed bars across America and would have interrupted every major network’s feed this past Tuesday evening. 

2.  “Shohei Ohtani Deserves to Win AL MVP Over Aaron Judge”  Wow, we are actually debating an MVP race where one of the candidates just hit 62 home runs while chasing potential triple crown numbers. But outside of the New York media frenzy exists a 24-year-old Japanese native playing ball for the lowly Angels and doing what no other MLB player has done – ever. Only the great Babe Ruth, who pitched and slugged his way into baseball folklore, can be compared to the rarity of Ohtani’s pitching and hitting abilities. And even then, there is no comparison. Ohtani currently has 34 homers as a hitter and over 200 Ks as a pitcher. No true fan could proclaim this would occur in our lifetime. 
1. “Man Saves Mother From Flooding Water During Hurricane Ian” If you watch the news, you probably saw the images or heard this story along the way. But in the midst of tragedy, it was an uplifting story of bravery, love of family and determination.  The story of Johnny Lauder saving his 84-year-old mother is inspiring.