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Steve Hartman

Good News Is Better Than Fake News

Here are some feel good stories just in time for Hallmark's mandatory day to tell the loved ones in your life they are like super special to you. While it may be a made-up holiday for jewelers and card makers and chocolatiers to shoot your wallet through-and-through with a pudgy angel's arrow, I say screw it and spread the love anyway! I'll take good news over fake news any day of the week! (BTW, Fake news is fake news,) Have a great VD Day...and yes, I used to think that meant something very different back in my immature days. (ie. two years ago)

Happy Valentine's Day

When Michael sat down for lunch in a cute little square in Helsingborg, Sweden, he had no idea his life was about to change in a huge way.

He was there to go on a date with his girlfriend, but moments after the waiter seated him at a table right in the middle of the square, a flash mob came rolling in.

Confused by the whole thing, Michael started taking pictures. As the dancers got down to Bruno Mars „Marry You“ it slowly started to dawn on him that everything was going to be different from that moment on.

It all culminated when his girlfriend broke through the mob and got down on one knee.

"Harry Potter made me feel brave."

Alastair McAlpine describes himself on Twitter as "a pediatrician, reader, ultra-distance runner, music-lover and amateur foodie. Humanist and sceptic. Dislikes pseudoscience. Occasionally funny. Really." Read his thread here to put life into perspective.

Courtesy @AlastairMcA30

"Enjoy a phone-free, 100% human experience."

PLEASE NOTE: this is a PHONE-FREE show. No photos, video or audio recording devices allowed. We think you’ll enjoy looking up from your gadgets for a little while and experience music and our shared love of it IN PERSON. Jack White bans smartphones from concerts. Now, if only we could put Jack White in charge of all public facilities.

The Good News Podcast

Those Cards Against Humanity folks just keep on surprising us. The Good News Podcast is your daily reminder that not all news is bad, produced by Cards Against Humanity.

Teacher's Only Comedy Tour

"Sisters stake care of one another."

Screenshot 2018-02-13 23.17.35.png

"There is so much need."

More than four months after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, 15-year-old Salvador Gomez Colon is shocked by the poor living conditions that persist in many of the towns throughout the island.

"There is so much need," said Gomez Colon. "People are still shoveling debris around their homes. With no power, the elderly are struggling with the heat."

Gomez Colon has raised more than $125,000 and has donated 1,400 solar lamps to some 840 households. He has another 1,600 lamps that he hopes to distribute soon.

"Every word he has learned has been through music & singing."

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The Other Side of Chicago

A man in Chicago asked for 10 volunteers to help him shovel snow for the elderly and the response he received will restore your faith in humanity.

Jahmal Cole, who runs a nonprofit community group called "My Block, My Hood, My City" posted the request on Twitter on February 9.

He got a bit more than 10 volunteers.

"The claw machine frustrated young Mason."

Who hasn't dreamt of crawling up into the belly of the beast to capture what is rightfully ours?


"Midnight has come and gone and she's still the belle of the ball."

Soldier takes daughter of fallen serviceman to daddy-daughter dance.

You can never have enough good news:

If you find any peace and value in what I do, any donation, big or small, means a lot and helps keep spreading the positive vibes.

You can make a single donation in any amount you choose here:


Grind #110 :: Good Vibes, Be Kind, Laugh And Cry

I felt I needed a little sunshine today. Winter decided she wasn't quite finished with us in my part of the world. Coffee, good news stories and not stepping a foot outside my house when it's below forty. My trifecta for dealing with the cold as my blood thins out and I get "old-er-ish". Grab a mug. Grab the Kleenex. Bundle up. Let's Grind.


Every morning, my son asks me to give him a new trivia fact. I failed him yesterday. Not today. Five of these are true*. One...hmmm...maybe not so much.


The offspring of a polar bear and a grizzly bear is called a "pizzly bear".

Most adult cats are lactose intolerant.

Wearing jeans is illegal in North Korea.

Policemen in Grenada wear their Twitter handle on their uniform.

Nostophobia is the fear of going home.

Ostriches put their heads in the ground because they have low self-esteem & are threatened by eye contact.

  • "On Friday night, after four years of CYO basketball together, the nine boys and two girls on the St. John's 5th grade team had to make a decision: Play without the girls or give up the rest of the season." The phrase "kids will be kids" often gets a bad rap. This is the story of what happened when these kids voted to forfeit their season.
  • If I could have any job, it might be Steve Hartman's cameraman:

  • Where does the USA rank on this list of The 14 countries that are the most optimistic about the future. I'll give you a's NOT #1.
  • A group of German students started a little organization to "create more humanity through good deeds in our daily lives." They named themselves after the first initials of the four founders names (J.A.P.Y.) but in German, "Japy“ sounds a lot like  "happy“… thus "Be Japy!“  Here's their full mission statement followed by a video of their work in action:

    We are a community that creates more humanity through good deeds in our daily lives. With global networking, we inspire each other, and create a WE that activates and motivates itself.

    Through small acts in daily life we not only make people happy but also create a positive experience, surprises and more humanity. We do not just talk about it, we do it! In short: We spread Japyness.

    It doesn’t matter where you come from, how old you are or what religion you belong to. Our actions focus on the people. You can take part in it with very simple means and become part of our community.

    A good deed not only makes the helped person happy but also the person who is helping. Doing good makes happy. No single person can make our world a better place in just one day. But the sum of many individual acts has the power to set the wheels in motion. Let’s ensure more humanity together!


"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

~ Socrates

  • Dani over at Positively Present has some great step-by-step advice on how to declutter and get organized just in time for spring.
  • Speaking of spring, baseball baby! Who doesn't love a good prank. In this video, Chicago Cubs All-Star Kris Bryant gets tricked by Hall of Fame Pitcher Greg Maddux:

...The Last Drop

You've probably cried a little at some point during this post. Now, let the cast of The Office balance things out with some laughs.

[*Actually, ostriches rarely put their head in the ground, but when they do it's not because they're shy; it's because they're looking for water under the ground.]

Grind #110 :: Good Vibes, Be Kind, Laugh And Cry ~ Fin.


Weekend Espresso :: Marriage is a Beautiful & Strange Thing

Enjoy a few stories on the beauty and/or lack thereof of Marriage. (For the record, I do love my wife and am happy. And if you find my body, she did it.)



Is being married actually good for your heart?

...The Last Drop

Have a great rest of your weekend. (Mom made me say that.)



Weekend Espresso :: 5 Sunday Feels

Here at Ventipop, we try to focus on the positive and the good. Those are our favorite stories. Some days are harder than others. Today's Espresso is a mini-group of "Feels". This is what we call those videos/stories that may require a box of tissues next to the mugs. If you like these, check out our Feel Page . Happy Sunday to you and yours.

5 Sunday Feels :: Laugh & Cry

  • Football players from Foothill High School in Palo Cedro, Calif., showed their support for a cheerleader fighting cancer with a touching, silent display of solidarity.
  • A conference call in real life. This is so real:

  • An adorable 3-year-old in a diaper doesn't care if his daddy is late...he loves him.
  • Mr. Wright's Law of Love - Meet the teacher who loves his students by showing them what true love really is.
  • Camp in Wisconsin brings kids of fallen war heroes together:

...For Sherry

Special Blend :: Best Grinds of August 2016

Here's a special blend of my favorite and most popular reader's stories featured during the month of August. Please, click one of the social buttons below to share this post with a friend or a family member who likes to smile. Thanks for your continued support.

  • "The man who lost his voice was a gentle man who didn’t ask terribly much of life." A nice story by the New York Times.
  • It's as if you're seeing vintage vacation photos from some parallel alien planet. That's how I'd describe Spanish artist Paco Pomet's surreal oil paintings. At first glance, all appears normal, but on close inspection there's always something amiss; usually something with the legs. Paco Pomet likes messing with people's legs.  I love the grayscale immersed in unexpected shades of neon.  So talented.

  • Vonnegut, Kerouac, Murakami, Bukowski...not the names I would have suspected to be on the bookstore list of the most stolen books.
  • Famous writers detail there love of superheroes in a new book edited by Liesa Mignogna. Last Night, A Superhero Saved My Life dives deep into how heroes shaped the authors lives and helped them through their childhoods and hard times. Featured writers include Neil Gaiman, Jodi Picoult, Joe R. Lansdale, Karina Vaughn, Brad Meltzer & more.
Stll Not an Elton John autobiography.

Stll Not an Elton John autobiography.

  • Ventipop loves innovation in design. The simpler the design, the simpler the product, the more I hit myself in the forehead shouting things like, "You're so stupid! Why didn't you think of this?!" The Rinser Toothbrush is one of those products and is available now for pre-order.

  • Turns out all the maps are wrong, you don't live where you think you live and we've been taught to look at the Earth upside-down. Cartographers use a 2D projection to convert our spherical world into a flat world for mapping purposes; which distorts the hell out of everything and misrepresents the sizes of geography everywhere. This projection is called the Mercator Projection. After a couple scientists watched an episode of The West Wing (see clip below), they created this app, The True Size Of.., with the hope teachers would use it to show their students just how big the world is.

  • Want some more weird history? Here are some horrible things that happened to famous people's bodies after their deaths; including Mozart's skull, Anne Boleyn's heart and the one I'm going to have nightmares about: Napoleon's penis.
  • A canoe is a canoe. Until now. Belgian designers at Onak Canoe have created a foldaway canoe in a box for two. Their Kickstarter campaign has been funded and they expect to begin selling the canoe to the public later this year. 

  • Steve Hartman's simple story of a girl and her duck kick things off today: