The Mood Elevator

The Mood Elevator

United Kingdom

A brief hit of uplifting news, delivered every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Episodes

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News from 50,000 ft  

Welcome to the Mood Elevator, a quick hit of good news for Thursday 25th August. Grandpa’s plan to skydive with grandson wound up saving his ife When a 74 year-old Texan granddad offered to go skydiving with his 18 year-old grandson, he had to go to the doctors to the all-clear, as anyone over the […]

Operation goodwill  

Welcome to the Mood Elevator, five more stories to make you smile, for Monday 22nd August. School surprises beloved custodian after losing car in crash When a custodian at a school in Dunwoody, Georgia lost his old beaten-up car in an accident, his colleagues got together with an online car dealership and fixed him up […]

Operation goodwill  
School surprises beloved custodian after losing car in crash

When a custodian at a school in Dunwoody, Georgia lost his old beaten-up car in an accident, his colleagues got together with an online car dealership and fixed him up with a new set of wheels. The car had been a little bit famous, after appearing in a film called Miracles from Heaven, but since the accident, Grey, the custodian had to get to and from work on his own steam. Now he’s driving a 2015 Mazda 3, just because his school loves him.

Home Depot employees build custom walker for 2-year-old

Over to Texas now, and the story of Silus Johnson. Silus has Norrie Disease, which affects his eyesight and muscle tone. He’s only 2 and it’s hard for him to walk, but a group of employees from a local Home Depot are helping out by building a contraption that’ll help him walk. For us in the UK it’s a device like a Zimmer frame, but they don’t make them for kids of Silus’ age so they’ve taken on the project themselves.

Neighbors scrub hate messages before family sees them

When vandals spray-painted a home with hate-speech while the family were away, a neighbour decided to take action. She rallied on nearby friends and neighbours, who all came together to paint over the N-words and KKKs that were sprayed all over the family’s home. They were nearly finished when the Phillips family returned, but thanks to help from the local community, including an on-duty police officer, they came back to a show of love, rather than hate.

The world’s largest beach cleanup has cleared more than 4 million pounds of trash

A beach once famous as a thriving spot for fishing has in recent years become synonymous with a rubbish tip, but thanks to a lawyer local to the area, Versova Beach in Mumbai is now home to a record-breaking rubbish cleanup operation, which has seen over 4 million pounds of garbage cleared. If you want to see the “before” shot, follow the link in the shownotes.

Justice Department plans to stop using private prisons

If you’ve ever seen John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight piece on private prisons in the US, you’ll have an idea of how money and justice meet in uncomfortable ways. Well, independent news organisation Mother Jones is crediting itself with having spurred the US Department of Justice to stop using private prisons. Whatever the initial impetus, the DoJ looks to be committing. Although the memo circulated to staff doesn’t appear to give a timeline, the advice has been one of “reducing – and ultimately ending – our use of privately operated prisons”. As a result, stocks in the two biggest prison companies in the US are plummeting.

And that’s your Mood Elevator for this week. You can find me on Twitter @iamsteadman and if you have any stories of your own, email feedback@moodelevator.org. See you Thursday.

Olympic spirit  

Welcome to the Mood Elevatar, a spoonful of good news for August 18th. New Zealand and American runners help each other after collision Let’s start with the Olympics, and New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin, who collided in the middle of her 5,000 metre semi-final with the USA’s Abbey d’Agostino, four laps from the end.  Instead […]

Olympic spirit  
Father with autistic son creates a game about him and his world

If you play games on Steam, look out for this next release. Max, an Autistic Adventure is a retro-style RPG which was built as an attempt by a father to help people understand his son, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. The game combines a bunch of different play styles and is designed to let you see the world through this young boy’s eyes. If you want to check it out, just follow the link in the shownotes.

Heartbroken locals collected almost 1,000 signatures to halt the transfer of their local shop manager to another store.

34 year-old Muhammad Sajjad is a Pakistani shop worker who works at one of Dublin’s Centra stores. He helps deliver shopping to those who can’t carry it, and generally looks out for his community. But when he was transferred from his store in East Wall, the community presented a petition of almost a thousand signatures to Sajjad’s boss to have him reinstated. And, it worked.

Chili Peppers bassist starts apiary

You probably know there’s a bee shortage, but did you know who’s just signed up to fight the war against colony collapse? Flea, you know, the guitarist from that band, the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He’s got three backyard hives of over 200,000 bees, and his environmentalism doesn’t stop there; he’s also joining Thom Yorke, Patti Smith and more in a climate-change concert called Pathway to Paris in December.

Lifetime memory happens at Ridgeland/Dalton football scrimmage

And very quickly let’s circle back round to sport, namely American college football. Follow the link in the shownotes to this video of Georgia college student Seth McGee scoring a 65 yard touchdown. He has Down’s syndrome and was aided by his team, and shortly after both teams celebrated. See, sportsmanship is alive and well.

And that’s your Mood Elevator for this week. You can find more news on our Twitter and Facebook pages, and if you find value in this show, you’d be doing me a huge favour by rating and reviewing the podcast wherever you can.

I’ll be back on Monday, so until then, enjoy the rest of your week.

A little refreshment  

Welcome to the Mood Elevator, a fresh delivery of good news for August 15th. Chicago police buy and install pool for 6-year-old shooting victim We begin this week with 6 year-old Taccara Morris, who was wounded in a shooting in July near her home in Chicago. She made a full recovery and is now out […]

A little refreshment  
Chicago police buy and install pool for 6-year-old shooting victim

We begin this week with 6 year-old Taccara Morris, who was wounded in a shooting in July near her home in Chicago. She made a full recovery and is now out of hospital, and to encourage her to venture outdoors again and play, Chicago police raised money to buy her a paddling pool, then turned up not long after her release from hospital, to fill the pool with water and toys.

Teen who biked 50 miles to college gets new car thanks to kindness of stranger

When the owner of a car dealership in Barnesville, Georgia, read the story of a 19 year-old would-be university student who had cycled 50 miles to register for classes, he decided to help, so he donated a car. Now Fred Barley doesn’t need to make a 100-mile round trip to see his family and go to college.

Teenager takes 8 hours to sit 10,500 teddy bears in seats at sports stadium in honour of pal

What have you done with your old teddy bears? If you were around Widnes in the north of England in the last few weeks you might have been asked that question. Aidan Jackson, whose friend Olivia died of complications due to multiple life-affecting disabilities wanted to raise money for a foundation in her name and to give her friend a good send-off. So his family hatched a plan to ask local residents and social media followers to donate a teddy bear and a pound. They managed to raise over £2,500 and fill the Select Stadium with bears, and you can see the photos by following the link in the show notes.

Making a Murderer‘s Brendan Dassey conviction overturned, could be released in 90 days

I don’t know if you caught Making a Murderer earlier in the year, but one of the people the programme focused on was Brendan Massey, whose uncle has been convicted of murder, a crime the police said Brendan was an accessory to. Anyone who saw the show saw how forced the boy’s confession was, but on Friday his conviction was overturned and he’s due to be released in 90 days. If you don’t think this sounds like good news, you should watch the show – and watch it again if you’re still unsure – as no-one with the kind of learning difficulties he had should have been treated the way he was, regardless of his family’s background.

Pokémon Go brings life back to struggling local ice cream shop

OK, that’s enough preaching, who’s up for ice cream? Well, it’s been a while since I’ve given you a Pokemon Go story so let’s end with this: Mad Hatter’s ice cream in Washington was looking like a business on the ropes, but thanks to Pokemon Go, which is getting people up and about and rediscovering their local area, owner Gary Dear is seeing business boom. Turns out that’s what you get for building an ice cream shop near a bunch of Pokestops.

That’ll about do it for today. I’ll be back again on Thursday, and if you get a chance in the next couple of days – or even right now while you’re listening to me – head over to iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, and drop the show a quick review. It really does help get the show into the ears of more listeners.

Incredible journeys  

Welcome to the Mood Elevator, your hit of good news for August 11th. Paralysed woman defies odds, hikes Appalachian trail And we begin with the story of Stacey Kozal, who was paralysed a year ago in a car accident, and is now currently hiking the Appalachian Trail thanks to the help of computer-powered legs. She […]

Incredible journeys  
Paralysed woman defies odds, hikes Appalachian trail

And we begin with the story of Stacey Kozal, who was paralysed a year ago in a car accident, and is now currently hiking the Appalachian Trail thanks to the help of computer-powered legs. She started the hike in March and is now hoping to finish in about a year’s time.

Chefs dish up surplus food from Olympic Village to Rio’s hungry

And I have another story of food redistribution for you. Two chefs in Rio are working to make over 5000 meals a day for the citizens of Rio de Janeiro using the leftover food from the Olympic Village. It’s part of a scheme that the two chefs – one from Brazil and one from Italy – started in Milan last year.

Traffic-proof transit: real car-straddling bus rolls out in China

Now, I don’t know if you ever saw the videos on Facebook or YouTube about a bus in China built to be taller than the traffic on the roads. Well, it was initially just an idea but is now made it to prototype stage. The massive 72 foot long spacious and really quite luxurious-looking bus is now being driven around the streets of Beijing, with India, Brazil and other countries expressing a great deal of interest in this traffic reducing form of transport.

Syrian refugee’s random act of kindness leaves Texas woman in tears

When a Texas woman attempted to sell a gold ring, which was a gift from her mother saying “I’m totally broke, and I won’t get paid until next month”, she probably didn’t expect the man behind the counter to give her the cash and leave the ring. He said that he would be happy to buy the ring from her at a later date, but for now it seems, just wanted to help out a mother in need.

Flight attendant adopts stray dog who wouldn’t stop waiting for her outside hotel

And finally today, this story has been everywhere over the last couple of days. It concerns Rubio, an Argentinian who struck up a friendship with a German flight attendant who makes frequent trips to Buenos Aires. After showing him a bit of attention initially, he would show up at her hotel every time she landed. She even tried to find him a bed for the night but he escaped and made his way back to her. So she eventually decided to bring Rubio home with her to Germany, and in case you’re unsure, yes I am talking about a dog. It’s a lovely story and you can find this along with many others on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

But that’s about it for this week. Thank you so much for listening. Do rate and review us on iTunes if you get a moment as it really helps us find new audiences. I’ll be here again on Monday so until then, have a fantastic week.

Love and shelter  

Welcome to the Mood Elevator, your hit of good news for Monday 8th August. I’m back in the lift, so let’s get cracking. Man with bride’s father’s heart walks her down aisle at wedding This story spread very quickly around the web this weekend. It concerns Jeni Stepien from Philadelphia, whose father died 10 years […]

Love and shelter  
Man with bride’s father’s heart walks her down aisle at wedding

This story spread very quickly around the web this weekend. It concerns Jeni Stepien from Philadelphia, whose father died 10 years ago but whose heart was donated to Arthur, from New Jersey. Jeni wrote to Arthur and asked if he would walk her down the aisle, so he did.

After marrying on her ‘deathbed,’ this bride made a miraculous recovery after quitting 1 food

And in other wedding news, Jessica Bean from Queensland thought that marrying her sweetheart would be one of her final actions after her struggle with cystic fibrosis became more difficult. But it turns out her wedding photographer’s husband is a health coach who advocated a switch of calorific foods, which has had a pretty miraculous effect. Jessica needed to eat around 4,000 calories to breathe because the condition makes it so difficult, and so was eating sweets and chocolates to keep her energy up. But on advice from the health coach she switched to healthy fats like avocado and peanut butter, and her lungs have healed so quickly she recently celebrated a whole year without a hospital visit.

Mine Kafon Drone

Among the selection of VR headsets, watches and artificial tongues that will let you lick your cat – it’s a thing, look it up – comes a Kickstarter project that could save up to 4,000 lives a year. “Introducing the Mine Kafon Drone, an airborne de-mining system developed to clear all land mines around the world in less than 10 years”. So says the crowdfunding page, which has so far raised over 111,000 EUR. On average, 10 people are killed by landmines every day, but this drone, fitted with a metal detector and remote detonator could clear land safely and efficiently.

Abandoned factory turned into home for up to 700 refugees in Greece

“There are kids playing in sewage, tents out under the 110-degree sun”. This is the assessment by investor and philanthropist Amed Khan, of the state of one of Greece’s refugee camps. “So” he says, “I thought, either we could try to work in the camps and try to make them better, or we could do our own thing.”. So, along with Frank Giustra the head of the Radcliffe Foundation, they’re doing their own thing, turning an abandoned textiles factory into a home for up to 700 refugees, with separate living quarters, communal areas, running water, electricity and kitchens.

Refugee athlete who saved 20 lives by pushing boat for 3 hours wins swimming heat at Rio Olympics

And finally a quick follow-up on the story of Yusra Mardini, who helped save the lives of 20 refugees on their way to Greece. I told you on Thursday that she’s competing in the Olympics; well she’s won her first swimming heat, as part of the refugee team. Go on Yusra!

And that’s about it. If you find value in this show, you can help me out a great deal by recommending the podcast, rating it or reviewing it wherever you subscribe. It really helps the show find a new audience and continue to spread good news. Thanks so much for being a part of this; I’ll see you on Thursday.

On the road  

Welcome to the Mood Elevator, which today is on the road. This is your hit of good news for August 4th. Rare Amur leopards born at Twycross Zoo And we start with Twycross Zoo which isn’t all that far away from me, who are celebrating the news that one of their amur leopards – who […]

On the road  

Rare Amur leopards born at Twycross Zoo

And we start with Twycross Zoo which isn’t all that far away from me, who are celebrating the news that one of their amur leopards – who represent one of the rarest big cat species in the world – has just given birth to two cubs. Follow the link in the snow notes if you want to see the pictures.

Sisters separated 40 years ago in Korea reunited working in same US hospital

The Guardian has the story of two women from South Korea who started working as nurses at the same hospital in Floria, within a few months of each other. They worked the same shift on the same floor, and it turns out that not only are they related, but they are sisters who’d been separated for over 40 years after being orphaned.

A restaurant put a fridge outside so the hungry and homeless can grab leftovers

The Telegraph brings us the news of a restaurant in India which is tackling the problem of homeless people looking through their bins, with a little more generosity. The restaurant owner has put a fridge outside the restaurant filled with leftovers and drinks, that the homeless people of the area can take for free.

This Syrian Refugee’s Heroic Journey To Rio Will Inspire You

Last year, a Syrian refugee by the name of Yusra Mardini had to swim from her broken-down boat to get to Greece and the chance of a safer life. Now she’s competing in the Rio Olympics, as part of a Syrian refugee team.

How a Tyneside gran’s wrong number led to a dramatic bathroom rescue

And we finish up back in the UK with the story of a Tyneside grandmother who had a fall and called for help. But when she dialled the wrong number she got through to a car dealership in Wallsend, where salesman Dang Vuong came to the rescue, by driving two miles to her house, let himself in and got her up and comfortable until her carers and family arrived.

Food and thought  

Welcome to the Mood Elevator, your hit of good news at the start of a new month. Walmart employee gives homeless man shoes from his feet We begin with the story of a supermarket employee in Georgia – the American state rather than the country – who gave his shoes to a homeless man sitting […]

Food and thought  
Walmart employee gives homeless man shoes from his feet

We begin with the story of a supermarket employee in Georgia – the American state rather than the country – who gave his shoes to a homeless man sitting outside. Phil, the employee had once been homeless himself. You can see a photo of Phil by checking the show notes or going to moodelevator.org.

Heart of gold hero saves eight lives in the Junction

This next story needs a bit of setup. David Dearman is a labourer who’s fallen on hard times. He gets up early in the morning and collects bottles, cans and bits of scrap metal he can sell on or recycle, for cash. One day, cycling through a neighbourhood in Toronto, he spotted smoke billowing out of a house, that was sleeping eight people. He dropped his bike, ran for the house and pounded on the door, shouting to the family inside to get out. He rang the emergency services, kicked the door in and ran into a basement unit and helped a woman out with her cat.

“Uber against hunger” delivers unused food to needy; hits 1000-meal mark

Now, if you’re wondering what to do with those extra slices of pizza, or – if you’re anything like me – that half a loaf you’re never going to use, if you’re in Austin Texas you’ve already got a way to give it away. Unsung is an app that’s just passed the 1,000 meals mark; it’s an app that allows people to list the leftover food they have available – along with a photo location – for volunteer drivers to collect. The drivers scan the app, pick the food up then drop it off to those who need it, again taking a photo, which means you get to see exactly where that uneaten burger went. I look forward to seeing that get rolled out further afield.

‘Phonebox baby’ reunited with man who found her 22 years ago

When baby Kiran was left in a London phonebox, hours after being born, her mother who was trapped in an abusive relationship called the Samaritans and asked for someone to pick her up. But before they could get to her, a passer-by called the police and she was taken into care and then adopted. Now, 22 years later, she’s been reunited with Joe the passer-by, who he said has never forgotten about her.

Hidden from bullets and bombs, Syrians created a secret library that provides learning and inspiration

And finally, “buried beneath a bomb-damaged building is a secret library that provides learning, hope and inspiration to many in the besieged Damascus suburb of Darayya, Syria”, so says Sunny Skyz, who are one of a bunch of publications covering this story of a secret library, safe from bullets and bombs. That’s not just hyperbole either. People are dodging bullets to get to the library, and are foraging books from bombed-out buildings. It’s having a real impact, too, giving volunteers vital information on taking care of the sick and injured.

So that’s it. I’ve got more stories over on our Twitter and Facebook pages. And if you appreciate the show, you can help support it by reviewing it on iTunes.

Drugs, whales and skateboarding  

Welcome to the Mood Elevator, your hit of good news for Thursday 28th July. Unprecedented Alzheimer’s drug slows disease by 80 per cent And we start with news from the New Scientist, about a drug that’s been 30 years in development, but which seems to be having a big effect on the progression of Alzheimer’s […]

Drugs, whales and skateboarding  
Unprecedented Alzheimer’s drug slows disease by 80 per cent

And we start with news from the New Scientist, about a drug that’s been 30 years in development, but which seems to be having a big effect on the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The drug, called LMTX is producing promising results for people with mild to moderate symptoms, and has so far been tested on nearly 900 people, against a placebo.

Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? Its funds helped discover the gene linked to motor neurone disease

In other medical news, d’you remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? Well, it turns out that apart from it being an excuse to see cold celebrities, it actually raised enough money to fund a study which has now discovered the gene responsible for motor neurone disease, or as some call it, ALS. The gene, NEK1 now gives scientists a new potential target for developing therapies.

Orca cries out for people to help her, humans answer with 6-hour rescue

When a killer whale washed up on the rocks after getting caught out by the tide rushing out from Hartley Bay, British Colombia, it cried out for help. Someone walking past heard her and called a couple of volunteer rescue groups. Whale Point and the Guardians from Hartley Bay – I would definitely watch that Marvel movie – spent the day shielding her from the sun and dousing her with water until the tide came back in 8 hours later and carried her back off to sea, where she reunited with her pod.

Solar Impulse completes historic round-the-world trip

This week, the first round-the-world aircraft flight took place without a single drop of fuel. The Solar Impulse is, as the name might suggest, a completely solar-powered plane, and it touched down in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. Pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg have been taking turns to fly the plane since March 2015. So OK it’s not rocket-speed, but it’s a plane running on renewable energy; how cool is that!?

Joyce to the world: Skateboard community celebrates ‘Grandmother of Hastings’

And our last story comes from Vancouver, where 75 year-old Joyce Wong has been thrown a birthday party by the kids and adults who use the skate park where she collects cans. People turned up with t-shirts bearing her face and the words “75 years strong”, and drank in her honour. I’m assuming they gave the cans to her, afterwards.

So that’s your Mood Elevator for today. There’s a bunch of stories that I find that don’t make it in to each episode, so if you want to see those, and get a constant stream of uplifting news, search Twitter and Facebook for “Mood Elevator” and you’ll find us. And if you have any stories of your own that you’d like to share, email feedback@moodelevator.org.

I will try to fix you  

Welcome to the Mood Elevator, your hit of good news for Monday 25th July. Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov breaks world hot air balloon record, lands safety in WA Now, remember the Russian hot-air balloonist from Thursday’s episode? Well, I told you I’d give you an update, and I’m pleased to say he made it, and […]

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