The week's good news: February 1, 2018
It wasn't all bad!
New Jersey teen becomes youngest person to row solo across the Atlantic
When he arrived on the Caribbean island of Antigua on Sunday, Oliver Crane celebrated two things: seeing his family and friends for the first time in 44 days, and becoming the youngest person to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean. The 19-year-old New Jersey resident broke the previous record set in 2010 by Katie Spotz, who was 22 at the time. He left the Canary Islands on Dec. 14, and told ABC News the hardest part was when he took the first stroke off the coast of Africa "knowing I had close to a million more strokes to go and 3,000 miles left. But I got through it, and I'm glad to have." Crane said he set out on this journey to raise money for ocean conservation and homelessness, and will now attend Princeton University to study political science.
Lost cat reunited with family 10 years after disappearing
For a decade, Laura Kleban thought her cat, Oliver, had been hit by a car after he ran away from home. But he's been alive this whole time, calling the streets of Chicago's River North neighborhood home. A group of volunteers who trap cats so they can get spayed or neutered spotted Oliver this weekend, and with the help of a security guard who said she'd been feeding him for the past six years, he was captured and brought to an animal shelter. There, Oliver was scanned for a microchip, and they discovered he had a family in Lake Zurich, 37 miles away. Kleban and Oliver were reunited on Monday, and Kleban said Oliver was "just as big as I remember."
16-year-old South Pole explorer perfectly trolls her sexist trolls
When internet trolls told Jade Hameister to "make me a sandwich," she did just that. Bullies bombarded the 16-year-old Australian explorer with the sexist suggestion in 2016 after she gave a TEDx talk about how she had skied to the North Pole. Revenge is a dish best served cold, so Hameister celebrated the end of her recent expedition to the South Pole — when she became the youngest person to ski to both poles — by posing for a photo with her lunch: ham and cheese between two slices of bread. "I made you a sandwich," Hameister captioned the picture. "Now ski 37 days and 600 km to the South Pole and you can eat it."
2018 Puppy Bowl to feature adoptable dogs from areas hit by natural disasters
The Puppy Bowl is back this Super Bowl Sunday, and this year, there's a special twist: Animal Planet teamed up with dozens of animal shelters across the country to recruit puppies from areas that were devastated by 2017 natural disasters — places like Houston and Puerto Rico. As with every year, all the dogs on the field will be up for adoption. "We've got special needs dogs, we've got dogs from areas that have been affected by natural disasters, so a really incredible roster this year," Puppy Bowl "referee" Dan Schachner told PEOPLE.
Childhood friends who stuck together during World War II meet again after 70 years
When Mary Frances Peters' parents told her to stop being friends with Reiko Nagumo, it didn't make sense to the second-grader. The directive came after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, and the U.S. declared war in response. "Why should we stop being friends if we hadn't done anything wrong?" Peters told The Sacramento Bee. Nagumo and her family were sent to an internment camp for Japanese-Americans in Wyoming. When they returned to Los Angeles in August 1945, Peters was waiting for her. She moved away not long after, and Nagumo said she was afraid "I would die before ever getting the chance to thank her for being such a good friend." Through the new series We'll Meet Again, they were finally reunited, 73 years after they last spoke. "Over the years we were separated, I often thought of Reiko," Peters said.