Here’s my list of the stories and pop culture that made me happy this week:
1. Moone Boy. Not many shows can pull off being sweet and laugh-out-loud funny, but this one does. It’s about Martin Moone, a 12-year-old growing up in a small Irish town in the early-90s, navigating bullies, puberty and three snarling sisters with the “help” of an imaginary friend played by Chris O’Dowd (The IT Crowd, Family Tree). Catch the entire first season on Hulu.
2. This video of kids reacting to the “controversial” Cheerios commercial featuring a mixed-race family. The future is in good hands.
3. These outfits from Comic-Con. Bilbo Baggins (No. 11) for the win!
4. The Garden and Gun Southern Food Issue. The August/September magazine features stories about late-summer sides, a new take on bourbon and Coke, heritage crops, greens, a global fish fry, George Jones, master pie recipes, hunting, fishing and cast-iron, as well as an interview with Wendell “The Bunk” Pierce and a big profile on Frank Stitt. This one’s a keeper.
5. “Hazel Hammersley, a 2-Year-Old Cancer Patient, Gets the Sweetest Pizza Party of All Time.” People are awesome.
6. Titan Arum Watch 2013. The U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory’s gigantic corpse flower is about to bloom, so they’ve got live streaming video going 24/7. These plants can go for decades between blooms, which is probably OK, since that’s when they’re said to most smell like rotting flesh.
7. This Drummin’ Granny video. I hope I get to sneak into a drum shop and blow all the hipsters’ minds when I’m 80. Go, Granny, go!
8. Skinny Cow’s Salted Caramel Pretzel Ice Cream Bar. So good.
9. Ali Graham’s 99 Problems, starring a cute little cartoon rapper who looks a lot like Jay-Z. I love No. 24 (“Unimaginative Branding”) and No. 33 (“No Time for Adventures”).
10. The new giant chrome T-Rex next to the Seine in Paris. That will take a lot of Windex.
11. This Star Wars wedding photo. Wow.
12. Blinkbox’s Game of Thrones PR stunt. The U.K. streaming service planted a 40-foot dragon skull on a beach in England to promote season three. Genius.