I keep an eye out for new discoveries that I can share with my kids around the breakfast table. I’m sorry that the current public school curriculum focuses almost exclusively on the negative aspects of humanity. History and English classes are dominated by subjects like overpopulation, pollution, poverty, and victims of oppression and war. Each day my children get a full helping of depressing and pessimistic education from their teachers.

To fight back, I try to find interesting stories that show the amazing complexity and beauty of our world, and the scientists and adventurers who are still exploring it. Here are three news items that made my kid’s eyes light up. Mine, too!

1.) The Pallas Cat of Nepal.

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The pallas cat is a brand new species, unknown until a year ago. This beautiful feline is slightly bigger than a housecat and lives in the mountains of Nepal in Asia. The discovery was made by the Snow Leopard Conservancy researchers who had placed trail cameras to find leopards and instead found an entirely new species. The secretive little cat is known now, and will be protected. And no, you can’t have one as a pet. But aren’t they just gorgeous?