The Optimist: Who’s the unlikely crime-fighter cracking decades-old murders?

The remarkable story of four stranded nuns, a remote island and a heroic submarine rescue; My preschoolers left a note on a fallen tree. When we returned, we couldn’t believe what…
The Washington Post
The Optimist
Stories that inspire
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Meet the Subversive Sirens. These 5 women are bringing joy and inclusivity to synchronized swimming.
They’re taking that message to the Gay Games this August.
By Sheila Regan • Read more »
The remarkable story of four stranded nuns, a remote island and a heroic submarine rescue
For nine months, the nuns played cat-and-mouse with Japanese soldiers bent on capturing them on a South Pacific island.
By Ashley Halsey III • Read more »
163ac38ec3f5171b9ae5e74fe3259bd1-320-0-70-8-RETROPOLIS_022.jpg
My preschoolers left a note on a fallen tree. When we returned, we couldn’t believe what we saw.
We received haikus, drawings and letters written in French. People took the time to tell us what had happened and when. In all, we received 43 letters.
By Daniela Silver • Read more »
9bb4dfbc2f664565593fbbc4c66e8d44-320-0-70-8-Tree7.jpg
Perspective
Serena Williams has her greatest, most hard-won title: Champion of women
Williams is becoming a social messenger and an influencer on the level of a Billie Jean King, an ascent made clear during her run to the Wimbledon final at 36, after a childbirth ordeal that almost killed her.
By Sally Jenkins • Read more »
8025849993fada1f4384524dbe9473bc-320-0-70-8-APTOPIX_Britain_Wimbledon_Tennis_33640dccbd.jpg
Perspective
No one tells you life as a 40-year-old single woman could be this good
Writer Glynnis MacNicol discusses the shame, wonder, exhaustion and adventure that can come from living without a blueprint.
By Lisa Bonos • Read more »
0fcffc7ed3766673bec36d6667a82822-320-0-70-8-NoOneTellsYouThis_MacNicol.jpg
One teacher’s idea to lift poor students: A starter stash of Zcash
Carlos Acevedo is trying to steer graduates into jobs in the crypto and blockchain revolution.
By Heather Long • Read more »
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The unlikely crime-fighter cracking decades-old murders? A genealogist.
The technique used to find the Golden State Killer suspect is gaining traction.
By Justin Jouvenal • Read more »
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How a woman swerved off a 200-foot cliff and survived 7 days trapped on a secluded beach
Angela Hernandez was rescued seven days after she swerved off a cliff and crashed in the Pacific Ocean, police said.
By Lindsey Bever • Read more »
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Perspective
Want to raise empathetic kids? Try spending time in nature.
Experts share advice on how observing ants, robins and chipmunks can help create more compassionate kids.
By Kitson Jazynka • Read more »
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An Alabama man walked almost 20 miles to his new job. When his boss found out, he gave him a car.
Walter Carr struck out finding a ride, but he wasn’t about to miss his first day of work.
By Allison Klein • Read more »
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How a small-town pitmaster turned a dying cuisine into the stuff of celebrity
Whole-hog specialist Rodney Scott leaves his countryside roots for Charleston and forges his own path to national acclaim
By Tim Carman • Read more »
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‘Sister survivors’: Larry Nassar victims show solidarity as they receive award at ESPYs
“To all the survivors out there, don’t let anyone rewrite your story,” Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman said. “Your truth does matter, you matter, and you are not alone.”
By Des Bieler • Read more »
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Her father’s dementia kept him from playing the piano. Reddit users filled in the missing notes.
All Jenna Glanzer had to go on was a short video clip of her father playing on the piano. She turned to Reddit for help.
By Allie Caren • Read more »
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So this comedian walks onto a golf course: The unlikely rise of Michael Collins at ESPN
The voluminous comic turned golf caddie turned golf analyst makes no apologies for the style that makes him one of the network’s more polarizing personalities.
By Rick Maese • Read more »
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Noah Lyles is out front in the race to claim Usain Bolt’s sprinting throne
T.C. Williams product is among a group of young American sprinters already casting eyes toward the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
By Rick Maese • Read more »
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