Posts tagged article.


Damn Nature U Trippy of the Day: Animated map here. Disclaimer: not a recommended resource for adventure, including sailing, small plane flights, or fighting fires.




Kickass Kid of the Day: As 9-year-old Josef Miles and his mother walked around Kansas’ Washburn University campus last weekend, he noticed a group of Westboro Baptist Church members picketing as people headed to graduation ceremonies.

Josef asked mom if he could create his own sign, and promptly staged a one-man protest. His sign, written in pencil on a tiny sketchpad, read simply, “God Hates No One.”


Hey Josef Miles, you’re a rock star.

Finally got my copy in the mail. Really great read. Good for you, Laura Jane Grace! (Taken with instagram)


Heartwarming Tearjerker of the Day: Scott Widak has Down syndrome and is terminally ill with liver disease, and he loves to receive mail. So his nephew Sean O’Connor recently posted his P.O. Box on Reddit, to see whether anyone might be interested in sending his uncle a letter: “One of my uncle’s favorite things to do is open mail, and I thought that if he got a lot of mail it would cheer him up.”

It’s been a month since the post, and Widak, an artist, has received mail from all over the world, including the United States, Sweden, Finland, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Mexico. Redditors have sent heartfelt letters, custom artwork, art supplies, DVDs, and personal keepsakes.

“The mail that’s arrived has all been extremely positive and thoughtful,” O’Connor says. “My family and I are amazed at how so many strangers could come together for a random act of kindness.”

Don’t miss the rest of the pics — they’ll make your Monday.




Single-Serving Site of the Day: Jag Nara — a “part-time daydreamer and part-time designer” — is 104 days into “365 Illustrations,” in which she creates one minimalist portrait per day for a year. Her subjects include musicians, actors, artists, superheroes, and relatively famous figures, though so far they appear to be limited to men.



Breaking News of the Day: Obama Backs Gay Marriage: President Obama publicly announced his support for gay marriage in an interview today with Robin Roberts, ABC News is reporting. The president had come under fire this week for remaining mum on the subject after Joe Biden and Arne Duncan became the second and third members of his Cabinet to declare their support of same-sex marriage.


Another reason to give my vote to Obama/Biden. You da man, Barry!


No Doubt Reunion of the Day: After a 10-year hiatus, Gwen Stefani has reunited with bandmates Tony Kanal, Adrian Young, and Tom Dumont to record No Doubt’s sixth studio album, due September 25. Even better, the band has launched a series of behind-the-scenes webisodes that kick off with the recording of the track “Push & Shove,” a No Doubt collaboration with producers Major Lazer and Jamaican artist Busy Signal.

The as-yet-untitled album will also include a “party-reggae blast track” called “Steady Down,” and a “ska-pop tune” track called “One More Summer.”


Aww yeeeeee


Beagle Liberation of the Day: At least 30 beagle puppies were rescued this weekend by animal rights activists from a notoriously inhumane breeding facility in Italy. Green Hill 2001 farms the animals out to vivisection labs, where the dogs are subjected to live experimental research and then death. Members of the Animal Liberation Front of Italy climbed over barbed wire fences on the grounds of Green Hill, then managed to squirrel the animals out through a breach in the fencing.

According to one ALF protester, “all the animals had a strong smell of urine, and one puppy about 8 months old, has an incision that runs the full length of his abdomen.” (See more photos here; heads up — some are graphic.)

Twelve activists were arrested in the liberation.

[thanks, rachel!]


This Is All Kinds Of Wrong of the Day: Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald, a 23-year-old transgender woman, was walking in Minneapolis after midnight last June with a group of friends, all black and either queer or allied. As they passed the Schooner Tavern, the group was harassed by several older, white bar patrons, who called McDonald and her friends “fa**ots,” “ni**ers,” and “chicks with d*cks.” Allegedly, the group even suggested that McDonald — who is in transition from a man to a woman — was “dressed as women” in order to “rape” Dean Schmitz, one of the harassers.

McDonald defended herself and her friends, saying they didn’t tolerate hate speech. But when one of the bar patrons smashed a glass in McDonald’s face, puncturing her cheek, a fight ensued, and Schmitz, 47, was fatally stabbed. McDonald now faces two charges of second-degree murder in his death; in a videotaped interview with police after the fight, she allegedly admitted that she took out a pair of scissors to scare Schmitz, and that Schmitz ran into them during the fight. McDonald says the stabbing was accidental, and that she acted in self-defense.

Supporters say the case is symptomatic of the bias against transgender people and African-Americans in the criminal justice system. More than 15,000 have signed an online petition asking the Hennepin County Attorney to drop the second-degree murder charges against McDonald.

“Amazingly, in the aftermath of this racist and transphobic attack, the only person facing charges is CeCe McDonald- the victim…We refuse to allow racism and transphobia, on Minneapolis streets or in Minneapolis courts. We support CeCe. We are waiting for County Attorney Michael Freeman to honor his commitment, in his words ‘to serve all of our citizens with understanding, dignity, and respect’ by dropping the charges against CeCe McDonald.”

McDonald’s trial begins Monday.



Ukrainians light candles at the memorial for ‘liquidators’ who died during cleaning up works after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster in 1986 in Slavutich, Ukraine, April 26, 2012. ”The Chernobyl disaster underscored that mankind must be extra careful in using nuclear technologies,” Ukraine’s president Viktor Yanukovych said during a ceremony Thursday inaugurating the initial assembly of a gigantic arch-shaped steel containment building to cover the remnants of the exploded reactor. “Nuclear accidents lead to global consequences. They are not a problem of just one country, they affect the life of entire regions.”

The April 26, 1986, explosion spewed a cloud of radiation over much of the northern hemisphere, forcing hundreds of thousands from their homes in heavily hit areas of Ukraine, Belarus and western Russia. The Soviet government initially tried to hush up the explosion and resisted immediately evacuating nearby residents. It also failed to tell the public what happened or instruct residents and cleanup workers on how to protect themselves against radiation, which significantly increased the health damage from the disaster.

A shelter called the “sarcophagus” was hastily erected over the damaged reactor, but it has been crumbling and leaking radiation in recent years and a new confinement structure is necessary.

Yanukovych said 2 million people have been hurt by the tragedy and it was the state’s obligation to protect and treat them.

But his reassurances fell flat with some Chernobyl cleanup workers and victims. About 2,000 protesters staged an angry rally Thursday outside parliament in Kiev, demanding an increase in compensations and pensions.

[Credit : Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA]


Elderly Animals of the Day: Shortly after Isa Leshko spent a year caring for her mother as she suffered from Alzheimer’s, she encountered a blind elderly horse living on a relative’s property. Leshko spent the afternoon photographing him, and realized that she had found a project that would help her deal with her mother’s illness. She began to visit sanctuaries across the U.S. to photograph animals that were elderly or at the end stages of their lives.

“I am creating these photographs to gain a deeper understanding about what it means to be mortal and to exorcise my fears of aging. … I also want my images to inspire greater empathy toward animals, particularly farm animals. It is rare to see a farm animal that has actually lived its natural life span given that most of these animals experience brutality and death early in their lives. … I want to challenge people’s assumptions about these animals and inspire reforms to the treatment of farm animals.”

The photos can be seen here — and don’t miss the video.


Wow. The video made me tear up… definitely recommended. Really sad but really beautiful.


Follow-Up of the Day: Caine’s Arcade Gets a Real Pinball Machine: The incredible story of Caine’s Arcade just keeps getting better.

After his cardboard arcade became THE hot spot in East L.A., 9-year-old Caine Monroy was invited to visit pinball shop Pins and Needles, where owner Molly introduced him to pro flipper — and world champ — Keith Elwin. Then, she offered him his choice of vintage pinball machines, valued at up to $3,000, to round out his business. (Caine has yet to decide which machine to call his own.)

Meanwhile, donors around the world have pledged more than $100,000 for Caine’s Scholarship Fund, announced just three days ago by filmmaker Nirvan Mullick to help send Caine to college.

Finally, the Caine’s Arcade Facebook page has two intriguing announcements: Official T-shirts are in the works (so don’t be fooled by knockoffs), and the Caine’s Arcade Theme Song is available for download, with 100 percent of profits going toward the Scholarship Fund.



This is the coolest story ever. Makes me warm and fuzzy inside :)


Follow-Up of the Day: George Zimmerman Charged in Death of Trayvon Martin: Special Prosecutor Angela Corey has charged George Zimmerman with second-degree murder in the February 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin. She confirmed in a press conference that Zimmerman was taken into custody earlier today in Florida.

Zimmerman faces life in prison, if convicted. A charge of first-degree murder was ruled out because a grand jury won’t be empaneled, in accordance with Florida law.




On Kony 2012: The Visible Victims Speak: Considering that Kony 2012 — the most viral video in Internet history — exploits the suffering of northern Ugandans to raise money, Victor Ochen, a victim of the Lord’s Resistance Army and a founder of the nonprofit African Youth Initiative Network (AYINET), thought it only right that they should get to see it too.

Ochen traveled to the city of Lira, where he and his NGO set up a makeshift outdoor theater so locals could watch Invisible Children’s much-discussed fundraising campaign, and decide for themselves if it helps or hurts.

According to a statement released by AYINET, over 35,000 people attended the screening, many of whom rode in on bikes from neighboring villages. Additionally, some two million northern Uganda residents tuned in to a live broadcast of the audio aired simultaneously on five FM radio stations.

Al Jazeera reporter Malcolm Webb, who was on hand to gauge people’s reactions, filed the following account:

People I spoke to anticipated seeing a video that showed the world the terrible atrocities that they had suffered during the conflict, and the ongoing struggles they still face trying to rebuild their lives after two lost decades.

The audience was at first puzzled to see the narrative lead by an American man – Jason Russell – and his young son.

Towards the end of the film, the mood turned more to anger at what many people saw as a foreign, inaccurate account that belittled and commercialised their suffering, as the film promotes Kony bracelets and other fundraising merchandise, with the aim of making Kony infamous.

A woman Webb spoke with afterwards compared IC’s approach of selling products with Kony’s image to “selling Osama Bin Laden paraphernalia post 9/11,” which she felt would be offensive to many Americans, irrespective of how “well-intentioned” the fundraising campaign was.

Last night’s screening was AYINET’s first and last. It announced this morning that it had suspended further screenings of Kony 2012 in light of the outrage it caused.   Wrote Ochen: “It was very hurtful for victims and their families to see posters, bracelets and t-shirts, all looking like a slick marketing campaign, promoting the person most responsible for their shattered lives.”

“Why give such criminals celebrity status?” asked people in attendance, according to AYINET. “Why not make the plight of the victims and the war-ravaged communities, people whose sufferings are real and visible, the focus of a campaign to help?”

[aljazeera / ayinet.]



Words Of Wisdom of the Day: Washington state Rep. Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla) chokes back tears as she speaks candidly in support of the state’s bill to legalize same-sex marriages.

The legislation passed yesterday by a vote of 55 to 43 and now heads to Gov. Chris Gregoire, who has already promised to sign it into law.

Money: “My daughter came out of the closet a couple of years ago and you know what I thought I was going to agonize about that. Nothing’s different. She’s still a fabulous human being and she met someone she loves very much. And some day, by God, I want to throw a wedding for that kid. And someday I hope that’s what I can do.”


BLESS. THIS. WOMAN. She seriously said it all, and she put it so simply. Everyone needs to watch this video and listen to what she has to say. It’s about EQUALITY. Members of same-sex marriage couples, just like members of different-sex couples, are humans. I’m sorry, but does the US constitution not guarantee equal rights to ALL human beings? Same-sex marriage needs. to. be. legal. in. all. states.