Tag: multi-item

This camp lets kids show off their imagination and battle skills. Cardboard required.

This camp lets kids show off their imagination and battle skills. Cardboard required.

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There's a camp in Minnesota that's taking kids on quite an adventure. GIF via Julian McFaul/YouTube. An adventure in cardboard, that is. For the past few years, the Minneapolis-based camp Adventures in Cardboard has been opening up the hearts and minds of area youth through outdoor arts and play and lots of it. All images come from Amy Wurdock, used with permission. Created by artist and teacher Julian McFaul, the camp is based around workshops that encourage kids to use nature and their imaginations to create their own fun spaces, both mentally and physically. And they've got plenty of space to do it. With six locations scattered around the Twin Cities, you can find campers on fantastic wooded trails, high open country fields, and miles of lake or river shor...
Watch Leonardo DiCaprio’s impassioned, political thank you speech at the Golden Globes.

Watch Leonardo DiCaprio’s impassioned, political thank you speech at the Golden Globes.

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Leonardo DiCaprio made a lot of people happy last night. First and foremost: the Internet, which has long been clamoring for him to win an Oscar and finally end his long list of snubs. And while the Oscar party is still over a month away, Leo fans, or Dicapri-bros as I've just decided to call them, have more reason than ever to believe this could be the year. The real prize is that bow tie. Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images. DiCaprio won a Golden Globe for his performance in "The Revenant," a film by critical darling Alejandro Gonzlez Irritu. The film, which also won the award for Best Motion Picture Drama, is a brutal survival-and-revenge tale based on the true story of Hugh Glass, a frontiersman who explored the upper Missouri River in the 19th century. In the film, Glas...
The world’s biggest social network just found a brilliant way to be more accessible to blind users.

The world’s biggest social network just found a brilliant way to be more accessible to blind users.

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Someone in my Facebook feed recently uploaded a ... surprising picture with the caption, "I drove past this on the way home." In the comments, a friend wrote, "Woah!" Another person, "lol." Want to know what it was a picture of? If you're like most of Facebook's 1.5 billion users, I could just send you the link so you could see for yourself. But if you're blind or visually impaired, like 285 million people worldwide, well, tough luck. People who can't see are often stuck reading contextual clues, asking for clarification, or just flat missing out altogether on these shared Facebook experiences. But there's some good news. Facebook's accessibility team is working on new artificial intelligence that would scan, analyze, and describe photos to users who need it. The Int...
A Boston bus driver surprised passengers with an unscheduled stop — for lemonade.

A Boston bus driver surprised passengers with an unscheduled stop — for lemonade.

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Depending on the day, "driving in Boston" sounds like either a joke or a horror film. GIF from factually recorded U.S. history and definitely not this commercial for Dodge Challenger. But one MBTA bus driver found a way to make the summer heat a little more bearable for his passengers. GIF from "Anchorman." During an afternoon lull on his daily bus route, driver John Lohan made an unscheduled stop at a local lemonade stand. Lohan noticed a lemonade stand in the neighborhood of West Roxbury during his daily rounds along the 35 bus route. After a few trips back and forth, Lohan decided to make his move. He waited for things to quiet down in the afternoon, when there were only six passengers on the bus, and he made sure that they ...
Starbucks could teach KFC a lesson when it comes to how it treats veteran employees.

Starbucks could teach KFC a lesson when it comes to how it treats veteran employees.

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Everybody who works for a living deserves to make a living wage. Everybody. But the words of Derrell Odom, a Marine and veteran of two tours in Iraq, bring it home even more when he talks about life at minimum wage. "I don't want my son to look at me like I'm something less because I have to work for $7.25 and I bust my butt every day and I take pride in what I do we have a voice and we want it to be heard." Don't we owe it to people like Derrell that good jobs with benefits and a decent paycheck are part of the deal when they come back home? I'll say it again: Good jobs with benefits and a decent paycheck should be part of the deal of living here. On Veterans Day, rather than only posting well wishes to vets on Facebook, how about getting the word out that there are people like ...
The president of this island nation just gave an unusual thank you for a sobering reason.

The president of this island nation just gave an unusual thank you for a sobering reason.

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The only country with parts in all four hemispheres, Kiribati, sits in the middle of the Pacific, straddling the Earth's equator. It seems nice the beaches are white-sand-and-palm-trees scenes right out of a travel guide. Just over 100,000 people live on its 33 atolls and islands. South Tarawa, Kiribati's capital and most populous area. Image from Government of Kiribati/Wikimedia Commons. But its president just thanked Fiji for helping them be able to leave this paradise. It's so heartening to hear that Fiji has undertaken to accommodate our people of Kiribati in the event that climate change renders our homes uninhabitable," said Kiribati President Anote Tong during a speech at the COP21 climate talks in Paris, as reported by Adam Vaughn from The Guardian. Fij...
What happens when a supermodel has cancer? 1 woman bravely shows the world.

What happens when a supermodel has cancer? 1 woman bravely shows the world.

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Mieko Rye has been a model for 20 years. And a successful one, at that. Gracing magazine covers andads for major brands, Rye has had what many modelsstrive for:a consistent, accomplished career in the business. Like all models,Rye has made a career that is partially dependent onmainstream approval of her appearance. She has spent the past 20 years acutely aware of what others think of her body, her skin, her hair all of it. Now Rye is battling stage 3 breast cancer. Living with canceris hard and, as we all know, takesa heavy emotional and psychological toll. But the impacts of the disease on one's appearance can also be devastating for any woman, let alone a woman who has maintained financial security and independence based on her beauty. But Rye isn't feeling sorry for herself. ...
35 baby seals were rescued, and their amazing names are getting a ton of attention.

35 baby seals were rescued, and their amazing names are getting a ton of attention.

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Cute baby seals have been sent off course recently due to high winds and stormy seas. Like ice cubes in a martini (shaken not stirred), these grey seal pups have been getting tossed around the sea, washing up on various beaches in South Wales sick, injured, and separated from their moms. "Sadly it is this time of year when seal pups can be effected by bad weather because they are so vulnerable," Ellie West, animal collection officer at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), said in a press statement. Staring right into your soul. Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images. The newly orphaned seal pups are vulnerable, but thanks to the RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Centre in Taunton, England, many of them are getting a new shot at life. The center has taken in...
These 6 photos show what life is like in a Philippine refugee camp.

These 6 photos show what life is like in a Philippine refugee camp.

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They call it bulawan, the gold beneath their lands. It's one of the many catalysts of a war that has displaced many people in the Philippines. Gold is one of the biggest reasons behind shadowy paramilitary killings, behind the millions who've left their homes, and behind the bullets that rain over the country's ancestral lands every day. In 2011, Philippine President Noynoy Aquino started an operation he called Oplan Bayanihan. It was a counterinsurgency plan to provide peace, hopefully by fighting against the New People's Army, an armed revolutionary group. The president also hoped to offer an easier route for local and international companies that wished to log and mine in the country's ancestral lands, the same lands where the New People's Army was said to be camping. These were also...
Armed with a Sharpie and rocks, this guy is lifting people’s spirits every day.

Armed with a Sharpie and rocks, this guy is lifting people’s spirits every day.

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The best parts of the world are those that are full of random acts of kindness. In the wake of Ferguson and Black Lives Matter, the St. Louis area has a reputation for being a segregated hot bed of neighbor-against-neighbor rage. That's what we've seen on the news. But what if you were there? You'd get to see how people actually live every day. You'd see neighbors of all kinds talking together, playing together, and helping each other out. That's exactly what artist Bryan Payne is doing and he's showing us we're all connected. He's a local artist who's hiding treasures. What? Yes. Image by Jarred Gastreich. Bryan is the guy behind a unique treasure-hunting project: Doodlestones. Round 3 of doodlestones starts today! A photo posted...
The truly disappointing reason why Shell claims it stopped Arctic drilling

The truly disappointing reason why Shell claims it stopped Arctic drilling

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Do you hear that? Those loud cheers ricocheting throughout the country? That's climate activists screaming in euphoria. And how can you blame them? On Sept. 28, 2015, Royal Dutch Shell announced it's halting efforts to drill oil in Arctic waters off the north coast of Alaska. Just a few months after the U.S. government cleared the way for the company to search for oil in the Chukchi Sea, Shell announced it'd be ending attempts to do so "for the foreseeable future." "They had a budget of billions, we had a movement of millions," said John Sauven, executive director at Greenpeace UK. "For three years we faced them down, and the people won." Why are they backing out, you ask? Well, according to Shell, it's actually still about putting pr...
Their languages are nearly extinct. They’re trying to change that.

Their languages are nearly extinct. They’re trying to change that.

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"I love you." Those three words were the premise of a video project a University of Montana student group put together. To have people simply say "I love you" in different languages. Swahili. Spanish. French. But the student group known as The Sacred Roots Society had an extra-special focus on languages you also might not have heard before. (Note: The following words are spelled phonetically.) Blackfeet. Dakota. Salish. They are indigenous languages and The Sacred Roots Society's mission is to preserve them: "It is the belief of this society that without language, we will lose our culture. This group was formed to bring language awareness to our community, our campus and the nation." There are more than 300 languages spoken in the ...
The government says lions are endangered. Here’s why that’s a good thing.

The government says lions are endangered. Here’s why that’s a good thing.

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Two subspecies of lions were just added to the government's list of endangered species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on Dec. 21 that two subspecies of lion will be granted new federal protections as endangered species. One, found in central-to-western Africa and India, will be listed as endangered. The other, found in eastern-to-southern Africa, will be listed as threatened. But it's actually good news. Image via BBC. This is a way for the U.S. government to put new restrictions around trophy hunting. The government can't regulate what other countries do with their animals. So if countries like Zimbabwe want to let hunts continue, the U.S. can't stop them. But the government can make it less appealing for Americans to participate in the kind of trophy hunts,...
There was a ‘panda kindergarten’ event in China. It didn’t disappoint.

There was a ‘panda kindergarten’ event in China. It didn’t disappoint.

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It was back-to-school for the fuzziest, cuddliest, most adorable creatures on earth this past weekend. On Oct. 24, 2015, baby giant pandas were presented to the public as part of Chengdu Research Base's opening ceremonies for "panda kindergarten" this year in China. And yes, it was as cute as it sounds. ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images. Unfortunately, there weren't any scrapbook-worthy pics of the cubs putting on backpacks and hopping on school buses (can you imagine, though?). That's because the research base uses the term "kindergarten" a little loosely it's not so much a school as it is the area where the smallest fur-balls are cared for, play with their peers, and just generally act too-cute to handle. This year's ceremony was particularly awesome be...

How Facebook is helping your friends with visual impairments ‘see’ photos.

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Last October, Facebook announced it had found a way to make its platform more accessible for users with visual impairments. Today, the company has done just that. It's all thanks to the fine folks on Facebook's Accessibility Team. Image description: Matt King is on the left, Jeff Wieland is in the middle, and Shaomei Wu is on the right. Together, they make up Facebook's Accessibility Team. Photo courtesy of Facebook, used with permission. The team, which took shape about five years ago with a goal of making the social media giant useable for everyone, celebrated the launch of automatic alternative text on April 5, 2016. The feature looks like it'll be a game-changer for the more than 39 million Facebook users who are blind and the 246 million users who have severe vis...
This American town is being swallowed by the sea, and there’s no one stepping up to save the people.

This American town is being swallowed by the sea, and there’s no one stepping up to save the people.

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It was 2002 when the residents of Shishmaref, Alaska, voted to move their entire town. The writing was on the wall or, perhaps more accurately, the water was splashing up between their toes. The shores of their small island home off the western coast of Alaska had been eroding for decades, with anywhere between three and nine feet of shoreline being swallowed up by the Chukchi Sea on a good year. In a bad year, it was closer to 23 feet. Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images While their island status posed its own unique issues, Shishmaref was just one of the 31 Alaskan towns facing this exact same problem. They put together an action plan for relocation and submitted it to the federal government. It would be another two years until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers c...
Polar bears are stealing booze and candy from humans, and it’s really not as funny as it sounds.

Polar bears are stealing booze and candy from humans, and it’s really not as funny as it sounds.

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Polar bears are largely known as the poster-pets of environmentalism, and it's easy to see why. They're like giant, adorable, white-but-not-actually-white teddy bears who could just as easily cuddle you as kill you. Also they've spent the last half-century dwindling near extinction and are still considered threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The new rap music video from Polar B. GIF via John Downer Productions/YouTube. And that's exactly why we should be using mass surveillance to keep them safe. After all, it works with people, right? "Oh hello there Mr. Spy-Drone-Video-Camera-Thing Disguised as a Giant Snowball, how are you today?" this polar bear, probably. GIF via John Downer Productions/YouTube. See? Polar bears love being spied on just like us! ...O...
Chinese citizens are responding to the smog problem in a pretty funny way.

Chinese citizens are responding to the smog problem in a pretty funny way.

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Remember when you were a kid, and you would wake up early on a school day, scamper over to the window, and see it snowing outside? Remember the excitement you felt as you realized that school inevitably would be cancelled and you could spend the whole day sledding, having snowball fights, and making snowmen? Well, imagine youre a kid in China and school has been cancelled not because of powdery white snow but because of air pollution so bad that you cant go outside without a major health risk. The Beijing skyline is disappearing into the smog. Image by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images. Thats what citizens of Beijing experienced Dec. 8, 2015, when much of the city was closed due to overwhelming smog. . The red alert in China is the first since the country started using the color-cod...
These beautiful shark facts and pictures will give you 10 reasons to love them.

These beautiful shark facts and pictures will give you 10 reasons to love them.

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There's a reason why we're told to live every week like it's Shark Week. GIF via Step Brothers." Sharks are simultaneously some of the most exhilarating and terrifying forces of nature on the planet. They are glorious, majestic apex predators that affect entire ecosystems with their toothy, subaqueous badassery and demand our constant admiration and respect. Hear me roar. All shark photos via iStock. But they're also probably one of the most misunderstood species on the planet. Thankfully, they're just one of many featured in "Racing Extinction" a terrifyingly beautiful film that soon premieres on Discovery Channel. But before we get to that, let's explain why you should care about one of the many species showcased in that film sharks! Here are 10 facts tha...
It’s outrageous what these women are offering to do so that we can have paid family leave.

It’s outrageous what these women are offering to do so that we can have paid family leave.

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Not being able to take paid family leave places families in tough corners. Many years ago, after a difficult night of trying to calm my asthmatic 2-year-old's respiratory cold, she took a turn for the worse. She began to have "chest retractions," which is what happens when the lungs aren't doing the work of bringing in and expelling air efficiently, so the torso muscles start actually pumping the lungs for survival. This is what those look like. It's terrifying, and when this happens, oxygen levels in the blood can get dangerously low. GIF from Liege Davis/YouTube. Lack of paid family leave forces people to make terrible decisions. I got her admitted to the hospital at about 5:00 a.m. and needed to report to my job at 9:00 a.m. I wanted nothing more than to stay by h...
A trip to Mars will require people to use these 8 bizarre inventions.

A trip to Mars will require people to use these 8 bizarre inventions.

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Sure, visiting other countries is great. Trying new cuisines, seeing the sites, good times all around. But what about traveling to a place far beyond our own lonely planet? You know what I'm talking about: Mars. But surely we are still hundreds, if not thousands of years away from actually being able to live on the Red Planet? Before you jump to any conclusions, check out these eight groundbreaking astronomic advances that could mean life on Mars might not be too far away. 1. First of all, you need a way to get there. Let me show you an ion thruster that goes 90,000 mph. GIF from "Spaceballs." NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) is a powerful new ion thruster, which is the fastest, most fuel-efficient propulsion engine ever built. ...
Glass cars, sentient spoons, and an inventor who’s challenging our idea of normal.

Glass cars, sentient spoons, and an inventor who’s challenging our idea of normal.

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What is normal? Many designers create products that are normal but better or "super normal," as a Japanese design philosophy calls it. Dominic Wilcox, a designer and inventor from northeast England, has turned this philosophy on its head by using normal items and twisting them into something whimsical. By using everyday items, he takes things we understand and twists them into something "surprising and inventive." The results are often playful and humorous, like a tummy-rumbling amplification device: GIF via Dominic Wilcox/YouTube. Wilcox explained why playfulness opens up the creative process in an interview for design publication Cool Hunting: "Sometimes theres a temptation to think, 'What does it do? How do we sell that?' That closes the idea down. I try to ke...
Ever heard of ‘forest kindergarten’? It’s a fresh approach to early education.

Ever heard of ‘forest kindergarten’? It’s a fresh approach to early education.

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Ah, recess. It really was the best, wasn't it? A chance to get some fresh air, burn off extra energy, and fine-tune your kickball or hopscotch skills. But thanks to the Common Core and No Child Left Behind, recess time isn't what it used to be. Schools are focusing more on early reading and math skills, even if it means sacrificing playtime or the arts. But what if we're doing it all wrong? You can take our recess, but you can't take our freedom. Photo by Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images Research suggests that learning to read by the end of kindergarten doesn't have long-term benefits and that play-based, child-centered preschool programs result in greater academic achievement by the sixth year of school. Studies have also shown that kids who are active perform better in sch...
Why you should let this comic book writer inspire you to be more productive, using text messages.

Why you should let this comic book writer inspire you to be more productive, using text messages.

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People are always looking for that "one weird trick" that will rocket them to success. Life hacks are up there with cats and reaction GIFs on the list of Things the Internet Loves. Everybody's eager to find that perfect shortcut for living a full, productive life without actually doing anything. There are probably more Super Clever How-To Guides for Being Awesome online than there are people in the world. Which kinda makes sense when you think about it: We still haven't found the One True Way to Do Things Better/Stronger/Faster, so we have to keep hunting for the next best option. (Unless someone has figured it out, and they're just not telling us. In which case, not cool.) But if there's anyone who knows how to get sh*t done, it's comic book writer (and certified BA...
Does some anxiety stem from greater intelligence?

Does some anxiety stem from greater intelligence?

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Some people get anxiety and obsess over details. Almost as hard as getting an Oscar. GIF from "Wolf of Wall Street." And we often see it as a sign that there's something broken in our psyches or that we're not dealing with things correctly. And since it's not fun to feel anxious, sometimes we rush to try to find ways to make it go away. Managing anxiety in whatever way you and/or your doctor decide is right for you is important, but if it's not debilitating, consider that some anxiety is normal and healthy. And it can even be a sign of higher intelligence. Yahurdme, Audrey. Higher IQ. GIF from "Breakfast at Tiffany's." In 2014, scientists found correlations between verbal intelligence and stress levels. Why? One of the theories, noted by New York Magazi...

Whether You're Worried About Your Body Or The Economy, You'll Appreciate These 2 Graphics

Economy, Health
Despite being the second-most popular outdoor activity in the U.S., bicycling isn't seen as a legit mode of transportation in a lot of parts of the country. That's probably because a lot of places aren't yet built for it. But that's starting to change, and it's turning out to be a pretty great investment — and not just in our health. There's no arguing that having a bike-friendly community is a great idea no matter where you live. If this is a conversation you'd like to start with your mayor and city council, check out The League of American Bicyclists' toolkit. FACT CHECK TIME! The statistic about the number of cars sold is faulty. For 2013, CNN Money reports more than 15 million cars were sold (see also International Business Times), up only 7.6% for the y...

‘Anti-homeless’ laws have risen rapidly in U.S. cities. Finally, Washington responded.

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Can you imagine living in fear of falling asleep? For thousands of homeless people across the country living in areas with "anti-homeless" laws, getting shut-eye could also mean getting handcuffed. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images. But fortunately, the federal government just sent a strong, game-changing message to American cities on how they should be treating homeless folks when it comes to getting a night's rest. And, according to one expert on the matter, the message is to homeless advocates what the Supreme Court's decision on marriage equality was to those fighting for gay rights. Last week, the Department of Justice basically said being homeless should not be treated as a crime. You might think that'd be a no-brainer, but there's actually been ...
5 foods and drinks that may not be around for the next generation thanks to climate change.

5 foods and drinks that may not be around for the next generation thanks to climate change.

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Think long and hard about your favorite thing to eat. Take in all the delicious smells. The sheer joy from every last bite, sip, chomp, or slurp. GIF via "Key & Peele." Now, think long and hard about having to say goodbye to your favorite food forever. GIF via "Adventure Time." Because some of America's favorite foods and drinks won't make it much longer. Yes, these sweet and savory delights are all at risk of experiencing a significant shortage, some as early as 2030. These are five of the treats at stake and what you can do to stop them from disappearing: 1. Peanut butter. A moment of silence for all that naked toast, y'all. You eat it by the spoonful when you're alone in your apartment, drop it in smoothies, and turn an or...
Lady Gaga’s powerful new video shows the reality of campus sexual assault.

Lady Gaga’s powerful new video shows the reality of campus sexual assault.

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Lady Gaga's career has been defined by memorable music videos. Her latest one is no exception. But Gaga's new video isn't the flashy, avant-garde performance art she's usually known for. The video for her latest single, "Till It Happens to You" is the theme song for the documentary "The Hunting Ground," which focuses on the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses and the school administrators who fail to help survivors and/or try to cover it up. (Full disclosure: I was interviewed for the documentary and make a few brief appearances in it.) One voice can be a catalyst for change on college campuses: http://t.co/XHj9wWQQqe #HuntingGround pic.twitter.com/lzttMW1UWh The Hunting Ground (@thehuntinground) April 16, 2015 1 in 5 women and 5% of ...
Bill Gates thinks the 1% should foot the bill for renewable energy, and he’s offering the first $2B.

Bill Gates thinks the 1% should foot the bill for renewable energy, and he’s offering the first $2B.

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Whatever you might think of him, Bill Gates is a man who knows a thing or two about a thing or two. After all, he is the richest man in the world. And while money isn't necessarily an indication of intelligence, he's clearly doing something right. (I don't say this lightly either; I've been a loyal Apple user for 22 years, and even I can admit the guy's had a few good ideas here and there.) But when Gates says something like "We need an energy miracle," he's got my attention. Gates recently sat down for a lengthy interview with The Atlantic about energy, the economy, and innovation. Specifically, he talks about the relationships between research and development (R&D) and public versus private funding and how a historical look at the radical advancements in cancer treatment, the In...

The oldest whales on the planet are more ancient than ‘Moby Dick’ and have the harpoons to prove it.

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You're probably familiar with the literary classic "Moby Dick." But in case you're not, here's the gist: Moby Dick is the name of a huge albino sperm whale. (Get your mind outta the gutter.) There's this dude named Captain Ahab who really really hates the whale, and he goes absolutely bonkers in his quest to hunt and kill it, and then everything is awful and we all die unsatisfied with our shared sad existence and oops, spoilers! OK, technically, the narrator Ishmael survives. So it's actually a happy ending (kind of)! Whale's tail pale ale GIF via GoPro/YouTube And yet by some miracle, there are whales who were born before "Moby Dick" was published that are still alive today. What are the odds of that? Honestly it's hard to calculate since we can't exactly swim up to a bowhead and...
Only 4% of the world’s oceans are protected — and a lot of that’s in a country you haven’t heard of.

Only 4% of the world’s oceans are protected — and a lot of that’s in a country you haven’t heard of.

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For something that makes up 71% of the surface of the planet, it's kind of crazy to think that we only protect 4% of our ocean water. It goes without saying that water is important. It comprises 55% to 78% percent of our bodies and about 19% of the electricity in the world. tl;dr it's pretty crucial to our survival. But while water can do some amazing things, it can't stand up and protect itself from things like massive oil spills or other man-made damages to its regulatory systems. Mostly it just lays there, passively sloshing back and forth, and oh yeah, cultivating an incredible ecosystem for millions of amazing creatures. And yet, for all the time that we've spent fighting over land, there's still 140 million square miles of the Earth's surface that no one's looking out for....
A 9-year-old boy learns to be a superhero with the help of a friendly waiter.

A 9-year-old boy learns to be a superhero with the help of a friendly waiter.

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Born with a congenital heart defect, Oscar underwent open-heart surgery when he was just six days old. He was born with the condition transposition of the great arteries. "His father and I faced an uncertain future with our newborn son," Oscar's mom, Jeni, told me via email. "Our world wasn't just turned upside down it was inside out and shaken around and very confusing." Here's Oscar, the day after his surgery. All photos courtesy of Jen Goodhand-Wyatt. Thanks to help from Heart Link Children's Charity, Jeni and her husband were given accommodations near the hospital to stay near their young son as he worked through the early stages of recovery. The charity also helped by providing some of the equipment Oscar would need for his long-term survival. Now 9 years old, ...
What is modern living like for people in the Arctic Circle? These native artists will show you.

What is modern living like for people in the Arctic Circle? These native artists will show you.

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It didn't take long for Khadry Okotetto to realize he wasn't cut out for a life in finance. Born in the remote Siberian tundra, far beyond villages and roads, Khadry didn't learn Russian until he was sent off to boarding school at age 7. His native tongue is that of the Nenets, one of the many indigenous peoples of the Arctic Circle and barring a brief moment (which now makes him laugh) when he studied banking in college, Khadry has dedicated his life to the traditional music and folklore of his people. Photo by Asya Malysheva/Circum-Arctic Art Show. Used with permission. In the Nenet language, Khadry's name means "eternal blizzard." He finds that oddly fitting. "I end up all over, in unexpected places," he told the Circum-Arctic Gallery in Reykjavk. "I love freedom. I l...
Patrick Stewart and other celebs point out 2 words people keep confusing about the refugee crisis.

Patrick Stewart and other celebs point out 2 words people keep confusing about the refugee crisis.

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The rush of people streaming out of the Middle East and into Europe is often referred to as a "migrant crisis"... Syrian refugees near the Croatian boarder. Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images. ...which can be very misleading as many of the so-called "migrants" are actually "refugees." An asylum-seeker on a train in Macedonia. Photo by Armend Nimani/Getty Images. Both migrants and refugees are coming to Europe, but there's actually a pretty big difference between the two. Craig Ferguson. All GIFs via United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees/YouTube. Perhaps most importantly, migrants can return home if they want to. A refugee on the other hand? It's critical to recognize that the millions of refugees crossing Europe's borders are fleeing for their ver...
What would you write in a love letter to the planet? Here are 19 beautiful examples.

What would you write in a love letter to the planet? Here are 19 beautiful examples.

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Everyone knows that Paris is the city of love. But the Earth itself rarely gets the romance it deserves. When you think about it, that's kinda messed up. Our home planet does so many amazing and selfless things for us. And what do we do in return? At best, we call it beautiful; at worst, we neglect and abuse it. That ain't cool. All photos by Thom Dunn/Upworthy. But an art installation at Paris's Petit Palais aims to shower our planet with the love that it deserves. The installation was created as part of the two-day Earth to Paris summit and coincided with the COP21 Climate Conference also going on in Paris. Activists and artists from all across the world were invited to share their messages of hope, love, and adoration for our dear Mother Earth. (and, by extension, the global...
31 photos of sculptures that will make you think so many deep thoughts.

31 photos of sculptures that will make you think so many deep thoughts.

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Right now in Sydney, Australia, you can walk down a beautiful beach and see dozens of jaw-dropping, mind-bending sculptures. Billed as the "world's largest annual free-to-the-public outdoor sculpture exhibition," "Sculpture by the Sea" was started 18 years ago on a budget of just $11,000 and now draws over 500,000 visitors a year. These amazing photos were taken by Lisa Maree Williams. Despite the idyllic setting, the sculptures are like most art intended to make you think deep thoughts. While it's impossible to know which deep thoughts the artists were going for (and it's rude to ask), these are my best guesses. Your deep thoughts may vary. Unlimited deep thoughts per customer. 1. "The Bottles" by RCM Collective Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/31-photos-of-sculptures-that-will-...
April 18 is creeping ever closer, but you’re not alone! Take these helpful tips.

April 18 is creeping ever closer, but you’re not alone! Take these helpful tips.

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Just like that weird smell coming from the back of the fridge, if you ignore your taxes, they won't go away. I totally get it. Taxes can seem really stressful and intimidating. So much so that sometimes it's easier to just forget about them altogether. GIF via "Empire." But with a little prep and some research, the experience can be totally painless and, yes, even enjoyable. If you're a recent grad or just young enough to remember the "Fresh Prince" theme song, there may be a lot of free money and deductions on the table. So put on your best grown-up face and get ready to do this. Because you totally can! Now, whether you've already submitted your taxes for 2015 or you're thinking ahead to next year, keep these six tips in mind. 1. Get your act togeth...
One sexual assault can affect a whole family for years. Just ask Lady Gaga.

One sexual assault can affect a whole family for years. Just ask Lady Gaga.

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Lady Gaga took the stage at the Producers Guild Awards on Jan. 23, 2016, to perform a song close to her heart. The singer performed "Til It Happens to You" a powerful ballad that describes the ensuing heartache that haunts a survivor of campus sexual assault. It's an especially personal tune for Gaga as she's a survivor herself. "Til It Happens to You" isn't just a powerful song. It's raising awareness and increasing visibility on the issue of sexual assault on campuses. The song, which aims to help give survivors a voice, was featured in the critically acclaimed documentary "The Hunting Ground," which explores the overlooked crisis of sexual assault on college campuses. #ItsOnUs to stop campus sexual assault. Join the movement growing on campuses nationwide: ht...

Polar bears aren’t actually white and more amazing facts about Arctic animals who need your help

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It's hard out there for an Arctic animal. The Arctic Circle is one of the last intact ecosystems on the planet to be mostly unaffected by industrialization (so far). But between the wind and the cold and the encroaching industrialization of the Arctic region, things are pretty rough above 66 degrees north latitude. That's exactly what makes these animals so remarkable. Adorableness aside (so much adorableness), these majestic critters are survival experts, built to tough out the most extreme conditions. But the looming threat of Royal Dutch Shell's Arctic oil drilling might be the one challenge they can't overcome. So while we celebrate their utter cuteness which is of course important let's not forget that they're also Mother Nature's Arctic BAMFs, but it's up to us to keep 'em ar...
19 powerful photos of queer people refusing to stay knocked down.

19 powerful photos of queer people refusing to stay knocked down.

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Warning: This article contains graphic descriptions of anti-LGBT violence. The five young men couldn't risk being seen speaking to a foreigner about what they'd done, so they met secretly with Robin Hammond in his hotel room. The men explained they had been found guilty of practicing homosexuality a crime punishable by death in Northern Nigeria. Fortunately, their convictions fell short of the most severe sentence, but they still suffered 20-25 lashes each, were ostracized by their families, and effectively became homeless. 1. Ibrahim, Nigeria: "I am gay and proud to be that." Read their story here. Their stories changed the course of Hammond's career in a big way. Hammond, a contributing photographer for National Geographic, has been visiting Africa for years capt...
13 bizarre creatures prove there’s plenty we don’t know about Earth.

13 bizarre creatures prove there’s plenty we don’t know about Earth.

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Did you know that more than 95% of Earth's oceans remain unexplored? It's a pretty startling figure, but it's absolutely true. Oceans cover more than 70% of the planet's surface, and yet the overwhelming majority of them remain untouched and unseen by human eyes. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images. There are two fairly massive challenges to exploring the depths of the ocean: pressure and light (or rather, the lack of light). At its deepest, the ocean goes 36,200 feet (6.85 miles) below the surface. Thanks to ever-evolving technology, we're increasingly able to learn more about what kind of life is capable of existing so far away from the surface of the sea. Mostly we've learned two things: There are some pretty weird creatures living in our oceans, and we aren't even c...
15 times politicians did the right thing in 2015.

15 times politicians did the right thing in 2015.

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2015 has been a big year in a lot of ways. The Supreme Court ruled on marriage equality and upheld the Affordable Care Act. The people of Ireland became the first country to grant the right to same-sex marriage by popular vote. There have been lots of good political things happening behind the scenes, but how about a few examples of positive things politicians did throughout the year? 1. World leaders came together and signed on to a historic climate change agreement. Earlier in December, world leaders met in Paris to address an issue vital to the Earth's survival: climate change. And for once, the politicians in attendance got real about the need and urgency to take immediate action. In the end, 195 countries signed on to the Paris Agreement, agreeing to reduce their carbon output as s...
Prince Harry’s devastating photos from South Africa are why poaching needs to go.

Prince Harry’s devastating photos from South Africa are why poaching needs to go.

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Prince Harry's tour of Kruger National Park in South Africa quickly become emotional for the 31-year-old royal. Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images. (Warning: Potentially upsetting image below). The prince was heartbroken to see the carcasses of endangered animals left behind by poachers. Photo by Paul Edwards/Getty Images. "This belongs to South Africa and it's been stolen by other people. And the body's left here, wasted," the prince said upon viewing the body of a rhinoceros with just its horn cut away, according to a report in The Guardian. Harry has been documenting the trip on Instagram and appealing to his followers to help stop poaching. Among the heartrending photos: this one of the prince hugging an elephant that had been sedated for examination. ...
April 15 is creeping ever closer, but you’re not alone! Take these helpful tips.

April 15 is creeping ever closer, but you’re not alone! Take these helpful tips.

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Just like that weird smell coming from the back of the fridge, if you ignore your taxes, they won't go away. I totally get it. Taxes can seem really stressful and intimidating. So much so that sometimes it's easier to just forget about them altogether. GIF via "Empire." But with a little prep and some research, the experience can be totally painless and, yes, even enjoyable. If you're a recent grad or just young enough to remember the "Fresh Prince" theme song, there may be a lot of free money and deductions on the table. So put on your best grown-up face and get ready to do this. Because you totally can! Now, whether you've already submitted your taxes for 2015 or you're thinking ahead to next year, keep these six tips in mind. 1. Get your act togeth...
7 kinds of animals that you can eat with no factory farm involved

7 kinds of animals that you can eat with no factory farm involved

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So you want to eat meat, eh? There's a dilemma. Ever since the release of Michael Pollan's seminal book, "The Omnivore's Dilemma," more people all over the world have been trying to decide if their lives could use more locally harvested food including meat. The existing meat production pipeline is flawed. Pollan and many others like Eric Schlosser (of "Fast Food Nation" fame) and the documentary "Samsara" have showed us just how bad it really is. Some folks go vegan or vegetarian, but others have tried to figure out ways to get locally raised animals. Image of Michael Pollan by Sage Ross/Wikimedia. Were the walls of our meat industry to become transparent, literally or even figuratively, we would not long continue to raise, kill, and eat animals the way we do." Mi...
A mom’s moving story perfectly illustrates why a 20-week abortion ban is a bad idea.

A mom’s moving story perfectly illustrates why a 20-week abortion ban is a bad idea.

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April Salazar has a story to tell, and you really should hear it. It's about her abortion, which took place after she learned there was no chance of survival for the child she so desperately wanted. After years of trying to get pregnant, she and her husband finally succeeded. But later, they got some sobering news. April and her husband would have to wait longer than expected to bring a child home with them. Doctors told them that the baby had what's called lethal skeletal dysplasia. Essentially, this meant that just moments after birth, her newborn son would suffocate and die. April was faced with a painful decision: She could have an abortion, or she could carry the fetus to term, knowing it wouldn't survive for more than a few painful minutes. At 21-weeks pregna...
Artists got fed up with these ‘anti-homeless spikes.’ So they made them a bit more … comfy.

Artists got fed up with these ‘anti-homeless spikes.’ So they made them a bit more … comfy.

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These are called "anti-homeless spikes." They're about as friendly as they sound. Photo courtesy of CC BY-ND, Immo Klink and Marco Godoy. As you may have guessed, they're intended to deter people who are homeless from sitting or sleeping on that concrete step. And yeah, they're pretty awful. The spikes are a prime example of how cities design spaces to keep homeless people away. Not all concrete steps have spikes on them, but outdoor seating in cities like Montreal and Tokyo have been sneakily designed to prevent people from resting too comfortably for too long. This guy sawing through a bench was part of a 2006 protest in Toulouse, France, where public seating intentionally included armrests to prevent people from lying down. Photo by Eric Cab...
Sharks. Living inside a volcano. If this was a movie, it’d be ‘Shark-cano.’ But it’s real.

Sharks. Living inside a volcano. If this was a movie, it’d be ‘Shark-cano.’ But it’s real.

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There comes a time in all of our lives when we must admit the tragic truth: Sharknados are not real. Sharks rain from the sky like teardrops from my eyes. GIF from "Sharknado 2." Neither are Sharktopuses or Mega Shark and Mecha Shark or any other such fantastical creatures of SyFy Original Movie fame except for two-headed sharks (which could arguably occur as natural mutations) and avalanche sharks (which, with climate change, you never know). It's OK. It can be difficult accept the harrowing reality of our CGI-monster-less lives. But dry your eyes, brave soldier! For hope has risen like a phoenix from the fiery depths of the South Pacific.... GIF from "Sharknado 2." Scientists recently discovered a certain sharp-toothed surprise while exploring an active...