7 powerful quotes from Obama's DNC speech that'll get you hyped about democracy.

That President Barack Obama, he sure knows how to give a speech.

Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images.


So it's no surprise that on July 27, 2016, the house was packed as the 44th U.S. president addressed the nation at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images.

He was there to stump for his former rival and secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, of course.

Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images.

But his speech was about so much more than that.

While Obama certainly had a few digs for candidate Donald Trump up his sleeve and made sure to tout the high points of his own time in the White House, he also had some inspiring stuff to say about the power of creating our own America through the ballot box — regardless if we vote red or blue.

1. Obama pointed out that we have to care about democracy 365 days a year — not just one Tuesday in November.

"If you want more justice in the justice system, then we’ve all got to vote — not just for a president, but for mayors and sheriffs and state’s attorneys and state legislators," the president explained.

2. He made sure to note it's totally fine if you don't always agree with everything a candidate is saying. In fact, that's actually sort of the point.

What you shouldn't do, the president implored, is abstain from the voting process because you don't see your views fully represented. The only way to make change is to get involved yourself.

3. The president reminded listeners that tomorrow isn't something to be afraid of — it's something we create with our actions.

That's kind of what makes America so great.

4. Obama also acknowledged change can't happen without a lot of hard work from the ground up from people like you and me.

One of the great things about the internet is that it's made getting involved with politics easier than ever. While Obama was talking specifically about the DNC's own organizing arm, it's never been more clear that the future of politics and political organizing lies with the younger generations of people who are just getting involved for the first time.

5. He ensured us that, even when times get tough, real change is within reach if we work hard enough.

6. He even gave a shout-out to a political revolution that will likely shape election landscapes for years to come.

7. And with three simple words, Obama reminded us disparaging your opponent may be easy, but it doesn't produce results.

When the crowd erupted in "boos" at the mention of Trump's name, Obama was quick to reiterate that booing is not democracy in action — organizing, canvassing, making phone calls, and voting is.

The president knows that a great speech or inspiring quote means nothing if it doesn't spark real action.

Take a hint from the president — even if he didn't win your vote — and cast a ballot this November for your candidate. Register to vote today.

Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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