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The people of Aleppo, Syria, are living in a nightmare right now.

Innocent men, women, and children have been caught in the cross fire between the Syrian army, rebels refusing to back down from a tyrant president, and reckless Russian drone strikes. In the eastern part of the city — once a thriving, metropolis home to millions — 50,000 civilians are bunkered up amongst the ruins, living at-risk of being killed in a moment's notice.

On the ground accounts coming out of Aleppo are horrifying. The city has been grappling with unrelenting violence for months. But the UN reports that, in just the past few days, Russian and Syrian forces — which have gained control of nearly all of the city — have slaughtered dozens of civilians. Messages of despair from inside the city walls have gone viral around the world, even as their authors remain helplessly trapped in a besieged city with "nowhere safe to run." Despite a cease-fire on Dec. 13, 2016, ongoing violence reportedly continued the following day.


It's easy to feel hopeless and helpless watching immeasurable heartache unfold continents away. But the people in Aleppo need us now more than ever before, and rallies in cities across the globe are showing us exactly how it's done:

1. In Beruit, protesters with signs reading "Aleppo" in Arabic said a lot without voicing a single a word.

Photo by Bilal Hussein/AP.

2. In London, activists rallied outside Downing Street, urging their leaders to do something to protect the most vulnerable in Syria.

Photo by Daniel Sorabji/AFP/Getty Images.

3. In Kuwait City, protesters held placards with a black "X" through the Russian flag in protest of Moscow's role in Aleppo's devastation.

Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat/AFP/Getty Images.

4. In Denver, residents and lawmakers alike voiced solidarity with the Syrian people, even an ocean away.

Photo by David Zalubowski/AP Photo.

5. In Amman, Jordan, peaceful but determined protesters took aim at the local Russian embassy.

Photo by Muhammad Hamed/Reuters.

6. In Istanbul, people poured into the streets with signs and flags in staunch opposition to Vladimir Putin.  

Photo: DHA via AP.

7. In Idlib, Syria — just 40 miles away from Aleppo — protesters pleaded for the outside world to save their neighbors "before it is too late."

Photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP/Getty Images.

8. And in Sarajevo, women held dolls in protest of the young children who've been killed at the hands of violence.

Photo by Amel Emric/AP Photo.

Regardless of where you live in the world, you can make a difference.

There are many organizations providing vital services on the ground in and around Aleppo, like search and rescue operations and medical relief for those in desperate need. If you have a dollar to spare, it won't go to waste.

As Malala Yousafzai once said, "When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful."

Brandon Conway sounds remarkably like Michael Jackson when he sings.

When Michael Jackson died 13 years ago, the pop music world lost a legend. However markedly mysterious and controversial his personal life was, his contributions to music will go down in history as some of the most influential of all time.

Part of what made him such a beloved singer was the uniqueness of his voice. From the time he was a young child singing lead for The Jackson 5, his high-pitched vocals stood out. Hearing him sing live was impressive, his pitch-perfect performances always entertaining.

No one could ever really be compared to MJ, or so we thought. Out of the blue, a guy showed up on TikTok recently with a casual performance that sounds so much like the King of Pop it's blowing people away.

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5 things that will make you smile this week

If you're looking for a little sunshine, we've got you covered.

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1989 video brings back strong memories for Gen Xers who came of age in the '80s.

It was the year we saw violence in Tiananmen Square and the dismantling of the Berlin Wall. The year we got Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally" and Michael Keaton in Tim Burton's "Batman." The year "Seinfeld" and "The Simpsons" debuted on TV, with no clue as to how successful they would become. The year that gave us New Kids on the Block and Paula Abdul while Madonna and Janet Jackson were enjoying their heyday.

The jeans were pegged, the shoulders were padded and the hair was feathered and huge. It was 1989—the peak of Gen X youth coming of age.

A viral video of a group of high school students sitting at their desks in 1989—undoubtedly filmed by some geeky kid in the AV club who probably went on to found an internet startup—has gone viral across social media, tapping straight into Gen X's memory banks. For those of us who were in high school at the time, it's like hopping into a time machine.

The show "Stranger Things" has given young folks of today a pretty good glimpse of that era, but if you want to see exactly what the late '80s looked like for real, here it is:

Oh so many mullets. And the Skid Row soundtrack is just the icing on this nostalgia cake. (Hair band power ballads were ubiquitous, kids.)

I swear I went to high school with every person in this video. Like, I couldn't have scripted a more perfect representation of my classmates (which is funny considering that this video came from Paramus High School in New Jersey and I went to high school on the opposite side of the country).

Comments have poured in on Reddit from both Gen Xers who lived through this era and those who have questions.

First, the confirmations:

"Can confirm. I was a freshman that year, and not only did everyone look exactly like this (Metallica shirt included), I also looked like this. 😱😅"

"I graduated in ‘89, and while I didn’t go to this school, I know every person in this room."

"It's like I can virtually smell the AquaNet and WhiteRain hairspray from here...."

"I remember every time you went to the bathroom you were hit with a wall of hairspray and when the wind blew you looked like you had wings."

Then the observations about how differently we responded to cameras back then.

"Also look how uncomfortable our generation was in front of the camera! I mean I still am! To see kids now immediately pose as soon as a phone is pointed at them is insanity to me 🤣"

"Born in 84 and growing up in the late 80’s and 90’s, it’s hard to explain to younger people that video cameras weren’t everywhere and you didn’t count on seeing yourself in what was being filmed. You just smiled and went on with your life."

Which, of course, led to some inevitable "ah the good old days" laments:

"Life was better before the Internet. There, I said it."

"Not a single cell phone to be seen. Oh the freedom."

"It's so nice to be reminded what life was like before cell phones absorbed and isolated social gatherings."

But perhaps the most common response was how old those teens looked.

"Why do they all look like they're in their 30's?"

"Everyone in this video is simultaneously 17 and 49 years old."

"Now we know why they always use 30 y/o actors in high school movies."

As some people pointed out, there is an explanation for why they look old to us. It has more to do with how we interpret the fashion than how old they actually look.

Ah, what a fun little trip down memory lane for those of us who lived it. (Let's just all agree to never bring back those hairstyles, though, k?)