+
Most Shared

A garbage man saved 25,000 books and turned them into a library. The pictures are amazing.

There is no such thing as book heaven. Unless you're in Bogota, Colombia, and know an angel named Jose.

What do you do with old books?

You might pass them along to a friend, donate them, or add them to one of those Little Free Libraries. But, let's be honest, a good amount of used books end up in the trash.

If you live in Bogota, Colombia, the person who picks up your discarded book might be José Alberto Gutiérrez. And if Gutierrez finds your old book, it is one lucky little book indeed.


Gutiérrez at work. Photo by AP Photo/Fernando Vergara.

For the past 20 years, Gutiérrez has been on a mission to save discarded books.

Bookshelves piled on top of bookshelves? Looks like my room. Photo by Guillermo Legaria/AFP/Getty Images.

Gutiérrez, a garbage man, saves old books that other people have thrown away. Books are usually left separate from the rest of the rubbish, and if they're in good condition, Gutiérrez picks them up and takes them home.

Though Gutiérrez's collection started with a single book (Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina"), today the total number of recovered reads has grown to roughly 25,000 at last count. The books take up the entire ground floor of his house, stacked up into great walls and mountains of pages.

[rebelmouse-image 19530219 dam="1" original_size="750x500" caption=""I want that one!" Photo by Fernando Vergara/AP." expand=1]"I want that one!" Photo by Fernando Vergara/AP.

As the collection grew, people began to take notice. Visitors would ask if they could borrow a book or two to help their kids get ready for school.

The whole endeavor is now a community library: "La Fuerza de las Palabras" — "The Strength of Words" in Spanish.

Think of how much they must weigh! Photo by Guillermo Legaria/AFP/Getty Images.

Gutiérrez's family helps run the project, coordinating pickups, doing the administrative work, and organizing events.

But more than instilling a love of books, the program is also about giving kids a leg up in education.

Gutiérrez lives in the La Nueva Gloria barrio, a low-income neighborhood in southern Bogota. When he started, the community's single school didn't have a library of its own. A donation from Gutiérrez helped fix that.

In fact, since he's started, Gutiérrez has donated reading materials to 235 different schools and communities.

Photo by Fernando Vergara/AP.

"The whole value of what we do lies in helping kids start reading," Gutiérrez told Al Jazeera.

"I grew up, here and I can tell you it got me a Ph.D. in marginalization and poverty," Gutiérrez said. "Kids here don't have a place to study; instead, they have to start working early."

Today the library has become a fixture of the city.

Gutiérrez has been invited to book fairs and profiled by local newspapers. An old, donated ambulance has been turned into a bookmobile. There are even plans to build a real brick-and-mortar building.

The other garbage truck drivers know exactly where to bring books if they find any. There is no such thing as book heaven, but La Fuerza de las Palabras must be pretty dang close.

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

Keep ReadingShow less
Architectural Digest/Youtube

This house was made with love.

Celebrity home tours are usually a divisive topic. Some find them fun and inspirational. Others find them tacky or out of touch. But this home tour has seemingly brought unanimous joy to all.

“Stranger Things” actor David Harbour and British singer-songwriter Lily Allen, whose Vegas wedding in 2020 came with an Elvis impersonator, gave a tour of their delightfully quirky Brooklyn townhouse for Architectural Digest, and people were absolutely loving it.

For one thing, the house just looks cool. There’s nothing monotone or minimalist about it. No beige to be seen.

Keep ReadingShow less

Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

Oregon utilizes teen volunteers to run their YouthLine teen crisis hotline

“Each volunteer gets more than 60 hours of training, and master’s level supervisors are constantly on standby in the room.”

Oregon utilizes teen volunteers to man YouthLine teen crisis hotline

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Mental health is a top-of-mind issue for a lot of people. Thanks to social media and people being more open about their struggles, the stigma surrounding seeking mental health treatment appears to be diminishing. But after the social and emotional interruption of teens due the pandemic, the mental health crises among adolescents seem to have jumped to record numbers.

PBS reports that Oregon is "ranked as the worst state for youth mental illness and access to care." But they're attempting to do something about it with a program that trains teenagers to answer crisis calls from other teens. They aren't alone though, as there's a master's level supervisor at the ready to jump in if the call requires a mental health professional.

The calls coming into the Oregon YouthLine can vary drastically, anywhere from relationship problems to family struggles, all the way to thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Teens manning the phones are provided with 60 hours of training and are taught to recognize when the call needs to be taken over by the adult supervisor.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Mom shares her brutal experience with 'hyperemesis gravidarum' and other moms can relate

Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe case of morning sickness that can last up until the baby is born and might require medical attention.

@emilyboazman/TikTok

Hyperemesis gravidarum isn't as common as regular morning sickness, but it's much more severe.

Morning sickness is one of the most commonly known and most joked about pregnancy symptoms, second only to peculiar food cravings. While unpleasant, it can often be alleviated to a certain extent with plain foods, plenty of fluids, maybe some ginger—your typical nausea remedies. And usually, it clears up on its own by the 20-week mark. Usually.

But sometimes, it doesn’t. Sometimes moms experience stomach sickness and vomiting, right up until the baby is born, on a much more severe level.

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), isn’t as widely talked about as regular morning sickness, but those who go through it are likely to never forget it. Persistent, extreme nausea and vomiting lead to other symptoms like dehydration, fainting, low blood pressure and even jaundice, to name a few.

Emily Boazman, a mom who had HG while pregnant with her third child, showed just how big of an impact it can make in a viral TikTok.

Keep ReadingShow less

The cast of TLC's "Sister Wives."

Dating is hard for just about anyone. But it gets harder as people age because the dating pool shrinks and older people are more selective. Plus, changes in dating trends, online etiquette and fashion can complicate things as well.

“Sister Wives” star Christine Brown is back in the dating pool after ending her “spiritual union” with polygamist Kody Brown and she needs a little help to get back in the swing of things. Christine and Kody were together for more than 25 years and she shared him with three other women, Janelle, Meri and Robyn.

Janelle and Meri have recently announced they’ve separated from Kody. Christine publicly admitted that things were over with Kody in November 2021.

Keep ReadingShow less