Heroes

A preview of what the classroom might look like in 2025 is also a look into our planet's future.

'The children are our future' takes on new meaning when you think about the world we're leaving for them to inherit.

A preview of what the classroom might look like in 2025 is also a look into our planet's future.

Climate change is putting a lot of Australia's natural wonders in danger.

We currently know the Great Barrier Reef as the world's largest coral reef system at over 1,400 miles long. But as climate change continues to affect our earth's natural resources, students 20 years from now might be looking back on the reef like this:


And do you know about the Great Australian Bight? It's the home of many endangered and threatened species and includes a baby whale nursery. But new drilling developments are threatening their home.

So what'll happen to the Great Barrier Reef if nothing is done to slow the effects of climate change? According to greatbarrierreef.org, the results could be quite disastrous:

  • Increasing acidity of the ocean
  • Coral reefs deteriorating to a crumbling framework with very few reef building coral
  • Erosion becoming a serious concern for coastal communities
  • A weakened reef being further compromised by the increased frequency and severity of cyclones and storms
  • Serious consequences for all organisms which depend upon it, including humans

"Fracking" may sound like a funny word, but the damage it might do is anything but.


What exactly is fracking? Besides a great substitute for that other not-so-nice f-word?

"Hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking,' is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside." — dangersoffracking.com

So what's the danger in pumping chemicals into the ground?

Well, for one, those chemicals could end up in our water supply. What's worse is that in some communities near fracking sites, residents have found their water is filled with so many toxic chemicals, it has become flammable.

Sherry Vargson of Pennsylvania knows all too well how fracking can turn regular drinking water into something more dangerous. After an energy company began drilling not far from her home, her water became cloudy and bubbly due to increased levels of methane. And to illustrate just how dangerous these methane levels are, take a look at what happens when Sherry brings a match to her tap water.


HOLY SMOKES! Would you feel comfortable drinking or showering in this water? I highly doubt it.

Oh and one last thing: Forests could someday be a thing of the past.

Forests worldwide are being destroyed through deforestation and acid rain caused by pollution. And trees aren't just pretty to look at. They're essential for our survival and the health of our planet — they create the air we breathe, control climate stability, and aid in water purification. So once the forests are gone, we'll lose out on a lot more than just scenic views.

So while Show-and-Tell 2025 was made specifically about Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, there's no denying that the effects of climate change are something all of us need to think about.

The truth is, the way we're treating the planet today has an effect on what's left behind for our children and their children.

The kids in this video no doubt are adorable, but this isn't the kind of future I had in mind.

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

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Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Biases, stereotypes, prejudices—these byproducts of the human brain's natural tendency to generalize and categorize have been a root cause of most of humanity's problems for, well, pretty much ever. None of us is immune to those tendencies, and since they can easily slip in unnoticed, we all have to be aware of where, when, and how they impact our own beliefs and actions.

It also helps when someone upends a stereotype by saying or doing something unexpected.

Fair or not, certain parts of the U.S. are associated with certain cultural assumptions, perhaps none more pinholed than the rural south. When we hear Appalachia, a certain stereotype probably pops up in our minds—probably white, probably not well educated, probably racist. Even if there is some basis to a stereotype, we must always remember that human beings can never be painted with such broad strokes.

Enter Tyler Childers, a rising country music star whose old-school country fiddling has endeared him to a broad audience, but his new album may have a different kind of reach. "Long Violent History" was released Friday, along with a video message to his white rural fans explaining the culminating track by the same name. Watch it here:

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Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

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The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn’t have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women’s rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn’t something we’d choose—and we’d hope others wouldn’t choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

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@frajds / Twitter

Father Alek Schrenk is known as one of the "9 Priests You Need to Follow on Twitter." He proved his social media skills Sunday night after finding a creepy note on a parked car and weaving a lurid Twitter tale that kept his followers on the edge of their pews.

Father Schrenk was making his nightly walk of the church grounds to make sure everything was fine before retiring to the rectory, when he found a car parked by itself in front of the school.

Curious, he looked inside the car and saw a note that made his "blood run cold" attached to the steering wheel. "Look in trunk!" the note read. What made it extra creepy was that the two Os in "look" had smiley faces.

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