After a protest, Wichita police fired up the grill for a community cookout.

Protests are generally meant to raise awareness and make people pay attention.

And in that regard, the Wichita Black Lives Matter march on July 12, 2016, was an unequivocal success.

On that day, hundreds of Kansans turned out to make their anger heard in response to the continued police killings of black Americans. And while city and state police gathered to keep a watchful eye on the evening's events, they simply watched the protest happen without intervening ('cause, ya know, people have a First Amendment right to assemble and speak out, and it's the job of the police to uphold the law 'n' stuff).


A.J. Bohannen leads a group of Black Lives Matter protesters in Wichita, Kansas, on July 12, 2016. Image via U.S. Latest News/YouTube.

But the day after that protest, things really got cookin'…

According to ABC News in Kansas, Wichita police chief Gordon Ramsay (as opposed to chef Gordon Ramsay) invited local Black Lives Matter leaders to meet with him at the police headquarters the day after the protest — not to reprimand their actions, but to have a discussion about where to go next.

"We definitely want a citizen review board with subpoena power. We want an outside prosecutor to come in and look at these police involved shootings," said BLM organizer A.J. Bohannen, who was in attendance that day, about the changes he wanted to see (you can read his interview with KAKE here).

"Our officers are going call to call to call. They don't have time to build positive relationships," Ramsay said at a press conference the next day, when asked about how his department was functioning, and what he wanted to change. "It's reactive policing. It's not a healthy way to do it. And what I heard from protesters last night is they want to see community policing."

"The heart and soul of who I am: I am about community relationships, and we just need to figure these things out."

Police chief Gordon Ramsay. Image via City of Wichita/YouTube.

Ramsay listened to what protesters had to say and decided that the next big step in figuring things out would be for the police to … cook dinner for everyone.

BLM organizers had been planning another protest for July 17. But that was when they were still expecting their cries to be ignored once again.

After the successful conversation with Ramsay on July 12, the BLM organizers decided to cancel the upcoming protest. Then, Ramsay and his officers hosted a community cookout instead, in an effort to improve relationships, start conversations, and promote positive interactions between officers and citizens.

About 400 people RSVP'd to the appropriately-named First Steps Cook Out on Facebook — and more than 1,000 showed up at McAdams Park on that Sunday evening.

In addition to some tasty burgers and dogs, there were speeches by local community leaders, and a Q&A session with the police to open up the conversation about how to make communities safer and improve respect across the board.


And for those who couldn't attend? Speeches from community leaders of all races and creeds were broadcast over Facebook Live. (Unfortunately, Mark Zuckerberg still hasn't figured out how to make hot dogs available over streaming video.)


For some people in Wichita, it was the first time in decades they actually had a chance to sit with and engage police officers in a civil discussion. While there are plenty of factors that have contributed to this breakdown in police-community relations in the city itself, something as simple as a First Steps Cook Out is an important first step toward changing how the system works.


But mostly, it was also just fun, effective community building.

See, nothing solves problems quite like dancing.


Apparently, some officers even learned about the crucial law enforcement skill known as the whip and nae nae.


And the whole event was perhaps even more impactful given the tragic shootings that occurred in Baton Rouge earlier day.

The First Steps Cook Out was a remarkable testament to the power of activism, both in the community and on the part of the police.

It was still just a first step — but it was a big one in the right direction.

Protests might seem inconvenient — and that's because they're meant to expose grievances that people don't want to talk about. For the Black Lives Matter organizers in Wichita, their actions succeeded in a way that nothing else had up until this point.

Of course, none of this would have been possible if the Wichita police weren't also willing to reach out and connect and try to offer solutions, too. Like most things, it's a two-way street, where a willingness to compromise makes progress come easier.

"This isn't something we're going to change overnight or tonight," Ramsay told the local Channel 12 News. "It's just going to take continual effort on everybody's part. And work on policy changes, relationships. And that's what's going to get to the heart of the issues."

He continued this line of thought in an interview with ABC News: "The biggest point that I want to make is that it starts with me, right? And I have set the tone that we are gonna treat people fairly and with dignity and respect, and it starts with me."

Sometimes that first step is the hardest to take. But Wichita found a way — and hopefully other communities can follow suit.

Here's a video from the event, if you'd like to see it for yourself:


Cats are notoriously weird. Everyone who's had cats knows that they each have their own unique quirks, idiosyncrasies, preferences, habits, and flat-out WTFness.

But even those of us who have experience with bizarre cat behavior are blown away by the antics this "cat dad" is able to get away with.

Kareem and Fifi are the cat parents of Chase, Skye, and Millie—literally the most chill kitties ever. They share their family life on TikTok as @dontstopmeowing, and their videos have been viewed millions of times. When you see them, you'll understand why.

Take Chase's spa days, for example. It may seem unreal at first, but watch what happens when Fifi tries to take away his cucumber slices.

When she puts them back on his eyes? WHAT?! What cat would let you put them on once, much less get mad when you take them off?

This cat. Chase is living his best life.

But apparently, it's not just Chase. Skye and Millie have also joined in "spaw day." How on earth does one couple end up with three hilariously malleable cats?

Oh, and if you think they must have been sedated or something, look at how wide awake they are during bath time. That's right, bath time. Most cats hate water, but apparently, these three couldn't care less. How?

They'll literally do anything. The Don't Stop Meowing channel is filled with videos like this. Cats wearing glasses. Cats wearing hats. Cats driving cars. It's unbelievable yet highly watchable entertainment.

If you're worried that Kareem gets all the love and Fifi constantly gets the shaft, that seems to be a bit for show. Look at Chase and Fifi's conversation about her leaving town for a business trip:

The whole channel is worth checking out. Ever seen a cat being carried in a baby carrier at the grocery store? A cat buckled into a car seat? Three cats sitting through storytime? It's all there. (Just a heads up: A few of the videos have explicit language, so parents might want to do a preview before watching with little ones.) You can follow the couple and their cats on all their social media channels, including Instagram and YouTube if TikTok isn't your thing, here.

If you weren't a cat person before, these videos might change your mind. Fair warning, however: Getting a cat because you want them to do things like this would be a mistake. Cats do what they want to do, and no one can predict what weird traits they will have. Even if you raise them from kittenhood, they're still unpredictable and weird.

And honestly, we wouldn't have them any other way.

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying!

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There have been many iconic dance routines throughout film history, but how many have the honor being called "the greatest" by Fred Astaire himself?

Fayard and Harold Nicholas, known collectively as the Nicholas Brothers, were arguably the best at what they did during their heyday. Their coordinated tap routines are legendary, not only because they were great dancers, but because of their incredible ability to jump into the air and land in the splits. Repeatedly. From impressive heights.

Their most famous routine comes from the movie "Stormy Weather." As Cab Calloway sings "Jumpin' Jive," the Nicholas Brothers make the entire set their dance floor, hopping and tapping from podium to podium amongst the musicians, dancing up and down stairs and across the top of a piano.

But what makes this scene extra impressive is that they performed it without rehearsing it first and it was filmed in one take—no fancy editing room tricks to bring it all together. This fact was confirmed in a conversation with the brothers in a Chicago Tribune article in 1997, when they were both in their 70s:

"Would you believe that was one of the easiest things we ever did?" Harold told the paper.

"Did you know that we never even rehearsed that number?" added Fayard.

"When it came time to do that part, (choreographer) Nick Castle said: 'Just do it. Don`t rehearse it, just do it.' And so we did it—in one little take. And then he said: 'That's it—we can't do it any better than that.'"

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