Amy Schumer broadcast live as she made comedy history in NYC this week.
She's truly a history-making woman.
It was the largest such event ever filmed.
They were in Greenland, gathering footage from the time-lapse they'd positioned all around the Arctic Circle for the last several years.
They were also there to shoot scenes for a documentary. And while they were hoping to capture some cool moments on camera, no one expected a huge chunk of a glacier to snap clean off and slide into the ocean right in front of their eyes.
A glacier falls into the sea.
Massive swells created by large chunks of glacier falling away.
For nearly an hour and 15 minutes, Balog and his crew stood by and watched as a piece of ice the size of lower Manhattan — but with ice-equivalent buildings that were two to three times taller than that — simply melted away.
A representation demonstrating the massive size of ice that broke off into the sea.
As far as anyone knows, this was an unprecedented geological catastrophe and they caught the entire thing on tape. It won't be the last time something like this happens either.
Balog had a reputation since the early 1980s as a conservationist and environmental photographer. And for nearly 20 years, he'd scoffed at the climate change heralds shouting, "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"
"I didn't think that humans were capable of changing the basic physics and chemistry of this entire, huge planet. It didn't seem probable, it didn't seem possible," he explained in the 2012 documentary film "Chasing Ice."
There was too much margin of error in the computer simulations, too many other pressing problems to address about our beautiful planet. As far as he was concerned, these melodramatic doomsayers were distracting from the real issues.
That was then.
The glacier ice continues to erode away.
He was sent on a photo expedition of the Arctic by National Geographic, and that first northern trip was more than enough to see the damage for himself.
"It was about actual tangible physical evidence that was preserved in the ice cores of Greenland and Antarctica," he said in a 2012 interview with ThinkProgress. "That was really the smoking gun showing how far outside normal, natural variation the world has become. And that's when I started to really get the message that this was something consequential and serious and needed to be dealt with."
Some of that evidence may have been the fact that more Arctic landmass has melted away in the last 20 years than the previous 10,000 years.
This article originally appeared on 11.04.15
All language has a history.
As much as we'd like to pretend every phrase we utter is a lone star suspended in the space of our own genius, all language has a history. Unfortunately, given humanity's aptitude for treating each other like shit, etymology is fraught with reminders of our very racist world.Since I have faith that most of you reading want to navigate the world with intelligence and empathy, I figured it'd be useful to share some of the everyday phrases rooted in racist etymology.
Knowledge is power, and the way we use and contextualize our words can make a huge difference in the atmospheres we create.
According to Meriam-Webster's dictionary definition, a thug is "a violent criminal." Obviously, this definition leaves the word open to define people of all ethnicities.
However, given the frequent ways this word has been used to describe Black Lives Matter protesters, the 17-year-old murder victim Trayvon Martin, and sadly, almost every black victim of police brutality — there is an undeniable racial charge to the word.
When you consider the people who are called thugs — groups of black protesters, victims of racist violence, teenagers minding their own business, and flip the racial element, you'd be hard-pressed to find examples of white people being called thugs in earnest by the media (or really by anyone).
let me get this straight. Marshawn Lynch is "thug" because he doesn't talk enough, & Richard Sherman is a "thug" because he talks too much?— Coach Ray Hubbard (@Coach Ray Hubbard) 1422371279
Several prominent activists and black writers have written about the phenomenon of thug replacing the n-word in modern culture. In a popular press conference back in 2014, the Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman explained his feelings about the word.
"The reason it bothers me is because it seems like it's an accepted way of calling somebody the N-word now. It's like everybody else said the N-word and then they say 'thug' and that's fine. It kind of takes me aback and it's kind of disappointing because they know," Sherman said.
If a 1400 SAT score and a degree from Stanford makes you a "thug" then I want my kids to be thugs. @RSherman_25pic.twitter.com/MWuWWPNSWh— Bipartisan Sports (@Bipartisan Sports) 1440294552
When most of us hear the term "grandfather clause" we just think of the generalized description: a person or entity that is allowed to continue operating over now expired rules. But the literal meaning reveals the "grandfather clause" was a racist post-Reconstruction political strategy.
This is the historical definition, according to Encyclopedia Britannica:
"Grandfather clause, statutory or constitutional device enacted by seven Southern states between 1895 and 1910 to deny suffrage to African Americans. It provided that those who had enjoyed the right to vote prior to 1866 or 1867, or their lineal descendants, would be exempt from educational, property, or tax requirements for voting. Because the former slaves had not been granted the franchise until the adoption of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870, those clauses worked effectively to exclude black people from the vote but assured the franchise to many impoverished and illiterate whites."
In modern speak, this basically meant the Grandfather Clause let white people off the hook for new voting requirements because their ancestors were already registered voters. Meanwhile, black people were required to fill out impossible literacy tests and pay exorbitant poll taxes to vote. This in turn, meant many black people were unable to vote, while white people weren't held to the same standard.
The word "Gypsy" was (and is) a racial slur referring to the Roma people. The Roma people are descendants of Northern India who, due to severe marginalization and threats of violence by others, lived a nomadic lifestyle of forced migration for centuries.
During a fraught history, Roma people were taken as slaves in Romania and were targeted for genocide by the Nazis.
In a similar vein, the term "Gyp" or "getting gypped" means to cheat or get conned, and many connect this meaning as another racist extension of Gypsy.
The saying \u201cno can do\u201d and \u201clong time no see\u201d came from Westerners mocking Chinese immigrants https://twitter.com/trashyewest/status/995768305003610112\u00a0\u2026— Justin Beauchamp (@Justin Beauchamp) 1526397713
According to the Oxford Dictionary, the very common phrase "no can do" was originally made popular as a way to make fun of Chinese immigrants.
"The widespread use of the phrase in English today has obscured its origin: what might seem like folksy, abbreviated version of I can’t do it is actually an imitation of Chinese Pidgin English. The phrase dates from the mid-19th to early-20th centuries, an era when Western attitudes towards the Chinese were markedly racist."
"The phrase 'sold down the river' came from Louisville, Kentucky, where the enslaved were traded in one of the largest slave markets of the 19th century."https://www.citylab.com/equity/2017/02/louisville-confronts-its-redlining-past-and-present/517125/?utm_source=twb\u00a0\u2026— Pedro da Costa (@Pedro da Costa) 1524505436
Upon first hearing, many people associate the phrase "sold down the river" with the notion of being betrayed, lied to, or otherwise screwed over. While these definitions all technically apply to the origin, the root of this phrase is much more bleak.
"River" was a literal reference to the Mississippi or Ohio rivers. For much of the first half of the 19th century, Louisville, Ky., was one of the largest slave-trading marketplaces in the country. Slaves would be taken to Louisville to be "sold down the river" and transported to the cotton plantations in states further south.
This heavy connotation sadly makes sense, but also makes casual use of the phrase feel way more cringe-inducing.
The GOP argument on Obamacare has more than a whiff of Reagan-era racial "welfare queen" politics ---> http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/a-brutal-translation-of-the-disincentive-to-work-20140206\u00a0\u2026— Ron Fournier (@Ron Fournier) 1391695820
This straw woman in Reagan's campaign served as a racially-charged exaggeration of one minor case of real welfare fraud used to pedal his platform for welfare reform.
Needless to say, the term has sadly lived on as a racially-charged vehicle used to undermine the importance of welfare programs, while peddling gross stereotypes about black women.
On top of all the other offenses, this stereotype is of course ignoring the fact that poor white Americans receive the most welfare out of any economically-disadvantaged demographic.
Obama's Shuck and Jive Ends With Benghazi Lies http://fb.me/1m3q5c2IR— Sarah Palin (@Sarah Palin) 1351093162
The term shuck and jive is both common and very obviously rooted in the language of slavery.
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the phrase shuck and jive refers to:
"The fact that black slaves sang and shouted gleefully during corn-shucking season, and this behavior, along with lying and teasing, became a part of the protective and evasive behavior normally adopted towards white people in ' traditional' race relations."
Likewise, the modern usage of this phrase refers to pandering, selling out, or instances in which black people go along with racist white people's wishes. Again, not a phrase to be thrown around lightly.
The very commonly used greeting "long time no see" first became popular as a way to make fun of Native Americans. The phrase was used as a way to mock a traditional greeting exchanged between Native Americans.
This is the official definition, according to the Oxford Dictionary:
"Long Time No See was originally meant as a humorous interpretation of a Native American greeting, used after a prolonged separation. The current earliest citation recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) comes from W.F. Drannan’s book Thirty-one Years on Plains (1901): ‘When we rode up to him [sc. an American Indian] he said: ‘Good mornin. Long time no see you’."
The act of committing genocide is not limited to human lives, but also translates to a normalized cultural violence. Deconstructing, mocking, and erasing someone's language contributes to this pattern of colonialism.
Did you know the phrase 'peanut gallery' has racist origins?\n\nIt was the cheapest and worst part of the theater, and the only option for Black attendees. No one wanted to sit in the peanut gallery and today, no one wants to hear from the peanut gallery. #RewriteBHM #BHMpic.twitter.com/vwHHHWLeVP— Nat'l Urban League (@Nat'l Urban League) 1518542600
Originally, this term referred to the balconies in segregated theaters where black people were forced to sit. The nickname "peanut" was given due to the fact that peanuts were introduced to America at the same time as the slave trade. Because of this, there was a connection drawn between black people and peanuts.
MINORITIES MUST STAND UP TO ABUSE:\nKneeling to protest at games is tasteful yet effective. But white owners and racists think blacks are too uppity. \n"Uppity\nWord used by racist old white Southerners to refer to any black person who looks them in the eye." --URBAN DICTIONARYpic.twitter.com/CrRQJqTyTl— LJ Rochelle (@LJ Rochelle) 1527193180
As of now, the word "uppity" is often used as a synonym for "stuck up" or "pretentious" or "conceited." But the roots of the word are far more specific and racist.
So, basically, any black person who overtly stood up to racism. Given the heaviness of this origin, it seems best to leave this word at home when looking to describe a pretentious acquaintance.
Sadly, given our ugly history, there are many more words and phrases I could add to this list. In the meantime, hopefully this list is helpful for navigating the racism innate in our language.
The article was originally published by our partners at someecards and was written by Bronwyn Isacc.
This article originally appeared on 02.04.19
I feel as if I were right there with them as I looked through the photos.
When I saw these incredible photos Angelo Merendino took of his wife, Jennifer, as she battled breast cancer, I felt that I shouldn't be seeing this snapshot of their intimate, private lives.
The photos humanize the face of cancer and capture the difficulty, fear, and pain that they experienced during the difficult time.
But as Angelo commented: "These photographs do not define us, but they are us."
Having a cold one.
A challenging journey.
The doctor’s office.
Hair falling out.
Shaving the hair off.
Sitting in the window.
Sunny day on the sidewalk
Compassion touches in the car.
Pets for comfort.
Floating in the ocean.
A time to rest.
Getting more treatment
Thoughts in a hospital room.
A loving hand.
An ambulance trip.
A little smirk.
An empty bed.
A lonely road.
“I loved it all."
This article originally appeared on 11.5.13
The other dogs can't believe what they are seeing.
Double H Canine Academy in Louisville, Kentucky is a place where dog owners can take their rambunctious pets and have them turned into respectable members of the family.
However, as you can tell in this hilarious video, not all dogs are meant to follow orders.
Ladies and gentleman, meet Ryker.
As you can see below, Ryker is living his life to the fullest. While he may never be the world's greatest service dog, he continues to provide an invaluable testament to being true to one's self.
RYKER “The Purpose Driven Dog"🐕........
This article originally appeared on 02.26.20
It's sparked a "nice vs. kind" debate from people across the country.
Having lived in small towns and large cities in the Pacific Northwest, Southwest, and Midwest, and after spending a year traveling around the U.S. with my family, I've seen first-hand that Americans have much more in common than not. I've also gotten to experience some of the cultural differences, subtle and not-so-subtle, real and not-so-real, that exist in various parts of the country.
Some of those differences are being discussed in a viral thread on Twitter. Self-described "West coaster" Jordan Green kicked it off with an observation about East coasters being kind and West coasters being nice, which then prompted people to share their own social experiences in various regions around the country.
"When I describe East Coast vs West Coast culture to my friends I often say 'The East Coast is kind but not nice, the West Coast is nice but not kind,' and East Coasters immediately get it. West Coasters get mad.
Niceness is saying 'I'm so sorry you're cold,' while kindness may be 'Ugh, you've said that five times, here's a sweater!' Kindness is addressing the need, regardless of tone.
I'm a West Coaster through and through—born and raised in San Francisco, moved to Portland for college, and now live in Seattle. We're nice, but we're not kind. We'll listen to your rant politely, smile, and then never speak to you again. We hit mute in real life. ALOT.
So often, we West Coasters think that showing *sympathy* or feeling *empathy* is an act of kindness. Sadly, it's really just a nice act. Kindness is making sure the baby has a hat. (s/o to breenewsome and BlackAmazon)
When you translate this to institutions or policy, you'll see alot of nice words being used, & West Coast liberals/radicals are really good at *sounding* nice. But I've seen organizers & activists from other places get frustrated because nothing happens after ALOT of talk.
\u201cWhen you translate this to institutions or policy, you'll see alot of nice words being used, & West Coast liberals/radicals are really good at *sounding* nice. But I've seen organizers & activists from other places get frustrated because nothing happens after ALOT of talk.\u201d— Jordan K. Green (@Jordan K. Green) 1611263478
Nothing happens after the pronoun check-ins and the icebreakers. It's rare we make sure that people's immediate needs are addressed. There's no kindness. You have people show up to meetings hungry, or needing rides home, and watching those with means freeze when asked to help.
As we begin to 'get back a sense of normalcy' or 're-calibrate' to what people in Blue States™ think is Right™ and Just™, I want us to keep in mind the difference between Niceness and Kindness. If something sounds nice, doesn't mean that it's kind."
Of course, there are genuinely kind and surface nice people everywhere you go, so no one should take these observations as a personal affront to them individually. Generalizations that lead to stereotypes are inherently problematic, and broad strokes like "East coast" and "West coast" are also somewhat meaningless, so they should taken with a grain of salt as well.
In reality, a small town in South Carolina is probably more culturally similar to a small town in Eastern Oregon than it is to New York City, and there are some strong differences between various subregions as well. A more specific cultural comparison, such as "big cities on the West coast vs. big cities in the Northeast" might be more accurate as far as generalizations go, but regardless, many people related to Green's observations based on their own experiences.
To kick things off, a slew of responses poured in from people describing how New Yorkers can be cold on the surface while simultaneously reaching out their hand to help you.
\u201c@SikePiazza @jordonaut Stand at a flight of stairs in the NYC subway with a stroller. Someone will grab the other end, help you carry the stroller, and then walk away without saying a word.\u201d— Jordan K. Green (@Jordan K. Green) 1611263478
Several people explained that the hustle required to afford the expense of living in New York explains why people skip the niceties. It's about valuing people's time; wasting it with nice words is ruder than just quickly helping out and then moving on.
\u201c@mcgowankat @MikeDeAngelo @SikePiazza @jordonaut Yeah, this is the kind of thing people who have't spent time in NYC don't really grasp. Someone will be like, "Hey, you fucking yo-yo! You're money's falling out. Why the fuck is it in your back pocket? Get your shit together," and saved you all the cash in your pocket.\u201d— Jordan K. Green (@Jordan K. Green) 1611263478
\u201c@jordonaut In the South, politeness takes the form of "I will talk to you and inquire as to your day; I will give my time to you"; but in New York that CAN NOT WORK. In New York, politeness is "I will not waste your time"\u201d— Jordan K. Green (@Jordan K. Green) 1611263478
Many people chimed in with agreement with the original post (even some Canadians confirming that their East/West differences aligned with ours).
\u201c@candaceforpdx @jordonaut I used to travel to the West Coast a lot for work. Everyone was \u201cnice,\u201d but they had no sense of urgency and didn\u2019t give one fuck about inconveniencing everyone around them. I\u2019m from the DMV. We get shit done. Smiling!\u201d— Jordan K. Green (@Jordan K. Green) 1611263478
"No sense of urgency" is definitely a West coast vibe, but is generally viewed a positive out here. And "inconveniencing everyone around them" might be a subjective observation. Maybe.
Plenty of people with bicoastal experience weighed in with their stories of how their experiences lined up with the basic premise of the thread, though.
\u201c@jordonaut I am blunt, I cuss, I call shit like I see it, and if you need it I'll give you the shirt off my back, and that's East Coast culture.\u201d— Jordan K. Green (@Jordan K. Green) 1611263478
\u201c@KLDoorC @jordonaut This. I\u2019m from Pgh and talking to my friend in Seattle.. She lives by herself and needed some help moving something. I said why don\u2019t you ask your neighbors? She quickly replied we don\u2019t do that around here. It\u2019s frowned upon. I just couldn\u2019t live like that\u201d— Jordan K. Green (@Jordan K. Green) 1611263478
Though certainly not universally true, the tendency for West coasters to be more hands-off might extend back to the frontier days. The pioneer and gold rush mindset was necessarily individualistic and self-sufficient. In my experience, West coasters assume you don't need help unless you directly ask for it. But people don't ask because of the individualistic and self-sufficient thing, so automatic helpfulness just hasn't become part of the dominant culture.
Things got even more interesting once the South and Midwest entered the chat.
\u201c@jamieleefinch @jordonaut @yumcoconutmilk Moving from the Midwest to the south my experience tells me this is true. If you drive your car into a ditch a Southerner will offer to call someone for you. The Midwesterner will jump into the ditch to help push you out.\u201d— Jordan K. Green (@Jordan K. Green) 1611263478
But the takes on warm/nice/kind thing varied quite a bit.
\u201c@jamieleefinch @jordonaut @yumcoconutmilk Midwest is warm/kind of you are or LOOK like you\u2019re \u201cfrom around here.\u201d\n\nThe other difference is that East/West coasts will never think of you again, while the South & Midwest will gossip about you til the end of time.\u201d— Jordan K. Green (@Jordan K. Green) 1611263478
\u201c@alexschiff @zsr5 @jordonaut I moved to Michigan after spending my whole life on the East Coast. It took me MONTHS to make friends. People were nice but already had friends from their old neighborhood, high school, college, church, kids' playgroups...they didn't need any more friends and didn't reach out.\u201d— Jordan K. Green (@Jordan K. Green) 1611263478
One thing that seems quite clear if you read through the various responses to the thread is that specific states and cities seem to have their own cultures that don't break down as simply as East/West/Midwest/South. There's an entire book about how the U.S. can actually be subdivided into 11 different regions that are almost like nations unto themselves. Even this map from 1940 included 34 different cultural regions in the U.S.
And don't even get a Californian started on the differences between Northern CA, Southern CA, and the Central Valley. "Culture" can even be narrowed down even to specific neighborhoods, and people's experiences and perceptions vary for all kinds of reasons, so once again, generalizations only go so far before they fall flat.
If you're curious about what the data says about all of this, a cursory search of surveys about which states are the kindest brings up a fairly mixed bag, but people seem to find Minnesota quite friendly. A Wallethub ranking of charitability by state based on 19 factors including volunteerism also placed Minnesota at number one, followed by Utah, Maryland, Oregon, and Ohio. Pretty hard to make a regional generalization with those states.
Then again, there's the whole "Minnesota nice" thing, which brings us full circle back to the original thread.
So many elements go into the culture of a place, from population density to the history of settlement to the individual personalities of the people who make someplace their home. And nothing is set in stone—the atmosphere of a place can change over time, as anyone who's visited a city a decade or two apart can attest.
One thing that's true, no matter where we live, is that we play a role in molding the culture of our immediate surroundings. If we want where we live to be friendlier, we can be friendlier ourselves. If we want to see people help one another, we can serve as that example. We might stand out, but we also might inspire others who yearn for the same thing.
"Be the change" might seem a bit cliche, but it truly is the key to shifting or world in the way we want it to go, no matter what part of the country—or the world—we live in.
This article originally appeared on 01.22.21
They don't call Buffalo the city of good neighbors for no reason.
The city of Buffalo, New York is called the "city of good neighbors." And with a blizzard that has dumped more than 50 inches of snow on them, the world is getting to learn how they earned that name.
A woman named Sha'Kyra Aughtry went viral on Facebook after she reluctantly put out an emotional plea. Aughtry went live on the platform explaining that she heard someone calling for help outside, so she sent her boyfriend out to see who needed assistance. Turns out, it was a 64-year-old developmentally disabled man by the name of Joey White, who was stuck in the cold snow. Aughtry's boyfriend helped the man out of the snow and physically carried him into the house.
White was so frozen that they had to use a hair dryer to melt the ice off of his pants that were frozen to him. The couple also had to cut his socks off along with the bags he was carrying, which were stuck to his hands. White was in a dire position and Aughtry, a mom of three preparing for Christmas, was desperate.
The woman said during the live video, “I’ve called the National Guard. I’ve called 911. I’ve called everybody – they just keep telling me I’m on a list. I don’t want to be on a list. I don’t care about nothing else. This man is not about to die over here.” It was clear to her that he needed immediate medical attention, but conditions were so bad, help never came. According to CNN, at least 31 people have died in the winter storm that pummeled the state.
WE NEED HELP‼️ I have a 64 year old special needs man with frost bite on both of his hands and has turn into Gangrene...Posted by Sha'Kyra Rain Aughtry on Sunday, December 25, 2022
Aughtry realized no one would be coming to her rescue any time soon, and the following day after FaceTiming a doctor that confirmed the severity of White's condition, she made a last ditch effort. In the two days that she was caring for Joey, she was without her children for the holidays until a friend walked them home. Aughtry explained that White had the mental capacity of a 10-year-old, but he was able to remember his sister's phone number and the number for his job.
The good samaritan called White's sister to inform her that he was safe at her home and she was attempting to get him help. According to Sweet Buffalo, White was trying to get home from work when he got stuck in the storm. His sister credits Aughtry for saving her brother's life.
During the live Facebook video, several people volunteered to come and help the man get to the hospital after seeing how severe his frostbite was. Aughtry relayed that the doctor that did the video call with them explained he could lose his fingers, or worse, if treatment wasn't provided immediately. The frustration and desperation in her voice was palpable, and at one point, White innocently asked if he was going to die. Aughtry assured him he would not.
Within a short period of time, someone who saw Aughtry's video came by with their snow plow to clear a path, and others showed up with a pick up truck to transport White. Since he was not only physically vulnerable but mentally vulnerable, White's temporary caretaker insisted on riding with him to make sure he got to the hospital safely. The men that came to help had to carry White into the hospital due to his condition.
Thankfully, White received the care he needed and is currently being treated in the ICU at ECMC Hospital for fourth degree frost bite. And as a thank you for saving White's life, North Park Theatre, where White works, set up a Go Fund Me that has reached over $100,000 in donations for Aughtry. There was also one set up for White. Buffalo really is the city of good neighbors.
If you'd like to send Joey well wishes while he recovers, you can send them here:
ECMC462 Grider Street Buffalo, NY 14215
If you'd like to send cards to Sha'Kyra and her family, you can send them here:
P.O. Box 348
West Seneca, NY 14224
This article originally appeared on 12.23.22