Arnold Schwarzenegger is taking the oil companies to court with a brilliant lawsuit.

He may be an iconic action movie star, but Arnold Schwarzenegger's fight for the environment may soon eclipse his biggest box-office hits.  

During his time as governor of California, Schwarzenegger demanded stronger environmental regulations. More recently, he took part in a vegan challenge with director James Cameron to bring attention to the environmental cost of the meat industry.

Now, he's taking on Big Oil.


"This is no different from the smoking issue," Schwarzenegger said during a SXSW taping of Politico's "Off Message" podcast. "Eventually they were taken to court and had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars because of that."

Over the course of that conversation, Schwarzenegger pointed to documents that show that, much like with cigarettes, major oil companies have known for decades that their products were bad for the environment. And he said he's been consulting with a number of law firms to build momentum behind the idea.

"Every gas station on it, every car should have a warning label on it, every product that has fossil fuels should have a warning label on it."

Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr,

And he's right: Fossil fuels are terrible for us and the environment.

It's not just air pollution. Every step in the process of obtaining and refining fossil fuels poses very real risks to the environment, to people, and to wildlife. Nearly 100,000 tons of methane were released in the air between 2015 and 2016 alone, and coal is estimated to cost more than $100 million in health costs annually in the U.S.

Schwarzenegger may be the "Terminator" — and a former governor. But he isn't perfect.

Schwarzenegger also used his talk to open up about his thoughts on the #MeToo movement. During his first run for governor, he was accused of groping women on set and was later revealed to have cheated on then-wife Maria Shriver with the couple's nanny.

"You've got to take those things seriously," he said. "You've got to look at it and say, 'I made mistakes. And I have to apologize.'"

Of course, when it comes to destroying our environment, a simple apology won't cut it. But Arnold is setting a good example of accountability here. He's willing to own up to his own past failings, and companies that have directly contributed to climate change and other environmental damage should do so as well.

Schwarzenegger knows that real change only happens when people get involved.

He plans to host an environmental conference in Vienna in May and hopes that by pursuing his potential lawsuit against the oil companies more people will feel inspired to take action in support of the environment. After all, he says, lives are at stake.

"If you walk into a room and you know you’re going to kill someone, it's first-degree murder," he said. "I think it's the same thing with the oil companies."

Heroes

Andy Grammer, the pop singer and songwriter behind feel-good tunes like "Keep Your Head Up," "Back Home," and "Don't Give Up on Me," has a new album out—and it is seriously fabulous. Titled simply "Naive," Grammer says it's "all about how seeing the good in todays world can feel like a rebellious act."

"I wrote this album for the light bringers," Grammer shared on Facebook. "The people who choose to see the good even in the overwhelming chaos of the bad. The smilers who fight brick by brick to build an authentic smile everyday, even when it seems like an impossible thing to do. For those who have been marginalized as 'sweet' or 'cute' or 'less powerful' for being overly positive. To me optimism is a war to be fought, possibly the most important one. If I am speaking to you and you are relating to it then know I made this album for you. You are my tribe. I love you and I hope it serves you. Don't let the world turn down your shine, we all so badly need it."

Reading that, it's easy to think maybe he really is naive, but Grammer's positivity isn't due to nothing difficult ever happening in his life. His mom, Kathy, died of breast cancer when Grammer was 25. He and his mother were very close, and her life and death had a huge impact on him.

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Culture
via Stratford Festival / Twitter

Service dogs are invaluable to their owners because they are able to help in so many different ways.

They're trained to retrieve dropped Items, open and close doors, help their owners remove their clothes, transport medications, navigate busy areas such as airports, provide visual assistance, and even give psychological help.

The service dog trainers at K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs in Canada want those who require service dogs to live the fullest life possible, so they're training dogs on how to attend a theatrical performance.

The adorable photos of the dogs made their way to social media where they quickly went viral.

On August 15, a dozen dogs from Golden Retrievers to poodles, were treated to a performance of "Billy Elliott" at the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada. This was a special "relaxed performance" featuring quieter sound effects and lighting, designed for those with sensory issues.

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"It's important to prepare the dogs for any activity the handler may like to attend," Laura Mackenzie, owner and head trainer at K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs, told CBC.

"The theater gives us the opportunity to expose the dogs to different stimuli such as lights, loud noises, and movement of varying degrees," she continued. "The dogs must remain relaxed in tight quarters for an extended period of time."

The dogs got to enjoy the show from their own seats and took a break with everyone else during intermission. They were able to familiarize themselves with the theater experience so they know how to navigate through crowds and fit into tight bathroom stalls.

via Stratford Festival / Twitter


via Stratford Festival / Twitter


via Stratford Festival / Twitter

"About a dozen dogs came to our relaxed performance, and they were all extremely well-behaved," says Stratford Festival spokesperson Ann Swerdfager. "I was in the lobby when they came in, then they took their seats, then got out of their seats at intermission and went back — all of the things we learn as humans when we start going to the theater."

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The dogs' great performance at the trial run means that people who require service animals can have the freedom to enjoy special experiences like going to the theater.

"It's wonderful that going to the theater is considered one of the things that you want to train a service dog for, rather than thinking that theater is out of reach for people who require a service animal, because it isn't," Swerdfager said.

The Stratford Festival runs through Nov. 10 and features productions of "The Merry Wives of Windsor," "The Neverending Story," "Othello," "Billy Elliot," "Little Shop of Horrors," "The Crucible" and more.

Inclusivity

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via Blessing Manifesting / Instagram

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Maybe your parent lived with debilitating depression that thrust you into the role of caregiver from a very young age.

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