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Banksy's Dismaland art installment closes but lives on as a refugee shelter.

'You have no control over whether your destiny is to be an asylum seeker or a western super-power.'

After five weeks and more than 150,000 visitors, "bemusement park" Dismaland has closed its doors.

The park was the work of Banksy, one of the world's most well-known graffiti artists.


GIF via banksyfilm/YouTube.

Upon its opening earlier this summer in the English town of Weston-super-Mare, the park/art installment instantly made headlines around the world for its critique of predatory capitalism, police violence, war, and pop culture.

But there's one last surprise.

"Coming soon… Dismaland Calais," reads an announcement on the park's website.

So, wait, what does this mean? The statement continues:

"All the timber and fixtures from Dismaland are being sent to the 'jungle' refugee camp near Calais to build shelters. No online tickets will be available."

Image via banksyfilm/YouTube.

The Jungle in Calais, France, is the home of an estimated 4,000 refugees and migrants.

Conditions at the French camp are notoriously poor. The European Union recently granted France €5 million (a little less than $5.6 million) to renovate the camp. Unfortunately, the plan proposed by the EU would accommodate less than half of the people currently living there.

Many of the refugees living at The Jungle have come from Eritrea and Sudan. As part of the larger, ongoing refugee crisis, many of these refugees and migrants wind up in Calais before attempting to cross the English Channel and establish new lives in England.

Migrants and refugees gather in Calais' Jungle camp. Photo by Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images.

So while it's really cool that Dismaland is going to be helping the people living at The Jungle, it shouldn't really come as a surprise.

One of the exhibits featured at Dismaland directly addressed the refugee crisis.

In the exhibit, overcrowded boats glide around lifeless bodies floating face-down in a small pond. There's also a small yacht. Here's how Banksy describes the exhibit:

"In the remote control boat pond at Dismaland it randomly switches the boat you operate – so you have no control over whether your destiny is to be an asylum seeker or a western super-power."

The whole thing is actually a really powerful look at privilege and caste systems. Why should the refugees be punished for having born in countries ravaged by war and economic disaster? Are the asylum seekers any less deserving of safety than the western super-powers?

Vine by Tim Chester.

As “Britain's most disappointing new visitor attraction," Dismaland had a nice effect on the local economy.

In addition to donating Dismaland's structures and fixtures to the Calais refugee camp, the short-lived theme park was a gift to another group: the local tourism industry in Western-super-Mare.

With hotel bookings up 50% over the past six weeks and more than double the number of travelers arriving from London by train, the local economy has been booming. Visit Somerset CEO John Turner estimates that Dismaland helped drive somewhere around £20 million (roughly $31 million) to local businesses.

Image via banksyfilm/YouTube.

No matter how you look at it, Dismaland was a huge success.

Help the refugees? Check. Boost local economy? Check. Entertain tourists? Check. All while producing art that sends a message? Check.

While you may have missed out on seeing Dismaland in person, you can relive the magic (?) with the video below!

Image from YouTube video.

An emotional and strong Matt Diaz.


Matt Diaz has worked extremely hard to lose 270 pounds over the past six years.

But his proudest moment came in March 2015 when he decided to film himself with his shirt off to prove an important point about body positivity and self-love.

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Community

Man uses social media to teach others ASL so kids don't experience what he did as a child

Every child should be able to communicate in a way that works best for them.

Man teaches people ASL so no child experiences what he did

People start communicating from the moment they enter the world usually through cries, faces, grunts and squeals. Once infants move into the toddler phase the combine all of their previous communication skills with pointing and saying a few frequently used words like "milk," "mama," "dada" and "eat."

Children who are born without the ability to hear often still go through those same stages with the exception of their frequently used words being in sign language. But not all hearing parents know sign language, which can stunt the language skills of their non-hearing child. Ronnie McKenzie is an American Sign Language advocate that uses social media to teach others how to sign so deaf and nonverbal kids don't feel left out.

"But seriously i felt so isolated 50% of my life especially being outside of school i had NONE to sign ASL with. Imagine being restricted from your own language," McKenzie writes in his caption.

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Family

Wife says husband's last name is so awful she can't give it to her kids. Is she right?

"I totally get we can’t shield kids from everything, and I understand the whole family ties thing, but c’mon."

A wife pleads with her husband to change their child's name.

Even though it’s 2023 and schools are much more concerned with protecting children from bullying than in the past, parents still have to be aware that kids will be kids, and having a child with a funny name is bound to cause them trouble.

A mother on Reddit is concerned that her future children will have the unfortunate last name of “Butt,” so she asked people on the namenerds forum to help her convince her husband to name their child something different.

(Note: We’re assuming that the person who wrote the post is a woman because their husband is interested in perpetuating the family name, and if it were a same-sex relationship, a husband probably wouldn’t automatically make that assumption.)

"My husband’s last name is Butt. Can someone please help me illuminate to him why this last name is less than ideal,” she asked the forum. “I totally get we can’t shield kids from everything and I understand the whole family ties thing, but c'mon. Am I being unreasonable by suggesting our future kid either take my name, a hybrid, or a new one altogether?"

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Joy

Bus driver comes to the rescue for boy who didn't have an outfit for school's Pajamas Day

“It hurt me so bad…I wanted him to have a good day. No child should have to miss out on something as small as pajama day.”

Representative Image from Canva

One thoughtful act can completely turn someone's day around.

On the morning just before Valentine’s Day, school bus driver Larry Farrish Jr. noticed something amiss with Levi, one of his first grade passengers, on route to Engelhard Elementary, part of Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) in Louisville, Kentucky.

On any other day, the boy would greet Farrish with a smile and a wave. But today, nothing. Levi sat down by himself, eyes downcast, no shining grin to be seen. Farrish knew something was up, and decided to inquire.

With a “face full of tears,” as described on the JCPS website, Levi told Farrish that today was “Pajama Day” at school, but he didn’t have any pajamas to wear for the special occasion.
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via Imgur

Memories of testing like this gets people fired up.

It doesn't take much to cause everyone on the internet to go a little crazy, so it's not completely surprising that an incorrect answer on a child's math test is the latest event to get people fired up.

The test in question asked kids to solve "5 x 3" using repeated addition. Under this method, the correct answer is "5 groups of 3," not "3 groups of 5." The question is typical of Common Core but has many questioning this type of standardized testing and how it affects learning.

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Joy

There are over 30 years between these amazing before-and-after photos.

"It's important for me for my photography to make people smile."

All photos by Chris Porsz/REX/Shutterstock.

Before and after photos separated by 30 years.


Chris Porsz was tired of studying sociology.

As a university student in the 1970s, he found the talk of economics and statistics completely mind-numbing. So instead, he says, he roamed the streets of his hometown of Peterborough, England, with a camera in hand, snapping pictures of the people he met and listening to their stories. To him, it was a far better way to understand the world.

He always looked for the most eccentric people he could find, anyone who stood out from the crowd. Sometimes he'd snap a single picture of that person and walk away. Other times he'd have lengthy conversations with these strangers.

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