+
upworthy
More

Barack Obama and President Trump respond to the tragic Notre Dame fire.

Barack Obama and President Trump respond to the tragic Notre Dame fire.
Photo by Fouad Maghrane/Getty Images

With events still rapidly unfolding in France, both President Trump and former President Barack Obama responded quickly to their millions of followers on Twitter.

Trump responded with a tweet offering some unsolicited advice on how first responders might best handle the tragic fire that quickly engulfed the historic structure:

So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!

It was a fairly typical tweet from Trump during a crisis moment. If you’re a fan of the president, it could be seen as the commander-in-chief offering some tactical advice on the global stage. He might not always be right but he’s always there, always present and always putting himself at the center of a moment. Of course, if you’re a critic of Trump, you could say all those same things but in a wildly different context.


And those critics have some extra ammunition at their disposal, as French officials sent out a tweet of their own, saying all options were on the table for saving the cathedral, literally except the solution suggested by America’s president:

"all means are being used, except for water-bombing aircrafts which, if used, could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral."

Trump later sent out a far more simple, supportive tweet:

“God bless the people of France.”

In contrast, Obama sent out his own message to his 106 million followers just as the news of the tragic fire was gripping the world.

True to form, Obama’s message struck a decidedly different tone:

“Notre Dame is one of the world’s great treasures, and we’re thinking of the people of France in your time of grief. It’s in our nature to mourn when we see history lost – but it’s also in our nature to rebuild for tomorrow, as strong as we can.”

Again, supporters of Obama will see an articulate, compassion and nuanced response from the former commander-in-chief offering support, vision and energy in the face of tragedy. While his critics Obama might see see a long-winded, empty gesture.

In their own way, both men were trying to offer support as the world grappled with a tragedy that’s almost impossible to immediately process.

So many of us see history as untouchable. Something that has survived for so long and endured through chapters of world changing history surely couldn’t succumb to a random accident. However, that’s exactly what happened. And how the world’s last two most powerful leaders responded is a prism through which we can interpret so much.

Bill Gates in conversation with The Times of India

Bill Gates sure is strict on how his children use the very technology he helped bring to the masses.

In a recent interview with the Mirror, the tech mogul said his children were not allowed to own their own cellphone until the age of 14. "We often set a time after which there is no screen time, and in their case that helps them get to sleep at a reasonable hour," he said. Gates added that the children are not allowed to have cellphones at the table, but are allowed to use them for homework or studying.

Keep ReadingShow less

Jimmy Carter at the COmmonwealth Club.

Jimmy Carter, 99, was the 39th president of the United States (1977 to 1981). Looking back on his achievements both in and out of office, it’s easy to say that he was a man ahead of his time. He was far ahead of the mainstream when it came to advocating for social justice, human rights, and the environment.

Carter famously installed solar panels on the White House in 1979, only to have them removed by Ronald Reagan.

The former peanut farmer and Navy Lieutenant from Plains, Georgia, was also far ahead of his time when supporting gay rights. In 1976, while running for president, he said he would sign the Equality Act, an amendment to the 1964 Civil Rights Act that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. “I will certainly sign it, because I don’t think it’s right to single out homosexuals for special abuse or special harassment,” he said.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

The Sam Vimes "Boots" Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness explains one way the rich get richer.

Any time conversations about wealth and poverty come up, people inevitably start talking about boots.

The standard phrase that comes up is "pull yourself up by your bootstraps," which is usually shorthand for "work harder and don't ask for or expect help." (The fact that the phrase was originally used sarcastically because pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps is literally, physically impossible is rarely acknowledged, but c'est la vie.) The idea that people who build wealth do so because they individually work harder than poor people is baked into the American consciousness and wrapped up in the ideal of the American dream.

A different take on boots and building wealth, however, paints a more accurate picture of what it takes to get out of poverty.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Mom’s blistering rant on how men are responsible for all unwanted pregnancies is on the nose

“ALL unwanted pregnancies are caused by the irresponsible ejaculations of men. Period. Don't believe me? Let me walk you through it."

Mom has something to say... strongly say.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as Mormons, are a conservative group who aren't known for being vocal about sex.

But best selling author, blogger, and mother of six, Gabrielle Blair, has kicked that stereotype to the curb with a pointed thread on reducing unwanted pregnancies. And her sights are set directly at men.

Keep ReadingShow less

All GIFs and images via Exposure Labs.


Photographer James Balog and his crew were hanging out near a glacier when their camera captured something extraordinary.

They were in Greenland, gathering footage from the time-lapse they'd positioned all around the Arctic Circle for the last several years.

Keep ReadingShow less
Education

A teacher asked a great question about superintendent pay. Then, all hell broke loose.

Her earnest question about inequality in our education system was met with a grotesque abuse of power.


Why should a superintendent get a raise while teachers in the same district struggling to make ends meet see their paychecks flatline — year after year after year?

Teacher Deyshia Hargrave begged the question. Minutes later, she was handcuffed and placed in the backseat of a cop car.

The scene was captured below by YouTube user Chris Rosa, who attended a board meeting for Vermilion Parish Schools in Louisiana.

You can watch Hargrave begin speaking about 33 seconds in. The situation starts becoming contentious around 6:35 minutes. Hargrave is arrested at 8:35, and then walked outside in handcuffs and placed in the back of police vehicle.


Keep ReadingShow less