Boston cops want to build trust with their community. Their first step? Ice cream.

Operation Hoodsie Cup is about way more than ice cream.

The Boston Police Department does a thing every year called "Operation Hoodsie Cup." And it's pretty darn cute.

‌Photo courtesy of Boston Police Department.‌

Officers roll around the city in an ice cream truck, dishing out free treats during the dog days of summer.  

It's a sly move that officers in Virginia are pulling off too.


‌Photo courtesy of Boston Police Department.‌

For obvious reasons, Operation Hoodsie Cup is a hit.

Just look at the smile on this kid's face!

Photo courtesy of Boston Police Department.

This year the even is especially neat because the BPD has glammed out its brand-new ride.

I would only be a little bit upset if this vehicle pulled me over.

‌Photo courtesy of Boston Police Department.‌

Seriously though — the BPD does not mess around when it comes to ice cream.

Photo courtesy of Boston Police Department.

The point of Operation Hoodsie Cup, however, isn't really about the ice cream (although, it sure acts as the perfect icebreaker, amiright?).

Photo courtesy of Boston Police Department.

It's about building bridges between Boston's people in uniform and the community they serve.

“It’s about way more than ice cream," one BPD officer said in a statement. "It’s about relationships and keeping kids safe. We want kids to like and look up to us."

Photo courtesy of Boston Police Department.

"I absolutely love the new truck and everything this program represents," Police Commissioner William B. Evans said.

Photo courtesy of Boston Police Department.

"The good will it generates between my officers and our city’s young people is undeniable and nothing short of remarkable," Evans said. "My only regret is that I wish we had started doing this 30 years ago.”

Boston's not alone. In recent months, police departments across the country have upped efforts to connect with the communities they're sworn to protect.

Take the police in Wichita, Kansas, for example. After Black Lives Matter supporters protested peacefully, officers threw a cookout to start a two-way conversation in order to improve cop-community relations.

By any definition, the event was a success.

"This isn't something we're going to change overnight or tonight," Wichita police chief Gordon Ramsay (not to be confused with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay) told 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."

The police chief is right: They've got a long road ahead.

Let's be real — free ice cream and a cookout won't solve the dire issue of systemic racism in law enforcement or the distrust people in the community feel toward cops.

These events, however, are great first steps taken by those in a position of power — the police departments — to build trust and communication between officers and the people they serve; trust that, in far too many communities around the country, has been broken.

Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images.

In America, black teens are far more likely to be killed by cops than their white counterparts (even after adjusting for the likelihood that a black or white teen would commit a crime). If you're black, there's a greater chance you'll be arrested too. And charges related to possession of marijuana demonstrate that: Even though there's no hard evidence proving black Americans smoke weed more regularly, they definitely get arrested for it more frequently.

A lot needs to happen to ensure people of color are viewed equally in the eyes of the law.

As Margaret Mead once put it, however, we should “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world," because "it is the only thing that ever has.”

And, as I say, all the better if that small group of thoughtful citizens comes armed with ice cream and a bit of empathy.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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