Ellen DeGeneres weighed in on the Starbucks cup controversy. And yes, she nailed it.

In case you missed it, some coffee drinkers are very upset about Starbucks' new holiday cups.

They feel the plain red cups are a sign of the times — that Starbucks is just the latest company to remove Christmas from the holiday season.

In years past, Starbucks' holiday cups had a bit more ... let's say flair to them, featuring things like snowflakes and tree ornaments. In 2015, however, the coffee giant seems to have gone with a more minimalistic approach for the cups' design.

Admittedly, they are be a bit boring (hey, I like my snowflakes):



But ... anti-Christmas?

“This is a denial of historical reality and the great Christian heritage behind the American dream that has so benefitted Starbucks," Andrea Williams of the group Christian Concern told Breitbart. “This also denies the hope of Jesus Christ and his story told so powerfully at this time of year."

For the record, Starbucks has never featured overtly religious symbols — let alone the story of Jesus — on its holidays cups (unless Jesus was a cartoon snowman). And it continues to sell Christmas Blend coffee and advent calendars, by the way.

See these holiday cups from 2012? I believe that's a snowman under there, next to the scribbles. Photo by Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images.

Nonetheless, outrage sparked the #MerryChristmasStarbucks hashtag among some people of faith (certainly not all) who are sharing photos of themselves with their Starbucks coffee after asking baristas to write "Merry Christmas" on the cups. Which the baristas do, because Starbucks does not have an anti-Christmas policy.

As expected, not everyone has been on board with the hashtag or its message. So those who think the holiday cups are just ... well, cups ... created their own hashtag, #ItsJustACup, poking fun at their cause. A digital war of words ensued.

And this week, Ellen DeGeneres joined in on what has become this year's first War on Christmas debate.

As DeGeneres often does so brilliantly with cultural controversies, she weighed in on the holiday cup drama.

During her show this week, DeGeneres broke down exactly why some people are bent out of shape about these gosh darn cups.

All GIFs via TheEllenShow/YouTube.

She mentioned that Starbucks released a statement explaining its holiday cups were not at all intended to be anti-anything, but to "create a culture of belonging, inclusion and diversity" by welcoming "customers from all backgrounds and religions in [its] stores around the world."

But DeGeneres clearly was not having it.

"I mean, look at this cup," she quipped. "You might as well call it a Satan sipper."

DeGeneres' solution to those who feel like Starbucks needs a bit more Christmas in its stores?

These fabulous things.

They're called Starbucks Holiday Vision Glasses and you can purchase them for the low, completely reasonable price of $99, as DeGeneres hilariously explains in the clip below.

It's certainly worth three minutes of your time.

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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