A homophobic ad was placed next to a pizza shop. They messed with the wrong place.

Wiseguise Pizza didn't really want to be embroiled in the middle of a heated social debate. But, when it happened anyway, the pizza shop more than rose to the occasion, with a great sense of humor to boot.

After a polarizing political message appeared on a billboard adjacent to the restaurant in Mowbray, Tasmania, in Australia, the pizza shop could no longer ignore the elephant in the room — or, more specifically, the bigotry on the nearby street sign.


"IT'S OK TO SAY 'NO,'" read the billboard — a message encouraging Australians to vote against marriage equality, promoted by lobbyist group Coalition for Marriage.

Wiseguise Pizza couldn't let that stand — so they decided to have a little fun with it.

On Sept. 21, 2017, Fred Hooper of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation captured workers painting a response from the pizza shop on the white wall adjacent to the billboard.

Their message? It was simple, really.

"IT'S OK TO SAY 'NO,' ... TO PINEAPPLE ON PIZZA!" the updated message read, in a photo also snapped by Hooper.

"It's a huge debate at the moment, obviously," Wiseguise employee Ben Barwick told ABC, before quipping, "Everyone's talking about whether pineapple should be on pizza or not."

The store's managing director Alex Jones (no, not that Alex Jones) told ABC that Wiseguise wasn't explicitly taking a stance on the issue of marriage equality through its lighthearted commentary. But the far-reaching, lasting affect of the restaurant's actions shows just how heated the debate over same-sex marriage remains around the world; although the story unfolded last month, the photo landed a coveted front page spot on Reddit on Oct. 25.

It's no wonder the story's making waves. A critical vote is underway right now in Australia — and the outcome, which could legalize same-sex marriage nationwide, is far from certain.

A mail-in survey asking voters if the law should change so same-sex partners can marry has been open since Sept. 12 and will close on Nov. 7. Although the tally won't formally legalize same-sex marriage if "yes" votes win out, it will lead to a parliamentary debate and vote on the issue, which would likely (although not inevitably) end in favor of LGBTQ rights.

LGBTQ rights advocates have cause for concern. While public polling has consistently showed Australians are in favor of same-sex marriage, recent indicators show a tight race unfolding.

Photo by William West/AFP/Getty Images.

Proponents of same-sex marriage aren't worried about a surge in "no" voters, necessarily; they're far more worried about the prospect of the lazy "yes" voters: Australians (particularly younger Australians) who haven't mailed in their vote yet. Overconfidence in a "yes" victory could spell disaster.

“There is no room for complacency and no reason to think someone else's vote will win this," Equality Campaign Director Tiernan Brady explained to News.com.au. "We know there's an awful lot of young people that have either not voted yet or filled it in and not delivered it to the post box."

Young Aussies, say "no" to pineapple pizza and go vote "yes" for marriage equality. Too much is at stake to leave this one up to chance.

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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When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

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.

Keep Reading Show less