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How do you turn hate into something beautiful? This shock-metal rocker has some ideas.

Metal band Gwar is not usually associated with thoughtful social commentary.

Unless you're already a Gwar fan, you probably think of the band as "that crazy group with the freaky costumes and elaborately vulgar stage shows."

Actually, even if you are a Gwar fan, you probably think of them that way.


Gwar. I think. Photo by Roger Kisby/Getty Images.

For the uninitiated, Gwar is a performance-art-slash-metal band whose vulgar stage show and elaborate fictional mythology function as a kind of absurdist caricature of everything ever. Literally. There is nothing safe from their satire (or the bodily fluids that spray from the stage).

So you might be surprised to learn that the lead singer of Gwar recently gave a TEDx Talk.

And it's really good.

Dr. Michael Bishop, who gave the talk, currently plays the role of Gwar's lead singer, the berserker Blothar (or, as he puts it, he is the "human slave" of Blothar). More importantly, he has a Ph.D. in music from the University of Richmond, with a particular interest in ethnomusicology (basically, the cultural and social context around music).

He's a pretty smart guy.

The talk is about the intersections of regional identity, economics, slavery, and creativity — and how it all relates to Gwar. And i f you're confused by that sentence, just imagine how I felt while typing it.

As Dr. Bishop explains, a surprising amount of careful, conscious commentary went into the construction of the Gwar mythology:


GIFs via TEDx.

Basically, Dr. Bishop (aka Blothar, formerly known as Beefcake the Mighty), presents an argument that a band like Gwar only exists because of Richmond, Virginia's troubled history.

While Gwar's brand of creative output certainly reflects Richmond's violent history, there's one major difference: Gwar is fictional and has never actually enslaved or killed any real people.

Being from Richmond, the members of Gwar couldn't avoid the death, destruction, and poverty that surrounded their hometown. So they found another way to channel that negative energy and turn it into something productive. And given that a recent study showed that metal fans grew up to be more well-adjusted than many of their peers, Gwar just might be on to something.

Watch the full TEDx Talk — it is a glorious, glorious testament to the late Oderus Urungus:

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

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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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