I thought Alan Cumming had lost his mind, then I watched the video and was so wrong.

Almost everywhere you turn, there's a blood drive offering a free T-shirt and cookies. There seems to be an endless need for people to donate blood, and for good reason — donating blood saves thousands of lives every year. BUT before you think about reaching for one of those cookies, there are some rules in place to make sure YOU don't have dirty blood.

One of the FDA's most controversial rules has been around since 1977. It bans homosexual men — or, rather, ANY man who has had sex with another man — from giving blood for the rest of their lives. This came about at the onset of the AIDS crisis in America and the fear that HIV would make its way into the stockpile of blood used for transfusions. However, straight men and women can have sex with as many partners as they please and still be allowed to give blood. Stew on that for a second.


After decades of debate, the FDA has decided to lift the lifelong ban that prohibits any man who has had sex with another man to ever donate blood. We should be thrilled, right?

Not so fast. The FDA's statement stipulates that a man who has had sex with another man must remain celibate for one year before he can give blood. Yes, one year.

Sooooo, the amazing, talented, and philanthropic Alan Cumming has teamed up with GLAAD and GMHC to put together this PSA asking people to take the #celibacychallenge.

Because who wouldn't mind giving up sex for a year? You can do all sorts of lovely things. Like learn pottery...

...or take up carpentry...

...or join a Civil War re-enactment group.


RELAX. The #celibacychallenge is not what it sounds like.

The challenge is simply to sign THIS petition asking the FDA to change its questionnaire so donors are screened "based on their exposure to risk and NOT their sexual orientation."

Let's stop screening people based on sexual orientation and allow another 4.2 million people to be eligible to donate blood. That could help save up to 12.6 million lives!

Watch the video and share it with everyone you know. Who knows — it could end up saving your life.

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
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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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