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If I Caught My Kid Making One Of These Videos, I'd Be ... Really Proud, Actually

This important message is brought to you by kids under 18 who give a crap about the future of their country.

NEED MORE?

Well, here are some numbers that might do the trick.

Young voters are a powerful but consistently under-represented voice at the polls. In 2012, voters 18 to 29 made up over 20% of the eligible voting population, but only 15% of them actually voted.


Only half of voters 25 to 44 and a mere 38% of voters 18 to 24 cast their ballots in the 2012 elections. And those numbers are even lower in midterm elections like 2014's — in the 2010 midterms, only 21% of 18-to-24-year-olds voted.

Both groups are voting at rates far lower than in 1964, the year just before the passage of the Voting Rights Act, one of the most effective civil rights laws in the history of the U.S.

The VRA is a perfect example of what's possible when people are pissed off enough not just to vote, but to be united and engaged on things that matter.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm cynical of voting as a way to bring about the change that so many people want and need. Elections have been soiled by corrupt corporations, wealthy individuals, politicians, and even our own Supreme Court.

But I still do it. Because it's really the *least* any of us who have a problem with the way things are should do. And because no matter how f&%#d up federal politics may be, I still believe local and state elections can make a difference in people's lives.

If you're able to vote but weren't planning on it, I hope you'll give it a second thought. There are a lot of folks — kids included — who would do it in your place if they could.

And if you're too young to vote, join these other young people in spreading the message to get out the vote.

Photo courtesy of Purina® Cat Chow®
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Know someone who’s over 60 and feeling lonely? Help is just a phone call away. Purina Cat Chow has partnered with two non-profits in order to bring senior citizens some much-needed virtual therapy cat visits.

Wait…that’s a thing?

When we think of the term “therapy animal,” most of us are probably inclined to picture a dog. After all, canines dominate the therapy animal field at 94%. Felines, on the other hand, make up part of the other 6% (that’s combined with other animals). Anyone who has experienced that special, soul-soothing bliss that comes from stroking a purring kitty in their lap will tell you: those numbers might be off. Although therapy cats make up a smaller percentage of this segment, cats offer a wide array of positive benefits that make them wonderful therapy animals.

Just ask Roger and Sal – a couple of registered therapy cats – along with their handler Tracy Howell.

Since 2016, Tracy and Roger have been working with Pet Partners®, a non-profit that matches volunteer therapy animals of all kinds with people in need of a furry friend visit, including nursing facilities, assisted living, hospice centers, and children’s hospitals.

Tracy and Roger in 2016; Photo courtesy of Tracy Howell

Sal is a mew addition to the team. But he’s already working very, very hard…putting his head on people’s thighs and letting them massage his paws. What a gig.

According to Pet Partners, who have had more than 1,500 felines registered in their Therapy Animal Program, certain populations prefer cat companions to dogs. For one thing: they’re more compact, and generally more quiet, making lap cuddles a much more Zen experience.

Plus, cats tend to be more particular about who they interact with, which can signal a nice little ego boost. “Cats have a reputation for being selectively affectionate. If a cat likes you, you’re special,” says Moira Smith, Pet Partners staff member, team evaluator, and cat handler.

Basically, it feels really good to be invited into the Cat Club. Some of Roger and Sal’s most loyal fans are, in fact, seniors – in particular, those with dementia.

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via Pexels

The Emperor of the Seas.

Imagine retiring early and spending the rest of your life on a cruise ship visiting exotic locations, meeting interesting people and eating delectable food. It sounds fantastic, but surely it’s a billionaire’s fantasy, right?

Not according to Angelyn Burk, 53, and her husband Richard. They’re living their best life hopping from ship to ship for around $44 a night each. The Burks have called cruise ships their home since May 2021 and have no plans to go back to their lives as landlubbers. Angelyn took her first cruise in 1992 and it changed her goals in life forever.

“Our original plan was to stay in different countries for a month at a time and eventually retire to cruise ships as we got older,” Angelyn told 7 News. But a few years back, Angelyn crunched the numbers and realized they could start much sooner than expected.

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True

It takes a special type of person to become a nurse. The job requires a combination of energy, empathy, clear mind, oftentimes a strong stomach, and a cheerful attitude. And while people typically think of nursing in a clinical setting, some nurses are driven to work with the people that feel forgotten by society.

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Parenting

Touting the benefits of breast milk during a formula shortage isn't helping anyone

There are times and places for breastfeeding advocacy. This isn't it.

Photos via Canva

A formula shortage crisis is not the time to push breastfeeding advocacy.

By now, you've likely seen news stories about the baby formula shortage in the U.S. According to CBS News, the formula shortage has been coming for months, with supply chain issues, labor shortages, product recalls and inflation creating a perfect storm and hampering manufacturers' ability to keep up with demand.

The shortage is causing intense stress for families that rely on formula as retailers resort to rationing purchases and customers find store shelves empty of major brands.

It's genuinely a crisis. And unfortunately, some breastfeeding advocates are using the shortage to tout the benefits of breastfeeding: This isn't a problem if you breastfeed! It's "free!" It's "readily available!" It's nature's perfect food! It's "what God intended!" It'll never be recalled!

Folks? Now is not the time or the place.

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The 1990s was a magical time.

If you grew up in the '90s then you were part of the last generation of kids who lived without being constantly connected to the internet. You lived during that last gasp of the analog era where most of your entertainment came on tape and if you wanted a new pair of Guess jeans or LA Gear shoes, you had to drive to the mall.

Also, if you wore pants that looked like this, people actually thought you were cool.


Families mattered on Friday nights.



People listened to rock 'n' roll because it was important.



Hip-hop was at its peak.



People spent time talking to each other instead of staring at their phones.

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