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In 1886, we received the Statue of Liberty as a gift. She was originally an Arab woman.

When it comes to symbols of what America stands for, we're pretty partial to the Statue of Liberty.

I mean, people would be pretty upset if this suddenly happened, amirite?


April O'Neil deserves a Pulitzer for this shot. GIF via Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game.

There's a reason we like it so much (and it's not just that comfy-looking robe that may or may not have been the world's first Snuggie). Lady Liberty stands for some of our most closely held values as a nation, and she even comes with an epic poem telling the world that we're ready to accept the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free."

It's a symbol of our reputation as a welcoming place for people from all over the globe — a reputation we don't always live up to these days. Since the horrid attacks in Paris, many have looked to close borders to Muslim refugees out of the fear of a potential terrorist attack, unleashing a tidal wave of anti-Muslim sentiment in the process. It's in our streets. It's in our schools. It's even found its way into our football games. The recent shooting in San Bernardino, California, may even intensify these feelings.

There's a huge irony here. The Statue of Liberty was originally born a Muslim.

Calm down, Urkel. It's true. GIF from "Family Matters."

Yes, according to a recent article published by Smithsonian magazine (and previously pointed out by The Daily Beast), the magnificent monument that represents everything we as a country stand for was originally envisioned as a Muslim peasant woman that would have stood guard over the Suez Canal in Egypt, not the New York Harbor.

That's because the statue's sculptor, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi of France, originally pitched the colossal idea to Isma'il Pasha, the khedive of Egypt (something akin to a viceroy). Thankfully for us, Pasha refused, and Bartholdi soon “sailed to America with drawings of the Muslim woman transformed to the personification of Liberty," as The Daily Beast's Michael Daly put it.

From there, the statue was built by Gustave Eiffel (ever heard of the Eiffel Tower? Yeah, that guy) and gifted to us on Oct. 28, 1886, serving as a symbol of our country's open-door policy to those in need of safety and shelter.

Now, it's these Muslim refugees who need our help the most.

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, there have been over 4 million documented Syrian refugees since the country's civil war began in 2011. Nearly half of those refugees have been children, and with winter rapidly approaching, they are facing a bigger risk of malnutrition and abuse than ever before.

Want some more statistics? Of the 784,000 refugees we have admitted since 9/11, only three were ever linked to any terrorist activity, and none of those admitted ever committed an act of terrorism on American soil (which is more than what can be said for people like alleged Colorado shooter Robert L. Dear Jr., who was born right here in America).

Terror attacks are horrible. But we can't let fear supplant reason.

You have a greater chance of dying in an asteroid apocalypse (1 in 12,500) than being killed in a refugee-related act of terrorism. So by turning our backs on millions of Muslim refugees out of fear, we are doing far worse than merely ignoring the words of our forefathers, the words of our Constitution, and the words that adorn our most beloved national symbol.

We are turning our backs on Lady Liberty herself.

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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Health

This company makes it easier than ever to enjoy guilt-free fairly traded coffee

Thanks to Lifeboost, good coffee can be good for everyone.

Unsplash

Lifeboost coffee

Americans love coffee. Like, we really, seriously, truly love it. According to one recent survey, 75 percent of U.S. adults drink coffee at least occasionally, while 53 percent—about 110 million people—drink it every single day. For some, coffee is an essential part of their morning ritual. For others, it’s something they enjoy when they hit the proverbial wall in the late afternoon. But either way, millions of people use coffee to boost energy, focus, and productivity.


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Pop Culture

13-year-old ventriloquist sings incredible, sassy version of 'You Don't Own Me' on 'AGT'

Ana-Maria Mărgean only started her hobby in 2020 and is already wowing audiences on "America's Got Talent."

America's Got Talent/Youtube

Ana-Maria Mărgean singing "You Don't Own Me" on "America's Got Talent"

It’s not every day a ventriloquist act is so jaw-dropping that it has to be seen to be believed. But when it does happen, it’s usually on “America’s Got Talent.”

Ana-Maria Mărgean was only 11 years old when she first took to the stage on “Romania’s Got Talent” to show off her ventriloquism skills, an act inspired by videos of fellow ventriloquist and “America’s Got Talent” Season 2 champion Terry Fator.

Using puppets built for her by her parents, the young performer tirelessly spent her quarantine time in 2020 learning how to bring them to life, which led to her receiving a Golden Buzzer and eventually winning the entire series in Romania.

Mărgean is now 13 and a competitor on this season of “America’s Got Talent: All-Stars,” hoping to be crowned the winner and perform her own show in Vegas, just like her hero Fator.

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Pop Culture

Linda Ronstadt's 1970's ballad is a chart-topping hit once again thanks to 'The Last of Us'

The iconic 70s song "Long, Long Time" was an integral part of an unforgettable episode that fans are calling a masterpiece.

Linda Ronstadt (left), Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett (right)

HBO’s emotional third episode of the zombie series “The Last Of Us” became an instant favorite among fans, thanks in no small part to Linda Ronstadt’s late 1970s ballad, “Long, Long Time.”

Using the song as the episode’s title, “Long, Long Time,” moves away from the show’s main plot to instead focus on a heartbreakingly beautiful love story between Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett), from its endearing start all the way to its bittersweet end.

The song makes its first appearance during the initial stages of Bill and Frank’s romance as they play the tune on the piano, just before they share their first kiss.

We see their entire lives together play out—one of closeness, devotion, and savoring homegrown strawberries—until they meet their end. The song then plays on the radio, bringing the bottle episode to a poignant close.

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Joy

34-year-old man is learning to read on TikTok in series of motivational videos

His reading skills have improved so much that he plans to read 100 books this year.

@oliverspeaks1/TikTok

Oliver James is the biggest star on BookTok.

With over 125,000 followers, 34-year-old Oliver James is a star in the BookTok community. And it all started with a very simple goal: Learn to read.

For most kids, school is a place where they can develop a relationship with learning in a safe environment. For James, school was the opposite. Growing up with learning and behavior disabilities subjected him to abusive teaching practices in special education, which, of course, did nothing to help.

"The special education system at the time was more focused on behavioral than educating," he told Good Morning America. "So they spent a lotta time restraining us, a lotta time disciplining us, a lotta times putting us in positions to kinda shape us to just not act out in class."

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Pop Culture

Buffy Sainte-Marie shares what led to her openly breastfeeding on 'Sesame Street' in 1977

The way she explained to Big Bird what she was doing is still an all-time great example.

"Sesame Street" taught kids about life in addition to letters and numbers.

In 1977, singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie did something revolutionary: She fed her baby on Sesame Street.

The Indigenous Canadian-Ameican singer-songwriter wasn't doing anything millions of other mothers hadn't done—she was simply feeding her baby. But the fact that she was breastfeeding him was significant since breastfeeding in the United States hit an all-time low in 1971 and was just starting to make a comeback. The fact that she did it openly on a children's television program was even more notable, since "What if children see?" has been a key pearl clutch for people who criticize breastfeeding in public.

But the most remarkable thing about the "Sesame Street" segment was the lovely interchange between Big Bird and Sainte-Marie when he asked her what she was doing.

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