It began with gay dinosaur sex, then became the most heartwarming thread on the internet.

Chuck Tingle doesn't fit the typical image of a best-selling and award-nominated author. That's exactly what makes him so wonderful.

Not much is known about the man himself, although that hasn't stopped his fans from trying to uncover the truth. Tingle says he has autism and his pseudonymous author identity is a mask that lets him be himself and connect with people in ways he's often struggled with. He also says he has a black belt in tae kwon do and a Ph.D. in holistic medicine from DeVry University, and says he lives in Billings, Montana, with his "handsome son, name of JON," who helps edit his books and clean up what he calls his "unique way" of writing.

It's hard to explain Tingle's unique way to those who haven't been exposed it. Tingle writes hilariously titled surreal gay erotica "tinglers" about dinosaurs, airplanes, handsome sentient food, cryptozoological creatures such as Bigfoot and unicorns, current events and politics (usually with dinosaurs, food, and/or cryptozoological creatures), and even strange metafictional meditations on his own books and, yes, his own butt. Here's a small sampling of his work:


A few of Tingle's covers, used with permission: "all book covers or drawings are a good way thank you."

Tingle's way is definitely unique. As weird as it might sound, his stories have one surprisingly inspiring purpose: to "prove that love is real."

Whether that love's with another man or, ya know, a billionaire T-rex lawyer, that's up to you. As long as you're a "true buckaroo" (what Tingle calls his fans or anyone who proves love), you can overcome anything the "devils" throw your way, all in the name of love.

To celebrate his recent #1 Amazon best-seller about a real-estate-mogul-turned-president and the Russian T-rex who loves him, Tingle hosted a Reddit AMA that reached the front page of the popular site — giving him an even bigger audience than ever before. While some buckaroos who hadn't yet been initiated into the Tingleverse were a little confused and uncomfortable at first, Tingle ultimately won them over with his unique way — which says a lot about his passion and the goodness in people's hearts.

Here are 19 powerful moments from Chuck Tingle's Reddit AMA that prove love is real.

Chuck Tingle's "author photo," which he admits is not actually him, on the cover of his book "Buttception: a Butt Within a Butt Within a Butt." Image via Chuck Tingle/YouTube.

(Just a heads-up: Tingle's unique way features some distinctive language and grammar. Those idiosyncrasies are preserved below to give an accurate impression of the man himself.)

1. First, just to be clear: "Love" doesn't have to be sexual.

"love is real with or without our participation as buds!"

All screenshots via Reddit.

2. But love does have to be consensual.

Remember, kids: Don't put your butt in someone else's butt unless they explicitly communicated to you that they want your butt inside their butt. (As for the ethics of butt cloning, I'm not even sure that I'm ready to tackle that subject just yet.)

3. Which is why it's so important we all reflect on the things we do and ask ourselves: Does this prove that love is real?

And if it doesn't, then why are you doing it? Nothing is worth doing without love.

4. When you reach out and connect with friends? That's love, right there.

5. You can prove love by making new friends, too.

6. Some buckaroos prove love is real by helping strangers.

Who knew that finding love at a gas station could be so wholesome and delightful?

7. You can even prove love across generations if you just trust that other people are trying to prove love, too.

8. Love takes many different forms, and you can still appreciate them all even if they're not your "preferred pound."

If you're a straight buckaroo, then seeing gay love isn't going to "turn" you gay. Same thing if you're a human and you see ghost pirate love or unicorn love — you're not going to suddenly turn into that thing. (And if you do feel a slight tingle? That's OK!)

9. If chocolate milk is your preferred pound? That's cool, too.

10. But proving love doesn't mean that everything is awesome all the time.

Sometimes the "loneliness train," as Tingle calls it, pulls into the station of your brain. That's OK because even when it's difficult, it can still bring us together.

"you can think, 'well if everyone thinks this sometimes then i guess me and everyone else have a lot in common, i didn't realize that!' then you can start thinking that maybe you have EVEN MORE in common as buckaroos."

11. Sometimes it even takes a while for us to heal, and that's OK, too.

12. The truth is, everyone has their own unique way, and that's worth celebrating — even when it makes it difficult to communicate.

As strange as Tingle's distinct voice may seem at first glance, that's just how he communicates. And if it works, what's the problem?

"as a buckaroo growing up it was very hard for me to UNDERSTAND FEELINGS OF OTHERS and accept SOCIAL CUES ... so then i wore an imaginary mask of myself to say 'hello remember when i could not talk to you? now i can talk to you in this UNIQUE WAY and i can express myself.'"

13. Just as there's no one "right way" to prove that love is real, there's no right or wrong way to be a man, either (or a woman, for that matter).

14. Come to think of it, there's no "right way" to be a helicopter, either.

Anyone can be whatever they want. A heterosexual man can even prove love to his wife by giving her a book about a gay helicopter. That's the power of the Tingleverse.

"in this story JOM HAM must learn his body as a helicopter man and i think that is a very important message"

15. The most difficult thing in the world is to be an individual, comfortable in your skin. Your unique way is part of the world, and it matters.

"the world needs you in it being EXACTLY WHO YOU ARE because every day that you're exactly who you are you are proving love."

16. Because when each of us proves love is real by simply being the best person we can, it inspires others to do the same.

Doing so ripples through the Tingleverse, converting even the most cynical Reddit commenters into true believers.

17. That's why sometimes the best thing to do is to trot cutely and embrace your own unique way.

"you are SO MUCH BETTER than anyone else in the world at being you"

18. But even when we fail and let the loneliness train settle in, all we have to do is believe love is real to prove it to ourselves and the world.

19. This truth is universal whether you're a human, a unicorn beach cop on roller skaters, a handsome ear of sentient corn, the physical manifestation of the year 2016, or anything else. Love always conquers hate.

Yes, it's a little ridiculous that this strange, gay, sci-fi erotica author would be such a bastion of hope and inspiration. But the world needs love right now, and that's what Tingle's all about.

No one knows who Chuck Tingle really is or if his story is even true. But you have to admit, the earnestness in his words rings true and makes you smile. And that means this mission to "prove love" is a resounding success.

Tingle's unabashed enthusiasm is infectious, and people like him — and you — always have the power to celebrate the things that make life worth living. That's how we prove love is real.

Courtesy of Farwiza Farhan
True

Growing up in Indonesia, Farwiza Farhan always loved the ocean. It's why she decided to study marine biology. But the more she learned, the more she realized that it wasn't enough to work in the ocean. She needed to protect it.

"I see the ocean ecosystem collapsing due to overfishing and climate change," she says. "I felt powerless and didn't know what to do [so] I decided to pursue my master's in environmental management."

This choice led her to work in environmental protection, and it was fate that brought her back home to the Leuser Ecosystem in Sumatra, Indonesia — one of the last places on earth where species such as tigers, orangutans, elephants and Sumatran rhinoceros still live in the wild today. It's also home to over 300 species of birds, eight of which are endemic to the region.

"When I first flew over the Leuser Ecosystem, I saw an intact landscape, a contiguous block of lush, diverse vegetation stretched through hills and valleys. The Leuser is truly a majestic landscape — one of a kind."

She fell in love. "I had my first orangutan encounter in the Leuser Ecosystem," she remembers. "As the baby orangutan swung from the branches, seemingly playing and having fun, the mother was observing us. I was moved by the experience."

Courtesy of Farwiza Farhan

"Over the years," she continues, "the encounters with wildlife, with people, and with the ecosystem itself compounded. My curiosity and interest towards nature have turned into a deep desire to protect this biodiversity."

So, she began working for a government agency tasked to protect it. After the agency dismantled for political reasons in the country, Farhan decided to create the HAkA Foundation.

"The goals [of HAkA] are to protect, conserve and restore the Leuser Ecosystem while at the same time catalyzing and enabling just economic prosperity for the region," she says.

"Wild areas and wild places are rare these days," she continues. "We think gold and diamonds are rare and therefore valuable assets, but wild places and forests, like the Leuser Ecosystems, are the kind of natural assets that essentially provide us with life-sustaining services."

"The rivers that flow through the forest of the Leuser Ecosystem are not too dissimilar to the blood that flows through our veins. It might sound extreme, but tell me — can anyone live without water?"

Courtesy of Farwiza Farhan

So far, HAkA has done a lot of work to protect the region. The organization played a key role in strengthening laws that bring the palm oil companies that burn forests to justice. In fact, their involvement led to an unprecedented, first-of-its-kind court decision that fined one company close to $26 million.

In addition, HAkA helped thwart destructive infrastructure plans that would have damaged critical habitat for the Sumatran elephants and rhinos. They're working to prevent mining destruction by helping communities develop alternative livelihoods that don't damage the forests. They've also trained hundreds of police and government rangers to monitor deforestation, helping to establish the first women ranger teams in the region.

"We have supported multiple villages to create local regulation on river and land protection, effectively empowering communities to regain ownership over their environment."

She is one of Tory Burch's Empowered Women this year. The donation she receives as a nominee is being awarded to the Ecosystem Impact Foundation. The small local foundation is working to protect some of the last remaining habitats of the critically endangered leatherback turtle that lives on the west coast of Sumatra.

"The funds will help the organization keep their ranger employed so they can continue protecting the islands, endangered birds and sea turtle habitats," she says.

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen. Do you know an inspiring woman like Farwiza? Nominate her today!

Tired of avocados turning brown? Try this simple trick.

Ah, the delicious, creamy avocado. We love it, despite its fleeting ripeness and frustrating tendency to turn brown when you try to store it. From salads to guacamole to much-memed millennial avocado toast, the weird berry (that's right—it's a berry) with the signature green flesh is one of the more versatile fruits, but also one of the more fickle. Once an avocado is ready, you better cut it open within hours because it's not going to last.

Once it's cut, an avocado starts to oxidize, turning that green flesh a sickly brown color. It's not harmful to eat, but it's not particularly appetizing. The key to keeping the browning from happening is to keep the flesh from being exposed to oxygen.

Some people rub an unused avocado half with oil to keep oxidation at bay. Others swear by squeezing some lemon juice over it. Some say placing plastic wrap tightly over it with the pit still in it will keep it green.

But a YouTube video from Avocados from Mexico demonstrates a quick, easy, eco-friendly way to store half an avocado that doesn't require anything but a container and some water.

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Courtesy of Ms. Lopez
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Marcella Lopez didn't always want to be a teacher — but once she became one, she found her passion. That's why she's stayed in the profession for 23 years, spending the past 16 at her current school in Los Angeles, where she mostly teaches children of color.

"I wanted purpose, to give back, to live a life of public service, to light the spark in others to think critically and to be kind human beings," she says. "More importantly, I wanted my students to see themselves when they saw me, to believe they could do it too."

Ms. Lopez didn't encounter a teacher of color until college. "That moment was life-changing for me," she recalls. "It was the first time I felt comfortable in my own skin as a student. Always remembering how I felt in that college class many years ago has kept me grounded year after year."

It's also guided her teaching. Ms. Lopez says she always selects authors and characters that represent her students and celebrate other ethnicities so students can relate to what they read while also learning about other cultures.

"I want them to see themselves in the books they read, respect those that may not look like them and realize they may have lots in common with [other cultures] they read about," she says.

She also wants her students to have a different experience in school than she did.

When Ms. Lopez was in first grade, she "was speaking in Spanish to a new student, showing her where the restroom was when a staff member overheard our conversation and directed me to not speak in Spanish," she recalls. "In 'this school,' we only speak English," she remembers them saying. "From that day forward, I was made to feel less-than and embarrassed to speak the language of my family, my ancestors; the language I learned to speak first."

Part of her job, she says, is to find new ways to promote acceptance and inclusion in her classroom.

"The worldwide movement around social justice following the death of George Floyd amplified my duty as a teacher to learn how to discuss racial equity in a way that made sense to my little learners," she says. "It ignited me to help them see themselves in a positive light, to make our classroom family feel more inclusive, and make our classroom a safe place to have authentic conversations."

One way she did that was by raising money through DonorsChoose to purchase books and other materials for her classroom that feature diverse perspectives.

Courtesy of Ms. Lopez

The Allstate Foundation recently partnered with DonorsChoose to create a Racial Justice and Representation category to encourage teachers like Ms. Lopez to create projects that address racial equity in the classroom. To launch the category, The Allstate Foundation matched all donations to these projects for a total of $1.5 million. Together, they hope to drive awareness and funding to projects that bring diversity, inclusion, and identity-affirming learning materials into classrooms across the country. You can see current projects seeking funding here.

When Ms. Lopez wanted to incorporate inclusive coloring books into her lesson plans, The Allstate Foundation fully funded her project so she was able to purchase them.

"I'm a lifelong learner, striving to be my best version of myself and always working to inspire my little learners to do the same," she says. Each week, Ms. Lopez and the students would focus on a page in the book and discuss its message. And she plans to do the same again this school year.

"DonorsChoose has been a gamechanger for my students. Without the support of all the donors that come together on this platform, we wouldn't have a sliver of what I've been able to provide for my students, especially during the pandemic," she says.

"My passion is to continue striving to be excellent, and to continue to find ways to use literature as an anchor, depicting images that reflect my students," she says.

To help teachers like Ms. Lopez drive this important mission forward, donate on DonorsChoose.

Courtesy of Ms. Lopez

This story was originally published on The Mighty and originally appeared here on 07.21.17


Most people imagine depression equals “really sad," and unless you've experienced depression yourself, you might not know it goes so much deeper than that. Depression expresses itself in many different ways, some more obvious than others. While some people have a hard time getting out of bed, others might get to work just fine — it's different for everyone.

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Jennifer Lawrence

After being a Hollywood staple, Jennifer Lawrence vanished from the public eye following the release of "X-Men Dark Phoenix" in 2019.

Sure, the pandemic had something to do with that … in addition to the usual way our society treats Hollywood "it" girls, once it grows accustomed to the flavor. But in a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Lawrence opens up about some other reasons she chose to step away for a time.

Lawrence went from being a highly sought-after Oscar-winning actress to starring in less-than-successful films like "Passengers," "Mother!" and "Red Sparrow." The films were not only poorly received among critics, but commercially as well.

"I was not pumping out the quality that I should have," she told VF. "I just think everybody had gotten sick of me. I'd gotten sick of me. It had just gotten to a point where I couldn't do anything right. If I walked a red carpet, it was, 'Why didn't she run?'"

So then, why do it? As any workaholic would know, it's about so much more than money.

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