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It Started When He Was Little, So It Was No Surprise Where He Ended Up

This is likethe male version of “Orange Is the New Black,” except the prisoners aren't dreaming about life on the outside; they’re talking about the positive stuff they can do from the inside. All of this was started by a dude who found himself behindbars at the age of 17.

It Started When He Was Little, So It Was No Surprise Where He Ended Up

FACT CHECK TIME:

All of the stats mentioned are true. What really got me is the impactthat imprisoned parents have on their children. These men are not only creating scholarships, but are also organizing supportsystems for fathers to build better relationships with their kids. Here are a few quotes that hit me in the gut:


“Many of us grew up without fathers. Many of us don't know our fathers and probably won't ever know our fathers. So, but I think that just because we went through that, we don’t haveto expose our childrens to that.” (4:24)

“You have a lot of what we call intergenerationalincarceration. We have a lot of fathers, sons, and grandfathers here. It’s real.I mean, on one block, we got — what was it? — five father/sons pair on one block.” (5:05)

“Maybe by helping bring fathers back intotheir children’s lives, they might prevent the eventual incarceration of thosechildren. After all, more than half of our country’s state prison population are parentswith children under 18. And the majority of those parents grew up in single-parent homes or foster care. It becomes a kind of cycle.” (5:28)

We know about the 2.7 million children thathave an incarcerated parent in this country and how they’re seven times more likely or 87% more likely to be incarcerated themselves if nopositive intervention is made in their lives.” (6:13)

“We’ve deliberately passed policies in thelast 30 years that have built up what many folks call a prison nation that havefilled our prisons and jails with criminalized poverty. We’ve criminalized drugaddiction.” (9:40)

“Imagine finishing high school and not readingabout people who look like you doing anything meaningful and significant andhow that shapes your understanding and political worldview, or going to ahigh school where you read and see and understand and are connected to peoplewho look exactly like you that have had complex and transformative roles inmaking important pieces of art or music and politics and law. Control overcurriculum, who gets to decide it, who doesn’t, and why, is a central piece inremaking our school-to-prison pipeline.” (11:04)

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
True

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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