It's time to talk about the illness claiming brilliant human beings like Robin Williams.

Tragic. Devastating. Absolutely heartbreaking. There is nothing I can tell you that will do justice to the lifetime of light and laughter Robin Williams brought to so many of us. I can just share sadness with the world at such an unexpected loss and help shed some light on something many of us aren't comfortable talking about: depression. Depression is a serious medical illness. It's not a passing bad mood or temporary sadness. It can be debilitating, and it happens to so many people. If you're struggling with depression, please know there is no shame in reaching out for help in managing a legitimate illness.Below are two videos. The first is an eight-minute clip from an interview with Robin Williams in 2010. The subject he discussed was suicide. It seems that one tactic he relied on was trying to compartmentalize suicidal thoughts and put them in a category where they were unspeakable. Unfortunately, for many people that tactic will only work for so long.The second clip is the news about Robin's death, as well as a retrospective of his career and photographs of him.

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In America, one dumb mistake can hang over your head forever.

Nearly 30% of the American adult population — about 70 million people — have at least one criminal conviction that can prevent them from being treated equally when it comes to everything from job and housing opportunities to child custody.

Twenty million of these Americans have felony convictions that can destroy their chances of making a comfortable living and prevents them from voting out the lawmakers who imprisoned them.

Many of these convictions are drug-related and stem from the War on Drugs that began in the U.S. '80s. This war has unfairly targeted the minority community, especially African-Americans.

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Culture

Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

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Nature
via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

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Heroes

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

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