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Leslie Knope would be proud of how this Parks and Rec team is handling a graffiti artist.

First there was the deer. Then came the armadillo.

The paintings popped up in the Bear Creek Parkway tunnel. No one took credit.

Thus, a small mystery began to excite the 42,000 residents of Keller, Texas.


Who left the graffiti? Why did they choose to paint these animals in particular? And what will become of these works of art?

Photo by Mike Sexson, shared with permission.

What little information has comes from the City of Keller Government Facebook page, which has been sharing updates as the mystery unfolds. The Parks & Recreation Department first became aware of the deer painting on January 11, according to a Facebook post sharing the first image. Over the weekend, an armadillo appeared. A bird joined them a few days later.

Usually works of graffiti are painted over in short order, but this is where the plot thickens. Was parks manager Gary Davis angry? Not at all. In fact, the post noted he doesn’t have the heart to paint over it.

The animals were there to stay.

Photo by Mike Sexson, shared with permission.

From the start, it’s been clear the city wants to know the artist’s identity. But the whodunnit isn’t going to end in an arrest.

The city isn't looking to reprimand the artist. They're looking to help them.

Cody Maberry, the director of community cervices for Keller's Parks & Recreation Department, says he wants to find the artist to “give them the credit that they deserve for their talent.”

That’s not all. Maberry is also hopeful that the artist will be interested in working together.

“We've got a public arts board and we would love to work together to maybe help them,” he says. “We want to create a mural under there. What do we want? What do they need? How can we make it the best it can be?"

This hope that the city will get to work with the person (or persons!) responsible is no secret. The game is afoot, and they’re enjoying every minute of it: “We're not sure who is more excited: the Parks folks or the Public Arts Board,” they wrote on Facebook.

Photo by Mike Sexson, shared with permission.

Although the artist has yet to come forward, they're still hard at work. On the morning of Jan. 26, a turtle was added to the artist's creative menagerie.

Photo by Mike Sexson, shared with permission.

Did Banksy make a trip down to Texas? Will the artist or artists ever come forward? Is the turtle the last of the series? At this time, the mystery remains unsolved.

As for the paintings, the city doesn't have plans to remove them any time soon — unless someone comes in and defaces them.

For now, the deer, armadillo, bird, and turtle have found a safe place to call home in Keller, Texas.

Science

Sustainably good news: Recycling is getting better and this family is showing us how

What if instead of focusing on what isn’t working, we looked at these stories as an invitation to do better?

Via Ridwell

Ryan Metzger and son Owen

There is no shortage of dire news about the state of modern recycling. Most recently, this NPR article shared the jaw-dropping statistic that about 5% of all plastics produced get recycled, meaning the rest of it ends up in landfills. While the underlying concerns here are sound, I worry that the public narrative around recycling has gotten so pessimistic that it will make people give up on it entirely instead of seeing the opportunities to improve it. What if instead of focusing on what isn’t working, we looked at these news stories as an invitation to do better?

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The Prince Charles Cinema/Youtube

Brendan Fraser dressed as Rick O'Connell.

Brendan Fraser might be making the greatest career comeback ever, racking up accolades and award nominations for his dramatic, transformative role in “The Whale." But the OG Fraser fans (the ones who watch “Doom Patrol” solely to hear his voice and proudly pronounce his last name as Fray-zure, for this is the proper pronunciation) have known of his remarkable talent since the 90s, when he embodied the ultimate charming, dashing—and slightly goofball—Hollywood action lead.

Let us not forget his arguably most well known and beloved 90s character—Rick O’Connell from the “Mummy” franchise. Between his quippy one-liners, Indiana Jones-like adventuring skills and fabulous hair, what’s not to like?

During a double feature of “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns” in London, moviegoers got the ultimate surprise when who should walk in but Brendan Fraser himself, completely decked out in Rick O’Connell attire. The brown leather jacket. The scarf. Everything.

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Pop Culture

Ariana Grande wows TikTok with a stunning, stripped down cover of 'Over The Rainbow'

Grande is even currently filming a live adaptation of the musical “Wicked."

This pink sweater is everything.

Ariana Grande might be best known as a pop queen, but her musical theatre talents run deep. She was a performer on Broadway at the age of nine, long before she began racking up Grammys. And even throughout her adult career, she’ll wave that theatre kid flag once in a while, as she did for NBC’s “Hairspray Live!”

Grande is even currently filming a live adaptation of the musical “Wicked,” playing the role of Galinda, aka Glinda the Good Witch. While the movie might not release until Christmas of 2024, the singer treated fans to an early taste of Oz with a gorgeous rendition of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” originally sung by Judy Garland in the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz.”

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via Tod Perry

An artist's recreation of Jackie's napkin note.

A woman named Jackie pulled a move straight out of a romantic comedy recently, and it has the internet rallying around her potential love interest. Jackie met a guy at a bar and liked him so much that she gave him her phone number. Well, 80% of her number, that is.

The world heard about it on January 17 when Twitter user Henpecked Hal and shared a picture of the napkin with her partial phone number written on it. "My 22-year-old cousin met his dream girl at a bar and it's going pretty well,” Hal wrote in the tweet.

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Identity

Trans doctor says major insurance companies are refusing to pay her after legal name change

"As long as they're denying my claims for my services on that ground, they can do that to any trans healthcare provider of any type."

Courtesy of Dr. Tiffany Najberg

Insurance companies can withhold pay for trans doctors and one doctor is fighting back.

Insurance companies can be a frustrating maze for consumers and for providers. It's not uncommon to call the number on the back of your insurance card and get a different answer every time you call with the same question. But for Dr. Tiffany Najberg, the fight with the insurance companies is a bit more personal.

Najberg is a transgender woman who has run into a multitude of problems in the insurance claims world—not as a patient, but as a provider. After changing her name legally and updating all of the required information on official websites, including the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare and the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System, two websites insurance companies look at to verify providers' credentials and ability to practice, her claims have been denied.

In the beginning of this year-long saga, Najberg was receiving checks, but the checks were in her dead name and couldn't be cashed. After going several rounds with the insurance companies, the checks stopped coming and the insurance companies started denying her claims altogether. Of course, this prompted even more questions and frustration since Najberg updated the insurance companies with her legal name as required.

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Women are looking for love at Home Depot.

Even though people have endless options to find love these days, whether in real life or online, finding the perfect person still isn’t easy. In fact, according to Pew Research, 55% of women believe dating is harder today than it was 10 years ago. So it’s understandable that some are considering ditching the apps to meet people in real life.

Studies show that for people looking for a serious relationship, real life may be the better option.

According to Newsweek, a study by Illinois State University sociology professor Susan Sprecher found that young people who first met face to face were 25% more likely to report feelings of closeness than those who initially met online. Aditi Paul, a communications professor at Pace University in New York, found that people who first met in real life lasted four times longer than those who met online.

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Science

Man was awake and playing the saxophone throughout his entire 9-hour brain tumor surgery

Several times during the surgery, the patient played the theme song from "Love Story" by Francis Lai.

"Awake surgery" allows brain surgeons to see the functioning parts of the brain to avoid during surgery.

This article originally appeared on 10.17.22


Do you ever step back and marvel at the miraculous things human beings have figured out how to do?

Less than 200 years ago, no human being had ever played a saxophone, there was no such thing as anesthesia and if you had even a simple brain tumor, you were just out of luck.

Now, a team of doctors in Italy has successfully performed a highly complex, nine-hour brain surgery on a man while he was awake and while he played the saxophone. Not only that, but the patient reported feeling "tranquility" during the surgery and only spent a few days in the hospital after the surgery before being discharged.

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