Mayor Pete was given a sign language name. His response was perfect.

Receiving a sign name is a very special gift within the Deaf community. The name usually comes from a member within the community and often reflects the person’s character or unique qualities.

YouTuber Andy Pleasants, a deaf craniofacial disability advocate, recently came out in support of Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and gave him a sign name.

Buttgieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has ostensibly come out of nowhere to become a top-tier Democratic candidate in 2020.


Given his new logo includes the imagery of a bridge and “build bridges, not walls,” his sign name is P bridged across the chest to B.

Mayor Pete responded to the touching gift with a heartfelt video where he responded in American Sign Language (ASL). "Hi Andy, appreciate your support! Thank you," Buttigieg signed.

Peasants was “overwhelmed” by the response because he had never seen a presidential candidate speak to his community in ASL.

“Hey Pete, pleasure's all mine! Honestly, when I first saw this video I felt overwhelmed with emotion, I almost cried. I've never seen someone running for president use sign language before. A lot of politicians speak about inclusivity, but very few talk the talk and walk the walk or in this case, sign the sign and walk the walk.

To see you put in effort to try to start to learn and use a language that’s crucial to how I and many see others communicate, participate, and identify in this world, is just another example of why I'm thrilled to keep supporting and helping to spread your message. I hope you continue to learn about different cultures and communities, and include them in your vision."

He then shared his sign name with Mayor Pete and offered to help him learn ASL.

Mayor Pete’s understanding of the importance of language shouldn’t come as a shock to his supporters. Buttigieg is a Harvard and Oxford graduate who speaks eight different languages: English, Norwegian, Spanish, Italian, Maltese, Arabic, Dari, and French. He took up Norweigan just so he could read one of his favorite authors in their native tongue.

Buttigieg’s attempts to relate to the disabled community stand in stark contrast to the current president.

Donald Trump mocked a disabled reporter while on the campaign trail in 2016. He’s also proposed a policy that would monitor disabled people on social media for benefit fraud.

Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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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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