Monica Lewinsky: 'Anyone who is suffering from shame and public humiliation needs to know 1 thing.'

Imagine you're 22. You're fresh out of college. You just started working at your dream job.

And then your boss decides he likes you.


It's confusing. And weird. And kind of exciting.

You don't exactly know how to handle it. You love your job, and you don't want to make him mad. Maybe you also kind of like him a little too. Being 22 is hard.

(Just ask Taylor).

So you hook up with him.

In most cases, maybe that's the end of it. Or maybe things get weird. Or even bad. I mean, it's pretty messed up of him to come on to you in the first place, considering he has the power to make your life miserable at work if you say no, or to fire you. But you deal with it and, eventually, move on.

But in your case, it becomes national news.

People imply you're a "slut."

People mock you mercilessly on TV, night after night after night.

(And win awards for it.)

You're no longer you. You're just "That woman."

What do you even do? Do you believe them? Do you let it destroy you? Do you crawl into a hole and vow to never come out?

Probably, yes. For a while.

But do you give up?

Or do you get back up?

Monica said a lot of really important things in her full talk. About how it feels to have your life turned upside down. About our culture of shame, especially for women. About the need to reach out and help those who are suffering from bullying.

But the most important thing?

If you're a young person — or any person — who's dealing with shame, abuse, harassment, or humiliation (or you know someone who is), please reach out to someone who can help. StopBullying.gov has great resources and information. For LGBTQ youth, The Trevor Project is absolutely essential.

You're not alone.

No matter how bad things seem right now, life goes on. And gets better.

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
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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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