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The horrifying attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue showed us the very worst of humanity. But it’s aftermath is also reminding us of humanity at its best.

Case in point: A fundraiser organized by two local Muslim organizations has already raised more than $120,000 for the families of the shooting victims.

“We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action,” reads a message posted on the campaign site from the groups Celebrate Mercy and MPower Change. “Our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: ‘Show mercy to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens will show mercy to you.’ The Quran also teaches us to ‘Repel evil by that which is better’ (41:34).”


The campaign reached its initial goal in just six hours and more than 3,000 people have donated.

Funds raised in the campaign will go toward immediate needs including medical supplies and helping to pay for the funeral expenses of the 11 individuals killed in the shooting. Two other civilians were injured in the shooting along with our police officers.

Showing the compassion shared between two seemingly dispirate groups, especially religious ones, is a reminder that kindness can topple hate even in the most tragic circumstances.

The fundraiser also set off a number of hopeful and inspiring tweets between Muslims, Jews and others who used this moment of horror as an opportunity for unity and peace.

In an ideal world, shootings like this and hate crimes in general, would never happen. But it’s important to see both the kindness that has emerged from tragedy but also be reminded that it’s OK to have differences, even ones as profound as personal faith, without losing site of the humanity that binds us all together.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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gerlalt/Canva

James Earl Jones helped "Sesame Street" prove its pedagogical model for teaching kids the alphabet.

James Earl Jones has one of the most recognizable voices in the entertainment industry and has for decades. Most of us probably heard that deep, resonant voice first as Darth Vader in "Star Wars," or perhaps Mufasa in "The Lion King," but just one or two words are enough to say, "Oh, that's definitely James Earl Jones."

Jones has been acting on stage and in film since the 1960s. He also has the distinction of being the first celebrity guest to be invited to "Sesame Street" during the show's debut season in 1969.

According to Muppet Wiki, clips of Jones counting to 10 and reciting the alphabet were included in unbroadcast pilot episodes and also included in one of the first official television episodes. Funnily enough, Jones originally didn't think the show would last, as he thought kids would be terrified of the muppets. Clearly, that turned out not to be the case.

Jones' alphabet recitation served as a test for the "Sesame Street" pedagogical model, which was meant to inspire interaction from kids rather than just passive absorption. Though to the untrained eye, Jones' slow recitation of the ABCs may seem either plodding or bizarrely hypnotic, there's a purpose to the way it's presented.

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via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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