Mustache or no mustache, this moving Movember message about suicide is for everyone.

When people think of Movember, chances are the first thing to pop into their heads is an image like this:

Image via iStock.

This next one, though? Maybe not. But it's an image the actual Movember Foundation wants everyone to remember.

All photos by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images for Movember Foundation.


On the morning of Nov. 1, the Movember Foundation placed 191 shoes on the shore of Australia's Bondi Beach as tribute to the 191 Aussie men that took their own lives in the past month.

Led by co-founder Adam Garone, the installation is meant to spotlight one of Australia's most pressing issues — suicide is the leading cause of death for Aussie people between the ages of 15 and 44.

"We wanted to bring awareness to the gravity of the situation and pull it out of the shadows. Very few people know the extent that this is impacting our community," Garone told The Daily Telegraph.

More than a tribute, the moving installation is also a message for men dealing with mental health issues that they're not alone.

"There are going to be a lot of men who read this article and will see the images that we did today who are in a really dark place," Garone added to The Daily Telegraph.

"What we want to try and inspire is for them to think differently about how they’re tackling this and for them to talk with their mates, their partner or to seek some kind of help," he said.

Yes, Movember is a time for super fun, outlandish facial hair. But let's not forget the meaning behind the mustache.

From its humble beginnings as a bar bet to becoming one of the world's top NGOs, the Movember Foundation has used the mustache as a conversation starter for important men's health issues around the world.

Along with mental health and suicide prevention, the Foundation is also at the forefront of tackling prostate and testicular cancer. In fact, the NGO has raised over half a billion dollars since it started and has used funds to form scientific super teams to help produce significant treatment breakthroughs.

Understanding what Movember is all about makes the mustache that much more meaningful. Even if everyone can't grow one, one thing we can all do is contribute to the cause.

Here's to that little conversation starter sparking more action.

Maybe it's because I'm a writer, but I'm a bit of a pen snob. Even if I'm just making a list, I look for a pen that grips well, flows well, doesn't put too much or too little ink into the paper, is responsive-but-not-too-responsive to pressure, and doesn't suddenly stop working mid-stroke.

In other words, the average cheap ballpoint pen is out. (See? Snob.)

However, Oscar Ukono is making me reevaluate my pen snobbery. Because while I'm over here turning up my nose at the basic Bic, he's using them to create things like this:

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

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.

Keep Reading Show less