Now that's what I call an *acceptance* speech. Amazing job, Kerry Washington.

Standing in front of a crowd of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and their allies, "Scandal" actress Kerry Washington took the stage to accept GLAAD's Vanguard Award.

Each year, the Vanguard Award goes to someone in the entertainment industry who has helped push LGBT rights forward. It's been awarded to people like Drew Barrymore, Josh Hutcherson, Jennifer Lopez, and Jennifer Aniston.


Her speech was a fiery call for the "others" of the world to join together to "fight the good fight" and to work to end a system that leaves some people with fewer basic rights than others.

She discussed how people of color, women, LGBT individuals, and other marginalized groups have often been pitted against one another.


"Now you would think that those of us who are kept from our full rights of citizenship would band together and fight the good fight. But history tells us that no, often we don't. Women, poor people, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, trans people, intersex people — we have been pitted against each other and made to feel like there are limited seats at the table for those of us who fall into the category of 'other.'"

She has a powerful, uplifting suggestion: The "others" of the world need to work together in their common goal and use the power of storytelling to create change.

"There is so much power in storytelling, and there is enormous power in inclusive storytelling, in inclusive representation. ... We must be allies, and we must be allied in this business because to be represented is to be humanized. And as long as anyone anywhere is being made to feel less human, our very definition of humanity is at stake, and we are all vulnerable.

We must see each other, all of us; and we must see ourselves, all of us. We must continue to break new ground until that is just how it is. Until we are no longer firsts and exceptions and rare and unique. In the real world, being an 'other' is the norm. In the real world, the only norm is uniqueness, and our media must reflect that."



Washington's message is powerful and personal. But above all, it's an honest reflection on a world that treats entire groups of people — women, people of color, LGBT people — as second-class citizens, as "others." Our world needs to be better than that, and as she says at the start of her speech: Some stuff needs to be said.

Watch Kerry Washington's powerful speech below:

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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