Old episodes of 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood' are streaming. This is not a drill.

In a world gone mad, when war is endless and politics are chaos ... there's only one man who can reassure our troubled souls.

Photo via Everett Collection.

Unfortunately, he's no longer with us (RIP).


Fortunately, we've got a lot of Mister Rogers on tape — and for the next two weeks, you can binge him 24 hours a day.

Twitch, the online video streaming service, is currently marathoning all 866 episodes of "Mister Rogers Neighborhood" in chronological order.

Photo via Everett Collection.

That means you have until June 3 to relive the most soothing, gray sweaterful moments of your childhood.

It's an opportunity every American should be pretty grateful to seize right about now — and it's for a good cause.

The marathon is an effort to raise money for local PBS stations, many of which have trouble keeping their funding levels up.

As of this writing, over $14,000 has been donated.

Periodically, PBS has to fight to survive in the face of apathy and political calls to cut its funding. Now is one of those times.

Photo via HBO.

A budget proposed by the Trump administration in March 2017 would have eliminated funding for the network.

The initial version of the budget did not pass, and PBS remains in on the air for now, but the threat is real for the kind of enriching children's programming that Fred Rogers spent his life making and advocating for.

A 2015 study found that shows like "Mister Rogers Neighborhood" and "Sesame Street" — available to anyone with a TV set for decades — made low-income children who watched regularly 14% less likely to fall behind in school.

"These findings raise the exciting possibility that TV and electronic media more generally can be leveraged to address income and racial gaps in children's school readiness," study co-author Melissa Kearney said in a statement.

48 years ago, Rogers appeared before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications to convince skeptical elected officials to allocate $20 million for public television.

His heart-wrenching, six-minute testimony was key to convincing the lawmakers to provide the funding.

Though Rogers may no longer be with us, this two-week fundraising marathon allows his message of kindness and empathy — broadcast for over 30 years to millions of American children from all walks of life — to speak for itself.

You should check it out — and prepare yourself for a nostalgia-and-classic moment tsunami. In a just world, that would be enough to secure PBS the funding it needs.

Here's hoping.

Pexels.com
True

June 26, 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter. Think of the Charter as the U.N.'s wedding vows, in which the institution solemnly promises to love and protect not one person, but the world. It's a union most of us can get behind, especially in light of recent history. We're less than seven months into 2020, and already it's established itself as a year of reckoning. The events of this year—ecological disaster, economic collapse, political division, racial injustice, and a pandemic—the complex ways those events feed into and amplify each other—have distressed and disoriented most of us, altering our very experience of time. Every passing month creaks under the weight of a decade's worth of history. Every quarantined day seems to bleed into the next.

But the U.N. was founded on the principles of peace, dignity, and equality (the exact opposite of the chaos, degradation, and inequality that seem to have become this year's ringing theme). Perhaps that's why, in its 75th year, the institution feels all the more precious and indispensable. When the U.N. proposed a "global conversation" in January 2020 (feels like thousands of years ago), many leapt to participate—200,000 within three months. The responses to surveys and polls, in addition to research mapping and media analysis, helped the U.N. pierce through the clamor—the roar of bushfire, the thunder of armed conflict, the ceaseless babble of talking heads—to actually hear what matters: our collective human voice.

Keep Reading Show less

Here we are, six months into the coronavirus pandemic, and people are tired. We're tired of social distancing, wearing masks, the economic uncertainty, the constant debates and denials, all of it.

But no one is more tired than the healthcare workers on the frontline. Those whom we celebrated and hailed as heroes months ago have largely been forgotten as news cycles shift and increased illness and death become "normal." But they're still there. They're still risking themselves to save others. And they've been at it for a long time.

Mary Katherine Backstrom shared her experience as the wife of an ER doctor in Florida, explaining the impact this pandemic is having on the people treating its victims and reminding us that healthcare workers are still showing up, despite all of the obstacles that make their jobs harder.

Keep Reading Show less
Mozilla
True
Firefox

When I found out I was pregnant in October 2018, I had planned to keep the news a secret from family for a little while — but my phone seemed to have other ideas.

Within just a few hours of finding out the news, I was being bombarded with ads for baby gear, baby clothes and diapers on Facebook, Instagram and pretty much any other site I visited — be it my phone or on my computer.

Good thing my family wasn't looking over my shoulder while I was on my phone or my secret would have been ruined.

I'm certainly not alone in feeling like online ads can read your mind.

When I started asking around, it seemed like everyone had their own similar story: Brian Kelleher told me that when he and his wife met, they started getting ads for wedding rings and bridal shops within just a few weeks. Tech blogger Snezhina Piskov told me that she started getting ads for pocket projectors after discussing them in Messenger with her colleagues. Meanwhile Lauren Foley, a writer, told me she started getting ads for Happy Socks after seeing one of their shops when she got off the bus one day.

When online advertising seems to know us this well, it begs the question: are our phones listening to us?

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Mahir Uysal on Unsplash

Two years ago, I got off the phone after an interview and cried my eyes out. I'd just spent an hour talking to Tim Ballard, the founder of Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that helps fight child sex trafficking, and I just couldn't take it.

Ballard told me about how the training to go undercover as a child predator nearly broke him. He told me an eerie story of a trafficker who could totally compartmentalize, showing Ballard photos of kids he had for sale, then switching gears to proudly show him a photo of his own daughter on her bicycle, just as any parent would. He told me about how lucrative child trafficking is—how a child can bring in three or four times as much as a female prostitute—and how Americans are the industry's biggest consumers.

Keep Reading Show less

Kids say the darnedest things and, if you're a parent, you know that can make for some embarrassing situations. Every parent has had a moment when their child has said something unintentionally inappropriate to a stranger and they prayed they wouldn't take it the wrong way.

Cassie, the mother of 4-year-old Camryn, had one of the those moments when her child yelled, "Black lives matter" to a Black woman at a Colorado Home Depot.

But the awkward interaction quickly turned sweet when the Black woman, Sherri Gonzales, appreciated the comment and thanked the young girl.

Keep Reading Show less