See how Banksy responded when an elementary school named a building after him.

When the kids at this quiet elementary school in England were tasked with renaming their buildings, they never thought it would bring them international attention.

For the students of Bridge Farm Primary School, their mission was to rename several of the school's houses after notable people associated with the city of Bristol. The kids, ages 5 to 11, suggested names and voted for their favorites.


Named "houses" are an important part of the British school system. Yes, like in Harry Potter. Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images.

Among the winners were "Cabot," after John Cabot, the 15th century explorer; "Blackbeard," after the pirate; and "Banksy," after the infamous, as-yet-unidentified street artist who got his start in the Bristol underground art scene.

Banksy is one of the most well-known artists of our time. Sort of.

A legend of the street art movement, Banksy's iconic stencil work and provocative installations have appeared all over the world, sparking controversy, debate, discussion, and intrigue — not to mention millions of dollars at art auctions.

Photo by Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images.

Yet despite how recognizable his artwork is, little is known about the artist. He's managed to keep his identity secret all this time and simply pops up in the middle of the night, leaving deceptively simple, thought-provoking artwork in his wake — and never revealing where in the world he'll show up next.

So you can imagine how surprised these kids were to find a brand-new Banksy piece on the wall of their school building when they returned from holiday break.

That's right. Banksy had come to the school and painted a 14-foot mural to thank the kids.

Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images.

The painting is of a child rolling a hoop on a field containing a single flower — a reference to a Victorian-era game for schoolchildren. Only, as you can see, the hoop has been replaced with a burning tire. It's typical Banksy — dark and edgy, but also playful.

Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images.

Banksy also left a note for the kids, thanking them and encouraging them to add to the mural if they "don't like it."

Although, frankly, there's a very small chance any of them won't like it.


“Dear Bridge Farm School,” Banksy's letter reads. “Thanks for your letter and naming a house after me. Please have a picture, and if you don’t like it, feel free to add stuff. I’m sure the teachers won’t mind. Remember, it’s always easier to get forgiveness than permission. Much love, Banksy."


I have to say, it's pretty nice to see Banksy's sweet side.

After all, he's an elusive artist whose work is often dark, politically charged, and, by its very nature, illegal. That said, he remains an important and iconic voice in the art world.

But once, he was just a kid from Bristol.

Clearly, he hasn't forgotten that, so it's awesome to see him give back (in some small way) to that community — and encouraging kids to be creative in their own way is a message we can all get behind.

More
Courtesy of Houseplant.

In America, one dumb mistake can hang over your head forever.

Nearly 30% of the American adult population — about 70 million people — have at least one criminal conviction that can prevent them from being treated equally when it comes to everything from job and housing opportunities to child custody.

Twenty million of these Americans have felony convictions that can destroy their chances of making a comfortable living and prevents them from voting out the lawmakers who imprisoned them.

Many of these convictions are drug-related and stem from the War on Drugs that began in the U.S. '80s. This war has unfairly targeted the minority community, especially African-Americans.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature
via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular