Some Might See These Ladies As Novelties, But They're As Real As It Gets. Just Ask 'Em.

For many, Disneyland means magic and wonder. One group of Australian singers has a different take.

Their name? The Sisters of Invention.


The top three things you should know about this cool band (besides the fact they're Aussies!):

  1. Their names are Annika, Michelle, Jackie, Aimee, and Caroline.
  2. All 5 of them have learning disabilities.
  3. Most important, they write songs about how their learning disabilities don't make them novelties.

These singers are bold and unafraid.

In the music video for their song, "This Isn't Disneyland," they make a very powerful point.

Here are some of the best lines from the song:

"This isn't Disneyland. I'm not novelty. This is as real as it gets. For you I just begin to fill all the detail in; I am as real as it gets. I won't let go of the hope that I am holding when trouble is unfolding stand or crash-land. I'm not, I'm not a novelty."

But while the lyrics are cool, the visuals REALLY pack a punch.

For example, they snap fairy godmother wands:

And they snip off hair:

Then, whoa! Goofy is on fire:

The Sisters of Invention are anything but afraid to push it.

We don't condone setting things on fire, and the singers' point is not to bash Disneyland. The real point is to challenge ideas of what performers "should" look like — performers who are anything but like Disneyland princesses. Disneyland becomes a symbol for a world that doesn't look at reality or that won't accept people as they are. They're also not just throwing things or breaking them for the heck of it.

These singers want to (not literally) burn and tear things down to change they are perceived.

And that's a good thing.

Here's the music video in all its glory:

Courtesy of Verizon
True

If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

via CNN / Twitter

Eviction seemed imminent for Dasha Kelly, 32, and her three young daughters Sharron, 8; Kia, 6; and Imani, 5, on Monday. The eviction moratorium expired over the weekend and it looked like there was no way for them to avoid becoming homeless.

The former Las Vegas card dealer lost her job due to casino closures during the pandemic and needed $2,000 to cover her back rent. The mother of three couldn't bear the thought of being put out of her apartment with three children in the scorching Nevada desert.

"I had no idea what we were going to do," Kelly said, according to KOAT.

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