The 'South Park' guys have mastered deepfake technology and used it to parody Trump
via Sassy Justice / YouTube

Today's world has been upended by an avalanche of fake news and conspiracy theories that threaten the very fabric of our society. Disinformation spread through social media is causing people to doubt the validity of the U.S. election, feel hesitant about taking the COVID-19 vaccine, and fall victim to ridiculous Q Anon theories.

A new type of technology is emerging that's going to make it even more difficult for unsavvy people to tell fact from fiction: deepfakes.

Deepfakes use a form of artificial intelligence called deep learning to create events that have never happened and put words in people's mouths.


This video of Bill Hader turning into Tom Cruise during an impersonation is an incredibly eerie, but effective use of deep fake.

But where there's fear there's often humor, as the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, know all too well. The pair have teamed up with actor Peter Serafinowicz to create a web series called "Sassy Justice" that illustrates the power that deepfakes have to make us laugh.

Serafinowicz is best known as the voice of Darth Maul in "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace "(1999), Pete in "Shaun of the Dead" (2004), and Garthan Saal in "Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014).

The actor has found viral fame over the last few years doing the Sassy Trump parody videos.

The Sassy Trump videos reminded a lot of the late, great character actor and comedian Paul Lynde who was a star on "Bewitched" and stole the show on "Hollywood Squares."


Paul Lynde & Hollywood Squares: BEST-1-LINERS Part 1 www.youtube.com


The series debuted as a fourteen-minute episode following the exploits of Fred Sassy of Cheyenne, Wyoming a reporter who investigates the news, including the dangers posed by deepfake technology. Sassy is a deepfake version of Donald Trump.

The series is based on Serafinowicz's Sassy Trump impersonation and also features the voices of Parker and Stone.

Here's the first episode where Sassy speaks with Michael Cane (perfectly voiced by Serafinowicz), Al Gore, and Mark Zuckerberg.


Sassy Justice with Fred Sassy (Full Episode) | From Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Peter Serafinowicz www.youtube.com


On December 11, the team was back with a new video featuring Sassy giving an "Official White House Address," that mocks Trump's inability to concede his loss to Joe Biden.


Cheyenne 9's Coverage of the Official White House Address | Sassy Justice www.youtube.com

The series was created by the newly-formed Deep Voodoo studio which was working on a film project that was interrupted by COVID-19. So instead the team focused its efforts on a new project," Sassy Justice." Its creators are unsure of the future of "Sassy Justice" but it may become an ongoing series or film.

One can only imagine what horrible things that deepfake technology will be able to do when it winds up in the wrongs hands. The good news is that Parker, Stone, and Serafinowicz have shown that when it's in the right hands, it can be pretty damn funny.



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Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.