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Heroes

States are stepping up for the environment, and it's working. California is proof.

While the federal government sweep climate change under the rug, California leads the way.

The environment has taken a beating in our country the past two years, as the Trump administration has rolled back environmental protections and made clear that the U.S. will withdraw from the first international agreement to curb climate change.

But that doesn't mean nothing is being done. California announced that it has reached its greenhouse emissions reduction goals far ahead of schedule, surpassing the target planned for 2020 in the summer of 2018 — even as the state's economy has grown. These current levels of emissions haven't been seen since 1990.


With by far the largest and most diverse economy in the U.S., California is a testing ground in many ways. This success offers hope for what can be done when the government makes a commitment to positive change.

The emissions goal was set by a Republican governor and pushed along by a Democrat. Yay, bipartisan collaboration!

The 2020 goal was set by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006, while current Gov. Jerry Brown has taken broad steps to make sure it was met.

“Surpassing our 2020 emissions goal ahead of schedule while our economy grows by a nation-leading 4.9% and our unemployment rate is at a historic low should send a message to politicians all over the country," Schwarzenegger said in a statement. "You don't have to reinvent the wheel — just copy us. Business will boom and lives will be saved."

States and other nonfederal entities are stepping up to fill the shoes the federal government has kicked aside.

According to Andrew Light, a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute and former state department climate negotiator, about 2,000 U.S. nonfederal entities (i.e., states, cities, and businesses) have indicated they intend to meet our pledge in the Paris Agreement with or without the government's help. That's encouraging.

In fact, three states — California, Washington, and New York — formed the U.S. Climate Alliance immediately after Trump made his withdrawal statement. Now 13 other states and Puerto Rico have joined the alliance, which, according to its website, is "a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement."

This is what we need more of: bipartisan acknowledgement of our collective responsibility to protect our planet, and willing cooperation in taking action.

Kudos to California and other states for leading the way.

A map of the United States post land-ice melt.


Land ice: We got a lot of it.

Considering the two largest ice sheets on earth — the one on Antarctica and the one on Greenland — extend more than 6 million square miles combined ... yeah, we're talkin' a lot of ice.

But what if it was all just ... gone? Not like gone gone, but melted?

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Kevin Parry / Twitter

Toronto-based animator and video wizard Kevin Parry has gone mega-viral for his mind-boggling collection of videos where he turns himself into random objects.

In a series of quick clips he changes into everything from a pumpkin to a bright yellow banana and in most of the videos, he appears to suffer a ridiculous death. The videos combine studio trickery with a magician's flair.

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Pop Culture

A brave fan asks Patrick Stewart a question he doesn't usually get and is given a beautiful answer

Patrick Stewart often talks about his childhood and the torment his father put him and his mother through.

Patrick Stewart often talks about his childhood and the torment his father put him and his mother through. However, how he answered this vulnerable and brave fan's question is one of the most eloquent, passionate responses about domestic violence I've ever seen.

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OriginalAll photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

Chloé was born at 32 weeks.


Every single day, babies across the world are born prematurely, which means that they're born before 37 weeks of gestation.

In Canada, about 29,000 infants are born prematurely each year, roughly 1 in every 13. But in the United States, around 400,000 to 500,000 are born early. That's about 1 in every 8 to 10 babies born in the U.S.!

Red Méthot, a Canadian photographer and student, decided to capture the resilience of many of these kids for a school photography project.

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Democracy

Teacher tries to simulate a dictatorship in her classroom, but the students crushed her

"I’ve done this experiment numerous times, and each year I have similar results. This year, however, was different."

Each year that I teach the book "1984" I turn my classroom into a totalitarian regime under the guise of the "common good."

I run a simulation in which I become a dictator. I tell my students that in order to battle "Senioritis," the teachers and admin have adapted an evidence-based strategy, a strategy that has "been implemented in many schools throughout the country and has had immense success." I hang posters with motivational quotes and falsified statistics, and provide a false narrative for the problem that is "Senioritis."

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Photo by insung yoon on Unsplash

The MC Hammer dance though.

Father and daughter dances are a traditional staple of weddings. They tend to range somewhere between tearfully sweet and hilariously cringey. But sometimes, as was the case of Brittany Revell and her dad Kelly, they can be so freakin’ cool that millions of people become captivated.

Brittany and Kelly’s video, which amassed, I kid you not, more than 40 million views on TikTok, shows the pair grooving in sneakers (Brittany’s were white because, hello, wedding dress) to their “dance through the decades.”

It all began with Young MC’s “Bust a Move,” to give you a clear picture. And bust a move, they did.

Though the duo did a handful of iconic moves—the tootsie roll, the MC Hammer dance, the Carlton, just to name a few—“the dougie,” made famous by Cali Swag District, was the obvious fan favorite.
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