The chef of the #1 restaurant in the world is feeding Rio's homeless people for free.

Average cost of a meal at Massimo Bottura's Osteria Francescana in Italy — recently named the #1 restaurant in the world by World's 50 Best​? $234-$260.

Cooks prepare food at Refettorio Gastromotiva. Photo by Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press.

Average cost of a meal at Bottura's new pop-up restaurant near the Olympic Village in Rio? $0.

Photo by Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press.


The guest list, however, is even more exclusive: You have to be homeless to eat there.

Patrons wait to get into Refettorio Gastromotiva. Photo by Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press.

Bottura and his local partners have loaded the cafe — dubbed Refettorio Gastromotiva — with features absent from most soup kitchens: uniformed waiters, art on the walls, and five-star cuisine.

"This is a cultural project, not a charity," the chef told the Associated Press. "We want to rebuild the dignity of the people."

And the food source? Leftover ingredients from the Olympic Village.

Human beings waste lots of food — much of which is still edible, just simply left over. According to a Natural Resource Defense Council Report, as much as 40% of the food produced in the United States goes uneaten annually, up nearly 50% since the 1970s.

"The project is important since it deals with sustainable food and fighting waste, which is a global scale issue," Tania Braga, head of sustainability and legacy on the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee, told Eater in early August.

Bottura has done this once before, and it's kind of become his thing.

Massimo Bottura. Photo by Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press.

At last year's Expo Milano, Bottura salvaged 15 tons of food waste from the event to feed homeless residents, refugees, and other hungry people at a derelict theater, also outfitted to resemble a fancy restaurant.

The goal, he explained, is to draw attention to the issue of food waste, while simultaneously giving the restaurant's needy patrons the ability to dine in an atmosphere that honors their humanity.

The restaurant is slated to continue to operate when the cameras pack up and go home.

Refettorio Gastromotiva will have served 5,000 meals to homeless men and women in Rio by the time the Olympics end.

After the games, Bottura intends to transform the space — which his group has leased for 10 years — into a restaurant that serves a paying crowd for lunch and uses the proceeds to feed the homeless in the evenings.

And it's already a hit with the clientele.

As Valdimir Faria, a Rio resident who dined at Refettorio Gastromotiva during the Olympics, told the Associated Press, it's not just about the food:

"Just sitting here, treated with respect on an equal footing, makes me think I have a chance."

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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