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Heroes

The Supreme Court ruled against Obama's energy plan, and it's a huge deal.

Last night's New Hampshire primaries went pretty smoothly, all things considered.

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump both took home sweeping victories for their respective parties. And in their victory speeches, both Trump and Sanders noted that despite the positive steps forward, they still have long fights ahead of them. "They are throwing everything at me except the kitchen sink, and I have the feeling that the kitchen sink is coming pretty soon as well," noted Sanders.


Photo by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images.

Another victory went to voter turnout, which has been pretty astounding so far in New Hampshire and Iowa.

But behind all the victorious fanfare was a subtle yet important defeat — one that could have implications long after 2016.

Late Tuesday night, the Supreme Court announced that it would block President Obama's efforts to curb global warming by reducing emissions from coal-fired power plants.

The Clean Power Plan, which was announced in August, aimed to set new national standards for reducing carbon emissions from coal plants, which, according to the EPA, account for 77% of carbon dioxide emissions produced in the electricity sector.

A coal plant in Pennsylvania. Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images.

Last night's 5-4 ruling on the plan was a stay request, which essentially means the EPA will not be allowed to enforce the plan for now. Although it's not the final word on things (an appeal to uphold the CPP will be heard in June), it's a surprising blow to the president's efforts to combat climate change.

Among the primary opponents of the Clean Power Plan are coal states such as Wyoming, whose legislators and citizens alike argue that they would lose thousands of jobs if the measure is passed.

Unfortunately, this vote is much more important symbolically than you may realize.

Why? While the Supreme Court's four liberal members opposed the stay request, it simply wasn't enough. That's alarming when you consider that:

1. Supreme Court justices are periodically appointed by presidents.

2. Presidents generally appoint justices with whom they share ideological views.

Since four justices are in their 70s or 80s, the next president will probably make at least one appointment. The implications for climate change could be huge.

Photo by Steve Petteway/Wikimedia Commons.

Right now, the Supreme Court is made up mostly of conservative justices, with Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg occupying the court's only strong liberal positions.

And since conservative justices are more likely to vote against climate measures — or deny climate change altogether — a conservative president appointing another conservative justice could be bad news for future emission reduction plans or other climate-change-curbing regulations.


Climate change is one of the most immediate and present threats to the livelihood of all people.

And a great way to fight it is with sweeping, immediate legislation. If the Supreme Court is still able to surprise us like they did last night — and block a tip-of-the-iceberg measure to address such a huge problem — I smell trouble. And carbon.

Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.

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Kellogg's CEO tells people to eat cereal to save money

It doesn't matter if you're a single adult or married with children, there's nothing quite like having cereal for dinner or a late night snack once in a while.

Something about it feels nostalgic but it's also really easy to fall back on when you're too exhausted to cook a full meal. There's nothing wrong with grabbing a bowl of cereal for a meal outside of breakfast. You're feeding yourself or your family a food that contains some of the vitamins a body needs.

Maybe that's the thought process Kellogg's CEO Gary Pilnick was going with when he unintentionally sparked some serious backlash. Pilnick was interviewed by CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" discussing the cereal giant's new commercial featuring Tony the Tiger. The commercial itself isn't really the problem. It features a mom holding a box of cereal with kids excitedly awaiting their cereal for dinner chanting along with Tony the Tiger's call to eat the sweet meal.

The backlash came followeing Pilnick's comments about why his company felt the need to create a commercial advocating families eating cereal for diner.

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We all know that Americans pay more for healthcare than every other country in the world. But how much more?

According an American expatriate who shared the story of his ER visit in a Taiwanese hospital, Americans are being taken to the cleaners when we go to the doctor. We live in a country that claims to be the greatest in the world, but where an emergency trip to the hospital can easily bankrupt someone.

Kevin Bozeat had that fact in mind when he fell ill while living in Taiwan and needed to go to the hospital. He didn't have insurance and he had no idea how much it was going to cost him. He shared the experience in a now-viral Facebook post he called "The Horrors of Socialized Medicine: A first hand experience."

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Pop Culture

Monica Lewinsky reclaims the office power suit in new voting campaign

The activist teamed with apparel brand Reformation to combat voter frustration in a fabulous way.

Lewinsky partnered with Reformation for their "You've Got The Power" voting campaign

Monica Lewinsky knows a thing or two about reinvention.

The former White House intern became the source of media obsession after her affair with former President Bill Clinton become public. It solidified her place in history against her will, but through her actions since, Lewinsky has transformed her public persona into a feminist icon and champion of a powerful anti-bullying campaign.

Now, the 50-year-old Lewinsky is lending her household name to sustainable fashion brand Reformation and Vote.org in hopes to encourage people to vote this year.
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Pop Culture

Don't worry, Wendy's isn't raising prices during the busiest times. But changes are coming.

People were very upset after hearing that surge pricing may come to the local drive-thru.

A combo meal from Wendy's.

In a world where prices are continuously increasing, prominent companies are turning to surge pricing to raise prices even further during peak demand times. Uber charges people more for a ride when demand is high. Hotels have been changing prices based on demand for years and Amazon uses AI to keep prices constantly in flux.

Recently, Ticketmaster, known for charging high fees, has been charging customers even more for tickets as demand rises.

On Monday, February 26, news reports began circulating that Wendy’s, America's 5th most popular fast-food chain, would implement dynamic pricing at its restaurants. Many assumed that meant a Dave’s Double burger would cost an extra $3 during dinner time or medium fries would cost an extra buck during the lunch rush.

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Pop Culture

What is in its 'golden age' but not enough people know about it?

There's so much good out there if you know where to look.

Canva

From astronomy to knitting, some fields of human endeavor are having a heyday.

When you peruse the news headlines or dive into discussions on current events on social media, it's pretty easy to feel despondent. Doom and gloom sells, unfortunately, and our natural negativity bias that's meant to protect us can be overworked by a 24/7 bombardment of humanity's challenges.

There is an anecdote to all of that, though: Curating and cultivating the good. Sometimes it's just knowing where to look to find examples of problems being solved, discoveries being made, innovation taking huge leaps and other evidence that humans are moving our collective life forward in incredible ways.

Someone on Reddit asked, "What is currently in its 'Golden age,' but not enough people know about it?" and thousands of people responded. Reading through the answers is an enlightening and uplifting glimpse of things we might not personally be involved with but are happy to see having a heyday. Like, who wouldn't like to know that we're in a golden age of astronomy and paleontology. Space and dinosaurs? It's like realizing our 5-year-old selves' ideal future.

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