This mom is recognizing badass women in the most colorful way possible.

Michelle Villemaire is a mom living in Los Angeles who wants to teach her two daughters about women's history.

Sure, she could just crack open a text book or conduct a few Google searches. But that's not how Michelle rolls. She's more...well, original in her approach. 

Michelle is a mom on a colorful mission. All photos from Michelle Villemaire, and used with permission.


Both of her daughters love art, so she decided to use it as a teaching tool to reference strong women of the past. 

And that's how she came up with yarn bombing.


Yarn bombing means placing colorful yarn creations on park benches, parking meters, and trees throughout the city. But it's about more than just decoration.

Each yarn bomb also carries an inspirational quotes recognizing great women throughout history.

One of many yarn bombs in Michelle's community.

Her girls are completely onboard with the idea. 

"My daughters love it," Michelle told Upworthy. "They think it's so beautiful and magical, but most importantly they love the message behind it."

Michelle's 8-year old daughter is excited to help out.

And the community? They're loving it too.


"I've received a ton of compliments and a lot of people braved Los Angeles rush hour traffic just to see the yarn bombs in my neighborhood," She said. "If you live here, you know there's no bigger compliment than that."

And with that, Michelle and her team of 15 volunteers took to the streets to spread good yarn vibes everywhere. 

Check out a few of her favorite bombs (and women). 

Keep in mind, these designs aren't meant to resemble the women they represent in any way. 

Eugenie Clark 1922-2015

Clark was an Icthyologist (a scientist who studies fish) popularly known as “The Shark Lady." She was a pioneer in scuba diving for research purposes and used her fame to promote marine conservation.

This particular yarn bomb was created by Karyn Newbill Helmig, a high school marine biology teacher. And yes, it's a shark — not a bird.

Yuri Kochiyama 1921-2014

Kochiyama was a human rights activist who spent three years in a Japanese internment camp during WWII.

“I didn't wake up and decide to become an activist. But you couldn't help notice the inequities, the injustices. It was all around you.”  - Yuri Kochiyama

Rosa Parks 1913-2005

On December 1, 1955, Parks, An African-American woman, refused to give up her seat on a bus for a white passenger. 

Her act of defiance and the Montgomery Bus Boycott became important symbols of the modern Civil Rights Movement. She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. 

“Each person must live their life as a model for others.” - Rosa Parks

Amelia Earhart 1897-1937

Earhart was the first female to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. Sadly, she disappeared over the Pacific ocean during a flight in 1937. 

“Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.” - Amelia Earhart

Mae Jemison 1956 - present

Jemison was an physician and the first African-American woman to travel in space. If that wasn't enough, she also served in the Peace Corps, holds nine honorary degrees, and almost became a professional dancer. 

“People may see astronauts and because the majority are white males, they tend to think it has nothing to do with them. But it does.” - Mae Jemison

Helen Keller 1880-1968

Keller was an amazing social activist who was deaf and blind.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.”  - Helen Keller

​The benefits of Michelle's work don't end with beautifying the city and teaching people about women's history.

For starters, knitting and crocheting is known to help reduce anxiety and enhance self-esteem. Michelle knows how important that is as she raises her two young daughters.

"I'm going to make sure my little ones create many handcrafts," she said. "Just so we have a nice reserve of self-esteem for high school."

And once the yarn creations are ready to be taken down? Michelle transforms them and donates them to women's homeless shelters in Los Angeles.

This yarn bomb project is touching people through the community. It even got the attention of the Mayor of Los Angeles.

People all over Los Angeles love Michelle's work. Even Mayor Eric Garcetti gave her some props by sharing her yarn bomb video on his Facebook page. 

Kudos to Michelle for bringing her community together and celebrating Women's History Month in an extremely colorful way. 

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
True

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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