'This shelf is rather boring':Store pulls off clever stunt in support of diversity.

Customers of an Edeka supermarket in Hamburg, Germany, came with full grocery lists this past weekend.

But many of them left empty-handed.

Photo by Daniel Roland/AFP/Getty Images.


The majority of products throughout the supermarket had been pulled from the store floor.

Entire aisles were completely barren.

No, Edeka isn't going out of business, nor have you missed any news about  widespread food shortages blanketing northern Germany.

The shelves were purposefully left empty to send an important message.

The store pulled all of its foreign products for one day, a stunt designed to prove a point about the often unconsidered benefits of diversity and the dangers of xenophobia.

Tomatoes from Spain? Gone. Olive oil from Greece? Sorry, out of luck. Cheese from France? Tragically, no.

Signs proving the supermarket's point were placed throughout the store, with messages roughly translated to sentiments like: “Without diversity, this shelf is rather boring” and "We will be poorer without diversity."

"Today, our selection has its limits,” another sign — taped above a pathetic-looking buffet — informed passing customers.

Edeka's dramatic gesture was a response to the far-right, anti-immigrant ideology that has been growing in German politics.

As the European Union continues grappling with the Syrian refugee crisis, worries about the "dangers" of immigrants — in terms of both economic and national security — have spread far and wide. Many of these perceived threats, however, are misguided or born from bigoted perceptions.

It's not just happening in Germany.

This past spring, candidate Marine Le Pen came closer to winning the French presidency than any other far-right politician in recent history. The U.K.'s stunning Brexit vote has been attributed, in large part, to fears of the "other." And in the U.S., of course, we have President Trump.

But immigrant populations play invaluable roles in many countries, including the U.S. We wouldn't have things like Google, blue jeans, many of the vegetables on our dinner plates, or even the song "God Bless America"(!) if it weren't for people immigrating to our shoes (often undocumented).

A similar point was made in Hamburg. And, according to Edeka, it was a point that's resonating well with most of its customers.

“Edeka stands for variety and diversity," said a company spokesperson, according to The Independent. "In our stores we sell numerous foods which are produced in the various regions of Germany. But only together with products from other countries it is possible to create the unique variety that our consumers value."

Our world really does work better as a melting pot, it seems.

Watch and share a video by DW News about Edeka's campaign to promote diversity:

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.

Keep Reading Show less
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.

Keep Reading Show less