Women should be able to find safe spaces in cities. So she made them an interactive map.

Back in 2015, while Jasmine George was staying in Dehli, India, a friend asked for her advice on where she could go to get an abortion.

The woman had already tried a private health clinic, but was asked to leave when the practitioner found out she wasn't married. Not only was she denied the healthcare she needed, she was outright shamed for even asking for it.

The injustice of the whole situation lit a fire inside George.


"I realized that a crucial part of comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare is how women are treated and how they feel when they seek healthcare," explains George in an email.

But George's frustration went beyond wishing there were more welcoming healthcare facilities. She also wanted to find a way to address the systemic crisis of women's safety in public spaces across India.

Image via Pixabay.

In the wake of "the Nirbhaya Incident," where a young woman was brutally raped and murdered by a group of men, the country became focused on amping up security and placing more restrictions on women in public places, rather than helping them take control of their own safety.

As a lawyer and autonomous woman, this didn't sit well with George. She wanted to help women feel safer in their own cities without having to rely on security systems and laws created by men.

So she connected with a couple of fellow Indian feminists, and launched an organization called Hidden Pockets Collective, which utilizes technology, research and the knowledge of locals to help Indian women find the reproductive health services and safe spaces they may need.

"We are trying to find health services that are good quality, affordable and non-judgmental that people can access without fear," writes George.

The Hidden Pockets collective, Aisha (left), Jasmine (center) and Tushita (right). Photo via Jasmine George.

Once they established their mission, they started recruiting designers, researchers, techies, and local women who know the major cities in India to help them build an interactive digital map that designates where women can find reproductive health services, transportation, and safe public areas.

"We organize community walks through the well-known and uncommon pockets of the city to help people get to know their city better and to build a close relationship with the community," explains George.

Currently, their project operates on Open Street Map, which is public, and therefore available to everyone. However, in order to get it set up, they had to become acquainted with the complexities of the data-driven mapping world, and make sure they could utilize it effectively.  

What's more, a lot of the safe spaces they wanted to highlight aren't actually visible on map resources like Google Maps, so they often had to go out and find the coordinates themselves, which, needless to say, wasn't always a walk in the park.  

Thanks to their tireless efforts though, Hidden Pockets now has digital maps for seven major Indian cities up and running, including Delhi and Jaipur.

Hidden Pockets' interactive map for Jaipur, India. Photo via Hidden Pockets.

While the work isn't always easy, this intersection of community and technology is helping them create a solution to a major problem that affects women the world over.

And that solution extends far beyond mapping safe spaces. They're also conducting ongoing interviews with local women about the importance of reclaiming health facilities and "pleasure pockets," which are public places where women can relax and enjoy themselves while still feeling safe.

This interview process was born out of the initial work they were doing to help spread health access information to locals. They'd translate information on where to find local health services into various Indian languages, then broadcast it via community radio programs. Eventually, they started broadcasting the interviews they where doing with women as well, so the endeavor took on a podcast feel.

And as the project grew and evolved, so too did this idea of audibly sharing community stories about discovering safe spaces.

"We began asking women all around India to map their cities and tell their own stories of how different spaces felt," writes George. "We are pushing them to see their own city."

AIsha interviewing a young woman about contraception. Photo via Jasmine George.

This sharing of women's stories as they traverse their cities is empowering for the storytellers and listeners alike. Now, armed with this new mapping system, they'll hopefully feel more confident about reclaiming their public spaces.

"When we share the stories of women walking in their cities, when we share spaces where women have been before, when we share happy perspectives of women accessing services, we are giving hope to a lot of women out there, [reminding them that] they are not alone," notes George. "Technology can be one of the many ways to connect to each other."

Obviously we've got a long way to go before women's safety in public places is no longer a concern, but thanks to innovators like George and her collaborators, the path ahead has gotten much, much clearer.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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