This woman is shutting down trolls by shutting their cakeholes. Literally.

Trolls are the worst type of internet citizen.

They cowardly hide behind computers and phones saying harmful and disgusting things to strangers. You'll find them in comment sections, Twitter conversations they weren't invited to, or if you're a woman, everywhere you click. They're the mosquito bites of the digital age; pointless, but difficult to ignore.

Image via iStock.


But one woman is making trolls eat their words ... literally.

Kat Thek is a baker in Brooklyn, New York, and founder of Troll Cakes. Her business is exactly what it sounds like: You send in a troll's comment, and Thek bakes a cake with their words lovingly inscribed in frosting or edible letters and ships it to them.

There's nothing wrong with the cakes: no poison, no weird flavors, nothing — unless the troll has a problem eating their own vitriol. It's killing them with kindness; death by chocolate chip brownie.

Photo by Kat Thek/Troll Cakes, used with permission.

What could've possibly started all of this? A swipe at entertainment icon Dolly Parton.

"Somebody wrote: 'Your Mamma be so disappointed' and I just couldn't stop laughing," Thek writes in an interview over email.

Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images.

"Trolling anyone, especially Dolly Parton, is like aggressively giving the finger to a sunset or telling a panda that it has bad taste in film," she explains. "You're just letting everybody around you know that you're a grumpy idiot. It's fun to maintain that idiocy but then flip the grumpy into something obnoxiously cheerful, like a surprise cake in the mail."

Photo by Kat Thek/Troll Cakes, used with permission.

Thek's business just started a few weeks ago, but she's been swamped with orders.

Her favorite thing to have put on a cake so far is this fantastical equine insult:

Photo by Kat Thek/Troll Cakes, used with permission.

"I'm not exactly sure what a donkey witch is, but I think I want to be one for Halloween," she says.

She also creates cakes of President Donald Trump's more offensive remarks and sends them to the White House because trolls come in all shapes, sizes, and government positions.

Photo by Kat Thek/Troll Cakes, used with permission.

As you might guess, Thek — as a woman on the internet making cakes for trolls — has been trolled for this idea.  

But don't worry, she's not creating a vicious cycle.

"Troll Cakes subscribes to the 'Scarface' school of business: we don't get high on our own supply. That means we don't send Troll Cakes to trolls of Troll Cakes," Thek says.

Photo by Kat Thek/Troll Cakes, used with permission.

Troll Cakes is not so much for revenge or anger; it's just to make people stop and think about the words they use.

After all, it's a cake in the mail, not a horse head in the bed. And so far, most of the cakes are sent between family and friends. It's simply a way to make people think twice about what they say and do on the internet.

"Customers are mostly looking to have (or share) the last laugh — if you take heated or petty words out of context and plop them onto a cake, they're usually pretty funny," Thek says. "We're very big fans of using Troll Cakes to playfully troll people you love. The typical Facebook 'overshare' is hilarious on a cake."

It's also delicious. You can't beat that.

Photo by Kat Thek/Troll Cakes, used with permission.

Family

A new Harriet Tubman statue sculpted by Emmy and Academy award-winner Wesley Wofford has been revealed, and its symbolism is moving to say the least.

Harriet Tubman was the best known "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, a network of safe houses that helped thousands of enslaved black Americans make their way to freedom in the north in the early-to-mid 1800s. Tubman herself escaped slavery in 1849, then kept returning to the Underground Railroad, risking her life to help lead others to freedom. She worked as a spy for the Union Army during the Civil War, and after the war dedicated her life to helping formerly enslaved people try to escape poverty.

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Heroes

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

Culture
via Kenneth Goldsmith / Twitter

The Hillary Clinton email scandal was a major right-wing talking point during the 2016 election that aimed to create an air of suspicion around the candidate.

The media played right into it turning Clinton — one of the most qualified candidates to ever run for the office — appear just as unworthy of the presidency as Trump, a vulgar, politically-inexperienced pathological liar.

The controversy surrounded Clinton's use of a private email account in which over 30,000 emails were sent during her time as Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. An FBI interrogation found there were 110 confidential emails sent from her private account.

Clinton was never criminally charged, however FBI director James Comey said she was "extremely careless."

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Democracy

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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