This store's hilarious plastic bag designs will ensure you never forget your reusable tote at home.

I'm going to take a second to tell you something about me, a stranger you have never met before: I am literally melting right now. In San Francisco, where I live, there has been no fog for days. Only sweltering, record-breaking heat that makes me want to lie down and not talk to anyone until the rains have come.

Perhaps you're in the same situation. Or maybe it's cool where you are now but you've read a recent paper that outlines the loss of life that will occur if we continue on our collision course with catastrophic climate change. Either way, you're looking at the situation and thinking: This is not normal.


One thing to consider is how plastic consumption contributes to pollution and warming. According to the organizers of Earth Day, Americans buy 1,000,000 plastic bottles every minute. We toss trillions of plastic bags every year. And all that plastic ends up polluting waterways, hurting animals, and releasing greenhouse gases as it breaks down.

While we could speak about the problem with plastics until the earth is covered in it, the only way to take this issue on is through direct action. That's why East/West Market in Vancouver, British Columbia decided to have a little fun with customers who don't bring reusable bags to the store. They've foregone the usual "thank you" bag with something...a little more exotic. You want a plastic bag with your purchase? You're going to have to sport one that announces that you've just bought wart ointment wholesale or are fresh from a deep and hydrating colonic.

That's one way to bring our environmental issues into stark relief. The only problem, Boing Boing reports, is that the bags have become too popular for their own good. Well, maybe just print these designs on reusable bags and sell them. No one will forget them at home and we'll be one step closer to a healthier environment. Win-win.

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
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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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