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Watch how this group declared outer space LGBTQ-friendly.

Planting Peace set out to create the universe's largest LGBTQ-friendly space.

Watch how this group declared outer space LGBTQ-friendly.

It's official. Space has been declared LGBTQ-friendly.

GIFs by Planting Peace.

With a GoPro, a pride flag, and a high-altitude balloon, a nonprofit set out to make an important statement about human rights.

On Aug. 17, the team at Planting Peace followed in the footsteps (though, with significantly less genocide) of explorers like Columbus, Magellan, Raleigh, and others, laying claim to the vast nothingness that is space!


How did they do that? With a flag, of course.

Just outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Planting Peace launched a high-altitude balloon carrying a pride flag and a GoPro.

The pride flag soared 21.1 miles above the Earth's surface before coming back down. While the three-hour flight was short-lived, it was powerful in its symbolism.

The purpose of Planting Peace's action was to emphasize the importance of LGBTQ rights as universal human rights, with LGBTQ individuals able to live free from fear and discrimination on the basis of who they are.

"The backdrop of space gave us a stunning, inspiring and peaceful canvas for our message of hope to our LGBTQ family," wrote Aaron Jackson, president of Planting Peace, in an e-mail. "I would love for LGBTQ children who are struggling to see this, and look up to the stars and remember that the universe shines brightly for them, and they are not alone."

You might remember Planting Peace for some of their other awesome work.

They're the folks with the rainbow-colored house across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church, battling the notorious organization in Pokémon Go.

And earlier this year, Planting Peace brought a flag to Antarctica to declare it the world's first LGBTQ-friendly continent!

Spreading a message of love (and having fun at the same time) is important work. It's something we can all do.

Maybe you don't have the ability (or desire) to paint your house all the colors of the rainbow, and maybe sending a GoPro 21 miles into the air doesn't sound like your idea of a great way to take care of your electronics. Even so, there are little things you can do, just like Planting Peace, to help make the world a better place.

The group's message is something we can all get behind, and something we can all help spread in our own little ways: "You are loved, valued, and beautiful. There is nothing wrong with you. You are not alone, and we will stand with you."

Watch the pride flag's epic trip to space below.

via Anthony Crider / Flickr

Dozens of "White Lives Matter" rallies were scheduled to take place across America on Sunday. The events were scheduled in semi-private, encrypted chats on the Telegram app between Nazis, Proud Boys, and other right-wing extremists.

The organizers said the rallies would make "the whole world tremble."

However, the good news is that hardly any white supremacists showed up. In fact, the vast majority of people who did show up were counter-protesters.

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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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