What I learned about being alone from the biggest loner in the galaxy.

I spend a good amount of time alone.

I know. But before you get all freaked out and ask if I'm OK or if I need anyone to talk to... Yes, I'm OK, and I have lots of awesome people to talk to.

The truth is, I actually enjoy it. I'm not antisocial, I don't have the blues, and I'm not getting over a breakup. I just unironically and unapologetically enjoy my me-time.


GIF from "Arrested Development."

That can be weird for some people to hear.

When I forgo attending a party to relax at home with a book or some video games or I go on a long walk with my music and don't invite anyone, people wonder if I should be socializing more or need more friends.

I have a big group of amazing friends and a generally awesome life, but the world seems to think that if you're alone — you're lonely. And to be honest, sometimes I even doubt myself. I wonder if I should be getting out more or forcing myself to socialize in situations where I don't want to.

So it was actually pretty cool when I found out about WISEA 1147. A gigantic planet and a gigantic loner.

WISEA 1147 is what's known as a rogue planet. A planet that doesn't orbit around a sun, isn't attached to any system, and just generally does its own thing in the universe.

Wisea 1147. Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Rogue planets just sort of ... float around. They're free spirits who don't play by your rules. They don't have a sun, so they don't even have days or years. They're hard to see and track because they have nothing lighting them up and have no orbital pattern.

They're just, well ... rogue. Yeah. Good word choice, scientists.

The coolest thing is, there are a lot of them. Like a lot a lot.

No one knows for sure (since they're super hard to find) but scientists have speculated that there may be more rogue planets in the Milky Way than stars. (And there are hundreds of billions of stars.)

An artistic rendering of a rogue planet. Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech.

"There are billions of them adrift in perpetual night," said Neil deGrasse Tyson in "Cosmos." “Rogue planets are molten at the core, but frozen at the surface. There may be oceans of liquid water in the zone between those extremes. Who knows what might be swimming there?”

Side note: Every time Neil deGrasse Tyson talks, I want to cry galactic tears of wonder.

WISEA 1147 is also huge. Like huge huge.

According to recent NASA estimations, WISEA 1147 is anywhere from five to 10 times the size of Jupiter.

Do you even know how big that is? Because here's Jupiter:

No, Earth isn't actually that close. Image via Jcpag2012/Wikimedia Commons.

Yeah. Huge.

So if you're like me, and love to go your own way every once in a while, don't feel bad.

Instead, look up to the stars.

For every bright beam of light you see showing off up there, there's a bunch of gigantic planets floating around not trying to impress anyone.

They're just dancing happily through the wondrous universe. Totally unattached, and — at least, I like to imagine — totally happy about it.

Heroes
Youtube

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

Cities

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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via EarthFix / Flickr

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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