Yoga Joes were designed to get guys into yoga. But it's not just men who love them.

Big news, everyone: G.I. Joe has traded in his weapon for a yoga mat.

They're like G.I. Joes, but in yoga poses! All photos by Yoga Joes.

The toys, called Yoga Joes, are the creation of designer Dan Abramson, who was looking for ways to get more dudes into yoga.

Abramson hard at work on some Joe designs.


Abramson started doing yoga years ago to help with a back injury. But even though he was amazed by all its health benefits, he wasn't seeing a lot of other men in his classes.

The numbers back up his observation too, with some estimates saying that only about 18% of the millions of people who do yoga are men.

"In America, yoga is often viewed as a woman's sport," Abramson said. But he didn't see why it had to be that way.

You might know Abramson from his first yoga enterprise, Broga Mats — "manly" yoga mats that look like burritos or arrow quivers.

Yes, that's a rolled up yoga mat.

But when he launched a Kickstarter to bring Yoga Joes to life, Abramson quickly realized he had stumbled onto something much bigger than bro-ga.

Group yoga.

His fundraising goal was blown out of the water almost immediately, and suddenly, Yoga Joes were real. And they were selling out.

But, more importantly, Abramson found that these silly little Army men were speaking to more than just the regular dudes who were nervous about going to a yoga class.

First, there were the soldiers and veterans who use yoga to cope with major stress or PTSD.

A group of soldiers pose with Yoga Joes.

"It was sort of an accidental discovery," Abramson admitted. "I knew they were doing yoga, but I didn't know it was on this scale."

Tons of military members and their families reached out to him after the launch. And Abramson quickly became close with organizations like Connected Warriors, who offer free yoga programs to veterans.

"The coolest example was when I got an email from the girlfriend of a senior staff sergeant in the Air Force," Abramson said. "She said, 'My boyfriend is handing them out to his pilots before they go up to fly so they remember to keep calm and breathe.'"

A few months later, Abramson said, she sent him photos of his Yoga Joes in inverted high-speed flight.

"It's pretty sweet," he said.

Other customers just like having Yoga Joes around to remind them to chill out.

Yoga with a view.

Abramson said people often put them on their car dashboards as a reminder to keep calm in traffic. Or on their desks at the office. Or on the kitchen counter.

Or any place where they find themselves getting overwhelmed or frustrated. Which could be pretty much anywhere.

For others, Yoga Joes are a symbol of peace.

Some Joes chill out on a tree stump.

A Yoga Joe is a soldier disarmed and choosing meditation over violence. At least, that's how some people see it.

"Generally when you hear about peace, it can be very preachy. This is kind of like, funny peace. People like funny peace," Abramson said.

Abramson said the response to Yoga Joes has been overwhelming, and it's inspired him to work even harder.

Some of Abramson's early sketches for his new line of Joes.

Abramson is getting ready to launch a new series of Joes that shows off more advanced yoga poses. And if you don't think he's taking this seriously, you should hear him describe going back and forth between engineers and yoga experts to design figurines that are both accurately posed and capable of standing on their own.

"This became bigger than I ever planned," Abramson said. "And I'm trying to do justice for that, the way it's touched people."

Not bad for an idea that started as a jokey way to get dudes into yoga. Not bad at all.

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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

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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