Your favorite new Kickstarter is a dad sharing the magic of his turtle hat.

Lynn Johnson first discovered the legendary turtle hat after a painful slog through Purgatory in 1996.

Purgatory Resort in Colorado, that is, where Johnson was skiing with friends and ended up tearing his ACL on the slopes.

But on that fateful night, as he hobbled his way to dinner, he saw the green, shell-patterned flatcap shining like a beacon in the gift shop. So of course he plopped it on his head right then and there.


The turtle hat goes to the beach. All photos provided by Lynn Johnson and used with permission.

The hat soon became his trademark accessory. He wore it on vacations and on his days off. He found it bestowed him with an almost magical sense of delight.

It didn't take long for Johnson to notice the remarkable ways his turtle hat could disarm any situation and immediately put people at ease. "When I’m out without it [the hat] I can notice the difference. It’s a good prop, like a smile, and you already cross that 'Oh, we’re friendly' line," he said.

A turtle hat with its turtle-turtle friend. (I'm not sure if they can tell the difference?)

But the more he wore the hat with cheerful powers, the more it wore out.

Within five years, his beloved turtle hat had started to fray; its once-bright-green shell now faded to a dullish brown. He had the lining changed, but after the tags still fell off, he realized he'd never be able to find its creator. Still, he refused to throw it away.

"My daughters, now grown and married, hardly remember a time I did not have the turtle hat," he said on Kickstarter. "For them it is rich with memories of relaxed days when Dad let his hair down."

After 16 years, Johnson did find another turtle hat waiting for him in an online vintage store — but soon that one too succumbed to the pressures of weather and wear.

Lynn Johnson pouring champagne at his daughter's wedding — while, of course, wearing his turtle hat.

After two decades of turtle-hatted-happiness, the future was looking bleak and hatless for Lynn Johnson — until a brilliant plan broke through the shell of his mind.

After reaching out to some friends in the clothing industry, Johnson realized he could use the pattern from his existing hat to have a new one custom-made! ... The only problem was that he needed a minimum order of $5,000.

Even for him, that's a whole lot of turtle hats.

So on Aug. 26, 2016, Johnson launched a Kickstarter campaign to sell his turtle hats — and in less than a week, he passed his goal. "I want to share the fun of a hat which has given my family laughter and joy for 20 years," he said. "It is a self help course in chilling out."

The original turtle hat, disassembled and turned into a pattern for the new production line.

Of course, a great power like the turtle hat also comes with great responsibility, and Johnson makes it clear that ownership is a commitment.

"You cannot take yourself too seriously with a turtle on your head," he explained in his official campaign disclaimer. "If you are easily offended or do not have a good sense of humor, please do not get a hat for yourself, get it for someone you want to give a hard time and have a good laugh with!"

And, yes, he even expanded on these rules by stipulating the Terms and Conditions of wearing a turtle hat on his website, such as "You must slow down when wearing this hat... Turtles never run over anyone."

Lynn Johnson blends into the woods when he goes out walking in his turtle hat.

Yes, the turtle hat is a little corny. But it's Johnson's genuine sincerity that makes his story so endearing.

It's hard enough to watch the turtle hat campaign video without feeling a big, goofy smile alight across your face. So imagine the positive effect it would have to see a turtle hat in real life. Thanks to Johnson, that kind of wholesome happiness is spreading. Slow and steady might win the race — but sometimes silliness makes it worth running in the first place.

You can check out Johnson's charming campaign video below and buy your own turtle hat as well, if you still need some help coming out of your shell.

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Little did he know that she would successfully become all three: an award-winning biomedical and mechanical engineer who performs cutting-edge medical research and has started multiple companies.

Bhatia holds an M.D. from Harvard University, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT, and a PhD in biomedical engineering from MIT. Bhatia, a Wilson professor of engineering at MIT, is currently serving as director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine, where she's working on nanotechnology targeting enzymes in cancer cells. This would allow cancer screenings to be done with a simple urine test.

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"They made enormous sacrifices to pick a town with great public schools and really push us to excel the whole way," Bhatia says. "They really believed in us, but they expected excellence. The story I like to tell about my dad is like, if you brought home a 96 on a math test, the response would be, 'What'd you get wrong?'"

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Don't test on animals. That's something we can all agree on, right? No one likes to think of defenseless cats, dogs, hamsters, and birds being exposed to a bunch of things that could make them sick (and the animals aren't happy about it, either). It's no wonder so many people and organizations have fought to stop it. But did you ever think that maybe brands are testing products on us too, they're just not telling us they're doing it?

I know, I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but that's exactly what e-cigarette brands like JUUL (which corners the e-cigarette market) are doing in this country right now, and young people are on the frontlines of the fallout. Most people assume that the government would have looked at devices that allow people to inhale unknown chemicals into their lungs BEFORE they hit the market. You would think that someone in the government would have determined that they are safe. But nope, that hasn't happened. And vape companies are fighting to delay the government's ability to evaluate these products.

So no one really knows the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use, not even JUUL's CEO, nor are they informing the public about the potential risks. On top of that, according to the FDA, there's been a 78% increase in e-cigarette usage among high school and middle school-aged children in just the last two years, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to officially recognize the trend as an epidemic and urge action against it.

These facts have elicited others to take action, as well.

Truth Initiative, the nonprofit best known for dropping the real facts about smoking and vaping since 2000 through its truth campaign, is now on a mission to confront e-cigarette brands like JUUL about the lack of care they've taken to inform consumers of the potential adverse side effects of their products. And they're doing it with the help of animal protesters who are tired of seeing humans treated like test subjects.

The March Against JUUL | Tested On Humans | truth www.youtube.com

"No one knows the long-term effects of JUULing so any human who uses one is being used as a lab rat," says, appropriately, Mario the Sewer Rat.

"I will never stop fighting JUUL. Or the mailman," notes Doug the Pug, the Instagram-famous dog star.

Truth, the national counter-marketing campaign for youth smoking prevention, hopes this fuzzy, squeaky, snorty animal movement arms humans with the facts about vaping and inspires them to demand transparency from JUUL and other e-cigarette companies. You can get your own fur babies involved too by sharing photos of them wearing protest gear with the hashtag #DontTestOnHumans. Here's some adorable inspo for you:

The dangerous stuff is already out there, but with knowledge on their side, young people will hopefully make the right choices and fight companies making the wrong ones. If you need more convincing, here are the serious facts.

Over the last decade, 127 e-cigarette-related seizures were reported, which prompted the FDA to launch an official investigation in April 2019. Since then, over 215 cases of a new, severe lung illness have sprung up all over the country, with six deaths to date. While scientists aren't yet sure of the root cause, the majority of victims were young adults who regularly vaped and used e-cigarettes. As such, the CDC has launched an official investigation into the potential link.

Sixteen-year-old Luka Kinard, a former frequent e-cigarette-user, is one of the many teens who experienced severe side effects. "Vaping was my biggest addiction," he told NowThis. "It lasted for about 15 months of my high school career." In 2018, Kinard was hospitalized after having a seizure. He also had severe nausea, chest pains, and difficulty breathing.

After the harrowing experience, he quit vaping, and began speaking out about his experience to help inform others and hopefully inspire them to quit and/or take action. "It shouldn't take having a seizure as a result of nicotine addiction like I had for teens to realize that these companies are taking advantage of what we don't know," Kinard said.

Teens are 16 times more likely to use e-cigarettes than adults, and four times more likely to take up traditional smoking as a result, according to truth, and yet the e-cigarette market remains virtually unregulated and untested. In fact, companies like JUUL continue to block and prevent FDA regulations, investing more than $1 million in lawyers and lobbying efforts in the last quarter alone.

Photo by Lindsay Fox/Pixabay

Consumers have a right to know what they're putting in their bodies. If everyone (and their pets) speaks up, the e-cigarette industry will have to make a change. Young people are already taking action across the country. They're hosting rallies nationwide and on October 9 as part of a National Day of Action, young people are urging their friends and classmates to "Ditch JUUL." Will you join them?

For help with quitting e-cigarettes, visit thetruth.com/quit or text DITCHJUUL to 88709 for free, anonymous resources.

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