8th graders refuse to take a photo with Paul Ryan because they don't “want to be associated with him”


Speaker Ryan is one of the most unpopular politicians in the country — and he’s polling particularly poorly among one 8th grade class.

Eighth grade students from South Orange Middle School in South Orange, New Jersey were on a school trip to Wasshington D.C. on Friday when they were given a very special opportunity: a photo-op with Speaker Paul Ryan. Under normal circumstances, many students would leap for the chance to take a photo with the third most powerful politician in the country.

Not these kids.

Close to 100 8th graders refused to take a photo with the Speaker and instead sat in a parking lot across the street. Speaker Ryan then took a photo with the remaining class and posted it to his Instagram. Read more…

More about Watercooler, Paul Ryan, Watercooler, and Politics

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When refugees fled war-torn Europe for havens in the Middle East


Image: Library of Congress

When Axis and Soviet forces invaded Eastern Europe and the Balkans in the early years of World War II, they sent thousands of refugees fleeing south and east to escape the chaos

Many fled across the Mediterranean, hopping from island to island in search of safety.

To manage this exodus, in 1942 the British established the Middle East Relief and Refugee Administration (MERRA) and set up a constellation of camps in Egypt, Gaza, and Aleppo, Syria, providing havens for over 40,000 displaced Europeans.

At the El Shatt camp near the southern end of the Suez Canal, thousands of Yugoslavian refugees were settled in tents pitched in the baking sands. Read more…

More about History, Syria, Retronaut, Egypt, and Refugee Crisis

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A dazzling aurora borealis light show captivates the internet


Saturday evening stargazers were treated to one of the trippiest natural phenomenons Earth has to offer: a naked eye-visible aurora borealis.

The “northern lights,” as they are often called, originate with our sun. Solar storms that occur there emit streams of charged particles which help to trigger the unusual light show once they reach Earth.

The magnetic fields emanating from our north and south poles pull the charged particles down into our upper (and sometimes lower) atmosphere, where some of them collide with the neutral particles that reside there. Read more…

More about Climate, Science, Aurora Borealis, Northern Lights, and Science

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Why 'Handmaid's Tale' costumes are the most powerful meme of the resistance yet


Earlier this week, 18 women dressed up in red cloaks and white bonnets, stood in pairs in the rotunda of the Texas state capitol, and began chanting, “Shame!” in unison. They didn’t stop shouting for eight minutes. 

They call themselves the Texas handmaids. You probably first saw them back in March, when images of their original protest in Austin went viral. That’s when they sat silently in the Texas senate gallery, watching as lawmakers debated bills that would make it harder for women to get an abortion.

What you may not know is that their demonstrations, inspired by Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale and Hulu’s vivid TV adaptation, are slowly spreading across the country. Read more…

More about Books, Hulu, Social Good, Activism, and Margaret Atwood

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6 podcasts to listen to if you love the internet


Not everything that’s created on the internet stays on the internet — sometimes things just might make it on a podcast.

If you’re the kind of person who can’t get enough of the memes, videos, art, and all things internet, here are the podcasts you need to start tuning into today. 

1. Reply All

PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman host this remarkable show all about the internet —both people who create things for it, and its impact. You can listen to old episodes below or check more out here

2. The Apartment with Asif and Baluch

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'Pandora – The World of Avatar' just opened and it's a visual feast


Yesterday was a big deal for all the fans of James Cameron’s Avatar

Pandora – The World of Avatar – located in the Animal Kingdom Park in the Walt Disney World Resort – opened to guests staying at Disney resort hotels at 7am, and then to the general public an hour later. Needless to say, people were eager to get in on the action.

The main attractions of the park are the two rides, Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey, and people lined up to get on them early. Like really early.

One of the first people to enter the park said he got there at 5 a.m. He told the people cued up on line just to get into Pandora that their patience would pay off.  Read more…

More about Disney, Pandora, Theme Park, Theme Parks, and Disney World

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