Bearded dudes pose for merman calendar to raise money for a worthy cause

Behold the “Merb’ys”—a breed of Canadian bearded mermen flapping their fur and fins for a good cause. 

The gentlemen of Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club are posing in nowt but their merman garb for a dudeoir-style calendar to raise money for mental health organisation Spirit Horse NL.

And, the photos certainly don’t disappoint. The calendar—which can be previewed online—features bearded mermen posing in pumpkin patches, pubs, and on various beaches. 

The Merb’ys are thus-named because “the Newfoundland mermen are a different breed,” says Hasan Hai, founder of the beard and moustache club. Hai came up with the idea of a merman calendar after a friend of his posted a photo from a mercreature themed dudeoir shoot on his Facebook wall. 

He decided to organise a calendar, and posted an “open call to the universe” on social media, which received an unexpectedly high response. 70 or 80 people got in touch with Hai, offering to model or photograph. 

Hai knew he wanted to raise money for charity, but hadn’t yet settled on a charity. When he came across Sprit Horse NL and heard the stories of the people they help, he suggested using the calendar to raise money for the organisation. 

“It basically uses horses to provide equine therapy for people with mental illness, people who want to live better lives, people with physical limitation,” Hai told CBC. 

Donning a fin was a challenge for the men during the calendar shoots. “Moving around in a fishtail is not as easy as you would think,” Hai continued, adding that there was “a lot of hopping” and squirming involved behind the scenes.  

The calendar, which has received an overwhelming number of pre-orders, can be purchased online for $25 CAD ($19.70 USD, £14.99) from the Beard and Moustache Club website. 

Major props to the Merb’ys of Newfoundland!

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/11/10/mermen-dudeoir-calendar-newfoundland/

A timeline of the rogue Twitter employee’s last day at work before deleting Trump’s account

Image: mashable composite. max knoblauch; shutterstock

This post is a part of Mashable Humor. It is not real. We drew the bird, though, and think it’s pretty good.

A Twitter customer support employee is responsible for temporarily deactivating the account of President Trump for 11 minutes on Thursday night, just before 7:00 p.m. EST. According to a statement from the company, it was said employee’s last day, and they acted without the approval of anyone else at Twitter.

What follows is a comprehensive timeline of the “rogue” employee’s infamous last day at Twitter HQ.

9:05 a.m.: Employee arrives at office on their last day. Employee sits at desk.

9:15 a.m.: Employee’s manager approaches, asks employee if they received email. “I haven’t checked my email,” employee replies. “Oh, okay. Well, when you get a chance,” manager answers. The employee will not look at the email.

9:20 a.m.: Employee tells coworker Devin that his coffee mug is on their desk, technically, and has been every day for several months.

9:25 a.m.: Employee leaves for “early lunch.”

1:15 p.m.: Employee returns from lunch.

1:19 p.m.: Employee sends email recommending lunch spot’s Moscow Mules to full New York office.

1:25 p.m.: Employee forwards Moscow Mule email to global staff list with message, “In case any of you are ever in town.”

1:30 p.m.: Using Sharpie, employee writes, “This bread taste like DOGGGG SHIT” on a loaf of bread in the employee kitchen.

1:35 p.m.: Employee reminds coworker Devin about the coffee mug’s location, asking him, “Did you know?”

1:40 p.m.: Employee leaves for “late lunch.”

4:10 p.m.: Employee returns from late lunch.

4:45 p.m.: During team meeting, employee is asked to say a few words. Employee uses full time to again recommend the Moscow Mules. The employee has worked at Twitter for 4 years.

5:00 p.m.: Employee enters back room and adjusts office thermostat to 68 degrees.

5:03 p.m.: Employee arrives at HR for exit interview.

5:10 p.m.: Employee responds to HR’s question of, “How do you feel about your time here?” with simply, “Bad.”

5:12 p.m.: Employee responds to HR’s question of, “Is there anything you feel you have not been able to do in your time here?” with, “Delete the president’s Twitter.” Employee tells HR they think they will be deleting President Trump’s account later in the day. The HR representative chuckles.

5:15 p.m.: Employee returns to desk.

5:30 p.m.: Employee watches the first 25 minutes of Netflix’s What the Health at desk without headphones.

5:55 p.m.: Employee says, “Wow.”

5:56 p.m.: Employee messages manager that the office chairs are very uncomfortable. Manager replies with, “Well, I don’t furnish the office lol.” Employee replies, “I do not like you and I have not liked you for some time now.” Manager does not reply.

6:00 p.m.: Employee stands on desk and announces that they will be drinking Moscow Mules at the lunch spot nearby if anyone wants to go.

6:48 p.m.: Employee returns to office to retrieve coat.

6:49 p.m.: Employee throws Devin’s mug in the garbage.

6:50 p.m.: Employee deactivates the president’s Twitter account.

6:55 p.m.: Employee returns to lunch spot for Moscow Mules.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/11/04/rogue-twitter-employee-deletes-trump-timeline-satire/

Woman requests time off for mental health, boss sends the perfect reply

It’s been almost three months since the news that Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington died by suicide, and the tributes and comments about the lead singer are still pouring in. 

Before his death, Bennington, along with two members of the band, filmed an episode of Apple Music’s Carpool Karaoke

That video was finally shared on Thursday with the blessings of Bennington’s family and friends, and is 23 minutes of pure joy with comedian Ken Jeong, a big fan of the band. 

The four men rip through Linkin Park classics, an Outkast song, “screaning” lessons (that’s scream singing), a dance break and more. Because this goes beyond the James Corden segments that started the carpool movement, the group goes on a karaoke bus for even more antics.

Fans of Bennington and the band were thrilled, and emotional, about the new video. 

“Everyone at home watching should all sing along,” Bennington says at the end. 

What are you waiting for?

If you want to talk to someone or are experiencing suicidal thoughts, text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. For international resources, this list is a good place to start.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/10/12/chester-bennington-linkin-park-carpool-karaoke-/

Leonard Cohen’s last book, finished ‘days before his death’, due out next year

The Flame collects unpublished poetry, as well as notebook entries and song lyrics, and offers an intimate look inside the life and mind of a singular artist

A book of Leonard Cohens final poems, completed in the months before his death and tackling the flame and how our culture threatened its extinction, according to his manager, will be published next year.

Describing the collection, The Flame, as an enormously powerful final chapter in Cohens storied literary career, publisher Canongate said that the Canadian singer-songwriter had chosen and ordered the poems in the months before his death in November 2016. The overwhelming majority of the book, which will be published next October, will be new material, it added.

Cohen, who died at the age of 82, originally focused his career on poetry, publishing the collections Let Us Compare Mythologies in 1956, The Spice-Box of Earth in 1961, and Flowers for Hitler in 1964. By the late 60s, he was concentrating more on music, releasing his first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen, in 1967.

Cohens manager and trustee of his estate Robert Kory said that pulling The Flame together had been a key ambition for the singer-songwriter at the end of his life. During the final months of his life, Leonard had a singular focus completing this book, taken largely from his unpublished poems and selections from his notebooks. The flame and how our culture threatened its extinction was a central concern, said Kory.

Though in declining health, Leonard died unexpectedly. Those of us who had the rare privilege of spending time with him during this period recognised that the flame burned bright within him to the very end. This book, finished only days before his death, reveals to all the intensity of his inner fire.

In an interview with the New Yorker last October, Cohen spoke of how my natural thrust is to finish things that Ive begun, and of how he was getting up well before dawn to write.

I dont dare attach myself to a spiritual strategy. I dont dare do that. Ive got some work to do. Take care of business. I am ready to die. I hope its not too uncomfortable. Thats about it for me, he told the magazines editor David Remnick.

In a certain sense, this particular predicament is filled with many fewer distractions than other times in my life and actually enables me to work with a little more concentration and continuity than when I had duties of making a living, being a husband, being a father. Those distractions are radically diminished at this point. The only thing that mitigates against full production is just the condition of my body At a certain point, if you still have your marbles and are not faced with serious financial challenges, you have a chance to put your house in order.

The Flame will also include an extensive selection from Cohens notebooks, which Canongate said he kept in poetic form throughout his life, and which it promised would offer an unprecedentedly intimate look inside the life and mind of a singular artist and thinker. The full lyrics of his final three albums, along with those he wrote for the album Blue Alert by his collaborator Anjani, will also be included, along with prose pieces and Cohens own illustrations.

Canongates Francis Bickmore, who acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, called it a towering final book, hulking with morbid wit and lit up with insight This substantial parting work, from a great artist now gone, will speak to anyone who has been moved by Cohens unique voice.

The Flame will be published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in the US, and McClelland & Stewart in Canada.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/oct/06/leonard-cohens-last-book-finished-days-before-his-death-due-out-next-year-the-flame

Julia Louis-Dreyfus reveals breast cancer diagnosis, calls for universal health care

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus at the 2017 Emmy Awards earlier this month.
Image: FilmMagic

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus announced Thursday that she has breast cancer, sharing a heartening post on Twitter that also calls for universal health care.

“1 in 8 women get breast cancer,” her statement begins. “Today, I’m the one.” 

But ever one to use her platform for good, Dreyfus’ statement also called on her followers to demand universal access to health care.

“The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends, and fantastic insurance through my union. The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let’s fight all cancers and make universal care a reality.”

Her announcement prompted an outpouring of sadness and love from fans, most notably from fellow actress and breast cancer survivor Christina Applegate, who immediately offered her support.

Her Veep co-star Tony Hale also posted a heartfelt message about the news:

Dreyfus is an 11-time Emmy award winner. She took home her latest, for her role as President Selena Meyer on Veep, earlier this month.

HBO issued the following statement to The Hollywood Reporter:

“Our love and support go out to Julia and her family at this time. We have every confidence she will get through this with her usual tenacity and undaunted spirit, and look forward to her return to health and to HBO for the final season of Veep.

The company also offered support on Twitter.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/09/28/julia-louis-dreyfus-breast-cancer-statement/

Joe Biden supports Julia Louis-Dreyfus after her breast cancer announcement like only a veep could

The "veeps" got this.
Image: HBO/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

After Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ breast cancer diagnosis announcement Thursday, former Vice President Joe Biden voiced his support to the acclaimed actress who has played a fictional vice president on HBO’s Veep.

Biden assured Louis-Dreyfus that he was there for her during her cancer fight. “We Veeps stick together,” he wrote. He included a photo from a 2014 spot the two did together before the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2014. Aviators are obviously involved.

Louis-Dreyfus, who plays vice president-turned-president (briefly) Selina Meyer on the show, had produced a spoof video in character with the then-real-life veep. The two had an adventurous day in the White House and bumped into Michelle Obama, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and called former Speaker of the House John Boehner.

Julia liked Joe’s tweet, and posted her own response shortly after.

Like Biden tweeted, we’re with you, Julia.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/09/28/joe-biden-julia-louis-dreyfus-veep-breast-cancer/

No, players aren’t ‘protesting the anthem.’ Fox News’ Shep Smith explains perfectly.

Whatever the topic, you can count on Fox News’ Shep Smith to tell it like it is, and Trump’s feud with the NFL is no exception.

While interviewing Politico’s Rachael Bade during Monday’s edition of “Shepard Smith Reporting,” Smith stated what’s obvious to many: The outrage from Trump and his base isn’t about the flag, anthem, or military.

In recent days, a slew of news organizations (including Smith’s colleagues at Fox) have claimed that the protests started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick were examples of players “protesting the national anthem,” completely obscuring what’s actually being protested — racism and injustice.

Smith used his show to correct that record.

In August 2016, Kaepernick explained the genesis of the protest. He and his fellow players are not protesting the flag or the anthem but, rather, the fact that we as a country are not living up to the ideals the flag is supposed to represent.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media at the time. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

“We’re complicit,” Smith said, acknowledging the way his own network helped muddle the meaning of Kaepernick’s protest.

Smith points to Trump, his base, and Trump-friendly media organizations as the source of the uproar, twisting the actual issue being protested to distract from the fact that he’s actually had a somewhat disastrous first eight months as president.

Policy-wise, not much has actually gotten done, Smith pointed out, so there’s a need to ramp up phony wars with the press and with the NFL to frame him as a victim:

“It’s very clear that for [Trump’s] base, this is the red meat of all red meat. Because they’re able to reframe this. They’re able to say, ‘Oh, they’re attacking the national anthem, they’re attacking the troops. They’re attacking the flag.’

None of which they’re doing. They’re not doing any of that. They’re upset about racial injustice in the country and they’re upset about the things that the president has said — and yet he’s able to turn it around for his base. Isn’t this all a play to his base and could it possibly be so that they don’t notice there is no health care and North Korea’s the biggest mess since the Cold War?”

So thanks, Shep Smith, for being a the voice of reason here and always keeping it 💯. Watch his clip below.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/no-players-arent-protesting-the-anthem-fox-news-shep-smith-explains-perfectly

This is how your world could end

In an extract from his book Ends of the World, Peter Brannen examines mass extinction events and the terrifying outcomes of rising temperatures for the human race

Many of us share some dim apprehension that the world is flying out of control, that the centre cannot hold. Raging wildfires, once-in-1,000-years storms and lethal heatwaves have become fixtures of the evening news and all this after the planet has warmed by less than 1C above preindustrial temperatures. But heres where it gets really scary.

If humanity burns through all its fossil fuel reserves, there is the potential to warm the planet by as much as 18C and raise sea levels by hundreds of feet. This is a warming spike of an even greater magnitude than that so far measured for the end-Permian mass extinction. If the worst-case scenarios come to pass, todays modestly menacing ocean-climate system will seem quaint. Even warming to one-fourth of that amount would create a planet that would have nothing to do with the one on which humans evolved or on which civilisation has been built. The last time it was 4C warmer there was no ice at either pole and sea level was 80 metres higher than it is today.

I met University of New Hampshire paleoclimatologist Matthew Huber at a diner near his campus in Durham, New Hampshire. Huber has spent a sizable portion of his research career studying the hothouse of the early mammals and he thinks that in the coming centuries we might be heading back to the Eocene climate of 50 million years ago, when there were Alaskan palm trees and alligators splashed in the Arctic Circle.

The modern world will be much more of a killing field, he said. Habitat fragmentation today will make it much more difficult to migrate. But if we limit it below 10C of warming, at least you dont have widespread heat death.

In 2010, Huber and his co-author, Steven Sherwood, published one of the most ominous science papers in recent memory, An Adaptability Limit to Climate Change Due to Heat Stress.

Lizards will be fine, birds will be fine, Huber said, noting that life has thrived in hotter climates than even the most catastrophic projections for anthropogenic global warming. This is one reason to suspect that the collapse of civilisation might come long before we reach a proper biological mass extinction. Life has endured conditions that would be unthinkable for a highly networked global society partitioned by political borders. Of course were understandably concerned about the fate of civilisation and Huber says that, mass extinction or not, its our tenuous reliance on an ageing and inadequate infrastructure, perhaps, most ominously, on power grids, coupled with the limits of human physiology that may well bring down our world.

In 1977, when power went out for only one summer day in New York, swaths of the city devolved into something like Hobbess man in a state of nature. Riots swept across the city, thousands of businesses were destroyed by looters and arsonists lit more than 1,000 fires.

Sami
Sami village, Gujurat, western India in August 2012. Villagers were forced to migrate due to lack of water after the monsoon failed. Photograph: Ahmad Masood/Reuters

In 2012, when the monsoon failed in India (as its expected to do in a warmer world), 670 million people that is, 10% of the global population lost access to power when the grid was crippled by unusually high demand from farmers struggling to irrigate their fields, while the high temperatures sent many Indians seeking kilowatt-chugging air-conditioning.

The problem is that humans cant even handle a hot week today without the power grid failing on a regular basis, he said, noting that the ageing patchwork power grid in the United States is built with components that are allowed to languish for more than a century before being replaced. What makes people think its going to be any better when the average summer temperature will be what, today, is the hottest week of the year in a five-year period and the hottest temperatures will be in the range that no one has ever experienced before in the United States? Thats 2050.

By 2050, according to a 2014 MIT study, there will also be five billion people living in water-stressed areas.

Thirty to 50 years from now, more or less, the water wars are going to start, Huber said.

In their book Dire Predictions, Penn States Lee Kump and Michael Mann describe just one local example of how drought, sea level rise and overpopulation may combine to pop the rivets of civilisation:

Increasingly severe drought in West Africa will generate a mass migration from the highly populous interior of Nigeria to its coastal mega-city, Lagos. Already threatened by rising sea levels, Lagos will be unable to accommodate this massive influx of people. Squabbling over the dwindling oil reserves in the Niger river delta, combined with potential for state corruption, will add to the factors contributing to massive social unrest.

Massive social unrest here being a rather bloodless phrase masking the utter chaos coming to a country already riven by corruption and religious violence.

Its sort of the nightmare scenario, said Huber. None of the economists is modelling what happens to a countrys GDP if 10% of the population is refugees sitting in refugee camps. But look at the real world. What happens if one person who was doing labour in China has to move to Kazakhstan, where they arent working? In an economic model, theyd be immediately put to work. But in the real world, theyd just sit there and get pissed. If people dont have economic hope and theyre displaced, they tend to get mad and blow things up. Its the kind of world in which the major institutions, including nations as a whole, have their existence threatened by mass migration. Thats where I see things heading by mid-century.

And it doesnt get any better after 2050. But forecasts about the disintegration of society are social and political speculations and have nothing to do with mass extinctions. Huber is more interested in the hard limits of biology. He wants to know when humans themselves will actually start to disintegrate. His 2010 paper on the subject was inspired by a chance meeting with a colleague.

I presented a paper at a conference about how hot tropical temperatures were in the geological past and [University of New South Wales climate scientist] Steve Sherwood was in the audience. He heard my talk and he started asking himself the very basic question: How hot and humid can it get before things start dying? It was literally just an order of magnitude kind of question. I guess he thought about it and realised that he didnt know the answer and wasnt sure anyone else did either Our paper really wasnt motivated by the future climate per se, because when we started we didnt know if there was any kind of realistic future climate state that would fall within this habitability limit. When we started, it was just like, We dont know. Maybe you have to go to, like, 50C global mean temperature. Then we ran a whole set of model results and it was rather alarming to us.

Sherwood and Huber calculated their temperature thresholds using the so-called wet-bulb temperature, which basically measures how much you can cool off at a given temperature. If humidity is high, for instance, things like sweat and wind are less effective at cooling you down and the wet-bulb temperature accounts for this.

If you take a meteorology class, the wet-bulb temperature is calculated by basically taking a glass thermometer, putting it in a tight wet sock and swinging it around your head, he said. So when you assume that this temperature limit applies to a human, youre really kind of imagining a gale force wind, blowing on a naked human being, whos doused in water, and theres no sunlight, and theyre immobile and actually not doing anything other than basal metabolism.

Today, the most common maximums for wet-bulb temperatures around the world are 26C to 27C. Wet-bulb temperatures of 35C or higher are lethal to humanity. Above this limit, it is impossible for humans to dissipate the heat they generate indefinitely and they die of overheating in a matter of hours, no matter how hard they try to cool off.

So we were trying to get across the point that physiology and adaptation and these other things will have nothing to do with this limit. Its the easy-bake oven limit, he said. You cook yourself, very slowly.

What that means is that this limit is likely far too generous for human survivability.

When you do real modelling, you hit a limit much sooner, because human beings arent wet socks, he said. According to Huber and Sherwoods modelling, 7C of warming would begin to render large parts of the globe lethally hot to mammals. Continue warming past that and truly huge swaths of the planet currently inhabited by humans would exceed 35C wet-bulb temperatures and would have to be abandoned. Otherwise, the people who live there would be literally cooked to death.

People are always like, Oh, well, cant we adapt? and you can, up to a point, he said. Its just after that point that Im talking about.

Already in todays world, heated less than 1C above preindustrial times, heatwaves have assumed a new deadly demeanour. In 2003, two hot weeks killed 30,000 people in Europe. It was called a once-in-500-year event. It happened again three years later (497 years ahead of schedule). In 2010, a heatwave killed 15,000 people in Russia. In 2015, nearly 700 people died in Karachi alone from a heatwave that struck Pakistan while many were fasting for Ramadan. But these tragic episodes are barely a shade of whats projected.

Bodies
Bodies in a morgue in Karachi, June 2015, during a heatwave in which almost 700 people died. Photograph: Rizwan Tabassum/AFP/Getty Images

In the near term 2050 or 2070 the US Midwest is going to be one of the hardest hit, said Huber. Theres a plume of warm, moist air that heads up through the central interior of the US during just the right season and, man, is it hot and sticky. You just add a couple of degrees and it gets really hot and sticky. These are thresholds, right? These arent just like smooth functions. It gets above a certain number and you hurt yourself very badly.

China, Brazil, and Africa face similarly infernal forecasts, while the already sweltering Middle East has what Huber calls existential problems. The first flickers of this slow-motion catastrophe might be familiar to Europeans struggling to accommodate the tens of thousands of refugees at their borders: the collapse and mass migration of Syrian society came after a punishing four-year drought. Still others have noted that the Hajj, which brings two million religious pilgrims to Mecca each year, will be a physically impossible religious obligation to fulfil due to the limits of heat stress in the region in just a few decades.

But for the very worst-case emissions scenarios, heatwaves would not merely be a public health crisis or a threat multiplier, as the Pentagon calls global warming. Humanity would have to abandon most of the Earth it now inhabits. In their paper, Huber and Sherwood write: If warmings of 10C were really to occur in the next three centuries, the area of land likely rendered uninhabitable by heat stress would dwarf that affected by rising sea level.

Huber said: If you ask any schoolchild, What were mammals doing in the age of the dinosaurs? theyd say they were living underground and coming out at night. Why? Well, heat stress is a very simple explanation. Interestingly, birds have a higher set-point temperature ours is 37C, birds is more like 41C. So I actually think thats a very deep evolutionary relic right there. Because that wet-bulb temperature was probably maxing out around 41C in the Cretaceous, not 37C.

Back at the diner in New Hampshire, Huber told me about his favourite story: the US Armys real-life parable of the so-called Motivated Point Man. In 1996, a platoon of light infantry spent days in the Puerto Rican jungle acclimatising to stifling heat and humidity, cautiously monitoring their water intake before simulating a night-time raid. The platoon included some of the most fit and motivated soldiers in the battalion. When the evening of the raid came, the platoon leader began leading his troops through the jungle, machete-ing a path through the brush. Before long, he was felled by fatigue and delegated his leadership to an underling. When the second private failed to advance the platoon quickly enough, the platoon leader demanded to lead again. But soon he found himself hyperthermic and unable to walk. His soldiers had to douse him in cold water and supply him with intravenous infusions. Eventually, four soldiers had to carry him. Before long, the extra demands vitiated the entire platoon, all of whom began to fall prey to heat stress. The exercise had to be called off before it became a massacre.

So I look at that as, if its night-time and acclimatised, fit people can just disintegrate into a pool of useless people on stretchers. Thats what I see happening to society, to cultures, Huber said. If you want to know how mass extinctions happen, thats how. So when people talk about the Pleistocene megafauna extinctions and Clovis people, sometimes they act like its a mystery how these things happen. But it happens in exactly the same way. You have something tearing apart the strongest members, the weaker ones try to fill in the gaps, theyre really not strong enough to take it and the whole thing collapses.

You want to know how societies collapse? Huber said. Thats how.

Extracted from Ends of the World by Peter Brannen is published by Oneworld Publications (18.99). To order a copy for 16.14 go to guardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over 10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of 1.99

What dies when as the temperatures rise

0.6C higher
As temperatures increase beyond preindustrial levels, widespread extinction of amphibians begins.

1.0C higher
As warming causes ice sheets to melt, krill populations suffer, threatening the penguins main food source.

1.6C higher
About half of wooded tundra is lost, putting pressure on its inhabitants such as moose, lynx and brown bears.

Emperor
Emperor penguins on Snow Hill Island, Antarctica. Photograph: Alamy

2.2C higher
At warming just over the +2C limit agreed in Paris 25% of large mammals in Africa are extinct.

2.6C higher
Major loss of tropical rainforests and the species that depend on them for habitat, including orangutans, sloths and jaguars.

More than 4C higher
At these temperatures, up to 70% of species would be extinct, coral reefs would be dead and deserts would expand across the globe.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/09/this-is-how-your-world-could-end-climate-change-global-warming

Jimmy Kimmel’s baby may save healthcare for 30 million people

Image: randy holmes/ABC via Getty Images

Welcome to 2017, where the American government has ceded its already crumbling moral authority to the former host of The Man Show.

Don’t you miss the 2016 election now?

Still, the last few days have produced some of the best material late night television has ever had to offer, and all it’s because of former Man Show star, Win Ben Stein’s Money co-host, and late night host, Jimmy Kimmel. Kimmel has not only taken on the Senate’s practically homicidal Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill, he’s done it without resorting to lies or distortions (how quaint!). He accomplished this by speaking from a place of deep empathy, and by centering on a character that remains untouchable across the political spectrum: his baby.

Back in May, Kimmel’s newborn son had to undergo an emergency open-heart surgery. It was this hardship that brought America’s perilous healthcare situation into sharp focus for the comedian. And as he’s grown more vocal about the issue, he returns to his own child as the impetus for his outspokenness.

That’s why every counter-attack by GOP politician and pundits against Kimmel has fallen flat on its face: in the symbolic war between sick babies and man-baby Senators, the sick baby will always win.

By positioning his baby at his monologue’s heart and center, he’s created the most sympathetic protagonist imaginable and made anyone who opposes that character a hateful antagonist by extension (which, I mean, is accurate). Everyone who attacks Kimmel’s position, is essentially attacking his baby. 

Not a good position for a politician.

“Before 2014, if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there’s a good chance you would never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition,” Kimmel said in May. “If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make … we all agree on that, right? I mean, we do!” 

Babies work. There’s a reason why every politician is required to take a photo with them at some point in their campaign.

When I was a social worker, we talked a lot about “worthy victims” and “unworthy victims.” “Unworthy victims” are people a society has collectively decided are victims because of their own poor choices: the poor, victims of sexual assault, the homeless, welfare recipients, people of color, criminals and undocumented immigrants. “Worthy victims,” by contrast, are folks that society has deemed sufficiently worthy of empathy (and consequently, of charitable donations) including sick children, the elderly and people with *certain* disabilities.

That doesn’t mean that worthy victims are exactly living large in America. Just think of the folks who were cruelly pulled from their wheelchairs by Capitol police while protesting Trumpcare that summer. But it does mean that they, culturally at least, have tremendous worth. I can’t think of a stronger symbolic lead than Kimmel’s son — a sick, wealthy kind with a devastating illness — followed closely by his acerbic father. Is there anything Americans love more than a cynical man, who simultaneously knows his facts and is deeply in touch with his own tenderness?

Of a Fox and Friends host who attacked Kimmel for his monologues, Kimmel had this to say:

“And you know, the reason I’m talking about this is because my son had an open-heart surgery and has to have two more, and because of that, I’ve learned that there are kids with no insurance in the same situation,” Kimmel said. “I don’t get anything out of this, Brian [Kilmeade], you phony little creep. Oh, I’ll pound you when I see you.”

Just look at how these Republican politicians and pundits tiptoed around his attacks, especially as  they relate to Kimmy’s son, and relied on the tired excuse than Kimmel wasn’t smart enough to analyze the bill because’s he’s a late night comedian. 

Remember: these folks voted for a man who recently made up an African country in front of Africans and didn’t realize that Frederick Douglass was dead, so we’re not exactly dealing with “wonks” here. 

All late night comedians have in some ways impacted culture and by extension, politics, but Kimmel might become the first late night politicians to have an immediate, substantive impact on policy. There’s a Jimmy Kimmel test Senator Cassidy once told Congress it has to pass. Kimmel even ended his monologue with a screen full of Senator’s phone numbers, amplifying his personal story and turning it into collective action.

Babies work. There’s a reason why every politician is required to take a photo with them at some point in their campaign. There’s a reason why political ads that include children, like this one of Hillary’s, are far more effective than those that feature rehabilitated criminal — even though both would be endangered by Graham-Cassidy.  Kimmel even admitted that he was “politicizing his baby” for the greater good.  

Doing anything that might directly harm babies is one the last moral lines we have around these broken parts. Let’s see if one man’s 13-minute monologues are powerful enough to keep us from crossing it.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/09/21/jimmy-kimmel-secret-weapon-baby/

Kate Middleton chats about mental health in video for children and parents

Kate Middleton has spoken out about the difficulty in opening up about one’s mental health in a video aimed at children and parents. 

Appearing in a video for charity Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, the Duchess of Cambridge explained in simple terms what “mental health” means. 

“Mental health is how we feel and think, things that can’t really be seen but affect us everyday. And talking about them can feel difficult,” she said. 

The Duchess’ words act by way of introduction to a short animation aimed at children to help them find the words to talk about mental health. The Duchess explained that the animation can help figure out “what to say and who to talk to when we have feelings that are too big to manage on our own.” 

The animation gives a simple breakdown of what the term “mental health” means, and it features tips and advice from children and adults on talking about thoughts, feelings and emotions. 

“Sometimes it’s just a simple conversation that can make things better,” Kate added. 

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/09/19/duchess-of-cambridge-mental-health/