The climate just gets worse and worse, but at least life can get better for gay, lesbian, bi, and transgender youth. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has joined forces with sex columnist Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" Campaign and put out its own video, featuring LGBT employees.
Savage began the "It Gets Better" campaign in 2010 after a large number of suicides by LGBT youth. He made a video of himself and his ridiculously hot husband, Terry Miller, explaining, essentially, that life gets a lot better for LGBT youth once they grow up and get away from their families and move to a city where they can meet more than like two openly LGBT people. Over 200 videos were uploaded to YouTube in the first week of the initiative, and now, the It Gets Better Project has over 30,000 of them. Here is the EPA's contribution, a nice piece of work, albeit with a kind of weird attempt at a recycling/gay metaphor:
A man walks into a Super Bowl party with a supermarket plastic tray of raw vegetables. His hostess gives him a brief, polite smile, then just looks sad: vegetables? At a Super Bowl party? Why, sir, why must you ruin football and America with your hippie bullshit?
Your parents, your teachers, and Sesame Street told you not to litter, and what did you do with that knowledge? Maybe made a little diorama about pollution for a school project? How cute. Ten-year-old Vanis Buckholz's parents taught him not to litter, too, and he parlayed it into a full-fledged business.
It all started on Earth Day, when the adorable tow-headed Corona Del Mar, Calif., resident was only 7. After learning about recycling in school, Buckholz started to notice that people threw a lot of stuff away. So it occurred to him: Since he had a scooter that he liked to ride, why not ride the scooter around picking up trash? Three years later, he had graduated to a bike, and he even had a catchy name, myReCycler -- a play on words that incorporates recycling and bicycling, two great things that Buckholz felt went great together.
Do you have about $800? Do you have a 3D printer, and access to a few motors? If you have said yes to these questions, you are potentially just days and some light assembly away from being in possession of your very own robot. A French inventor named Gael Langevin is in the process of creating a robot that you can print out from a 3D printing machine. Combine that with the dealie that makes raw material for 3D printers out of scrap plastic, and you're well on your way to turning household trash into a fancy robotic valet.
The robot, called InMoov, is a work in progress, and you can watch this video to see how that progress is progressing.
You want to have less stuff. You know it's important. And yet. And yet. There is the matter of SHOES. You can't just NOT HAVE the right pair of shoes for every occasion, and let's be honest, life presents you with a lot of occasions. Canadian Tanya Heath understands this, which is why she has designed a shoe with removable heels of varying heights and styles.
There are platforms. There are flats. There are four-inch stilettos. All of them just snap on and snap off. And since Heath spent a lot of cash (selling her family's apartment) and had 14 people working on making the snap-on-off method quick, easy, and mechanically sound, they are very nice shoes. They're not just handy, they don't just take up less space. They're something you might actually want.
They were going on a nighttime swim with manta rays. They got so much more.
A group of divers in Hawaii got an unusual and exciting opportunity to play hero earlier this month when they saved a bottle-nosed dolphin who was (potentially fatally) caught in a fishing line. A hook had worked its way into the dolphin’s pectoral fin.
Chicken and fish are often considered sort-of-not-really meat. You hear this a lot: “I don’t eat meat, but I eat chicken and fish.” Because they’re not mammals, the idea is, they’re not really animals.
I am as susceptible to this as anyone else. Also, I eat tons of chicken and fish. Probably a third of my at-home food intake is boneless chicken, and a third of my “eating out food” is fish. Not surprisingly, two weeks into not eating meat, I found that chicken and fish were my big cravings -- as well as the foods I felt most inconvenienced not eating.
As I said when I began this experiment of not eating meat for six weeks, there’s only one way I’m not going to eat meat, and that is if I just don’t want to eat it. It’s one thing to know abstractly that there are all these reasons for not eating meat. It’s another to be tempted by the smell of roast chicken, or the sight of sushi -- sitting cunningly on a small black plate, wasabi pal at its side. Appetites aren’t subtle.
Anyway, I needed to get grossed out. I needed to find out things about how chicken or fish were being treated that were cruel to the point of visceral horror -- or to feel that, despite their pristine appearance under the plastic or on the plate, they were in fact unclean and potentially unhealthy.
The Department of Energy has a brilliant plan for the 14,000 tons of potentially radioactive scrap metal it will be excavating from taking apart government nuclear sites. They want to sell it for scrap. The pros: Recycling is good, plus also incidentally it could net them $10-40 million a year. The cons: This could mean you end up with radioactive material in your eyeglasses, artificial hips, or belt buckles.
Of course, Vicky's parent company, Limited Brands, didn't just wake up one day and say, "oh wow, wouldn't it be nice if we just stopped putting nasty chemicals in our bras and panties and little sexy things and sweatpants that say PINK across the butt?" No, its change of heart was less a flash of benevolent inspiration and more of a response to pressure from Greenpeace, which has recently demanded that other clothing companies, like Levi's, Puma, Nike, and the British company Marks & Spencer, make similar pledges.