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Saturday Stories: Chaos, Hatred, And Ethos

Posted  December 7, 2019  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Joshua Hammer, in GQ, writing on chaos at the top of the world.

Bari Weiss (and whether you loathe her or not everyone should read this harrowing article), in the New York Times, on how the global surge in Jew hatred should not be written off as isolated incidents of bigotry.

Rachel Laudan, in The Hedgehog Review, on the establishment of a modern culinary ethos.

(photo source)

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EPA Watchdog: White House Blocked Part of Truck Pollution Investigation, Caused Lack of Public Information

Posted  December 6, 2019  by  guest
Semi trucks

Read time: 4 mins

By Jordan Davidson, EcoWatch. Reposted with permission from EcoWatch

The Trump administration pushed through an exemption to clean air rules, effectively freeing heavy polluting, super-cargo trucks from following clean air rules. It rushed the rule without conducting a federally mandated study on how it would impact public health, especially children, said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Inspector General Charles J. Sheehan in a report released yesterday, as the AP reported.

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‘Wargroove’ Dev Responds to Criticism for Casting White Actors to Portray Characters of Color

Posted  December 6, 2019  by  Anonymous

Developer claims “blind” casting lead them in this direction, with a predictable “promise to do better” in the future.

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Prison Officials Made an 8-Year-Old Girl Get Strip-Searched Before Visiting Her Dad

Posted  December 6, 2019  by  Anonymous

They didn’t find any contraband on her.

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Deepfake Porn Is Evolving to Give People Total Control Over Women’s Bodies

Posted  December 6, 2019  by  Anonymous

People are creating a new kind of nonconsensual pornography by combining deepfakes with 3D avatars that can be manipulated to do whatever they want.

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How Ring Transmits Fear to American Suburbs

Posted  December 6, 2019  by  Anonymous

Why do we surveil ourselves?

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Cancer

HPV Stigma Doesn’t Help the HPV Situation

Posted  December 6, 2019  by  Anonymous

Influencer Jamie Otis revealed she tested positive for human papillomavirus, making her one in, uhhhh…almost everyone.

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A New Game in China Lets Players Attack the Hong Kong Protesters

Posted  December 6, 2019  by  Anonymous

‘Fight the Traitors Together’ is a Chinese game about attacking pro-democracy protesters.

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Bernie Sanders’ Broadband Plan Is Comcast’s Worst Nightmare

Posted  December 6, 2019  by  Anonymous

Sanders promises to break up media monopolies, restore net neutrality, and embrace the countless towns and cities that are building their own broadband networks.

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A Queer Couple’s Plan for Dealing with Ignorant Family During the Holidays

Posted  December 6, 2019  by  Anonymous

Not today, Aunt Carol!

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Trump Is Still Coming Up With New Ways to Punish the Poor

Posted  December 6, 2019  by  Anonymous

His latest move will take away vital benefits from around 700,000 people in what experts call a “punitive measure.”

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Instagram Geckos Deserve Your Love

Posted  December 6, 2019  by  Anonymous

Lizards are the most underrated but the objective best animals on Instagram.

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The Royal Canadian Geographical Society announces new Vice-Patron

Posted  December 6, 2019  by  Anonymous

Lord Rees Vice Patron

Royal Canadian Geographical Society CEO John Geiger and Society board Vice-President Wendy Cecil flank Lord Martin Rees as he accepts the role of Vice-Patron. (Photo: Can Geo)

As it celebrates its 90th anniversary, The Royal Canadian Geographical Society is ramping up the “royal.”

On Dec. 5, 2019, Lord Martin Rees, the renowned cosmologist, astrophysicist and British Astronomer Royal since 1995, accepted the honorary position of Vice-Patron with the Society from its Chief Executive Officer John Geiger and board Vice-President Wendy Cecil in London, U.K. Rees also becomes an honorary RCGS Fellow.

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#357 When that baby screaming on your flight finally stops

Posted  December 6, 2019  by  Anonymous

Look, I love babies. Sure, we laugh, high five, sing songs, and play cars. We talk, read books, dream dreams, and stare at stars. But one thing we agree to disagree on is proper behavior on overnight transatlantic flights. Me, I like sleeping. Them, they like screaming for hours on the lap beside me. Generally […]

The post #357 When that baby screaming on your flight finally stops appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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Sailing around the world for ocean plastic

Posted  December 5, 2019  by  Anonymous

A woman paddles a stand up paddleboard in the water

Sheri Bastien paddles off Hoddevika on the west coast of Norway. (Photo courtesy Sheri Bastien)

Sheri Bastien is a Canadian public health researcher at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in Ås. Soon she’ll be setting sail as part of eXXpedition, an all-female around-the-world sailing expedition that aims to study and raise awareness of plastic pollution and toxins in the oceans. She spoke to Canadian Geographic about what she hopes to accomplish on her leg of the trip.

What is eXXpedition all about?

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#358 When you sneeze and fart at the same time so nobody notices the fart

Posted  December 5, 2019  by  Anonymous

It’s like getting away with something illegal. AWESOME! Photo from: here — Check out my new book You Are Awesome —

The post #358 When you sneeze and fart at the same time so nobody notices the fart appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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BP Challenged On Adverts That ‘Mislead Consumers’ Over Polluting Portfolio

Posted  December 4, 2019  by  Anonymous
BP advancing possibilities

Read time: 4 mins

Environmental lawyers have made a formal complaint against oil giant BP, claiming its latest advertising campaign is misleading consumers about its commitment to tackling climate change.

The challenge, filed today by legal campaign group ClientEarth, is the first time a complaint has been made about a fossil fuel company’s alleged greenwashing under international corporate rules.

ClientEarth has also launched a petition calling for a ban on all fossil fuel advertising unless it comes with a tobacco-style health warning.

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Canadian Geographic’s best maps of 2019

Posted  December 4, 2019  by  Anonymous

Best Canadian Geographic maps 2019

“I wisely started with a map, and made the story fit.” So once famously said author J.R.R. Tolkien of Lord of the Rings fame. I was reminded of his position on the importance of cartography in storytelling while I was doing research for “Map quest,” a feature exploring the amazing mapping connections in video games that I wrote for the July/August 2019 issue of Canadian Geographic.

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“Send us your money and everything will be just fine”

Posted  December 4, 2019  by  Anonymous

I’m very glad to see that Canadian authorities are taking these scams seriously: A Burnaby, B.C., man has been identified as a suspect in an RCMP investigation into organized crime groups;accused of scamming Canadians by posing as Canada Revenue Agency…

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#359 The wind

Posted  December 4, 2019  by  Anonymous

I’m listening to the wind, to the wind at my soul. Where it comes from, where it goes, well … who really knows. All I know is that the wind is a great part of life for a few big reasons: 1. Helps plants make love. Roots twist and tie bushes and trees into forest […]

The post #359 The wind appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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Hearts in the Ice: History and culture

Posted  December 3, 2019  by  Anonymous

Fishing boat on the shore of Spitsbergen, Svalbard

Relics from past eras, such as this fishing boat on the shore of Spitsbergen, are common reminders of Svalbard’s long history. (Photo: Tanya Kirnishni/Canadian Geographic)

The ice-covered archipelago of Svalbard, located high above the Arctic Circle, is home to thousands of polar bears—in fact, there are more polar bears than people! But beyond the splendour of Svalbard’s wilderness, the archipelago also has a rich history of exploration, hunting, scientific research, and industrial development that has shaped its people and landscape.

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Tiny plant and animal species raise big questions for conservation biologists

Posted  December 3, 2019  by  Anonymous

Puvirnituq mountain draba

These slopes in Nunavik covered with orange gravel, left, are the only known habitat of the Puvirnituq mountain draba, right, a tiny mustard plant that was discovered less than a decade ago. Because of its limited range, the plant has been assessed by COSEWIC as being of Special Concern. (Photos: Benoît Tremblay)

A pair of snails that rely on the last remnants of mature forest near Lake Erie. A fish that grows to less than 10 centimetres in length and lives in just one lake near Vancouver. And a globally rare moss that only grows on one square metre of vertical limestone cliff in Haida Gwaii, British Columbia.

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Researchers are using AI to track gentrification across Ottawa

Posted  December 3, 2019  by  Anonymous

Ottawa, deep mapping, gentrification, city

Chris Brackley/Can Geo

It’s a force that transforms neighbourhoods and whole cities, but gentrification has always been notoriously hard to track. That’s especially true in major urban centres, where city councils and planners must consider how the phenomenon can simultaneously reinvigorate older neighbourhoods and displace low-income families and small businesses.

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Years Before Exxon Valdez, Documents Show Exxon’s Imperial Oil Prioritized Public Image Over Spill Impacts

Posted  December 3, 2019  by  Anonymous
Imperial Oil Esso holding tanks

Read time: 8 mins

On February 4, 1970, the oil tanker SS Arrow was carrying a cargo of heavy bunker oil for Imperial Oil Limited when it encountered rough weather off the east coast of Canada. The ship’s captain had not sailed this route before and reportedly had no navigational charts. The ship itself had known problems with its navigation system. When the radar warned the crew of trouble ahead, the warning was ignored. The ship promptly ran aground on a well-known hazard, Cerberus Rock, ultimately spilling approximately 2.5 million gallons of oil, which coated 190 miles of shoreline.

Nearly two decades before the Exxon Valdez catastrophe in Alaska, the Arrow oil spill became a public relations black eye for Imperial Oil, a Canadian subsidiary of Exxon, and internal company documents published today by DeSmog and the Climate Investigations Center reveal that the company viewed the environmental disaster more in the context of improving its public image than improving safety measures that would reduce these types of environmental risks.

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New Documents Reveal Exxon-owned Canadian Oil Giant’s Shifting Climate Change PR

Posted  December 3, 2019  by  Sharon Kelly
Imperial Oil gas station

Read time: 9 mins

It was 1971, less than a year after the world’s first Earth Day, and in Canada an oil giant was worried.

Public concern regarding environmental problems is being translated into legislation rapidly,” Imperial Oil warned in an annual research planning document dated January of that year. “The present trend in legislation will require substantial expenditures to reduce emissions and waste discharge for all facilities and reduce the impact on the environment of the products we sell.”

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#360 Finally cleaning off your disgustingly filthy windshield

Posted  December 3, 2019  by  Anonymous

After momentarily blinding yourself under a thick layer of muddy smears you suddenly gaze out with sparkly eyes and a dropped jaw through a crystal-clear half-circle of sunshine. It’s like getting a new set of eyes. AWESOME! Photo from: here — Check out my new podcast 3 Books —

The post #360 Finally cleaning off your disgustingly filthy windshield appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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The Imperial Oil Files: New Collection Adds to Climate and Energy Research Archives On Science and Denial

Posted  December 3, 2019  by  Brendan DeMelle
ExxonMobil and Imperial Oil climate science denial

Read time: 4 mins

Today, DeSmog and the Climate Investigations Center are co-launching a large collection of documents from Exxon’s Canadian subsidiary, Imperial Oil, that DeSmog collected from a company archive in Calgary over the past several years.

These documents add new context to the groundbreaking investigative reporting by Inside Climate News, and the Columbia School of Journalism in partnership with the Los Angeles Times, that revealed the #ExxonKnew conspiracy. Those journalistic efforts exposed the facts that Exxon’s own climate science research had confirmed the role of fossil fuels in driving global warming, and that the company pivoted away from that advanced knowledge, choosing instead to spend tens of millions of dollars funding climate science denial campaigns.

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Dear @OttawaCitizen, Your 83 Word Byline Free Drink Milk “Artice” Isn’t Journalism And It Contributes to Scientific Illiteracy

Posted  December 2, 2019  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Now to be clear, I’m not a journalist, though I have written my fair share of articles for various publications (including the Ottawa Citizen).

What I would never have submitted, let alone gotten away with, would be an 83 word (truly, that pic above is all there is), byline free, advertorial replete with a large photo promoting milk consumption in the name of Vitamin D and calcium citing a “report” that urged Canadians to drink milk, and mentioning “experts” three times, without actually naming the report or the experts.

Though I’m not sure which report the 83 words is referring to, my friend and PhD/RD Dr. Kevin Klatt (who you should absolutely be following on Twitter) was able to steer me to this study looking at non-dairy milk consumption and vitamin D levels in Canadian children which clearly demonstrates drinking non-cow’s milk leads to lower, but still fine, vitamin D status markers.

He noted, as actually cited experts should, that vitamin D’s daily recommended intake (DRI) levels were derived from intake studies performed in very high northern latitudes so as to remove the confounding issue of sunlight, and that consequently daily recommended intake levels are far more than are necessary to maintain safe vitamin D levels for everywhere but the far north. He also pointed out,

there’s not very strong evidence to suggest that not consuming milk places one at risk of having Vitamin D status in the range of insufficiency.

And though it may surprise you given the certainty of the 83 words up above, the data on dietary intake and Vitamin D are so limited that anyone who has concerns about their vitamin D status, regardless of whether they drink milk or not, should have their levels checked and not simply assume milk will be magical. Or better yet, not try to drink their way to higher levels of Vitamin D if they’re concerned and simply take supplements (with meals if this is your plan as Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin)

Given the full court press the Canadian dairy industry has been making since our new Food Guide rightfully relegated dairy to simply a source of protein rather than suggest it is a unique food group, I can’t help but wonder if this published seeming advertorial is consequent to their efforts and overtures, and while it might play to at least 50 years of Canadian dairy marketing, the Ottawa Citizen should know better than to simply pass along uncritical food takes suggesting magic benefits to specific foods to a population primed to believe them.

(Thanks to my friend and colleague Andrew Kujavsky for sending the photo of the article my way)

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Geography teacher of the month: Sara Anderson

Posted  December 2, 2019  by  Anonymous

Ontario geography teacher Sara Anderson

Sara Anderson’s approach to teaching focuses on three pillars: making learning local, authentic, and skills-based. (Photo: Sara Anderson/Jean Augustine Secondary School Media Arts)

Sara Anderson wants her students to recognize how their geography skills can be directly applied to various facets of their lives. She teaches English and Grade 9 geography at Jean Augustine Secondary School in Brampton, Ont., and has introduced an interesting partnership to help students apply their learning in the real world. Working with the Brampton 2040 Vision team, Anderson has encouraged students to think about the future of their city by looking at it through a geographical lens.

On making community connections

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#361 The first snowfall of the winter

Posted  December 2, 2019  by  Anonymous

Crystal flakes form in space before floating down from cloudy skies. Soon blankets of white coat sidewalks like icing and frosty corners freeze in shady yards by the shed. Scarves twist tightly around necks, noses sniffle and turn red, and everyone walks the streets with wide eyes and snowy lashes. Boots slip and slide on […]

The post #361 The first snowfall of the winter appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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Texas Petroleum Chemical Plant Explosion, And Our Petrochemical “Collective Suicide”

Posted  November 30, 2019  by  Julie Dermansky

Read time: 5 mins

A plume from the Texas Petroleum Chemical (TPC) plant hung over Port Neches, Texas on Thanksgiving as emergency workers continued to fight the fire following explosions at the plant on November 27. A mandatory evacuation that called for 60,000 people within a four-mile radius from the plant to leave their homes the day before the holiday was lifted yesterday. 

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Fight or Switch? How the Low-carbon Transition Is Disrupting Fossil Fuel Politics

Posted  November 29, 2019  by  guest
cars in traffic

Read time: 6 mins

By Cara Daggett, Virginia Tech

As the Trump administration works to weaken regulations on fossil fuel production and use, a larger struggle is playing out across multiple industries. Until recently, oil companies and their defenders generally reacted to calls for regulating carbon emissions by spreading doubt and promoting climate denialism. However, I believe this approach is becoming less effective as climate change effects worsen and public demands for action intensify worldwide.

As a scholar who focuses on the politics of energy and the environment, I see growing anxiety among corporate elites. Some fossil fuel defenders are embracing a new strategy that I call climate defiance. With a transition to a low-carbon economy looming, they are accelerating investments in fossil fuel extraction while pressuring governments to delay climate action.

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Ocean Bridge Diaries: Connor Garrod

Posted  November 29, 2019  by  Anonymous

The view from Sleeping Giant Provincial Park on the North Shore of Lake Superior. (Photo: Connor Garrod)

The view from Sleeping Giant Provincial Park on the North Shore of Lake Superior. (Photo: Connor Garrod)

During the spring/summer of 2019, 40 Canadian youth aged 18-30 came together along the North Shore of Lake Superior for a 10-day expedition as part of Ocean Wise’s Ocean Bridge program. Ocean Bridge’s mission is to empower young people to make an impact in ocean conservation by giving them the tools and confidence to lead educational and service projects in their own communities.
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#362 Not making plans

Posted  November 29, 2019  by  Anonymous

Life’s too short to make plans all the time. Just do what you want and enjoy it. AWESOME! Photo from: here — Follow me on Twitter —

The post #362 Not making plans appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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#363 When you correctly guess the secret ingredient

Posted  November 28, 2019  by  Anonymous

Sniffing bean dips, chewing brownies, inspecting casseroles for clues, you’re swishing and swallowing while channeling all your body’s powers towards your mouth. Make sure to close your eyes, sniff bunny sniffs, and slowly move that chewed-up paste around your tongue so it touches different tastebuds. No, it doesn’t matter if it’s something sweet in the […]

The post #363 When you correctly guess the secret ingredient appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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Pennsylvania Communities Grow Wary of Worsening Air Pollution as Petrochemical Industry Arrives

Posted  November 27, 2019  by  Julie Dermansky
Shell Petrochemical Complex under construction in Beaver County, Pennsylvania

Read time: 9 mins

While the Ohio River Valley, long home to the coal and steel industries, is no stranger to air pollution, the region’s natural gas boom and burgeoning petrochemical industry threaten to erase the gains of recent decades. Concerns about air quality, which has already begun declining nationally since 2016, are growing rapidly for those living in the shadow of Shell’s $6 billion plastics plant under construction along the Ohio River in western Pennsylvania’s Beaver County.

Residents and activists from the greater Pittsburgh area fear that worsening air quality will lower the value of homes, deter new clean business development, and sicken people.

“It is not lost on us that Allegheny Health Network is building a cancer institute directly above the cracker plant at the Beaver County Mall,” Matt Mehalik, executive director of the advocacy group Breathe Project, said at a November 6 public meeting about the Shell plastics plant, also known as an “ethane cracker.” “There is a certain degree of sick irony about that.”

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Toronto’s SickKids Hospital New Oreos Fundraising Campaign

Posted  November 27, 2019  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Because of course they are.

SickKids hospital has never shied away from junk food fundraising and their latest campaign sees them working with food giant Mondelez to promote the sale of Oreo cookies.

Mondelez of course is thrilled and sees this partnership as,

a first step in a long-term partnership that will “allow for even more collaborative opportunities across portfolios and brands

The partnership also benefits Dairy Farmers of Canada who are likely running damage control following the release of a Food Guide that rightly de-emphasized milk’s unique importance in our diets and removed  our prior Guide’s explicit recommendations around its consumption and instead simply included dairy in the protein foods grouping.

Dairy Farmers are likely worried about the impact the Food Guide’s changes will have on their lucrative school milk programs and perhaps that’s what underlying their stated campaign rationale of “helping kids reach their full potential”, which no doubt will have more weight with SickKids’ push.

Apparently the campaign will include, “TV, cinema, digital, social media and public relations“, and there’s zero doubt that industry’s expectations are despite the campaigns likely huge costs, they’ll enjoy a return on their investment, either by way of direct sales, or by protecting current initiatives (like school milk programs).

As to what’s in it for Sick Kids, of course it’s just money. No doubt too that the amount of money SickKids is likely to get by way of fundraising with cookies, will be a fraction of what will be spent on the campaign to which they’re lending their name and integrity to market them.

No doubt too, if this were about altruism for the Mondelez and Dairy Farmers, they’d just cut cheques.

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Great tweets of the day – animal twitter edition

Posted  November 27, 2019  by  Anonymous

Some great animal tweets: 

Snowplow for hire pic.twitter.com/bdYu09XNhO

— Aussies Doing Things (@aussiesdointhgs) November 26, 2019

I like this video pic.twitter.com/dCTk2tZ68F

— Attractive Nature 🌿 (@NatureAttracts) November 26, 2019

Tom and Jerry

Maybe the cat should leave this rat alone 🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/pFD6Uar2jx

— ༻⋆≺ Martin 🏳️‍🌈 ≻⋆༺ (@KlatuBaradaNiko) November 23, 2019


And I couldn’t resist including this one too:

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 22, 2019


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#364 When you get caught in a big rainstorm but just don’t care at all

Posted  November 27, 2019  by  Anonymous

Water, water, everywhere. Most of our brains and our blood and our bodies are water. Most of our babies and our beagles and our baths are water. Water rinses apples and washes cars. Water steams carrots and cures SARS. (Study pending.) Yes, water cures thirst, shaves legs, and grows plants. Water flushes toilets, washes hair, […]

The post #364 When you get caught in a big rainstorm but just don’t care at all appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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