Can’t keep up with what’s in fashion? Check out our handy chart of what’s trending and what’s totally passé.
“Mute.” Nearly since its inception, Twitter has been plagued by reports of online harassment and has done little to curb the bad behavior—until now. The social media site just added a mute function that lets users silence offensive people, keywords, phrases or conversations.
“Alt-right” accounts. In the wake of a recent rash of vitriol from white supremacist groups, Twitter suspended several key alt-right accounts as part of a crackdown on hate speech and violence.
‘Tis the season
Online shopping. Despite a slight lull in the economy lately, research firms feel confident that online shopping will boom this holiday season. In fact, they are predicting it will jump a whoppin’ 19 percent as people digitally purchase gifts for under the tree.
Raking leaves. Repeat after me: less raking, more relaxing. According to David Mizejewski, a Naturalist at the National Wildlife Federation, dry dead leaves should be left alone. Why? Doing so saves time and money, sure, but leaf piles also create an environment for backyard bugs and wildlife.
We really are what we eat. Researchers at the University of Oxford, seeking to answer the question “do vegetarian pandas have predictable genetic differences from meat-eating polar bears?” have proven that the diets of subjects can indeed affect the DNA sequences of said subjects. The moral of the story? Nurture, evidently, affects nature.
OG pumpkin pies. Have you ever seen what pumpkin pie looked liked during the Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving? It isn’t exactly the sweet dream of a dessert we have nowadays. If you aren’t put off by its strange aesthetic, though, you can find a recipe for original pumpkin pie here.
Random acts of encouragement. When an anxious Latino man entered a subway car in Ontario and was openly nervous about a job interview, passengers rallied around him, giving him medicine, juice to take it with, advice, and support. Canadians … they’re so kind!
Traditional police tickets. Rather, law enforcement in Nanaimo, Canada, are handing out “positivity tickets” this year in order to encourage good behavior such as following laws, being respectful and helping others.
Senior women FTW
The oldest woman in space. Well, almost—NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson is set to make history once more when the 56-year-old rockets into space this week. The current record is held by Christa McAuliffe, who was 55 on her first flight.
Texting the right family member. After inadvertently texting a Phoenix teen and inviting him to Thanksgiving, the teen, 17-year-old Jamal Hinton, decided to take the texting granny up on her offer: He’ll be joining her family for Thanksgiving, and the entire Internet hearts the accidental friendship.
The good word
The Good Word. Did you know this is National Bible Week? To mark the 75th anniversary of the special occasion, lawmakers shared some of their favorite Scripture—while on the floor of the House of Representatives. Hear, hear!
Not practicing what you preach. It’s one thing to read the Bible; it’s another to live the words out loud. And the latter is precisely what Pope Francis essentially said on Wednesday, saying, “The need to advise, admonish, and teach should not make us feel superior to others, but first of all obliges us to return to ourselves to see if we are consistent with what we ask of others,” he said.
The spoken word
Empowering little minds. Third-grade teacher Jasmyn Wright from Philadelphia set out to inspire her students with a motivational call to action and, upon sharing the sweet video online, wound up inspiring millions.
The Word of the Year. As in, Oxford Dictionaries just named their 2016 word of the year—and it’s a sad reflection on society. The word? Post-truth, which is defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotional and personal belief.” Facts are apparently so 2015.
A new member of the Bush family. George “Dubya” Bush and wife Laura admit they stopped into the Jan Rees-Jones Animal Center in Dallas last week just to thank the volunteers … but ultimately left with a rescue pup they’ve since named Freddy. Hey, it happens to the best of us.
Tom Hanks for Prez. At a MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) benefit in NYC, Tom Hanks addressed the suggestion he should run for POTUS, saying with a laugh, “I don’t think so. I wouldn’t make a good CPA, much less anything else.”
Safety pins. Worn on shirtfronts, lapels or even necklaces, safety pins symbolize solidarity for anyone who feels unsafe or targeted by racism. The idea was actually born in World War II Germany, when college students began wearing paperclips on their collars to silently underscore their support for the Jewish people being persecuted.
Self-lacing sneakers. Nike unveiled their high-tech, highly anticipated self-lacing sneakers this week, but the price tag might trip you up. For $720, we’ll tie our own shoes, thank you very much.
Bio fuel. Making history, Alaska Airlines made the very first commercial airplane flight powered by renewable bio fuel. What was in the fuel, you ask? Well, it was created using forest scrap, like felled branches and bark.
Overdeveloping the North Carolina mountains. Tech magnate Tim Sweeney just dropped $15 million of his own money to ensure that 7,000 acres of wilderness in the Blue Ridge Mountains isn’t harmed by logging or construction.
Pluto’s big secret. Scientists now suspect that Pluto may be harboring a super-secret subsurface ocean of liquid water. “Our view is that 40 kilometers’ thickness of nitrogen is not that likely,” said Francis Nimmo, a professor at UC-Santa Cruz. Water, he said, makes more sense.
Unpreparedness. Scientists aren’t just talking about a potential asteroid hitting Earth in the near future, they’re prepping for it—more than 100 scientists signed a letter in support of a joint NASA/ESA mission to practice asteroid deflection. Which, let’s be honest, is both incredibly cool and utterly terrifying at the same time.
Faith and family TV
A new interfaith network. TV producer Mark Burnett and wife Roma Downey have announced plans to launch a 24/7 faith-and-family TV network focusing on “wholesome family and faith-based entertainment.” Touched by an angel, indeed!
Dancing with the Stars’ Derek Hough. In his TV Guide blog this week, the veteran dance pro broke the news to fans that he may not be back next season, citing “a few projects on my plate.” Then again, there’s hope! Hough has never been able to stay away from DWTS for long.
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