Babysitter blames home invasion she planned on black neighbor, 4-year-old solves the crime

June 24, 2014 | 5 comments

Last Wednesday, three teenagers were arrested for burglary in Whatcom County, Washington. One of them had been babysitting in the house they robbed. She let the other two teens into the house and then “ran away” with the three children she was watching while her accomplices stole items from a list she had put together after scouting the house.

Of course, after that, the babysitter needed an alibi. So she called the cops and said two black guys, one with a gun and one with a knife had charged in the back door and told them to leave if they didn’t want to get hurt. In fact, she added to increase the seeming truth of her story, one of the guys looked a lot like the next door neighbor — 6’4″, athletic, and, of course, black.

So the police arrested Cody Oakes. The 25-year-old neighbor is an an operations manager for J.P. Morgan and the quarterback for the Bellingham Bulldogs, a semi-pro football team. As he walked out of his house to go to practice, he was handcuffed and walked to the nearby cruiser while a sniper kept his sight set on him from 25 yards away.

But then the babysitter’s story began to fall apart…

Why? Because she happened to be babysitting one of the most well-spoken 4-year-olds of all time. The thieves were white, young Abby told the police. And then everything started to fall into place…

The correct criminals were apprehended and Oakes was released with profuse apologies. He has handled the awful situation with impressive goodwill, saying

I think it was racial profiling, but I don’t think it was racially charged.

My family and friends are more upset about it than I am. I’m just relieved. But I’m sad about it. Because I don’t think she realized what could have happened to me. I don’t think she realized the gravity of the situation. 

No one survives this insanely dark Irish anti-speeding PSA

June 23, 2014 | No comments

Whether you appreciate the guilt-inducing message of this ad or not, it will be obvious to you why Northern Ireland’s Department of the Environment is facing criticism for it.

Watch at your own risk…

Instead of begging, homeless man reviews books on the street and sells them (but not to kids)

June 20, 2014 | 4 comments

Philani is a homeless man in his mid-twenties in Johannesburg, South Africa. Many people in his situation simply stand at corners begging. And that can sometimes meet basic needs…but it certainly doesn’t set a person apart or motivate people walking or driving by to donate.

But Philani does it differently. Every day he takes his ever-changing library to a different corner and sets up a sort of impromptu literary discussion group and bookshop.

Homeless Bookworm

For anyone interested, he will review his books…which he has read all of…and then you can buy one from him. In this way, he raises money for himself and his homeless friends as well as spreading happiness. He says…

Reading is not harmful. There’s no such thing as harmful knowledge. This thing is only going to make you a better person.

(via Reddit, SA People)

And if he has a kids book you’re interested in, it’s free, so that you can give it to a child. Because…

They can still take this reading thing and turn it into their habit, their life-long habit.

Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone use the Paparazzi to give free promotion to charity

June 19, 2014 | 1 comment

As they were having lunch recently Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield noticed a small crowd with cameras hovering outside. Instead of giving the group the opportunity to snap their pics and sell the images for no good reason, Garfield and Stone turned it into an opportunity to promote several charitable organizations — Youth Mentoring Connection, Autism SpeaksWorldwide Orphans, and Gilda’s Club

Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone Hide from Paparazzi - 01

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Interactive map shows every school shooting since Sandy Hook. Sadly, there have been 74…

June 11, 2014 | 10 comments

It’s been a year and a half since the devastating Sandy Hook school shooting that claimed 27 lives. Unfortunately, school shootings have hardly subsided since that tragic day.

In the last 18 months there have been a total of 74 school shootings in the United States for an average of over 4 shootings per month. If summer breaks are removed from the equation, the average jumps to over 6 shootings a month. Nearly half of these shootings have involved at least one death.

This interactive map compiled by the Washington Post and Everytown for Gun Safety shows each of these shootings. Red markers indicate shootings that occurred in 2013 while blue markers indicate 2014 shootings.

There have been multiple shootings in Atlanta, GA; Grambling, LA; Savannah, GA; Jackson, TN; Roswell, NM; Milwaukee, WI; and Augusta, GA; so you’ll need to zoom in to see the separate incidents in these cities…

UPDATE: CNN has reviewed all 74 of these instances and determined that a number of them are a far cry from what happened in Oregon recently. According to CNN’s definition, closer to 15 school shootings have occurred since Sandy Hook for an average of one every five weeks, a number that is still far too high, but significantly lower than what the numbers from Everytown’s report suggested.

An emotionally charged list of ways Native Americans *do* label themselves

June 11, 2014 | No comments

The National Congress of American Indians is using the NBA finals to get the ear of sports fans and perhaps change some minds about a certain football team’s name.

This is the extended version of an ad that ran in several major cities during the tournament…

(via Deadspin)

Homeless for most of his life, this kid just graduated high school…as the valedictorian

June 9, 2014 | No comments

Griffin Furlong just graduated from First Coast High School in Florida with a 4.65 GPA and is headed to Florida State University. After losing his mom to cancer in first grade, though, it was a long, emotional road to get to where he is today…

The fund to support Furlong’s college education is up to $102,296 at the time of this writing. It’s great to see such an outpouring of support from his community and those online who’ve been touched by his story.

John Oliver’s hilarious takedown of FIFA — Why soccer’s governing body is terrible

June 9, 2014 | No comments

John Oliver is a huge soccer fan, so he’s naturally ecstatic about the World Cup that begins this week. However, the sport’s governing body, FIFA, has come under heavy scrutiny over allegations of bribery and gross overspending on elaborate stadiums.

With mixed emotions, Oliver embarks on a hilariously brutal dismantling of soccer’s overseers…

(Some PG-13 language…)