Cops entrap and fine drivers using a planted pedestrian

July 7, 2014 | 5 comments

In the city of Somerville, Massachusetts, which is just 2 miles outside of Boston and is the most densely populated municipality in New England, the police force has set up a simple but effective method of protecting pedestrians and generating revenue.

At a busy intersection, the cops plant a “pedestrian” who is supposedly on his way somewhere on foot. In fact, however, the pedestrian is repeatedly crossing the street so the cops can pull over anyone who doesn’t come to a stop for him as they drive by.

When a nearby neighbor noticed the scheme he began to film…

(via Free Thought Project)

It is required by law that motorists stop for people in the crosswalk. At the same time, setting people up to commit crimes is generally frowned upon. So what do you think?

Are these cops protecting and serving by reminding us all to stop for pedestrians or are they just fleecing their town’s inhabitants to increase revenue?

Chris Rock asks white people at a monster truck rally about the BET Awards…and it doesn’t go badly

July 3, 2014 | No comments

Considering the potential awkwardness this could have created, this bit by Chris Rock for the BET Awards came off surprisingly (and hilariously) well…

(via Gawker)

Shocking ads show beaten celebrities and the lies they’d tell if tortured [3 pics]

June 27, 2014 | No comments

A recent series of ads from Amnesty International creatively and dramatically points out the futility of torture as a method for gathering intelligence. The ads feature the bruised and bloody faces of the Dalai Lama, Iggy Pop, and Chanel’s head fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. And then beneath each face is a quote that these men would never, ever say…unless they were under extreme duress, that is.

The ads close with the tagline, “Torture a man and he will tell you anything.”

The Dalai Lama

“A man who does not have a Rolex at 50 years of age is a failure”

Anti-torture Ad - Dalai Lama

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Designers from 22 countries Photoshop the same woman to fit their standards of beauty

June 26, 2014 | 29 comments

In order to explore how the perception of female beauty varies across the globe, journalist Esther Honig embarked on a fascinating project called “Before & After.” She contacted nearly 40 designers from all over the world using freelancing websites and sent them this unaltered image of herself…

Original photo

Countries Photoshop 03

Honig’s simple request for each designer was “Make me beautiful.”

With rates varying between $5 and $30 per Photoshop job, the level of skill varied from one designer to the next, with each picture demonstrating both a cultural and personal interpretation of what beauty is…


Countries Photoshop 04


Countries Photoshop 05

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How we discourage our daughters from being good at science (without even realizing it)

June 26, 2014 | 5 comments

If you’re a normal parent, this ad will make you feel a little guilty…but in a good way. Watch how the smallest things we say can redirect a curious girl away from the subjects that would make her most come alive…

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. 

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.