Creator of the online video game Fortnite, Tim Sweeney, has been captivating audiences for decades by developing intricate and interactive digital worlds for players. However, it is his work away from the screen that is currently grabbing attention from gamers and non-gamers alike.
Sweeney is best known for founding the video and 3-D software company Epic Games in the 1990’s. Epic Games has given us popular video game titles such as Unreal Tournament, Gears of War and, most recently, the massively popular game Fortnite. In addition to these popular gaming titles, the billionaire philanthropist has made good on his promise to protect undeveloped and bio-diverse land in the picturesque western Carolina mountains for future generations.
Since 2008, Sweeney has spent millions on conservation projects in his home state of North Carolina to protect and preserve its forest land. He has purchased nearly 40,000 acres over the last decade, making him one of the largest private land owners in the state. Sweeney has also donated money to several conservation parcel projects, including a 1,500 acre expansion to Mount Mitchell State Park.
In November 2016, Sweeney donated $15 million for a conservation easement to protect 7,000 acres of the The Box Creek Wilderness. The forest, located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, had been targeted by a company that wanted to carve up the land and run power lines through it.
By purchasing the land, Sweeney helped protect hundreds of endangered plant and animal species. According to Biologist Kevin Cadlwell, “ecologists documented more than 130 rare and watch-list plant and wildlife species, and several new-to‐science wildlife and plant species, including three moths and a new spiderwort species.”
After the purchase Sweeney remarked:
“It’s one of the most diverse areas in North Carolina. It has such rare plant and wildlife species, it seemed a perfect fit with the Fish and Wildlife Service. This is a first step – there will be other places protected. The goal is to connect South Mountains State Park to Chimney Rock. This is one piece of the puzzle.”
— Game Informer (@gameinformer) November 9, 2016
A year later Sweeney purchased 193 acres in Alamance County for $1.973 million from Sizemore Brothers LLC. Following the purchase, Sweeney’s representative Joe Kelleher confirmed the purchase and guaranteed that the land would remain undeveloped.
Last year, the video game mogul purchased a 1,500 acre parcel of land known as Stone Hills that was being considered for development as a golf resort community. A local newspaper noted that the land would have featured two championship golf courses, a resort hotel and spa, a community of 1,050 homes and up to 90,000 square feet of retail, dining and office space. Following the purchase, Sweeney stated he intends to preserve the land for its’ natural beauty.
“I bought this land because it has a nice longleaf pine forest and was available for a reasonable price. I’ll be holding it until I find a permanent nature conservation home for it, which will take years or decades.” When asked what he intends to do with the land in the short term Sweeney replied, “I just plan to hike it and do some tree thinning and burning for ecosystem restoration until I find a permanent conservancy or state home for it.”
Sweeney’s conservation efforts come at a time when protecting our nation’s forests has become increasingly important. As previously reported by The Mind Unleashed, a study led by North Carolina State University professor Nick Haddad and conducted by 24 scientists, found that there are only 2 truly intact forests left on Earth. When the study’s authors examined the effects of human involvement on forests, they found habitat fragmentation leads to 13 to 75 percent decrease in plant and animal diversity, reduces the ability of animals and plants to survive and can even distort the food chain, as smaller patches of forest tend to have an increase in predator population.
Thankfully, as science continues to learn more about the importance of undeveloped forest land, billionaire philanthropists are noticing and taking action. China’s wealthiest man has also taken note of the importance of conservation. In 2015, Jack Ma, the billionaire behind online retail giant Alibaba, purchased 28,000 acres of land in the Adirondack mountains of upstate NY. His first action taken after purchasing the land was to halt logging operations.
Image credit: Inverse
Be Your Own Revolution
I made the mistake of involving myself in a sectarian Twitter spat when I was halfway through my morning coffee today and I instantly felt like an idiot.
People from the Left Twitter faction I’d offended rushed in to push back against the offense I’d caused them, and within minutes I felt it: the all-too familiar sensation of inspiration and creativity draining away from my body. Tension, coldness and defensiveness where previously there was playfulness and the crackling sensation of an exciting new day in which anything was possible.
If you’re active online, you’ve probably experienced this too. The days when you’re involved in sectarian bickering are the days when you are at your least creative, your least inspired, and your least effective at fighting against the machine. At best the drama gives your ego a tickle (as social media platforms are designed to do), after which you feel a bit yuck. The longer you engage in it, the lower the probability that you will produce something creative and inspired that day.
As a general rule, you may find that it works best to reject cliques and factions altogether. When you “belong” to any group you feel compelled to defend it, and to move with it wherever it goes even if that’s not where you feel like the energy is. You get invested in wanting the collective to move in a certain direction, and you get frustrated when it just wants to focus on silly nonsense and sectarian feuds.
So my advice to you here, which you of course can take or leave, is to just blast off on your own and fight your own revolution in your own way.
The unfortunate fact is that our society is insane, and its madness pervades literally every political faction to varying degrees. Marrying yourself to any group means marrying its madness. Instead, focus on becoming more sane, and then act based on that sanity.
Just blast off. Don’t wait for your comrades. Don’t try to pull them along with you before they are ready. Just blast forward into your own revolution, burning brightly and scorching the machine with your own light. If you shine brightly enough, the others may follow when they are ready.
One of the most frustrating things is seeing where we need to move and not being able to get the collective to come with you. You’re like, “It’s there! Let’s move!”, and they just want to bicker and ego spar. Just blast off into health yourself, and trust that the others will follow if and when they are able.
Be your own revolution. You have all the media access you need to help wake the world up with the power of your own inspired action. Reject cliques, factions and sectarianism, and have the courage to stand on your own two feet attacking the machine with your own unique abilities.
This doesn’t mean you can’t organize and work collectively; you absolutely can. If you see people doing something you want to uplift, uplift it. But when you’re done, don’t stay and become a member of the club. Move on and retain your self-sovereignty. If you’re doing something that people want to help uplift and amplify, let them do so. When they don’t want to anymore, let them go. Don’t try to manipulate them into staying.
You are free to collaborate with anyone on any issue at any time. You don’t actually need to be a member of the Blah Blah Whateverist Club to do this. And when nothing is happening that you want to collaborate with others on, you can attack the machine on your own, using your own unique set of tools based on your own inspiration. You are not owned or bound.
All these debates we’re seeing lately over who should be let into and kept out of the Revolution Club, how the Revolution Club should act, who should lead the Revolution Club etc are based on the assumption that there has to be a Revolution Club in the first place, and there just doesn’t. Organize and collaborate on a case-by-case, issue-by-issue basis while remaining sovereign.
Have the compassion to prioritize the needs of the collective and the courage to stand as an individual. Trying to impose your will on exactly how the collective revolution should and should not be moving is a doomed endeavor, because you cannot control the collective, you can only control yourself. So be your own revolution and attack the machine wherever you detect a weak point in its armor.
I’ve avoided all cliques and factions like the plague, and I’ve been far more effective in this fight than I would have been if I’d chosen to glom onto some faction and uphold all its -ists and -isms. It would have killed my ability to move with agility in whatever way is demanded by each present moment, because I would have been binding myself to the movements of a group that isn’t seeing what I’m seeing and can’t move the way I move.
This is just what’s worked for me, and of course your mileage may vary. But if you’re like me and you don’t see the various groups, organizations and factions getting us to where we need to go, consider stepping out of the vehicle, standing on your own two feet, and waging your own revolution.
Republished from CaitlinJohnstone.com with permission
Betty White Turns 99, and Her Tips on Living a Long and Happy Life Are More Valuable Than Ever
Betty White, the original golden girl beloved by people of all ages, celebrated her 99th birthday on Sunday.
The spry granny, born Betty Marion White on Jan. 17, 1922, has managed to live a long, healthy, happy life and this can likely be chalked up to her unconventional approach.
The Emmy award-winning veteran actress once joked that her secret to longevity consisted of three simple ingredients: vodka, hot dogs, and her love of pets.
However, her tongue-in-cheek advice is getting new attention, especially given that too many of us have been forced to stay at home over much of the past year.
In 2011, during a Late Show interview with David Letterman, White gave 10 sagely tips on how she’s managed to maintain her verb and energy for so long. With White reaching one year short of a century, the advice is worth revisiting.
Her first bit of advice was to “get at least eight hours of beauty sleep, nine if you’re ugly.” Next, she advised that one should “Exercise. Or don’t. What the hell do I care?”
Third, she opined that one should “never apologize. It shows weakness.”
Her fourth tip shouldn’t give anyone any adventurous ideas, but it’s helpful nonetheless: “The best way to earn a quick buck is a slip and fall lawsuit.”
She then gave the priceless tip that one should “avoid tweeting any photos of your private parts” while also making sure to “schedule nightly appointment with Dr. Johnnie Walker.”
Some of the healthy eaters in our audience may take exception to White’s seventh tip, which is to: “Take some wheatgrass, soy paste and carob, toss it in the garbage and cook yourself a big-*ss piece of pork.”
Her next bit of adice was to “try not to die” and “never dwell on past mistakes,” which may both be easier said than done. Lastly, she recommended that you “don’t waste your time watching this crap.”
Sound advice that we can all relate to, Mrs. White!
White is reportedly spending her 99th birthday simply relaxing, she told Entertainment Tonight.
“You probably didn’t ask, but I’ll tell you anyway. … What am I doing for my birthday? Running a mile each morning has been curtailed by [coronavirus], so I am working on getting ‘The Pet Set’ re-released, and feeding the two ducks who come to visit me every day,” she explained, referencing a 1971 show she starred in that featured celebrities appearing alongside their pets.
Her birthday was also marked by various celebrities, who tweeted out birthday greetings to the TV icon.
“Happy birthday, @BettyMWhite! You’re a miracle in every way,” wrote Ellen DeGeneres.
“I still get warm when I see this look. Happy 99 baby. You are a testament to living life on your own terms. Sending you a great big socially distanced kiss. I love you @BettyMWhite,” Ed Asner tweeted.
“Betty White bloopers are the best bloopers #HappyBirthdayBettyWhite,” Valerie Bertinelli tweeted alongside a video of hilarious mistakes made on the set of their former show, Hot in Cleveland.
“Wishing the incomparable Betty White a very happy 99th birthday! What’s your favorite Betty White role, friends?” wrote Star Trek star George Takei.
White, who is best known for her role as Rose Nylund in the classic sitcom The Golden Girls (1985-92), has over 75 years in show business under her belt. The comedian became a staple of U.S. television in such shows as The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Hot in Cleveland along with memorable appearances in shows like Mama’s Family and That ‘70s Show.
She catapulted to fame with her first sitcom, Life with Elizabeth, where White played the titular role and became the first woman to have creative control of a program as both a producer and the star.
White earned no less than 24 Emmy nominations and won eight in the span of her career.
When she reached the age of 90 it didn’t slow her down one bit. Not only did White become the oldest host in the history of Saturday Night Live but she also made dozens of cameos. White also starred in a memorable 2010 Super Bowl commercial for Snickers where she got tackled to the ground, football-style.
In an email to the Associated Press, White shared an especially enjoyable perk of old age: “Since I am turning 99, I can stay up as late as I want without asking permission!”
Genius 12 Year Old Boy On Way To Receive Aerospace Engineering Degree
A 12-year-old genius is on his way to receive an aerospace engineering degree in just two years, an incredible feat.
If that’s not shocking and impressive, according to CBS, twelve-year-old Caleb Anderson knew sign language by the time he was only nine-months-old, could read by age one, and knew how to do fractions at just age two.
Anderson is now in the process of attending his second year at Chattahoochee Technical College in Georgia the U.S. and Anderson already got his sights set on working for Tesla owner Elon Musk.
Anderson hopes to get an internship with SpaceX founder Musk, speaking to USA Today earlier this year, he said: “When I was like one, I always wanted to go to space. I figured that aerospace engineering would be the best path.”
Anderson doesn’t see himself as a genius telling CBS: “I’m not really smart. I just grasp information quickly. So, if I learn quicker, then I get ahead faster.”
He added: “This is my life. This is how I am. And I’ve been living this way my whole life.”
Being so incredibly smart hasn’t always been a walk in the park for Caleb though, as he admits middle school was “awful.”
“The kids there, they kind of looked down on me, they treated me like I was an anomaly,” he said. “And I kind of am.”
Despite his previous treatment in middle school, Anderson is excited about college stating quite the opposite, telling USA Today: “It’s really accepting. People might think something about it, but they don’t show it which is really nice.”
Although Anderson is in his second year at Chattahoochee Technical College and he has had much success. The young boy and his family want him to attend Georgia Institute of Technology or the Massachusetts Institute for Technology.
His mother Claire explained: “We want him to be in an environment where he is accepted and not tolerated.”
Professor Mark Costello, chair of Georgia Tech’s School of Aerospace Engineering said Caleb was “the perfect candidate” for the course and will “be very successful” if he attends.
What do you think about Caleb Anderson?
Help us stick around!
Activism1 day ago
Akon Finally Breaks Ground On His Futuristic $10 Billion Solar Powered “Crypto City”
Activism2 weeks ago
Florida Man Uses Stimulus Check to Start Thriving Home Garden to Feed His Community
News2 weeks ago
As New Mars Rover Lands This Week, NASA Sees Evidence of Ancient Alien Life Within Reach
Animals1 week ago
Scientists Shocked After Discovering ‘Strange Creatures’ Nearly a Mile Under Antarctic Ice Shelf