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Sesame Street Introduces a Muppet Who Has a Mother Addicted to Opiates

The creators say they wanted to cover this topic on the show because of the millions of children who are currently facing this reality.

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(TMU) — “Sesame Street,” one of the longest-running children’s television shows in the United States, has introduced a new character that has a mother who is addicted to opiates. The new character is a bright green muppet with yellow hair who is friends with Elmo. Karli will reportedly talk about how addiction has affected her and her family in new editions of the show’s online community resource initiatives.

The show’s creators say that they wanted to cover this topic on the show because there are millions of children who are currently facing this reality, and there are no resources out there for these kids.

In an interview with Stat News, Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president for U.S. social impact at Sesame Workshop, estimated that there were 5.7 million children under the age of 11 who live in a house with a parent who struggles with addiction.

Betancourt said the shows featuring Karli approach the issue of addiction with compassion, from a perspective that young people can understand. The episodes illustrate that addiction is an “adult illness,” and emphasizes that children are not in any way responsible for their parent’s actions.

Kama Einhorn, a senior content manager with Sesame Workshop, said that these shows can just as beneficial for parents as they are for children.

“There’s nothing else out there that addresses substance abuse for young, young kids from their perspective. It’s also a chance to model to adults a way to explain what they’re going through to kids and to offer simple strategies to cope. Even a parent at their most vulnerable — at the worst of their struggle — can take one thing away when they watch it with their kids, then that serves the purpose,” Einhorn told the Guardian.

In one of the scenes, the Muppet tells her friend that addiction is “A sickness that makes people feel like they have to take drugs or drink alcohol to feel OK. My mom was having a hard time with addiction and I felt like my family was the only one going through it. But now I’ve met so many other kids like us. It makes me feel like we’re not alone.”

The creation of the scenes and dialogue was assisted by Jerry Moe, the national director of the Hazelden Betty Ford Children’s Program. Moe said that children often don’t receive the emotional help and support that they need when a family member is dealing with addiction.

“These boys and girls are the first to get hurt and, unfortunately, the last to get help. For them to see Karli and learn that it’s not their fault and this stuff is hard to talk about and it’s OK to have these feelings, that’s important. And that there’s hope,” Moe said.

Children live in the same world and the same homes that the rest of us do, and they are smart enough to know what is happening right in front of them. Some people think that these types of issues should be swept under the rug and hidden from children, but for the millions of children who are facing these problems in their families, ignoring it isn’t an option.

“Sesame Street,” is known for covering sensitive topics that children are often sheltered from, and in the past, the show has tackled issues like HIV, homelessness, or having parents in jail.

By John Vibes / Creative Commons / TheMindUnleashed.com

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Inspirational

Be Your Own Revolution

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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

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Good News

Betty White Turns 99, and Her Tips on Living a Long and Happy Life Are More Valuable Than Ever

Elias Marat

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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!”

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Inspirational

Genius 12 Year Old Boy On Way To Receive Aerospace Engineering Degree

Justin MacLachlan

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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?

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