• Photos of flowers on Twitter and Instagram may be as commonplace as sunsets and selfies, but one Japanese amateur photographer has captured something a bit more unique than a beautiful bloom.

    Twitter user @san_kaido posted a photo of mutated yellow daisies last month, found in Nasushiobara City, around 70 miles from Fukushima, the site of the 2011 nuclear disaster.  The photos show daisies with fused yellow centres and with the petals growing out the side of the flower.

    The daisies are not the first deformed plants found after the disaster. In 2013, the Daily Mail posted photos of mutated vegetables and fruit, attributing the apparent abnormalities to high levels of radiation found in the groundwater.

    The daisy photos come four years after the Fukushima Daichii Nuclear Power Plant meltdown which was caused after a devastating earthquake and tsunami knocked out three of the plant’s nuclear reactors. 

    Earlier this month, The Telegraph reported that on Sept. 5, residents of Naraha, close

    Read More »from Deformed daisies from Fukushima disaster site gain Internet fame
  • Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are her own.

    How much do we know about the cardboard collectors we see on the street, pushing along loaded trolleys, backs hunched? Recently Minister of Social and Family Development (MSF) Tan Chuan-jin accompanied a group of students to meet box collectors at Jalan Besar. Yet his findings has raised eyebrows among other volunteers.

    Reading his post reminded me of a cardboard collector I’d met last year. It was raining when we met her, and she wasn’t going to get very far walking alone pushing her trolley in that downpour, so she agreed to sit down with us at a coffeeshop for a chat.

    She’d earned just a couple of dollars that day. She said she wasn’t one of the regular ones because she couldn’t go around collecting cardboard all the time; her husband was

    Read More »from Why we shouldn’t take cardboard collectors’ comments at face value
  • Do you wish you had a better relationship with your children?

    Maybe your children don’t communicate much with you. They spend most of their time in their room, glued to their smartphone or computer.

    Maybe they also lack motivation – except when it comes to social media and gaming.

    If this describes your children, don’t despair. In this article, I’ll share with you specific ways to improve the situation.

    I’ve worked with 20,000 tweens and teens, and they’ve confessed to me why they behave this way.

    Want to know the reason?

    It’s because of the way their parents talk to them.

    Of course, the parent-child relationship is a two-way street. But if parents stopped saying certain things, children would become more communicative, respectful, and responsible.

    So here’s a list of 15 things that parents should stop saying to their children:

    1. “You always …” or “You never …”

    Have you ever said any of the following to your children?

    - “You always wake up late.”

    - “You always take the easy way out.”

    - “You always

    Read More »from 15 things parents should stop saying to their children
  • A man who thought he was anonymously sharing regrets about his moderate success in life got a pleasant surprise via social media - from his wife.

    Patrick Petrides was profiled by the popular photoblog Humans of New York on July 6, where he shared his feelings on his job and the pressure he thinks he places on his wife. Humans of New York doesn’t include the names of the people it profiles; there’s just a picture and a quote. So Petrides may have thoguht he was sharing a secret, albeit publicly.

    Humans of New York often receives thousands of comments on irts posts on Facebook, so words of encouragement aren’t surprising. But in Petrides’ case, the surprise wasn’t what was said, but who said it. 

    Only an hour after the Humans of New York post went up, Petrides’ wife Aly replied with words that set many a heart aflutter.




    Aly's reply generated over 115,000 likes and 2800 comments of its own, making the duo a true social media power couple - if only for a day.

    Heartwarming show of

    Read More »from Anonymous tale of regret gets a surprising show of support
  • “You want people to stand up, not scrape and bow. But if you don’t have a certain natural aristocracy in the system, people who are respected because they have earned that and we level everything down to the lowest common denominator, then I think society will lose out.”
    Lee Hsien Loong at the Singapore At 50: What Lies Ahead? conference at the Institute of Policy Studies conference

    The word “aristocracy” has triggered shock and indignation, but the sentiment Lee Hsien Loong expressed on Thursday evening was not at all new.   

    It’d be inaccurate to believe that Lee was trying to describe Singapore as a place with a hereditary nobility/monarchy - what he was talking about is simply Singapore’s system of “meritocracy”. 

    Singapore, as we are often told, is a meritocratic society where people are rewarded for the amount of work they put in. What Lee is saying is that these industrious, ambitious, brilliant people should be accorded respect because they’ve earned and therefore deserve

    Read More »from COMMENT: Of "natural aristocracy" and earning your place
  • Fading McDonald's sign illustration (Getty Images/Thinkstock)Fading McDonald's sign illustration (Getty Images/Thinkstock)

    McDonald’s might be celebrating its 60th anniversary in the United States this year, but it’s hard to imagine that many people are openly celebrating with them. In our health-obsessed society, it’s no longer cool to admit that you enjoy a Big Mac once in a while.

    It’s obvious that people are still eating at McDonald’s, especially since the company currently operates over 36,000 restaurants worldwide, but there is a social stigma associated with the food.

    Customers are not only concerned about the lack of nutritional density in the burger and fries. Over the past few years, rumours have surfaced about the quality of the ingredients being used in the food products at McDonald’s. The situation was so bad that last year the company launched a campaign that encouraged customers to raise their concerns in a public forum.

    As part of the “Our Food. Your Questions.” campaign, users were able to ask McDonald’s questions like “Do you use real apples in your apple pie?” and “How is it that a

    Read More »from What would the world be like -- without McDonald's?
  • After four years together, a Reddit user, by the name of ‘Getzen’, decided that it was finally time for him to move in with his girlfriend.

    Little did he know, however, just how much she despised his dog Molly.

    When his girlfriend gave him an ultimatum – either she goes or the beagle goes – Getzen had no choice but to put an ad up on Craigslist with a title that read: FREE TO ANY WILLING HOME.

    “My girlfriend does not like my beagle Molly,” he wrote in his ad. “So I have to re-home her.”

    The Redditor goes on to explain how she’s “a purebred from a wealthy area,” how she “likes to play games,” but isn’t “totally trained.”

    She’ll also “never greet you at the door after a long day or give you unconditional love when you’re down,” and “does not bite but is mean as hell!”

    Any dog lover would think this is a little harsh to say about a doe-eyed beagle, but in an epic plot twist, he’s not talking about his dog. He’s talking about his girlfriend.

    “So… anyone interested in my 30-year-old,

    Read More »from Man chooses dog over his dog-hating girlfriend
  • While Donald Trump makes political hay from losing platforms for his beauty pageants after race-baiting Mexicans, a Canadian pageant winner is facing real repercussions for using her position to try to effect actual social change.

    Anastasia Lin won the Miss World Canada pageant in May. Lin, 25, is a theatre major at the University of Toronto, and spoke out frequently against China’s persecution of religious minorities during the competition, according to the Globe and Mail. She has also acted in numerous films that deal with the issue of human rights in China.

    Those actions are now having a significant impact on her family. Lin, who was born in China and moved to Canada wih her mother at age 13, wites in the Washington Post that while winning the competition is an honor, it’s coming with consequences for her father, who still lives in China.

    Shortly after my victory, my father started receiving threats from Chinese security agents complaining about my human rights advocacy. As an

    Read More »from Miss World Canada fights back against Chinese intimidation
  • While the Confederate flag continues to be the subject of bans across North America, one Louisiana man who supports “heritage, not hate” has a bone to pick with Walmart.  

    Chuck Netzhammer requested his local Walmart decorate a cake for him in the shape of the Confederate flag and was outraged when he was refused, reports The Daily Caller

    Netzhammer decided to try another controversial symbol, the ISIS battle flag, and was shocked when his cake came back, in full piped-icing glory. In an uploaded YouTube video seen more than 500,000 times since last Friday, Netzhammer shows the cake, along with what he originally wanted – the Confederate flag with the slogan “History not hate.”

    ““WTF Walmart! ISIS is beheading Christians, selling little girls into slavery, and is currently a terrorist org at war with the United States,” he wrote in the caption to his  YouTube video.  “But you can’t buy the General Lee toy car at Wallmart[sic]? It’s a damn shame.”

    A rep from Walmart has since

    Read More »from Walmart to world: sorry for making an ISIS cake
  • A three-year-old Aboriginal girl who received hateful comments for dressing up as Frozen’s Queen Elsa at a Disney event in Melbourne has found her Prince Charming: the Internet.

    The Courier reports that when Rachel Muir took her daughter Samara to the event at Watergardens Shopping Centre, they did not get a fairytale ending.

    The two had waited two hours in line for a children’s snow pit when Samara was subjected to racial slurs.

    “The lady in front of us turned around to Samara and said ‘I don’t know why you’re dressed up for because Queen Elsa isn’t black,” Muir told The Courier.

    “I asked the woman what she meant by the comment and then one of the woman’s youngest daughters screwed up her face, she pointed at Samara and said ‘you’re black and black is ugly.’”

    Muir said that was left “stunned” by the hateful comments.

    That’s when her daughter burst into tears and hid her face in her hands.

    “I looked around the line and there were little girls of all races lining up dressed as their

    Read More »from Internet rallies to support 3-year-old Queen Elsa who was told ‘black is ugly’


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