Actor Chris Pratt beamed down to our sector of the universe Monday night to surprise an auditorium full of deserving kids in a special New York Daily News and Disney Studios sponsored charity screening of the superheroes-in-space flick.

And the 35-year-old actor who plays the hero Star-Lord in the Marvel movie stayed in the theater until every last one of them who wanted to take a picture with him got their selfie.

“That was really fun, this is what is all about,” said a visibly touched Pratt after the show. “I get impatient sometimes being on a promotional tour all the time, but something like this I would sit here as long as it took to take a picture with every one of those guys.”

“Tonight was really special to me.”

Pratt stayed long past the time his security detail was supposed to whisk him away to answer questions and give some words of wisdom.


Saturday Chores #8, Saturday, July 26, 2014.

The early birds.

(If you haven’t heard about them already, click back through to learn more about Saturday Chores!)


‘Oldest Gay In The Village’, LGBT Advocate Receives Letter Of Congratulations From British Prime Minister

British Prime Minister David Cameron has congratulated a 90 year-old gay man dubbed ‘the oldest gay in the village’ for his commitment to the LGBT community.

George Montague wrote to the Conservative Prime Minister, thanking him for pushing through same-sex marriage laws in the UK. He also included a copy of his new book, The Oldest Gay In The Village, and undoubtedly did not expect a response. However, a letter directly from number 10 Downing Street followed, with Cameron praising Montague for his ‘impressive’ efforts… Read more.


Delta Aquarid Shooting Stars Make Skies Sparkle

After a lull of a few months, meteor madness is set to descend once again, starting with the Delta Aquarids, which peak before dawn on Tuesday July 29.
They are best viewed starting at about 2 a.m. Daylight Saving Time, until dawn arrives. The farther south you are, the better the shower will be, though it will permeate all but the northernmost skies.




Veronika Scott was a fashion student at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit when her teacher, Stephen Schock, challenged her class to create a product that filled a need, rather than satisfying or creating a fad. Veronika’s design was a coat for homeless people that could transform into a sleeping bag, since in her city, she says, “you are constantly faced with the homeless epidemic.” 

Not only did her design win a International Design Excellence Award from the Industrial Designers Society of America, it’s become the core of Veronika’s nonprofit organization, The Empowerment Plan, which hires people from homeless shelters and transition homes to help her make the coats. Now, three years later, the 24-year-old social entrepreneur expects that her team of 15 seamstresses will produce over 6,000 coats in 2014 — all of which will be distributed free of charge to people living on the streets. 

Veronika originally designed the coats seeking input from people at a homeless shelter. After receiving feedback from people who used the prototype over a Detroit winter, she refined the design to create her final version which, in addition to being a waterproof and windproof coat and sleeping bag, also transforms into an over-the-shoulder bag with storage in the arm sockets. 

When she started out, Veronika states,

“Everybody told me that my business was going to fail — not because of who I was giving my product to but because of who I was hiring. They said that these homeless women will never make more than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich — you cannot rely on them for anything. And I know my ladies enjoy proving everybody wrong.” 

And, their impact is growing — according to CNN, which recently honored Veronika as one of their 10 Visionary Women of 2014, “The Empowerment Plan expects to launch a ‘buy one, give one’ program that will make it sustainable beyond the donations and sponsorships that keep it running now. Hunters and backpackers who’ve asked to buy the coat will be able to do so, and the Empowerment Plan will still create coats for homeless people who need them.”

Veronika is also excited to show other clothing producers that local manufacturing is possible: “I think we’re going to show a lot of people: you think it’s outdated to do manufacturing in your neighborhood, but I think it’s something that we have to do in the future, where it’s sustainable, where you invest in people, where they’re not interchangeable parts.”

You can read more about Veronika’s organization on CNN, or watch a short video about her work here.

To learn more about The Empowerment Plan or how you can support their work, visit

For a wonderful book about women’s great inventions throughout history, check out “Girls Think of Everything” for readers 8 to 13.

For those in the US who would like to support efforts to end homelessness and help the over 600,000 people who experience homelessness on any given night, visit the National Alliance to End Homelessness at or to find a local homeless shelter to support in your area, visit

Important in so many ways.

This is amazing and wonderful.


six year old anita and twelve year old sonia, sisters, were both born blind to parents who, as field labourers making less than a dollar a day, were unable to afford the 300 dollar, fifteen minute operation that would restore their sight. 

for such children, blindness is often a death sentence. unable to read or find work, most leave their villages to spend their lives homeless, asking for money in the streets (much like with this photo). 

but with the help of 20/20/20, a non profit which seeks to provide the surgery for the approximately twenty million in need, sonia and anita were successfully treated, with their defective opaque lenses replaced with functional artificial ones. 

said anita’s mother, “when they removed the bandages, she kept saying ‘mother, i can see! i can see!’” as 20/20/20 explains, “it is an amazing experience to watch a child open their eyes and see for the first time. some gasp, some cry. some are too stunned to do anything except look around them and take it all in.”

you can watch a short, but impactful, documentary on anita and sonia, which includes the touching footage of the sisters seeing for the first time. photos from a larger series by brent stirton. click picture for more on their story from said doc. (see also: india’s dalits)


NeSpoon is a street artist from Warsaw, Poland. Her artistic focus is on the intricate patterns of lace, and breaking its granny stereotype by using it to beautify gritty urban spaces. NeSpoon calls her artistic approach the “jewellery of the public space”:

Jewellery makes people look pretty, my public jewellery has the same goal, make public places look better.

NeSpoon often uses the usual spray paint and stencils of enlarged lace patterns to produce her works on the street via

artist find at Lustik