Bleats

U.S. Schools Designed To Minimise Shooting Deaths Is A Depressing State Of Affairs

An all new low.

We’ve reached a rather depressing state of affairs with the news that U.S. schools are now being designed to minimise mass shooting deaths.

According to Futurism, a town in Michigan is spending $48M on updating Fruitport High School – not with a football pitch or swimming pool, but with features to help students survive.

Some of the features include curved hallways, to shorten a shooter’s line of sight, and designated “shadow zones” where students can take cover. The updates will also feature impact-resistant window coverings and a “special lockdown system” which can isolate threats with the push of a button.

Credit: Twitter

Speaking to As It Happens, school superintendent Bob Szymoniak said “given the nature of our country these days, the number of school shootings that we have, and they just don’t seem to stop, it seemed responsible and appropriate for us to factor in as many security elements into the design of the building as we could.”

Later, Szymoniak said helping to build a school designed to protect students from mass shooters is “one of the saddest aspects of my career, having to come to terms with that.”

Credit: Twitter

The Washington Post reports that more than 228,000 students have been exposed to gun violence since the tragic Columbine High School Shooting which claimed the lives of 12 students and one teacher in 1999.

Students at a gun control rally on the anniversary of the Columbine shooting, 2018.
Credit: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Another report from ABC News, states that there have been at least 19 deadly mass shootings in the U.S. so far in 2019. 

The most recent mass shooting occurred in Texas last Saturday. The gunman killed seven people and left 25 others injured, and somehow, the state has since loosened firearm laws. 

Odessa, Texas, 2018. Credit: Photo by Cengiz Yar/Getty Images

Some of the new laws allow weapons and armed marshals on school grounds, guns in foster homes, and firearms in places of worship. It’s hard to fathom how this kind of legislation could pass just hours after so many lives had been lost to someone wielding a gun. 

It’s also difficult to shrug off the fact that schools are now having to cough up for a redesign because it’s one of the only ways they can keep students safe. The solution seems pretty straightforward – so why has it gotten to this point?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Marriage Advice For Jennifer Lopez Is Iconic

The Notorious RBG knows what's up.

Jennifer Lopez is a strong, independent woman and by all appearances, she’s got her sh*t well and truly together. But everyone needs a little advice from time to time, and J-Lo sought hers from Notorious RBG herself, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The Notorious RBG. Credit: Giphy

During her talk at the Library of Congress National Book Festival, Ginsburg revealed that J-Lo called her in hopes of getting some marriage advice, having recently become engaged to former baseball star, Alex Rodriguez. 

“I was called about a month or so ago by Jennifer Lopez and she said she would like to meet me and introduce her fiance, Alex Rodriguez,” Ginsburg said. “She mostly wanted to ask if I had any secret about a happy marriage… Now, A. Rod is travelling with her to concerts all over the world.”

Ginsburg repeated the advice she’d been given by her mother-in-law on her wedding day in  1954. “She took me aside and said she wanted to tell me what was the secret to a happy marriage. I said I would be glad to hear it,” she said.

“‘…And she responded, ‘It helps sometimes to be a little deaf.’” MIC DROP. 

A mood. Credit: Giphy

It’s not the first time Ruth Bader Ginsburg has absolutely killed it with her sage words of wisdom. 

On turning rejection into opportunity, Ginsburg told Makers, “Often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great good fortune.” 

Speaking to The Record about gender equality, Ginsburg said, “Women will have achieved true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.” 

What she said. Credit: Giphy

As for how she’d like to be remembered, Ruth Bader Ginsburg told MSNBC, “Someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has.”

“To do something, as my colleague David Souter would say, outside myself. ‘Cause I’ve gotten much more satisfaction for the things that I’ve done for which I was not paid.”

Yas queen. Credit: Giphy

RBG, you will also be remembered for being an absolute badass with epic marriage advice. Bless you. 

The Ultra-Rich Need To Stop Buying 'Pet' Cheetahs Or They'll Soon Be Wiped Out

Is this even a question!?

It doesn’t take rocket science to know that cheetahs most definitely do not make good pets. However, for some people with money burning a hole in their pocket, it’s well worth the risk of extinction. 

Sorry, what? Credit: Giphy

A new report from CNN has found that some 300 cheetahs are being trafficked out of Somaliland, a breakaway state from Somalia, every year. According to the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), that’s equivalent to “the entire population of adult and adolescent cheetahs in unprotected areas in the Horn of Africa.”

“If you do the math, the math kind of shows that it’s only going to be a matter of a couple of years [before] we are not going to have any cheetahs,” CCF founder and conservation biologist Laurie Marker told CNN.

Apparently, the animals are being smuggled across the border and stowed away on boats headed towards the Arabian Peninsula to become pets for the rich. According to the CCF, “only one in six cubs survives the journey to buyers.”

Credit: Andreas Arnold/picture alliance via Getty Images

The CCF states that cheetahs have been seen as ‘status symbols’ since Ancient Egyptian times. Today, it’s illegal to remove wild animals like cheetahs from the wild, but that hasn’t stopped an illegal trade estimated to be worth billions. 

Apart from the obvious risks associated with owning a pet cheetah, like being mauled to death by one, they are extremely difficult to care for. CNN reports that “as the world’s fastest land mammal, cheetahs need space to run and a special diet.”

Credit: Giphy

“Most Gulf owners do not know how to care for the cats, and the majority of captive cheetahs die within a year or two,” experts told CNN.

After being questioned by CNN, the UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment “denied there were pet cheetahs in the country’s private houses” but dozens of disturbing social media posts featuring the animal beg to differ. 

Credit: Twitter

People are even selling their pet cheetahs via platforms like Instagram and YouTube. A CCF study found 1,367 cheetahs for sale on social media between January 2012 and January 2018, primarily from Arab Gulf States. 

CCF is attempting to end the illegal pet trade by facilitating confiscations, and by working with NGOs to address “issues such as law enforcement, demand reduction, procedures for the placement of confiscated cheetahs, and cyber-crime.” 

Credit: Andreas Arnold/picture alliance via Getty Images

Marker told CNN, “we really need influencers, we need the governments, the kings, the princes, or the queens to actually say this is not right.”

“If we can save them, we are going to give them the best life that they can have, but they shouldn’t be in our care. They should be in the wild.”

You can help by reporting illegal activities involving pet cheetahs or cheetah products to the CCF, by spreading the word and engaging in responsible tourism. 

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