Good morning, and welcome to another round-up of interesting and/or amusing news!
First up is an article from The Atlantic on gender and racial bias in Masterchef Junior. On several occasions, white male cooks are saved from elimination not because they performed the best, but because they “were the one that looked the most comfortable in that environment.” When people, especially children, aren't exposed to examples of people like them who succeed, it affects their dreams and plans for their own lives.
"The sad fact is that girls and young minorities absolutely do absorb implications that they don’t quite fit the larger perception of what success in America looks like (i.e. white and male). A 2012 Indiana University study tracked children's’ self-esteem after watching hours of television and found that girls and black children consistently felt worse about themselves. White boys, on the other hand, consistently felt better."
10 Facts from Michael Moore on Flint. While Moore may be a polarizing figure, I admire his willingness to call out inconvenient truths. I've read a lot of news describing how Michigan's governor, Rick Snyder, appointed a city manager to run Flint, but I didn't realize that meant that he had fired all of the mayors and city councils the people elected in order to install his own people. That's not democracy - as Moore says, it's dictatorship. In addition, he gives more details about how early Snyder and others in the state capital knew about the water problems years ago because they were supplying the General Motors plant with clean water and providing bottled water to state workers in Flint and questioning why the Flint River was so polluted in the first place. The Daily Beast also offers a good argument that the poisoning of Flint's water amount to "state-sanctioned child abuse," a felony offense, and The New Yorker examines what other harmful bacteria and diseases the water has brought to Flint. And Vox describes how Flint's lead crisis pales in comparison to other U.S. cities today.
This week in humorous political videos, the star is The Art of the Deal, produced by the comedy site Funny or Die. Starring Johnny Depp as Donald Trump and several dozen other well-known actors, it's a spoof of Trump's book of the same name. The premise is that "the movie was made in the 1980s and had Mr. Trump as its writer-producer-director-star. But a football game went into overtime, pre-empting the movie, and so an angry Mr. Trump ordered the prime-time special pulled and forever tucked away in a vault." I haven't watched any of Trump's speeches or debate performances, but I found myself smiling when, days later, the catchy 80's theme music was stuck in my head.
Finally, this article from Inside Edition isn't the first I've read about seafood fraud, but it's the first specifically about lobster. Apparently it's common practice to substitute cheaper fish on the menu as most diners won't notice, but one of the restaurants tested simply substituted cheese for lobster. Personally, I wouldn't mind being served other fish on a lobster roll, but I would mind thinking I'm paying a higher price for lobster and only getting a cheaper fish - or just cheese. I can't make a lobster roll at home - I'm not really up for boiling live lobster - but I can make my own cheese roll.
A former intern at Lego has won an award for designing a prosthetic limb where children can create their own attached Lego accessories. Legos can attach throughout the prosthetic, and larger sockets can be printed using 3D printers as the child grows.
College student and sports writer Max Cohen offers a humorous take of the challenges of going out for his school's football team. Although it's his senior year, he figures he has "more NCAA eligibility than college newspaper eligibility," so he decides to give it a try. Who knew that the NCAA requires that college football tryouts be held without footballs?
And finally, I stumbled upon a delightful short film of giraffes diving into a swimming pool.