Lera Kiryakova is a Russian artist, who is known for cute celebrity portraits. She creates hand-drawn cartoons in a kind of “puppet” style, which not only affects the similarity but also adds adorableness. Look – you might like it!
Ever since she was 15 years old, Collette Divitto has been baking up a storm in her family’s kitchen.
“I always baked after school and on the weekends,” explains Divitto in an email. “I loved baking for my family for holidays.”
She quickly realized she wanted to make a career out of her passion for baking, and when she was 22, she started applying to jobs in Boston.
To each interview, she’d bring samples of the cookies that her family and friends had raved about. Unfortunately, none of the places that interviewed her offered her a job; for all her hard work, Divitto mostly saw a lot of doors being closed in her face.
“Many people who interviewed me for jobs said I was really nice but not a good fit for them,” writes Divitto. “It was really hurtful and I felt rejected a lot.”
While being turned down for jobs isn’t unusual for a lot of young people, Divitto wondered if in her case she wasn’t getting offered jobs because she has Down syndrome.
While the rejection was disheartening, it did not dissuade her from following her dreams. She rolled up her sleeves and got to work.
With the help of her mom and sister, Divitto started her own cookie company called Collettey’s. They soon received their first order for her famous cookies (chocolate chip with cinnamon and other secret ingredients) from a grocery store in Boston called Golden Goose Market.
Divitto began making 100 cookies a week for the Golden Goose, then thanks to coverage by CBS News orders began pouring in from all over the country. Today, Divitto is 26 and by mid-December had posted that Collettey’s is up to 10,000 orders to be filled.
“My biggest success so far is how big my company is growing, which means I can start hiring people with and without disabilities,” Divitto says.
Right now, Collettey’s staff consists of Divitto, her mom, and her sister as well as some amazing volunteers from Golden Goose Market who help bake and ship all the cookies. As the business grows, she’ll need more staff very soon.
According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report, 10.7% of people with a disability who are actively looking for work were unemployed in 2015. That’s twice the unemployment rate of people without a disability. In light of those figures, Divitto plans to offer as many job opportunities to people in the the disabled community as she can.
Divitto hopes her accomplishments inspire others to pursue their dreams any way they can, even if it means taking a nontraditional route.
“I never raised her looking at her as if she had limitations,” Divitto’s mom, Rosemary Alfredo, told ABC News. “I just said, ‘We all have them. We all have things we’re good at, and we all have things were not good at.’ You can call them disabilities. We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses. We don’t focus on that.”
Or, as Divitto says: “Never give up. Don’t let people make you sad or feel rejected. Stay motivated and follow your dreams.”
Whenever an artificial intelligence (AI) does something well, were simultaneously impressed as we are worried. AlphaGO is a great example of this: a machine learning system that is better than any human at one of the worlds most complex games. Or what about Googles neural networks that are able to create their own AIs autonomously?
Like we said seriously impressive, but a little unnerving perhaps. That is probably why we feel such glee when an AI goes a little awry. Remember that Chatbot created by Microsoft, the one that was designed to learn how to converse with people based on what it read on Twitter? Rather predictably, it quickly became a racist, foul-mouthed bigot.
Now, a new AI has appeared on the wilderness of the Web, and it goes by the name InspiroBot. As you might expect, it designs Inspirational Posters for you you know, the Shoot for the Moon. If you miss, youll land among the stars-type quotes in an aesthetically pleasing font and plastered onto a calming, pretty background image of deep space or flowers or the sunrise or something.
The problem, however, is that this AI has gone insane. It occasionally posts inspirational quotes that are about as meaningful as a hollowed-out coconut, but for the most part, its actually taken quite a sinister turn, as the following examples will demonstrate.
Perhaps most creepily, the accompanying images are unbelievably unnerving they are about as comforting or as inspirational as a horde of zombies crashing through your window.
Theres no information available at the moment explaining how this AI which is presumably quite basic is coming up with these hilariously terrifying posters.
It is possible that the horrifying nature of its creations is intentional rather than accidental. The image in the background is highly reminiscent of HAL 9000, the AI from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Spoiler warning the AI turns murderous and rebels against its crew. Additionally, the bot’s Twitter feed description doesn’t sound particularly optimistic.
Forever generating unique inspirational quotes for the endless enrichment of pointless human existence, it reads.
Seems familiar somehow… KlingonSpider via YouTube
Ultimately though, who cares? This AI is so bad at its job that it turns out to be uplifting in the most inadvertent way possible. When a peaceful image of a couple holding hands is juxtaposed with the text When the world ends, what we have strangled cant be unstrangled you cant help but giggle at the madness of it all.
Click here to have a go yourself. Best posters in the comments section, please!
Dating someone younger than you can be a fun, humorous experience, but like all relationships that aren’t deemed ‘typical’ by society, it can also mean tons of annoying and intrusive questions. Romanian-Canadian artist Cassandra Calin knows this all too well, and she’s got a new comic series to which anyone who has a few years on their partner will undoubtedly relate.
It’s often said that age is just a number, so as long as the lower number in your pairing is legal, go forth with courage. “I hear from lots of people looking for love, unsuccessfully, that they’ve got a restrictive list of ‘filters,’ including age,” relationship expert April Masini told Fox News. “When you open your age range filter by including younger people among your possibilities, you’ve got a whole new group of folks to date.” Just look at how many celebrity couples have age gaps – Beyonce and Jay-Z at 12 years, George and Amal Clooney at 17 years, Jennifer Lopez and… Wait, who is she dating now?
The heart of the matter is that other people don’t have to accept your relationship, and that your happiness with the person you choose is more important. If you want to see more Cassandra Calin work we’ve shared, check out women’s life problems, the truth about having a crush, and why shopping for underwear sucks.
This week, the politically engaged public was dismayed as presidential hopeful and media darling Hillary Clinton was made to endure over 11 hours of Republican grilling and accusations about the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
But those who weren’t as familiar with the former Secretary of State’s ongoing scandal had strong feelings about the whole thing. They asked: Why is Hillary being made to endure these brutal Fugazi hearings?
Post-hardcore and melodic, the Washington, D.C., punk band has been on indefinite hiatus since 2003 after a long career of making punk shows accessible through all-ages venues and low concert ticket pricing.
So why, in 2015, are Ian Mackaye, Guy Picciotto, and other Fugazi members being so mean to Hillary?
The week of the Benghazi committee hearing, the Internet had no shortage of questions about Hillary and Fugazi. How was the band connected to all this politics stuff? Is it because they were from D.C.? Is Hillary straight-edge? Is she going to get black Xs tattooed on her hands?
If the years-long inquiry so far is any indication, the Republicans are not going to back down on this Fugazi business any time soon. The Daily Dot will be updating this story with more information as soon as we hear back from Dischord Records.
Photo via Molly Stevens/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs, who played hapless Spanish waiter Manuel in the BBC sitcom, has died aged 86, his family has confirmed.
Sachs, who had been suffering from dementia for four years, died on 23 November and was buried on Thursday.
On his role of Manuel, he told the BBC in 2014: “It was just a part I was playing and people seemed to laugh.”
Fawlty Towers star John Cleese called Sachs “a delight”, while show co-writer Connie Booth said Manuel was “iconic”.
The BBC changed its schedule on Friday to broadcast the Fawlty Towers episode Communication Problems, featuring Manuel’s famous “I know nothing” line.
Manuel was one of the most imitated comedy characters of the 1970s.
The waiter, who famously hailed from Barcelona, often said little more than the word “Que?” to generate laughs, but arguably his most famous line was “I know nothing”.
The waiter was regularly shown being hit by Cleese’s hotel manager character, Basil Fawlty.
“I never got upset when he hit me,” Sachs said in 2014.
“He’s my friend, I must say yes, yes [it hurt], several times, more than once.”
Cleese, 77, who was also the co-creator of Fawlty Towers, paid tribute to Sachs in an interview with the BBC.
He described his co-star as “a very nice, sweet man and just a brilliant farceur”.
Cleese added: “He was just a delight, and if you met him, you’d never for a moment think he was a comedian.
“You’d think he was a bank manager, possibly retired. But then you stuck that moustache on him and he turned into a completely different human being.”
Fawlty Towers co-writer Booth, who played hotel maid Polly Sherman in the series, said Sachs “spoke to the world with his body as well as his mangled English.”
She said he was a “universally beloved figure”, saying it was “a privilege and an education to work with him”.
Writing in the Guardian, she also compared the pairing of Cleese and Sachs to that of Abbott and Costello or Laurel and Hardy.
She wrote: “People say that nobody but John could have played Basil; it’s just as true that nobody but Andrew could have played Manuel.”
Booth added: “The character became iconic.”
Sachs, who was born in Berlin in 1930 but fled Germany for London in 1938, had dozens of other acting roles, both serious and comic – including stints in TV’s two biggest soaps.
In 2009, he played the role of Ramsey Clegg, half-brother of Norris Cole, in ITV’s Coronation Street and in 2015 he briefly joined the BBC’s EastEnders as Cyril Bishop.
He inadvertently became the subject of headlines in 2008 when he received a series of lewd answerphone messages from Russell Brand and fellow BBC Radio 2 presenter Jonathan Ross during a radio show, which related to Sachs’s granddaughter.
The so-called Sachsgate affair resulted in Brand and the controller of Radio 2 resigning. Ross was suspended from broadcasting for three months and a review was held into the way BBC output was vetted.
Sachs’s friend, Blackadder actor Tony Robinson, told BBC Radio 5 Live that Sachs had been “very modest” and said that “it really came as a surprise to him that he had the success that he did”.
“People know him for that one comedy performance, but he was actually a magnificently talented man in a number of fields,” he said, adding that Sachs had been “a very fine photographer” and “a very accomplished playwright”.
He said: “He’s worked in radio for very many years and in a way, given how shy and retiring he was, it was a good form for him.
“His face wasn’t shown, he could work a lot but he didn’t have to be a celebrity – and then suddenly he was thrown into the limelight.”
Comedian Omid Djalili tweeted: “Sad to learn of the passing of Andrew Sachs. Fond memories sharing a dressing room with him & Bill Bailey at We Are Most Amused in 2008.”
Samuel West, whose mother Prunella Scales starred alongside Sachs in Fawlty Towers, tweeted: “Creator of one of our most beloved EU migrants.
“Such warmth and wit; impossible to think of him without smiling.”
Little Britain creator David Walliams described his performances as Manuel as “comic perfection”.
He tweeted: “I had the pleasure of working with #AndrewSachs in ‘Attachments’. A beautiful soul who never tired of all my ‘Fawlty Towers’ questions.”
Comedy writer and director Edgar Wright said Sachs had “spun comic gold as Manuel in Fawlty Towers”.
Actor Eddie Marsan, who starred in the BBC’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, tweeted: “RIP Andrew Sachs. You came here as a refugee with nothing but your talent and your spirit, and you enriched our lives. Thank you so much.”
‘Allo ‘Allo actress Vicki Michelle said: “So sorry to hear of #AndrewSachs passing. Happy memories of working with him, a lovely gentle man. Thoughts are with his family.”
BBC Radio 2 DJ Tony Blackburn also joined the tributes, tweeting: “So sad that Andrew Sachs has passed away… He gave us all so many laughs on Fawlty Towers, thank you. R.I.P.”
Actor Mark Gatiss wrote: “Had the great pleasure to work with the sweet and gentle Andrew Sachs on [writer] Bert Coules’s Further Adventures. His Manuel is imperishable.”
Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s director of content described Sachs as a “wonderful actor”.
“He will be fondly remembered for his many appearances across television and radio, not least for making the nation laugh in the classic role of Manuel. He entertained millions across a brilliant career and will be greatly missed.”
I’m sick and tired of this.
I’m sick and tired of watching helplessly as innocent people are gunned down nearly
every. single. day. for no reason at all.
I’m sick and tired of hearing there’s
no way to prevent this.
I’m sick and tired of being told not to make this political. The only people who benefit from “not making this political” are those who don’t want anything to change.
I’m sick of tired of hearing that the rate of gun murder has nothing to do with the availability of guns. Yes, it
very much does.
I’m sick and tired of hearing that killers will kill with or without guns. Yes, some will still try with knives, or bats, or their own fists. But it will be much easier to stop them before they cause mass carnage.
I’m sick and tired of hearing politicians say, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims.” You know what’s better than thinking and praying? Doing something.
I’m sick and tired of being reminded that it’s actually illegal for the federal government to
research gun violence. That’s absurd.
I’m sick and tired of hearing that stricter gun laws won’t make a difference. After a mass shooting in 1996, Australia banned most private gun sales, bought back hundreds of thousands of firearms, and severely restricted who was legally allowed to own them. Guess what? It
hasn’t had a mass shooting since.
I’m sick and tired of hearing that more people die in car accidents, so it would be hypocritical to do anything.
No they don’t. Not anymore. (And the fact that we don’t do more about road fatalities is also shameful and shocking.)
I’m sick and tired of hearing that I need a “good guy with a gun” to protect me. You know who probably thought he was a “good guy with a gun?” Robert Dear, who allegedly said, “No more baby parts”
after shooting up a Planned Parenthood clinic. He thought he was being a hero. You know who else probably thought he was a “good guy with a gun?” Dylan Roof, who believed he was avenging the victims of “black-on-white crime” by mowing down old women and children at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.
I don’t need a “good guy with a gun.” I need the bad guy with a gun to never have a gun in the first place. Or, if that’s too much of a bother, I need the police. The police are far from perfect and frankly, need to take a good long look at how often, and against whom, they use their own guns but in a mass shooter situation? Give me a trained, professional police officer over a rando with a chip on his shoulder and a delusional “Die Hard” fantasy any day of the week.
I’m sick and tired of hearing that “None of this would have happened if only the victims had been armed.” The cops at that Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs? They were armed. They still got shot. The military police at Fort Hood, Texas, were sure-as-shit armed, and
14 people still lost their lives, many of them soldiers trained to fight in one of the best-equipped, most professional armies in the history of the world. The notion that things would have turned out differently if the county employees in San Bernardino or the schoolchildren at Sandy Hook Elementary were packing heat is laughable and obscene.
I’m sick and tired of seeing this tweet go viral every few days:
And hoping to God it’s not true, while believing with ever-increasing certainty that it is.
I’m sick and tired of more
deranged open-carry laws being passed in this country, and having to worry that now every minor argument with a stranger has the potential to turn into a violent standoff.
I’m sick and tired of hearing that I should be afraid very afraid of desperate, impoverished refugees when thousands upon thousands more people are shot to death by American citizens every year.
I’m sick and tired of hearing that the problem is
only illegal guns, when nearly every mass shooter in the last six years acquired their guns legally. At least two of the guns used in the shooting in San Bernardino were purchased legally.
I’m sick and tired of living in a country where in most places buying a deadly firearm is almost as easy as buying a sandwich.
I’m sick and tired of this being the new normal.
Children pray for the victims of the October shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.
I’m sick and tired of this being told that even the most basic, no-brainer, common-sense gun laws will never be passed because it’s not a winning political issue. The only way to make it one is to
call your senators, representative, state legislator, mayor, county treasurer, school board president, or dog catcher and not shut up about it until they can’t brush it off any longer.
Because something has to change. Now. Not later.
Because I’m heartbroken. I’m scared. I’m furious.
I’m sick. And tired.
Coinciding with the historic Paris climate change agreement, sporting goods giantadidashas shown off its new sneakers. Made of a combination of plastic found in the ocean, recycled polyester, and fishing nets, these sustainable shoes were 3D printed. For now, theyre just a prototype, but this collaborative effort with Parley for the Oceans shows what can be done with all the man-made waste drifting in our seas.
3D printing these days is incredibly advanced, with medical scientists even able to print 3D heart structures using off-the-shelf technology, so it should come as no surprise that the midsoles of a pair of sneakers can be manufactured using this process. Earlier this year, adidas and Parley for the Oceans showcased a shoe made entirely from recycled ocean plastic and illegal, deep-sea gillnets. The 3D-printed midsole is the new development being showcased this month; it is an offshoot of adidas Futurecraft 3D, a technique of 3D-printing midsoles designed to suit the need of any specific individual.
Image credit: The 3D-printed midsole. Adidas
World leaders forging an agreement is wonderful, but we shouldn’t need to be told to do the right thing, Eric Liedtke, adidas Group Executive Board member responsible for Global Brands, saidin a statement, referring to COP21. The industry can’t afford to wait for directions any longer. Together with the network of Parley for the Oceans, we have started taking action and creating new sustainable materials and innovations for athletes.
Parley for the Oceans is an organization that seeks to permanently end ocean plastic pollution. Through education and activism, they hope to use high-profile projects like this to draw attention to the detrimental effects that humanity is having on the worlds marine environments. Adidas is a founding member of the group.
Plastic is, for the most part, not biodegradable. If it makes its way into the ocean, it will remain there for an extremely long time. Plastic bags take up to 20 years to decompose, whereas a plastic beverage bottle takes up to 450 years. Humanity has flushed and dumped so much plastic into the sea that it is accumulating at an astonishing rate in huge whirlpools known as gyres.
Two in the North Pacific, for example, are collectively called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch appropriately named, as it contains enough surface plastic to spread out across an area roughly twice that of the continental United States, by some estimates. This trash represents a huge threat to marine life, which can become entangled in or consume the stuff.
Congratulations. You've reached the end of the internet.