I Waited A While To Make Sure That This Is THE Best Nelson Mandela Tribute

I’m gonna trade you ALL of the official Nelson Mandela tributes for this one performance by 11-year-old Botlhale Boikanyo. The mini-poet blew away the judges of “SA’s Got Talent” over a year before Mandela died. Her delightful poem is way too good to stay hidden on the Internet, so press play and if you like it, share it.

Read more: http://upworthy.com/i-waited-a-while-to-make-sure-that-this-is-the-best-nelson-mandela-tribute-6

I Have Never Asked Myself This Many Questions Before Taking A Bite Of Watermelon

The Question Bridge is about creating a digital platform for black males to have a dialogue about issues that affect them most. They are then displayed for the public to expose the population to this ongoing dialogue and its discoveries. I love it because men in general have such a hard time expressing themselves, and this format might be a gateway to new ways of discussing sensitive topics.

Read more: http://upworthy.com/i-have-never-asked-myself-this-many-questions-before-taking-a-bite-of-watermelon

MAP: The 16 States Where The Latino Vote Will Decide The Elections This Fall

The Latino vote makes more of a difference now than ever. With many states so evenly split, Latino voters could easily mean the difference between a Republican and a Democrat in office.

Here’s the map without the chart for reference.

Read more: http://upworthy.com/map-the-16-states-where-the-latino-vote-will-decide-the-elections-this-fall

Report Reveals 20% Of All Plants At Risk Of Extinction

In the firstever report looking into the worlds plants and their status, scientists have cataloged almost 400,000 known species. The inaugural report on the State of the Worlds Plantscovers all vascular plants, which includes those thatflower along with conifers and ferns, and shows that despite the vital role they play in all of our lives on a daily basis, one out of five species iscurrently threatened with extinction, with threats ranging from climate change,to invasive species,to disease.

This is the first ever global assessment on the state of the worlds plants, explains Professor Kathy Willis, Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, who compiled the report. We already have a State of the Worlds birds, seaturtles, forests, cities, mothers, fathers, children, even antibiotics,but not plants. I find this remarkable given the importance of plants to all of our lives from food, medicines, clothing, building materials and biofuels, to climate regulation. This report therefore provides the first step in filling this critical knowledge gap.

The report looks only at what are known as vascular plants. The majority of people will know these from most ofthe plants that you can currently see around you, as they include all flowering plants and trees, conifers, and ferns, but miss out algae, moss,and liverworts. The researchers found that despite there being over one million named species, each plant actually has on average 2.7 names, as many species have been named and described more than once by accident.

Taking all this into account, the researcherscame to their final conclusion that there are roughly 390,900 plants known to science, of which approximately 369,400 are flowering. Yet that, according to Professor Willis, is just scratching the surface. Last year, for example, over 2,000 new species were described, ranging from tiny orchids known only from traders to a towering tree thatreaches 45 meters (150 feet) and weighs in excess of 100 tonnes (110 tons) found in the tropical forests of Gabon.

One of 90 new species of Bergonia, in this case Begonia ruthiae,described last year from the forests of South East Asia.Julia Anak Sang/Kew

But there are still large parts of the world where very little is known about plants.Identification of these important plant areas is now critical, said Steve Bachman, strategic output leader for the new State of the Worlds Plants report.Similarly, we still only know a fraction of the genetic diversity of plants and whole-genome sequences are currently available for just 139 species of vascular plants. Activity in this area needs to speed up.

The discovery that 21 percent of all known plants are at risk of extinction should also ring alarm bells, the researchers write. People rely on over 30,000 different species of plant for medicine, food, and materials to name a few, and with increasing importance put upon safeguarding the wild relatives of common domestic species, more effort should be put into filling the gaps in our knowledge in this area.

The main threats facing plants in the modern world come from the ever-present habitat destruction and changing climate, but also from invasive species and disease. More than 5,000 species of plants have become invasive around the world, causing billions of dollars of damage, while diseases such as ash die back is driving a once common species to the edge. Hopefully, however, by having a definitive list of all known species, it gives scientists and conservationists a fighting chance to help them survive.

Image in text:Gilbertiodendron maximumis the largest and heaviest of all new species described from the West African rainforests of Gabon, and is already considered endangered.Johan van Valkenburg/Kew

Photo Gallery

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/over-one-fifth-all-known-plant-species-ar-risk-extinction

By Looking At Her, You May Not Know What She's Hiding Underneath

Take a short glimpse into the life of Dominique, a black former track athlete who, as a way to deal with the racial microaggressions he has been subject to, chooses to mask as a white woman. How he looks and what he wears is only one part of his story … as you’ll hear him explain in this clip.

Drat. Looks like this video has been removed. Here’s a comedic look at masks and beauty, or you can read up on some of the things Dominique talked about, such as racial microaggressions, here and here.

Read more: http://upworthy.com/by-looking-at-her-you-may-not-know-what-shes-hiding-underneath

This Unjust War Costs Us Nearly $4 Billion Every Year. No, Not Iraq or Afghanistan. The Other One.

Behind every fact is a face, behind the data is discrimination, and behind the arrests is an issue America has yet to solve. But until the broken system is fixed, the unjust problem shown in this video will still exist.

Read more: http://upworthy.com/this-unjust-war-costs-us-nearly-4-billion-every-year-no-not-iraq-or-afghanistan-the-other-one

CNN Anchor Brilliantly Tricks Her Sexist Guest Into Accidentally Endorsing Racism On Live TV

This is a perfect example of why you should always ask where a quote comes from before you agree with it. This guy only intended to be sexist (and boy is he ever, especially at 1:34) but by underestimating Soledad O’Brien’s brilliant ability to make ignorant folks eat their words, he walks straight into her trap and accidentally endorses racism, too. 

Read more: http://upworthy.com/cnn-anchor-brilliantly-tricks-her-sexist-guest-into-accidentally-endorsing-racis

When trolls attacked this fat, gay, black immigrant, Ireland answered perfectly.

On Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, Michelle Marie became the official voice of Ireland at least on social media for the duration of a week.

Since 2012, the @Ireland Twitter account has featured a different person behind the handle every week, all of whom have some connection to Ireland or the Irish diaspora.

Each person has their own unique voice and perspective to offer to the account’s 40,000-plus followers. And Michelle Marie, who normally tweets as @ChocCurvesModel, is certainly no exception:

Marie is a single mother and plus-sized model, as well as an immigrant from the U.K. She’s also black, and, as she later disclosed, gay.

Unfortunately, there are still a handful of people in this world who can’t fathom the idea that a fat, gay, black woman could live in Ireland, let alone be its voice for a week. And they wanted her to know calling her “subhuman,” saying that Ireland is only for the Irish, and telling her to leave the country and so on and so forth in that monstrous way that only anonymous people on the internet are capable.

Sadly, this part shouldn’t be surprising though there is a certain irony to the fact that, according to their profiles, most of these racist trolls actually lived in the United States and thus almost certainly have no say in what does or does not constitute “Irish-ness.”

Did I mention that was all just on her first day as the voice of @Ireland?

But as a dedicated champion of body positivity and self-love, Marie was determined to use the @Ireland platform to make her voice heard.

And it wasn’t limited to racist vitriol, although those probably made up the bulk of it. There were also plenty of insults about her weight which, sadly, is a frequent occurrence for plus-sized people. Fortunately, Marie was a pro and deftly shut down the haters:

Despite her relentless positivity, those few nasty voices still got to her an experience familiar to anyone who’s ever dealt with bullying. By the end of her first day as @Ireland, Marie had had enough.

I understood the @Ireland account to be a platform for all people who have an Irish connection of a gr [love] for the country/culture. […] Many non-natives, non-residents, and persons of colour have gone before me on the account so I felt welcome to apply.

I expected trolls, and backlash, and criticism. But today I have experienced racism, sexism, fatphobia, and homophobia to a degree I have never known. I have had 8hrs of nonstop hate thrown at me. I am hurt, shocked, and appalled.

“I have become accustomed to a certain level of trolling online as it comes with the territory, but I have never known anything like what happened this week a relentless barrage of extreme hatred and prejudice,” Marie told Upworthy later that same week.

Perhaps even more inspiring were the droves of people who came to her defense and offered their support for her voice, and her continued presence on the Emerald Isle.

(“Craic” is an Irish word that basically means “a good time.”)

Even Patricia Arquette came to her defense yes, the Patricia Arquette!

Sure, Marie might not be the stereotypical poster child for the Emerald Isle. But, that’s exactly why it’s refreshing to have a voice like hers represent the country as part of a modern, global society.

Luckily, there were plenty of Irish citizens who seemed to agree.

Her legion of supporters were evidence not only of the Irish reputation for hospitality, but also that diversity and acceptance are both growing across the world.

Thanks to that support, Marie returned to the @Ireland Twitter account on Tuesday with a renewed energy.

And she continued to share her inspirational insights throughout the rest of the week.

“I have been really touched and taken aback by the level of kindness and support I have received,” she said.

“The U.K. tends to turn a blind eye to the less favourable things that happen, whereas Ireland has stood up and spoken up against it. I feel Ireland is ready to embrace change and diversity.”

Of course, it wasn’t all heavy social commentary. She also chatted with followers about their favorite places across the Emerald Isle and her appreciation for the Irish language and more personal subjects like body positivity, motherhood, and adoption.

As terrible as it was to watch someone like Marie suffer through so much hatred, the response that followed was a powerful reminder of why it matters that we continue hearing voices like hers.

After her whirlwind week as the voice of Ireland, Marie went back to tweeting and blogging about body positivity as well as helping to organize Ireland’s first-ever Body Pride festival proving that heroes come in all colors, shapes, and sizes.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/when-trolls-attacked-this-fat-gay-black-immigrant-ireland-answered-perfectly?c=tpstream

Watch A Drag Queen Teach Religious Protesters What The Bible Actually Says About A Cotton-Poly Blend

If I learned anything from my time in gay bars, it’s that criticizing a quick-witted drag queen is a bad idea. Here, one of Seattle’s most famous drag queens educates some ill-informed protesters at a gay pride parade. I appreciate the way she handled herself, but I have to say that the 50-second mark is the best.

Read more: http://upworthy.com/watch-a-drag-queen-teach-religious-protesters-what-the-bible-actually-says-about-a-cotton-poly-blend

A Dangerous Disease Is On The Rise, And These Wildly Intelligent Teens Are Here To Explain Why

Did you know that Type 2 diabetes (Wait! Don’t click away yet!) is on the rise in young people? It’s an issue that’s ridiculously important but also incredibly complicated. What’s causing it? How much blame can we place on the youth themselves? What do race and class issues have to do with it? Well, let me tell you: This performance nails every part of it. Every. Part.

Well I think that about covers it. Don’t you? If you think some folks could learn a lot from this, consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Read more: http://upworthy.com/a-dangerous-disease-is-on-the-rise-and-these-wildly-intelligent-teens-are-here-to-explain-why