GOOD

80 lives were saved because a German synagogue attacker couldn't figure out how to open the door

AFP News Agency / Twitter

A study out of Belgium found that smart people are much less likely to be bigoted. The same study also found that people who are bigoted are more likely to overestimate their own intelligence.

A horrifying story out of Germany is a perfect example of this truth on full display: an anti-Semite was so dumb the was unable to open a door at the temple he tried to attack.

On Wednesday, October 9, congregants gathered at a synagogue in Humboldtstrasse, Germany for a Yom Kippur service, and an anti-Semite armed with explosives and carrying a rifle attempted to barge in through the door.


The suspect, known by police as "Stephen B," used every explosive device he had on his person top open the large, wooden door but it would not budge.

"The perpetrator shot at the door several times and threw several Molotov cocktails, firecrackers, or grenades to try to get in. But the door stayed shut, God protected us," Max Privorozki, a spokesman for the Jewish community, told Der Spiegel. "The whole thing took about five to 10 minutes."

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According to Privorozki, the congregants wouldn't be deterred by the anti-Semite's attempts, they continued their Yom Kippur observance while the man attempted to enter the temple.

"We barricaded our doors from inside and waited for the police," he said. "In between, we carried on with our service."

"We saw through the camera of our synagogue that a heavily armed perpetrator wearing a steel helmet and rifle was trying to shoot open our door," he continued.

"The man looked like he was from the special forces. But our doors held firm."

Realizing he wouldn't be able to get the door open, the anti-Semite ran from the temple, but was caught by German law enforcement about 45 minutes later. The impenetrable door saved up to 80 lives inside the temple.

Sadly, the man murdered two people while en route to the synagogue.

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said that the attacker was a 27-year-old man from Saxony-Anhalt and appeared to have far right-wing motive.

Before the attack, he broadcast his manifesto on Twitch.

"Feminism is the cause of declining birth rates in the West, which acts as a scapegoat for mass immigration, and the root of all these problems is the Jew," he said while filing himself in a car.

The suspect's father believes he was radicalized on the Internet. He "was on the internet too much," the man told Blid. "I tried to get to him but never got through, he always blamed others and was very unhappy with the world."

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The assailant's inability to enter the door could have been because of his own stupidity. It could have been because the synagogue understood importance of having tight security. Or, could have been protection from the Almighty.

Regardless, the congregants wouldn't be deterred by hate and continued to commemorate Yom Kippur, a day dedicated to atonement and dedicating oneself to become a better person in the New Year.

With their steadfastness, the congregation provided a great example for all of us. Even though the forces of evil may exist in the world, that's no reason to be deterred from trying to make it a better place.









Communities
via Honor Africans / Twitter

The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

So for those with hearing loss, the chances of coming into contact with someone who uses the language are rare. Especially outside of the deaf community.

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Looking back, the year 1995 seems like such an innocent time. America was in the midst of its longest streak of peace and prosperity. September 11, 2001 was six years away, and the internet didn't seem like much more than a passing fad.

Twenty-four years ago, 18 million U.S. homes had modem-equipped computers, 7 million more than the year before. Most logged in through America Online where they got their email or communicated with random strangers in chat rooms.

According to a Pew Research study that year, only 32% of those who go online say they would miss it "a lot" if no longer available.

Imagine what those poll numbers would look like if the question was asked today.

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"Few see online activities as essential to them, and no single online feature, with the exception of E-Mail, is used with any regularity," the Pew article said. "Consumers have yet to begin purchasing goods and services online, and there is little indication that online news features are changing traditional news consumption patterns."

"Late Night" host David Letterman had Microsoft founder and, at that time the richest man in the world, on his show for an interview in '95 to discuss the "the big new thing."

During the interview Letterman chided Gates about the usefulness of the new technology, comparing it to radio and tape recorders.

Gates seems excited by the internet because it will soon allow people to listen to a baseball game on their computer. To which Letterman smugly replies, "Does radio ring a bell?" to laughter from the crowd.

But Gates presses Letterman saying that the new technology allows you to listen to the game "whenever you want," to which Letterman responds, "Do tape recorders ring a bell?"

Gates then tells Letterman he can keep up with the latest in his favorite hobbies such as cigar smoking or race cars through the internet. Letterman shuts him down saying that he reads about his interests in magazines.

RELATED: Bill Gates has five books he thinks you should read this summer.

The discussion ends with the two laughing over meeting like-minded people in "troubled loner chat room on the internet."

The clip brings to mind a 1994 segment on "The Today Show" where host Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric have a similar discussion.

"What is internet anyway?" an exasperated Gumball asks. "What do you write to it like mail?"

"It's a computer billboard but it's nationwide and it's several universities all joined together and it's getting bigger and bigger all the time," a producer explains from off-stage.





Culture
Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

The future generations will have to live on this Earth for years to come, and, not surprisingly, they're very concerned about the fate of our planet. We've seen a rise in youth activists, such as Greta Thunberg, who are raising awareness for climate change. A recent survey indicates that those efforts are working, as more and more Americans (especially young Americans) feel concerned about climate change.

A new CBS News poll found that 70% of Americans between 18 and 29 feel climate change is a crisis or a serious problem, while 58% of Americans over the age of 65 share those beliefs. Additionally, younger generations are more likely to feel like it's their personal responsibility to address climate change, as well as think that transitioning to 100% renewable energy is viable. Overall, 25% of Americans feel that climate change is a "crisis," and 35% feel it is a "serious problem." 10% of Americans said they think climate change is a minor problem, and 16% of Americans feel it is not a problem that worries them.

The poll found that concern for the environment isn't a partisan issue – or at least when it comes to younger generations. Two-thirds of Republicans under the age of 45 feel that addressing climate change is their duty, sentiments shared by only 38% of Republicans over the age of 45.

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