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National Tell a Joke Day dates back to 1944 when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was having a meeting with Vice-President, Henry Wallace. The two men were tired and depressed due to the stress caused by leading a country through world war.

During a lull in the meeting, Wallace said, "Frank, to cheer you up I have a joke I'd like to share."

"Let's have it, Henry," Roosevelt replied while ashing his cigarette.

"Why did the chicken cross the road?" Wallace asked. "Not sure," Roosevelt replied.

"To get to the other side," Wallace responded.

Roosevelt laughed so hard that the bourbon he was drinking sprayed out of his nose and onto the floor of the oval office.

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The joke was so funny, and did such a great job at lightening both their moods, Roosevelt proclaimed that every year, August 16 would be National Tell a Joke Day.

Just kidding.

Nobody knows why National Tell a Joke Day started, but in a world where the President of the United States is trying to buy Greenland, "Beverly Hills, 90210" is back on TV, and the economy is about to go off a cliff, we could all use a bit of levity.

To celebrate National Tell a Joke Day, the people on Twitter responded with hundreds of the corniest dad jokes ever told. Here are some of the best.

Culture

The Judean date palm was once common in ancient Judea. The tree itself was a source of shelter, its fruit was ubiquitous in food, and its likeness was even engraved on money. But the plant became extinct around 500 A.D., and the prevalent palm was no more. But the plant is getting a second chance at life in the new millennium after researchers were able to resurrect ancient seeds.

Two thousand-year-old seeds were discovered inside a pottery jar during an archaeological excavation of Masada, a historic mountain fortress in southern Israel. It is believed the seeds were produced between 155 B.C. and 64 A.D. Those seeds sat inside a researcher's drawer in Tel Aviv for years, not doing anything.

Elaine Solowey, the Director of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies at Kibbutz Ketura in Israel, wondered if she could revive the Judean Date Palm, so in 2005, she began to experiment. "I assumed the food in the seed would be no good after all that time. How could it be?" Solewey said.

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Science

The 1975's singer bravely kissed a man at a Dubai concert to protest anti-LGBT oppression

Homosexuality is strictly forbidden in the United Arab Emirates.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven states that s known as one of the more tolerant places in the region. But that's not saying much.

The UAE has strict rules based Sharia law that strictly forbid homosexuality. Committing sodomy on a male is punishable by death. In Dubai, any homosexual sex act can be punished by up to ten years of jail time.

A few years back, the country attempted to ban any gay foreigners from entering the country and there are no official gay clubs or organization in the UAE.

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Lifestyle
via Liam Beach / Facebook

Trying to get one dog to sit still and make eye contact with a camera for more than half a second is a low-key miracle. Lining up 16 dogs, on steps, and having them all stare at the camera simultaneously is the work of a God-like dog whisperer.

This miracle worker is Liam Beach, a 19-year-old animal management graduate from Cardiff, Wales. A friend of his dared him to attempt the shot and he accepted the challenge.

"My friend Catherine challenged me to try to get all of my lot sat on the stairs for a photo. She said, 'I bet you can't pull it off,' so I thought 'challenge accepted,'" he said, accoriding to Paws Planet.

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Culture

UPDATE: 8/14/19:

City officials in Modesto, California have denied a request from Don Grundmann, who wanted to organize a "straight pride parade. The proposed event generated a national controversy, which was only heightened after Grundmann "accidentally" admitted to having racist, nationalistic and, of course, homophobic views.

Modesto officials cited safety concerns surrounding the straight pride parade and noted that organizers, i.e. Grundmann, had not obtained the necessary insurance coverage for such an event.

"There's many, many new plans. Five at least, maybe 10," Grundmann said while appearing at City Hall on Tuesday to outline his backup plans. When pressed for specifics, he reportedly had ... nothing.

Technically, he can still re-apply to have the event held in a non-residential part of the city if he is able to obtain insurance coverage but local affiliate ABC7 said that is an unlikely scenario.

And if he does somehow get his straight pride parade up and running, Grundmann is likely to face a counterdemonstration far larger than his actual event.

"Our community is made up of every color of the rainbow and every marginalized community is in fear of them bringing violence," local opposition activist Chris Holland told CBS.


Original story begins below:

Perhaps you've heard of Don Grundmann, a California man who founded the National Straight Pride Coalition. The organization's goal is to defend "heterosexuality," "Caucasians," "Western Civilization," and, of course, promote "nationalism," according to his website. He's garnered attention for partnering with Modesto resident Mylinda Mason to hold a "Straight Pride" event later this month. At a meeting with the Modesto City Council Wednesday to defend his intentions, Grundmann revealed the truth about his organization, a "totally peaceful racist group," leaving the audience and council members in a fit of laughter.


Don Grundmann Gaffe “We’re a totally peaceful racist group” www.youtube.com

Culture
via psyberartist / flickr and Kārlis Dambrāns / flickr

Americans throw away enough glass every week to fill a 1,350-foot building. Glass takes up to a million years to completely decompose in a landfill, but it's easy to recycle, so there's no reason we should ever have to make anymore glass. We already have enough.

But, sadly, that's not how the world works.

When we do recycle glass it does far more good that most people consider. Recycling one ton of glass saves the following:


  • 42 kWh of electricity
  • 5 gallons of oil714.3 Btu's of energy
  • 2 cubic yards of landfill space
  • 7.5 pounds of air pollutants from being released
  • 1,330 pounds of sand.

Researchers have found a brilliant way to reuse glass that not only saves energy by being recylced, but actually generates power. They have figured out how to take used glass bottles and transform them into high-performance lithium-ion batteries — the kind that could power an electric car.

via UC Riverside

Not only are the batteries eco-friendly, but they are powerful as well. The researchers found a way to make them last longer and provide more electricity batteries by using silicon anodes — an electrode through which the current enters into an electrical device — instead of traditional graphite.

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"Today graphite is used as the main commercial material for fabricating the anode electrodes," Cengiz Ozkan, a professor of mechanical engineering at UC Riverside explained.

"We replaced graphite in the anodes with our new nanosilicon material derived from waste glass bottles," he continued. "In the half-cell configuration, our batteries demonstrate performance about four times higher compared to graphite anode batteries."
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering used a three-step process to use a discarded glass bottle into lithium-ion batteries.

First, they rushing and grinding the glass bottles into a fine white powder. Second, they used hot magnesium to reduce to the silicon dioxide into nanostructured silicon. Finally, they coated the silicon nanoparticles with carbon to improve their stability and energy storage properties.

"We started with a waste product that was headed for the landfill and created batteries that stored more energy, charged faster, and were more stable than commercial coin cell batteries. Hence, we have very promising candidates for next-generation lithium-ion batteries," Changling Li, a graduate student in materials science and engineering and lead author on the paper, said.

This isn't the researchers' first attempts to create batteries out of alternative materials.

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"In the past, we have demonstrated lithium-ion battery anodes fabricated using bio-mass (mushrooms), beach sand, and diatom fossils as nature-abundant precursor materials," Mihri Ozkan, a professor of electrical engineering, told Design News.

"Such natural resources can help reduce the cost of lithium-ion batteries, as well as minimize the carbon footprint from graphite-based anodes in lithium-ion batteries," she continued.

The researchers at UC Riverside may be working on some great advancements in the field of mechanical engineering, but their work also points to an important fact we should all understand. When we throw away "disposable" material such as glass or aluminum we should never forget that we are discarding something with enormous potential.

Innovators