Exploring New Orleans, Startup by Startup

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New Orleans has always been a hotbed of musical, artistic, and culinary creativity. But the process of rebuilding the city after Katrina and the influx of talent and energy that has stepped up to the challenge has transformed the city into a new kind of hub: for start-ups and social innovation. A new program called NOLAbound is determined to prove that New Orleans is indeed one of the "coolest" places to start a business, as Inc. magazine called it earlier this year.

Applications open today for the chance to be one of 25 professionals to take an "unfiltered" look at New Orleans' flourishing social entrepreneurship community on an all-expenses-paid trip to the city during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. For five days in March, NOLAbound participants will get to hobnob with leaders of startups including Receivables Exchange, which helps businesses gain access to capital, and NAKED Pizza, a natural fast-food pizza company. Visitors will get to tour the city's bioscience incubator and participate in Entrepreneur Week events. "We'll have stuff for people to do, but it's going to be completely up to individuals," says spokesman Michael Azzano, emphasizing that a big part of the trip is exploring the city. "We don't want to lock anyone into a schedule."

The hope is that influential outsiders can lend their perspective to help the local business community get better at what they're doing. In turn, they'll spread the word about the city's creativity energy through their social media. "We want people to come down and meet the businesses in new Orleans... and give us the assessment of where we are," says Azzano. Applications are open for a month; click here to apply.

Photo via (cc) Flickr user David Reber

Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

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via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

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There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

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Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

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