Picture Show: Topsy Topiary

The San Francisco Bay Area is home to no shortage of natural beauty-from its rugged coastline to its lush hillsides to its...

The San Francisco Bay Area is home to no shortage of natural beauty-from its rugged coastline to its lush hillsides to its rain-covered mountains. However, it's also a densely populated metropolis, where the interaction between infrastructure and nature produces some seriously strange results. Take Alan George's photographic exploration, "Domesticated," for which he scoured the Bay Area in search of trees so removed from nature, so strangely manicured, so blatantly objectified, that their very presence seems utterly preposterous. The images not only evoke a sense of forlornness, but also reveal an odd functionality, one that helps to differentiate the series from other topiary explorations."I'm approaching it with a sort of German or deadpan perspective and aesthetic," says George. "When you look at the trees, you might even feel sorry for them, but then maybe you realize the ridiculousness of that. So I hope it's balanced by a bit of humor." Indeed, the images manage to toe a line between silliness and poignancy. But as absurd as some of these domesticated trees appear, tucked into crowded street corners in tiny plots of dirt, they nevertheless endure, growing proudly amid the backdrop of the city.

A version of this series (set to music) was recently shown at a San Fransisco edition of one of our favorite ongoing art projects, the Slideluck Potshow. Take a look here.
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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Villagers rejoice as they receive the first vaccines ever delivered via drone in the Congo

The area's topography makes transporting medicines a treacherous task.

Photo by Henry Sempangi Senyule

When we discuss barriers to healthcare in the developed world, affordability is commonly the biggest concern. But for some in the developing world, physical distance and topography can be the difference between life and death.

Widjifake, a hard-to-reach village in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a population of 6,500, struggles with having consistent access to healthcare supplies due to the Congo River and its winding tributaries.

It can take up to three hours for vehicles carrying supplies to reach the village.

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via Keith Boykin / Twitter

Fox News and President Trump seem like they may be headed for a breakup. "Fox is a lot different than it used to be," Trump told reporters in August after one of the network's polls found him trailing for Democrats in the 2020 election.

"There's something going on at Fox, I'll tell you right now. And I'm not happy with it," he continued.

Some Fox anchors have hit back at the president over his criticisms. "Well, first of all, Mr. President, we don't work for you," Neil Cavuto said on the air. "I don't work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you, just report on you."

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