GOOD

What Everyone Is Getting Wrong About Incredible Photo Of A Guy Mowing The Lawn During Tornado

"I was keeping an eye on it.”

(Cecilia Wessels/Facebook)

By now, you’ve already seen the photo. And if you haven’t, we’ll pause while you take in all of it’s glory.


In the image, a man is seen casually mowing his backyard lawn while a giant tornado looms ominously in the background. When the photo first was shared over the weekend, like everyone else, I was immediately taken in by its the surreal and shocking nature. After the initial wave, my first thought was that it must surely be a fake, someone’s casual Photoshop meme that managed to sneak by social media’s collective standards and practices.

After the man’s family confirmed the even more bizarre details: Alberta, Canada resident Theunis Wessels was really mowing his lawn while the apocalyptic force of nature hovered behind him. "I was keeping an eye on it," he insisted, assuring literally no one.

Understandably, the photo set of a firestorm of tweets, with everyone making the understandable assumption that this was an insanely reckless person, insisting on mowing his lawn with a deadly storm headed directly into his path:

Cecelia Wessels told the Canadian Press she was taking a nap when her 9-year-old daughter woke her up to express concern that her Dad was carrying on in the backyard.

That anecdote added exponential fuel to the viral fire. But there were a few details that didn’t get caught up in the proverbial storm, namely that Wessels stresses the tornado was moving away from him and the family home.

In fact, all of the family’s neighbors were also in their backyards, snapping up photos of the tornado. "Our whole street, everyone was on their back patios taking pictures," Wessels said.

It just so happened that none of them captured the moment in such strange glory.

"It looks much closer if you look in the photo, but it was really far away," Cecelia Wessels told the Canadian Press. "Well, not really far, far away, but it was far away from us."

Wessels herself clearly took the moment in stride, sharing the caption to the viral photo on Facebook: “My beast mowing the lawn with a breeze in his hair.”

None of that takes away from the incredible nature of the photo. But when you get all the details, it’s far less shocking than the narrative going around that this totally chill Canadian would not be stopped from knocking off his “To Do List” while the world burned around him.

Articles
via Douglas Muth / Flickr

Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Truthout.org / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet