You've Never Needed A Walking Partner More Than Right Now

This guy will help keep you safe—and sane

I went on two walks on Saturday. The first started at the intersection of Temple Street and Main Street in downtown Los Angeles, as 11,000 people flooded north underneath a pedestrian bridge while chanting, “Not my president.” It was America’s largest anti-Trump protest since Tuesday’s election.

Flags, banners, and posters preached free religion, free love, and free choice, and condemned fascism, deportation, hate, and pussy-grabbing. Drums, vuvuzelas, and car horns laid a beat for bilingual hymns: “My body, my choice/her body, her choice” mixed with El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido,” which means “The people united will never be defeated” in Spanish. The gathering was diverse, inclusive, and broad. There will be more walking protests of more specific grievances, but this was a rallying cry. Tracing the 101 freeway, we walked south down Figueroa, past freeway entrances blocked by riot police.

My second walk on Saturday started in the the parking lot of a wine and cheese shop in Hollywood, where I met “The People Walker,” whose real name Chuck McCarthy. He is 6 feet 2 inches tall with Jesus locks, a Duck Dynasty beard, a straw hat, and a hand-drawn shirt that reads “THE PEOPLE WALKER.” McCarthy is an actor who runs a side business walking people for $7 per mile (he averages 25 miles per week.) What started six months ago as an earnest joke has evolved into an enterprise with regular customers, international fans, and a pending trademark application.

McCarthy also recently launched The International Motivational Walkers Association to spread the service. Walking protection feels especially vital after hate crimes and violent threats have escalated in the days since Donald Trump’s election. One example of a similar effort: More than 5,500 New Yorkers have signed an online form created by the Arab American Association of New York to accompany neighbors worried about harassment during local walking commutes.

Pacing up Canyon Drive toward the Bronson Cave in Griffith Park, McCarthy and I talk politics. He supported Bernie Sanders, believes the Democratic Party burned its grassroots, and doesn’t have much faith in the system. As we approach the trail, someone leans out of their car to shout, “People Walker!” McCarthy raises his fist. As we navigate the hills, he shared his thoughts on the power of walking partners and empathy.

Who is The People Walker’s target audience?

My two main things were people who wanted to walk, but not wanting to walk by themselves, and then people just wanting to get motivated. If you think about what a personal trainer really does, the core of what they do, it’s that they’re there. You set an appointment with them to meet them and do something. It’s so much more powerful to the human mind than just telling yourself, I’m gonna go for a jog tomorrow morning.

What has this job taught you about walking?

The first walk I went on, obviously I was worried. I was just kind of like, is this gonna be too weird? What if we don't have anything to talk about? The really great thing about walking and talking is that there's always stuff you can come up with. You’re always seeing something new. There’s always dogs and things. Most people, because we drive so much in LA, most people are like, what is that house? Like in their own neighborhood. ‘I’ve never seen that house!’ Or, ‘I didn't realize those people had a pyramid in their backyard!’ There’s just plenty of stuff that you don’t really see unless you're actually walking around.

How do you hope to grow the motivational walking community?

Theoretically I could grow the business by just hiring people, bringing them on as their sensei, and they would pay me a percentage or whatever. But it’d be better if it was an app and it was something like Uber. If somebody has two hours free, they can just turn it on, and if somebody’s near them, go walk them. I’ve had a couple people send me emails, messages through Facebook, Fmail, asking to be walked like that. I can’t respond fast enough or I’m just not able to. A girl asked to be walked a mile to the post office because she doesn’t like walking through that area because she would get catcalled.

Do you ever get catcalled?

As the People Walker I get catcalled a ton. But even before, I would get catcalled. “Nice beard!” “Hey, Jesus!” “Smile!”

What does a motivational walker provide beyond protection?

It’s a conversation, it’s not a confession, is what I tell people. I’m not playing the psychotherapist or the priest, but I am there to listen to people complain about little things. Have you seen that movie Falling Down with Michael Douglas? Google Falling Down burger scene. Basically I see it as helping sad people from having those little things build up, being able to speak with somebody about the weather, or the world, or whatever.


"Seventy percent of the Earth is covered with water, now you camp on it!" proudly declares Smithfly on the website for its new camping boat — the Shoal Tent.

Why have we waited so long for camping equipment that actually lets us sleep on the water? Because it's an awful idea, that's why.

"The world is your waterbed," Smithfly says on its site. But the big difference is that no one has ever had to worry about falling asleep and then drowning on their waterbed.

RELATED: A ridiculous dad transformed Billie Eilish's 'Bad Guy' into a 3-minute long musical dad joke

While it is possible that one could wade into the water, unzip the tent, have a pleasant slumber, and wake up in the morning feeling safe and refreshed, there are countless things that could go terribly wrong.

The tent could float down the river and you wake up in the middle of nowhere.

You could have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

This guy.

It could spring a leak and you could drown while wrapped up in eight feet of heavy nylon.

A strong current could tip the tent-boat over.

There isn't any way to steer the darn thing.

This guy.

Mashable shared a charming video of the tent on Twitter and it was greeted with a chorus of people sharing the many ways one could die while staying the night in the Shoal Tent.

Oh yeah, it's expensive, too.

Even though the general public seems to think the Shoal Tent is a terrible idea, according to the Smithfly's website, it's currently sold out due to "popular demand" and it will be "available in 6-8 weeks." Oh, and did we mention it costs $1,999?

via zoezimmm / Imgur

There are few more perniciously dangerous conspiracy theories being shared online than the idea that vaccines cause autism.

This has led to a decline in Americans vaccinating their children, resulting in a massive increase in measles. This year has already seen over 1,200 cases of measles, a disease that was eradicated in the U.S. nearly 20 years ago.

A 2015 Pew Research study found that 83% of Americans think the measles vaccine is safe, while 9% think it's not. Another 7% are not sure. But when you look at the polls that include parents of minors, the numbers get worse, 13% believe that the measles vaccine is unsafe.

There is zero truth to the idea that vaccines cause autism. In fact, a recent study of over 650,000 children found there was no link whatsoever.

RELATED: A new study of over 650,000 children finds — once again — that vaccines don't cause autism

A great example of the lack of critical thinking shown by anti-vaxxers was a recent exchange on Facebook shared to Imgur by zoezimmm.

A parent named Kenleigh at a school in New Mexico shared a photo of a sign at reads: "Children will not be enrolled unless an immunization record is presented and immunizations are up-to-date."

This angered a Facebook user who went on a senseless tirade against vaccinations.

"That's fine, I'll just homeschool my kids," she wrote. At least they won't have to worry about getting shot up in school or being bullied, or being beat up / raped by the teachers!"

To defend her anti-vaccination argument, she used a factually incorrect claim that Amish people don't vaccinate their children. She also incorrectly claimed that the MMR vaccine is ineffective and used anecdotal evidence from her and her father to claim that vaccinations are unnecessary.

She also argued that "every human in the world is entitled to their own opinion." Which is true, but doesn't mean that wildly incorrect assumptions about health should be tolerated.

She concluded her argument with a point that proves she doesn't care about facts: "It doesn't matter what you say is not going to change my mind."

RELATED: 12 medical professionals shared their most memorable anti-vaxxer stories and you won't stop face-palming

While the anti-vaxxer was incorrect in her points, it must also be pointed out that some of the people who argued with her on Facebook were rude. That should never be tolerated in this type of discourse, but unfortunately, that's the world of social media.

Here's the entire exchange:

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

The post received a ton of responses on imgur. Here are just a few:

"'In my opinion...' 'I believe...' That's not how facts work."

"You're entitled to your opinion. And everyone else is entitled to call you a dumbass."

"'What I do with my children is no concern to you at all.' Most of the time, true. When your kid might give mine polio, not true."

"If my child can't bring peanut butter, your child shouldn't bring preventable diseases."

It's important to call out people who spread dangerous views, especially how they pertain to health, on social media. But people should do so with respect and civility.


He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

He risked his life to leave a "historical record of our martyrdom."

via Yad Vashem and Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

In September 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. By April 1940, the gates closed on the Lodz Ghetto, the second largest in the country after Warsaw.

Throughout the war, over 210,000 people would be imprisoned in Lodz.

Among those held captive was Henryk Ross. He was a Jewish sports photographer before the Nazi invasion and worked for the the ghetto's Department of Statistics during the war. As part of his official job, he took identification photos of the prisoners and propaganda shots of Lodz' textile and leather factories.

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via Imgur

Every few years there's something that goes mega viral because people can't decide what it is.

There was the famous "is it blue and black, or white and gold" dress?

There was the audio recording that said either "yanny" or "Laurel."

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Rochester NY Airport Security passing insulting notes to travelers caught on tape

Neil Strassner was just passing through airport security, something he does on a weekly basis as part of his job. That's when a contract airport security employee handed him a small piece of folded cardboard. Strassner, 40, took the paper and continued on his way. He only paused when he heard the security employee shouting back at him, "You going to open the note?"

When he unfolded the small piece of paper, Strassner was greeted with an unprompted insult. "You ugly!!!"

According to Strassner, and in newly released CCTV of the incident, the woman who handed him the note began laughing loudly.

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