The 2006 Lebanese-Israeli war, as well as the 15 years of civil war that preceded it, perforated South Lebanon with an estimated four million cluster submunitions. The region is rife with landmines and unexploded ordnance, which frequently claim the lives or limbs of unsuspecting people. Clowns Without Borders, a non-profit organization that provides humor as therapy to children in conflict zones, partnered with MAG International and the Lebanese Mine Action Center to spread awareness about unexploded ordnance through clown performances. Throughout December, a Clowns Without Borders troupe toured Lebanese schools and villages and educated kids about mine safety.
It’s not every day an obituary goes viral. But for Aaron Joseph Purmort, who passed away last Tuesday, that seems like a pretty fitting remembrance. Purmort and his wife Nora had been both incredibly open and incredibly humorous about the brain tumor diagnosis Purmort received in 2011, just a short time after he began dating Nora. The poignant tale of the couple’s past three years—which included seizures on Halloween, a rushed wedding a few weeks later, chemotherapy, brain surgery, the birth of their son Ralph, and a recurrence of the tumor—was chronicled by Nora on her Tumblr page. A Minneapolis news station did a segment on the local couple’s meet-cute story, noting how they followed each other on Facebook and Twitter before meeting in person. Their wedding was streamed live.