The Upbeat Everyday Acts
  • Daniel Maree, who made the hoodie a symbol of social activism, won a $100,000 grand prize award for his organization, Million Hoodie Movement for Justice, from the group

    The star-studded event was held at the Avalon in Hollywood and aired live on VH1. Celebrities were also recognized for their charitable work, including Jennifer Hudson, Patrick Dempsey, LL Cool J and Kelly Osbourne. Sophia Bush hosted the festivities and announced the grand prize winner.

    “This is for Trayvon Martin, this is for Oscar Grant,” said Maree when his name was announced. “This is for all the million hoodies across the United States. Thank you so much.”

    Maree, a digital strategist who lived for a time in Gainesville, Fla., says he experienced racial profiling firsthand. He was spurred to action after the shooting death of the unarmed 17-year-old, hoodie-wearing Trayvon Martin, in Sanford, Fla., last year.

    The 25-year-old organized the original Million Hoodies March where 50,000 people rallied

    Read More »from Daniel Maree wins $100,000 grand prize Do Something award
  • The world's wild tiger population has dwindled since the last century, but wildlife conservationists say there are hopeful signs in Nepal. The South Asian nation's government announced on MondayGlobal Tiger Day that its tiger population has increased 63 percent since the last survey in 2009.

    The region where the count was conducted is a 600-mile stretch of land in Nepal and India called the Terai Arc Landscape, where tigers roam free.  

    The two countries signed a resolution in 2010 to combat poaching and illegal wildlife trade to protect endangered species, especially tigers.

    The animal census is tracking an international effort to double the world tiger population by the year 2022, an initiative dubbed Tx2.

    “Nepal’s results are an important milestone to reaching the global TX2 goal of doubling the number of wild tigers by the year 2022,” Megh Bahadur Pandey, director general of Nepal’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, said in a statement. “Tigers are a part

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  • Mestre Acordeon (Courtesy Mestre Acordeon)

    Most people who turn 70 usually are happy blowing out a bunch of candles on a birthday cake.

    Capoeira teacher Mestre Acordeon, who turns 70 on Aug. 30, will celebrate by undertaking an epic bike ride from his home in Berkeley, Calif., down to Bahia, Brazil.

    It’s not a straight shot; he plans to make stops along the way, teaching Capoeira, which is a Brazilian martial art, and getting to know the people wherever he visits.

    “I want to improve as a Capoeira teacher and as a human being,” Acordeon told Yahoo News over the phone.

    It sounds like a lot for anyone, let alone a septuagenarian, but Acordeon has a mission. “It’s not a marathon. It’s not a bicycle competition. It is an encounter with myself,” Acordeon said.

    He said the most he has ridden is 165 miles. For this trip, he plans to ride five to six hours a day, or 45 to 50 miles. Some days less, some days more. Although he hopes to be in Bahia for his 71st birthday, he has allowed 400 days for the journey, so he might not be.


    Read More »from For 70th birthday, Bay Area teacher plans bike trip to Brazil
  • Kevin Pearce at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, Jan. 21, 2013. (Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

    On New Year's Eve 2009, five days before the 2010 Olympic snowboarding trials, 22-year-old Kevin Pearce was training in Park City, Utah, when he slammed his forehead into the icy wall of a half-pipe during a practice run, suffering brain trauma so severe he had to relearn how to walk and talk.

    "I look like a dead man," Pearce told Outside magazine in 2011 while viewing a photo of his limp body at the bottom of the pipe. "I look like a ... corpse."

    Pearce's three-and-a-half-year road to recovery — from corpse to commentator and international spokesman for traumatic brain injury awareness — is the subject of "The Crash Reel," a new documentary directed by Lucy Walker premiering Monday at 9 p.m. on HBO.

    During his rehab, the New Hampshire native and longtime Vermont resident held onto hope he would return to competitive snowboarding, despite doctors telling him he could die.

    "There was a long period of time where I thought I was filming someone who was committing suicide," Walker told

    Read More »from From ‘corpse’ to inspiration: Snowboarder’s recovery from traumatic brain injury subject of new film
  • Injured kitty in Japan takes Web by storm

    Wasabi-chan (@jessiepon/Twitter)

    The Web loves a good cat picture. But when the photo showed a tiny rescued creature in a crocheted outfit, the Internet took a collective swoon.

    The images of the teeny feline have been tweeted by the kitten’s owner, known by her Twitter handle, @jessiepon. The kitten, dubbed Wasabi-chan, was taken in after being badly injured by a bird.

    “She was rescued after being attacked by a crow,” Reddit user DopeSk1llz posted. “Her top jaw was fractured, a hole in her throat, tongue was ripped, and part of gum was eaten.

    The rescuer was feeding her with a tube which Wasabi-chan hates, thus this crochet straitjacket (Grandma's handmade) to hold her down while feeding.”

    The cat was found back on June 2, and the Daily News reports that the rescuer brought the cat to the vet and was told the cat would need to be fed by a tube. When the kitty fought her feedings, the idea for the confining but cute outfits started. This one turns kitty into a mushroom.

    Wasabi-chan in mushroom outift (@jessiepon/Twitter)
    Thanks to the clever idea to slip the cat into

    Read More »from Injured kitty in Japan takes Web by storm


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