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What We Loved This Week, Dec. 13 – 19

Volcano Lightning

A thunderstorm complete with volcanic lightning rages over Mount Etna in Catania, Italy. Image Source: The Atlantic

2015’s Most Astounding Volcanic Eruptions Around The World

Volcano Red Clouds

Due to a massive smoke column over 12 miles high, the eruption of Chile’s Calbuco volcano caused widespread evacuation in the surrounding area. Image Source: The Atlantic

About 50 of the world’s 1,500 or so active volcanoes erupt each year. While 2015 may not have seen more eruptions than usual, many of those eruptions sure seemed especially astonishing. In August, Hawaii’s Mount Kilauea erupted while a 3.8 magnitude earthquake occurred underneath the volcano. In December, Sicily’s Mount Etna erupted twice in one month, spewing lava and ash more than a mile into the air. And there’s plenty more where that came from…

Volcano Red Glow

The Villarrica Volcano of Pucon, Chile, is among the most active in South America. Image Source: The Atlantic

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What We Loved This Week, Dec. 6-12

TIME reveals what Donald Trump supporters actually look like, a secret train takes VIPs to one of New York’s most famous hotels, a Japanese artist sends trees into the ocean and outer space, wild animals take over the Vatican, a few foreign countries teach the U.S. how to do prostitution right.

Vatican Art Projection

Image Source: National Geographic

Endangered Animals Take Over The Vatican

Vatican Art Projection 2

Image Source: National Geographic

Last Tuesday, leopards, pandas, and many other endangered species took over the Vatican. With climate talks underway in Paris, the projections of animal images on St. Peter’s Basilica drew in thousands of spectators in order to highlight the plight of endangered animals. Several photographers—including Joel Sartore’s Photo Ark project—showcased their stunning work. View more images from the Vatican at National Geographic.

Vatican Art Projection 3

Image Source: National Geographic

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Video Of The Day: Jon Stewart Reveals How Congress Treats 9/11 First Responders

Daily Show

Earlier this week, just one member of Jon Stewart’s 2010 panel of 9/11 first responders was able to return to The Daily Show. Image Source: Facebook

Two days ago, former Daily Show host Jon Stewart returned briefly to his old show, just four months after leaving. Sadly, the reason for his return was anything but joyous.

Stewart was on hand to call out the members of Congress who have slowed the passage of the Zadroga Reauthorization Act, an act that would give permanent health care to 9/11 first responders.

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Civil Rights And Sit Ins: How Bernie Sanders Was Shaped By Grassroots Politics

Bernie Sanders’ early political career was molded by economic uncertainty and social upheaval—situations that are all too familiar to most voters today.

Bernie Sanders

Independent firebrand Bernie Sanders is praised for re-injecting old school progressivism into the Democratic Party. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to races, Bernie Sanders has a track record of winning that goes back as far as his high school days: as a freshman, he was a bonafide track star capable of outrunning seniors. At 74, he’s in a far more philosophical, but no less daunting, long-distance race: the one for the White House.

Bernard “Bernie” Sanders graduated from New York City’s illustrious James Madison High School in 1959, and even from a young age was known to advocate for social—and some might argue far-flung—change. While still in high school, he ran for student body president on a platform to provide scholarships to war orphans in Korea.

Shortly after Sanders graduated from high school, his mother died, at the age of 46. She had been a stay-at-home mother in the Sanders’ Brooklyn apartment, and her death—taking place just as Sanders was beginning his post secondary education at Brooklyn College—shook him to his core. In an interview with Vermont’s corner of NPR, his brother Larry later said he and Bernard grew up “grew up feeling loved and secure—except in matters of money.”

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