8 Things You Need To Know This AM

Photo: Rohan Kelly / Newspix/Rex/REX USA.
Last night’s Blood Moon was beautiful. It wasn’t a sign of end times (we promise).

Hopefully, you managed to witness last night’s blood moon, the result of a supermoon overlapping with a total lunar eclipse, a phenomenon that won’t occur again for another 18 years. If you didn’t manage to see the massive, red-tinted moon with your own eyes, hopefully it wasn’t because you were cowering in a doomsday shelter somewhere, believing that the world was going to end. Some fringe religious leaders posited that the rare lunar event was an apocalyptic omen; even the Mormon Church was compelled to release a statement assuaging its followers’ fears. According to NASA, “no large object is likely to strike the Earth any time in the next several hundred years.” (The Guardian)

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Michelle Obama launched a new campaign devoted to ensuring girls' equal access to education all over the world.

At New York’s fourth annual Global Citizen Festival, a one-day musical festival established to combat extreme poverty, Queen Beyoncé brought First Lady Michelle Obama onstage to announce a new effort to support girls’ education. The campaign, 62 Million Girls, gets its name from the number of school-aged girls across the globe without access to education due to economic and social barriers. “I see myself in these girls. I see my daughters in these girls,” Obama said. “For me, this is truly a moral issue.” (Wall Street Journal)

Ben Carson is “certainly willing” to give President Kanye West a chance. He still stands by that "no Muslims" thing, though.

Kanye West’s seemingly flippant announcement of his presidential aspirations during the MTV Video Music Awards may have been a bit more serious than we all initially thought. Not only did the rapper confirm his plans in an interview with Vanity Fair, but he’s also received support, albeit cautious, from current presidential candidate Ben Carson. During an appearance on ABC, Carson applauded ‘Ye’s “business acumen” and claimed he’s “certainly willing” to give President West “a chance.” “We'll see,” said the author and former neurosurgeon. “He'll be able to explain things and see if he resonates with the people.” 2020 is going to be an interesting year. (Pitchfork)

Woman who jumped out of her moving car because she saw a spider, meet your perfect mate: man who lit a gas station pump on fire in order to kill a spider.

However bad your arachnophobia may be, at least it hasn’t caused hundreds of dollars worth of damage and nearly set off a deadly explosion. (Yet.) An unidentified man did just that when he pulled into a Detroit gas station and attempted to burn a spider that was hanging out near his fuel door. The flame from the man’s lighter quickly spread to a nearby gas pump, which was destroyed. Firefighters arrived after the flames were put out with a fire extinguisher and got the man to admit to his phobia-induced folly. (USA Today)

Congressman Bob Brady swiped the Pope’s water glass and drank from it. The papal thirst is real, guys.

Pope Francis made history last week by being the first-ever sitting pope to address a joint meeting of Congress. Representative Bob Brady (D-PA) made history last week for being the thirstiest — and we mean that both literally and how Urban Dictionary defines the term — Roman Catholic in Congress. Brady is telling everyone about how he snagged the glass of water the Pope left next to the congressional lectern and drank from it. After a few sips and a few snaps, Brady reserved the rest of the papal water in order to bless his grandchildren. (NPR)

State health officials may force the closure of the last two abortion clinics in southwest Ohio.

Like misogynist moths to a feminist flame, officials just keep coming for a woman’s right to choose. As old men in Congress threaten to shut down the government in order to defund Planned Parenthood, the Ohio Department of Health has moved to revoke the licenses of two abortion clinics for failing to meet some new restrictive and targeted regulations. The clinics in question are the last two reproductive healthcare providers in their area; The Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio now facing closure is the only clinic in Cincinnati. The clinics’ operators are suing over the regulations. (The Washington Times)

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Graffiti artist Banksy is sending his Dismaland theme park to the French city of Calais to help shelter migrants.

Banky’s dystopian theme park closed this weekend after inviting visitors to take park in its “festival of art, amusements, and entry-level anarchism” for over the past month. What does one do with the dilapidated, grungy cousin of Cinderella’s castle and other gloomy installations after their pop-up art park ends? According to Dismaland’s official website, the sculptures will be disassembled and used to aid in Europe’s escalating migrant crisis. “All the timber and fixtures from Dismaland are being sent to the ‘jungle’ refugee camp near Calais to build shelters,” the updated homepage reads. “No online tickets will be available.” (Huffington Post)

Hip hop duo Run the Jewels made Spotify obsolete by releasing the only music you’ll listen to for the rest of your life: a cat-themed, cat-sampling rap album.

If you still haven’t heard El-P and Killer Mike’s Run the Jewels 2 LP, resoundingly referred to as one of the best, if not the best, albums of 2014, go and listen to it right now. We’ll wait.

Now that you’ve experienced the best hip-hop has to offer, it’s time to completely undermine that religious experience and get silly. Inspired by a fan’s fully-funded Kickstarter campaign, Run the Jewels has re-recorded their sophomore effort using nothing but cat sounds. Meow the Jewels has been released as a free download and features guest appearances by Zola Jesus, Dan the Automator, and Boots. Proceeds from the Kickstarter as well as a soon-to-be-released fur-covered vinyl album will be donated to charity. (Rolling Stone)
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