8 Things You Need To Know This AM — Sep 23 2015

Image courtesy of Marvel.
The Pope arrived on his first-ever trip to the United States.

Pope Francis kicked off a busy visit of tours, addresses, and spiritual services on Tuesday evening. He has been met by supporters of his reforms to the church, protesters pushing for more inclusivity, and activists of all stripes — and one really excellent Onion headline. It's been less than a day. (Refinery29)

Senate Democrats successfully blocked a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks because it’s 2015 and this shouldn’t be a thing we’re still debating.

The fallout from the Center for Medical Progress' sting videos targeting Planned Parenthood continues to grow as 54 senators attempted to advance the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the bill banning abortions after 20 weeks that passed the House earlier this summer. The measure failed, falling short of the necessary 60 votes, as Senate members voted along mostly partisan lines. The measure to defund Planned Parenthood will be up for the Senate vote on Friday. (USA Today)

Researchers find fossils belonging to a new species of dinosaur in Alaska, though the duck-billed plant-eater probably would’ve been more at home in Portland.

Discovered in an over 60 million-year-old bone bed, hundreds of miles from Fairbanks, a collection of fossils has lead to the discovery of a new species of dinosaur that was able to survive months of Alaskan winter darkness. Named Ugrunaaluk kuukpikensis — “ancient grazer” in the native language of Inupait Eskimos — this distinct type of hadrosaur grew to be about 30 feet long and traveled in packs. Like other hadrosaurs, this species fed on prehistoric plants and had a head similar in shape to modern-day ducks. (ABC News)
Ta-Nehisi Coates is writing a Black Panther comic book for Marvel Comics — and it will be glorious.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a writer for The Atlantic, the author of a blindingly good recent book about race in America, and generally one of our more interesting thinkers. He's also a comic book nerd! Coates will be writing a comic book centering on Black Panther — one of the first black comic book characters, created in 1966. (New York Times)

A preschool teacher called a student “evil” and “sinister” for being left-handed, just like it's 1699.

All you ladies referring to your group of friends as your “coven” — watch out. It seems colonial-era myths and suspicions are back in vogue. An Okemah, OK teacher forced a 4-year-old student to write with his right hand, telling the child that his natural left-handedness was “evil” and “sinister.” When the student’s mother complained about the treatment through a letter, the teacher sent back an article that explained lefties’ connection with sin and wickedness. School officials have said that the incident is under investigation. (Raw Story)
British Parliament may ban unhealthily thin models from London Fashion Week. Wipes ice cream from upper lip, hey, British modeling agencies: we’re available to work.

As the U.S. Congress squabbles over a woman’s right to obtain decent reproductive healthcare, the British Parliament is discussing legislation that will combat unhealthy beauty standards and potentially curb eating disorders. The U.K. is the latest country to consider barring models with a dangerously low body mass index [BMI] from working, following France, Israel, Spain, and Italy, which all passed their respective measures. (Refinery29)
USC’s student body president was harassed outside of a frat house for being Indian.

Rini Sampath is a University of Southern California senior and the current president of the Undergraduate Student Government. She also happens to be an Indian woman. Sampath discovered that the latter took precedence with some of her fellow students after she was hit with a drink and called an “Indian piece of shit” while walking past a USC fraternity. The Theni-born student is using the incident to provoke a dialogue about diversity and ostracism on campus. “Some people don’t believe racism like this can happen on our campus,” Sampath wrote in a Facebook post. “This isn’t an isolated incident. It happens everywhere.” (Washington Post)
The “Normal Barbie” doll now comes with a “Period Party” kit.

Developed according to the average 19-year-old’s body proportions, Lammily dolls, or “Normal Barbies,” are meant to encourage young girls to accept and celebrate their bodies. Lammily’s new accessory is taking this mission one step further: creator Nickolay Lamm is now producing vibrant, multi-patterned mini-menstrual pads for the dolls. Created in order to destigmatize and demystify menstruation, the “Period Party” kit includes an educational pamphlet, underwear, 18 Lammily-sized pads, and a period tracking calendar. (Cosmopolitan)

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