Raffi Wrote a Climate Change Song for Greta Thunberg

Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images
Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Internationally famous children’s musician Raffi Cavoukian is back with a new track, and the subject matter isn’t as whimsical as beluga whales and banana phones. It’s called “Young People Marching,” and it’s dedicated to 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg.

The song is done in Raffi’s signature style, with a moderate tempo, simple arrangement, and easily repeatable lines. And, on the surface, even its message seems upbeat—it’s a celebration of all the young people peacefully marching for climate change. But it’s hard to miss Raffi’s deeper meaning if you tune in to the lyrics, which feature phrases like “Decades of lies, decades of denial … decades of obstruction,” “The science is clear, it’s late in the hour for climate action,” and “Green New Deal, keepin’ it real.”

As much as it honors the “millions and millions of young people” now devoted to the cause, it’s also a frustrated rebuke of the older generations who created the mess that today’s children must clean up. The music video reinforces this point by juxtaposing footage of the Amazon wildfires, melting glaciers, and ocean trash with scenes of children participating in climate strikes.

If you only know Raffi’s most popular numbers, you might think this is a surprising about-face for the 71-year-old entertainer, but he’s actually been speaking out (and singing out) against climate change since the late 1980s. In 1989, after hearing a Canadian radio series called It’s a Matter of Survival that stressed the climate emergency, Raffi released an album for adults called Evergreen Everblue, which covered concepts like atomic waste and ethical commerce. According to Slate, he even decided against having children because of the deteriorating state of the environment.

Raffi told Slate that he won’t be playing “Young People Marching” at his concerts, but he encourages climate activists to use it as an anthem.

“What I’m saying to all the climate strikers is, ‘Here, take this song, play it at your rallies, learn it, sing it, do what you like,’” he told Slate. “This is what I can do. This is what I can offer. I wrote it as an offering, as a troubadour marking a moment in time.”

For Raffi, it isn’t a question of politics—at this point, he says, everyone should treat the situation as an emergency. “You’d be delinquent if you didn’t rise to the occasion and become a responder.”

Press play on “Young People Marching” and read up on ways to reduce your carbon footprint here.

[h/t Slate]

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!

Why Do We Have Daylight Saving Time?

Patrick Daxenbichler/iStock via Getty Images
Patrick Daxenbichler/iStock via Getty Images

As you drag your time-confused body out of bed at what seems like a shockingly late hour next week, you might find yourself wondering why on Earth we even have Daylight Saving Time.

Though Benjamin Franklin was mostly joking when he suggested it as a money-saving tactic in a satirical essay from 1784, others who later proposed the idea were totally serious. In 1895, entomologist George Vernon Hudson pitched it to the Royal Society in New Zealand as a way to prolong daylight for bug-hunting purposes, and William Willett spent the early 1900s lobbying British Parliament to adopt an 80-minute time jump in April; neither man was successful.

During World War I, however, the need to conserve energy—which, at the time, chiefly came from coal—increased, and Germany was the first to give Daylight Saving Time the green light in 1916. Britain and other European countries quickly followed suit, and the U.S. entered the game in 1918. The practice was dropped almost everywhere after the war, but it was widely resurrected just a few decades later during World War II.

After that war ended, the U.S. abandoned DST yet again—sort of. Without any official legislation, the country devolved into a jumble of conflicting practices. According to History.com, Iowa had 23 different pairs of start and end dates for DST in 1965, while other areas of the country didn’t observe DST at all.

In 1966, Congress put an end to the chaos by passing the Uniform Time Act, which specified that DST would begin at 2:00 a.m. on the last Sunday in April, and end at the same time on the last Sunday in October. (The Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended DST by shifting these dates to the second Sunday in March and the first Sunday in November.) It didn’t require that all states and territories actually observe DST, and some of them didn’t—Arizona and Hawaii still don’t.

Throughout its long, lurching history, the supposed merits of Daylight Saving Time have always been about cutting down on electricity usage and conserving energy in general. But, as Live Science reports, experts disagree on whether this actually works. Some studies suggest that while the extra daylight hour might decrease lighting-related electricity use, it also means people could be keeping their air conditioners running for long enough that it increases the overall usage of electricity.

If your extended night’s sleep seems to have left you with a little extra time on your hands, see how DST affects your part of the country here.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.