Sesame Street and CNN to Host a Kid-Focused Town Hall About Racism and the Recent Protests

Elmo, Abby Cadabby, and other Sesame Street characters will help experts respond to viewer-submitted questions during the event.
Elmo, Abby Cadabby, and other Sesame Street characters will help experts respond to viewer-submitted questions during the event.
Rommel Demano/Getty Images

This weekend, CNN and Sesame Street are teaming up for a program called "Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism” to talk to kids about racism, diversity, and the nationwide protests that have broken out after a police officer killed George Floyd.

The 60-minute special will take the form of a town hall, where experts—and Sesame Street Muppets, including Elmo, Abby Cadabby, and Rosita—respond to questions sent in by viewers beforehand. If you have a question you’d like them to consider answering, you can fill out the digital form below the CNN article here.

Big Bird, CNN commentator Van Jones, and CNN anchor Erica Hill will moderate the program, which will be broadcast on CNN, CNN International, and CNN en Español this Saturday, June 6, at 10 a.m. EST. You can also stream it on CNN.com’s homepage or a CNN mobile app, no cable login required. It’s not the first time this year that the Sesame Street Muppets have stepped up to cover current events—back in April, CNN and Sesame Street hosted a similar town hall centered on COVID-19, and the Sesame Workshop also launched a landing site with more resources to help kids and families adjust to life during the pandemic.

Sesame Street has been championing racial justice and diversity since its inception in 1969. It was created with the help of Dr. Chester Pierce, founder of the Black Psychiatrists of America, who saw it as an opportunity to offset the implicit racism present in other programs on the air. With its multicultural cast and themes of inclusivity and self-respect, the program worked (and continues to work) as a positive societal model for children of all races and economic backgrounds. The show addressed racism directly in a 1993 episode where Gina receives an anonymous phone call condemning her interracial friendship with Savion, and it’s also tackled other tough topics, from the 9/11 attacks to HIV/AIDS.

[h/t CNN]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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The Reason Your Dog Stares at You

Dogs stare for a number of different reasons.
Dogs stare for a number of different reasons.
sankai/iStock via Getty Images

Sooner or later, every dog owner will find their pet expressing an innate curiosity over even the most mundane of actions. Watching television? The dog will observe you closely. Folding laundry? The dog will stare at you like you’re a Magic Eye poster.

You can tell the dog it’s rude, but they’ll continue doing it. So why do dogs stare at us?

It often has little to do with what we’re doing and is more about what we might do. Dogs are big on visual cues. They know a walk is preceded by you picking up their leash; dinnertime might involve going to the pantry; a car ride means grabbing the keys. If they get a treat by obeying a command, then they know you’re probably going to start pointing at them and want to make sure they don’t miss it. In keeping an eye on you, a dog is looking for hints that you’re going to do something they want.

Dogs may also use staring as a method to train their owner. Most people are more likely to slip a dog something off their dinner plate if the dog is looking up at them wistfully. If that behavior is rewarded, then the dog knows giving you a pleading look may result in some pork chops landing at their feet.

But not all dogs stare out of greed. For dogs, just like humans, making eye contact releases oxytocin, otherwise known as the “love hormone.” It’s a bonding experience for humans and their animal companions.

Of course, staring can have other connotations, particularly if it’s not a dog you know very well. An unblinking, focused stare with a rigid body posture can mean the dog is feeling territorial or might be considering taking a bite out of you. It’s best to back away. It’s also not advisable to hold a dog still and stare at them, as this might be considered an act of aggression.

The next time you catch your dog eyeing you, it’s likely they’re hoping for a walk, a treat, or just want to bond. Absent other methods of communication, staring is an effective way for getting their humans to behave.

[h/t American Kennel Club]