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Ruth Bader Ginsburg Writes Thank You Note to 8-Year-Old Girl

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Between serving as a Supreme Court Justice, moonlighting as an actor, and collecting jabots (a.k.a. the fancy collars judges wear), Ruth Bader Ginsburg has a pretty busy schedule. But as The Huffington Post reports, The Notorious RBG still managed to find the time to write a personalized letter to an 8-year-old girl in the Washington, D.C. area, who dressed up like her for her school’s “Superhero Day.”

Inspired by I Dissent, an illustrated children’s book chronicling Ginsburg’s life and career, Michele Threefoot donned a judicial-inspired getup and a pair of large-framed glasses last December to pay homage to the Supreme Court’s second female justice. Her mother, Krista Wujek Threefoot, posted a picture of Michele’s ensemble in Pantsuit Nation, the pro-Hillary Clinton Facebook group, and added text to the picture: “Yes, world. Girls who read are dangerous” (inspired by the quote “A well-read woman is a dangerous creature,” coined by author Lisa Kleypas).

The picture went viral, and Ginsburg herself caught wind of Michele’s unconventional superhero costume. RBG’s assistant contacted Threefoot, asking for her address, and shortly after, the Supreme Court justice’s mini doppelgänger received a handwritten note from her hero.

It read: “Dear Michele: You look just like me! May you continue to thrive on reading and learning. Every good wish, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”

According to Threefoot, Michele was “super duper excited!” to hear from RBG herself. “When I read it, I felt really happy because she said I looked just like her. It was really special because she wrote it by hand,” Michele told her mom (as quoted by HuffPost).

To inspire Michele to keep reading, the letter also contained the following quote: “Reading is the key that opens doors to many good things in life. Reading shaped my dreams, and more reading helped me make my dreams come true.”

Michele plans to write a thank-you note to Ginsburg. She also took her prized piece of correspondence to school—and now, several of her classmates reportedly want to dress up like real-life inspirational figures next year, including Bill Gates and Hillary Clinton.

[h/t The Huffington Post]

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Food
This Couple Has Spent the Past 30 Years Visiting Every Cracker Barrel in the U.S.
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Ray and Wilma Yoder are probably America's foremost amateur experts on Cracker Barrel restaurants. As Eater reports, the Indiana couple is on a 30-year quest to eat at every single Cracker Barrel in the U.S. And they’ve almost completed it.

Ray Yoder of Goshen, Indiana, first started going to Cracker Barrel regularly when he worked delivering RVs across the country. Soon, Wilma was coming along, too, and the couple began hunting down Cracker Barrel locations in earnest, a pastime they’ve pursued for the past three decades.

Cracker Barrel got its start in Lebanon, Tennessee, in 1969, and according to Ray, visiting the restaurants while on the road felt like being at home. “It has a down-home spirit, and everybody is friendly,” he told the Lebanon Democrat. He told the paper that stopping at Cracker Barrels helped relieve boredom when he was on the road.

Ray and Wilma Yoder stand in front of two RVs outside a Cracker Barrel.
Now, he and Wilma are celebrities to those in the Cracker Barrel know. Cracker Barrel’s corporate leadership invites them to opening day at new stores. Employees know of them, and sometimes they receive gift baskets when they come in to cross a new Cracker Barrel off their list. People ask to take their picture when they visit.

The 80-year-olds have just two rules for their visits: At each location, they always buy something, even if it’s just a cup of coffee, and leave a tip. There’s no limit on how many Cracker Barrels they’ll go to in a single day, though. They once visited 10 different locations on a drive along the East Coast. Overall, their Cracker Barrel adventure has taken them more than 5 million miles across 44 states.

The Yoders recently visited their 644th Cracker Barrel, attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new location in Lavonia, Georgia, in early July. They’re hoping to hit up the last Cracker Barrel on their list—until the next one opens, that is—by heading to Tualatin, Oregon, sometime later this year.

Update: Portland news station KGW reports that the Yoders have now completed their quest, stopping in at the Tualatin Cracker Barrel on August 28. The company flew them to Oregon for the occasion, which marked the end of their 645-restaurant journey. For now, at least.

[h/t Eater]

All images courtesy Cracker Barrel

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Animals
Watch a Panda Caretaker Cuddle With Baby Pandas While Dressed Up Like a Panda
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Some people wear suits to work—but at one Chinese nature reserve, a handful of lucky employees get to wear panda suits.

As Travel + Leisure reports, the People's Daily released a video in July of animal caretakers cuddling with baby pandas at the Wolong National Nature Reserve in China's Sichuan Province. The keepers dress in fuzzy black-and-white costumes—a sartorial choice that's equal parts adorable and imperative to the pandas' future success in the wild.

Researchers raise the pandas in captivity with the goal of eventually releasing them into their natural habitat. But according to The Atlantic, human attachment can hamper the pandas' survival chances, plus it can be stressful for the bears to interact with people. To keep the animals calm while acclimating them to forest life, the caretakers disguise their humanness with costumes, and even mask their smell by smearing the suits with panda urine and feces. Meanwhile, other keepers sometimes conceal themselves by dressing up as trees.

Below, you can watch the camouflaged panda caretakers as they cuddle baby pandas:

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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