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

Getty Images
Getty Images

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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JEKCA
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Animals
Build Your Own Cat With These LEGO-Like Blocks
JEKCA
JEKCA

It’s one thing to commission a custom portrait of your pet, but it’s quite another to build a life-size sculpture of them yourself with more than a thousand LEGO-like bricks. That’s exactly what you can do with the cat sculptures made by the Hong Kong-based toy-brick-makers at JEKCA (“building blocks for kidults,” as the company describes itself).

The pet sculptures, which we spotted over on Bored Panda, come in the shape of various breeds and colors that allow you to choose one that looks uncannily like your own pet. As long as your cat looks like a typical orange tabby or tuxedo shorthair, Siamese, Persian, or other garden variety cat, at least. They come in different colors and are available in multiple positions, whether it’s sitting, walking, pouncing, or playing.

Made of more than 1200 individual bricks each, the cat sculptures run about a foot tall, and between about half a foot and a foot long, depending on whether they’re sitting, standing on their hind legs, or walking. They come with instructions for assembly and can be taken apart and built again as many times as you want. But you don’t have to worry about them falling apart, according to JEKCA, since the blocks are secured by screws. “These cats are like real sculptures and will not collapse or break apart,” the company writes on its Facebook.

Six different calico cat sculptures in different positions
JEKCA

You could build one that looks exactly like your cat or adopt one of the brick animals as a pet itself. Buy a whole team of them, and it’ll look like your house is overrun with a cat gang—minus the extreme litter box cleaning that comes with being a traditional crazy cat lady.

The cat sculptures cost between $60 and $90, plus shipping, depending on the size of the kit and how many bricks it requires. You can see them all here. If cats aren’t your favorite pet, the company also makes dogs, birds, and other animals as well. Although, sadly, unlike their domestic pets, their dolphins and deer don’t come in life-size versions.

[h/t Bored Panda]

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Aflac
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technology
Aflac's Robotic Duck Comforts Kids with Cancer
Aflac
Aflac

Every year, close to 16,000 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer. That news can be the beginning of a long and draining battle that forces kids and their parents to spend large amounts of time with medical providers, enduring long and sometimes painful treatments. As The Verge reports, a bit of emotional support during that process might soon come from an unlikely source: the Alfac duck.

The supplemental insurance company announced at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that it has partnered with the medical robotics company Sproutel to design and manufacture My Special Aflac Duck, a responsive and emotive sim-bird intended exclusively for children undergoing cancer treatment.

When a child cuddles the fuzzy robotic duck, it can cuddle back. It reacts to being cradled and stroked by quacking or moving its head. Kids can also touch special RFID chips emblazoned with emoji on the duck's chest to tell it how they’re feeling, and the device will mimic those emotions.

But the duck isn’t solely for cuddling. In “IV Mode,” which can be switched on while a child is undergoing IV therapy, the duck can help the user relax by guiding them through breathing exercises. Accessories included with the toy also allow children to "draw blood" from the duck as well as administer medication, a kind of role-playing that may help patients feel more comfortable with their own treatments.

Aflac approached Sproutel with the idea after seeing Sproutel’s Jerry the Bear, a social companion robot intended to support kids with diabetes. Other robotic companions—like the Japanese-made seal Paro and Hasbro's Joy for All companion pets for seniors—have hinted at a new market for robotics that prioritize comfort over entertainment or play.

My Special Aflac Duck isn’t a commercial product and won’t be available for retail sale. Aflac intends to offer it as a gift directly to patients, with the first rollout expected at its own cancer treatment center in Atlanta, Georgia. Mass distribution is planned for later this year.

[h/t The Verge]

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