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10 Earth Day Celebrations Around the World

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Saturday, April 22 is Earth Day, celebrated since 1970 to raise awareness of global environmental issues and activism. Events and celebrations, coordinated by the Earth Day Network, are held around the world.

1. SUSTAINABILITY AND SOCIAL GOOD POP-UP // NEW YORK CITY

More than 70 organizations come together for Earth Day in New York City, and one event sponsored by the Earth Day Initiative and Kargoe (a social shopping app) is a pop-up shop of sorts featuring companies and groups that support sustainability and social responsibility. The event will be held near Chelsea Piers from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m on Saturday.

2. EARTH DAY UNITED // COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

Earth Day United via Facebook

Earth Day United will be held at Christiansborg Castle Square in Copenhagen on April 22. It will begin with an address by organizer Angajoq Nattortalissuaq (a Greenlandic shaman), and then a circle will be formed for sessions of drum-playing, aimed at all four corners of the world. Participation is free; bring your own drum or other musical instruments. There will be 15 minutes of drumming every half-hour for two hours, then the group is invited to join the March for Science.

3. EMPOWER EARTH DAY CELEBRATION // LONDON

There are at least seven bands scheduled to perform at The Hive in London for an Earth Day celebration sponsored by the Gaia Warriors, a collective of activists and musicians. The event will raise funds for British charities and groups fighting climate change and will feature environmental speakers, dance, yoga, shamans, a vegan cafe, and more.

4. EARTH DAY PARADE AND FESTIVAL // VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA

Mark Faviell via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The 7th annual Earth Day Parade and Festival will take place in Vancouver on April 22 beginning at 1 p.m. A parade starts things off, with the festival, which includes various educational talks and activities, continuing at Grandview Park until 5 p.m. The event is sponsored by Youth for Climate Justice Now.

5. GLOBAL UNITY AND REGENERATION GATHERING // LANJARON, SPAIN

New Earth Nation in Lanjarón, Granada, Spain, will hold a 24-hour Global Unity and Regeneration Gathering with presentations and workshops on environmentalism, healing, and awakening. Stop by to learn how to cultivate spirulina pools or make a self-regenerating water system for use at home.

6. EARTH DAY TOKYO // TOKYO, JAPAN

In Tokyo, Earth Day is a two-day celebration, this year on April 22 and 23 in Yoyogi Park. Around 100,000 visitors are expected to enjoy family activities and learn about businesses that use sustainable methods and materials and organizations that promote environmental protection. There will also be plenty of vegetarian food and music from socially conscious entertainers. Admission is free.

7. NURRAGINGY RESERVE NATURE WALKS // SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

Nurragingy Reserve is a public park in Doonside, New South Wales, near Sydney. For Earth Day, the park has a full slate of activities, including four different nature walks with experts, storytelling, a recycled bike giveaway, and talks on attracting frogs and birds to your home garden.

8. EARTH DAY SAN FRANCISCO // SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

San Francisco will stage their street festival for Earth Day at the San Francisco Civic center. Events include the sustainable chef showcase and organic food court, an eco fashion show, DIY workshops, activities for kids, an art gallery, and lots of live music. This will be the 46th year the city has held an Earth Day Festival and is being held in conjunction with this year's March for Science.

9. EARTH EXPO // JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

Earth Expo via Facebook

South Africa is among the countries that call April 22 International Mother Earth Day. The Rand Show is the biggest consumer exposition in South Africa, held this year from April 14-23 in Johannesburg, and a big part of the exposition is Earth Expo, which is sponsored by several environmental organizations. Earth Expo will present educational forums on topics like nutrition, fashion, and technology, and discuss entrepreneurship and developing skills with those who want to make their businesses more sustainable.

10. THE MARCH FOR SCIENCE // UNITED STATES AND ELSEWHERE

There will be Earth Day celebrations all over the United States, but the one you'll see on the news will be the March for Science In Washington, D.C., with satellite marches in at least 425 other locations around the world. Scientists, science students, and science fans will converge to advocate for evidence-based government policies and environmental protection. The march is sponsored by 170 partner organizations, including the Earth Day Network. Many European countries are participating, too.

Other Earth Day celebrations will be taking place around the U.S., in Austin, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Reno, and somewhere near you.

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5 Things We Know About Stranger Things Season 2
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Stranger Things seemed to come out of nowhere to become one of television's standout new series in 2016. Netflix's sometimes scary, sometimes funny, and always exciting homage to '80s pop culture was a binge-worthy phenomenon when it debuted in July 2016. Of course, the streaming giant wasn't going to wait long to bring more Stranger Things to audiences, and a second season was announced a little over a month after its debut—and Netflix just announced that we'll be getting it a few days earlier than expected. Here are five key things we know about the show's sophomore season, which kicks off on October 27.

1. WE'LL BE GETTING EVEN MORE EPISODES.

The first season of Stranger Things consisted of eight hour-long episodes, which proved to be a solid length for the story Matt and Ross Duffer wanted to tell. While season two won't increase in length dramatically, we will be getting at least one extra hour when the show returns in 2017 with nine episodes. Not much is known about any of these episodes, but we do know the titles:

"Madmax"
"The Boy Who Came Back To Life"
"The Pumpkin Patch"
"The Palace"
"The Storm"
"The Pollywog"
"The Secret Cabin"
"The Brain"
"The Lost Brother"

There's a lot of speculation about what each title means and, as usual with Stranger Things, there's probably a reason for each one.

2. THE KIDS ARE RETURNING (INCLUDING ELEVEN).

Stranger Things fans should gear up for plenty of new developments in season two, but that doesn't mean your favorite characters aren't returning. A November 4 photo sent out by the show's Twitter account revealed most of the kids from the first season will be back in 2017, including the enigmatic Eleven, played by Millie Bobby Brown (the #elevenisback hashtag used by series regular Finn Wolfhard should really drive the point home):

3. THE SHOW'S 1984 SETTING WILL LEAD TO A DARKER TONE.

A year will have passed between the first and second seasons of the show, allowing the Duffer brothers to catch up with a familiar cast of characters that has matured since we last saw them. With the story taking place in 1984, the brothers are looking at the pop culture zeitgeist at the time for inspiration—most notably the darker tone of blockbusters like Gremlins and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

"I actually really love Temple of Doom, I love that it gets a little darker and weirder from Raiders, I like that it feels very different than Raiders did," Matt Duffer told IGN. "Even though it was probably slammed at the time—obviously now people look back on it fondly, but it messed up a lot of kids, and I love that about that film—that it really traumatized some children. Not saying that we want to traumatize children, just that we want to get a little darker and weirder."

4. IT'S NOT SO MUCH A CONTINUATION AS IT IS A SEQUEL.

When you watch something like The Americans season two, it's almost impossible to catch on unless you've seen the previous episodes. Stranger Things season two will differ from the modern TV approach by being more of a sequel than a continuation of the first year. That means a more self-contained plot that doesn't leave viewers hanging at the end of nine episodes.

"There are lingering questions, but the idea with Season 2 is there's a new tension and the goal is can the characters resolve that tension by the end," Ross Duffer told IGN. "So it's going to be its own sort of complete little movie, very much in the way that Season 1 is."

Don't worry about the two seasons of Stranger Things being too similar or too different from the original, though, because when speaking with Entertainment Weekly about the influences on the show, Matt Duffer said, "I guess a lot of this is James Cameron. But he’s brilliant. And I think one of the reasons his sequels are as successful as they are is he makes them feel very different without losing what we loved about the original. So I think we kinda looked to him and what he does and tried to capture a little bit of the magic of his work.”

5. THE PREMIERE WILL TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF HAWKINS.

Everything about the new Stranger Things episodes will be kept secret until they finally debut later this year, but we do know one thing about the premiere: It won't take place entirely in the familiar town of Hawkins, Indiana. “We will venture a little bit outside of Hawkins,” Matt Duffer told Entertainment Weekly. “I will say the opening scene [of the premiere] does not take place in Hawkins.”

So, should we take "a little bit outside" as literally as it sounds? You certainly can, but in that same interview, the brothers also said they're both eager to explore the Upside Down, the alternate dimension from the first season. Whether the season kicks off just a few miles away, or a few worlds away, you'll get your answer when Stranger Things's second season debuts next month.

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Food
The Gooey History of the Fluffernutter Sandwich

Open any pantry in New England and chances are you’ll find at least one jar of Marshmallow Fluff. Not just any old marshmallow crème, but Fluff; the one manufactured by Durkee-Mower of Lynn, Massachusetts since 1920, and the preferred brand of the northeast. With its familiar red lid and classic blue label, it's long been a favorite guilty pleasure and a kitchen staple beloved throughout the region.

This gooey, spreadable, marshmallow-infused confection is used in countless recipes and found in a variety of baked goods—from whoopie pies and Rice Krispies Treats to chocolate fudge and beyond. And in the beyond lies perhaps the most treasured concoction of all: the Fluffernutter sandwich—a classic New England treat made with white bread, peanut butter, and, you guessed it, Fluff. No jelly required. Or wanted.

There are several claims to the origin of the sandwich. The first begins with Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere—or, not Paul exactly, but his great-great-great-grandchildren Emma and Amory Curtis of Melrose, Massachusetts. Both siblings were highly intelligent and forward-thinkers, and Amory was even accepted into MIT. But when the family couldn’t afford to send him, he founded a Boston-based company in the 1890s that specialized in soda fountain equipment.

He sold the business in 1901 and used the proceeds to buy the entire east side of Crystal Street in Melrose. Soon after he built a house and, in his basement, he created a marshmallow spread known as Snowflake Marshmallow Crème (later called SMAC), which actually predated Fluff. By the early 1910s, the Curtis Marshmallow Factory was established and Snowflake became the first commercially successful shelf-stable marshmallow crème.

Although other companies were manufacturing similar products, it was Emma who set the Curtis brand apart from the rest. She had a knack for marketing and thought up many different ways to popularize their marshmallow crème, including the creation of one-of-a-kind recipes, like sandwiches that featured nuts and marshmallow crème. She shared her culinary gems in a weekly newspaper column and radio show. By 1915, Snowflake was selling nationwide.

During World War I, when Americans were urged to sacrifice meat one day a week, Emma published a recipe for a peanut butter and marshmallow crème sandwich. She named her creation the "Liberty Sandwich," as a person could still obtain his or her daily nutrients while simultaneously supporting the wartime cause. Some have pointed to Emma’s 1918 published recipe as the earliest known example of a Fluffernutter, but the earliest recipe mental_floss can find comes from three years prior. In 1915, the confectioners trade journal Candy and Ice Cream published a list of lunch offerings that candy shops could advertise beyond hot soup. One of them was the "Mallonut Sandwich," which involved peanut butter and "marshmallow whip or mallo topping," spread on lightly toasted whole wheat bread.

Another origin story comes from Somerville, Massachusetts, home to entrepreneur Archibald Query. Query began making his own version of marshmallow crème and selling it door-to-door in 1917. Due to sugar shortages during World War I, his business began to fail. Query quickly sold the rights to his recipe to candy makers H. Allen Durkee and Fred Mower in 1920. The cost? A modest $500 for what would go on to become the Marshmallow Fluff empire.

Although the business partners promoted the sandwich treat early in the company’s history, the delicious snack wasn’t officially called the Fluffernutter until the 1960s, when Durkee-Mower hired a PR firm to help them market the sandwich, which resulted in a particularly catchy jingle explaining the recipe.

So who owns the bragging rights? While some anonymous candy shop owner was likely the first to actually put the two together, Emma Curtis created the early precursors and brought the concept to a national audience, and Durkee-Mower added the now-ubiquitous crème and catchy name. And the Fluffernutter has never lost its popularity.

In 2006, the Massachusetts state legislature spent a full week deliberating over whether or not the Fluffernutter should be named the official state sandwich. On one side, some argued that marshmallow crème and peanut butter added to the epidemic of childhood obesity. The history-bound fanatics that stood against them contended that the Fluffernutter was a proud culinary legacy. One state representative even proclaimed, "I’m going to fight to the death for Fluff." True dedication, but the bill has been stalled for more than a decade despite several revivals and subsequent petitions from loyal fans.

But Fluff lovers needn’t despair. There’s a National Fluffernutter Day (October 8) for hardcore fans, and the town of Somerville, Massachusetts still celebrates its Fluff pride with an annual What the Fluff? festival.

"Everyone feels like Fluff is part of their childhood," said self-proclaimed Fluff expert and the festival's executive director, Mimi Graney, in an interview with Boston Magazine. "Whether born in the 1940s or '50s, or '60s, or later—everyone feels nostalgic for Fluff. I think New Englanders in general have a particular fondness for it."

Today, the Fluffernutter sandwich is as much of a part of New England cuisine as baked beans or blueberry pie. While some people live and die by the traditional combination, the sandwich now comes in all shapes and sizes, with the addition of salty and savory toppings as a favorite twist. Wheat bread is as popular as white, and many like to grill their sandwiches for a touch of bistro flair. But don't ask a New Englander to swap out their favorite brand of marshmallow crème. That’s just asking too Fluffing much.

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