It's Independence Day weekend—which states are the most excited about that? A new study by financial website Wallethub found that Virginia is by far the most patriotic state in America based on “military engagement” and “civic engagement." Washington, Colorado, Idaho and Alaska took the second, third, fourth and fifth most-patriotic spots, respectively. The least patriotic? Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York. The survey also found that in 2001, 38 percent of Americans said the U.S. was the best country in the world, and in 2014 that number fell to just 28 percent. See where your state ranked (and see how they calculated everything) here. Discuss
We're sad to say Bubble Wrap is going away, because economy. Since 1957, box openers everywhere have received minutes of curiously satisfying entertainment from little fireworks-sounding air pockets—you know, the only part of shipments that matter. Well, forget passing this joy on to your children. Several sources are reporting that Bubble Wrap sales aren’t keeping up with the market, causing Sealed Air Corp. to shutter its uncontested all-time greatest product. The company will attempt to revamp its packing product for "space-conscious manufacturers." The new Sealed Air Corp. product? iBubble Wrap. Besides apparently taking no more than two seconds to name it, Sealed Air now wants us to get behind a new wrap that doesn’t include a pop. Though the new product may be cheaper to ship, it seems a high price to pay considering the millions of package recipients who will now be denied the catharsis of popping Bubble Wrap. Discuss
Shocker: Christians remain dramatically divided concerning last week's same-sex marriage ruling. When a new survey by Barna Group asked if they “strongly” or “somewhat” favor the Supreme Court’s decision, 28 percent of “practicing Christians” said they do. When it comes specifically to Catholics, 53 percent agreed, but only two percent of evangelicals favored the decision. That’s starkly different from the 76 percent of no-faith responders who said they favor the SCOTUS's ruling. Of evangelicals, 86 percent—by far the largest percentage of any individual group—said “same-sex marriage is morally wrong.”
Despite these objections, 51 percent of Christians and 24 percent of evangelicals said they “agree that Christians can support legal marriage for same-sex couples and also affirm the church’s traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman.”
The cable network TV Land has pulled reruns of the show Dukes of Hazzard from its schedule following an ongoing national debate over the Confederate flag. The symbol is featured prominently on the Dodge Charger known as the “General Lee” driven by the duo on the show. Use of the Confederate flag—on public grounds, in pop culture and as a piece of merchandise at stores—has come under scrutiny following the murder of nine people at a historic black church by a racist gunman in South Carolina—a state that still flies the Confederate flag on their State House grounds. Several stores, including Target, Amazon, Sears and Walmart, have stopped selling the flag in their stores. Alleged church shooter Dylann Roof was a white supremacist who posted pictures of himself posing with the flag online. Discuss
Stephen Colbert still has a few weeks before he takes over as the host of The Late Show, so as a warm-up, he decided to randomly guest host the public access show Only in Monroe while its regular hosts were away.
What followed is exactly what you’d expect from a news show about the town of Monroe, Michigan: local news, local guests, local jokes and, of course, an awkward sit down interview with Eminem. Somewhere Joan Callamezzo and Perd Hapley. Discuss
A judge in Afghanistan has just canceled out the death sentences of four men who took part in the brutal mob killing of a woman wrongfully accuse of desecrating a Koran in March. The brutal killing of the 28-year-old sparked nationally outrage, after she was publicly beaten by a mob, run over by vehicle and her body was thrown from a bridge and lit on fire. In May, four men involved in the murder were sentence to death, but this week, an appeals court judge changed those sentences to prolonged prison terms (three of the men to 20 years, one to 10) during a behind-closed-doors hearing. The victim’s brother told the BBC, “It’s a real theatre. The whole world laughs at the judicial system of Afghanistan. Do the judges have families, sisters, mothers–or not? Do they have a heart? We will not accept this decision.” Discuss