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WakeUpWorld! wants to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in 2012! As usual, here's a special Christmas video to get you thinking about what this time should really be all about.
 
 
I was recently chastised by a couple of friends (at least, I hope they're still my friends) for thanking God on Facebook for the fortunate timing of the arrival of a replacement hard drive for my computer. Their immediate reaction was that I belittled the suffering of starving children in Africa, for example, by thanking God for something so insignificant and unimportant by comparison. How dare I?

And in some ways, I don't blame them. In fact, I'm glad they care so much about the plight of starving children in Africa, if indeed they do. Not enough people on this earth have that much compassion for those outside of their own line of vision (and we've become very good at averting our eyes when they are in our line of vision, as if pretending they don't exist is somehow the better option). However, these are not people who believe in God in the first place. The underlying theme of this "attack" was not so much to do with helping these children as much as it was that a good God would not allow so many children to starve and die without providing them food and then go ahead and provide me with a stupid hard drive. Fair point, despite the completely unnecessary personal judgment and hostility.
 
 
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The American Dream. 

It's what we all long and hope for. What we spend our whole lives trying to achieve, or in some cases what gets handed to us without very much work at all. It's what many of our forefathers came to North America for, and what we've stayed for. It's what we hope for our children and what has become the central focal point of many of our lives.

This may come as a shock to you, but I don't want the "American Dream" for my life.

 
 
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THE END IS NEAR, at least according to the warnings of a Christian group called Family Radio. The group, led by their 89-year old founder Harold Camping, believes that the Bible mathematically predicts that May 21, 2011 (this Saturday) is Judgment Day, when a massive earthquake will shake the world and all 'real' Christians will be raptured to Heaven. This is to be followed five months later by the actual end of the world as we know it on Oct. 21, 2011.

The vast majority of us aren't taking them seriously for obvious reasons. Their mathematical formula supposedly taken from the Bible is just absolutely ridiculous for one thing. Jesus himself specifically says that nobody will know in advance when he is coming back for another. This also isn't exactly Harold Camping's first kick at the can. He predicted the world would end in 1994, but when it didn't happen, he was forced to recalculate. And then some of us subscribe to some other belief system altogether or don't believe in God at all. 

Regardless of what you believe though, it is incredibly interesting to see how those who believe their world is about to end are behaving during the limited time they have left. 

 
 
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Take a look. Take a good, hard look at the screenshot above. Does anybody else see something wrong with this picture?

You're looking at the current leaderboard for Pepsi's "Refresh Project" where ideas "that will have a positive impact on communities" can be submitted to receive up to $100,000 in funding from Pepsi. The winning ideas are selected by us, the people, who can vote for our favourite ideas once per day. 

Here's what stands out to me. Out of the top four most voted-for ideas in each of the four funding categories above, nine out of twelve of them are for animals. Nine out of twelve. And those are just the ones that fit in the screenshot. The World Parrot Refuge and Wascally West Coast Wabbits are just a little lower in the standings.