Boing Boing readers among web's most educated

Quantcast just released statistics that confirm what we've known all along: Boing Boing readers are super-smart, ranking among the top 25 "highest percentage of web traffic with higher education." Read the rest

Disney’s "Doc McStuffins" renewed after Twitter campaign: female African-American is its rare protagonist

Disney just announced that Doc McStuffins, an animated show starring an African-American girl who fixes broken toys and wants to be a doctor, is renewed for its fifth season. Described as “Cheers for preschoolers,” its fans took to Twitter this summer wanting to know the show’s fate. The social media campaign was led by W. Kamau Bell, a self-described socio-political comedian and dad who hosts CNN’s United Shades of America. Bell tweeted today, "Doc McStuffins is one of the most important shows in the history of television.” Reports Variety:

Since the series debuted in 2012, it has won much admiration, particularly because it is difficult to find a female African-American protagonist who aspires to be a doctor in many mainstream cartoons.  A group of African-American female physicians, inspired by the program, formed the Artemis Medical Society, an organization which has a membership of over 4700 women physicians of color from around the world. First Lady Michelle Obama guest-starred as herself in an episode.

“Doc McStuffins” won a Peabody Award in 2015 and NAACP Image Awards in 2015 and 2016 in the  “Outstanding Children’s Program” category. Disney says the series averages 16 million views on the Disney Junior app, VOD and Hulu, and reaches 150 million viewers worldwide each quarter, and in the past year was ordered over 20 million times via set-top-box VOD.
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Hungry cancer patient calls 911

An elderly cancer patient, unable to leave his home to get food and without any living relatives, called 911 in desperation. ABC 11 Eyewitness News reports that a dispatcher not only took the call, but "arrived at his front door with police carrying bags full of food and made him some ham sandwiches."

"He was hungry," Ms Hinson said. "I've been hungry. A lot of people can't say that, but I can, and I cannot stand to see anyone go hungry."

Mr Blackmon described Ms Hinson as "amazing", adding: "Us little people need a helping hand every once in a while. Most of the time, we get overlooked. We're still here."

ABC News posted video of 83-year-old Fayetteville veteran Clarence Blackmon enjoying a ham sandwich.

Elderly cancer patient calls 911 because he is hungry and has no food, operator comes to his home and makes him sandwiches [MSN] Read the rest

Small-town 911 calls can be weird, fascinating and heart-warming

Police blotter sites aggregate only the saddest reports of meth-addled America. A better way to consume local police news: unedited dispatch logs.

Dogs are lost, then found a few hours later. Little old ladies are outraged by skateboarders. In such circumstances, it's the reader who must provide narrative continuity between entries, but it's honest work and always rewards the day with a little Mayberry bump.

The following are recent 911 calls to a small-town Massachusetts police department:

"5:27 p.m. Caller reports group of juveniles sliding down a mound of snow.

7:27 p.m. Caller reports a possum on her patio she believes is sick or lost.

9:32 a.m. Caller complaining that someone dumped snow in her driveway.

10:24 a.m. Caller reports message left on voicemail from the IRS.

12:16 p.m. Caller reports person is going door to door asking to shovel driveways for money.

12:28 p.m. Report of black pick-up truck doing donuts in school parking lot, Main St.

12:30 p.m. Caller wants to speak with officer regarding a company stealing emails from his website and taking customers away from him, Maple Brook Dr.

12:31 p.m. Caller reports large duck in yard; Has put duck in crate until owner is found." Read the rest

Teenage chemistry enthusiast won't be charged with felony, will go to space camp

Kiera Wilmot — the Florida 16-year-old who created a small explosion just outside her school before classes started by mixing cleaning solution and tin foil (she was just curious, nobody was harmed) — will not be charged with a felony, after all. Florida State Attorneys dropped the charges against Wilmot yesterday. After her case garnered national attention, she ended up with a lawyer who has defended her mostly for free. There's no word yet on whether she'll be allowed to return to the school that expelled her and pressed charges in the first place.

In the meantime, the Internet has created a nice happy ending here. Homer Hickam — the writer and former NASA engineer whose memoir is the basis of the movie October Sky — started a Crowdtilt campaign to send Wilmot and her twin sister Kayla to the Advanced Space Academy program at the U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala.. The cost of space camp can run upwards of $1200. Hickam paid for Kiera Wilmot to go and the Crowdtilt campaign raised the other $1200 for her sister, plus extra money for their travel expenses. The campaign hit its $2500 goal in just two days and is now up to $2920. Hickam says the extra money is going to the girls' mother.

A second Crowdtilt campaign raised more than $8000 for a Kiera Wilmot Defense Fund. Now that the charges have been dropped, that money will go into a trust, to pay the few legal expenses the family does have and to cover costs associated with Wilmot's education — especially since it's still unclear whether she'll be allowed back into the local public school. Read the rest

Boy Scouts considering an end to discrimination

The Boy Scouts of America is telling several media outlets that they are seriously considering a new policy that would end discrimination based on sexual orientation — at least as a national organization policy. Individual troops would be able to set their own rules. This is incredibly good news and I am so proud of all of you who joined in the protest against this policy back in the Summer. Your decisions seem to have made a difference. Read the rest