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‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Actor Ben Platt Gets A Standing Ovation On Colbert

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Ben Platt, who you might remember as scene-stealing Benji in the “Pitch Perfect” movies, stopped by “The Late Show” on Monday to perform a song from his Tony-nominated musical “Dear Evan Hansen.” And like the utter Broadway professional that he is, he managed to pull a standing ovation out of the studio crowd.

In fact, following Platt’s faultless rendition of “For Forever,” host Stephen Colbert reemerged onstage with an appropriately stunned smile, appearing like he was about to burst into tears. (According to the Late Show’s YouTube account, he did cry.) Shaking his head, his disbelieving response represents only a fraction of the emotional fallout theater audiences have encountered after seeing Platt sing it live on Broadway.

“Dear Evan Hansen” is far away the favorite to nab the Tony for Best Musical this year, just as Platt is the frontrunner for a Best Actor statue. The show centers on the eponymous high school senior with social anxiety disorder who becomes mistakenly bound to a fellow student who committed suicide. The New York Times described it as “a nightly display of almost unbearable anguish.” 

Tickets to the musical are hard to come by, but we’ll all get a sneak preview of the “Hansen” cast on June 11, when the Tony Awards ceremony airs on CBS. In the meantime, check out “For Forever” above.

Check out the other plays and musicals nominated for Tonys here.

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These Are The Lives Cut Tragically Short At The Ariana Grande Concert In Manchester

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The victims of the bombing at Monday’s Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, include an 8-year-old girl “loved by everyone” and an 18-year-old who revered Grande and whose friends called her a “true ray of sunshine [who] loved everyone for who they were.”

All gone. Much too soon.

Below are the victims who have been identified by friends or family in media reports. This story will be updated as new information becomes available.

Georgina Callander, 18

Callander, a student at Runshaw College in Lancaster, was the first of 22 victims to be publicly named.

She had just tweeted at Grande the day before the show, “SO EXCITED TO SEE U TOMORROW.” Her school said in a statement that she died in the attack, which also injured 59 people.

In 2015, Callander shared a backstage photo with Grande at Manchester Arena, the site of Monday’s bombing. “I hugged her so tight and she said she loved my bow. I can’t get over this, I never will,” she wrote at the time. Callander is on the left in the photo, below.

In Twitter tributes from friends and loved ones, one woman called Callander “a beautiful girl with the kindest heart & soul.” Another, Sophie Jauregui, wished that her “beautiful best friend” rest in peace, saying she was a “true ray of sunshine and loved everyone for who they were.” 

“Once Upon A Time” actor Sean Maguire, who’d recently met Callander, also voiced his condolences. 

Callander was rushed from the scene of the blast to the hospital, where she reportedly died with her mother at her bedside

Runshaw College paid tribute to her in a statement. “It is with enormous sadness that it appears that one of the people who lost their lives in Monday’s Manchester attack was one of our students here at Runshaw College,” the school said. “Georgina Callander was a former Bishop Rawstorne pupil studying with us on the second year of her Health and Social Care course. Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers go out to all of Georgina’s friends, family and all of those affected by this loss. We are offering all available support possible at this tragic time, including counselling with our dedicated student support team.” 

Saffie Rose Roussos, 8

Saffie was attending the concert with her family, according to the BBC.

“She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly,” Chris Upton, head teacher at Tarleton Community Primary School, told the BBC. “News of Saffie’s death in this appalling attack has come as a tremendous shock to all of us and I would like to send our deepest condolences to all of her family and friends.”

Saffie’s mother and sister were hospitalized with shrapnel injuries, The Daily Telegraph reported.

John Atkinson (age variously reported as 26 or 28)

Atkinson was leaving the arena when the bomb struck, the Manchester Evening News reported.

According to his Facebook tribute page, Atkinson lived in Manchester, studied health and social at Bury College, and was a Manchester United soccer fan.

“John you turned into an amazing young man so kind and thoughtful you will be missed by everyone,” Tracey Crolla wrote, per the Evening News.

Nana Julie Mills wrote: “Just heard one of my good friends whom I’ve known since he was a little boy passed away last night. Condolences to his family and friends. RIP John Atkinson.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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Justin Trudeau Photobombs A Prom Picture, Which Makes Him King

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Prom nights often include awkward moments with your date and partying.

But a chance meeting with a head of state while he’s exercising?

Nope, that’s a new one.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seemed to jog mostly unnoticed by a group of prom revelers in Vancouver, British Columbia, Friday night.

His photographer, Adam Scotti, captured the moment and wrote in a Sunday Instagram post that he’s chronicling the PM’s runs in a small side project and loves watching the reactions of people “as they realise who just ran past.”

It seems the group, at the Stanley Park Seawall, did finally recognize the photobomb-inclined Trudeau. He stopped for a photo with them.

Sure beats a corsage as a souvenir. 

#VCProm2017

A post shared by Cam Corrado (@crrdo) on May 20, 2017 at 12:33pm PDT

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22 Father’s Day Cards For Dads Who Don’t Take Themselves Too Seriously

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If you inherited a killer sense of humor from your dad, no ordinary Father’s Day card will do. You have to find something as silly or snarky ― or honestly, just as bad ― as your dad’s jokes.

Below, 22 cards worthy of the dad joker in your life.

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QB Aaron Rodgers’ Retweet Gets Iowa Teens Out Of Final Exam

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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers scored a lot of points with some high school students in Janesville, Iowa, with just one retweet.

Students in a sports literature class in the Janesville Consolidated School District made a deal with teacher Laura Roberts, a big Rodgers fan.

She agreed to cancel the final exam if someone in the class could get a retweet from Rodgers, according to ESPN.com.

That job fell to student Payton Mayer, who laid his heart on the line in less than 140 characters Friday morning.

On Thursday, Rodgers agreed to go along with the game plan, as the tweet below demonstrates. 

The teacher kept her word and canceled the test. However, the students definitely learned a good lesson in how to network.

SCORE!

Rodgers isn’t the only sports stars who is helping kids shirk their studies.

On Thursday, William Pate, a senior at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, convinced his U.S. government teacher, Joseph Belser, to cancel the final exam if he could get Kobe Bryant to retweet him, according to WRTV in Indianapolis.

The retired NBA great was Belser’s favorite player, so the teacher agreed, figuring he’d never have to pay up. 

Turns out Bryant, like Rodgers, either has a soft spot for high school seniors or a hatred of taking tests.

Pate and his classmates won’t have to take the final, but school officials said the teacher has to figure out another way to give a “final assessment,” according to the station.

Here’s our assessment: This is the start of a trend that may be more annoying than asking celebrities to the prom.

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Fidget Spinners, What’s the Deal?

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Fidget Spinners are driving teachers mad all over the country – much like the dreaded laser pointers from back in my day, although we didn’t try to claim therapeutic effects by way of the distracting red light. The Spinners are claiming to help with anxiety and ADHD, but the evidence is anecdotal at best and BS marketing at worst.

Child psychologists Dr. Dave Anderson, Scott Kollins, and Victoria Prooday have all said that there is no evidence that Fidget Spinners help with ADHD or anxiety, and instead serve as a distraction due to the instant gratification of the toy. In this light, it seems like the perfect toy for our time.

There are tried and tested methods that can help children with ADHD and anxiety relief and these entertainment toys should not be used as an excuse for kids to be disruptive in classrooms. Although, maybe they will help children develop their debating skills as they plead their cases to teachers across the country to keep their toy spinning on their desks. However, as Dr. Anderson notes, one positive about them is they have brought attention to the discussion about what CAN help anxiety and ADHD.

If you don’t understand why people are into spinning pieces of plastic all of a sudden, Michael McCrudden traces the Fidget Spinner’s history back to its 1997 origin in the video above. This is a trend that’s 20 years in the making.

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Catholic School Teacher Says He Was Fired After Students Outed Him As Gay

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CHICAGO — A religion teacher at one of the city’s most prestigious private high schools said he was harassed and threatened by students after they found his online dating profile — and then he was fired by the school.

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See Tim Tebow’s Surprise Prom Dance With Teen On ‘Tonight Show’

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Tim Tebow told host Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show” Wednesday that he never went to the prom. “I was always playing baseball, basketball or football,” he said. “We were always so busy.”

But the former NFL quarterback and aspiring major leaguer clearly has a soft spot for the school dance ritual.

His foundation organizes a “Night to Shine” prom in several countries before Valentine’s Day for teenagers with special needs. One woman asked him to attend but Tebow was too busy flying to many of the events that night.

Well, he made it up to her on national television. The athlete called out Judy Adams from the “Tonight Show” audience and asked, “I was wondering if maybe I could have a dance?”

A delighted Judy stepped down to the stage. Tebow put on a wrist corsage for her, the two exchanged a hug, and off they went to trip the light fantastic.

Nice.

Watch the full segment above.

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Let’s Change The Conversation From Climate Change To ‘Shared Benefits’

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Last September, I emailed President Obama. His response helped me to focus on what matters. He wrote,

“Progress doesn’t come easily, and it hasn’t always followed a straight line. Keeping our world’s air, water, and land clean and safe takes work from all of us, and voices like yours are sparking the conversations that will help us get to where we need to be. I will continue pushing to protect the environment as long as I am President and beyond, and I encourage you to stay engaged as well.”

But I worry that adults will never agree on climate change. The issue has become too political. The words “climate change” have even been scrubbed from government websites! Our current President refers to climate change as “a hoax.” Most people have no interest in discussing it. Try talking about C02 levels or climate science and see how far you get. The reality is that climate change has become a matter of opinion, rather than a matter of scientific fact. It has made the opinion of the ordinary person with no scientific background equal to the findings of eminent scientists who have devoted their lives and education to the study of the problem.

Only 27 percent of Americans surveyed in a 2016 Pew study agreed with the statement that, “almost all” climate scientists believe climate change is real and primarily caused by humans. Contrast this to multiple peer-reviewed scientific studies finding that 97 percent of climate scientists believe climate change is real and that humans are the main contributor. In an age of alternative facts and a distrust of science, how do we talk about climate change and the need for action without turning people off?

Stanford Professor Rob Jackson thinks we should stop arguing over climate change and start talking about the shared benefits of addressing problems, like health, green energy jobs, and safety. My experience tells me that he is right.

Six years ago, just before I turned 10, I started a non-profit called Kids Eco Club to inspire kids to care for the planet, its wildlife and each other. It starts and supports environmental clubs in K-12 schools. Over 100,000 kids now participate annually in Kids Eco Club activities, learning the skills necessary to lead, and to understand the issues facing our world, including climate change. Kids Eco Club is successful because we focus on shared values rather than C02 levels. Take a class snorkeling, and everyone becomes interested in protecting coral reefs. Bring local wildlife into the classroom, and kids will fight for green energy and clean water to protect their habitat. Passion drives us.

My generation does not have the luxury of addressing human-caused climate change as callously or as passively as the generations before us ― because we are running out of time. Agriculture, deforestation, and dependence on fossil fuels release greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere, trapping heat, making the Earth warmer. The hottest year on record? Last year, 2016. A warmer Earth creates major impacts everywhere: on ecosystems, oceans, weather. Sea levels are rising because the polar ice caps are melting, and the oceans are warming, which causes them to expand. Severe weather events are created from warmer oceans – warmer water, more evaporation, clouds, and rain―causing greater storm damage, more flooding, and, ironically, larger wildfires and more severe droughts since weather patterns are also changing.

Imagine three out of every four animal species you know disappearing off the face of the Earth. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, we are currently experiencing the worst species die-off since dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago. Species are vanishing at a rate roughly 100 times higher than normal. While things like asteroids and volcanoes caused past extinctions, humans almost entirely cause the current crisis. Global warming caused by climate change, habitat loss from development and agriculture, pesticide use, poaching, unsustainable fishing practices, pollution and disease spread by the introduction of exotic species, are driving the crisis beyond the tipping point. Can you picture a world without butterflies, penguins, elephants, rhinos, sea turtles, honeybees, orangutans, salamanders, or sharks?

The oceans provide 50% of the earth’s oxygen and 97% of its livable habitat. The health of our oceans is vital to our survival and the survival of the over one million types of plants and animals living there. Climate change and fossil fuel reliance raise ocean temperatures, causing extreme weather, coastal flooding, and ocean acidification. Ocean acidification is beginning to cause the die-off of calcium-rich species at the base of the ocean’s food chain, like coral, shellfish, and plankton. This die-off would trigger a spiral of decline in all sea life – from fish to seabirds to whales – and negatively impact hundreds of millions of people who rely on the oceans for food. Other human threats include overfishing, pollution, oil drilling and development. We need to act now to create change in our own communities by protecting ocean habitats, promoting conservation, and creating sustainable solutions to nurse our oceans back to health.

In a world with over 7 billion people, we cannot continue to divide ourselves into categories like believers and climate change deniers, or Republicans and Democrats. The best chance we have of ensuring a world with clean water and clean air is to engage all of us. If this takes changing the conversation from “climate change,” to “shared benefits,” then change the conversation. Together all things are possible.

I’m in. Are you?

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