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August 12, 2014

When we meet Jim, a 32-year-old obese man, in 2030, life is not going so well. In fact, we might be witnessing the beginning of Jim's end by cardiac arrest. As doctors rush to help his crushing heart, we backtrack through Jim's abbreviated lifespan to see how he got here.

What unfolds is first-person view of a sedentary, junk-food fueled life where bad habits are learned and encouraged by a well meaning family.

The video comes from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's "Strong4Life" campaign, which encourages viewers to "rewind the future." It may not actually be too late for Jim, the PSA claims, and it's not too late for anyone else struggling to stay healthy, too.

Now, before you scratch the itch of cynicism, I encourage you to read the Reddit thread that plays out under the original posting. Strangers share stories, successes, failures, and the guilt and shame they feel in their plights. Such honesty is rewarded with sometimes aggressive words of support. One commentator threatens to check in on another's progress in a month. It is genuinely inspiring. Here are just a few examples:

I'm 5'9, 32 years old and almost 300 pounds. I played all those gaming systems and pretty much grew up like that. Even with the fucking treadmill.
I think for the first time, a psa got to me. See you soon progress pics (wish me luck reedit)
Edit: wow guys. Your going to make shed some tears with the support you are all giving me. I am not very articulate, but it's time like this I wish was so that I can properly deliver how much this support means to me. [Reddit user drewgarr]

**

Thanks for sharing, and for articulating it so clearly. I have lost weight over the last few months (30 lbs!), and just feel... so much better, more energetic, less achy, etc. Many habits I've gotten comfortable with needed to be broken, or still need breaking.
EDIT: Since this is a visible comment, THANK YOU to whoever gave me gold for posting the link!
EDIT2: I have read so many comments from people saying that this PSA inspired them to make changes to better their health, and that has overwhelmed me. Just know that if you're one of those people who's been inspired, yes, you can fucking do it. Also, /r/loseit and /r/progresspics genuinely motivated me, and maybe it will help you, too. [Reddit user StreetMailbox]

**

Wow. As an overweight mother this hit hard. I am doing everything in my power to make sure my daughter doesn't end up like me and so far it's working because she is a beautifully healthy little girl who would much rather take a slice of melon over chocolate I just need to sort myself out for her sake as well as my own. I can and will do it. I will not die through obesity. [Reddit user leedsfreak]

Obesity statistics are terrifying. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents on the past 30 years. If it takes a PSA or a public forum like Reddit to get the conversation and motivation going, more power to both.

Check out Strong4Life's website for more information about to make healthy habits. Lauren Hansen

5:02 a.m. ET

Bill Clinton's speech at Tuesday's Democratic National Convention lasted 41 minutes, but CNN managed to fit it — and some highlights of speeches from Lena Dunham, Madeleine Albright, and mothers of the Black Lives Matter movement, plus the Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton cameos — into 97 seconds. If you missed Tuesday's history-making, star-packed convention, you can get a pretty decent sense below of what happened in less time than it took Bill Clinton to discuss his and Hillary's courtship. Peter Weber

4:42 a.m. ET

The 2016 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign officially died on Tuesday, when Democrats nominated Hillary Clinton as their presidential nominee. CNN embedded cameras with Sanders faction of the California delegation — the largest and "loudest Bernie contingent" at the convention, CNN notes in the video below. The cameras roll as the last-ditch hopes turn to cheers as Sanders spoke, then to tears as he requested that Clinton be nominated by acclamation. "Really?" one Sanders delegate asks, incredulously. "Really? Really?" CNN's vignette leaves a slight aftertaste of exploitation, but it's also a real snapshot of a real moment at the Democratic convention. You can watch below. Peter Weber

4:14 a.m. ET

On Tuesday, Hillary Clinton became the first woman nominated for president by a major American political party — "and I'm being told, yes, the Democrats are still considered a major political party," Stephen Colbert said in his live, post-convention Late Show recap. "They had a rough week." Clinton appeared live via satellite at the convention "by breaking the glass, um, wall?" Colbert said. "Oh, so close to the proper metaphor. Jimmy, let's help her out here, let's break the glass ceiling." And they did. "This means Hillary Clinton could be the first female president, and America will finally catch up with 1960s Sri Lanka," he added.

Colbert finished up his recap with a pep talk for Bernie Sanders supporters, then made fun of macaroni and cheese, chided Howard Dean for not actually screaming, and took a slightly ribald look at "potential first ladies' man" Bill Clinton's big speech in support of his wife.

Sen. Cory Booker, speaking to Colbert live from the convention floor, liked Clinton's speech, and was enthusiastic about breaking a glass ceiling. "I think it's particularly significant, it's a real breakthrough that two men can talk about how significant this is for women right now," Colbert said. "I think we've come a long way." In the video below, you can watch Booker discuss getting booed on Monday night and hear his argument that the Sanders revolution makes the Democrats better. Peter Weber

3:21 a.m. ET

Some Bernie Sanders supporters put tape over their mouths at the Democratic National Convention, signaling their assertion that their voices weren't heard by the Democratic Party, or that the organizers of the convention were silencing them. Sanders super-fan Sarah Silverman was actually silenced, sort of, when the convention organizers quashed one of her proposed jokes at Monday night's convention, she told The New York Times:

At the very beginning, when Al said, "I'm Al Franken and this past year I've been hashtag-I'm With Her," and I was going to say, "And I'm Sarah Silverman, and this past year I've been with the possibly agnostic Jew." Because you know the Right is going to use these emails to try to separate them. It's what they want so badly. I just felt like, let the comedian defuse it and just address the elephant in the room. But they were like, no. And they are right. They're right. But I get so indignant. At least I'm aware, and awareness brings change so maybe I'll be less obnoxious. [Sarah Silverman, to The New York Times]

Instead of referencing the hacked and leaked Democratic National Committee emails, Silverman said that "this past year, I've been feeling the Bern," adding: "Relax, I put some cream on it." She told The Times on Tuesday that Jane Sanders had personally invited her to speak at the convention, that she had voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 but she'd "be crazy not to" vote for Clinton this year, and that "the fundamentalists of any group, including fans of Bernie or fans of Hillary or fans of anyone, are a bummer." You can read her full interview at The New York Times, and watch her convention speech below. Peter Weber

2:46 a.m. ET

Through design or happenstance, Donald Trump was the biggest celebrity at last week's Republican National Convention (sorry, Scott Baio). By the end of Tuesday's Democratic National Convention, Hillary Clinton's party had already showcased prime-time performances by Paul Simon, Alicia Keys, Demi Lovato, Andra Day, and Elizabeth Bank's all-star ad hoc a cappella group, and speeches from Meryl Streep, Lovato, Lena Dunham and America Ferrera, Sarah Silverman, and Debra Messing — not to mention political stars like Bernie Sanders, Al Franken, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, first lady Michelle Obama, and former president Bill Clinton. Trump was remorsefully unimpressed with the star power:

The numbers aren't in yet for Night 2 of the Democratic convention, but Trump may be a little peeved that on Monday, the Democrats pulled in millions of more viewers than tuned in for Night 1 of the Republican National Convention. As for set design, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but you can't say that the Democrats weren't at least inspired by Trump's aesthetic. Peter Weber

1:52 a.m. ET

Youree Dell Harris, best known for portraying the Jamaican psychic Miss Cleo in late-1990s infomercials, died in Palm Beach, Florida, of cancer. She was 53.

Born in Los Angles, Harris was hired by the Psychic Readers Network in the late 1990s to play Miss Cleo. The infomercials featured her catchphrase "Call me now!" and claimed the readings were free. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission said, the toll-free number clients called was actually a 900 number, and they were charged $4.99 a minute; nearly six million people were charged on average $60 per call. The parent company of the Psychic Readers Network reached a settlement with customers in 2002, and with the Miss Cleo character retired, Harris went on to provide the voice for a character in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

After Harris came out as a lesbian, she became a gay rights activist, and she also appeared in the 2014 documentary Hotline. "She was smart as a whip and very intuitive," Tony Shaff, the film's producer, told USA Today. "There was so much negativity surrounding psychic hotlines that she wanted to tell her personal story." Catherine Garcia

1:48 a.m. ET

On Tuesday, Democrats made history by officially nominating Hillary Clinton as the first female presidential standard bearer of a major American political party. "A hundred years from now, our grandchildren will look back on this day and say, 'Why weren't you more excited? What's wrong with you people?'" Stephen Colbert said on his post-Democratic convention Late Show. Maybe it's because even after 25 years in the public spotlight, we don't really know Hillary Clinton, he suggested, then took Bill Clinton's comment about Republicans "making a cartoon" of Hillary literally, introducing Cartoon Hillary Clinton.

"Thank you for being here, Secretary Cartoon Clinton, and congratulations on your historic achievement tonight," Colbert said. At least on her first night, Cartoon Clinton was less entertaining than Colbert's Cartoon Donald Trump, and that's really the joke. She dodged questions with platitudes and robotic gestures and jokes, and also played a harmonica version of "Low Rider." When Colbert asked about the Democratic National Committee email hack, Cartoon Clinton assured him, "Stephen, Bernie Sanders is a great friend, and has been for days now." Watch Colbert's much less momentous first for Hillary Clinton below. Peter Weber

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