The Story Behind “Miami’s Like Most Super News Source, Bro”

Folks, there is finally a website that is making fun of Miami, the sunshine capital of the world, in the bro-tastic way ever.

Welcome: The Plantain

It is a satirical news website in the style of The Onion run by some folks at Engage Miami, a non-profit that seeks to raise youth involvement in Miami’s public life.

And by satirical, the creator of The Plantain, Justin Wales, means fake, even if it sometimes sounds somewhat real.

Here’s some recent headlines from the site:

Miami Herald to Drop Vowels in Cost Cutting Effort

Dolphin Expressway to be Converted to 15 Consecutive Miles of Toll Booths

Florida Orange Growers Protests Beyonce Concert Over Lemonade Release

“I would not take anything in The Plantain as factually accurate,” Sara Yousuf, a member of Engage Miami said in an interview with RISE NEWS. “The Plantain does not ask people to do things. It is certainly not a tool for political organizing, but it does create conversations and awareness about things that happen in Miami.”

The target of these bitting jokes are millennials from across South Florida who are from all walks of life.

According to the Census Bureau, millenials have become the largest population in the country, but they are also considered to be the most recent generation to become highly detached from political institutions, based on a study made by the Pew Research Center.

While millennials can be perceived as disconnected from the political process, Wales says that they are connected in terms of philosophy of thought.

“That connection means that you are able to mobilize much easier,” Wales said. “Examples like Black Lives Matter, the current Bernie Sander’s Campaign, even the previous presidential campaign for Obama showed that millennials were able to be connected through these movements.”

But in order for a movement to happen then people in it have to be able to connect with each other and have a common well of knowledge to draw upon.

“Any person can have access to any type of information,” Wales said. “We have seen over the course of the past years, the democratization of content, in which, any person can distribute information to whoever they want.”

To hone on this newfound democratized content flow, The Plantain’s content producers, some members of Engage Miami as well as other freelance writers, are providing humorous stories not only to entertain millennials, as well as other generations, but also to bring awareness to local issues in Miami.

“In order to communicate with young people, you need to speak to them at their level, through humor and other unique ways.” Wales said. “All this to present an idea and make it enticing for a reader to take it in.”

But political content is only interesting if it is fun according to Yousuf.

“There is something about satire that makes you laugh, and then it makes you think and ask questions,” Yousuf said. “We are making fun as who we are in Miami, but the point that we are trying to make is very real.”

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

WATCH: Mark Zuckerberg Talks About “The Facebook” Before It Was Huge

This is an interesting video that we just came across. And for all you young entrepreneurs out there, it also has an important lesson- you can never really know where your idea or business is going.

In the video, a young Mark Zuckerberg talks about his dreams for “The Facebook” and they are pretty different than what Facebook has become a decade later.

Take a look and tell us what you think in the comments below:


RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Alabama Starman Catches Alien Migraine (Or Something Like That)

By Chance Willie

An anonymous Tuscaloosa, AL stargazer reported an almost poetic UFO sighting early Tuesday morning.

The account appeared on a message board hosted by the UFO Stalker website, which catalogs UFO sightings from around the country.

The sighting allegedly occurred when the observer stepped outside to smoke a cigarette and was greeted by an object resembling a shooting star darting across the sky, abruptly changing directions and leaving trails of green and orange light in its wake.

The observer reports being stricken by a mysterious headache as the object shot away into the dusk. Whether the account was fact or fiction, it makes for an interesting read.

RISE NEWS has reached out to the website to try to get in touch with the person who made the post. We’ll update with any additional information. 

Here’s the full account posted to the website:

“At exactly 4:01 A.M. I went outside on my balcony to smoke a cigarette. I spend a lot of time looking up at the sky at night, and I have seen many shooting stars. Shootings stars move extremely fast and appear to zoom across your range of vision in an instant. The “light” I saw tonight did no such thing. While it did vanish in an instant, it did not zoom across my range of vision. Directly in the center of the sky, what appeared to be a large aircraft, lit up in the darkness–without making a sound. It instantly propelled itself into the distance leaving behind a momentary trail of green and orange light. What was most unusual about this sighting was that the object changed direction. The object also moved much more quickly than any shooting star that I have ever seen. I could not determine its exact location or distance. However, initially after lighting up, the size of the object appeared three to four times larger than the stars in the sky. This means that the object was either much larger and/or much closer than our closest stars. After the incident, I felt slightly uncomfortable–as if I had a headache, but only in the front half of my brain.”

Ever see anything strange? Either in the sky or on a city council balance sheet? Send us a news tip to

H/T to Tuscaloosa News reporter Stephen Dethrage

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us!

Cover Photo Credit: maxime raynal/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

This Website Shows You What It’s Like To Have Dyslexia

Can you read this passage?:

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Of course you can’t.

And that’s what this website about the difficulty of having dyslexia is trying to demonstrate.

Upwards of 7% of the population has dyslexia, making it one of the most common learning disabilities in the world and yet many people don’t really understand it.

While this site may be a bit of an exaggeration, it also does a good job of driving the point home.

Let us know in the comments below if the site is a good representation of your experience with dyslexia.

H/T: Gizmodo

Cover Photo Credit: Eye to Eye National/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Yep. Katy Perry Is Totally Moving To Alabama

Sorry for the misleading headline, but this is important.

Please take a seat.

Can we get you something to drink?

Want a bottle of water? It’s all we got. Are you sure? Ok, suit yourself then.

We have all gathered here today because people keep believing stupid things they read on the Internet.

I don’t know what it means, but it ain’t good for society.

Hundreds of thousands of people have recently clicked on stories that claim that Leonardo Dicaprio was literally raped by a bear in the Revenant (talk about Oscar level commitment that would have been), claim that Miley Cyrus died and that Casey Anthony was murdered and found in the back of a pickup truck.

Read More: No Internet, Casey Anthony Is Not Dead

None of them are at all true and yet they have made money for sleazy Internet mud purveyors who hide in the shadows of anonymity.

These fake stories are everywhere and by all accounts, people believe them.

In a world where anyone can create a website that looks legitimate with only a few hours of work, anything is possible.

But this faux story really takes the cake.

A BS news website called the McKenzie Post wrote a junky little fake news item titled “Katy Perry is Moving to Wetumpka, Alabama.” Within a week, the story had been shared hundreds of times on social media and has racked up nearly 150 comments of mostly excited people looking forward to meeting their new star neighbor.

But let’s be clear about one thing. Katy Perry is not moving to Wetumpka, Alabama. Because of course she isn’t!

Read More: No Internet, Miley Cyrus Is Not Dead

“Not a lot of people have heard of the small town of Wetumpka, Alabama, but superstar Katy Perry happens to be one of them,” the fake news item reads. “Located about 20 miles outside of Montgomery, Alabama, Wetumpka is a peaceful town filled with people who have almost no connection to the LA lifestyle that Katy Perry wants to escape and that’s exactly what she likes about it.”

Now to be fair, the piece is written in such a way that it could seem legit to a person who is not spending much time thinking about the context or basic reality.

“I want a farm, I want cattle, I want chickens!”  a fake quote attributed to Katy Perry reads. “I’m not giving up my career, I just want to move to a place that feels so different than what I’ve been used to all my life.  For me, that place is Wetumpka, Alabama.”

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Double nope.

But don’t feel bad Alabama.

The same website pulled a similar trick on the towns of Boerne, TX and Rock Hill, SC (a real radio station even got tricked into believing that last one.)

In both of those instances, hundreds of people also shared the nearly identical fake news item.

Read More: No Internet, Leonardo Dicaprio Did Not Get Raped By A Bear

Maybe we should teach students in class on how to better evaluate sources?

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us!

Cover Photo Credit: Fake Website/ (Screengrab) Joella Marano / CC BY-SA 2.0 /

Ever Wonder What Ancient Rome Really Looked Like? This Video Shows You

Calling all history buffs.

This video from Khan Academy has been circling around the Interwebs for a few months now and it is really incredible.

A team called the Rome Reborn project set out to show people what ancient Rome looked like from the ground up and boy did they.

Indiana University professor Bernard Frischer serves as a guide in the video, which depicts Rome as it looked in 320 AD.

The whole thing is really amazing and well worth the watch:

H/T: Vox

“Take A Leake”: Alabama Bro Running For SGA Election Urges Supporters To Piss And Vote For Him

Student government elections are a favorite of ours to cover because of all the funny stuff that happens.

And there are few SGA elections this year that are more interesting then the one taking place at the University of Alabama.

Coming off an historic election last year which saw the election of the first African-American SGA president at UA in over 30 years, people are paying attention to see what happens next.

Read More: A Petition Campaign To Name A Building After Harper Lee On The University Of Alabama Campus Is Picking Up Steam

And while most of the campaigning on campus is fairly serious, one candidate is trying to have a little fun along the way.

His name is Ben Leake and he wants you take a piss and vote for him.

Don’t believe us? Just want his campaign video. You won’t be disappointed:

Photo Credit: Benedict Leake/ Youtube (Screengrab)

People Are Actually Raising Money To Get Kanye Out Of Debt

You can’t make this stuff up.

A group of people have organized on the Internet crowdfunding website GoFundMe to try to fundraise $53 million to help Kanye West get out of debt.

Yep. (God, please have these people be kidding.)

West recently revealed on Twitter that he is $53 million in the hole, and begged Mark Zuckerberg for some coin.

According to the Rootthe page was organized by a man named Jeremy Piatt of Minnesota.

“Kanye West, prolific entertainer/fashion icon/celebrity/member of the Kardashian family needs our help!,” a message from Piatt says on the crowdfunding page. “Recently, Kanye let us in on his personal struggle. He is 53 million dollars in debt and it doesn’t look like he’s going to get Mark Zuckerberg’s help that he desperately needs.

“We must open our hearts and wallets for Kanye today. Sure he is personally rich and  can buy furs and houses for his family, but without our help, the true genius of Kanye West can’t be realized.”

Not everyone is a big supporter of the campaign.

“I donate negative 54 million dollars,” Laurie Sanford said in the comments section of the page. “Maybe his clothing line should not have looked like the bums in Compton designed them. Wtf?? How about we raise money to feed starving children here in America?? Hmmm.. What a thought.”

So far the campaign has raised just under $800. So that should help.

I Traveled Around Europe And Took Lots Of Selfies With People Making Out In The Background

When I studied abroad in Prague from February to June 2015, I spent a lot of time exploring parks and green spaces.

I also quickly noticed I was one of the only people walking along without some sort of dog or lover companion.

For people who don’t often make eye contact with strangers, Czech people have off-the-charts PDA.

I thought this was stunning and hilarious so I decided to take advantage of it through a photo series. Most of the photos are from Prague in the daytime, and I expanded as I traveled to other cities across Europe.

When I saw people locking lips on the street, I would snap quick selfies. I challenged myself to make sure the people in the picture didn’t know I was taking it, which was never really much of a challenge at all:



I found these two making out on the sidewalk as I was on my way to meet friends in downtown Prague.


Objects are closer than they appear.


Just about all of these were more than quick pecks – I had to have the time to notice the pair kissing, find my phone, position it and snap the picture all while they were still smooching.


I felt like pictures in bars were kind of cheap shots, but this happened at my table so I made an exception.


Not my best work. The three of us were the only ones in sight, and I was happy to keep my distance.


This one was an accomplishment. Partly because I ran four miles before I took this picture, partly because it was my only horizontal find.



In this one, it almost looks like one person sitting on a Madrid park bench. It looked that way in person too



These two were feeling the heat on a balmy June afternoon in Italy. Really, what better way to pass the time between train strikes?



Krakow, Poland, is surrounded by an outstanding green belt. These two took full advantage of it.

Have a funny or interesting story to tell? Send us an email to

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. Anyone can write for us as long as you are fiercely interested in making the world a better place. 

The Condom Challenge Trend Is A Serious Threat To Millennials The World Over

First there was the Harlem shake.

Then came the ALS ice bucket challenge.

What’s the Internet’s newest trend? The #CondomChallenge.

No it’s not raising awareness for any health issues, other than disproving the age old lie that, “it doesn’t fit.”

Nevertheless, the #CondomChallenge has gone viral across Vine and Twitter.

So what’s the plan? Fill a condom with water and drop it over your friend’s head without it breaking. It creates a weird fishbowl affect around the participant’s head and causes uncontrollable laughter for everyone else.

According to Tech Insider, the trend started in Japan with this video catching fire on the Internet.

Caution: If you want to try the challenge, make sure to not have the plastic cover your face for too long. Incidents have already been reported and could there be a more embarrassing way to die than this?

Cover Photo Credit: Youtube/ Screengrab

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