HC Wake-Up Call: Uber, Lyft To Offer Free & Discounted Rides on Election Days, Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen Died at 65, & State Department Accidentally Emailed a Cat Photo

Good morning Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds — we’re all only human, after all. 

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.) 

Uber, Lyft To Offer Free & Discounted Rides on Election Days 

The highly-anticipated midterm elections are less than a month away, and the ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft plans to offer free and discounted rides to the polls

Uber, in partnership with #VoteTogether and Democracy Works, will give free rides to those without transportation on Nov. 6. The app will also include a “Get to the polls” feature, which will help users to find the nearest polling locations. 

“Decisions get made by those who show up,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told Huffington Post. “On November 6, I hope everyone does one thing: vote!” 

Lyft also said that voters nationwide will be able to get a half-off coupon code through voter registration groups like Vote.org, Nonprofit Vote and TurboVote.  

According to The Hill, Voto Latino, Urban League and the National Federation for the Blind will provide free Lyft rides to the polls in areas where their services are provided. 

Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen Died at 65 

Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and owner of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers, died from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on Monday afternoon

He died at 65. 

“My brother was a remarkable individual on every level,” Allen’s sister, Jody, said in a statement to CNBC. “While most knew Paul Allen as a technologist and philanthropist, for us he was a much-loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend. Paul’s family and friends were blessed to experience his wit, warmth, his generosity and deep concern. For all the demands on his schedule, there was always time for family and friends. At this time of loss and grief for us - and so many others - we are profoundly grateful for the care and concern he demonstrated every day.” 

He previously received treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2009, but at the time overcame the disease. Earlier this month, he said he was diagnosed one more time with it. 

Allen has donated $2.6 billion of his $20.3 billion net worth to philanthropic causes, including climate change, epidemics and ocean health, and to research in areas of brain cancers and dementia, according to Forbes

Bill Gates, who is Allen’s Microsoft co-founder, released a heartfelt statement: 

“I am heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends, Paul Allen,” Gates said. “Paul loved life and those around him, and we all cherished him in return. He deserved much more time, but his contributions to the world of technology and philanthropy will live on for generations to come. I will miss him tremendously.”

State Department Accidentally Emailed a Cat Photo 

The United States Embassy in Australia apologizes for the US State Department’s “training error”, after it emailed a fake meeting invite, containing a photo of a cute tabby cat dressed in a Cookie Monster onesie

The US State Department sent out the email last week, and the US Mission to Australia public affairs counsellor Gavin Sundwall apologized to those who received it. 

“Sorry to disappoint those of you who were hoping to attend this ‘cat pajama-jam’ party, but such an event falls well outside our area of expertise,” Sundwall said, according to Buzzfeed News. “It was a training error made by one of our new staff testing out our email newsletter platform.”

According to the Australian Associated Press, the subject of the email said "meeting" and included a photo of the cat, some Latin text, and a RSVP link.

It’s unclear how many people actually received the “cat pajama-jam” invite.

What to look out for… 

Speaking of which, Snapchat is adding a selfie filter for your cats! According to BBC News, cat owners can use Snapchat to decorate their pets with hats, glasses and slices of bread.