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Education

People in the 1900s made some wild predictions about the future—but they weren't all wrong

11 fantastical predictions too outlandish to be true. And 3 that totally came true.

future predictions

French drawing series on scientific progress about the year 2000

Do you ever wonder what the future used to look like?

I mean back in the day, before we all walked around with glass bricks in our pockets that contained every piece of information that's ever been available and allowed us to connect with anyone anywhere in the world in real time. What did people from more than 100 years ago think our future might look like?

That was the question posed to French commercial artist Jean-Marc Côté in 1899. Côté and his team were commissioned to create a series of cards to commemorate the 1900 world's fair, "Exposition Universelle," in Paris, featuring images of how the world might look in the then-distant future of the year 2000. Sadly, the company that commissioned the project (which was likely either a toy or cigarette manufacturer) went out of business before the cards could actually be distributed, and the images remained out of print until author Isaac Asimov rediscovered and published them with accompanying commentary in 1986.

But now that we've lived through that fantastical future, how did these predictions turn out? Let's just say there was, um, a lot of creativity on display. Which is enough to make even the most flawed of these forecasts — of which there are many — even more fascinating to think about today.

Here are 11 delightfully inaccurate visions of the year 2000, according to artists from the late-19th century:

1. Prediction: Firefighters will fly around with batwings on.

This one didn't pan out ... unless maybe Côté was just trying to predict the creation of Batman?

firefighters, future, artist, imagination

Flying firefighters in artist rendering from the 1900 world's fair.

All images by Jean-Marc Côté/Wikimedia Commons.

2. Prediction: We'll all travel across the Atlantic in these sweet-lookin' blimp-boats.

Again, not spot on ... although to be fair, I'd prefer this to ever flying standby again.

technology, predictions, artist, world's fair 1900

It's a flying blimp boat.

Image by Jean-Marc Côté/Wikimedia Commons.

3. Prediction: We will domesticate whales and use them as transportation.

Nope. If only we'd spent half of the 20th century training whales instead of killing them.(Although there is that dolphin chillin' there, and dolphin-assisted childbirthis a thing that exists in the 21st century, for better or for worse.)

whales, transportation, imagination, future predictions

A drawing of a dolphin looking at a whale bus.

Image by Jean-Marc Côté/Wikimedia Commons.

4. Prediction: We will also domesticate giant mutant seahorses.

There's a slight chance all this weird aquatic stuff was their way of warning us about the impending threat of sea-level rise from climate change. Either that or they were warning us about the general existence of Aquaman.

fanciful drawing, seahorse, mutation, future tripping

Drawing of scuba divers riding giant seahorses.

Image by Jean-Marc Côté/Wikimedia Commons.

5. Prediction: We'll be hunting seagulls ... from underwater?

Not so correct. But maybe I'm wrong, and we've been overlooking the nutritional value of seagulls for the last century. (Also, why is that woman swimming in a dress?)

seagulls, divers, cartoon, 1900

Divers attract seagulls from underwater in future prediction drawing.

Image by Jean-Marc Côté/Wikimedia Commons.

6. Prediction: Flying cars will be a thing.

While this image does resemble the traffic outside the Paris Opera just before showtime, our automobiles are unfortunately still stuck on the ground. It does go to show, however, that humans have been obsessed with the idea of flying cars for a long time.

flying cars, predictions, painting, world's fair, 1900

A painting of flying cars.

Image by Jean-Marc Côté/Wikimedia Commons.

7. Prediction: Aerial wing-flapping hover cars will be our key mode of transportation.

Although perhaps it's only a matter of time until "Uber for aerial wing-flapping hover cars" becomes a thing.

Hopefully, by the time this happens, that orange aerial wing-flapping hover car on the right will learn how to fly without slicing her wings through the other aero-cabs on the stand.

cars of the future, artist predictions, 1900, 2000,

Wing-flapping cars cruise around the city.

Image by Jean-Marc Côté/Wikimedia Commons.

8. Prediction: Automated bathrooms will make our lives much easier.

As clever as today's smart homes are, we still haven't quite figured out how to create a fully-automated bathroom like this. The few failed attempts that have been made at creating robot lipstick applicators were all much less elegant, and much less steampunk.

automated, home, convenience, painting

Woman gets dressed in automated bathroom.

Image by Jean-Marc Côté/Wikimedia Commons.

9. Prediction: Our hardworking barbers and salon specialists will be replaced by robots.

I'm OK with this one not panning out because I'm just not ready to trust an automated tree of spider arms to use sharp objects near my head.

robots, barber, technology, advancement, society

Robots do the work of a barber.

Image by Jean-Marc Côté/Wikimedia Commons.

10. Prediction: Our education system will become way more high tech.

While this one is utterly incorrect on a literal level, the image itself works pretty well as a metaphor for our modern education system. Whether that's a good or a bad thing is entirely up to you. (Although we do have EEG technology today, which isn't so different from those helmets...)

school, education, technology, computers

Students learn with technology if futuristic rendering from the 1900 world's fair.

Image by Jean-Marc Côté/Wikimedia Commons.

11. Prediction: radium.

That's scary. It might help if you wanted to breed a race of ginormous seahorses ... but probably isn't safe to keep in the fireplace as your main source of heat.

radium, future fuels, family, convenience

People relax around a radium fueled fireplace.

Image by Jean-Marc Côté/Wikimedia Commons.

Not all of these future visions were as ridiculously off-the-mark as the ones above though.In fact, here are three more that were downright prescient.

1. Prediction: We'll communicate via video chatting.

They totally called the invention of FaceTime/Google Hangouts/every other video chatting service that I use on a daily basis.To be honest, I kinda wish I had a holographic phonograph setup like this. It's way cooler than just staring at my laptop screen all day. (Also I wish I had a sweet mustache like these dudes.)

video chat, computers, technology, drawings

People communicate through a predicted version of video chat.

Image by Jean-Marc Côté/Wikimedia Commons.

2. Prediction: We'll see the rise of a mobile society that's not locked into a single location.

Sure, on an overly-literal level, this is basically just a glorified mobile home — which is kind of ironic considering how mobile homes in America are more commonly associated with lower incomes than the wealth that this image depicts.

mobil homes, community, travel, future

A drawing of a future prototype mobile home.

Image by Jean-Marc Côté/Wikimedia Commons.

But more importantly, images like this — and the one below, which accurately predicts the rise of electric trains that have helped to enable more public mass transportation — show that these French thinkers were looking forward to a more adaptable and international society. Telecommuting, remote offices, cross-continental teleconferencing, even the idea of transient living through AirBnB — that's where we are today, and it's exactly where we wanted to be at the turn of the 20th century. And that's pretty freaking cool!

(There's also probably an argument to be made that this electric train suggests a greener and less coal-dependent future, which is cool too.)

electric train, travel, technology, predictions

People board an artist drawing of a futuristic electric train.

Image by Jean-Marc Côté/Wikimedia Commons.

3. Prediction: The future will be full of automated industry.

Today, automation and industrialization can be touchy subjects. Are they responsible for job loss? Do they rely too much on questionable cost-cutting practices, such as artificial ingredients and other structural shortcuts?

Those are all important issues to address. But the future portrayed in these images reminds us of the inherent optimism of industry and progress — something that's all too easy for us to ignore today.

farming, industrial, prototypes, jobs, community

A picture of a possible future with industrialized farming.

Image by Jean-Marc Côté/Wikimedia Commons.

See how happy this guy is? He's not freaking out over (and alternately consuming) pesticides and chemicals for the sake of mass production. He's got a big ol' farm, and technology is helping him to make more stuff — and make it fast, so he can sell it and make money and support his family and all that good stuff we like to talk about when we talk about jobs.

Sure, maybe modern factory farming does deserve its less-than-stellar reputation. But at the same time, it's all too easy for us to forget the amazing headway in the creation of life. Now, we can even 3D print ovaries to induce fertility. Think about how amazing that would have seemed in 1899.

And on that note, maybe we should also celebrate the fact that we can 3D print a freaking house today. For all the very real problems that we face in the modern world, technology like that still makes a major difference in a lot of people's lives.

Also these brilliant French futurists clearly foretold of the rise of the almighty Roomba, which is just wonderful on so many levels.

As fun as it is to look and laugh at the imagined futures of the past, this is also a really cool way of evaluating where we are today — and where else we need to go.

It's kind of like writing out your own personal five-year plan ... envisioning the future still makes it easier for us to map out how to get there. Sure, it might not look exactly as you'd hoped — after all, you can't predict every random roadblock you might hit along the way. But it still helps to have some idea of where you're going.

The future is happening all around us, every single day — sometimes so much and so fast that we don't even notice.

Between improving factory farm conditions and domesticating those giant radioactive seahorses, there's obviously still a lot to be done.

Instead of letting ourselves become jaded with the growth we take for granted, maybe this is evidence that we should all try to look back at where we came from, evaluate and celebrate just how far we've come, and figure out a plan to keep moving forward.

This article originally appeared on 08.10.16

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

popular

Men are asked what secrets they keep from their spouses, and the answers are surprising

A rare glimpse of what actually gets bottled up inside.

two men smiling near trees

Men sometimes get labeled as the gender more likely to keep secrets for selfish, manipulative purposes. But just as often, men might keep certain things to themselves due to the effects of gender norms: wanting to hide insecurities to appear strong for their families, hoping to shield their partners from hurt, not feeling safe to show emotion, and so on.

Reddit user Teen_dream91 recently asked: “What, if anything, are you unable or unwilling to share fully openly and honestly about yourself with your spouse?” and the answers are a prime example of this.

These long kept secrets—some hilarious, others heartbreaking—a rare candid glimpse into exactly what many men feel compelled to keep bottled up inside.

Check them out below:


“I keep the ceiling fan on at night because she farts in her sleep and it's so bad it wakes me up.” JackassWhisperer

"When I go grocery shopping, i often buy a fresh rotisserie chicken thigh for myself, and wolf it down on a parkbench on my way home like a homeless caveman. I have no idea why, but it's my little me-time ritual." -Sternsson

"My self-doubt is something I conceal. I strive to be her rock and revealing my vulnerabilities seems counterproductive." -AdhesivenessGlass978

"When she asks to go out with her girlfriends or away on an overnight with some friends, she thinks I’m upset I’m not included. In reality, I’m praising the lord for a day or two alone."Bobo_Baggins03x

men's health

A man sitting on the couch, alone.

Photo credit: Canva

"While I love my spouse deeply, I struggle to fully share my childhood traumas. The memories are painful and sometimes I feel like shielding her from that darkness."Slight_Policy3133

"My child (18 months) is legitimately well behaved, compliant, and enjoyable to be around when she’s not in the home and it’s just he and I. When she’s around he’s combative, whiney, rude, and a little terror."D00deitstyler


"Deep down, I really just want to be lazy.I don’t want to go to work, or cook that much, or change the bedding every week, or find part time income streams… Like, in my heart, I just want to lounge about, get a bit drunk and read books or watch youtube videos. I do as much as possible so that she’s comfortable and happy but don’t want to admit that I don’t really WANT to do anything useful."
-LeutzschAKS

"The sheer amount of stress I'm under. I do share, but I can't articulate how bad it is." -Herald_of_dooom

“Sometimes the things she says to me in arguments break my heart.” -justVinnyZee

men's psychology

A woman looking at a man with his eyes closed.

Photo credit: Canva

"I served in Iraq and lost my leg. As a result I have severe PTSD…A couple of years after I got out I met my wife. She is an Iraqi Lady and has helped me through the best and worst times. She's given me beautiful children and a reason to carry on. However…her parents moved from Iraq before she was born. Every time I go to her parents house or there is a wedding on her side of the family I attend whilst suffering in silence. Sweaty palms, heart palpitations, shredding feeling where my leg was etc. It drove me to be extremely disrespectful by secretly carrying a hip flask with spirits and cocaine in as it just took the edge off and made it all manageable. Her parents are extremely religious and alcohol and drugs of any kind are heavily frowned upon and banned from the house.The worst is going to her parents house as so much of the decorations reminds me of the house I got dragged into after stepping on an IED. I keep this hidden because what can I do? Make her choose between family and me? Absolutely not. Prevent my kids from having grandparents and extended family? Absolutely not. My mental health and my foolish decisions at 16 are not going to be any form of potential wedge." -Greenlid_42

"That I sometimes buy $20 scratchers when I do the shopping and occasionally throw $60 at large Powerball/MegaMillions jackpots even tho I publicly say 'lotteries are a tax on people who are bad at math.' I do this because I like to dream of a day we don’t have to work and we can follow our passions." -wembley

"The fact that she wont let me put any of my hobby stuff (mostly miniatures and random knickknacks) in our shared spaces without it being in an approved location, meanwhile the entire house is her canvas for her aesthetic. Makes me feel really lonely and small sometimes and like she doesn't care. It's been a topic of conversation, she just doesn't get that delegating me a tiny shelf in her curio isn't the same as letting me actually decorate some." -Kimblethedwarf

“That she is bad at taking criticism, even about the most minor of things. And even saying so is itself a form of criticism she cannot handle. And this has very much hindered our ability to talk to each other.”Aechzen

men's health

A black-and-white photo of a mane and woman looking in opposite directions.

Photo credit: Canva

"I keep my regrets from her. I worry she’ll think less of me if she knew all my past mistakes."Suspicious-Factor362

“Literally anything that isn't within the realm of her personal interests. Otherwise, she makes it clear that she's not really interested in what interests me. Sometimes I do, because I can't keep everything to myself forever, but it just feels like I'm a child bothering their parents talking about how cool their toys are.” ChefBillyGoat

“I’m scared of not being able to provide a half decent life for her and my kids. Life’s getting so expensive and challenging.”Arent_they_all

men's psychology

A man in a suit with his head in his hands

Photo credit: Canva

"Sometimes, the food she cooks isn't great. I will never tell her this because she goes out of her way to cook, and I'm not ungrateful. I can live with bad food that night over her getting upset." -CaptainAwesome0912

"That if I speak to her the same way she speaks to me she would probably spend her whole day in tears. It’s definitely a case of “familiarity breeds contempt” as she does not speak to any of her friends like this (who come over to help with furniture moving, for example), and occasionally it comes out with her family, but the unfettered torrent of complaints and abuse is reserved only for me, regardless of what I do. It’s like she looks for imperfections and mistakes just to point them out." -MusicusTitanicus

“How sad I am that my life isn't a grand adventure but a series of choices i made in order to be able to form and provide for a family…I know there's adventure and excitement to be had still, but I wanted to continue my family line. And dearly love my family. Anything available in that vein will come at cost to my wife and children. So I'm stuck playing rise through the ranks, build the better mouse trap and look good to the suites for another raise or step up the ladder. It's going well, but as it goes well it feels more hollow. I could become head honcho, or start my own enterprise and find massive success, it'd still all been to just provide. Collecting wealth is such a boring pursuit, I hate our society.”BodyRevolutionary167

men's health

A man with a beard looking out a window.

Photo credit: Canva

"I let the kids play Roblox beyond their allowed time." -chelhydra

"She's always in the way. If she's in the kitchen when I'm cooking, she's always standing in front of the next place I need to be. If I'm working outside, she's always in the next place I'm going to go. If I'm fixing something, she's always standing right in front of whatever I'm going to be working on next. If I'm trying to leave a room, she's always in the doorway. I realize she wants to spend time with me, but I really wish she'd just get out of the way when I'm doing something." -Lonecoon

"That when I’m not with her, I put ketchup on my hot dogs." -bipolarcyclops

men's psychology

Someone putting ketchup on a hot dog.

Photo credit: Canva

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

A woman painting and Scott Galloway.

“Follow your passion” is a cliche you will hear in almost every graduation commencement speech. But we all accept it as a golden rule for life because we hear it so often and it feels right.

We tell ourselves that if we are passionate about something, we will be good at it and it will sustain us throughout our lives. However, Scott Galloway, a self-made millionaire and marketing professor at New York University Stern School of Business, thinks that telling people to follow their passions is bad advice.

In 2005, Galloway founded the digital intelligence firm L2 Inc., a venture that would go on to be acquired by Gartner for a staggering $155 million in March 2017.


″[Return on investment] and sex appeal are inversely correlated. What do we mean about that? Simply put: Don’t follow your passion,” Galloway told CNBC Make It. Instead, Galloway proposes a more practical approach. “Find out what you’re good at and then invest 10,000 hours in it — and become great at it,” Galloway says.

The 10,000-hour theory Malcolm Gladwell explains in his book “Outliers,” states that to become exceptionally good at something, you need about 10,000 hours of practice. In his book, he emphasizes that it's not just talent that matters; putting in the time and effort is key to mastering any skill or profession.

In “Outliers,” Gladwell notes that highly successful people, including Bill Gates, The Beatles, and Robert Oppenheimer, all put 10,000 hours into their particular skill sets before reaching incredible heights of success.

“People often come to NYU and say, ‘Follow your passion’ — which is total bulls***, especially because the individual telling you to follow your passion usually became magnificently wealthy selling software as a service for the scheduling of health care maintenance workers. And I refuse to believe that that was his or her passion,” Calloway continues.

Calloway adds that one of the benefits of focusing on our natural gifts is that it will eventually inspire passion. “What they were passionate about was being great at something, and then the accouterments of being great at something — the recognition from colleagues, the money, the status will make you passionate about whatever it is,” Galloway said.

Scott Galloway - The Four - What To Do
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A 2018 report by Stanford researchers came to a similar conclusion. The researchers believe that following one’s passions isn’t a clear road to success for numerous reasons. The maxim assumes that we have only one passion in life and that it will not change over time. It also gives the impression that when we follow our passions, we’ll always magically fall into our dream jobs and become successful.

Finally, just because one is passionate about something doesn’t necessarily mean they are good at it.

While some may think Calloway’s advice is cynical and heartless, there's something extraordinary about nurturing our natural gifts and using them to achieve success in life. In a world where our talents and passions may not always align, embracing what makes you unique and sharing it with the world in your own special way is a beautiful gift that you can offer.

Education

A boy told his teacher she can't understand him because she's white. Her response is on point.

'Be the teacher America's children of color deserve, because we, the teachers, are responsible for instilling empathy and understanding in the hearts of all kids. We are responsible for the future of this country.'

Photo by John Pike. Used with permission.

Emily E. Smith is no ordinary teacher.



Fifth-grade teacher Emily E. Smith is not your ordinary teacher.

She founded The Hive Society — a classroom that's all about inspiring children to learn more about their world ... and themselves — by interacting with literature and current events. Students watch TED talks, read Rolling Stone, and analyze infographics. She even has a long-distance running club to encourage students to take care of their minds and bodies.

Smith is such an awesome teacher, in fact, that she recently received the 2015 Donald H. Graves Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Writing.


It had always been her dream to work with children in urban areas, so when Smith started teaching, she hit the ground running. She had her students making podcasts, and they had in-depth discussions about their readings on a cozy carpet.

But in her acceptance speech for her award, she made it clear that it took a turning point in her career before she really got it:

"Things changed for me the day when, during a classroom discussion, one of my kids bluntly told me I "couldn't understand because I was a white lady." I had to agree with him. I sat there and tried to speak openly about how I could never fully understand and went home and cried, because my children knew about white privilege before I did. The closest I could ever come was empathy."

Smith knew that just acknowledging her white privilege wasn't enough.

She wanted to move beyond just empathy and find a way to take some real action that would make a difference for her students.

She kept the same innovative and engaging teaching methods, but she totally revamped her curriculum to include works by people who looked like her students. She also carved out more time to discuss issues that her students were facing, such as xenophobia and racism.

And that effort? Absolutely worth it.

As she said in her acceptance speech:

"We studied the works of Sandra Cisneros, Pam Munoz Ryan, and Gary Soto, with the intertwined Spanish language and Latino culture — so fluent and deep in the memories of my kids that I saw light in their eyes I had never seen before."

The changes Smith made in her classroom make a whole lot of sense. And they're easy enough for teachers everywhere to make:

— They studied the work of historical Latino figures, with some of the original Spanish language included. Many children of color are growing up in bilingual households. In 2007, 55.4 million Americans 5 years of age and older spoke a language other than English at home.

— They analyzed the vision of America that great writers of color sought to create. And her students realized that our country still isn't quite living up to its ideals. Despite progress toward racial equality with the end of laws that enforced slavery or segregation, we still have a long way to go. Black people still fare worse than white people when it comes to things like wealth, unfair arrests, and health.

— They read excerpts from contemporary writers of color, like Ta-Nehisi Coates who writes about race. Her students are reading and learning from a diverse group of writers. No small thing when they live in a society that overwhelmingly gives more attention to white male writers (and where the number of employees of color in the newspaper industry stagnates at a paltry 12%).

— They read about the Syrian crisis, and many students wrote about journeys across the border in their family history for class. The opportunity particularly struck one student; the assignment touched him so much that he cried. He never had a teacher honor the journey his family made. And he was proud of his heritage for the first time ever. "One child cried," Smith shared, "and told me he never had a teacher who honored the journey his family took to the United States. He told me he was not ashamed anymore, but instead proud of the sacrifice his parents made for him."

Opportunities like this will only increase as the number of children from immigrant families is steadily increasing. As of 2013, almost 17.4 million children under 18 have at least one immigrant parent.

Smith now identifies not just as an English teacher, but as a social justice teacher.

ethnicity, responsibility, empathy

Teaching in a racially and ethnically diverse world.

Photo by John Pike. Used with permission.

Smith's successful shift in her teaching is an example for teachers everywhere, especially as our schools become increasingly ethnically and racially diverse. About 80% of American teachers are white. But as of last year, the majority of K-12 students in public schools are now children of color.

As America's demographics change, we need to work on creating work that reflects the experiences that our students relate to. And a more diverse curriculum isn't just important for students of color. It's vital for everyone.

As Smith put it, "We, the teachers, are responsible for instilling empathy and understanding in the hearts of all kids. We are responsible for the future of this country."


This article originally appeared on 12.07.15

Pop Culture

Man's seemingly obvious 'dishwasher hack' is blowing everyone's minds

One man’s observation about his dishwasher may change the way you do dishes forever.

Mike McLoughlan realized something very important about his dishwasher.

No one likes doing the dishes, but the tedious chore is made much easier when using a dishwasher. However, an alarming amount of people have reported that their dishwashers can actually make the job harder because they don't properly fit their dishes.

And that's where Twitter user Mike McLoughlin (@zuroph) comes in.

Back in January, McLoughlin made an observation about his dishwasher that would change the way he does dishes forever. For a decade, the Irishman thought that the bottom rack of his washer simply was too small for his large dinner plates. Then he made an amazing discovery:


The tweet went totally viral, and was shared over 14,000 times. He even tweeted a picture to show just how much he could fit in the dishwasher now that he knows the racks are adjustable:

The "hack" (is it still called a hack if the appliance is doing what it is supposed to be doing?) blew people's minds:

But other people were basically like, "Seriously, dude?"

While a group of others tried to one-up McLoughlin with stories of their own:


Okay, go on and check your own dishwasher. You know you want to.


This article first appeared on 8.16.18.

Marcos Alberti's "3 Glasses" project began with a joke and a few drinks with his friends.

The photo project originally depicted Alberti's friends drinking, first immediately after work and then after one, two, and three glasses of wine.

But after Imgur user minabear circulated the story, "3 Glasses" became more than just a joke. In fact, it went viral, garnering more than 1 million views and nearly 1,800 comments in its first week. So Alberti started taking more pictures and not just of his friends.



"The first picture was taken right away when our guests (had) just arrived at the studio in order to capture the stress and the fatigue after a full day after working all day long and from also facing rush hour traffic to get here," Alberti explained on his website. "Only then fun time and my project could begin. At the end of every glass of wine, a snapshot, nothing fancy, a face and a wall, 3 times."

Why was the series so popular? Anyone who has ever had a long day at work and needed to "wine" down will quickly see why.

Take a look:

Photos of person after drinking glasses of win

All photos by Marcos Alberti, used with permission.

assets.rebelmouse.io

Photos of person after drinking glasses of win

assets.rebelmouse.io

This article originally appeared on 11.19.16