150 strangers had a chance to win a free vacation — but only if they agreed on one place.

Would you rather go nowhere or fly free with some compromise?

That was the option JetBlue Airlines presented to 150 passengers on a flight bound for Phoenix from Boston. "Everyone who's willing to participate has a chance to win one round-trip ticket to anywhere JetBlue flies," the Captain told them as they hovered some 30,000 feet above the planet.

But there was a catch:



GIF from JetBlue/YouTube.

150 people. 97 different options. That's a 9.354306 x 10-297 chance of everyone instinctively agreeing. Or, as explained to me by our brilliant Director of Intel, "that's worse odds than if you put every planet in the universe in a bag, and picked one out, and it happened to be Earth."

Which I think means the odds are pretty bad.


Presumably there were more people interested in Bogotá than Buffalo right off the bat, which could skew the probability. GIF from "The Empire Strikes Back."

Fortunately, the passengers were given some time to talk among themselves and figure out a plan.

The passengers immediately turned to their neighbors in the seats beside them then reached across the center aisle to state their case for Anchorage or Aguadilla or Albuquerque or wherever else they were hankering to go.


GIF from JetBlue/YouTube.

Although most people were on board for some international travel, there were some passengers who had personal reasons pulling them toward domestic destinations — and some of them didn't have passports, further complicating the international issue.

And still the clock kept ticking down toward their deadline. For all the gains that certain individuals had made in convincing others over to their side — and despite the obvious incentive that everyone only wins if they all agree to compromise — the passengers on this JetBlue Flight 603 were soon trapped in a stalemate: Costa Rica or Turks and Caicos?


"Some days, you just can't get rid of a time bomb." GIF from "Batman '66."

Within only minutes to spare — and with some stubborn minds still holding tightly to the convictions of their preferred tropical destination — a few individuals even rose to their feet to address the assembled masses with grandiose speeches!


GIF from JetBlue/YouTube.

Things were definitely heating up.

As the plane approached its point of descent, the passengers cast their ballots. Would they vote in favor of the greater good? Or would self-interest rule over mutual benefit?

Attention passengers: We interrupt this melodramatic retelling of a delightful social experiment to offer an insightful bit of Real Talk™. Please fasten your seatbelts as we could experience some turbulence:

It's understandably easier to get people to cooperate for a free vacation getaway than about health care or national defense or economic security or general social welfare.

But why is that? Why do temporary leisure activities inspire greater empathy and teamwork than our long-term happiness as individuals and as a society?


Even minions understand. And they're evil sidekicks! GIF from "Minions."

Because if 150 unsuspecting passengers can find a way to come together for the sake of a Costa Rican getaway, then there's no reason that the rest of our country can't do the same.

Of course the passengers ultimately united for the greater good. Why wouldn't they?

Maybe you were on that flight and you really, really wanted to go to Tahoe. That's cool. But what's more important: You going to Tahoe or you and everyone else getting a free vacation, even if it's not exactly where you want to go?


Don't be like Tony Stark. GIF from "Iron Man."

As hard as it is, sometimes you need to stop worrying about legroom and settle for that tropical vacation for the benefit of everyone around you. Because that's better than not going anywhere at all.

OK, so maybe it's not a perfect metaphor. But you get the idea.


GIF from JetBlue/YouTube.

Check out JetBlue's whole exciting social experiment below:

True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

Public Domain

A very simple thing happened earlier this week. Dr. Seuss Enterprises—the company that runs the Dr. Seuss estate and holds the legal rights to his works—announced it will no longer publish six Dr. Seuss children's books because they contain depictions of people that are "hurtful and wrong" (their words). The titles that will no longer be published are And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot's Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat's Quizzer.

This simple action prompted a great deal of debate, along with a great deal of disinformation, as people reacted to the story. (Or in many cases, just the headline. It's a thing.)

My article about the announcement (which contains examples of the problematic content that prompted the annoucnement) led to nearly 3,000 comments on Upworthy's Facebook page. Since many similar comments were made repeatedly, I wanted to address the most common sentiments and questions:

How do we learn from history if we keep erasing it?

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True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying!

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When an earthquake and subsequent tsunami caused a nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, in 2011 most people who lived in the area fled. Some left without their pets, who then had to fend for themselves in a radioactive nuclear zone.

Sakae Kato stayed behind to rescue the cats abandoned by his neighbors and has spent the last decade taking care of them. He has converted his home, which is in a contaminated quarantine area, to a shelter for 41 cats, whom he refers to as "kids." He has buried 23 other cats in his garden over the past 10 years.

The government has asked the 57-year-old to evacuate the area many times, but he says he figured he was going to die anyway. "And if I had to die, I decided that I would like to die with these guys," he said.

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