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:

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Little did he know that she would successfully become all three: an award-winning biomedical and mechanical engineer who performs cutting-edge medical research and has started multiple companies.

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"They made enormous sacrifices to pick a town with great public schools and really push us to excel the whole way," Bhatia says. "They really believed in us, but they expected excellence. The story I like to tell about my dad is like, if you brought home a 96 on a math test, the response would be, 'What'd you get wrong?'"

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Don't test on animals. That's something we can all agree on, right? No one likes to think of defenseless cats, dogs, hamsters, and birds being exposed to a bunch of things that could make them sick (and the animals aren't happy about it, either). It's no wonder so many people and organizations have fought to stop it. But did you ever think that maybe brands are testing products on us too, they're just not telling us they're doing it?

I know, I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but that's exactly what e-cigarette brands like JUUL (which corners the e-cigarette market) are doing in this country right now, and young people are on the frontlines of the fallout. Most people assume that the government would have looked at devices that allow people to inhale unknown chemicals into their lungs BEFORE they hit the market. You would think that someone in the government would have determined that they are safe. But nope, that hasn't happened. And vape companies are fighting to delay the government's ability to evaluate these products.

So no one really knows the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use, not even JUUL's CEO, nor are they informing the public about the potential risks. On top of that, according to the FDA, there's been a 78% increase in e-cigarette usage among high school and middle school-aged children in just the last two years, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to officially recognize the trend as an epidemic and urge action against it.

These facts have elicited others to take action, as well.

Truth Initiative, the nonprofit best known for dropping the real facts about smoking and vaping since 2000 through its truth campaign, is now on a mission to confront e-cigarette brands like JUUL about the lack of care they've taken to inform consumers of the potential adverse side effects of their products. And they're doing it with the help of animal protesters who are tired of seeing humans treated like test subjects.

The March Against JUUL | Tested On Humans | truth www.youtube.com

"No one knows the long-term effects of JUULing so any human who uses one is being used as a lab rat," says, appropriately, Mario the Sewer Rat.

"I will never stop fighting JUUL. Or the mailman," notes Doug the Pug, the Instagram-famous dog star.

Truth, the national counter-marketing campaign for youth smoking prevention, hopes this fuzzy, squeaky, snorty animal movement arms humans with the facts about vaping and inspires them to demand transparency from JUUL and other e-cigarette companies. You can get your own fur babies involved too by sharing photos of them wearing protest gear with the hashtag #DontTestOnHumans. Here's some adorable inspo for you:

The dangerous stuff is already out there, but with knowledge on their side, young people will hopefully make the right choices and fight companies making the wrong ones. If you need more convincing, here are the serious facts.

Over the last decade, 127 e-cigarette-related seizures were reported, which prompted the FDA to launch an official investigation in April 2019. Since then, over 215 cases of a new, severe lung illness have sprung up all over the country, with six deaths to date. While scientists aren't yet sure of the root cause, the majority of victims were young adults who regularly vaped and used e-cigarettes. As such, the CDC has launched an official investigation into the potential link.

Sixteen-year-old Luka Kinard, a former frequent e-cigarette-user, is one of the many teens who experienced severe side effects. "Vaping was my biggest addiction," he told NowThis. "It lasted for about 15 months of my high school career." In 2018, Kinard was hospitalized after having a seizure. He also had severe nausea, chest pains, and difficulty breathing.

After the harrowing experience, he quit vaping, and began speaking out about his experience to help inform others and hopefully inspire them to quit and/or take action. "It shouldn't take having a seizure as a result of nicotine addiction like I had for teens to realize that these companies are taking advantage of what we don't know," Kinard said.

Teens are 16 times more likely to use e-cigarettes than adults, and four times more likely to take up traditional smoking as a result, according to truth, and yet the e-cigarette market remains virtually unregulated and untested. In fact, companies like JUUL continue to block and prevent FDA regulations, investing more than $1 million in lawyers and lobbying efforts in the last quarter alone.

Photo by Lindsay Fox/Pixabay

Consumers have a right to know what they're putting in their bodies. If everyone (and their pets) speaks up, the e-cigarette industry will have to make a change. Young people are already taking action across the country. They're hosting rallies nationwide and on October 9 as part of a National Day of Action, young people are urging their friends and classmates to "Ditch JUUL." Will you join them?

For help with quitting e-cigarettes, visit thetruth.com/quit or text DITCHJUUL to 88709 for free, anonymous resources.

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