2 Little Blue Boxes That'll Shock The Hell Out Of You
You’re walking down the sidewalk, earbuds in, listening to your favorite hip-hop beats. As your head bobs to the sounds, the sun warms your back. It’s a perfect day.
When the chorus hits, the empty Sprite bottle in your hand becomes a drumstick, passing traffic becomes a sea of concertgoers, and the concrete beneath your feet is suddenly a stage. Spinning on your heels, you close out the song with your face to the sky and hands in the air.
Spotting a bright blue bin, you chuck in your imaginary drumstick. The sound that echoes back is satisfyingly cool, a deep, reverberating clunk so loud you can hear it over the music.
That is the sound of recycling.
Imagine how harmonious it would sound to mix the tones of millions of bottles going through the recycling process—the melody of all of us doing our part?
The Coca-Cola Company recognizes its responsibility to help address the world’s plastic packaging crisis. Several of the company’s most popular brands were historically made in green plastic bottles—however, when green plastic is recycled, it is usually turned into single-use items that do not get recycled again. To take one more step toward greater sustainability, Sprite, Fresca and Seagram’s are now being packaged in clear plastic bottles, increasing the likelihood of them being recycled over and over again—a process known as “closed loop recycling.”
Surprisingly enough, closed loop recycling and music have a lot in common. Music producers typically use a technique called sound sampling: the process of taking an old sound, chopping it up, and flipping it into a completely new beat. Just like the process of recycling, old can be new in sound sampling. An old sound is used in a new track, which is morphed again into a newer track, and so on. Beats being made today will be recycled by another creative in the future. Que Uptown Funk!
To celebrate the shift from green to clear, The Coca-Cola Company partnered with iconic, genre-defining/defying producers Mark Ronson and Madlib to create the world’s first album composed of the sounds of the plastic recycling process itself. The Recycled Records EP uses real ambient sounds sampled from various points in the closed-loop recycling chain at four different recycling facilities scattered across the United States. From the percussion of a forklift beeping, to the tonal beat of a conveyor belt, to the hi-hat of air blown into a plastic bottle, the EP brings to life the magic of multiple reuses.
“It sounds very crazy to say it, but anything can become a sample…any sound can be manipulated. The sound of opening a barrel of plastic has its own funk and flow to it,” said Ronson.
Not only did The Coca-Cola Company find a way to literally turn the sounds of recycling into music, thanks to the Recycled Records Beat Machine, you can be part of that process, too. Using the site, music enthusiasts are able to remix the very same recycled sound library used by Ronson and Madlib into innovative compositions of their own through an interactive, one-of-a-kind digitized version of an 808 beat machine. Generally, the biggest obstacle for many aspiring artists is accessing the proper musical technology, which is yet another reason why Recycled Records is so dang cool—this beat machine is free and accessible to anyone with an internet connection.
Innovation and creativity are the way of the future; tap into yours today by creating a Recycled Record of your very own. Maybe someday, other people will be dancing down the street listening to YOUR beats!
Best. Host. Ever.
Seeing the northern lights is a common bucket list adventure for many people. After all, it ticks a lot of boxes—being a dazzling light show, rich historical experience and scientific phenomenon all rolled into one. Plus there’s the uncertainty of it all, never quite knowing if you’ll witness a vivid streak of otherworldly colors dance across the sky…or simply see an oddly colored cloud. It’s nature’s slot machine, if you will.
Traveler and content creator Pency Lucero was willing to take that gamble. After thorough research, she stumbled upon an Airbnb in Rörbäck, Sweden with an actual picture of the northern lights shining above the cabin in the listing. With that kind of photo evidence, she felt good about her odds.
However, as soon as she landed, snow began falling so hard that the entire sky was “barely visible,” she told Upworthy. Martin, the Airbnb host, was nonetheless determined to do everything he could to ensure his guests got to see the spectacle, even offering to wake Lucero up in the middle of the night if he saw anything.
Then one night, the knock came.
In a video Lucero posted to TikTok, which now has over 12 million views, we hear Martin ushering her out to take a peek. Then we see Lucero’s face light up just before seeing the sky do the same.
“I thought it was a prank,” the onscreen text reads in the clip. “And then I see it….”
I’m on the verge of crying every time I watch this video I still cannot believe it. 📍 Rörbäck, Sweden
“I was mostly in awe of what this Earth is capable of,” Lucero recalled. “I never expected it to be THAT beautiful for the naked eye.” This is a hopeful sentiment against the widely accepted notion that the northern lights are often better looking in photos than they are in real life.
As Lucero asserted in a follow-up video, “Our video doesn’t do it justice at all…I would argue it’s even better for the naked eye.”
@penslucero Replying to @PatriotFamilyHomes ♬ Golden Hour: Piano Version - Andy Morris
Others were quick to back Lucero with anecdotes of their own experience.
“It’s definitely possible to see it like in the pics. I saw it this winter in Norway, there was bright green, purple and so much movement.”
“They’re so much better in person, the way they dance and move around is insane and beautiful.”
Of course, if you ask Martin, who everyone agreed was the best host ever, seeing guest reactions of pure wonder and joy is even “better than the lights themselves.” But still, he can’t deny that there’s a breathtaking magic to it all. He shared with Upworthy that “Sometimes it feels like it will pull you up in the sky like you are in the middle of it. I wish everyone would have the chance to witness it.”
A photo from Martin's Airbnb listing
When it comes to tips for actually seeing the northern lights, Martin admits it still mostly comes down to being in the right place at the right time. Luckily, his Airbnb listing can help with that.
Nature has a great way of reminding us that beyond the distractions and distresses of modern life, there is sublime beauty waiting for the chance to capture our hearts.
Kids shouldn't have to act like adults.
Whitney Goodman, a licensed marriage and family therapist, shared a video about kids who grew up in homes where their parents were always fighting, which made many people feel seen. It also started a conversation about who deserves more empathy in the parent-child relationship: the parents or the children.
Goodman is known as the “radically honest” psychotherapist and the author of “Toxic Positivity: Keeping it Real in a World Obsessed with Being Happy.”
"If you grew up in this kind of house, you may have noticed that your family would split off into different alliances or teams to try to manage the material discord. Because the marriage wasn't a good or safe foundation for the family, everybody else had to kind of go and form these new teams,” Goodman explained in an Instagram post.
"Maybe you and your dad would team up and talk bad about your mom—and mom was crazy, and we need to fight against her. And maybe your other sibling was teamed up with your mom and would start acting like her and started to behave in similar ways, and everybody was, like, trying to find stability but also out to get one another at the same time," she continued.
Goodman believes that no matter how well a child deals with parents who are constantly in conflict, the outcome will never be optimal.
"You're all looking for safety and trying to find it in different ways, but you'll never be able to achieve the same type of stability you would have felt if your parents had that concrete stable relationship,” she added.
Many commenters could relate to the unstable feeling that Goodman described in her post and the stress of living in a divided family and playing on different teams.
"All of this, and it's so confusing when you're an only child and you end up 'bouncing' between teams," Amwahl added.
"100%. Teamed up with my dad only to realize as an adult that he’s the problem," lovisoctavia wrote.
"This happened to me growing up. Even to this day I have to remind my mom that I’m not interested in talking badly about dad," hawkmoonrising said in the comments.
The post also made some parents who may have gone through challenging times raising their kids ask for some sympathy as well. This begs the question, in these domestic situations, who deserves more compassion, the parent or the child?
Goodwin posted a follow-up video with her answer.
Goodman believes that when children grow up, their parents tend to view their past as if they went through the situation as the people they are now, not the helpless kid. This skews the power dynamic in the parents’ eyes and puts them on equal footing.
But in the end, the children had no choice in the situation.
“When we're having these conversations, this will always be true: The child was a child who was helpless, defenseless, and unable to care for themselves physically and emotionally,” Goodman said. “The adult had power and options. And when we keep that in mind, it makes the conversation a little bit more fair.”
Arthur and Bernardo finally get to see each other face to face.
The things human beings have figured out how to do boggles the mind sometimes, especially in the realm of medicine.
It wasn't terribly long ago that people with a severe injury had to liquor up, bite a stick, have a body part sewn up or sawed off and hope for the best. (Sorry for the visual, but it's true.) The discoveries of antibiotics and anesthesia alone have completely revolutionized human existence, but we've gone well beyond that with what our best surgeons can accomplish.
Surgeries can range from fairly simple to incredibly complex, but few surgeries are more complicated than separating conjoined twins with combined major organs. That's why the recent surgical separation of conjoined twin boys with fused brains in Brazil is so incredible.
The twins, Bernardo and Arthur Lima, are almost 4 years old and have never seen one another's face. They've spent their lives conjoined at the top of their heads, facing opposite directions. Born as craniopagus twins (joined at the cranium), their brains were also fused together, making their separation extremely complex. According to the BBC, they've been cared for at the Instituto Estadual do Cérebro Paulo Niemeyer (Paulo Niemeyer State Brain Institute) in Rio de Janeiro for the past two and a half years.
Surgeon Noor ul Owase Jeelani is the founder of medical charity Gemini Untwined, which funded the surgery. He helped lead the team of nearly 100 medical workers who worked for months to prepare for the boys' separation, which was one of the most complicated of its kind.
Jeelani told the BBC that it was the first time surgeons in separate countries practiced by operating in the same "virtual reality room" together, wearing VR headsets.
"It's just wonderful," he said. "It's really great to see the anatomy and do the surgery before you actually put the children at any risk. You can’t imagine how reassuring this is for the surgeons. To do it in virtual reality was just really man-on-Mars stuff."
Watch Jeelani explain how they prepared for the procedure:
Prior attempts to separate the twins had been unsuccessful, making the surgery even more challenging due to scar tissue. However, after multiple surgeries that took more than 33 hours collectively, the boys were successfully separated in June.
“It was without a doubt the most complex surgery of my career,” said neurosurgeon Gabriel Mufarrej of the Paulo Niemeyer State Brain Institute, according to EuroNews. “At the beginning, nobody thought they would survive. It is already historic that both of them could be saved."
Jeelani told the BBC that the boys' heart rates and blood pressure were "through the roof" for four days after the surgery—until they were reunited and touched hands.
According to Reuters, Bernardo and Arthur are the oldest twins with fused brains to be successfully separated. They will spend the next six months in rehabilitation.
Congratulations to the Lima family and to the global team that combined dedication, perseverance and the miracle of modern technology to create a brighter future for these young boys.
This article originally appeared on 08.04.22
“I know this is a small tragedy in the grand scheme of the world, but one that I feel acutely knowing that I expected many more years with my friend."
Tons of people found themselves clicking on the trending hashtag #RIPMarty, expecting to hear tragic news about a celebrity of some sort.
Instead, they learned about Marty the cat, whose owner shared the most heartbreakingly beautiful goodbye letter following his passing. That letter quickly went viral online, leaving folks completely invested Marty's story, not to mention utterly devastated.
Will Menaker, who shared the letter on Twitter, began by sharing how he and Marty first met. Or more accurately, how Marty introduced himself by emerging from under a car and unapologetically following Menaker up to the steps of his apartment seeking pets. Eventually, as the weather began to get colder, Menaker experimented with bringing Marty inside.
“From that moment on I was in love. I wouldn’t say I ‘had’ a cat, but from then on I shared a house with a tuxedo cat I would name Marty,” Menaker wrote.
Other than being TNR’d (trapped, neutered, released), Marty’s past was a mystery. What Menaker did know of his feline companion was that he had “striking green eyes,” was “always friendly but aloof” and was “outgoing but possessed a Sphinx-like dignity that nothing could assail.”
Those are already lovely words, but you might want to grab tissues for this next part.
Yesterday, I had to say goodbye to a friend. pic.twitter.com/E3sbk5LTKb— Will 🦥 Menaker (@willmenaker) March 29, 2023
“Yesterday, we had to say goodbye. After months of trying to treat a cancer that he had been suffering from, enough was enough. He stopped eating and drinking entirely and by then had wasted away to weighing almost nothing…I decided to make the only decision we could on his behalf. He went to sleep in our house and in my arms.”
Tapping into every pet parent’s grief, Menaker wrote, “I know this is a small tragedy in the grand scheme of the world, but one that I feel acutely knowing that I expected many more years with my friend. We are heartbroken but grateful for the years that we did have him in our lives.”
Despite the obvious anguish, Menaker’s letter ends on a hopeful note.
“I firmly believe cats are connected in some way to the other side. They have been around human civilization for roughly 9,000 years and are the only animal species that has domesticated human beings and not vice versa…Whatever happens after our deaths, I think cats are somehow involved, and I hope that when it comes time, Marty will guide me on my own journey to the Western Lands.
“Goodbye Marty, I’ll miss you terribly.”
Menaker’s moving words had people in tears over a cat they didn’t even know.
Sees "RIP Marty" trending.— TheAlabastard🏒🏋🏼♀️🐈🤟🏻 (@ThatAlabastard) March 29, 2023
Clicks to see which Marty.
Reads about Marty the kitty.
Marty was a good kitty. https://t.co/J5KCiAhvDI
Many commiserated with pictures of their own belated fur babies.
I'm so sorry for your loss. RIP, Marty. When you see Jewel, tell her I love her and I still miss her every day pic.twitter.com/fB1qsNEg8d— Zoe 💖💜💙✡️ black lives matter (@zmcadler) March 29, 2023
Others still applauded Menaker for showing Marty such compassion and love.
Taking in an animal and loving them, caring for them, is one of the greatest acts of compassion in this world.— Evangelicals Are Fascists 🏳️🌈 (@JasonIsCreating) March 29, 2023
RIP Marty, you lived a good life, and you were very clearly loved. https://t.co/AjNYMiS4rl
Goodbye, Marty. We might not know you, but we are touched by your story. Enjoy that great scratching post in the sky.
There’s no hiding from this good girl.
Dogs can sometimes act like doofuses, whether it's eating a sock and doing the poop of shame later or trying to pretend they didn't rifle through the trash while sitting in front of the evidence. Dogs are also pretty smart and hilariously entertaining, especially when you teach them a fun trick, which makes up for their brief lapses in judgment.
A Golden Retriever named Ellie has learned one of the cutest tricks yet: hide-and-seek. In a video posted by The Dodo on Facebook Watch, you see Ellie's parents finding difficult places to hide. And by difficult, I mean opening up the couch storage area and climbing inside to see if the dog's nose can sniff them out.
Ellie's way too smart for their shenanigans and continuously finds each hiding place within seconds. But it's unclear if she's finding her parents or if she's just searching for her favorite toy.
Every time one of her parents hid, they were holding a little pink stuffed dog toy. So maybe she was just on the hunt for her toy and couldn't care less about finding the human hiding behind clothes in the closet for some unknown-to-Ellie reason. Either way, it seems her adorable game of hide-and-seek got a lot of people in the feels reminiscing about their own dogs.
"I had a border collie that loved to play hide and seek with the neighbor children! It was SO adorable!!!" one commenter wrote.
"Our golden used to be the best!! He could find anything/anyone fast!! He loved it!" another person wrote.
"Best video I’ve seen in ages! The love between you shows. I love it!" a different commenter said.
Ellie's game of hide and seek is capturing hearts across the internet. The cute Golden Retriever even has her own TikTok page where you can see even more of her antics. But before you jaunt off to TikTok, watch Ellie outsmart her humans below.
You'll never see America the same way.
As the old saying goes, “the map is not the territory,” and sometimes maps can be misleading. David Blattman, head of production at Barstool Sports, shared four unbelievable facts about U.S. geography on Twitter, all of which appear to be wildly incorrect, but aren't.
“These geography facts have left me speechless,” Blattman wrote on Twitter.
Each one of these bullet points deserves a fact check, but Snopes stepped in to make sense of the last one, which feels false. Is Detroit, a midwestern city, really east of Atlanta, a city that’s a 4-hour drive from the east coast?
Yes, Detroit is east of Atlanta.
\u201cThese geography facts have left me speechless:\n\n\u2022Alaska is the northernmost, westernmost & easternmost state.\n\n\u2022You can travel north, south, east or west in Stamford, CT & the next state you hit is NY.\n\n\u2022Reno is further west than LA.\n\n\u2022Detroit is further east than Atlanta.\u201d— David Blattman (@David Blattman) 1588217582
“Atlanta is actually west of Detroit. Its coordinates are (emphasis added): 33.7488° N, 84.3877° W while Detroit's are 42.3314° N, 83.0458° W,” Bethania Palma at Snopes confirmed. The fact-checking site reached out to geographer Maria Lane for further comment.
She explained that our eyes are fooled by their locations because the east coast extends further east as it moves north. Conversely, in the south, the coast moves towards the west. This makes Atlanta appear to be much further east.
We are also fooled by how we’ve determined what’s “east coast” and what's "midwest.”
"So it shouldn't be any surprise that places on the southern 'east coast' are further west than places on the northern 'east coast,'" Lane wrote. "And northern places that we consider 'inland' or 'midwest' when compared to those far-north areas of the east coast, can still be relatively farther east than coast-adjacent places in the South."
This Tumblr post from @realtivegeography explains it perfectly.
So what about the other three hard-to-believe geographical facts?
Alaska is the northernmost, westernmost and easternmost state.
It makes sense that Alaska is the northernmost and westernmost state. It also has the title of easternmost because the Aleutian Islands arc right up to the edge of the Western Hemisphere and cross over into the Eastern Hemisphere. Alaska’s Semisopochnoi Island (179° East) is so far west it actually lies in the Eastern Hemisphere. Alaska’s Little Diomede island lies only 4 km from Big Diomede, a Russian territory. In the dead of winter, when the water around the island freezes, one can walk from the U.S. to Russia in under an hour.
You can travel north, south, east or west in Stamford, Connecticut, and the next state you hit is NY.
Blattman explained this perfectly in a tweet with a map showing how it works.
I think the Stamford one is my favorite. pic.twitter.com/pLLzjtxkpd— David Blattman (@davidblattman) April 30, 2020
Reno is further west than Los Angeles.
How can Reno, Nevada, be west of Los Angeles, California? Los Angeles has beaches, and Reno is 128 miles from the coastline. Much like how the east coast recedes west as it heads south, the west coast does the same, pushing Los Angeles to the east of Reno.
Reno, Nevada in relation to Los Angeles, California.
via Google Maps