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Science & Technology

Yellowjackets actor Juliette Lewis.

Not that she ever really left the spotlight, but the iconic Juliette Lewis has recently reached a new chapter in her stardom thanks to her role of Natalie in Showtime’s obsession-worthy new series “Yellowjackets.”

Her social media is filled to the brim with excited fan theories, juicy behind-the-scenes questions and enthusiastic character appreciation posts. There’s no question about it; people love her performance as the tough, haunted, shotgun-savvy Nat.

But fun “Yellowjackets” trivia isn’t the only thing Lewis talks about with her following. She recently posted an Instagram Q&A with the caption, “I know some things ‘bout livin, love-ASK ME.”

One fan wrote, “ a lot of times I feel alone and like no one is there for me.”

Lewis’ advice for overcoming loneliness is something I think bears repeating.


“The only cure-all for this feeling- is being there for another,” the actress replied.


In times of helplessness, being there for someone else might feel impossible. Counterintuitive even. But research has repeatedly shown that acts of altruism can help us live longer, lift us from depression and fulfill our very basic psychological need to belong. There’s a reason why loneliness feels so awful, and why generosity is a gift that keeps on giving.

In other words, Juliette Lewis is onto something here.

Lewis really does walk the talk with this. It only took a few seconds of searching on Google to see that she regularly supports charities, including (but not limited to) Little Kids Rock, an organization dedicated to providing music education to disadvantaged schools.

But working with charity organizations isn’t the only avenue. Lewis added that a generous act needn’t be a grand gesture. Your act of kindness could be as simple as “show[ing] up for another in [a way] they’d like–a phone call, give food, give them kindness and show care/interest…chat with them…make them feel less alone…make them feel heard or happier.”

There’s an added benefit of making someone feel heard, too. According to a study published in 2017, by helping others manage difficult emotions, we enhance our own ability to self-regulate and therefore improve our own emotional well-being. Think of it as psychology's way of saying “what goes around comes around.”

As Lewis advises, the person you help can be someone you know or a complete stranger. The only real caveat here is that it should be “a person you are not trying to get something from in return,” to prioritize “connecting without expecting.”

Odds are, those words of affirmation you long to hear … someone else longs to hear them as well. That longing you have to be surprised with a random bag of goodies … someone else feels the same way. Fulfilling another person’s wish opens us up to our own power.

As Lewis writes, “once you know you can give love to another generously I assure you [that] you will open up this energy flow. And might even notice you are not ‘needing’ as much.”

Shifting our perspective to focus on others while at a low point might at first seem like pouring from an empty cup, but maybe the opposite is actually true. Maybe by realizing how we can affect the lives of others, our cups are then filled with the discovery of how influential we really are.

Next time you’re having trouble keeping your chin up, see how it feels to lift someone’s spirit. This article from Mental Health offers some great ideas to start. But odds are your heart already knows what to do.

Thanks Juliette Lewis for the sage wisdom.

… and seriously, what happened to Nat?!

Pardini GT9.

Everyone in America wants the country to be a place where they’re safe from violence. But there’s a big difference in how people think we should achieve that goal. Some Americans think that tougher gun laws make it more difficult for people to commit heinous acts of violence. While others believe that people are safer when they have easy access to firearms to protect themselves.

A new study released by the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund has found a very strong connection between a state’s gun laws and its rate of gun deaths.

The analysis concludes that states with strong gun safety policies have lower rates of fatal shootings while states with weaker gun laws have higher rates of gun deaths, including homicides, suicides and accidental killings. Everytown for Gun Safety makes a pretty clear point by ranking states from strongest gun laws to weakest.


California has the strongest gun laws and some of the lowest rates of gun deaths per 100,000 residents, at 8.5. The national average is 13.6. Conversely, Mississippi has the weakest gun laws and the highest rate of gun deaths per 100,000 residents, 28.6.

Mississippi

via Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund

“States with strong gun safety policies, such as background checks on all gun sales and extreme risk laws, have lower rates of gun violence while states with weaker gun laws, such as permitless gun carry and Stand Your Ground, have higher rates of gun violence,” Nick Suplina, senior vice president of law and policy at Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, told Upworthy.

Here are the top eight states when it comes to the strength of gun laws.

Top 8 states with strong gun laws

via Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund

The 8 states with the weakest gun laws

via Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund

You can see the entire list of all 50 states at the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund’s website.

"Everytown’s Gun Law Rankings shows what we have been saying for years: gun laws save lives. There is a clear and direct tie between a state's gun laws and its rate of gun deaths,” Suplina told Upworthy.

The evidence for strong gun safety laws appears to be overwhelming based on Everytown’s graph. But as any statistician will tell you, correlation doesn’t imply causation. In other words, just because states with tougher gun laws are safer doesn’t necessarily mean that strong gun laws are the sole reason that gun violence is lower.

The rankings also get a bit blurrier when one takes into account the fact that guns can move from state to state. Therefore, strong gun laws in one state can be affected by weaker laws in a neighboring state.

There is a whole host of factors that can influence the rate of gun violence in a given state, including socioeconomics, access to mental healthcare, education, social mobility and its citizens’ trust in institutions.

However, states with weaker gun laws make it easier to access firearms, and studies show that access to a firearm triples the likelihood of suicide, and a gun in the home is associated with more gun homicide.

The debate over guns has been one of the most heated fights in America’s culture wars and it won’t be solved anytime soon. But we all want what’s best for the country and to come to some effective agreement on how to do so we have to start with the facts. Everytown for Gun Safety has made a very compelling argument for stronger gun control laws across the country; it’ll be interesting to see if its opponents can muster any counterarguments that come close.










A parent disciplines his child.

Parenting can seem a lot like parroting. You repeat the same demands over and over again. “Get in the car,” “Put on your shoes,” “Stop putting your finger in the light socket “ … the list goes on and on. As parents, we don’t want to sound like a nag; we’d like them to listen the first time, but sometimes it seems impossible. No parent is perfect nor any child, so the struggle continues.

Just imagine a blissful morning where you only have to say the following phrases just once:

“Wake up.”

“Put on your clothes.”

“Finish your breakfast.”

"Brush your teeth.”

“Grab your backpack.”

“Get in the car."


Or, even better, would be never having to say them in the first place. This will never happen for 99% of all parents, but the good news is that you’re not alone.

Adam Rittenberg, senior writer for college football at ESPN, asked his followers what they have to tell their kids incessantly and he got back a list that every parent will understand.

So how do we get our children to listen the first time? Is it even possible? Erica Reischer Ph.D. has some tips in Psychology Today that can help parents get on the right track. One of the most important is to make sure to cultivate the habit of paying attention.

“Because if you tend to ask again and again (and again), and then either give up and do it yourself—or resort to yelling—you may be unintentionally teaching your kids that you can be ignored until you either give up (you didn’t really mean it) or you yell (now you mean it),” Reischer writes.

She also said to be sure to let them know the consequences of not listening.

“Fair warning is critical because if children know in advance what the consequences will be for breaking a rule or ignoring a request, then they are making a choice about their behavior: whether they are going to follow the rule, or break the rule and bear the consequences. There are no surprises,” Reischer says.

It’s also important that parents follow through with any threats or else they will have no teeth. If you count to three to get the child to listen and after finishing the count there aren’t any consequences, they’ll eventually stop listening. But if you follow through every time, they will start paying attention very quickly.

There’s another great piece of parenting advice that seems to apply to just about every situation, “What you permit, you teach.” Whatever behaviors we allow our children to do, whether we like them or not, we reinforce.

Parenting is tough, but as the tweet thread above shows, we’re not in it alone. Parents from all walks of life have the same struggles because every kid seems to be blessed with the miracle of selective hearing. Unless, of course, you ask if they want ice cream, then they’re all ears.

France takes a bold step toward blood donor equality.

In the early-to-mid '80s, countries across the globe enacted strict bans on blood donations from men who have sex with men (MSM). The bans were a reaction to the HIV/AIDS epidemic that affected MSM at much higher rates than those who are exclusively heterosexual.

But over the past 40 years, tests that can detect HIV in blood have become much more sophisticated. A 2015 surveillance report by Canadian Blood Services found that the risk of HIV transfusion-transmitted infection was just one in 21.4 million donations.

The tests have become so sophisticated they can detect the presence of HIV in blood two to six weeks after infection.

France began to lift restrictions on blood donations in 2019 for MSM by allowing them to do so if they remained sexually abstinent for at least four months before donating.

Now, the country has taken things a step further by eliminating all bans on blood donation based on sexual orientation.

The change in rules was announced by public health chief Jérôme Salomon, who said there would be "no more reference to sexual orientation" in questionnaires prior to donating blood.



“Starting on March 16, 2022 all French people, whatever their sexual orientation, will be able to donate blood,” Health Minister Olivier Véra said. “We are ending an inequality that is no longer justified,” he added.

The move was met with cheers from gay rights advocates.

“Imposing a four-month period of abstinence on homosexuals wishing to donate blood is totally absurd and has always been seen as a form of discrimination, especially when we know that donations are in short supply,” Matthieu Gatipon-Bachette, the spokesperson for the French LGBTQ rights group Inter-LGBT told the newspaper Le Parisien.

“Obviously there must be a health safety framework to be respected, but this must not be based on the sexual orientation of the donor,” he added.

France’s new law means there are at least 18 countries in the world that have no blood donor restrictions for MSM including Argentina, Italy, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Hungary and the United Kingdom.

via PixaBay

The United States is now a step behind France when it comes to allowing MSM to donate blood. In 2015, the U.S. began to allow MSM to donate blood if they were abstinent for one year.

Studies show that after MSM were allowed to donate with a 12-month period of abstinence, the increase in HIV infections through blood donations was insignificant.

Last year, on April 2, the FDA announced it had gone a step further by shortening the period of gay-sex abstinence from 12 months to just three.

"To help address this critical need and increase the number of donations, the FDA is announcing today that based on recently completed studies and epidemiologic data, we have concluded that the current policies regarding the eligibility of certain donors can be modified without compromising the safety of the blood supply," the notice said.

The new ruling also reduced the ban on donations from women who have had sex with MSM to three months as well.

The slow change in MSM blood donor rules throughout the world makes sense across the board. It will greatly increase the pool of eligible donors while reducing the stigma surrounding men who have sex with men. There are few things more harmful to a community than promoting the idea that their blood is tainted or dangerous.