+
More

A charity put her face on a poster and told all of London her secret. How would you have handled it?

I know Ruby Wax takes it seriously, otherwise she wouldn't have devoted her life to it. But I think her ability to joke about mental illness helps fight the stigma.

"I said, 'Yeah,' and I thought it was going to be a tiny fingernail clipping of a picture, but they were huge posters all over the U.K. — gigantic."

What is neuroplasticity?

Neuroplasticity in adults is burgeoning area of brain research that studies how adult brains learn and adapt to their environments — especially when it's injured somehow. It's trying to determine whether the brain is more like a bone (something that stops growing at adulthood and never grows again) or more like a muscle (something that get bigger, smaller, stronger, or weaker based on use).

So far, much of the research is showing that the brain is like a muscle you can train.

So if you work hard to learn the roads and landmarks of London, the part of your brain responsible for memory and navigation may get physically larger. But what about other parts of your brain?


But the power of changeable brain is not an infinite brain.

While some brain function can be restored after certain types of brain damage, neuroplasticity researchers are not sure the brain can recover from anything. Some types of brain damage are simply permanent even with time and treatment.

How can this help people like Ruby Wax who live with mental illness?

Researchers are finding that people with mental health issues like depression, addiction, and schizophrenia, are experiencing the flip side of neuroplasticity: Parts of their brains are shrinking or otherwise becoming less effective. In conjunction with standard treatments like therapy or medication, certain brain-stimulating activities seem to slow or reverse this "negative neuroplasticity."

So should I start exercising my brain?

The research doesn't indicate that it's as easy as looking at more things to get a bigger thalamus the way you would do more sit-ups to develop your abs. But if you want to have a stronger brain, several activities seem to make the brain faster, stronger, and more resilient.

But what about brain games?

The only peer-reviewed studies on the effect of brain games seem to be those commissioned and paid for by Lumosity, the leading brain game company. But that doesn't mean the research is bad; they've been working with some of America's most prestigious universities and hospitals.

Though the jury is still out on the myriad apps that purport to make you smarter, the research is promising. Even if regular cognitive "exercise" doesn't change the physiology of your brain, it certainly seems to have an effect on how well you think.

Joy

Delivery driver's reaction to snacks left for him shows how a little kindness goes a long way

'Seeing a grown man get so excited about Capri Sun is extra wholesome.'

"Dee" the delivery guy stoked to get some Doritos.

Sometimes the smallest gesture can change someone’s day for the better, especially when that act of kindness lets them know their work is appreciated. Over the last few years, delivery drivers have done a fantastic job keeping people healthy during the pandemic, so Toni Hillison Barnett told News 11 that she and her husband started a tradition of leaving snacks for their drivers on the front porch.

The Barnetts, who live in Louisville, Kentucky, can see the drivers' reactions by recording them on their doorbell cameras. “I live for reactions like this to our snack cart! Thx to all of the delivery drivers out there! We appreciate you!” Toni wrote on an Instagram post.

Recently, one of the Barnetts’ delivery guys, a joyous fellow that we believe is known as Dee, went viral on TikTok because of his positive reaction to receiving some snacks during his deliveries. The snacks are tasty, no doubt. But it’s also wonderful to feel appreciated. After Toni posted the video, it received more than 100,000 views.

“Oh my God, you guys are the best, I gotta take a snapshot of this,” Dee can be heard saying in the video. “Oh, Capri Suns are my favorite, Yes!”

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Pixabay/Pexels

Train tracks leading into Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

Kanye West (who has legally changed his name to Ye) has been making headlines—again—not only for his bizarre public behavior, but for blatantly antisemitic remarks he made in recent interviews.

There's no question that Ye's comments praising Hitler and Nazis and denying that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust are hurtful and dangerous. There's no question that bad actors are using Ye's antisemitic comments to push their white nationalist agenda. The question is whether Ye fans would allow their admiration of his musical talents—or whatever else they like about him—to overshadow the fact that he is now regularly spewing pro-Nazi rhetoric to millions of people.

In at least one corner of the internet, fans are responding in what may be the most effective and meaningful way possible—by countering Ye's commentary with a deluge of Holocaust education and remembrance.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Roméo A. on Unsplash

Cat hilariously rats out owner in front of the landlord.

Maybe it's a right of passage into adulthood or maybe some landlords discriminate against pets because they can't tell people kids are forbidden in their residence. Either way, just about everyone has lived in a rental home that didn't allow pets. Most people just abide by the rules and vow to get a pet when they find a new home.

Some people, on the other hand, get creative. I once came across a post on social media where someone claimed their pit bull puppy was actually a silver Labrador. But one woman on TikTok was harboring a secret cat in her rental that had a no pets policy, and either her cat was unaware or he was aware and was simply being a jerk.

My money is on the latter since cats are known to be jerks for no reason. I mean, have you ever left something on the counter for a few minutes? They make it their mission to knock it on the floor. So I fully believe this fluffy little meow box wanted to make his presence known in an effort to rat out his owner.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

'Princess Bride' star Mandy Patinkin shared a moving detail about the film with a grieving woman

Two souls connecting over the loss of their fathers. (Phew, grab a tissue for this one, folks.)

via Mandy Patinkin / TikTok

This story originally appeared on 08.25.21


There was an emotional exchange on TikTok between two people who lost their fathers to cancer. One was actor Mandy Patinkin, the other was TikTok user Amanda Webb.

Patinkin currently stars on "The Good Fight" but one of his most famous roles is Inigo Montoya in the 1987 classic "The Princess Bride." In the film, Montoya is a swordsman who is obsessed with confronting a six-fingered man who killed his father.

Webb recently lost her father Dan to mantle cell lymphoma. She had heard a rumor that Patinkin used his father's death from cancer as motivation in a pivotal scene where he confronts the six-fingered Count Rugen (Christopher Guest) in a duel.

Keep ReadingShow less