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aerophobia, flying, airplanes, jello

If you're afraid of turbulence, just imagine the plane is suspended in jello.

Fear of flying—aerophobia, in technical terms—is an extremely common phobia, affecting around 25 million adults in the U.S. alone. Some people grit their teeth and white-knuckle their way through their fear, while others find themselves unable to get on an airplane at all because of it.

Such a fear is understandable, really. Hurtling through the sky at 500 miles per hour, tens of thousands of feet above the Earth's surface, isn't exactly the way humans were designed to get from place to place. (We may have evolved with the brain power and ingenuity to make it happen, but that doesn't mean we automatically go along for the ride without our sense of self-preservation kicking in.)

One of the triggers for people with aerophobia is turbulence—the occasional shaking and pitching of an aircraft when it hits certain conditions in the atmosphere. Even people who are comfortable flying can find turbulence disconcerting sometimes, especially when it creates a sudden dropping sensation. Turbulence is normal, but it doesn't feel normal when you're sitting in a chair 30,000 feet from solid ground. It feels chaotic and out of control.


Anna Paul, a popular TikTok star from Australia, has shared a helpful visual for people freaked out by turbulence in a video that has more than 19 million views.

Paul explains that a pilot shared the analogy of a plane flying through the air being like an object suspended in jello. There's pressure on all sides, so even if the jello is shaken—and the object shaken along with it—the pressure suspends the object.

In other words, a plane is not going to suddenly drop down out of the sky due to turbulence, in the same way that an object won't drop out of the middle of a bowl of jello.

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The jello analogy is also used by aerophobia experts. Therapist Les Posen specializes in flying phobias, and he shows his clients a model airplane suspended in raspberry jello to illustrate the fact that turbulence won't cause a plane to drop out of the sky. He even goes a step farther by having clients smell the jello, and then advises them to eat some raspberry candy or juice on the plane to remind themselves of the analogy, using their senses to calm their nerves.

At the end of her video, Paul said there's never been a plane crash from turbulence, but that's not quite true. In 1966, a flight (BOAC 911) coming out of Tokyo broke apart in midair due to unexpected severe turbulence. However, that was a very long time ago. Monitoring of meteorological conditions has greatly advanced since then, as have the designs of modern aircraft and the skill of pilots, so experts will tell you that turbulence is not something to worry about.

If imagining air pressure as jello doesn't really work for you, it may be helpful to have a visual of what turbulence actually is. For that, Captain Stuart Walker, who has been flying for 30 years, explains the four main types of turbulence, what causes them and what pilots do to avoid them or reduce their impact. He also explains what passengers can do to minimize their chances of feeling turbulence on a flight, such as sitting over the wings or toward the front of the plane and flying earlier in the day when temperatures are not as likely to cause air disturbances.

Whether you prefer hospital-food-based analogies or no-nonsense, scientific explanations, the bottom line is that turbulence feels far scarier than it actually is. A shaking plane is not going to drop from the sky, modern aircraft can withstand a great deal of movement midair and pilots are highly trained to handle turbulence.

And remember: Commercial airline travel really is the safest way to get to where you're going, statistically speaking. So next time you fly, kick back, relax and imagine you're suspended in jello, knowing you're in capable hands when the turbulence starts.

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The last thing children should have to worry about is where their next meal will come from. But the unfortunate reality is food insecurity is all too common in this country.

In an effort to help combat this pressing issue, KFC is teaming up with Blessings in a Backpack to provide nearly 70,000 meals to families in need and spread holiday cheer along the way.

The KFC Sharemobile, a holiday-edition charitable food truck, will be making stops at schools in Chicago, Orlando, and Houston in December to share KFC family meals and special gifts for a few select families to address specific needs identified by their respective schools.

These cities were chosen based on the high level of food insecurity present in their communities and hardships they’ve faced, such as a devastating hurricane season in Florida and an unprecedented winter storm in Houston. In 2021, five million children across the US lived in food-insecure households, according to the USDA.

“Sharing a meal with family or friends is a special part of the holidays,” said Nick Chavez, CMO of KFC U.S. “Alongside our franchisees, we wanted to make that possible for even more families this holiday season.”

KFC will also be making a donation to Blessings in a Backpack, a nonprofit that works to provide weekend meals to school-aged children across America who might otherwise go hungry.

“The generous donations from KFC could not have come at a better time, as these communities have been particularly hard-hit this year with rising food costs, inflation and various natural disasters,” Erin Kerr, the CEO of Blessings in a Backpack, told Upworthy. “Because of KFC’s support, we’re able to spread holiday cheer by donating meals for hunger-free weekends and meet each community’s needs,” Kerr said.

This isn’t the first time KFC has worked with Blessings in a Backpack. The fried chicken chain has partnered with the nonprofit for the last six years, donating nearly $1 million dollars. KFC employees also volunteer weekly to package and provide meals to students in Louisville, Kentucky who need food over the weekend.

KFC franchisees are also bringing the Sharemobile concept to life in markets across the country through local food donations and other holiday giveback moments. Ampex Brands, a KFC franchisee based in Dallas, recently held its annual Day of Giving event and donated 11,000 meals to school children in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.

If you’d like to get involved, you can make a donation to help feed students in need at kfc.com/kfcsharemobile. Every bit helps, but a donation of $150 helps feed a student on the weekends for an entire 38-week school year, and a donation as low as $4 will feed a child for a whole weekend.

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In his final monologue, he credits those insights to his Black women mentors, from his own mother and grandmother to thought leaders he has had on his show to Black women in general. And it's quite telling that he managed to keep it together in his final show, right up until the point when he talked about these women.

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The medley that closes out the second side of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album is one of the most impressive displays of musicianship in the band’s storied career. It also provided the perfect send-off before the band’s official breakup months later, ending with the lyrics, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

In 1969, “Abbey Road” was the last record the group made together, although “Let it Be,” recorded earlier that year, was released in 1970.

At first, the medley was just a clever way for the band to use a handful of half-finished tunes, but when it came together it was a rousing, grandiose affair.

Arranged by Paul McCartney and producer George Martin, the medley weaves together five songs written by McCartney, "You Never Give Me Your Money," "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window," "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight” and "The End," and three by John Lennon, “Sun King," "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam."

Fifteen seconds after the medley and the album’s conclusion, there is a surprise treat, McCartney’s 22-second “Her Majesty,” which wound up on the record as an accident.

Jack Black and Kyle Gass, collectively known as Tenacious D, recently reimagined two of the songs in the medley, "You Never Give Me Your Money" and "The End," for acoustic guitars for a performance on SiriusXM's Octane Channel. Like everything with Tenacious D, it showed off the duo’s impressive musical chops as well as their fantastic sense of humor.

The truncated version of the medley was also a wonderful tribute to the incredible work the Beatles did 53 years ago.

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It’s clear that these two respect and admire each other’s work. Sandler applauded Fraser’s career-long stride of making bold and interesting choices, and especially commended him for his starring role in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale,” which has been hailed as a major comeback for the “Mummy” franchise star.
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