She thought her trainer was flirting with her. But he just thought she looked like Buzz Lightyear.

We're in the middle of Hot Girl Summer — a concept I loosely understand as "feel yourself regardless of gender or societal expectations of attractiveness" — which means that we should all, as Megan Thee Stallion, originator of the term, explains, spending our Julys and Augusts being unapologetically ourselves and "having a good-ass time, hyping up your friends, doing you, not giving a damn about what nobody got to say about it."

That's the spirit (I think) one woman on Twitter was living when she decided her personal trainer was flirting with her. The signs were all there. Or at least two signs. Or one. It depends on whether you think someone taking a picture of you and then asking for your number to send it is a behavior set made up of two distinct and separate actions or just a single complex one.

What Emily Baumgartner (the Twitter user in question) didn't know when she handed her number over, thought, was that she was about to be rocketed to the kind of anxiety-inducing 24-hour celebrity stardom that so many people hope and dream for (even if it doesn't translate to more subscribers). And that's why, reader, she posted what happened next.

And. Here. It. Is.

Real quick, I just want to say that just because you look like Buzz Lightyear doesn't mean someone isn't flirting with you. In fact, I remember the girls in middle school arguing over whether they'd prefer Buzz or Woody as their boyfriends and eventual husbands.

But also: This is very, very funny. And it got even funnier when others got involved. I don't like to throw the term "chortle" around, but I definitely breathed real heavy when I saw the following response:

And then someone really got into it, taking the picture and making Baumgartner look even more like she was about to star in a computer-animated feature.

Have you seen "Toy Story 4" yet? Because...

STOP:

Baumgartner, is, fortunately, taking all of this in stride. She's already posted tweets to let Pixar know that she should be compensated for all the marketing she's doing for them, shared her Venmo with all her new fans, and even retweeted a poll about what her new reality show should be called. But none of that's as important as the fact that she's now got the best opener if she wants to flirt with her trainer. Or the reality that this is a story she can tell people TO INFINITY....AND BEYOND!!

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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