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Culture

A woman complained about a news anchor sharing a Korean tradition. The responses are everything.

Asian Americans, racism

A caller complained about St. Louis news anchor Michelle Li "being very Asian."

We've seen people call into news stations to complain about news anchors for unbelievable reasons before, from complaints about clothing choices to judgments about body size. Now we can add being "very Asian" to the list. Yes, seriously.

Michelle Li is an award-winning Asian American reporter and news anchor for NBC St. Louis. On New Year's Day, in a segment about traditional new year food dishes, she shared, “I ate dumpling soup. That’s what a lot of Korean people do.”

Neat, right? A cool cultural tradition to learn about if someone wasn't already familiar with it.

Or, if you're the sad woman who called into the station to complain, an "offensive" statement Li should have kept to herself. Yes, really.


Li shared a recording of the woman's one-minute call, in which she said she was "offended" by Li sharing her tradition. "I don't think it was appropriate that she said that, and she's being very Asian…she can keep her Korean to herself."

The woman's insistence that a white person couldn't say something similar about a cultural tradition makes no sense, of course. If an anchor had Irish ancestry and said that their family ate corned beef and cabbage because that's a traditional new year's meal in Ireland, would they be fired? Um, no. How this woman confused a specific cultural tradition with someone making a generalization about white people is baffling, and her complaining about an Asian American "being very Asian" is even more so.

The responses were swift and supportive.

Some support came in the form of sarcasm.

Some came in the form of common sense.

And some came in the form of the #VeryAsian hashtag.

In fact, the phrase caught on like wildfire, resulting in "Very Asian" merch for a good cause.

Along with another anchor, Gia Vang, Li created a website with shirts and hats with "Very Asian" on them, some of them in Li's handwriting. For a limited time, people can buy these "Very Asian" wearables, with all proceeds going to the Asian American Journalists Association, an organization that supports Asian American journalists, works to advance diversity in newsrooms and strives to ensure fair and accurate coverage of communities of color.

They even have merch for #VeryAsian kids:

If someone is going to complain about a woman doing her job and being herself simply because she is of Asian descent, at least some good can come out of it. Michelle Li should not have been subjected to that woman's racism, but it's heartening to see how she and those who support her take that lemon and make lemonade from it.

To donate directly to the Asian American Journalists Association, go here.

Florida teacher Yolanda Turner engaged 8th grade students in a dance-off.

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Teachers deserve all the kudos, high fives, raises, accolades, prizes and thanks for everything they do. Even if they just stuck to academics alone, they'd be worth far more than they get, but so many teachers go above and beyond to teach the whole child, from balancing equations to building character qualities.

One way dedicated educators do that is by developing relationships and building rapport with their students. And one surefire way to build rapport is to dance with them.

A viral video shared by an assistant principal at Sumner High School & Academy in Riverview, Florida shows a group of students gathered around one student as he challenges a teacher to a dance-off.

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According to Psychology Today, grade-school kids with highly unusual names or names with negative associations tend to be “less popular” than those with more “desirable” names. Later in life, people with “unpopular or unattractive” names have more difficulty finding romantic partners.

A 23-year-old mother-to-be wanted to name her son Gaylord and had her family's full, passionate support, but her husband, 24, and his side of the family were firmly against the idea. The woman was looking for validation and posted about the dilemma on Reddit's AITA forum.

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How often do you change your sheets?

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According to a survey of 1,000 Americans conducted by Mattress Advisor, the average time between sheet changings or washings in the U.S. is 24 days—or every 3 1/2 weeks, approximately. The same survey revealed that 35 days is the average interval at which unwashed sheets are "gross."

Some of you are cringing at those stats while others are thinking, "That sounds about right." But how often should you wash your sheets, according to experts?

Hint: It's a lot more frequent than 24 days.

While there is no definitive number of days or weeks, most experts recommend swapping out used sheets for clean ones every week or two.

Dermatologist Alok Vij, MD told Cleveland Clinic that people should wash their sheets at least every two weeks, but probably more often if you have pets, live in a hot climate, sweat a lot, are recovering from illness, have allergies or asthma or if you sleep naked.

We shed dead skin all the time, and friction helps those dead skin cells slough off, so imagine what's happening every time you roll over and your skin rubs on the sheets. It's normal to sweat in your sleep, too, so that's also getting on your sheets. And then there's dander and dust mites and dirt that we carry around on us just from living in the world, all combining to make for pretty dirty sheets in a fairly short period of time, even if they look "clean."

Maybe if you shower before bed and always wear clean pajamas you could get by with a two-week sheet swap cycle, but weekly sheet cleaning seems to be the general consensus among the experts. The New York Times consulted five books about laundry and cleaning habits, and once a week was what they all recommend.

Sorry, once-a-monthers. You may want to step up your sheet game a bit.

What about the rest of your bedding? Blankets and comforters and whatnot?

Sleep.com recommends washing your duvet cover once a week, but this depends on whether you use a top sheet. Somewhere between the Gen X and Millennial eras, young folks stopped being about the top sheet life, just using their duvet with no top sheet. If that's you, wash that baby once a week. If you do use a top sheet, you can go a couple weeks longer on the duvet cover.

For blankets and comforters and duvet inserts, Sleep.com says every 3 months. And for decorative blankets and quilts that you don't really use, once a year washing will suffice.

What about pillows? Pillowcases should go in with the weekly sheet washing, but pillows themselves should be washed every 3 to 6 months. Washing pillows can be a pain, and if you don't do it right, you can end up with a lumpy pillow, but it's a good idea because between your sweat, saliva and skin cells, pillows can start harboring bacteria.

Finally, how about the mattress itself? Home influencers on TikTok can often be seen stripping their beds, sprinkling their mattress with baking soda, brushing it into the mattress fibers and then vacuuming it all out. Architectural Digest says the longer you leave baking soda on the mattress, the better—at least a few hours, but preferably overnight. Some people add a few drops of essential oil to the baking soda for some extra yummy smell.

If that all sounds like way too much work, maybe just start with the sheets. Pick a day of the week and make it your sheet washing day. You might find that climbing into a clean, fresh set of sheets more often is a nice way to feel pampered without a whole lot of effort.

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