Coldplay's Chris Martin held a super casual—and surprisingly calming—mini-concert online
Coldplay/Facebook, John Legend/Twitter

In a time when normalcy has flown out the window, we're all desperate for ways to keep calm and carry on from a socially safe distance.

Since performers have suddenly found themselves without audiences, many artists are taking to social media to touch base with fans. And the result is a remarkably human connection that art and music tend to create—especially when the performer is as delightfully unassuming and down-to-earth as Coldplay's Chris Martin.


Seriously, I like Coldplay's music, but I had no idea that Chris Martin was so freaking lovable.

From the moment he started his live video last night, I found myself calmed by Martin's infectious smile and undeniably likable personality. He spoke about all of us being part of one human family, but in a totally sincere and unpretentious way. He called out the countries represented in the comments with love and solidarity, especially hard hit areas like Italy and Iran. He played parts of songs that people requested in a raw, unfiltered performance with little mistakes and the vocal strain of the morning (it was early in the U.K.).

The whole video served as a healing balm and a sweet, authentic reminder that we're all just human beings experiencing this weird new reality together.

Using the hashtag #TogetherAtHome, Martin invited other artists to pick up where he left off and create their own live mini-concerts from home for everyone stuck in isolation. John Legend picked up the torch and will be doing a concert from home at 1pm Pacific today.

The Indigo Girls have also announced a live concert for this coming Thursday, and I'm sure more artists are lining up to keep us entertained and keep our spirits up as well.

If the world is going to go all topsy turvy, at least we have artists to help us reorient ourselves.


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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