+
friends buy a house, single moms, the siren house
via Pexels

Single moms break the mold with their living arrangements.

Our choices in life should only be limited by our imaginations. However, far too many of us limit our options because of what others may think or how we’ve been raised.

Four women in Washington, D.C., completely reimagined their concepts of family, friendship and child-rearing and have created an urban commune where they’re free to pursue happiness in a way most people never consider.

Holly Harper and Herrin Hopper always joked that one day they'd live together on a commune in Vermont. But after they both got divorced, they began to take their old joke seriously.

"Holly and I said, 'Why not do this?'" Harper recalled in an interview with Today. "Within a weekend we found this house."

The two friends found two other single women, Jen and Leandra, and they purchased a four-unit home. The arrangement allows the four women to save money but it also has countless advantages for all four families. “We've unlocked the power of sharing, and our baseline expenses decreased, allowing us to experience abundance,” Harper wrote in Insider.


“This living arrangement is a kid's paradise, complete with a giant trampoline, a parkour line, a garden, a gym, a big-screen TV, and a craft studio,” Harper wrote. “Our kids—who can use the buddy system for a walk to get gelato, and who have playmates during the quarantine and homeschool months—are thriving.”

The children, ages 9 to 14, relate to each other like cousins and their new living arrangement provides them with new perspectives on life that they wouldn’t have had otherwise. It gives them a great opportunity to learn more about dating, bullying, divorce, family, sexual orientation, creativity, death and finding joy.

They also have no shortage of playmates and things to do. The home is equipped with a 15-foot trampoline, parkour slackline, hammocks, sleds and an inflatable pool in the summer. Living at the home they’ve dubbed “The Siren House” is a lot like a permanent summer camp.

It has also taught the four mothers how to share. The women share expenses, cars, food, babysitting duties, dog-walking and hugs with each other. Harper says that their living arrangement saves her $30,000 a year.

“We don’t know whose socks are whose ... socks everywhere,” Harper said. “iPads, dishes, cups. There’s a lot of exchanging that occurs. Usually not planned.”

To keep everything in order they have routine “homeowners meetings” where they discuss repairs and yard work. The meetings often happen over a bottle of Champagne.

"There is almost a spiritual safety net every day here," Harper said. "I could be my worst self, I could be my best self, and they see me for who I am, and it's OK."

For Harper, the home isn’t a utopia, but the arrangement gives the four families the greatest chance to find happiness. “The goal of life is not to reach some plane of happiness but to create an environment where we are safe to pursue happiness in every moment,” Harper wrote.


via FIRST

FIRST students compete in a robotics challenge.

True

Societies all over the world face an ever-growing list of complex issues that require informed solutions. Whether it’s addressing infectious diseases, the effects of climate change, supply chain issues or resource scarcity, the world has an immediate need for problem-solvers with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

Here in the United States, we’re experiencing a shortage of much-needed STEM workers, and forward-thinking organizations are stepping up to tap into America’s youth to fill the void. As the leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM education, FIRST is an important player in this arena, and its mission is to inspire young people aged 4 to 18 to become technology leaders and innovators capable of addressing the world’s pressing needs.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Marlon Brando on "The Dick Cavett Show" in 1973.

Marlon Brando made one of the biggest Hollywood comebacks in 1972 after playing the iconic role of Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather.” The venerable actor's career had been on a decline for years after a series of flops and increasingly unruly behavior on set.

Brando was a shoo-in for Best Actor at the 1973 Academy Awards, so the actor decided to use the opportunity to make an important point about Native American representation in Hollywood.

Instead of attending the ceremony, he sent Sacheen Littlefeather, a Yaqui and Apache actress and activist, dressed in traditional clothing, to talk about the injustices faced by Native Americans.

She explained that Brando "very regretfully cannot accept this generous award, the reasons for this being … the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee."

Keep ReadingShow less

Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

Keep ReadingShow less