Tornado season is staring us down, and it's already claimed way too many lives. What if this could help warn people of bad weather before it's too late?
In the 1988 Disney classic “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” the titular character is in an unlikely relationship with his voluptuous wife Jessica. Roger is a frantic, anxious rabbit with a penchant for mischief, while Jessica is a quintessential ’40s bombshell who stands about a foot and a half taller and isn’t “bad,” just “drawn that way.”
When private investigator Eddie Valiant asked Jessica what she sees in “that guy?” she replies, “He makes me laugh.”
This type of couple may seem like something we only see in the movies, but don’t underestimate the power of humor when it comes to attractiveness. A new study published in Evolutionary Psychology found that being humorous is the most effective way to flirt for both men and women.
“People think that humour, or being able to make another person laugh, is most effective for men who are looking for a long-term relationship. It’s least effective for women who are looking for a one-night stand. But laughing or giggling at the other person's jokes is an effective flirtation tactic for both sexes,” says Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair, a professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's (NTNU) Department of Psychology.
“It is not only effective to be funny, but for women, it is very important that you show your potential partner that you think they are funny,” Rebecca Burch, a co-author from SUNY Oswego in New York, added.
Unfortunately, this study was only conducted on heterosexual couples.
For men, showing off their sense of humor was found to be the most effective way to flirt whether they were looking for a short-term or a long-term relationship. For women, being funny was the most effective tactic when looking for a long-term relationship. For people looking for a short-term fling, appearing available was the most effective tactic.
According to the study, humor is effective regardless of one's attractiveness. “Individual differences in age, religiosity, extroversion, personal attractiveness and preferences for short-term sexual relationships had little or no effect on how effective respondents considered the various flirting tactics to be,” says study co-author Prof. Mons Bendixen.
If you see someone you like but don’t think you’re good-looking enough for them, give it a shot. You may still have a chance if you can make ’em laugh.
The most effective tactics for those looking for a long-term relationship:
1. Makes him laugh
2. Shows interest in conversations
3. Spends time with him
4. Engages in deep conversations
5. Kisses on mouth
1. Makes her laugh
2. Spends time with her
3. Shows interest in conversations
4. Engages in deep conversations
The study is proof that looks aren’t everything and shows that having a good sense of humor isn’t just about making someone laugh. A great sense of humor is evidence that someone is intelligent, wise, perceptive, confident, can see things from new perspectives and has good intuition. It also helps people quickly build bonds and share experiences, which is a great way to get close to someone in a fast and fun way.
So why wouldn’t Jessica be with Roger? The guy is hilarious.
A purrfect combination of tech and tenderness.
Know someone who’s over 60 and feeling lonely? Help is just a phone call away. Purina Cat Chow has partnered with two non-profits in order to bring senior citizens some much-needed virtual therapy cat visits.
Wait…that’s a thing?
When we think of the term “therapy animal,” most of us are probably inclined to picture a dog. After all, canines dominate the therapy animal field at 94%. Felines, on the other hand, make up part of the other 6% (that’s combined with other animals). Anyone who has experienced that special, soul-soothing bliss that comes from stroking a purring kitty in their lap will tell you: those numbers might be off. Although therapy cats make up a smaller percentage of this segment, cats offer a wide array of positive benefits that make them wonderful therapy animals.
Just ask Roger and Sal – a couple of registered therapy cats – along with their handler Tracy Howell.
Since 2016, Tracy and Roger have been working with Pet Partners®, a non-profit that matches volunteer therapy animals of all kinds with people in need of a furry friend visit, including nursing facilities, assisted living, hospice centers, and children’s hospitals.
Sal is a mew addition to the team. But he’s already working very, very hard…putting his head on people’s thighs and letting them massage his paws. What a gig.
According to Pet Partners, who have had more than 1,500 felines registered in their Therapy Animal Program, certain populations prefer cat companions to dogs. For one thing: they’re more compact, and generally more quiet, making lap cuddles a much more Zen experience.
Plus, cats tend to be more particular about who they interact with, which can signal a nice little ego boost. “Cats have a reputation for being selectively affectionate. If a cat likes you, you’re special,” says Moira Smith, Pet Partners staff member, team evaluator, and cat handler.
Basically, it feels really good to be invited into the Cat Club. Some of Roger and Sal’s most loyal fans are, in fact, seniors – in particular, those with dementia.
“People think it must be hard to visit seniors with dementia, but it isn’t,” she told Upworthy. “They tend to repeat questions a lot so if you mess up your answer, chances are you won’t mess up the next time they ask. I’ve laughed so many times during our visits with seniors–just because you are older doesn’t mean you stop being funny.”
Where humor is not lost, connection is. With many of their family members passed on, living far away, or not allowed to visit due to COVID-19 restrictions, loneliness is a major issue seniors often face. This leads to depression, anxiety, and irritability.
That’s where Roger and Sal come in. A typical therapy cat visit consists of lap cuddles with warm blankets, nap time, and a bit of TV watching. Sometimes the seniors will tell Tracy about their own cats they once had, and how much they loved them.
During the pandemic, Roger and Sal have even excelled at their virtual visits. While nothing replaces the emotional engagement of one-on-one interactions, research has indicated that virtual animal content still brightens the mood.
Tracy agreed that even though they were not able to be in person, the trio has still been able to make a connection and keep people smiling and happy. Roger even performed a few tricks. Perhaps the affinity cats have for interrupting Zoom calls can come in handy after all.
The online visits have been so impactful that for Mental Health Awareness Month in May, Cat Chow, Pet Partners and the Institute on Aging are working together to get more seniors, over the age of 60, connected to virtual therapy cat visits. By calling 800-616-5152, seniors can schedule one of 50 free virtual therapy cat visits with a Pet Partners therapy cat team. That means kitties like Roger and Sal are going to have VIP status, Very Important Pets, that is.
The whole project has been made possible by Purina Cat Chow, a company that knows all too well the healing powers of cats. During the entire month of May, for every Cat Chow Complete purchase, Purina will donate two cents per purchase, up to $25,000 to Pet Partners in support of their Therapy Animal Program. This donation will help more cats like Roger and Sal ensure more people have access to the therapeutic benefits of cats.
If you’re a cat-lover who would like to show support, you can find out more at catchow.com/therapy.
Photo courtesy of Purina® Cat Chow®
In the era of the mega-billionaire, much has been made of how such gargantuan wealth is built and what kind of taxes on wealth are fair and unfair.
The intricacies of economics can make such questions a bit tricky both practically and ethically, but there's no question that billionaires get enormous tax breaks through loopholes in our tax system and through straight-up tax legislation favoring the wealthy.
For the average American who will never see so much as one percent of a billion dollars in our entire lifetime, wrapping our minds around the financial workings of extreme wealth is like trying to learn another language. The whole "here's how much money I earn, here's what I can write off, here's what I pay in taxes" thing is pretty straightforward, but not how the uber-rich life works. Wealth doesn't equal money in uber-rich-land—except when it does.
In a Between the Scenes moment, Trevor Noah highlighted the weird way billionaire wealth sometimes counts as money and sometimes doesn't in a segment on The Daily Show. In his signature funny-but-smart way, Noah broke down the hypocrisy of billionaires being able to treat their stock shares as money when it comes to buying businesses, but not when it comes to paying taxes.
"I'm by no means an economist, nor am I an expert on stock markets and all things finance-related, but you have to admit, a lot of what happens on Wall Street seems like a scam," he began.
He talked about how the stock market went up one day because of what Chair of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell said about raising interest rates, then plummeted the next day because of people misinterpreting what he said.
"First of all, how does that happen?" he asked. "How are markets changing because somebody didn't read something or understand—and all of you at the same time? And secondly, why do markets do that?"
He said the nature of stock markets going up and down feels "scammy," and somehow we're supposed to be convinced that the stock market is good for us.
"I get it for people's retirements, and I get it for 401Ks and I understand those aspects of it," he said. "But I've realized there are so many things that are designed in such a slick, scammy way."
He gave Elon Musk's pending purchase of Twitter as an example.
"People argue that you cannot tax billionaires on the shares that they hold in a company because it is an 'unrealized gain," he said. Then he explained that he understands that argument because the shares haven't been sold, so there's no actual money in hand. "So you're worth the money, but you don't have the money…and it could also crash, and then you have nothing, so we can't tax you on it."
"You can't tax the people on a thing because they don't have it, it's just there," he says. "Okay fine."
Then he talked about Elon Musk's offer to buy Twitter, in which Musk put up his shares of Tesla stock as collateral. Noah explained how using his Tesla stock as collateral to get banks and investors to put up the cash for him to borrow to buy Twitter.
"So you can buy a thing based on what you have, yes. But when we want to tax you, you can say 'I don't have it,'" said Noah. "It's such a fun game that billionaires get to play because all their money is in that."
Noah points out how we can't fudge around with the IRS due to where our money is located. "You can't be like, 'That money's in the bank, I don't have that money. What money? It's in the bank. Only when I take it out, then you can tax me. For now, it's in the bank, IRS."
That's not something the IRS would accept.
"But if you have billions in shares, you can then use that as money, to then get more money, but not get taxed on any money, because you 'don't have money.'"
Noah said he's not suggesting that we tax people on unrealized gains.
"But I am saying, it seems to me that you then shouldn't be able to use a thing that's unrealized as collateral," he said.
That last point is worth restating. Noah isn't saying that billionaire wealth in the form of stock shares should be taxed like liquid money. He's questioning whether people should be able to use their untaxed wealth as collateral to get liquid money loans to avoid having to liquidate their own wealth (which they would then have to pay taxes on).
Food for thought. Watch: