'I’m literally losing my mind trying to understand this.'
Grandparents can be a wealth of history and knowledge. But one TikTok user, Reagan Jones, was blown away by her grandmother's ability to write in shorthand, so she did what a lot of people do in this century—uploaded it to TikTok. Not surprisingly, most people who viewed the video had no idea what shorthand was and some thought the whole thing was made up. The reaction to it certainly makes you question if it's more than a lost art, but a forgotten part of history.
Shorthand is a method of quickly writing that has been around for a centuries. The first recorded history of a form of shorthand being used was in the 4th century B.C.. In the 1800s, two different types of shorthand became popular, Pitman in 1837 and Gregg in 1888. Looking at the shorthand alphabet may make you furrow your eyebrows because a lot of the symbols look ridiculously similar. It's full of lines that are straight, slightly curled or partially looped and some that just look like a squiggle. It's something to behold and resembles a super secret language.
Judging by the comments on the video, other people feel the same way. One commenter, Jamie wrote, "I've heard the term shorthand but I think my brain always took it as abbreviations not this 😳😅"
Another commenter, Samantha said, "Nah this has to be a glitch in the timeline I’ve never heard of this from any of my family member."
This is called “short hand” and its a real form of old-style note-taking. She uses this to write herself notes daily. 😂#coolgrandma #funwithgrandma #grandparents #handwriting #shorthand
In a reply to a commenter, Jones revealed, "My grandma was a legal secretary for the railroad :) She won a lot of awards for her work and shorthand in school."
Now, that's just cool. Sure there are still professions like court reporters and such that use shorthand, but it's not as common as it was back when most people's grandparents and great-grandparents were young adults. This was such a neat blast from the past. It's clear that Jones' grandma could probably still take home some awards for her unique skill.
This article originally appeared on 09.13.22
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Sawyer's ongoing struggle with SpongeBob SquarePants' legs is a must-see.
The fact that beavers build dams is one of nature's coolest features. Gathering and stacking tree branches, rocks, grass and mud across a river so they can build their homes underwater is a unique instinct among the animals—and a strong one.
Apparently, it's so strong that beavers will build dams anywhere, including inside a human's house using whatever items they can find.
A video shared by Dr. Holley Muraco, director of research at the Mississippi Aquarium, shows a female beaver named Sawyer busily gathering stuffed animals, blankets, Christmas decorations, wrapping paper and more to build a dam in a hallway, and it's seriously the most delightful thing ever.
Sawyer pauses once in a while to assess her work, which is adorable. And her ongoing struggle with SpongeBob SquarePants' legs is a must-see.
If you're concerned about seeing natural animal behavior like this in an unnatural habitat, don't worry. Muraco explains that Sawyer spends most of her time outdoors with other beavers, but also likes to come in the house occasionally. More on Sawyer's life story below, but first, behold her adorableness at work:
Sawyer is one of three orphaned beavers Muraco is rehabbing at her home with the help of Woodside Wildlife Rescue.
"Sawyer is one of a kind," Muraco tells Upworthy. "Very opinionated and, as crazy as it sounds, intelligent. I raised Sawyer on a bottle in our home and then introduced her to Huck and Finn who are a bit older. All three were orphaned separately when their parents were killed. The three were sent to Woodside Wildlife to be raised as siblings."
Sawyer, Huck and Finn. Perfection.
Muraco says Sawyer started building dams in her kennel as a tiny baby and then moved on to building bigger dams in the hallway. She lives outside with Huck and Finn, but she walks to Muraco's back door when she wants to go inside to check on things and build a new dam.
Muraco says beavers are very social creatures and do better living in a group, but are also one of the most difficult animals to rehab. They have to spend up to two years with rehabbers, which is how long they would spend with their parents in the wild, and caring for them is challenging due to their complex and sensitive digestive needs. They are also prone to illness and there's a lot that's still unknown about vet care for them. Muraco says beavers are also considered a nuisance animal, especially in Mississippi, so it can be hard to find a safe place to release them.
In Muraco's care, Sawyer, Huck and Finn get ample opportunities to practice instinctive behaviors, which is a vital element of rehabilitation. The ultimate goal is for them to return to the wild once they meet key milestones.
Raising beavers is a lot of work, but Muraco is dedicated to preparing these young 'uns for life after rehab, both for their own good and for the environment. "Beavers are a keystone species and are often critical for healthy wetlands," she explains. They are misunderstood creatures and are sometimes killed by people who simply see them as pests, which is one reason Muraco publicly shares her adventures with Sawyer, Huck and Finn.
"We are so excited that people are enjoying watching the beavers and falling in love with this unusual, quirky rodent," she says.
If anyone wants to support these beaver rescue efforts, Muraco invites people to donate to Woodside Wildlife Rescue.
This article originally appeared on 01.13.23
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Some traditions just don't feel right in 2024.
When it comes to parenting, the second most important decision—after whether to have a child or not—is choosing a name for the kid. Even though we live in times where parents are getting more and more creative about picking a name for their children, those with a more common name have a greater chance of being socially accepted than those without.
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.
“In my family, our genealogy is extremely important. The firstborn son since the 1800's has been given this name. I'm well aware it's a stigmatized name today, so that's why I have agreed to using a short form,” the woman wrote.
Understanding that her son would be bullied for being called Gaylord, she decided that it would be his legal first name, but could go by Gail. Her family believed that it was acceptable for him to be known as Gail initially, but as society grows more tolerant, will be called Gaylord when he gets older.
“They see the backlash over the name today as a fad that will eventually disappear, and I agree seeing how accepting each generation tends to become,” she continued. “When society stops being so immature about it, he can start using the full name.”
The father wouldn’t even consider naming his son Gaylord, or Gail, for that matter. His family went a step further and said that naming him Gaylord or Gail would be “abusive.”
"My in-laws are telling me that even Gail isn't an acceptable boy's name and that I need to 'get with the times' and choose something more appropriate," she continued. “What happened to respecting our elders and traditions? His family doesn't have any naming traditions, so it should fall to my family that does. How could I be expected to break a centuries-old family tradition?”
The commenters were overwhelmingly against the mother’s decision.
"Use your imagination. A boy named Gaylord goes to his first day of school. The teacher does the roll call. ‘GAYLORD SMITH?’ Class breaks into giggles. Embarrassed boy says, ‘It's Gail.’ Class giggles some more, since Gail is usually a girl's name. Boy has no chance of fitting in with his classmates. His fate is sealed. He is a social pariah for life. Don't do this to him. Please,” one user wrote.
"Your name is the first thing people know about you. It’s the cover page of how people perceive you. Even if you think Gaylord will just appear on the birth certificate, you’re wrong. His legal name will have to be used on official documents, at school, on his license and passport. It will appear at the top of every resume he hands out. It’s not as simple as putting a name on paper. It’s how he is going to appear to the whole world. Gaylord is totally stigmatized and has been for decades. It’s not going away, sorry." Elinbeth added.
“Some traditions reach the point where they are no longer suitable for modern times. This is 100% that time. Pick another name," CashieBashie wrote.
After the post went viral, the mother shared that both sides of the family have tentatively agreed on a name.
“We managed to work out that Gale Gaylord would be a reasonable compromise, with Gale being the complete first name, and Gaylord being the middle name,” the woman wrote. “My husband can then add a second middle name after Gaylord if he wants. Grandpa is especially not impressed that it's being demoted to a middle name, but he did say he understands the pressure I'm facing here.”
She was totally chill about it, too.
There was a massive jump in credit card fraud in America in 2021 due to the pandemic. According to CNET, fraud involving credit cards jumped 69% from 2020 to 2021, affecting 13 million Americans and costing $9 billion.
In a world where online transactions are part of everyday life, it’s hard to completely protect your information. But, by staying vigilant and monitoring your accounts you can report fraud before it gets out of hand.
A TikTok user by the name of Lauren (@absolutelylauren) from San Diego, California, got a notification that there was a $135 charge on her card at Olaplex’s online store that she hadn’t made. Olaplex sells products that repair excessively damaged hair. Before reporting the charge to her credit card company she asked her family members if they used her card by mistake.
“I don’t wanna shut my card down if it’s just my mom ordering some shampoo,” Lauren said in the video. “Definitely not my two younger brothers, they’ve got good hair but they don’t color it.”
After realizing the charge was fraudulent, most people would have called their credit card company and had their card canceled. But Lauren was curious and wanted to know who stole her information and used it to buy hair care products. So she concocted a plan to get their information. She called Olaplex’s customer service line asking for the name and address of the purchaser to see if it was made by a family member.
"Hey, can you help me with something?” Lauren asked Tanya, the Olaplex customer service agent. “If I can give you the time and date, purchase amount and card number and whatever could you let me know who placed an order?"
Tanya had no problem helping Lauren with her request.
olaplex customer service is top tier 😤 #creditcardscam
“At this point, I’m willingly giving Tanya enough info to steal my card as well — she could have very well taken advantage of me in that moment but she didn’t,” Lauren said. “She comes back — tell me why she gave me the little scammer their full government name and address.”
Tanya revealed that a guy named Jason in a modest suburb in Texas used her card to buy a gift for his wife. “They also did it on Black Friday so at least they got a deal I guess, it was the gift set,” Lauren continued.
Lauren then called her credit card company and shared the information she had on the fraudster. The card company is currently investigating the situation.
One commenter thought that Olaplex wasn’t supposed to share that information with Lauren. “For some reason, I don’t think olaplex was supposed to give that info,” Arae270 said.
“I definitely gave them the option, but I explained that it was an unauthorized purchase, and if the name did not match anyone that I knew that I would just tell them to cancel the order and refund me, I told the girl that they would probably save everyone, a headache!” Lauren replied.
People should use utmost caution before deciding to track down a credit card thief. But kudos to Lauren for being clever enough to track down the person who stole her card information to help the authorities with their investigation. She didn’t put herself in harm's way and if someone follows up on the tip, maybe they can prevent the same thing from happening to someone else.
This article originally appeared on 1.11.23
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He sang “Song to the Evening Star” by Wagner
A great opera voice is a learned art, not a natural-born gift like other styles of singing. It takes discipline, physical training, and to truly wow the audience, the performer must be a great actor and athlete as well.
"Singing opera is to ordinary vocal activity what distance running, triple-jumping and pole-vaulting are to ordinary exercise," said Sir Antonio Pappano, music director of the Royal Opera House wrote for the BBC. "Which means that singers and, almost as important, those who teach them are locked in the same kinds of relationship that obtain between elite athletes and charismatic coaches."
So what goes on inside of the head and throat of an opera singer while they perform?
German baritone Michael Volle performed "Song to the Evening Star" by German composer Richard Wagner while inside of an MRI scan to give people a never-before-seen look at how an opera singer produces such a haunting sound. It's a pretty freaky-looking image, but shows the amazing control these performers must have to hit such powerful notes.
This article originally appeared on 05.05.16