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It Only Takes 90 Seconds To Make Me Look At Black Kids Riding The Sliding Board A Little Differently

There's something so innocent about playing at a playground as a child. But what if the behaviors we learn there take on a different meaning when we're older?

Here's a little background:

In the wake of the Ferguson, Missouri, protests surrounding the non-indictment of Officer Darren Wilson, hundreds of poets have recorded themselves reading meaningful and mostly original works that highlight systemic racism, police brutality, injustice, and the love of black life using the hashtag #BlackPoetsSpeakOut on Twitter. There's even a Tumblr devoted just to pulling together all the videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter, and anywhere else black poets are posting.


There are so many good poems there, written and read by people from all walks of life. Some of them are long and intense, some short and angry, some sad, some defiant, and all filled with metaphors and wordplay that would make Maya Angelou proud.

But my favorites are the simple ones that use really powerful ideas and imagery to make a powerful point. Images like this:

A slide.

And what in the world does a sliding board have to do with #BlackLivesMatter? Well, that's the beauty of poetry! Clint Smith's poem "Playground Elegy" tells the story of him as a little boy being told by his mother to raise his hands in the air on his first ride down a slide.

He remembers the feeling of freedom he felt as the air passed through his hands on his first slide. And now, as an adult and in the wake of Mike Brown's death, he wonders about the connection between raising his hands as a young black boy and the young men who are taught to raise their hands as a way to stay alive in the presence of police. Deep, right?

(In case you're wondering about the explicit connection between this poem and Ferguson, remember that eyewitnesses said they saw Mike Brown with his hands up in the air as he was shot by Darren Wilson. And while the prosecutor disputed that claim, the facts of the case remain unclear as to the exact positioning of his arms. As a result, the position has become a symbol of protest and solidarity for people all over the world since the shooting on Aug. 9, 2014.)

Anyway, I can't do his creative, thought-provoking poem justice, and it's only 90 seconds long, so make sure to share it!

@racheleehiggins/TikTok

Want out of a relationship rut? The Three hour night might be the perfect solution.

Almost every long term relationship suffers from a rut eventually. That goes especially for married partners who become parents and have the added responsibility of raising kids. Maintaining a connection is hard enough in this busy, fast paced world. Top it off with making sure kids are awake, dressed, entertained, well fed, oh yeah, and alive…and you best believe all you have energy for at the end of the day is sitting on the couch barely making it through one episode on Netflix.

And yet, we know how important it is to maintain a connection with our spouses. Many of us just don’t know how to make that happen while juggling a million other things.

According to one mom, a “three-hour night” could be just the thing to tick off multiple boxes on the to-do list while rekindling romance at the same time. Talk about the ultimate marriage hack.

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It's time to rethink the term 'geriatric pregnancy' as more women wait to have children

Women are having children well past 40 but are considered "geriatric" after 35.

Rethinking the term 'geriatric pregnancy' as more women wait for kids

In more recent decades, women have started to delay having children or decide to not have them at all. Society has been taught that women must have children when they're in their 20s because that's when fertility is highest. Unfortunately it's true that fertility declines as women age, but pregnancy is still possible up until menopause.

Even if someone previously didn't want children, with technology they have the option to change their minds much later in life. Many women have taken to the idea of having more life and career experience before brining about children. But the language around pregnancy in women over 35 is still pretty offensive.

This now more common phenomenon of waiting until later in life to have children is medically called a geriatric pregnancy, though some doctors sugar coat it by calling it "advanced maternal age." Neither of these terms feels indicative of a warm feeling you're expected to experience while growing a child. BBC's The Global Story podcast blows through some pretty unfortunate misconceptions and truths about pregnancy after 35 in an interview with the Head of Reproductive Science and Sociology Group, UCL.

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A map of the United States post land-ice melt.


Land ice: We got a lot of it.

Considering the two largest ice sheets on earth — the one on Antarctica and the one on Greenland — extend more than 6 million square miles combined ... yeah, we're talkin' a lot of ice.

But what if it was all just ... gone? Not like gone gone, but melted?

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Education

Watching kids do lightning fast mental math is both mesmerizing and mind-blowing

Their finger twitching looks random, but WOW is it impressive.

Digamarthi Sri Ramakanth/Wikimedia Commons

2003 UCMAS National Abacus & Mental Arithmetic Competition

In the age of calculators and smartphones, it's become less necessary to do math in your head than it used to be, but that doesn't mean mental math is useless. Knowing how to calculate in your head can be handy, and if you're lucky enough to learn mental abacus skills from a young age, it can be wicked fast as well.

Video of students demonstrating how quickly they can calculate numbers in their head are blowing people's minds, as the method is completely foreign for many of us. The use of a physical abacus isn't generally taught in the United States, other than perhaps a basic introduction to how it works. But precious few of us ever get to see how the ancient counter gets used for mental math.

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Pop Culture

Kristen Wiig plays a cult leader pilates coach in an epic 'SNL' return

Kristen Wiig made an epic return to “Saturday Night Live” this week

Saturday Night Live/Youtube

A creepy slowed down version of Megan Thee Stallion's "Body" was a fabulous touch.

Kristen Wiig made an epic return to “Saturday Night Live” this week, and along with bringing back her iconic “Aunt Linda” character, she might have created a whole new fan favorite.

In a horror trailer reminiscent of an A24 film, Chloe Fineman and Molly Kearney work up the courage to take their first pilates class. They enter an eerily dark purple room where Wiig, playing a cult-leader Pilates instructor with a fondness for weird pet names, gives them the scariest workout of their life.

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A man in a red shirt has an epiphany and Mel Robbins delivers a TED Talk.

It’s a wonder that humans can get anything done because we are hard-wired to procrastinate. Whenever we consider performing a task that may be boring, unpleasant, or stressful, the brain automatically sends a signal that says why not do it “later” or “tomorrow”?

Humans are natural-born procrastinators because our old brain wants to protect us from potential danger or discomfort. So, when faced with an uncomfortable situation, our brain springs into action and suggests we do it later.

While some people are able to override this reaction, many cannot and researchers believe that around 20% are chronic procrastinators.

As we all know, this knee-jerk reaction can cause all sorts of troubles. It can make it a lot harder to be a good employee, take care of domestic responsibilities, or ensure our school work is done on time. According to Psychological Science, chronic procrastinators have higher levels of anxiety and often have inadequate retirement savings.

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