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It Used To Take Up 40% Of Their Daily Expenses. Then They Found A New Way To Cook.

In December 2013, we posted about an amazing nonprofit called The Adventure Project that had a smart gift idea for the holiday season. Your response was so incredible and overwhelming that it requires some explaining. And many cheers of excitement.

Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.

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3 signs you might need to take a mental health day from work

People are starting to take their mental health more seriously and utilizing mental health day. Some companies have even started offering mental health days for their employees on top of their regular sick and vacation days to ensure their employees needs are met. But how do you know it may be time to take a mental health day before you're burned out completely?

One of the coolest things about our bodies is that it gives us cues on what it needs. We're used to the loud physical cues like a grumbling tummy that lets you know it's time to eat or excessive yawning and dry eyes that tell you its time to sleep. But there are other cues that we have either overlooked or haven't quite learned to recognize what our body is trying to tell us and those have to do with needing a mental health break.

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Photos by Daniela on Unsplash (left) and Rens D on Unsplash (right)

Peeling garlic is notoriously challenging.

If you ever cook with fresh garlic, you know what a challenge it can be to remove the cloves from the skin cleanly, especially if you're starting with a full head.

There are various methods people use to peel garlic, with varying levels of success. Doing it by hand works, but will leave you with garlic-smelling fingertips for the better part of a day. Whacking the head on the counter helps separate the cloves from each other, but doesn't help much with removing the skin.

Some people swear by vigorously shaking the skinned cloves around in a covered bowl or jarred lid, which can be surprisingly effective. Some smash the clove with the flat side of a knife to loosen it and then pull it off. Others utilize a rubber roller to de-skin the cloves.

But none of these methods come close to the satisfaction of watching someone perfectly peeling an entire head of garlic with a pair of tongs.

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The TUfast Eco Team celebrating its victory.

Imagine driving halfway across America in your electric vehicle on one charge. ONE CHARGE. Sixteen hundred miles. It’s impossible to believe—most EVs get maybe 250 miles before needing a charge—but German students created a car that does just that.

Called the "muc022 prototype," the single-seater vehicle, which looks like a Smart car but even cuter and more aerodynamic, handily surpassed the previous record of 999.5 miles in four days. The team of students from the Technical University of Munich kept driving the 374-pound car for two more days until it finally coasted to a stop after going 1,599.27 miles. All told, the car made it 99 hours on the road.

Of course, it wasn’t truly a road. (Or autobahn, if you’re being authentisch.) The students tested the car, a modified version of a vehicle used in previous competitions, in an empty hangar at Munich airport. Students from the team even slept in the hangar.

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Pop Culture

Gorgeous 3-part harmony got 'The Voice' judges to hit their buttons within 7 seconds

They had the judges' attention right from the first bar of "Made You Look."

OK3 wowed everyone with their powerful voices.

The way our brains react to musical harmony is fascinating. When notes are off, the blending of different tones is grating and unpleasant. But when a harmony hits just right, it's a like a sweet celebration for our senses.

That's why, when OK3 sang the opening bar of Meghan Trainor's "Made You Look" in their debut performance on NBC's "The Voice," three of the four judges hit the button to turn their chair around within a remarkable 7 seconds. The women's three-part harmony was powerful throughout the whole song, but their pitch perfect opening was the epitome of attention-grabbing.

The way "The Voice" works is four celebrity judges first hear singers in a blind audition, where their chairs are turned around so they can't see the performers—they can only hear them. Then, if they like what they hear, they push their big red button and turn their chair around, indicating they want that performer on their coaching team. Ultimately, the judges compete along with the singers to have their chosen performers come out on top. When multiple judges turn their chairs, the performer gets to choose whose team they want to be on.

Usually, it takes longer than a few seconds of listening to a singer (or singers) perform for judges to start turning their chairs around, but in this case, it was almost immediate for three out of the four judges. And even the one holdout, Chance the Rapper, eventually hit his button as well, giving OK3 the coveted four-chair turn.

Watch:

The trio brought their vocal coach, who was the one who brought them together in the first place, and the judges encouraged them to consult her to make their decision about whose team they would be on.

Judge John Legend made a case for himself first.

“I loved your performance. ... I grew up arranging songs for groups, and then, when I went to college, I was an award-winning a cappella arranger," Legend said. "If there’s nothing else that I do, I do this." He also added that he thinks "there's a lot of space for a big pop girl group right now."

Country duo judges Dan + Shay made a strong pitch as well, as they literally do harmonies themselves. And Reba McIntyre not only shares roots with the women being from Oklahoma herself, but she also pulled out her Grammy and a box of chicken nuggets, so it's definitely going to be a tough choice.

The sneak preview clip didn't show who the group chose, and neither did the season premiere that aired on February 26, 2024. The episode ended on a cliffhanger, so the choice will be revealed on February 27.

What a standout performance for these young women, Sierra Sikes, 23, Kenna Fields, 22, and Courtney Hooker, 25. Their journey on "The Voice" is sure to be a life-changing experience, if not a career-making one.

You can follow "The Voice" on YouTube.

Photo: courtesy BioCarbon Engineering/WikiCommons

Technology is the single greatest contributor to climate change but it may also soon be used to offset the damage we've done to our planet since the Industrial Age began.

In September 2018, a project in Myanmar used drones to fire "seed missiles" into remote areas of the country where trees were not growing. Less than a year later, thousands of those seed missiles have sprouted into 20-inch mangrove saplings that could literally be a case study in how technology can be used to innovate our way out of the climate change crisis.

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