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It’s meant as a compliment, but what it really says is, ‘You don't fit in.’

When teens talk, something meant to be a compliment can painfully remind someone else that they're different.

It’s meant as a compliment, but what it really says is, ‘You don't fit in.’

Microaggression is a form of "unintended discrimination."

It's a seemingly friendly comment that unintentionally reveals a nasty — and often painful — underlying prejudice.

Sometimes people are just clueless.

When someone tells you you're better in some way than others of your kind, what they're really saying is that there's usually something wrong with people like you.


Sometimes they're hiding their own feelings from themselves.

The person talking may be trying so hard to show how unconcerned she or he is about someone's color or background that they end up revealing the opposite, just by the simple fact they are dwelling on it.

It's painful to hear.

Speaking up about a microaggression can require bravery.

Because a microaggression can be subtle, the person hearing it may not feel like they have a right to be offended and feel uncomfortable bringing it up.

And when a victim of microagression speaks up, they may be made fun of.

The person who made the comment may not realize what they've done, so they may deny that there's anything wrong with what they've said. This leaves the victim with no way to resolve the hurt feelings and sometimes even wondering if the problem is their own — a toxic situation.

But microaggressions can have a powerful impact, especially on teens.

Because they can be hard pin down, microaggressions may be even worse than more obvious prejudice. They can worm their way into a teen's soul and lodge there, building up over time and doing some real damage. Microaggressions have been associated with anxiety and binge-drinking.

They can get right to the core of a kid.

We have to speak more thoughtfully.

It's as much about what our words might mean to the person we're talking to as it is about what we want to say.

If you have kids, talk to them about microaggression, and feel free to share this with other parents.

The young women in this video will tell you all about it.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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