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London just got a rainbow-themed surprise. Will your city be next?

While the rainbow road was just for a day, the group behind it has big plans for future events.

London just got a rainbow-themed surprise. Will your city be next?

150,000 London commuters got an unexpected dose of joy on their way to work June 22, 2015.

On a dreary, gloomy, and somewhat rainy Monday morning, a movement called Spark Your City teamed up with BBC1 presenter Gemma Cairney to brighten the cityscape.

The collaboration was called "Love Mondays" and involved turning London Bridge into a 300-meter (a little less than 1,000 feet for us metric-system holdouts) rainbow brick road.


Yes, like an actual rainbow brick road. It's like the road to Oz, but more ... rainbow-y. Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images.

When someone says "rainbow road," my mind immediately is drawn to Mario Kart. Somehow, this is even better.

GIF via Mario Kart 64.

Of course, Cairney was there for the special one-day-only event, wearing an outfit as loud as the bridge's bricks.


But, by far, the best part of the event was seeing commuters crack an unexpected smile.

Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images.

There are SO many pictures on the #SparkYourCity hashtag of people enjoying the art (and dare I say, loving Mondays?). Be sure to pop over there for more.


But what about us who don't live in London (or who missed out on the event)? We're in luck.

According to their Facebook page, Spark Your City isn't done — not even close to it. The movement's goal is to put together a "fun and exciting journey linking 50 cities by a global chain of 1,000 events."

So maybe, just maybe, a Spark Your City event will be coming your way sometime in the near future. The best way to stay in the loop is to keep up with them on their Facebook and Twitter accounts and check out their website — because this is just flat-out really cool.

The world could always use more spontaneous joy. Don't you agree, Gemma?

Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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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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