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A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
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Losing 8 friends is hard. Fighting back is harder. Caleb Holloway did both.

A poignant reminder about the hard work skilled workers do.

True
Deepwater Horizon

Caleb Holloway didn’t plan on becoming a rig operator. He just wanted a good paycheck and a steady job.

After a string of odd jobs — working at a feed store, in hospital maintenance, and installing concrete — 22-year-old Caleb and his best friend applied on a whim for a job working on small offshore oil rigs. They were hired two weeks later and stationed on a little shallow-water rig called a "jack-up." It was hard work, but it paid well and Caleb excelled at it. Within two years, he'd switched companies and started working at Transocean on its flagship offshore rig, the Deepwater Horizon.

On this massive rig, Caleb found community with his fellow workers. Stationed together for 21 days at a time, they became a second family to each other.


Offshore drilling rigs similar to the Deepwater Horizon sit in the Gulf of Mexico. Image via Sara Francis/U.S. Coast Guard/Wikimedia Commons.

During his three years on the Deepwater Horizon, Caleb worked his way up from an entry-level job as a roustabout, to a member of the drilling crew. It was tough, challenging, skilled work.

Working as anything above an entry-level steward on an oil rig usually requires a diploma in welding, basic mechanics, or heavy equipment operations, plus specialized courses in marine firefighting and emergency response. Workers must be physically strong, highly-skilled natural problem-solvers — able to do their tough, essential jobs perfectly on a moving, floating deep-sea drilling platform in all kinds of bad weather and treacherous conditions.

"It’s a very dangerous job," Caleb said. "Everything on the rig is heavy; you’ve got multiple machines running and going in different directions. It’s a long job, and it can get to you sometimes. But I always think back to our crew and how we took care of each other. There wasn't a moment where I didn't trust them with my life."

Most of the time, there are extensive safety protocols in place to keep workers out of harm's way. Coupled with strong leaders empowering workers to speak up about problems, sometimes they make a big difference. Other times, they fail horribly.

On the morning of April 20, 2010, 10 members of the Deepwater Horizon’s drilling crew went to work. By midafternoon, only two of them were still alive. Caleb was one of them.

The Deepwater Horizon burns on August 20, 2010. Image via U.S. Coast Guard/Wikimedia Commons.

That day, the Deepwater Horizon was finishing up work on the deepest oil well ever drilled on our planet. The project was behind schedule and over budget. A chain of decisions, spurred largely by off-site executives wanting to save further money and time, led to a catastrophic explosion, a massive fire, and the largest oil spill in American history. Caleb and his colleague, Dan Barron, crawled through pitch darkness and aerosolized gas and fire to reach safety. On their way, they helped many others reach safety.

126 people were on board Deepwater Horizon before it sank. 115 were rescued.  Of the 11 crew members who were not, eight were members of Caleb Holloway's drilling crew. It was only after he was safely back on shore that he began to understand that many of his close friends and coworkers weren't with him.

For six months afterward, Caleb could barely function.  

Medications and counseling helped, but only bit by bit. Unable to eat or sleep, he lost 40 pounds off his already slim frame. He couldn't stop replaying the day over and over again in his head, imagining what he could have done differently and the additional lives he might have saved.

Until one day, he just couldn’t do that anymore.

Through the support of his family, his friends, and his bible study group, Caleb found the motivation to begin living again. Just over a year after the disaster, he signed up for firefighter training.

"Losing my friends on Deepwater Horizon felt like someone tore out my heart and ripped it into 11 pieces," he says, his voice catching. "There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t think of them. I wanted to go back to a rig because I loved that work, but I knew that mentally and emotionally I couldn’t do it."

For the last four years, Caleb's worked as a firefighter on the crew in Nacogdoches, Texas — just 20 minutes from where he grew up and minutes from his parent's house.

His shifts, like the ones he worked on the Deepwater Horizon, are long and tough: 24 hours on with 48 hours off. Caleb couldn't imagine being anywhere else.

He spends a full third of his life now in this fire hall, surrounded by men and women who, like his crew members back on the Deepwater Horizon, have become another second family. "We do something different every day, we impact lives every day," he says. "It’s something I’m proud of."

The Holloway family at home. Image via Participant/Deepwater Horizon.

For Caleb, being a firefighter bridges the gap with the work he did on the rigs, in a way, and the close relationships he had with his fellow workers, while allowing him to stay close to his growing family. That's something his wife Kristin and sons, Chase, age 4, and Hayden, 20 months, really appreciate. "They're the best thing that’s ever happened to me," Caleb says proudly. "They’re my heartbeats; they keep me going every day."

Caleb's experience is unique, heartbreaking, and life-affirming. But people like him put their lives on the line for their job every single day.

Image via Participant/Deepwater Horizon.

Mundane moments in our lives that we take for granted — that light comes on when we flick switches, that roads are safe to drive on, that toilets flush away dirty water and taps supply clean — occur because of skilled workers, some of whom risk their lives in potentially deadly situations just to make it happen. They're working quietly, doing the essential work that keeps our country running every day. While their work is often taken for granted, it's actually pretty incredible, too.

Watch a video of Caleb's story here:

This is Caleb Holloway. He survived the Deepwater Horizon and is now a firefighter in Texas. #workhard Participant Media

Posted by Mark Wahlberg on Friday, October 7, 2016
Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

All GIFs and images via Exposure Labs.




Photographer James Balog and his crew were hanging out near a glacier when their camera captured something extraordinary.

They were in Greenland, gathering footage from the time-lapse they'd positioned all around the Arctic Circle for the last several years.


They were also there to shoot scenes for a documentary. And while they were hoping to capture some cool moments on camera, no one expected a huge chunk of a glacier to snap clean off and slide into the ocean right in front of their eyes.


science, calving, glaciers

A glacier falls into the sea.

assets.rebelmouse.io

ocean swells, sea level, erosion, going green

Massive swells created by large chunks of glacier falling away.

assets.rebelmouse.io

It was the largest such event ever filmed.

For nearly an hour and 15 minutes, Balog and his crew stood by and watched as a piece of ice the size of lower Manhattan — but with ice-equivalent buildings that were two to three times taller than that — simply melted away.

geological catastrophe, earth, glacier melt

A representation demonstrating the massive size of ice that broke off into the sea.

assets.rebelmouse.io

As far as anyone knows, this was an unprecedented geological catastrophe and they caught the entire thing on tape. It won't be the last time something like this happens either.

But once upon a time, Balog was openly skeptical about that "global warming" thing.

Balog had a reputation since the early 1980s as a conservationist and environmental photographer. And for nearly 20 years, he'd scoffed at the climate change heralds shouting, "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"

"I didn't think that humans were capable of changing the basic physics and chemistry of this entire, huge planet. It didn't seem probable, it didn't seem possible," he explained in the 2012 documentary film "Chasing Ice."

There was too much margin of error in the computer simulations, too many other pressing problems to address about our beautiful planet. As far as he was concerned, these melodramatic doomsayers were distracting from the real issues.

That was then.

Greenland, Antarctica, glacier calving

The glacier ice continues to erode away.

assets.rebelmouse.io

In fact, it wasn't until 2005 that Balog became a believer.

He was sent on a photo expedition of the Arctic by National Geographic, and that first northern trip was more than enough to see the damage for himself.

"It was about actual tangible physical evidence that was preserved in the ice cores of Greenland and Antarctica," he said in a 2012 interview with ThinkProgress. "That was really the smoking gun showing how far outside normal, natural variation the world has become. And that's when I started to really get the message that this was something consequential and serious and needed to be dealt with."

Some of that evidence may have been the fact that more Arctic landmass has melted away in the last 20 years than the previous 10,000 years.

Watch the video of the event of the glacier calving below:

This article originally appeared on 11.04.15

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Hospice nurses reveal people's biggest regrets before death

Death and dying isn't a pleasant subject to talk about, though there's likely not one living person who has not been touched by death in some way. But the finality of death makes people wonder if people have any regrets from their life that they wish they could do over.

Author, Matthew Kelly decided to ask hospice nurses what they've heard patients reveal regretting before they died. The list was fairly long but also heartbreakingly simple. Many people spend their entire lives trying to figure out how to make more money in order to feel financially secure enough to vacation regularly or even retire.

Of course there would be some regrets around working too much, but that regret only made the list once. There are 23 other regrets people seemed to share and we'll get into them below.


One of the first ones on the list is, "I wish I had more courage to just be my self." Oof. That stings a bit. People spend so much time trying to make sure they're well liked by others that it seems that some people forget to focus on just being themselves. People may hide their true selves for a multitude of reasons such as safety or fear of abandonment depending on what part of their identity they were hiding.

Another common regret is, "I wish I had taken more risks." Risks can be hard when you have other people depending on you for survival. It makes sense that some people might look back on their life and think of all the risks they didn't take, whether it be due to anxiety or security.

Listen to the whole list below:

So many regrets on the list are things that people can start doing now. Like wishing to love more or taking better care of themselves. It's never too late to start caring for yourself or being outwardly more loving. In fact, nothing on the list is overly complex. They're all heartbreakingly simple things that people have the ability to do before their time comes.

Maybe this list will inspire others to make a few tweaks in their life to work towards doing these things while they still can. Maybe it will cause people to realize they're already well on their way to not having any of the regrets listed. Either way, it's serves as a reminder to live life in the best way that you can while still being true to yourself.

The generational caption debate is a big deal.


If you’re a Gen Xer or older, one surprising habit the younger generations developed is their love of subtitles or closed-captioning while watching TV. To older generations, closed-captioning was only for grandparents, the hearing impaired, or when watching the news in a restaurant or gym.

But these days, studies show that Millenials and Gen Z are big fans of captions and regularly turn them on when watching their favorite streaming platforms. A recent study found that more than half of Gen Z and Millenials prefer captions on when watching television.

It’s believed that their preference for subtitles stems from the ubiquity of captioning on social media sites such as TikTok or Instagram.


This generational change perplexed TikTokker, teacher and Gen X mother, Kelly Gibson.

Always leaning! #genx #millennial #caption #learning

@gibsonishere

Always leaning! #genx #millennial #caption #learning

"I have three daughters, and they were here. Two of them are young millennials; the other one is an older Gen Z," Gibson explained in a video with over 400,000 views. "All of them were like, 'Why don't you have the captions on?'”

The mother couldn’t believe that her young kids preferred to watch TV like her grandparents. It just did not compute.

"My Gen X butt was shocked to find out that these young people have decided it's absolutely OK to watch movies with the captions going the whole time," she said jokingly.

But like a good mother, Gibson asked her girls why they preferred to watch TV with captioning, and their reason was straightforward. With subtitles, it’s easier not to lose track of the dialog if people in the room start talking.

"They get more out of it," Gibson explained. "If somebody talks to them in the middle of the show, they can still read and get what's going on even if they can't hear clearly. Why are young people so much smarter than us?"

At the end of the video, Gibson asked her followers whether they watch TV with subtitles on or off. "How many of you out there that are Millennials actually do this? And how many of you Gen Xers are so excited that this is potentially an option?" she asked.

Gibson received over 8,400 responses to her question, and people have a lot of different reasons for preferring to watch TV with captions.

“Millennial here. I have ADHD along with the occasional audio processing issues. I love captions. Also, sometimes I like crunchy movie snacks,” Jessileemorgan wrote. “We use the captions because I (GenX) hate the inability of the movie makers to keep sound consistent. Ex: explosions too loud conversation to quiet,” Lara Lytle added.

“My kids do this and since we can’t figure out how to turn it off when they leave, it’s become a staple. GenX here!” Kelly Piller wrote.

The interesting takeaway from the debate is that anti-caption people often believe that having writing on the screen distracts them from the movie. They’re too busy reading the bottom of the screen to feel the film's emotional impact or enjoy the acting and cinematography. However, those who are pro-caption say that it makes the film easier to understand and helps them stay involved with the film when there are distractions.

So who’s right? The person holding the remote.


This article originally appeared on 1.11.24

Gen X invented the mix tape and we have the playlists to prove it.

Gen X is famous for being forgotten in most discussions of generations, which is hilarious because Gen X is totally awesome. Everybody says so (when they remember we exist).

Seriously, though, if you need proof that Gen X is fabulous, look no further than our playlists. The generation born between the mid-60s and the early 80s might just have the most varied and eclectic of all musical tastes. Our hippie/classic rocker parents passed down their 60s and 70s tunes, then we got the 80s in all its power ballad glory, then a brief 50s music revival during the 80s, then the rise of hip-hop, rap and grunge in the 90s.

A Gen X mom shared a video demonstrating the wide range of music she listens to ,and it's 100% familiar to those of us in our 40s and 50s.


As Word up with Jen points out, Gen X was "born in the 70s, raised in the 80s and partied in the 90s," cementing every decade's jams in our memory, from Anne Murray to Snoop Dog. Watch:

@wordup_withjen

Ya never know what you’re gonna get 🤷‍♀️ #genx #70sbaby #raisedinthe80s #partiedinthe90s #carjams

The comments confirm that Gen X really does have the bead on everyone's beats.

"I’m glad I’m not the only polyjamorous gen x out there."

"So I’m not the only one with a playlist that looks like it belongs to some with multiple personalities? This is a relief."

"Gen X is the only generation that covered so many genres of music AND decades of music. Don't give me the aux unless ur ready for a lesson in music."

"SO true!! You may get Metallica, you may get NWA, you may get Donny Osmond,you may get Duran Duran…who knows? 😂👏"

"I can relate 100%! It's not just one genre or decade. If you knew songs by NWA, Dre, Snoop, you also knew country songs by Shania, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw and metal songs from Metallica to Pantera and so on. Even if you had a specific genre of music like me (90's hip hop/rap/pop) you also knew Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns n Roses by the very first riff and rocked the hell out of it lol. Love Gen X life!"

"I think Gen X hit the jackpot culturally. Signed, a Millennial."

Naturally, every individual has their own musical tastes, and people from other generations can certainly appreciate different music genres. But Gen X really has had the biggest exposure to a mix of musical styles during our formative. years. Our ingrained musical knowledge would make us excellent "Humm…ble" competitors, and we can sing along with pretty much anything pre-Y2K. (Some of us got Mom Brain in the 2000s that ruined us for memorizing lyrics to newer songs, but we can sing "Hotel California," "Sister Christian" and "Baby Got Back" in our sleep.)

The funniest thing about this is that the younger generations only know "playlists" as digital collections. Never will they know the hours of work that went into creating the "playlist" known as the mixed tape. Especially a mixed tape from the radio, where you curse the DJ for talking through the entire intro of the song. Even making mixed CDs took a lot of effort compared to few clicks it takes today to piece together a playlist.

Gen X may have its issues—all that angst didn't come out of nowhere—but when it comes to music, we are the unbeatable generation.

Former Secret Service Special agent Evy Poumpouras speaks at a Ted Talk.

In a revealing interview with Steven Bartlett on his “Dairy of a CEO” podcast, former Secret Service Special Agent Evy Poumpouras shared how to get people to do what you want them to do.

The key, according to Poumpouras, is to understand what motivates them. Once you know the psychological framework behind what makes them tick, you can persuade them to behave as you like.

Poumpouras is the co-host of Bravo TV’s “Spy Games” competition series and author of “Becoming Bulletproof: Protect Yourself, Read People, Influence Situations, Live Fearlessly.” She served in the Secret Service’s Presidential Protective Division for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama and protected George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush.


Poumpouras says that to get a “good read” on someone, it’s essential to listen.

Former U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Evy Poumpouras shares how to get someone to do what you want

@steven

Former U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Evy Poumpouras shares how to get someone to do what you want 👀 #podcast #podcastclips #stevenbartlett #diaryofaceo #specialagent #secretservice #security #evypoumpouras

The biggest mistake people make is they talk a lot,” Poumpouras said in the video clip. “Steven, if I'm doing all the talking and you're doing all the listening, you're learning everything about me. You're learning about what I care about, my values, my belief systems, getting a good read on me and I'm learning nothing about you.”

The former Secret Service Agent says that you should listen to determine the subject's motivational mindset. Are they motivated by money, sex, admiration, status, freedom, relationships, or safety?

“Everybody's motivated by something different. But I have to hear you and pay attention to you to understand what that is. Everybody's purpose is different,” she continued. “If you give people enough space, they will reveal themselves to you.”

It’s also a wonderful tactic because your subject will have no idea they are part of a manipulation because they are the ones doing the talking. It’s nearly impossible to give yourself away when you’re sitting in silence.

Understanding what motivates people is essential when protecting the safety of the nation’s most important assets and dealing with shady, dangerous people. However, it can also benefit the layperson by giving us a framework to understand people better. Knowing what motivates someone is very important, whether you’re on a date, in a business deal, or in a leadership role at work.

It’s also very important when raising children or training an animal.

Understanding your personal motivators is also essential for making the best choices in life. It helps us determine which actions will be genuinely beneficial. It’s also a great way to ensure that we are involved with people, organizations, and activities for the right reasons.

Productivity consultant Ashley Janssen says the key to understanding your motives is knowing your values.

"When you know what you value, you can identify how an activity or goal will support and foster those values," Janssen writes. "When you decide to try something, consider whether it’s what you think you should want to do or what someone else has said you should do. Those conditions are often not enough to sustain a behavior or activity. It’s hard to keep moving forward on something that you don’t really care about or are not invested in."