Education

# Math professor shows how adding and subtracting left to right is actually easier and faster

### Mind. Blown.

Howie Hua shares helpful math tips and tricks on social media.

Math is weird.

On the one hand, it's consistent—the solutions to basic math problems are the same in every country in the world. On the other hand, there are multiple strategies to get to those solutions, and it seems like people are still coming up with new ones (much to the chagrin of parents whose kids need help with homework using methods they've never learned).

Math professor Howie Hua shares math strategies that make math easier on social media, and his videos are fascinating. Hua, who teaches math to future elementary school teachers at Fresno State, demonstrates all kinds of mental math tricks that feel like magic when you try them.

For instance, Hua has two videos showing how easy and quick it is to add multidigit numbers left to right instead of right to left, and it's genuinely mind-blowing.

Check out how he explains why adding left to right is "underrated."

OK, seriously. That is way easier to do in your head. It's basically putting the numbers into expanded form and adding them, which makes it easier to visualize.

Adding this way makes sense, but subtracting is a bit more complicated, right?

Wrong, apparently. Watch Hua work his math sorcery subtracting two and three-digit numbers.

@howie_hua

Did you know you can subtract left to right? #math #mathematics #mathtok #maths #teachersoftiktok #teacher #mathtricks #mathtrick

Holy moly. That's faster than the right-to-left, borrow-from-the-next-column method, isn't it? And again, so much easier to visualize what's actually happening, though I don't know if I could fully do this in my head like I could with the left-to-right addition.

Hua recently shared another cool subtraction trick for problems with minuends that have a lot of zeroes. (The minuend is the first number in a subtraction problem. Don't be too impressed. I had to look it up.)

Check this out:

@howie_hua

An underrated subtraction strategy #math #mathematics #mathtok #maths #teachersoftiktok #teacher #mathtricks #mathtrick

So simple, so time-saving and so something I would never have figured out on my own.

These tips and tricks might come in handy for anyone, but they're especially useful for kids who are having to do these kinds of math problems at school all the time. Even if they're supposed to solve the problem with a different strategy, these methods can be a quick way to check their answers.

Anything that makes math easier, I say. You can watch Hua's videos on TikTok, YouTube and Twitter.

Nature

## Mastercard’s GRAMMY Awards campaign raises awareness for forest restoration with a unique giveaway from SZA debut Saturn performance

True

Music’s biggest night took place Sunday, February 4 with the 66th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Now, fans have the opportunity to take home a piece of the famed event.

Longtime GRAMMY Awards partner Mastercard is using this year’s campaign to shine a light on the environment and the Priceless Planet Coalition (PPC), a forest restoration program with the goal of restoring 100 million trees. Music fans are 1.5 times more likely to take action to help the environment, making the GRAMMY Awards the perfect opportunity to raise awareness.

“Through our GRAMMY Awards campaign, we’ve created an opportunity for our brand, our partners and consumers to come together over shared values, to participate during a moment when we can celebrate our passion for music and our commitment to make meaningful investments to preserve the environment,” says Rustom Dastoor, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Communications, North America at Mastercard.

The campaign kicked off with an inspired self-guided multi-sensory tour at the GRAMMY House presented by Mastercard, where people journeyed through their passion of music and educational experience about Mastercard’s longstanding commitment to tree restoration. Then, this year’s most-nominated GRAMMY artist and a passionate voice for the environment, SZA, led the charge with the debut performance of her new song, Saturn.

Mastercard’s partners are also joining the mission by encouraging people all over the country to participate; Lyft and Sirius XM are both offering ways for consumers to get involved in the Priceless Planet Coalition. To learn more about how you can support these efforts, visit mastercard.com/forceofnature.

While fashion is always a highlight of any GRAMMY Awards event, SZA’s outfit worn during her performance of Saturn was designed to make a statement; made of tree seeds to help spread awareness. Fans can even comment ‘🌱’ and tag a friend on Mastercard’s designated post of SZA’s GRAMMY House performance for a chance to win a tree seed from the performance outfit*.

“SZA has a personal passion for sustainability – not just in forest restoration but in the clothes she wears and the platforms and partners she aligns herself with. It was important to us to partner with someone who is not only showing up big at the GRAMMY Awards – as the most GRAMMY-nominated artist this year – but also showing up big for the environment,” says Dastoor.

Due to factors like factory farming, logging, and urban growth, the Earth is losing trees at an alarming rate. According to Earth.org, approximately 10 million hectares of trees are lost each year.

Forests regulate the air we breathe and are highly effective in moderating greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, tropical forests provide up to 30% of the global action needed to stop climate change.

"Planting trees can help improve everything – from air quality to economic opportunity to mental health – and everybody deserves these benefits,” SZA said in a press release about her previous environmental activism.

Guided by Conservation International and World Resources Institute, the PPC employs science-based best practices for the selection, implementation, and long-term monitoring of their restoration efforts.

In addition to their goal to restore 100 million trees, the PPC also works to regrow forests in geographies that represent the greatest global need. This includes areas with the greatest potential for positive impacts on climate, with community and biodiversity goals being prioritized as they set out to restore forestland across the globe.

To learn more about the Priceless Planet Coalition or how you could get involved in forest restoration, visit mastercard.com/forceofnature.

* Additional Sweepstakes Details: No Purch. Nec. Void in Quebec and where prohibited. Mastercard cardholders before 2/4/24, who are U.S. & Canada res 18+ at time/date of entry. Ends 2/10/24. Winners/ARV: \$30 USD each. Entry must include a “seedling” emoji and tag a friend. Canadian winners must answer a time-limited skill-testing math question. Odds of winning depend on the total number of entries received. Rules: priceless.com/forceofnature

Related Articles Around the Web
Health

## How often should you wash your sheets? Experts settle the debate once and for all.

### People have all kinds of opinions on this.

Kampus Production/Canva

How often do you change your sheets?

If you were to ask a random group of people, "How often do you wash your sheets?" you'd likely get drastically different answers. There are the "Every single Sunday without fail" folks, the "Who on Earth washes their sheets weekly?!?" people and everyone in between.

According to a survey of 1,000 Americans conducted by Mattress Advisor, the average time between sheet changings or washings in the U.S. is 24 days—or every 3 1/2 weeks, approximately. The same survey revealed that 35 days is the average interval at which unwashed sheets are "gross."

Some of you are cringing at those stats while others are thinking, "That sounds about right." But how often should you wash your sheets, according to experts?

Hint: It's a lot more frequent than 24 days.

While there is no definitive number of days or weeks, most experts recommend swapping out used sheets for clean ones every week or two.

Dermatologist Alok Vij, MD told Cleveland Clinic that people should wash their sheets at least every two weeks, but probably more often if you have pets, live in a hot climate, sweat a lot, are recovering from illness, have allergies or asthma or if you sleep naked.

We shed dead skin all the time, and friction helps those dead skin cells slough off, so imagine what's happening every time you roll over and your skin rubs on the sheets. It's normal to sweat in your sleep, too, so that's also getting on your sheets. And then there's dander and dust mites and dirt that we carry around on us just from living in the world, all combining to make for pretty dirty sheets in a fairly short period of time, even if they look "clean."

Maybe if you shower before bed and always wear clean pajamas you could get by with a two-week sheet swap cycle, but weekly sheet cleaning seems to be the general consensus among the experts. The New York Times consulted five books about laundry and cleaning habits, and once a week was what they all recommend.

Sorry, once-a-monthers. You may want to step up your sheet game a bit.

What about the rest of your bedding? Blankets and comforters and whatnot?

Sleep.com recommends washing your duvet cover once a week, but this depends on whether you use a top sheet. Somewhere between the Gen X and Millennial eras, young folks stopped being about the top sheet life, just using their duvet with no top sheet. If that's you, wash that baby once a week. If you do use a top sheet, you can go a couple weeks longer on the duvet cover.

For blankets and comforters and duvet inserts, Sleep.com says every 3 months. And for decorative blankets and quilts that you don't really use, once a year washing will suffice.

What about pillows? Pillowcases should go in with the weekly sheet washing, but pillows themselves should be washed every 3 to 6 months. Washing pillows can be a pain, and if you don't do it right, you can end up with a lumpy pillow, but it's a good idea because between your sweat, saliva and skin cells, pillows can start harboring bacteria.

Finally, how about the mattress itself? Home influencers on TikTok can often be seen stripping their beds, sprinkling their mattress with baking soda, brushing it into the mattress fibers and then vacuuming it all out. Architectural Digest says the longer you leave baking soda on the mattress, the better—at least a few hours, but preferably overnight. Some people add a few drops of essential oil to the baking soda for some extra yummy smell.

If that all sounds like way too much work, maybe just start with the sheets. Pick a day of the week and make it your sheet washing day. You might find that climbing into a clean, fresh set of sheets more often is a nice way to feel pampered without a whole lot of effort.

Parenting

## Mom causes debate after sharing the surprising 'gift' she gives for every kid's party

### Sarah Clarke swears that her idea saves on "mental load." But not everyone thinks it's very considerate.

Representative image from Canva

Has minimalism gone too far?

Having kids means not only prepping and planning their own birthday party, but making sure you don’t show up empty-handed to the plethora of other kid’s parties.

In a now-viral Instagram post, UK-based mom Sarah Clarke explains her trick that she does for every kids party to “save on mental load.” Though Clarke swears by it, not everyone agrees.

“I get the same thing every time, no matter how old they are, no matter if they’re a boy or a girl,” Clarke said in the clip, clarifying that the gift is not a traditional present, but a gift certificate to a local coffee shop, where the kid can have a “hot chocolate or cake” with their parents.

“They can have a little date, and it’s paid for, and it means I don’t have to think of something,” she added.

“And if the mom or dad who gets the present wants to go on their own, they’re more than welcome to,” she quipped.

The video, which has been seen over 4 million times, wasn’t met with 100% positive feedback. Some felt like the idea wasn’t completely considerate, if not a little lazy.

“If someone did this I would be annoyed, it's like no thought or effort to know what someone likes,” one person wrote.

"I like this idea but for old enough kids. I think my 3 and 4 years old would not understand and be very disappointed (I would love it as a parent! But I’m not the recipient)," another said.

Others shared how they followed a similar strategy but more universal gift cards.

“I just put £10 in a card (£5 if it's a tight month.) That way they can get something they want,” someone shared.

Others acknowledged that this type of gift giving could be seen as less materialistic and more focused on quality time.

“This is a great idea. How many more toys and tablets do your kids need? I gift my nieces and nephews a new book and \$20,” one person commented.

Another echoed, “This is such a good idea! I think in this day and age kids have an overwhelming amount of toys and presents. But the gift of a parent’s presence. Genius!!”

Perhaps this is one of those situations where everyone's a little bit right. On the one hand, we have to let kids be kids, which means not forcing them to partake in what we’d prefer as adults. After all, they’re only that age for so long. On the other hand, there’s something to be said for swapping more stuff out for actual experiences and creating core memories.

Clarke’s video, whether you agree with her particular perspective or not, does highlight a collective mindset shift on how we view what gift-giving actually is. In a world suffering from inflation and needless waste combined with social interaction becoming harder to cultivate, it’s no wonder why we are starting to place more value on the little things. On simplification. Maybe in trying to find balance, we make a few missteps. But it’s still clearly what we’re all striving for.

Education

## A boy told his teacher she can't understand him because she's white. Her response is on point.

### 'Be the teacher America's children of color deserve, because we, the teachers, are responsible for instilling empathy and understanding in the hearts of all kids. We are responsible for the future of this country.'

Photo by John Pike. Used with permission.

Emily E. Smith is no ordinary teacher.

She founded The Hive Society — a classroom that's all about inspiring children to learn more about their world ... and themselves — by interacting with literature and current events. Students watch TED talks, read Rolling Stone, and analyze infographics. She even has a long-distance running club to encourage students to take care of their minds and bodies.

Smith is such an awesome teacher, in fact, that she recently received the 2015 Donald H. Graves Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Writing.

It had always been her dream to work with children in urban areas, so when Smith started teaching, she hit the ground running. She had her students making podcasts, and they had in-depth discussions about their readings on a cozy carpet.

## But in her acceptance speech for her award, she made it clear that it took a turning point in her career before she really got it:

"Things changed for me the day when, during a classroom discussion, one of my kids bluntly told me I "couldn't understand because I was a white lady." I had to agree with him. I sat there and tried to speak openly about how I could never fully understand and went home and cried, because my children knew about white privilege before I did. The closest I could ever come was empathy."

Smith knew that just acknowledging her white privilege wasn't enough.

She wanted to move beyond just empathy and find a way to take some real action that would make a difference for her students.

She kept the same innovative and engaging teaching methods, but she totally revamped her curriculum to include works by people who looked like her students. She also carved out more time to discuss issues that her students were facing, such as xenophobia and racism.

## And that effort? Absolutely worth it.

As she said in her acceptance speech:

"We studied the works of Sandra Cisneros, Pam Munoz Ryan, and Gary Soto, with the intertwined Spanish language and Latino culture — so fluent and deep in the memories of my kids that I saw light in their eyes I had never seen before."

The changes Smith made in her classroom make a whole lot of sense. And they're easy enough for teachers everywhere to make:

— They studied the work of historical Latino figures, with some of the original Spanish language included. Many children of color are growing up in bilingual households. In 2007, 55.4 million Americans 5 years of age and older spoke a language other than English at home.

— They analyzed the vision of America that great writers of color sought to create. And her students realized that our country still isn't quite living up to its ideals. Despite progress toward racial equality with the end of laws that enforced slavery or segregation, we still have a long way to go. Black people still fare worse than white people when it comes to things like wealth, unfair arrests, and health.

— They read excerpts from contemporary writers of color, like Ta-Nehisi Coates who writes about race. Her students are reading and learning from a diverse group of writers. No small thing when they live in a society that overwhelmingly gives more attention to white male writers (and where the number of employees of color in the newspaper industry stagnates at a paltry 12%).

— They read about the Syrian crisis, and many students wrote about journeys across the border in their family history for class. The opportunity particularly struck one student; the assignment touched him so much that he cried. He never had a teacher honor the journey his family made. And he was proud of his heritage for the first time ever. "One child cried," Smith shared, "and told me he never had a teacher who honored the journey his family took to the United States. He told me he was not ashamed anymore, but instead proud of the sacrifice his parents made for him."

Opportunities like this will only increase as the number of children from immigrant families is steadily increasing. As of 2013, almost 17.4 million children under 18 have at least one immigrant parent.

## Smith now identifies not just as an English teacher, but as a social justice teacher.

Teaching in a racially and ethnically diverse world.

Photo by John Pike. Used with permission.

Smith's successful shift in her teaching is an example for teachers everywhere, especially as our schools become increasingly ethnically and racially diverse. About 80% of American teachers are white. But as of last year, the majority of K-12 students in public schools are now children of color.

As America's demographics change, we need to work on creating work that reflects the experiences that our students relate to. And a more diverse curriculum isn't just important for students of color. It's vital for everyone.

Pop Culture

## LeVar Burton gives cheeky 'Reading Rainbow' segment for banned books

### The segment, shown on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," featured banned titles like "Charlottes Web" and "Harriet the Spy."

Super Festivals/Wikipedia, Wikipedia

You've never seen a "Reading Rainbow" episode quite like this

“Reading Rainbow” might have had its last episode in 2006, but LeVar Burton hasn’t stopped being a book advocate.

The actor and beloved host has spoken out against the unprecedented levels of books banned in schools throughout the country—acting as executive producer do the 2023 documentary “The Right to Read,” and has partnered with the nonprofit MoveOn.org to create a limited-edition T-shirt that reads “LeVar Burton Says Read Banned Books.”

And recently on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Burton brought attention to the subject by resurrecting the popular kids show. Only this is unlike any “Reading Rainbow” segment you’ve seen before.

In the clip (which features the well known “Reading Rainbow” song with a few tongue-in-cheek lyric tweaks) Barton shows a group of kids a selection of banned children’s books, and shares the questionable reasons why they’re banned, including:

“Harriet The Spy,” because it “encourages spying.”

“Charlotte's Web,” because “talking pigs is disrespectful to God”

“Stella Read Me A Story,” because the author’s last name is Gay.

According to AL.com, this last title removal was done in error, since the last name showed up in a keyword search, but only further shows how flawed the system is if this is the basis for which books are being tossed out of the children’s section.

Burton also asks the kids why they think adults might be banning these types of books.

“Because they don't want their kids to learn and be successful when they’re older,” one kids says.

Another adds, “They don't want their kids to be smarter than them.”

If they had it their way, these kids would rather ban “racism, anti-diversity,” and “Barbies, because when you cut their hair you get their DNA and it’s weird.”

Watch the full clip below, which also shows the group take a little field trip down to a school board meeting so they can see exactly how a book gets banned:

What makes this skit so impactful (other than hitting peak nostalgia) is that Burton is actual involving kids in the discussion, and allowing them to express their own ideas and opinions on the topic. Empowering younger generations to make their own informed decisions does far more for their future that strict censorship.

This is clearly something Burton believes, and the reason why so many of us love him.

Education

## Lessons we should have learned from the liberation of Auschwitz and other Nazi camps

### It's been more than 75 years since the last prisoners were freed from Auschwitz. The farther we get from that chapter, the more important it is to focus on the lessons it taught us, lest we ignore the signs of history repeating itself.

From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

The scale of the atrocity is unfathomable. Like slavery, the Holocaust is a piece of history where the more you learn the more horrifying it becomes. The inhumane depravity of the perpetrators and the gut-wrenching suffering of the victims defies description. It almost becomes too much for the mind and heart to take in, but it's vital that we push through that resistance.

The liberation of the Nazi camps marked the end of Hitler's attempt at ethnic cleansing, and the beginning of humanity's awareness about how such a heinous chapter in human history took place. The farther we get from that chapter, the more important it is to focus on the lessons it taught us, lest we ignore the signs of history repeating itself.

#### Lesson 1: Unspeakable evil can be institutionalized on a massive scale

Perhaps the most jarring thing about the Holocaust is how systematized it was. We're not talking about humans slaying other humans in a fit of rage or a small number of twisted individuals torturing people in a basement someplace—this was a structured, calculated, disciplined, and meticulously planned and carried out effort to exterminate masses of people. The Nazi regime built a well-oiled killing machine the size of half a continent, and it worked exactly as intended. We often cite the number of people killed, but the number of people who partook in the systematic torture and destruction of millions of people is just as harrowing.

It has now come out that Allied forces knew about the mass killing of Jews as early as 1942—three years before the end of the war. And obviously, there were reports from individuals of what was happening from the very beginning. People often ask why more wasn't done earlier on if people knew, and there are undoubtedly political reasons for that. But we also have the benefit of hindsight in asking that question. I can imagine most people simply disbelieving what was actually taking place because it sounds so utterly unbelievable.

The lesson here is that we have to question our tendency to disbelieve things that sound too horrible to be true. We have evidence that the worst things imaginable on a scale that seems unfathomable are totally plausible.

#### Lesson 2: Atrocity can happen right under our noses as we go about our daily lives

One thing that struck me as I was reading about the liberation of Auschwitz is that it was a mere 37 miles from Krakow, one of the largest cities in Poland. This camp where an average of 500 people a day were killed, where bodies were piled up like corded wood, where men, women, and children were herded into gas chambers—and it was not that far from a major population center.

And that was just one set of camps. We now know that there were thousands of locations where the Nazis carried out their "final solution," and it's not like they always did it way out in the middle of nowhere. A New York Times report on how many more camps there were than scholars originally thought describes what was happening to Jews and marginalized people as the average person went about their daily lives:

"The documented camps include not only 'killing centers' but also thousands of forced labor camps, where prisoners manufactured war supplies; prisoner-of-war camps; sites euphemistically named 'care' centers, where pregnant women were forced to have abortions or their babies were killed after birth; and brothels, where women were coerced into having sex with German military personnel."

Whether or not the average person knew the full extent of what was happening is unclear. But surely there were reports. And we know how the average person responds to reports, even today in our own country.

How many news stories have we seen of abuses and inhumane conditions inside U.S. immigrant detention camps? What is our reaction when the United Nations human rights chief visits our detention facilities and comes away "appalled"? It's a natural tendency to assume things simply can't be that bad—that's undoubtedly what millions of Germans thought as well when stories leaked through the propaganda.

#### Lesson 3: Propaganda works incredibly well

Propaganda has always been a part of governance, as leaders try to sway the general populace to support whatever they are doing. But the Nazis perfected the art and science of propaganda, shamelessly playing on people's prejudices and fears and flooding the public with mountains of it.

Hermann Goering, one of Hitler's top political and military figures, explained in an interview late in his life that such manipulation of the masses isn't even that hard.

"The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders," he said. "That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

Terrifyingly true, isn't it? This is why we have to stay vigilant in the face of fear-mongering rhetoric coming from our leaders. When an entire religion or nationality or ethnic group is painted as "dangerous" or "criminal" or "terrorists," we have to recognize that we are being exposed to the same propaganda used to convince Germans that the Nazis were just trying to protect them. Safety and security are powerful human desires that make it easy to justify horrible acts.

Hitler was also great at playing the victim. While marching through Europe, conquering countries and rounding up millions of innocent people to exterminate, he claimed that Germany was the one under attack. Blatant anti-Semitic rhetoric surely fired up Hitler's core supporters, but the message to the average German was that this was all being done in the name of protecting the homeland, rather than a quest for a world-dominating master race.

#### Lesson 4: Most of us are in greater danger of committing a holocaust than being a victim of one

I had to pause when this realization hit me one day. As fairly average white American, I am in the majority in my country. And as strange as it is to say, that means I have more in common with the Germans who either committed heinous acts or capitulated to the Nazis than I do with the Jews and other targets of the Nazi party. That isn't to say that I would easily go along with mass genocide, but who's to say that I could fully resist the combination of systematic dehumanization, propaganda, and terrorism that led to the Holocaust? We all like to think we'd be the brave heroes hiding the Anne Franks of the world in our secret cupboards, but the truth is we don't really know what we would have done.

Check out what this Army Captain who helped liberate a Nazi camp said about his bafflement at what the Germans, "a cultured people" allowed to happen:

"I had studied German literature while an undergraduate at Harvard College. I knew about the culture of the German people and I could not, could not really believe that this was happening in this day and age; that in the twentieth century a cultured people like the Germans would undertake something like this. It was just beyond our imagination... Captain (Dr.) Philip Leif - 3rd Auxiliary Surgical Group, First Army

Some say that we can gauge what we would have done by examining what we're doing right now, and perhaps they are right. Are we speaking out against our government's cruel family separations that traumatize innocent children? Do we justify travel bans from entire countries because we trust that it's simply our leadership trying to keep us safe? Do we buy into the "Muslims are terrorists" and "undocumented immigrants are criminals" rhetoric?

While it's wise to be wary of comparing current events to the Holocaust, it's also wise to recognize that the Holocaust didn't start with gas chambers. It started with "othering," scapegoating, and fear-mongering. We have to be watchful not only for signs of atrocity, but for the signs leading up to it.

#### Lesson 5: Teaching full and accurate history matters

There are people who deny that the Holocaust even happened, which is mind-boggling. But there are far more people who are ignorant to the true horrors of it. Reading first-hand accounts of both the people who survived the camps and those who liberated them is perhaps the best way to begin to grasp the scope of what happened.

One small example is Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower's attempt to describe what he saw when he visited Ohrdruf, a sub-camp of Buchenwald:

"The things I saw beggar description. While I was touring the camp I encountered three men who had been inmates and by one ruse or another had made their escape. I interviewed them through an interpreter. The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick. In one room, where they were piled up twenty or thirty naked men, killed by starvation, George Patton would not even enter. He said that he would get sick if he did so. I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to 'propaganda.'"

And of course, the most important narratives to read and try to digest are the accounts of those who survived the camps. Today, 200 survivors of Auschwitz gathered to commemorate the 75th anniversary of its liberation. They warned about the rise in anti-Semitism in the world and how we must not let prejudice and hatred fester. Imagine having to make such a warning seven decades after watching family and friends being slaughtered in front of you.

Let's use this anniversary as an opportunity to dive deeper into what circumstances and environment enabled millions of people to be killed by one country's leadership. Let's learn the lessons the Holocaust has to teach us about human nature and our place in the creation of history. And let's make darn sure we do everything in our power to fend off the forces that threaten to lead us down a similarly perilous path.

Joy

## Video of cats punching above their weight gives us a new appreciation for our feline friends

### Maybe they're actually as superior as they think they are.

Photo by 傅甬 华 on Unsplash

Cats are far more badass than we give them credit for.

Cats have a reputation for being aloof and standoffish, like they're better than everyone and simply can't be bothered. Those of us who have cats know they're not always like that … but yes, they're sometimes like that. They can be sweet and affectionate, but they want affection on their terms, they want to eat and play and sleep on their own clock, and we puny, inferior humans have little say in the matter.

There's a reason why we have obedience schools for dogs and not for cats. Maine coon or Bengal, Savannah or Siamese, ragdoll or sphynx, domestic cats of all breeds are largely untrainable little punks who lure us into loving them by blessing us with the honor of stroking their fur and hearing them purr.

But perhaps we assume too much when we think cats are full of themselves for no good reason. Maybe they are actually somewhat justified in their snootiness. Maybe they really, truly are superior to pretty much every other creature on Earth and that's why they act like it.

(Cats, if they could talk, would be nodding and prodding us along at this point: "Yes, yes, you're so close. Just a little further now, keep going.")

Think about it. They're beautiful and graceful, but also quick and powerful. They groom constantly so they're almost always clean and their fur even smells good. They can fall from ridiculous heights, land on their feet and walk away unscathed. They're wicked good ambush hunters. They can walk completely silently, like ninjas, then pull out the razor blades on their feet at will and do serious damage in an instant.

All of that makes them impressive specimens, but ironically it's their total hubris that makes them truly superior. When they feel like it (because cats only do things they feel like doing) they will take on anyone and anything. Big, small, dangerous, fierce—doesn't matter. That unbridled confidence—earned or not—combined with their physique and skill makes them the badasses of the animal world.

Want proof? Here ya go:

The lightning-fast smackdown is really the cat's weapon of choice, isn't it? They're so fast with the swipe-slap, it takes their victims by surprise. "Aww, you're so cute and cuddly, look at y—OUCH!" And then the way they just stand there and stare with their big eyes and their ears back. It's unnerving. Throw in a little hiss or yowl, and no thank you.

If that video wasn't enough to convince you, here's another.

The snakes, man. I can't get over the snakes.

Cats really are better than us and every other living thing, basically. And even if they aren't, they believe they are, which counts just as much. They're either the ultimate creatures or the ultimate conmen. Either way, you just don't mess with them.