+
Heroes

NASA’s offering a 6-figure salary to anyone who can protect us from aliens.

Every day, hundreds of thousands of people get up and go to jobs that keep the rest of us safe from harm: firefighters, health inspectors, engineers, and more.

And right now, NASA has what might be the king of safety jobs open to applicants.


Position at NASA: planetary protection officer.
Pay: $187,000 a year.
Purpose: To protect the Earth from alien lifeforms.

The role was quietly posted on USA Jobs last month.

Whoever steps into this job would be in charge of making sure astronauts, robots, and spacecraft don't track microbes and other biological contamination back to Earth or around the solar system with them.

This means keeping aliens from coming to Earth and preventing Earth life from escaping to where it doesn't belong. Microbes are hardy little things, and contamination could throw off our search for life in the universe — not to mention affect any life that is out there.

Whoever takes this job will definitely have a busy next few years.

NASA has the Mars 2020 rover and the Europa Clipper mission in the works. Both Mars and Europa have been the target of intense speculation about extraterrestrial life — Mars deep under its soil and Europa in its subsurface ocean. The planetary protection officer would no doubt play a key role in those missions.

If you're thinking of applying, you should probably know the planetary protection officer job comes with some hefty qualifications, including an advanced STEM degree and experience planning space programs. It's also U.S. citizens only (sorry, Canada).

Thanks to all those firefighters and engineers, we have a safe and comfortable society. Thanks to whoever takes this job, we'll have a safe planet (and solar system) too.

A Korean mother and her son

A recently posted story on Reddit shows a mother confidently standing up for her family after being bullied by a teacher for her culture. Reddit user Flowergardens0 posted the story to the AITA forum, where people ask whether they are wrong in a specific situation.

Over 5,600 people commented on the story, and an overwhelming majority thought the mother was right. Here’s what went down:

“I (34F) have a (5M) son who attends preschool. A few hours after I picked him up from school today, I got a phone call from his teacher,” Flowergardens0 wrote. “She made absolutely no effort to sound kind when she, in an extremely rude and annoyed tone, told me to stop packing my son such ‘disgusting and inappropriate’ lunches."

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Egor Vikhrev on Unsplash

Let's talk about what makes people read articles.

The adage, "If it bleeds, it leads," refers to the media's tendency to headline stories involving death or violence, but it can also be used to point to people's negativity bias. Simply put, people tend to pay more attention to negative news stories than positive ones.

A new study seems to reinforce this idea. And much to our surprise, it's centered on headlines used in Upworthy stories.

Using a public archive of Upworthy headlines and traffic data from 2012 to 2015, two separate teams of researchers analyzed whether people's click tendencies changed with negative or positive words in headlines. In those olden days of Upworthy, a handful of headlines for a single story were tested on the website to see which one would receive the most clicks. The research teams analyzed those results and found that negative words in headlines led to more people clicking on a story (2.3% more), and positive words in headlines led to fewer clicks (1.0% fewer). They also found a preference for headlines that express sadness over those that express joy, fear or anger.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Woman was mocked online for calling an $80 purse a 'luxury item.' Her response went viral.

"I'm so grateful that my dad was able to get me one. He worked so hard for that money.”

@zohtaco/TikTok

Zoe Gabriel, showing off her new purse from Charles & Keith

Insults of any kind are painful, but jabs towards someone’s financial status are their own breed.

In January 2023, Singapore-based Zoe Gabriel was on the receiving end of this particular flavor of mockery when she posted a TikTok about a purse from local retail brand Charles & Keith—a gift bought for her by her father.

In her excitement, the 17-year-old called the bag, which costs around $80, a “luxury” item as she unwrapped it. Her excitement was sadly cut short by some of the negative comments she received.

One comment seemed to stand out above the rest and prompted Gabriel to post an emotional response video.

Keep ReadingShow less

Samantha Moriá Reynolds's advice on sick children.

It's cold and flu seasons, folks. During this time of year, we're all on a mission to avoid the demon viruses that threaten to invade our bodies and wage Armageddon on our immune systems.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

A doctor specializing in child development shares 5 of her most surprising parenting tips

"How To Discipline Your Child So They Actually Learn" is one of her more popular videos.

via drkristynsommer / TikTok

Parenting is the most important job that most people will ever have in life. Your decisions as a parent will be some of the most important determining factors in whether your child becomes a happy and productive adult or not. It's a huge responsibility.

Parenting is a difficult and important undertaking, but many parents simply repeat the same strategies used by their parents. How often do we hear people rationalize their decisions by saying, "That's what my parents did and I came out ok."

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

RuPaul's Drag Race 'Footloose' parody gets high praise from Kevin Bacon himself

When the OG Ren McCormack approves, you know you're in for something good.

RuPaul's Drag Race/Youtube, Wikipedia

Loosey LaDuca performing as Heaven Bacon for "Wigloose: A Rusical"

Fans of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” are well acquainted with the “Rusical” segment, but in case this word seems like something out of Dr. Seuss, here’s a brief explainer: A Rusical is a challenge on the show where contestants put on a live parody drag musical. Since debuting in Season 6, the Rusical has become a beloved staple of the series, with some of the most popular titles being “Madonna: The Unauthorized Rusical,” “HERstory of the World” and “Moulin Ru: The Rusical.”

For Episode 12, the queens drew inspiration from the 1984 movie “Footloose” to tell a story about a small town that prohibits drag rather than dancing. The performance got a sweet seal of approval from the OG Ren McCormack himself.
Keep ReadingShow less