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Heroes

Our lives would look very different without these items invented by women.

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Maybelline New York Beauty & Beyond

Coffee filters. Dishwashers. Hair brushes. Windshield wipers. Computer programming language. Try to imagine how your day would go without these things.

Unless you live in a cabin in the woods and couldn't care less about modern conveniences (in which case, you're probably not reading this), the answer is "not well."

Think about it: Getting ready for work probably took people 10 times as long without paper filters to make coffee, hair brushes to tame bed-head, or windshield wipers for safe driving in storms. Then, of course, once you finally got to there, you'd be doing all your research, correspondence, and clerical work without the help of a computer.


Anyone else hyperventilating yet?

[rebelmouse-image 19477745 dam="1" original_size="700x478" caption="Even Oscar Wilde didn't find it amusing. Photo via Metropolitan Museum of Art/Wikimedia Commons." expand=1]Even Oscar Wilde didn't find it amusing. Photo via Metropolitan Museum of Art/Wikimedia Commons.

The reason life no longer looks like that time-consuming nightmare is because a number of brilliant women invented things to help make our day-to-day a whole lot easier.

Here's a look at five of them.

1. Melitta Bentz streamlined the coffee-making process.

[rebelmouse-image 19477746 dam="1" original_size="700x363" caption="Bentz and her marvelous invention. Photo by Otto Sarony/Wikimedia Commons." expand=1]Bentz and her marvelous invention. Photo by Otto Sarony/Wikimedia Commons.

You know how those nifty little paper sleeves keep coffee grinds out of your morning (afternoon, evening) cup o' Joe? Well that's all thanks to Melitta Bentz, a German woman who figured out that using paper instead of cloth to filter coffee is much more efficient.

Before she patented her invention in 1908, people used to put coffee grinds in a small cloth bag, which then went into boiling water. This often resulted in some gritty residue at the bottom of a cup of coffee. But by using a piece of paper from her son's notebook and a pot with a few holes punched in it, Benz prevented that effect. She also essentially invented the pour over method, which coffee lovers uphold to this day.

2. Mary Anderson made car travel much safer.

[rebelmouse-image 19477747 dam="1" original_size="700x350" caption="Anderson and a sketch of her "window cleaning device." Photos via Wikimedia Commons and the U.S. Patent Office." expand=1]Anderson and a sketch of her "window cleaning device." Photos via Wikimedia Commons and the U.S. Patent Office.

It seems fitting that the windshield wiper was invented by a woman who was annoyed at being stuck in New York City traffic.

Anderson was visiting the bustling city in 1902 and decided to take a streetcar because it was snowing. However, the driver kept having to get out of the car to wipe off the windshield, which delayed her travel further. And that's when she thought, "If only there were some device that could wipe away precipitation and allow drivers to remain in their cars."

When she got home, she drew a sketch of the first windshield wiper. A year later, she had a patent for what she called a "window cleaning device."

3. Mabel Williams helped girls pump up their eyelashes.

Photo via Maybelline.

For a long time, women weren't able to do much to make their eyelashes appear longer and fuller, though many had used a variety of ingredients in an attempt to try.

So in 1915, a woman named Mabel Williams mixed coal dust, vaseline and oils for sheen to create one of the first mascaras.  Her brother saw the potential and developed a mail-order brush called Lash-Brow-Ine and launched the company — the Maybell Laboratories in Chicago.

The product caught on through print advertising, and two years later, Williams used it to launch the beauty brand — Maybelline — which might sound familiar.

4. Grace Hopper is part of the reason computers do what we want them to do (for now, anyway).

Hopper working with UNIVAC I — the first commercial electronic computer. Photo via The Smithsonian/Wikimedia Commons.

The reason computers work for us is because we feed them instructions that are then translated into code. Hopper led the team that's responsible for the first program that did that.

After she joined the U.S. Navy during World War II, she was assigned to work on the Mark I computer at Harvard. Her team created the first computer language compiler, which was the precursor for the Common Business Oriented Language, or COBOL, that would end up becoming a computer language used worldwide.

Of course today, computers are teaching us a thing or two, but none of their complexity would be possible without this first, pivotal step.

5. Lyda Newman designed a much more useful hairbrush.

[rebelmouse-image 19477750 dam="1" original_size="986x758" caption="Lyda Newman's revolutionary brush design. Photo via Wikimedia Commons." expand=1]Lyda Newman's revolutionary brush design. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Hairbrushes today help us keep our locks from looking like knotty messes, and that's largely thanks to Newman's ingenious design. Her brush had evenly-spaced rows of bristles with open slots to guide things like dust and dandruff away from the hair. The hairdresser got a patent for it in 1898, but her work for women didn't stop there.

She also worked with the African-American branch of the Woman Suffrage Party to help women get the vote in New York City. Who says activism and style can't go together?

Women inventors are responsible for so many things on which we've come to rely, yet their work often goes unsung.

It's about time we give them the spotlight they deserve.

To learn more about these and other women inventors, check out this video:

Pop Culture

Airbnb host finds unexpected benefits from not charging guests a cleaning fee

Host Rachel Boice went for a more "honest" approach with her listings—and saw major perks because of it.

@rachelrboice/TikTok

Many frustrated Airbnb customers have complained that the separate cleaning fee is a nuisance.

Airbnb defines its notorious cleaning fee as a “one-time charge” set by the host that helps them arrange anything from carpet shampoo to replenishing supplies to hiring an outside cleaning service—all in the name of ensuring guests have a “clean and tidy space.”

But as many frustrated Airbnb customers will tell you, this feature is viewed as more of a nuisance than a convenience. According to NerdWallet, the general price for a cleaning fee is around $75, but can vary greatly between listings, with some units having cleaning fees that are higher than the nightly rate (all while sometimes still being asked to do certain chores before checking out). And often none of these fees show up in the total price until right before the booking confirmation, leaving many travelers feeling confused and taken advantage of.

However, some hosts are opting to build cleaning fees into the overall price of their listings, mimicking the strategy of traditional hotels.

Rachel Boice runs two Airbnb properties in Georgia with her husband Parker—one being this fancy glass plane tiny house (seen below) that promises a perfect glamping experience.

@rachelrboice Welcome to The Tiny Glass House 🤎 #airbnbfinds #exploregeorgia #travelbucketlist #tinyhouse #glampingnotcamping #atlantageorgia #fyp ♬ Aesthetic - Tollan Kim

Like most Airbnb hosts, the Boice’s listing showed a nightly rate and separate cleaning fee. According to her interview with Insider, the original prices broke down to $89 nightly, and $40 for the cleaning fee.

But after noticing the negative response the separate fee got from potential customers, Rachel told Insider that she began charging a nightly rate that included the cleaning fee, totaling to $129 a night.

It’s a marketing strategy that more and more hosts are attempting in order to generate more bookings (people do love feeling like they’re getting a great deal) but Boice argued that the trend will also become more mainstream since the current Airbnb model “doesn’t feel honest.”

"We stay in Airbnbs a lot. I pretty much always pay a cleaning fee," Boice told Insider. "You're like: 'Why am I paying all of this money? This should just be built in for the cost.'"

Since combining costs, Rachel began noticing another unexpected perk beyond customer satisfaction: guests actually left her property cleaner than before they were charged a cleaning fee. Her hypothesis was that they assumed she would be handling the cleaning herself.

"I guess they're thinking, 'I'm not paying someone to clean this, so I'll leave it clean,'" she said.

This discovery echoes a similar anecdote given by another Airbnb host, who told NerdWallet guests who knew they were paying a cleaning fee would “sometimes leave the place looking like it’s been lived in and uncleaned for months.” So, it appears to be that being more transparent and lumping all fees into one overall price makes for a happier (and more considerate) customer.

These days, it’s hard to not be embittered by deceptive junk fees, which can seem to appear anywhere without warning—surprise overdraft charges, surcharges on credit cards, the never convenience “convenience charge” when purchasing event tickets. Junk fees are so rampant that certain measures are being taken to try to eliminate them outright in favor of more honest business approaches.

Speaking of a more honest approach—as of December 2022, AirBnb began updating its app and website so that guests can see a full price breakdown that shows a nightly rate, a cleaning fee, Airbnb service fee, discounts, and taxes before confirming their booking.

Guests can also activate a toggle function before searching for a destination, so that full prices will appear in search results—avoiding unwanted financial surprises.


This article originally appeared on 11.08.23

A woman realizes that she has some pretty big regrets in life.

After the age of 30, people begin to judge the decisions they’ve made in the past based on their newfound perspective on life. This is a time when many of us pause and take stock of where we are versus where we imagined we'd be. As careers, relationships and personal aspirations begin to unfold, so do the realizations of things we may have done wrong. But it's also time for a type of self-reflection that can empower us to make more informed decisions in the future.

There probably isn’t one person alive over the age of 30 who doesn’t have at least one major regret. The key is to use that regret to your advantage by learning from it and not making the same mistake twice.

Regrets can also be helpful to others as a warning of some of the pitfalls in life to avoid.


A Redditor who goes by noThefakedevesh recently posed a question to the AskReddit subforum: “People above 30, what's your biggest regret in life?” The question was a great excuse for people to share their regrets and how they overcame the mistakes they made in the past. The list of regrets is also a wonderful way for younger people to avoid things that will give them regrets later in life.

One of the most powerful themes repeated in the post was people’s regret for caring too much about other people’s opinions and trying to be people-pleasers. Many people also regretted not taking more risks in life, especially when they were younger.

Here are 13 of the most powerful regrets people 30 and over shared on Reddit.

1. Not being healthy

"Not taking my own health seriously." — Outlasndishness3310

"I always think of the line from 'Peggy Sue Got Married' where she asks her grandfather if he could go back and do things differently, what would he change and he says, 'I'd have taken better care of my teeth.'" — TrustAvidity

2. Fear of judgement

"The amount of time I spent anxious about being judged." — BastardWing

"When I learned to let go, it was amazing. You can't control other people's opinions. You only get to control yourself and your own attitude. What other people think of me really doesn't have much effect on my life and it's easy enough to not interact with folks who judge me." — tmp_advent_of_code

"'Never take criticism from people you wouldn't go to for advice' has helped me with this many times." — RemainingEye

3. Fear of failure

"Not putting myself out there due to fear of failure. Failing should be celebrated and encouraged as a tool to learn and grow and improve." — TheWinderousWizard

4. Not exercising

"My biggest regret is not getting into exercise earlier. I thought people only exercised to lose weight and I was convinced I was just meant to be overweight. In my 30s I discovered running and volleyball and now I’m fitter in my 40s than I was in my 20s. I wish I’d realised how much fun I could be having." — NeitherGur5003

"One of the most useful tools for me recently has been reframing exercise as movement. The word 'exercise' has a punishing connotation to me - it's a tool used to cudgel 'lazy' people. 'Movement,' however, is joyful and free-flowing. Movement can be running, lifting weights, dancing, yoga, stretching, scrubbing your bathroom, walking your dog, goofing off with your nieces and nephews, parkour, bike riding - whatever. Celebrating movement gets me to appreciate the power of my body and the pleasure of mobility. It helps me to focus on a healthier relationship with my body that emphasizes the long-term ability to inhabit and utilize this great, useful, electrified meat sack that requires nourishment and ongoing maintenance. Anyway, hope that helps you too." — BarnacledSeaWitch

5. Being a people pleaser

"This 10000000%. Can't help others if you don't take care of yourself first. Hugely with kids and parents. Parents are ineffective if they ignore their spouses and put all their energy into everything else and nothing into themselves and each other." — Slickpoison

6. Should have invested earlier

"Yes to investing. I'm close to retiring and don't have anywhere close to the amount that I'd like. I used to make fun of my brother for his frugality but it turns out I was the foolish one." — Scurtrberau

"Rule of 72- at 8% growth you’d see your money double in 9 years. Waiting a decade means you miss out on doubling that money. What’s worse is that you have a certain set number of doubling periods before retirement- 22-31, 31-40, 40-49, 49-58, 58-67 - 5 doubling periods. $1 put in at 22 is worth 25 = $32 at retirement." — Burnbabyburn11

7. Paid too much attention to parents

"I listened to my parents too much when I was younger." — Distressed_Finish

"My mother was never going to understand me or love me unconditionally, or see me as anything other than something to possess and control, and I wish I could have realized it and freed myself from her sooner." — FloraFly

8. Waiting too long to get sober

"I'm in my 40s now and pretty much drank my way through my 20s and early 30s. I got into the lifestyle of drinking with friends every day after work, then a big session Friday night and it was the norm for me, I pitied people who just went straight home from work. Now thinking of all the money I spent, the health implications, the general setting my life back by 15 years, I think I was the one that was pitiable." — Dave80

"Same. I was a casual/social drinker my entire 20s and early 30s, and I wish I was not. Life without alcohol is so much better." — Barhanita

9. Put more effort into friendships

"I wish I didn't let friendships die so easily. I'm 36 and you'd be surprised how fast you can go a decade without talking to someone you once saw every day." — NutellaBanabaBread

10. Missed opportunities with women

"Took me far too long to realise if I had just taken my shot, I most likely would have succeeded with a few of my crushes. But I am happy were I am now, but man some of those missed opportunities..." — Zeebie_

11. Smoking

"Wish I never would have touched a cigarette." — BlueStarSpecial

"This for sure, I smoked for 25 years, maybe 15 a day. At today's prices in the UK that amounts to around £82k or just over $100k." — Dave80

12. Self-loathing

"I regret the amount of time I spent hating my body. The self-loathing I had with my appearance consumed me, and now when I look back at photos of me in my twenties I just wish I could have seen how skinny I was." — Wetsummer486

13. Being a loyal employee

"Being loyal to a company and expecting to be rewarded later." — Pinkpujita

"Been job hopping every 2-3 years. New projects, more motivation, learning new stuff, most of the time with increased salary." — fr6nco

Pop Culture

A brave fan asks Patrick Stewart a question he doesn't usually get and is given a beautiful answer

Patrick Stewart often talks about his childhood and the torment his father put him and his mother through.

Patrick Stewart often talks about his childhood and the torment his father put him and his mother through. However, how he answered this vulnerable and brave fan's question is one of the most eloquent, passionate responses about domestic violence I've ever seen.



WARNING: At 2:40, he's going to break your heart a little.

You can read more about Heather Skye's hug with Captain Picard at her blog.


This article originally appeared on 06.26.13.


Science

MIT’s trillion-frames-per-second camera can capture light as it travels

"There's nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera."

Photo from YouTube video.

Photographing the path of light.

A new camera developed at MIT can photograph a trillion frames per second.

Compare that with a traditional movie camera which takes a mere 24. This new advancement in photographic technology has given scientists the ability to photograph the movement of the fastest thing in the Universe, light.


The actual event occurred in a nano second, but the camera has the ability to slow it down to twenty seconds.

time, science, frames per second, bounced light

The amazing camera.

Photo from YouTube video.

For some perspective, according to New York Times writer, John Markoff, "If a bullet were tracked in the same fashion moving through the same fluid, the resulting movie would last three years."


In the video below, you'll see experimental footage of light photons traveling 600-million-miles-per-hour through water.

It's impossible to directly record light so the camera takes millions of scans to recreate each image. The process has been called femto-photography and according to Andrea Velten, a researcher involved with the project, "There's nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera."

(H/T Curiosity)


This article originally appeared on 09.08.17

A map of the United States post land-ice melt.


Land ice: We got a lot of it.

Considering the two largest ice sheets on earth — the one on Antarctica and the one on Greenland — extend more than 6 million square miles combined ... yeah, we're talkin' a lot of ice.

But what if it was all just ... gone? Not like gone gone, but melted?


If all of earth's land ice melted, it would be nothing short of disastrous.

And that's putting it lightly.

This video by Business Insider Science (seen below) depicts exactly what our coastlines would look like if all the land ice melted. And spoiler alert: It isn't great.

Lots of European cities like, Brussels and Venice, would be basically underwater.

In Africa and the Middle East? Dakar, Accra, Jeddah — gone.

Millions of people in Asia, in cities like Mumbai, Beijing, and Tokyo, would be uprooted and have to move inland.

South America would say goodbye to cities like Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires.

And in the U.S., we'd watch places like Houston, San Francisco, and New York City — not to mention the entire state of Florida — slowly disappear into the sea.

All GIFs via Business Insider Science/YouTube.

Business Insider based these visuals off National Geographic's estimation that sea levels will rise 216 feet (!) if all of earth's land ice melted into our oceans.

There's even a tool where you can take a detailed look at how your community could be affected by rising seas, for better or worse.

Although ... looking at these maps, it's hard to imagine "for better" is a likely outcome for many of us.

Much of America's most populated regions would be severely affected by rising sea levels, as you'll notice exploring the map, created by Alex Tingle using data provided by NASA.

Take, for instance, the West Coast. (Goodbye, San Fran!)

Or the East Coast. (See ya, Philly!)

And the Gulf Coast. (RIP, Bourbon Street!)

I bring up the topic not just for funsies, of course, but because the maps above are real possibilities.

How? Climate change.

As we continue to burn fossil fuels for energy and emit carbon into our atmosphere, the planet gets warmer and warmer. And that, ladies and gentlemen, means melted ice.

A study published this past September by researchers in the U.S., U.K., and Germany found that if we don't change our ways, there's definitely enough fossil fuel resources available for us to completely melt the Antarctic ice sheet.

Basically, the self-inflicted disaster you see above is certainly within the realm of possibility.

"This would not happen overnight, but the mind-boggling point is that our actions today are changing the face of planet Earth as we know it and will continue to do so for tens of thousands of years to come," said lead author of the study Ricarda Winkelmann, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

If we want to stop this from happening," she says, "we need to keep coal, gas, and oil in the ground."

The good news? Most of our coastlines are still intact! And they can stay that way, too — if we act now.

World leaders are finallystarting to treat climate change like the global crisis that it is — and you can help get the point across to them, too.

Check out Business Insider's video below:

This article originally appeared on 12.08.15