peloton, satc, mr big

via Peloton in Instagram

SPOILER ALERT: Though many fans theorized that Samantha would be the character to bite the dust in the highly anticipated "Sex and the City" reboot, it was in fact Mr. Big who met his demise. The plot twist not only had mixed reactions from viewers, it caused Peloton stock prices to plummet.

Big’s death might have caused Peloton stocks to go six feet under, but their latest commercial is giving the internet life, and is the absolute epitome of “damage control.”



The video starts with Big, seemingly resurrected, next to a crackling fire, drinking wine with his favorite instructor Allegra, who also appeared in the show. Have the two run away together? That seems to be the case.

As Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" plays, Big toasts “to new beginnings.” Allegra tells Big how great he looks. Big asks his trainer-turned-mistress if she wants another ride, adding that “life is too short not to.”


Cue the piece de resistance: We hear the voice of Ryan Reynolds saying:

“And just like that ... the world was reminded that regular cycling stimulates and improves your heart, lungs and circulation, thus reducing your risk for cardiovascular diseases. Cycling strengthens your heart muscles, lowers your pulse and reduces blood fat levels.”

And then in a clever, fast, distinctly Ryan Reynolds kind of way, he whispers, “he’s alive!”

It took no time for the commercial to receive positive—and comical—reactions.

Including a tweet demanding a raise for whoever came up with the idea.

As well as pointing out that no one should take a fictional character’s death as true commentary on the safety of a real-life product.

One person considered poor Carrie after she inevitably finds out Big ran away with his favorite instructor.

Another person wrote ”Peloton was faster with a response than Carrie was with dialing 911,” which is, if you watch the episode, kind of true.

And, of course, some were less than convinced the commercial was as impromptu as advertised. Either way, it was a pretty creative move on Peloton's part.

Somebody had to acknowledge the one thing we can all count on: Ryan Reynolds being hilarious.

It’s not every day that quantum mechanics get involved in Twitter comments, but one person managed to compare Big’s simultaneous aliveness and deadness to Schrödinger’s cat.

The strategy seemed to do the trick, going by the clearly visible upswing in Peloton’s stock prices.

For more context: In what now can be seen as heavy foreshadowing, "And Just Like That"’s first episode starts with Big proudly announcing the thousandth ride of his exercise bike, and more than once mentioning about his favorite Peloton instructor, Allegra.

Cut to Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) coming home to find her collapsed husband (Big), suffering cardiac arrest post Peloton workout. Not the greatest look for a health product.

Peloton has received its fair share of bad press over the years, but luckily this might have been the biggest blessing in disguise. And it gives “flipping the script” an almost literal meaning.

And just like that … a PR nightmare turns into a genius marketing campaign.

Courtesy of Elaine Ahn

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Due to a perfect storm of supply chain issues, product recalls, labor shortages and inflation, manufacturers are struggling to keep up with formula demand and retailers are rationing supplies. As a result, families that rely on formula are scrambling to ensure that their babies get the food they need.

Naturally, people are weighing in on the crisis, with some throwing out simplistic advice like, "Why don't you just do what people did before baby formula was invented and just breastfeed?"

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Connections Academy

Wylee Mitchell is a senior at Nevada Connections Academy who started a t-shirt company to raise awareness for mental health.

True

Teens of today live in a totally different world than the one their parents grew up in. Not only do young people have access to technologies that previous generations barely dreamed of, but they're also constantly bombarded with information from the news and media.

Today’s youth are also living through a pandemic that has created an extra layer of difficulty to an already challenging age—and it has taken a toll on their mental health.

According to Mental Health America, nearly 14% of youths ages 12 to 17 experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. In a September 2020 survey of high schoolers by Active Minds, nearly 75% of respondents reported an increase in stress, anxiety, sadness and isolation during the first six months of the pandemic. And in a Pearson and Connections Academy survey of US parents, 66% said their child felt anxious or depressed during the pandemic.

However, the pandemic has only exacerbated youth mental health issues that were already happening before COVID-19.

“Many people associate our current mental health crisis with the pandemic,” says Morgan Champion, the head of counseling services for Connections Academy Schools. “In fact, the youth mental health crisis was alarming and on the rise before the pandemic. Today, the alarm continues.”

Mental Health America reports that most people who take the organization’s online mental health screening test are under 18. According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 50% of cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and the tendency to develop depression and bipolar disorder nearly doubles from age 13 to age 18.

Such statistics demand attention and action, which is why experts say destigmatizing mental health and talking about it is so important.

“Today we see more people talking about mental health openly—in a way that is more akin to physical health,” says Champion. She adds that mental health support for young people is being more widely promoted, and kids and teens have greater access to resources, from their school counselors to support organizations.

Parents are encouraging this support too. More than two-thirds of American parents believe children should be introduced to wellness and mental health awareness in primary or middle school, according to a new Global Learner Survey from Pearson. Since early intervention is key to helping young people manage their mental health, these changes are positive developments.

In addition, more and more people in the public eye are sharing their personal mental health experiences as well, which can help inspire young people to open up and seek out the help they need.

“Many celebrities and influencers have come forward with their mental health stories, which can normalize the conversation, and is helpful for younger generations to understand that they are not alone,” says Champion.

That’s one reason Connections Academy is hosting a series of virtual Emotional Fitness talks with Olympic athletes who are alums of the virtual school during Mental Health Awareness Month. These talks are free, open to the public and include relatable topics such as success and failure, leadership, empowerment and authenticity. For instance, on May 18, Olympic women’s ice hockey player Lyndsey Fry will speak on finding your own style of confidence, and on May 25, Olympic figure skater Karen Chen will share advice for keeping calm under pressure.

Family support plays a huge role as well. While the pandemic has been challenging in and of itself, it has actually helped families identify mental health struggles as they’ve spent more time together.

“Parents gained greater insight into their child’s behavior and moods, how they interact with peers and teachers,” says Champion. “For many parents this was eye-opening and revealed the need to focus on mental health.”

It’s not always easy to tell if a teen is dealing with normal emotional ups and downs or if they need extra help, but there are some warning signs caregivers can watch for.

“Being attuned to your child’s mood, affect, school performance, and relationships with friends or significant others can help you gauge whether you are dealing with teenage normalcy or something bigger,” Champion says. Depending on a child’s age, parents should be looking for the following signs, which may be co-occurring:

  • Perpetual depressed mood
  • Rocky friend relationships
  • Spending a lot of time alone and refusing to participate in daily activities
  • Too much or not enough sleep
  • Not eating a regular diet
  • Intense fear or anxiety
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Suicidal ideation (talking about being a burden or giving away possessions) or plans

“You know your child best. If you are unsure if your child is having a rough time or if there is something more serious going on, it is best to reach out to a counselor or doctor to be sure,” says Champion. “Always err on the side of caution.”

If it appears a student does need help, what next? Talking to a school counselor can be a good first step, since they are easily accessible and free to visit.

“Just getting students to talk about their struggles with a trusted adult is huge,” says Champion. “When I meet with students and/or their families, I work with them to help identify the issues they are facing. I listen and recommend next steps, such as referring families to mental health resources in their local areas.”

Just as parents would take their child to a doctor for a sprained ankle, they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help if a child is struggling mentally or emotionally. Parents also need to realize that they may not be able to help them on their own, no matter how much love and support they have to offer.

“That is a hard concept to accept when parents can feel solely responsible for their child’s welfare and well-being,” says Champion. “The adage still stands—it takes a village to raise a child. Be sure you are surrounding yourself and your child with a great support system to help tackle life’s many challenges.”

That village can include everyone from close family to local community members to public figures. Helping young people learn to manage their mental health is a gift we can all contribute to, one that will serve them for a lifetime.

Join athletes, Connections Academy and Upworthy for candid discussions on mental health during Mental Health Awareness Month. Learn more and find resources here.

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Your cat knows you better than you think.

Cats are often seen as being aloof or standoffish, even with their owners. Of course, that differs based on who that cat lives with and their lifetime of experience with humans. But when compared to man’s best friend, cats usually seem less interested in those around them, regardless of species.

However, a new study out of Japan has found that cats may be paying more attention to their fellow felines and human friends than most people thought. In fact, they could be listening to human conversations.

"What we discovered is astonishing," Saho Takagi, a research fellow specializing in animal science at Azabu University in Kanagawa Prefecture, told The Asahi Shimbun. "I want people to know the truth. Felines do not appear to listen to people's conversations, but as a matter of fact, they do."

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