People are confused whether this audio clip says 'green needle,' 'brainstorm' or both
via Emily Sophie / TikTok

A TikTok video is making the rounds because it continues to make people question their own senses. In the video, a voice can be heard saying either the word "brainstorm" or the words "green needle."

What you hear depends on what you're thinking about when you read the screen.

So, if you play it while thinking "green needle," that's what you'll hear in the clip. The same goes for "brainstorm." Then, go back and forth between the two. It's a surreal experience.



Green Needle or Brainstorm?🤔 What Do You Hear? www.youtube.com


The video is a great reminder of how subjective our senses really are. It's a perfect example of how our minds have the power to interpret sensory data how it chooses, depending on our own internal biases.

It makes you wonder just how many things you see, smell, hear, taste, and feel that may not be what they seem. It also shows how two people can experience the same sensory data, interpret it completely differently, and not be wrong.

That's why two people can witness the same car accident and tell conflicting stories in court, while both people swear they are telling the truth.

"Basically, you are priming your brain to expect acoustic patterns that match expected patterns for a particular word," Valerie Hazan, a professor of speech sciences at University College London, said according to People.

"When faced with an acoustic signal which is somewhat ambiguous because it is low-quality or noise our brain attempts a 'best fit' between what is heard and the expected word," she added.

This video first appeared in 2018 after a toy review by YouTube creator DosmRider. The toy is from the Children's TV show "Ben 10 Alien Force" that features a character called Brainstorm.

Brainstorm is the Omnitrix's DNA sample of a Cerebrocrustacean from the planet Encephalonus IV. Whatever that means.

The viral phenomenon is similar to the "Yanny" versus "Laurel" debate that had the whole internet talking back in 2018.

According to The New York Times, people hear Laurel or Yanny based on the "frequency range" they pay attention to. So if someone tends to hear in the higher range of things, then they're going to hear "Yanny" rather than "Laurel."

These videos are another example of how the human psyche has a real problem with ambiguity, even if that means incorrectly interpreting sensory data. "The brain is built to turn messy signals into meaning," Dr. Kevin Franck, director of audiology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, told Time.

It "all comes down to the brain," he added. "The fact that brains go in one way and some brains go in the other means that we're all just wired a bit differently based on our experiences."

The clip also another reminder that even if someone sees things differently than we do, it's best to reserve some judgement or give them the benefit of the doubt. As research shows, two people can look at the same thing and get a totally different meaning.










Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

This article originally appeared on 11.21.16


Photographer Katie Joy Crawford had been battling anxiety for 10 years when she decided to face it straight on by turning the camera lens on herself.

In 2015, Upworthy shared Crawford's self-portraits and our readers responded with tons of empathy. One person said, "What a wonderful way to express what words cannot." Another reader added, "I think she hit the nail right on the head. It's like a constant battle with yourself. I often feel my emotions battling each other."

So we wanted to go back and talk to the photographer directly about this soul-baring project.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."