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Artist brilliantly illustrates the power of words in a cute, yet thought-provoking comic

tim ulit

"Words Have More Power Than We Thought" by Tum Ulit.

As the saying goes, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Science has proven, on multiple fronts, that this is not the case. And psychology aside, our hearts know just how much leverage both an insult and a compliment can carry. Just think of how your body reacts when remembering the very best thing anyone has ever said about you … and the worst.

Though that saying might be less than accurate, the phrase “a picture’s worth a thousand words” certainly still holds up, especially when it comes to the work of Thai artist Tum Ulit.

Ulit’s comics have captured hearts on Instagram, for both their sweet illustrative style and their powerful, sometimes heavy messages.

His latest strip delivers a thought-provoking and intimate look depicting just how much what we say, for good or for ill, matters.


When used in anger, our words become weapons.

As seen (quite literally) with a couple arguing, insults become swords. Accusations become axes. Instead of practicing nonviolent communication, which focuses on authentically expressing emotions without insults, judgment, or put-downs, the couple use their words to further drive an emotional wedge between them.

non violent communication

All images from "Words Have More Power Than We Thought" by Tim Ulit.

All images via Facebook

power of words
power of words
power of words
power of words comic
power of words comic

And perhaps worst of all, though the husband and wife are intending to attack each other, their son, who hears it all, becomes caught in the crossfire of their unkempt rage.

There’s a reason why words of affirmation are part of the five love languages. As seen here, with the affectionate father visibly praising his son’s monster creation.

power of words comic
power of words comic
bullying
encouragement
self esteem

Having this kind of emotional fortitude later helps the son’s confidence become impenetrable, even when schoolmates (and the teacher) make fun of his monster. Which is, of course, totally inappropriate, but also inaccurate, because that little monster is so cute!

Words wound us. But wounds can heal with kindness.

When the kids meet, the son from the previous vignette, who saw his parents fighting, is still carrying the burden of hurtful words.

tim ulit
tim ulit comics

Clearly not from only his parents fight, but from bullying as well.

tim ulit comics
tim ulit comics

Yet with the help of his new friend, he learns that those thoughts don’t have to be carried.

tim ulit comics
tim ulit comics
tim ulit comics

The comic cuts to 15 years later, where the monster-creating kid is now a debuting artist, who comes face to face with one of his idols. In an esteem-crushing blow, the idol criticizes the artist’s work (a pain worse than death for most creatives).

power of words comic
power of words comic
power of words comic
power of words comic
power of words comic
power of words comic
non violent communication
non violent communication

The harsh judgment blasts like a torpedo straight to the artist’s heart, completely trapping him in his own disappointment.

non violent communication
non violent communication
kind words
kind words
kind words

That is, until his friend comes in to return the favor, and save the day with kindness. This time, encouragement acts like a key, rather than a shield, but still just as effective.

kind words
kind words
kind words
kind words
kind words
non violent communication
non violent communication
non violent communication

Words can lift us up or knock us down in one breath. Having distance through technology doesn’t change that, ask anyone who's been trolled or cyberbullied. It’s easier now more than ever to be unkind without consequences online, but let’s remember that what we say does matter. The choice to be kind is always there. And if there is so much power contained in the words we use, let’s make that power a force for good.

A young woman drinking bottled water outdoors before exercising.



The Story of Bottled Waterwww.youtube.com

Here are six facts from the video above by The Story of Stuff Project that I'll definitely remember next time I'm tempted to buy bottled water.

1. Bottled water is more expensive than tap water (and not just a little).

via The Story of Stuff Project/YouTube


A Business Insider column noted that two-thirds of the bottled water sold in the United States is in individual 16.9-ounce bottles, which comes out to roughly $7.50 per gallon. That's about 2,000 times higher than the cost of a gallon of tap water.

And in an article in 20 Something Finance, G.E. Miller investigated the cost of bottled versus tap water for himself. He found that he could fill 4,787 20-ounce bottles with tap water for only $2.10! So if he paid $1 for a bottled water, he'd be paying 2,279 times the cost of tap.

2. Bottled water could potentially be of lower quality than tap water.

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“As we were making vegetable soup, we landed on the idea of cooking it on stage and performing a concert with the vegetables while we were doing that,” Meinharter told Atlas Obscura. “It all started as a joke,” he told the BBC. “We were brainstorming what we could do, and we thought: ‘What is the most difficult thing to play music on?’”

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Incubators regulate temperature, humidity, optimize oxygen levels and monitors a baby's vital signs. New dad, Ed Andretti, recently welcomed a baby girl, Cathara, who is having to spend some time in the NICU after being born three months early. But it was his sweet motivational speech he gave to his daughter through the plastic of the incubator that has everyone's heart melting.

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She was with her children in a play place that "runs the entire length of a giant science museum,” she said in her viral TikTok video.

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Karen Blaha/Wikimedia Commons

Crinkle crankle walls are more common the U.K., but they can be found in the U.S. as well.

If you were to draw a straight line and a wavy line from point A to point B, there would be no question which one used more ink. After all, "The shortest distance between two points (on a flat surface) is a straight line" has been baked into our brains since elementary school math class. Logically, a wavy line uses more ink because it covers more distance, right? Right.

So if that's true, how is it possible that a brick wall built in a wavy pattern could use fewer bricks than a straight one built between the exact same two points?

Not only is it possible, it's actually true, despite people's disbelief over the fact.

A post on X from @InternetHOF shows the claim that "corrugated brick fences" sometimes seen in England use fewer bricks than a straight wall, with the caption, "I don't believe this is true."

It does seem illogical from a pure geometry-on-paper standpoint, but what makes it true is how the structural integrity of brick walls works.

There are all kinds of nitty-gritty calculations a structural engineer could get into to explain, but thankfully, internet hero (and strangely popular X account) Greg came to everyone's rescue with an explanation that neatly fit into a single post on X.

"They're called crinkle crankles," wrote Greg. "A single leaf wall over that distance would need brick piers approx every 1.5-2m if it was a retaining wall it would need to be at least 9” wide (2 bricks). The crinkle crankle has more strength due to it’s curved nature so can be 4” wide or a single leaf of bricks.

"For the maths if we can assume they’re true semi-circles then each semi circle would be 1/2piD or 1.57D whereas a double leaf wall would be 2D for the same length D.

"Therefore using 21.5% less bricks than a double leaf wall hope that clears things up."

In even simpler terms, a long, straight brick wall only a single brick wide would not be able to stand without some kind of buttresses every couple of meters, which would actually take more bricks to build. Otherwise, it would need to be thicker, which would also increase the number of bricks needed. The curve of the crinkle crankle (best name ever) provides stability all on its own, so the wall doesn't need structured supports.

serpentine brick wall next to a bunch of daffodils

Crinkle crankle walls are usually referred to as serpentine walls in the U.S.

Karen Blaha/Wikimedia Commons

First of all, what a cool piece of human ingenuity that people actually figured this out hundreds of years ago. And second of all, why are there not more crinkle crankle walls everywhere? So much more fun and whimsical. And apparently, a better use of resources.

But before you go building your own crinkle crankle wall to make your house look super cool, make sure you've got the geometry correct. There are actual specifications for making a structurally sound serpentine wall, and if you don't do it correctly, you may find yourself with a pile of bricks and no wall, curvy or straight.

If you want to see some cool crinkle crankle walls in the U.S., head to the University of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson himself added them to the design of the Charlottesville, Virginia, campus.

wavy brick wall separating a grassy area and a driveway

Crinkle crankle wall at the University of Virginia

Carlin MacKenzie/Wikimedia Commons

More crinkle crankles everywhere, please.