Tape This Reminder To The World’s Refrigerator
When Whitney Houston sang, “I believe the children are our future,” I think she was talking about these girls.
The ocean is the heart of our planet. It needs our help to be healthy.
The ocean covers over 71% of the Earth’s surface and serves as our planet’s heart. Ocean currents circulate vital heat, moisture, and nutrients around the globe to influence and regulate our climate, similar to the human circulatory system. Cool, right?
Our ocean systems provide us with everything from fresh oxygen to fresh food. We need it to survive and thrive—and when the ocean struggles to function healthfully, the whole world is affected.
Pollution, overfishing, and climate change are the three biggest challenges preventing the ocean from doing its job, and it needs our help now more than ever. Humans created the problem; now humans are responsible for solving it.
#BeOceanWise is a global rallying cry to do what you can for the ocean, because we need the ocean and the ocean needs us. If you’re wondering how—or if—you can make a difference, the answer is a resounding YES. There are a myriad of ways you can help, even if you don’t live near a body of water. For example, you can focus on reducing the amount of plastic you purchase for yourself or your family.
Another easy way to help clean up our oceans is to be aware of what’s known as the “dirty dozen.” Every year, scientists release an updated list of the most-found litter scattered along shorelines. The biggest culprit? Single-use beverage and food items such as foam cups, straws, bottle caps, and cigarette butts. If you can’t cut single-use plastic out of your life completely, we understand. Just make sure to correctly recycle plastic when you are finished using it. A staggering 3 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans annually. Imagine the difference we could make if everyone recycled!
The 2022 "Dirty Dozen" ListOcean Wise
If you live near a shoreline, help clean it up! Organize or join an effort to take action and make a positive impact in your community alongside your friends, family, or colleagues. You can also tag @oceanwise on social if you spot a beach that needs some love. The location will be added to Ocean Wise’s system so you can submit data on the litter found during future Shoreline Cleanups. This data helps Ocean Wise work with businesses and governments to stop plastic pollution at its source. In Canada, Ocean Wise data helped inform a federal ban on unnecessary single-use plastics. Small but important actions like these greatly help reduce the litter that ends up in our ocean.
Ocean Wise, a conservation organization on a mission to restore and protect our oceans, is focused on empowering and educating everyone from individuals to governments on how to protect our waters. They are making conservation happen through five big initiatives: monitoring and protecting whales, fighting climate change and restoring biodiversity, innovating for a plastic-free ocean, protecting and restoring fish stocks, and finally, educating and empowering youth. The non-profit believes that in order to rebuild a resilient and vibrant ocean within the next ten years, everyone needs to take action.
Become an Ocean Wise ally and share your knowledge with others. The more people who know how badly the ocean needs our help, the better! Now is a great time to commit to being a part of something bigger and get our oceans healthy again.
A quick trip to the vet confirmed the cats' and family's suspicions.
It's not a secret that nearly all golden retrievers are identical. Honestly, magic has to be involved for owners to know which one belongs to them when more than one golden retriever is around. Seriously, how do they all seem have the same face? It's like someone fell asleep on the copy machine when they were being created.
Outside of collars, harnesses and bandanas, immediately identifying the dog that belongs to you has to be a secret skill because at first glance, their personalities are also super similar. That's why it's not surprising when one family dropped off their sweet golden pooch at daycare and to be groomed, they didn't notice the daycare sent out the wrong dog.
See, not even their human parents can tell them apart because when the swapped dog got home, nothing seemed odd to the owners at first. She was freshly groomed so any small differences were quickly brushed off. But this accidental doppelgänger wasn't fooling her feline siblings.
Once the dog was in their house, they noticed that their cats started behaving strangely towards their canine sibling. The cats started attacking the dog, likely trying to get it to tell them what they did with their real dog sister. Cat slaps and a house full of strange people didn't dampen the imposter's spirit though, in fact, that's what helped reveal the switcharoo.
This dog kept handing out face kisses and had no interest in seeing her favorite neighbor. After putting all of those things together, the owners decided to hightail it to the vet's office to scan the dog's microchip. Alas, they indeed had the wrong dog.
"We just never even thought that that would happen, and of course we thought we would know right? Like we're her parents, we would know something was wrong, we would know right off the bat that it wasn't Emmy," Kebby Kelley told Fox 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Seems both golden retrievers got to go on a really strange adventure that deserves a lifetime of delicious dog treats for the confusion.
See both sweet pups below:
"Body positivity is about saying that you are more than a body and your self-worth is not reliant on your beauty."
After persevering through numerous medical conditions and surgeries in her own life, Elman realized a few years ago that body positivity wasn't just about size or weight. Things like scars, birthmarks, and anything else that makes us feel different of self-conscious have to be a part of the conversation, and she tries to make the movement accessible to everyone.
Sharing her own journey has been one of her most effective teaching tools.
In the first photo, from 2012 — when she was a size 12, she says — she's wearing a size 14 dress. In the new photo, she's wearing the same dress, though she says she normally wears a size 20.
The dress still fit.
"NUMBERS DON'T MEAN ANYTHING," she wrote in the post. "So are you really going to let a change [in] dress size dictate your day? Are you really going to let an increase in a number affect your mood?"
"A higher dress size doesn't mean: — you are less beautiful — you are less worthy — you are less lovable — you are a worse human — you are a bad person — you are a different person AND it doesn't even mean you have a bigger body."
Not everyone was getting the right message.
"Since the creation of this account, I have always been told I'm beautiful 'for my size' and I never wanted to talk about it because I thought I was being pedantic but eventually decided to speak my mind about it," she says in an email.
In the second post, she took a different approach to the "before and after" shots we see so often on Instagram. People loved it.
In the caption, Elman addresses a couple of things well-meaning people got wrong about the message she was trying to spread. Some commenters said she looked "skinnier" in the 2017 photo which, though meant as a compliment, just reinforces that being skinny is somehow better.
Others said she wasn't fat enough, to which Elman could only scoff.
"If people tell you they are a certain size, believe them," she wrote.
But that's totally missing the point of what her work is all about.
"If you are still relating your love for your body to society's perception of beauty," she says, "then you are still reliant on someone else's opinion. Body positivity is about saying that you are more than a body and your self-worth is not reliant on your beauty."
Her second post is currently sitting at over 26,500 likes on Instagram — a clear sign that this is a message many of us desperately needed to hear.
This article originally appeared on 06.08.17
The music of Queen is a universal language.
The music of Queen has a profound visceral effect on everyone. Few pieces of art can cause complete strangers to put aside their differences and come together in song, but by golly, “Bohemian Rhapsody” is one of them. It would be cheesy if it weren’t so absolutely beautiful.This pertains even to non-English-speaking countries, it appears. Recently, thousands of Harry Styles concertgoers in Warsaw, Poland, began cheering as those iconic beginning piano notes penetrated the air.
It wasn’t long before the entire stadium was singing along to that beloved tune and acing every single lyric. As one person commented on YouTube, even though most people in Warsaw don’t speak English, “they sing Queen.”
The passionate impromptu performance serves as a reminder of how special both Queen and the late Freddie Mercury remain today.
“No other band will ever come close to Queen. They were lightning in a bottle and Freddie was a whale in a teardrop. Once people keep singing his words, FM will live on forever,” another YouTube viewer wrote.
Indeed, seeing an entire stadium come alive with “Bohemian Rhapsody,” you can’t help but feel Mercury’s soul return to the mortal plane, as if we’ve all been transported back to that historic Live Aid concert in 1985 when he had the entirety of Wembley Stadium wrapped around his finger for 21 glorious minutes.
Watch below, and try not to sing along. Scratch that—sing your heart out.
This article originally appeared on 7.14.23
After premiering on Canadian TV in 1963, Fred Rogers' beloved children's program debuted in the U.S. in 1968, inspiring generations of kids across North America to be more thoughtful, kinder neighbors.
One person feeling the feels on the show's anniversary was model, author, and Twitter goddess Chrissy Teigen.
Teigen tweeted the most delightful anecdote about why Rogers would often announce that he was feeding the fish during the show.
Mister Rogers would narrate himself feeding the fish each episode with \u201cI\u2019m feeding the fish\u201d because of a letter he received from a young blind girl who was worried the fish were hungry. Love you, Mister Rogers.https://twitter.com/pbsds/status/965596450733228032\u00a0\u2026— chrissy teigen (@chrissy teigen) 1519089788
"Mister Rogers would narrate himself feeding the fish each episode with, 'I'm feeding the fish,' because of a letter he received from a young blind girl who was worried the fish were hungry," she wrote. "Love you, Mister Rogers."
Aaaaaand I'm crying.
As he noted in the book (emphasis added):
One girl and her family wrote to tell us there was a special reason why she wanted me to talk about feeding the fish each day.
Dear Mister Rogers,
Please say when you are feeding your fish, because I worry about them. I can't see if you are feeding them, so please say you are feeding them out loud.
Katie, age 5 (Father's note: Katie is blind, and she does cry if you don't say that you have fed the fish.)
This downright adorable clip from the series shows Rogers reassuring little Katie that the fish were always well-fed:
Sylvia Earle brought her underwater microphone to Mister Rogers' Neighborhood so children could listen to the fish in the aquarium. When the fish don't make...
"I need to feed the fish right away," Rogers said in the episode, before shaking the container of food above the tank. "I have some friends who get very concerned when I forget the fish during our visits."
Aaaaaand I'm ugly crying.
Rogers showed us how simple it often is to be a more compassionate friend.
"I just wanted you to know that even if I forget to feed them when we're together, I come back later and feed them, so they're always taken care of," Rogers concluded. "It's good to know that fish and animals and children are taken care of by those who can, isn't it?"
Yes it is, Mister Rogers. The world needs more neighbors like you.
This article originally appeared on 02.20.18
Don't judge a book by its cover.
You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?
OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.
So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying.
All you want to do was walk in, sit down, get out your notebook and (try to) pay attention. But now? Now you've got to talk to a stranger about moving their stuff and there goes your day, already bogged down with petty annoyances.
Sound familiar? It should.
We've all got so much to do these days that interacting with people we see every day — not our friends, but our classmates, fellow commuters, co-workers, the people in line for coffee with us every day — can feel like a burden.
So, when these people do something we perceive as annoying, like putting their stuff on our desks, we don't have the time or the energy to assume their intentions or think about the lives they're leading.
But if we stepped out of ourselves for a second, we might just realize that we're all much more connected than we think, that our preconceived notions of others are usually just that — preconceived. And, often, inaccurate.
That's why this Twitter story about a guy who learned an important life lesson from a classmate he was frustrated with is going viral.
It's the perfect example of that "don't judge a book by its cover" adage we should have all learned in preschool but sometimes forget. And it starts the exact same way as this post — with a college student groaning on the inside as he sees someone's stuff on his desk.
If not for this one day running late, McFall may have never realized what his classmate was trying to do. And he may have continued to think of him as annoying, maybe telling others about "the weird guy who was always trying to take up my space"... when all the guy was really trying to do was be kind.
We all misinterpret the actions of others sometimes. It's easy to do that!
But if there's one thing this story reminds us, it's that it's important to stop and remember that while you're living your life, other people are living theirs, so assuming best intentions can do us a great favor.
That's why we should step outside of our bubbles and engage with the world on a regular basis.
You could make a new friend. You might brighten someone's day.
But most importantly, getting out of your own head, checking your own biases, and giving others the benefit of the doubt will make you a more compassionate person.
You don't have to engage with everyone you meet, but the next time someone smiles and offers you a high-five?
Maybe just take them up on it.
This article was originally published on April 16, 2018.
This book has saved me thousands of dollars and changed my entire perspective on "frugality."
Let me start by saying that young adults these days absolutely do have economics stacked against them. There's no question that stagnant wages, the unaffordability of housing, outrageous college costs, post-pandemic inflation and good ol' American corporate greed have all combined to create a tough financial reality for us all, but particularly for the millennials and Gen Zers who are starting off their adult lives feeling already underwater.
If you're in that boat, allow a Gen X auntie to give you some sage advice. Absolutely, rail against the man and shake your fist at the skyscrapers and vent on TikTok if it makes you feel better. But also, none of that is going to change super soon, so you've got to own what you actually have control over, and that's managing the money that you do have (however little it may be).
When my kids were little back in the early 2000s, my husband and I were living on one not-at-all-amazing income. I had been raised quite frugally, so I was comfortable penny-pinching as needed, but I was looking for more creative ways to stretch our dollars.
I had no idea how much one book would change my entire view of saving money—or how much money it would actually save me over the years.
"The Complete Tightwad Gazette," by Amy Dacyczyn (pronounced "decision") is exactly what it sounds like—a newspaper for tightwads—only in this case "tightwad" isn't used as an insult. From 1990 to 1996, Dacyszyn published a newsletter about frugal living as a lifestyle called "The Tightwad Gazette," and this book is a compilation of her life's work.
The book offers a combination of overarching mindset shifts and specific tips for saving money on specific things. Some of the advice is outdated now ("Do I really need a computer?" is a no-brainer question in a way that it wasn't in the early 90s, for instance), but the principles underlying pretty much everything in the 959-page tome still ring true. Now that my kids are young adults with their own financial experiences, I find myself passing along a lot of Dacyczyn's frugal wisdom to them.
Here are a few of the helpful bits of wisdom it contains:
If I told you I was going to hand you $200 in cash every year on your birthday, you'd probably be thrilled. But if I gave you three pieces of advice that each saved you 20 cents a day, would you be as excited? Probably not. But the latter would actually put more money in your pocket (the equivalent of handing you $219 on your birthday) in the long run.
Lots of small amounts add up to a large amount, and when you wrap your head around that concept, small money-saving decisions start taking on greater importance. Pennies really do add up—both positively and negatively.
"A penny saved is a penny earned" is an old saying, but a useful one to help us understand the value of going out of your way to save a few cents.
Let's say your closest gas station sells gas for $4.39 a gallon. A station down the street, two minutes away, is selling it for $4.29 a gallon. To fill a 15-gallon tank would only cost $1.50 less at the second station—not even enough to buy a cup of coffee. Is that really worth your time?
Let's calculate. If you think of saving money as earning income, you're taking two minutes to "earn" $1.50. That's $0.75 a minute—translate that into an hourly income, and you've earned the equivalent of $45 an hour, simply by driving two minutes to save 10 cents a gallon. Even accounting for the gas it took to drive a few extra blocks—less than 10 cents—you still come out with a hefty hourly wage.
This "time x money saved = hourly income" equation was a life-changing perspective shift for me. If it only takes a minute or two to save a dollar, that's a solid hourly earning.
This is simple common sense when you say it out loud, but most of us don't live this way in reality. We use more than we need of most consumable things most of the time, simply out of habit. When you pull out that string of floss, so it wraps around your fingers four times? What if you pulled out less and only wrapped it three or two times?
Start by cutting the consumables you use on a daily basis back by half—everything from toothpaste to dish soap to shampoo to toilet paper. We all get excited about 50% off sales, when we could easily save 50% ourselves simply by using less of the things we use all the time, with the same result. If you need to add a little back in after cutting back by half, go for it. But you might be surprised by how little you need to actually get the job done.
Even with the cost of groceries being ridiculously high, cooking from scratch is, in most cases, drastically cheaper than eating out or getting takeout.
I know the old folks like to tease you about your affinity for avocado toast, but it's pretty eye-opening to compare the cost of buying something like avocado toast out and making it yourself at home. With current prices at my local grocery store, it would cost less than $1.00 to make avocado toast at home, and that's even with good bread and a generous serving of butter and yummy seasonings. Add another 30 cents, and you can slap an organic fried egg on top. We're talking $1.30 tops for super bougie breakfast toast at home.
But even within the "cooking at home" category, some meals are way, way less expensive than others. One of my favorite Tightwad Gazette investigations focused on how various kinds of breakfasts cost per serving. Personally, I'm a huge cold cereal fan, which is bad news because it's actually one of the most expensive breakfasts you can eat. Toast and eggs is (generally) cheaper. Pancakes are even cheaper, especially if you make them from scratch and not a mix. Oatmeal is super cheap. Oatmeal bought in bulk? Even cheaper. And the differences can be significant—again, looking at my current grocery store app, a serving of Cheerios costs 300% more than a serving of quick oats.
All of those choices add up, both positively and negatively. By doing the math, figuring out per-serving costs and choosing less expensive meals, you can cut your grocery bill by a lot.
This is just barely scratching the tip of the iceberg—there are so many tips and tricks for saving both small and large amounts of money. Since the economy isn't going to be any kinder to us in the near future, learning how to make the most of what we do have is the best way to help ourselves. Find "The Complete Tightwad Gazette" here (or, in true tightwad fashion, at your local library, but it's a good one to keep on hand for reference). Highly, highly recommend.