The iPad’s Dirty, Dirty Little Secret
I’m one of those people who loves that new-book smell. And that old-book smell. And I’m really, really excited that I no longer have to feel guilty about it.
It works for dating, friendships and business.
When we think about gifted conversationalists, we’re more likely to think of great talkers—those who wow us with their insights, wit, and charm. However, communication experts believe that if you want to make a great impression on someone, knowing how to listen goes a long way.
Those of us who love being verbose may think the world loves us because of how well we can talk. But the person sitting in front of you has a lot to say, and nothing makes them feel better during a conversation than your undivided attention.
As the old saying goes, we never quite remember everything someone has said to us, but we’ll never forget how they made us feel. When you actively listen to your conversation partner, they feel that you value them and are receptive to their needs. It also eases any feelings of conflict or resentment.
After a good conversation, the person you spoke with should think, “Wow, that person really gets me,” instead of, “It was like I didn’t even exist.”
A study from 2016 on sales calls did an excellent job of quantifying the amount we should speak versus listen during a conversation. A marketing director at Gong.io analyzed 25,537 sales calls using artificial intelligence and found that the interactions where the salesperson talked 43% of the time and listened 57% of the time had the highest sales yield.
This finding has come to be known as the 43:57 rule.
Even though the study was conducted on business calls, the reason that it works should apply to social conversations as well. Paying more attention helps a salesperson identify the client's needs and makes them feel comfortable spending money because they know it's with someone who understands their interests.
It’s the same as a social situation where the person you speak to wants to know they are valued and you respect what they say.
This is excellent advice, but sometimes it’s hard to listen when you’re in a fun conversation and have a lot to say. Kate Murphy, author of "You’re Not Listening," says it’s all about staying calm.
"Deep breaths are always good. They're always good. Because it...calms down that fear response. It helps you get more centered,” Murphy told WBUR. “But also to develop your curiosity. Like I said, make it more important to be curious than to be right. And to go into every conversation with that mindset of how could I be wrong? Instead of, let me prove how I'm right.”
“That's how you develop creative ideas. It's how you cooperate. It's how you find middle ground, or at least a peaceable existence,” Murphy added.
The idea that to be a great conversationalist one should master the art of listening is a bit counterintuitive. But, if you feel that you have a lot to say in conversations and can be interesting to listen to, imagine how great that’ll make others feel when you show that you enjoy listening to them as well. It’s a virtuous cycle where everyone wins.
Here's how they helped.
As if being a new parent isn’t hard enough, parents of identical twins have to live with the fear of mixing them up. It’s hard to tell identical twins apart no matter their age, but it can be downright impossible to notice the difference as babies when their features are smaller and less distinguished.
To add to the confusion, parents of newborns are often sleep deprived and stressed because of their new arrivals. So they have to be extra careful not to overfeed one or give the other a double dose of medication.
The stress was so intense for a mother of identical twins that she got law enforcement involved.
Today.com reports that Sofia Rodríguez, 25, of Córdoba, Argentina, recently went viral on Twitter after tweeting in Spanish that she had to take her newborn babies to the police department to fingerprint them so she could tell them apart.
"Tomorrow I have to go to the police to have my twins fingerprinted so they can tell me which one is which," Rodríguez tweeted while joking that she "won the 'Mother of the Year' award." Since she posted the tweet on March 1, it’s received over 15 million views.
She previously had tied a ribbon around one of the baby’s wrists but cut it off and then lost track of their identities after one got sick. At the time, the babies were just 45 days old. "I never thought I would get them confused—Valentin always (wore) a blue ribbon, but when I realized that it was too small for him, I decided to cut it (off)," Rodríguez told Today.
In another tweet, Rodríguez explained that although the babies may look slightly different in the photos she shared, it’s the lighting. “In the photos, they look different, but it is because they come from different angles or the light…sets them apart,” The Daily Mail translated. “In person, they are the same.”
Foto de los gemelos , tienen 45 días pic.twitter.com/wGYVRzGlLR— Sofi Rodriguez (@sofiar388) March 2, 2023
A few days after having the children fingerprinted, Argentina’s National Registry of Persons helped the mother distinguish the babies from one another.
Rodríguez’s viral tweet received countless responses from those who have dealt with the same problems as a child or parent.
"I painted the toenail of one of mine to differentiate them," Conz Preti told Rodríguez, according to Google Translate. "Mine are identical, but they are completely different for me."
Yo le pinte la uña del pie a una de las mias para diferenciarlas. Las mias son idénticas idénticas pero para mi son absolutamente distintas pic.twitter.com/63hY2uyCme— Conz Preti (@conz) March 2, 2023
"With my twin brother, we used a bracelet, one on the left and one on the right. The myth says that once we both dropped them and they were reversed," Manuel Rubina wrote according to Google Translate. "We're almost 30, and maybe I'm him, and he's me."
Con mi hermano mellizo usábamos pulsera, uno la izquierda y otro la derecha. El mito dice que una vez se nos cayó a ambos y nos las pusieron invertidas. Tenemos casi 30 años y puede que yo sea él y él sea yo 🤯 pic.twitter.com/xlmNCK8C7g— Manuel Rubina (@manuelrubina) March 2, 2023
"With this technique, nothing like this would ever happen," Julian Guarin added, sharing a photo of babies with different shapes shaved in their hair.
Con esta técnica jamás pasaría algo así. pic.twitter.com/LgYyFu8EDN— Julian Guarin. (@guaroworld) March 2, 2023
As a parent, especially in the early days, you’ve got to do whatever you can to get by. Rodríguez may have jokingly called herself “Mother of the Year” for having to go to the police for help, but that’s just what great parents do. The Instagram-perfect version of parenting is far from reality, and the great ones aren’t those who get by without any spittle on their shoulders or bags under their eyes from sleep deprivation. The best parents are those who do everything they can to do what’s right for their kids, no matter how it looks.
“It’s beautiful when your childhood icons are actually decent people."
Drew Barrymore has been part of our public lives for more than 40 years. And while she has millions of fans, you're bound to pick up some critics along the way.
These days, it's easy to dismiss any sort of criticism as out of bounds, be it sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia and so on.
Which is why it's easy to understand why one might assume that's where Barrymore was going in her interview with trans influencer and activist Dylan Mulvaney.
Instead, the pair shared a powerful exchange, even kneeling on the floor where Barrymore felt the intimacy of their moment would be "safer." They broke down what they've learned from their critics and how they've learned to move beyond other kinds of criticism that are only designed to cause harm.
Mulvaney sat down with Barrymore to discuss the inspiration behind her “365 Days of Girlhood” series, where Mulvaney posts daily social media videos documenting her transition.
Mulvaney acknowledged that she did receive some feedback from fellow trans celebrity Laverne Cox about how Mulvaney was handling her public transition. "She said to keep something private for myself," Mulvaney said. "And I couldn't agree more in the way that there were a few moments this year where I was like, 'Was I actually ready to say that?' But now, since meeting her, and having that moment, I go, 'Okay, what would Laverne do?' and I have actually stopped myself from making a few videos to make sure I was actually ready to talk about those things."
Mulvaney then went on to explain that even when keeping some things private, she also tries to consider what her growing audience of fans gains from her videos.
“I think about if I was following myself on TikTok as a young kid, what would I want to hear?” Mulvaney told Barrymore, adding that the amount of support she has received was a complete surprise.
“I figured when I came out that I might have to go into hiding and then do all my surgeries privately and change my name and instead decided, hey, let me see if the world is willing to accept me this way from day one, and they did,” she said.
When asked how she dealt with negative comments online towards herself and the trans community, Mulvaney shared, “I think the greatest weapon that I can contribute is trans joy…I’m not somebody that is trying to do anything but be myself and be happy.”
Towards the end of the segment, Barrymore got on her knees to get closer to Mulvaney while explaining her own approach to handling criticism, comparing film reviews to today’s social media (“You are pretty much guaranteed a 50-50, some like it, some don’t.”) and going so far as to say her worst critic is still often herself.
The two sat on the floor together and shared a hug just before going to a commercial break.
“Thank you for joining me on the floor. The floor always feels safer,” Barrymore said.
While some people took issue with the exchange, in particular finding offense at Barrymore "kneeling" before Mulvaney (a quickly debunked claim), the exchange was in reality a positive, unifying example of how we can learn from some criticism while understanding when it's better to simply let the outside voices go.
And it's not like it's the first time Barrymore has used her show to go deeper.
As one person was quick to point out, this is not the first time Barrymore has demonstrated this gesture and even provided pictures to prove it.
Obviously the people attacking Drew Barrymore for showing compassion & being on the floor has never seen her show. She literally does this with A LOT of guest to feel more connected & to make the interview feel less formal.— ⚡️⚡️PJ⚡️⚡️🌈 (@PJocky82) March 14, 2023
Um, Hello! 👇 pic.twitter.com/uEUcpWA1sN
Actress Laura J Silverman, who claimed to work with Barrymore, attested that this kind of behavior was simply her MO.
“I worked with Drew Barrymore once and she really is that person—lovely, kind, generous, genuine; open hearted, interested, fun. Full of life. A lot of people would do well to emulate that.”
Others were quick to defend Barrymore’s actions, saying it spoke more to her humanity than anything else.
“Drew Barrymore is a sweet, honest, kind, human being who puts empathy, compassion, and the comfort of others first,” one person wrote.
“It’s beautiful when your childhood icons are actually decent people who care about Queer people,” another added.
You can watch the full video below.
The photographs are truly something to behold.
Simon Beck didn't set out to become a world-renowned snowshoe artist, yet here he is. The former cartographer was trained in engineering at Oxford, but has spent the past ten years making jaw-dropping art in the snow and sand using only his feet.
Beck uses geometrical and geographical tools to plot out his designs, but it's still baffling to see him walk exactly where he needs to to create them. His designs can take 12 hours of walking or more, and he'll take around 40,000 steps for an average-sized piece. It's beautiful, it's creative, it's exercise—and it's fleeting.
Being made out of snow and sand, which are constantly being blown or washed away, Beck's artwork doesn't last. Such is the nature of creating art in nature, but that doesn't bother him in the slightest. "Most people will only ever see most of the world's artwork as photographs," he said in an article in Artsy. "Even with the Mona Lisa—probably only a minority of people have actually seen the real thing, but everyone's seen a photograph of it." As long as Beck gets a photo of his massive designs, it's all good.
And the photographs are truly something to behold. Check out some of his snow creations on Facebook and Instagram.
One of the challenges of working in the snow is that conditions can change throughout the creation of a piece. Snow might melt or become exceptionally icy.
Or, other people might not realize what is happening and inadvertently mess up your work. For instance, there's nothing to stop a skier from plowing right through a design.
Beck's sand drawings offer a different kind of challenge. Timing out the tides and dealing with the wind—as well as other beachgoers—makes sand art tricky, but the final product is totally worth it.
On occasion, Beck even uses his art to make statements about issues in the world. For instance, there are 81 triangles in this drawing, but he says he left 77 unshaded to represent "the 77 countries where LGBT people are given a hard time."
Beck has created most of his 300-plus land drawings in Europe. However, he will be spending two weeks of January 2020 in Silverthorne, Colorado, where he will create between five and 15 of his iconic works of snow art.
ABC News did a segment on Beck and his work, where he explains a bit of his process and how he uses a ski pole to measure parts of the design. Watch and enjoy:
Simon Beck has become a global sensation for his installations made by stepping through snow with snowshoes and a ski pole.
This article originally appeared on 01.01.20
Did you know this?
Have you ever seen anyone put an avocado pit in water to grow an avocado tree? I've seen lots of people try, but only a few succeed. My mom has a tiny avocado tree growing in her living room that she managed to grow from the pit of a Hass avocado she ate. It's small but thriving, and I've often wondered if it will ever grow actual avocados.
As it turns out, it could—but they won't be Hass avocados.
In a wow-that's-an-interesting-factoid-I-never-knew-before video, an avocado tree grower explains in this YouTube video why a Hass avocado seed doesn't grow into a Hass avocado tree. Avocados, apparently, are not "true to seed" plants, meaning if you plant the seed, you'll end up with a different variety of the fruit the seed came from. Apples are the same—if you plant a Fuji apple seed, you will not get a Fuji apple tree. In fact, chances are really, really high that you'll get an avocado or an apple that tastes terrible if you try to grow it from a seed of an existing fruit.
The guy from Sleepy Lizard Avocado Farm explains how it all works using an analogy with candy flavors. This is the genetics lesson we all needed in school when we were trying to figure out Punnett squares, and he explains it all so clearly.
Incredible how nature works, and so amazing what human beings have been able to figure out over millennia of agricultural advancements.
So how do you get a Hass avocado tree if you can't plant a Hass avocado seed to grow it? As he explains in the video, you can plant the pit and start to grow the tree, but if you want Hass avocados you have to graft a branch of a Hass avocado tree onto the stem of the tree you're growing.
Or, you can just buy a baby Hass avocado tree that's already been grafted, which is probably a heck of a lot easier than figuring out how to graft one yourself.
So go ahead and sprout that seed in water and grow yourself a pretty avocado plant if you'd like. Just don't expect any yummy avocados from it, since your chances are about 1 in 10,000 that it'll happen.
Thanks for the fascinating lesson, avocado guy!
This article originally appeared on 07.06.21
"It's not dirty, it's just messy."
It’s hard to keep your home clean when you have a child, but when you have four, unless you have a live-in maid, it’s completely impossible. There is no dishwasher fast enough to keep up with the dishes in the sink and no magical point where all four children have it together enough to put their toys away.
The problem is that if you take your eyes off the prize and let a day go by without cleaning up, you’re practically drowning in chaos.
TikTok user and stay-at-home mom Bri James (aka @themessymama4) did the unthinkable and let her home go four days without tidying up and shared the incredible mess with everyone on TikTok.
"I know I'm going to get roasted," she says in the clip, "but ... this is what happens when two really lazy adults have four kids and don't clean up after themselves."
The clip shows cutlery on the floor, empty packets everywhere, dishes piled a mile-high in the sink, and clothes and toys strewn everywhere. The house looks like the parents went away on a permanent vacation and left their kids to fend for themselves.
The video was praised by a lot of parents who are tired of seeing mommy influencers with spotless homes and children in matching linen outfits. Finally, there was a mom on TikTok they could relate to.
"I'd MUCH rather see you clean your realistic house than watch another blonde clean an already clean countertop," Meghan Sanders wrote.
TikTokker Its_not_that_serious put things in perfect perspective. "Dude, at the end of the day all of their fingers and toes are attached and feeling safe and loved you’re doing fine. Someday the house will be clean," they wrote.
"Having children is mentally and physically exhausting and you don’t always have the energy to clean every day," Rose added.
But not everyone appreciated Bri's slice of reality. Some people thought that her messiness was borderline neglectful and that she was setting a terrible example for her children.
"Set a good example for your kids. Make them help," carleebocciaa wrote.
"Without children = fine, your choice. With children (especially small ones) = completely unacceptable," ACZOgirly wrote.
Shortly after posting her first video, Bri got to work on the impossible task of cleaning up the entire house. Noticeably absent from the job were her spouse and four children. She appears to clean the entire place by herself.
She showed her cleaning prowess through a series of fast-motion videos.
my butt does not look flattering in these Walmart lounge pants 🤦🏼♀️😅
Finally, at 9:30 p.m., Bri was done with most of the job, although she still had a bit of vacuuming to do and there were still some dishes in the sink. At the end of the job, she was exhausted. But she got the job done and that’s all that matters. It’s OK to let your house fall into disarray from time to time but eventually, you have to take care of business.
I'm going to bed now. 🤣🥱😴
We’ll give TikTokker Sannon Martin the final word on this story because she hits the nail on the head. “Your home is exactly like mine,” she wrote. “Some days it’s a wreck and some days it looks amazing. That’s life. You’re doing great!”
This article originally appeared on 03.05.22