The 'Laurel' or 'Yanny' debate is actually more insightful than you think.

Do you hear "Laurel" or "Yanny"?

That's not a question any of us would have imagined having to answer before. Thanks to a viral tweet, though, a computerized voice that's uttering one name or another is dividing the internet in a way we haven't seen since "The Dress."

Have you tried it yet? Here you go! (This might just rip your entire life apart.) (Sorry.)


What did you hear? If you're like me, you heard "Yanny" all the way.

If you're like my husband and the other half of the internet (including Twitter icon Chrissy Teigen), then you heard "Laurel," and you're not going to let anyone tell you any different.

So what’s really going on here?

No one truly knows. It seems that no one really knows where this audio clip even came from. Could it be aliens communicating from the depth of space? Could it be Russian bots? I can't answer that. But I can provide a few theories that might help explain why people are hearing things differently.

According to The New York Times, which enlisted the help of several experts, it could have a lot to do with which part of the "frequency range" people give attention to. So if someone tends to hear in the higher range of things, then they're going to hear "Yanny" rather than "Laurel."

Check out what happens when you manipulate the bass. Can you hear both words? (Or is this just fueling outrage?)

And that's before you even get into the linguistic explanations or the fact that everyone's brain processes things differently.

We think we all hear the same things, but as University of Chicago psychologist Howard Nusbaum told Gizmodo, "If I cut your ears off and put someone else's on your head, sounds would sound different." (Of course, this is not an invitation to do such an experiment. I will be very mad if my name comes up in legal proceedings.)

What people hear could also have a lot to do with how they perceive the world.

Here's the thing about brains: They're really good at making snap judgments. That's because brains like to organize and categorize. A study of how people perceived "The Dress" (a study on this! what a time to be alive!) found that even when outside factors were manipulated, once people saw the dress as either blue/black or white/gold, that's the only way they would see it — even when the image was placed in different settings.

One thing's for certain: Regardless of what people hear, both "Yanny" and "Laurel" appear to be on the recording. And if someone distinctly hears just one from the start, a sound and audio engineer told Gizmodo, it's possible they'll stick with that word to the exclusion of the other.

What does that mean?

When someone hears something differently from you, do you wonder why they're hearing what you're not or do you immediately assume they're wrong? It's likely the latter. That's because people make such judgments every day. And why shouldn't we? In the best cases — for instance, when someone decides whether it's safe to jay-walk — those judgments keep people safe.

But we often don't go back and correct snap judgments. And because we focus on information that confirms the beliefs we already hold (that's backed up by research too), we never actually have to. That leads to problems like not expanding our worldviews or allowing ourselves to take in new information. In fact, research has found that once we form opinions, it's incredibly difficult for us to change them — even (and especially) after real facts have been presented.

So before you send your friends a text asking which word they hear (and you absolutely must because why should my marriage be the only one to be torn apart?), consider that they're not wrong either way. And, as Gizmodo points out, "If you listen enough, you might begin to hear things the other way too."

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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