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At first glance, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) isn't the most likely person to earn praise from her Republican colleagues.

Gillibrand voted against nearly every one of President Donald Trump's cabinet nominees — more "no" votes than any other member of the Senate.

Still, in a recent interview with Rebecca Traister for New York magazine, Gillibrand showed that there's at least one Republican senator with whom she shares a mutual respect: Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).


Collins (L) and Gillibrand (R). Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

The interview is getting attention for Gillibrand's use of colorful language in describing what she sees as Congresses's job, but her blunt language is a small detail in a much more revealing interview.

Gillibrand and Collins represent something important in any profession: what it looks like when women have each others' backs.

In the interview, Gillibrand opened up about her bipartisan friendships and working relationships, touching on everything from the legislation she and Collins filed to protect seniors from fraud to the fact that Gillibrand helped plan Collins' wedding shower a few years back. It's a side of politics we don't usually get to see — or at very least, a side that's often overshadowed.

Gillibrand speaks at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images.

Women in the world of politics have found clever ways to work together to make their voices heard and find solutions.

"We're here to help people, and if we're not helping people, we should go the fuck home," might be getting the most attention from the interview, but it leaves off the important first part of Gillibrand's statement.

The full quote is actually this:

"I know Susan's worldview is similar to my worldview. Which is that we're here to help people, and if we're not helping people, we should go the fuck home."

That first sentence matters. It's an example of a technique called "amplification," a strategy used with great success by women in the Obama administration, in which they deliberately repeat each others' points in meetings, giving credit to the woman who originally made it, to ensure they were not ignored or overlooked.

In the New York magazine interview, Gillibrand made sure to give Collins credit by name for sharing the view that the government's purpose is to help people (though we can't be sure whether Collins would have phrased it quite the same way).

Obama campaigns in 2008. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

In 2012, The Daily Beast wrote about how women in the Senate regularly meet for bipartisan dinner parties as a way to build strength in numbers and develop cross-party friendships in the process. In 2013, the group of 20 senators gathered and devised a plan to avert a government shutdown. In 2017, now with 21 senators in their ranks, the women are still getting together, still demonstrating the value of women taking care of women — even when they don't always agree.

"So when it comes to helping one another, we’re just more ready to do it. We want each other to succeed and find a path forward because we really leave the partisan politics at the door," Gillibrand explained in an interview with BuzzFeed.

Senators at the Senate Women Power Workshop in November 2014. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Whether it's female staffers amplifying each other's voices in meetings or hosting dinner parties to keep the government afloat, the truth is that women get things done — especially when they have each others' backs.

The state of politics these days is just a tiny bit polarized, and depending on your own political leanings, the politician you see as a hero may be a villain in the eyes of your next-door neighbor. It's all so very subjective and, honestly, a little exhausting.

Even so, there are occasional moments like these that can give us hope while we wander the political wilderness — moments where politicians from opposing parties can actually agree on something. These women remind us of that.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.

A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”

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