These online games help shatter misconceptions about learning and attention issues.

What if you could see what life is like through someone else's eyes — just by playing an easy online game?

Like a word challenge! Seems simple enough.

Copying sentences? No sweat! (Right?)


OK. Maybe these games aren't so easy after all.

These games were designed by Understood.org to give people a sense of what it's like to have a learning or attention issue. Check out the video for more:

Understood.org created this series of simulations to help put parents and others in the shoes of children with learning and attention issues.

The simulation series, called Through Your Child's Eyes, is an interactive set of games designed to represent the challenges that many kids with learning and attention issues face. Learning and attention issues are brain-based difficulties in reading, writing, math, organization, focus, listening comprehension, social skills, motor skills, or a combination of these. Dyslexia and ADHD are some examples of common learning and attention issues.

After conducting extensive research with over 2,200 parents, Understood.org found that one theme kept coming up over and over again — the parents of these kids simply wanted to understand what their children were going through.

Let's face it: There are many misconceptions surrounding the topic. Some people think that learning and attention issues are an indicator of low IQ or that kids will outgrow them — not the case at all. In fact, kids with learning and attention issues can have above-average intelligence and even be gifted. If parents, teachers, and all of us can better understand the challenges these issues can create, we can better provide kids with the support they need to thrive in school and in life.

It's also crucial to understand that not all learning and attention issues are the same.

Perhaps a child has trouble recognizing certain words in a sentence. Or maybe dealing with numbers is what's giving them difficulty. Or maybe they're having a hard time paying attention in class.

Whatever the case may be, Through Your Child's Eyes addresses each scenario by separating the simulations into five different categories — reading, writing, attention, math, and organization. By experiencing each one, users get a much better sense of the specific challenges that accompany them.

More than just immersive games, Through Your Child's Eyes also offers practical solutions for parents to help their kids reach their fullest potential.

One of the most important ones is establishing a continuous dialogue with children about what they're going through. In this case, talking about everything at once might not be the best course of action. Rather, it's a process that needs to be addressed and adjusted on a regular basis, throughout a child’s journey.

Through Your Child's Eyes also has videos of children from preschool to grade 12 telling stories about their own experiences dealing with learning and attention issues. It’s a much more personal look into the challenges they face, along with the support from parents and teachers that made a difference to them — in their own words. After all, every child is unique.

That's why Understood.org gives parents a chance to customize their program in order to get more personalized resources and advice from experts and parents just like them.

It's a simple concept, but it can have a profound effect on a parent's point of view.

One loving mother definitely had her eyes opened. "I get it now, or at least I am beginning to," she told Understood.org. "My heart is a little lighter as I know that I have just found a key to unlocking my understanding and relatability to my precious children. ... I can’t wait to put into practice some of the new tools that I have just been equipped with!"

When they have a supportive network on their side, parents are able to create a more supportive environment at home and work hand-in-hand with teachers to make sure the best possible steps are being taken to nurture their children's gifts.

This only makes it easier for kids to be themselves and instills the kind of confidence that every kid should naturally have with them — every single day.

Curious to try the games for yourself? You can play all of them right here.

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Vélosophy

Single-use coffee pods might make a good cup of joe, but they're detrimental to the environment.

"Coffee pods are one of the best examples of unnecessary single-use plastics that are polluting our planet," John Hocevar, the campaign director of Greenpeace USA, an environmental nonprofit organization, told USA Today. "Many end up getting incinerated, dumping poison into our air, water and our soil."

Currently, 29,000 single-use coffee pods are thrown away each minute. You have to ask yourself, is it worth filling up the landfills to satisfy your caffeine habit? While the aluminum capsules are recyclable, it's not as easy as tossing them in the bin. Instead, you typically have to take them a designated collection point created by the brand.

But Nespresso has taken it one step further by using its recycled pods to make a bicycle, illustrating the potential for repurposing the often thrown out by-product of its coffee.

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Planet

There are songs that tug at your heartstrings and videos that tap into your soft side. And then there are combos of the two that get you so far up in your feelings, you're not sure if you'll ever be able to climb back out.

For the millions of parents out there—especially the ones watching their babies grow up and move away from home—Michael Bublé's video for his song "Forever Now" is definitely the latter. I'm not even a Michael Bublé fan, but as a parent whose first baby just turned 19, the lyric video showing the years passing in a child's bedroom with a song about kids growing up is almost too much to take.

Wrecked, I tell you. Full-on ugly crying, with the puffy eyes and the snotty nose and everything.

I mean, just check out part of the lyrics and imagine your child's bedroom all packed into boxes:

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Family
Photo by Gregory Hayes on Unsplash

"Can I buy you a drink?" is a loaded question.

It could be an innocent request from someone who's interested in having a cordial conversation. Other times, saying "yes" means you may have to fend off someone who feels entitled to spend the rest of the night with you.

In the worst-case scenario, someone is trying to take advantage of you or has a roofie in their pocket.

Feminist blogger Jennifer Dziura found a fool-proof way to stay safe while understanding someone's intentions: ask for a non-alcoholic beverage or food. If they're sincerely interested in spending some time getting to know you, they won't mind buying something booze-free.

RELATED: States are starting to require mental health classes for all students. It's about dang time.

But if it's their intention to lower your defenses, they'll throw a mild tantrum after you refuse the booze. Her thoughts on the "Can I buy you a drink?" conundrum made their way to Tumblr.

via AshleysCo / Tumblr


via AshleysCo / Tumblr

The posts caught the attention of a bartender who knows there are lot of men out there whose sole intention is to get somone drunk to take advantage.

"Most of the time, when someone you don't know is buying you a drink, they're NOT doing it out of a sense of cordiality," the bartender wrote. "They're buying you a drink for the sole purpose of making you let your guard down."

So they shared a few tips on how to be safe and social when someone asks to buy you a drink.

From the other side of the bar, I see this crap all the time. Seriously. I work at a high-density bar, and let me tell you, I have anywhere from 10-20 guys every night come up and tell me to, "serve her a stronger drink, I'm trying to get lucky tonight, know what I mean?" usually accompanied with a wink and a gesture at a girl who, in my experience, is going to go from mildly buzzed to definitively hammered if I keep serving her. Now, I like to think I'm a responsible bartender, so I usually tell guys like that to piss off, and, if I can, try to tell the girl's more sober friends that they need to keep an eye on her.
But everyone- just so you know, most of the time, when someone you don't know is buying you a drink, they're NOT doing it out of a sense of cordiality, they're buying you a drink for the sole purpose of making you let your guard down.

Tips for getting drinks-

1. ALWAYS GO TO THE BAR TO GET YOUR OWN DRINK, DO NOT LET STRANGERS CARRY YOUR DRINKS. This is an opportune time for dropping something into your cocktail, and you're none the wiser.

2.IF YOU ORDER SOMETHING NON-ALCOHOLIC, I promise you, the bartender doesn't give two shits that you're not drinking cocktails with your friends, and often, totally understands that you don't want to let your guard down around strangers. Usually, you can just tell the bartender that you'd like something light, and that's a big clue to us that you're uncomfortable with whomever you're standing next to. Again, we see this all the time.

3. If you're in a position to where you feel uncomfortable not ordering alcohol:
Here's a list of light liquors, and mixers that won't get you drunk, and will still look like an actual cocktail:

X-rated + sprite = easy to drink, sweet, and 12% alcoholic content. Not strong at all, usually runs $6-$8, depending on your state.
Amaretto + sour= sweet, not strong, 26%.
Peach Schnapps+ ginger ale= tastes like mellow butterscotch, 24%.
Melon liquor (Midori, in most bars) + soda water = not overly sweet, 21%
Coffee liquor (Kahlua) +soda = not super sweet, 20%.
Hope this helps someone out!

RELATED: Permit denied for 'straight pride' parade in California

If you do accept a drink from someone at a bar and you want to talk, there's no need to feel obligated to spend the rest of the night with them.

Jaqueline Whitmore, founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach, says to be polite you only have to "Engage in some friendly chit-chat, but you are not obligated to do more than that."

If someone asks to buy you a drink and you don't want it, Whitmore has a great tip. "Say thank you, but you are trying to cut back, have to drive or you don't accept drinks from strangers," Whitmore says.

What if they've already sent the drink over? "Give the drink to the bartender and tell him or her to enjoy it," Whitmore says.

Have fun. Stay safe, and make sure to bring a great wing-man or wing-woman with you.

Well Being

There are reasonable arguments to be had on all sides of America's debates about guns.

Then there are NRA lobbyists.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Florida National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer spoke to state economists last week to explain why a proposed assault weapons ban would devastate gun manufacturers in the state. The proposed amendment, which is being led by the aunt of a student killed in the Parkland school shooting, would ban the future sale of assault rifles in Florida and mandate that current owners either register their guns with the state or give them up.

The back and forth between those proposing and opposing the amendment appears to be a pretty typical gun legislation debate. Only this time, the NRA lobbyist pulled out one of the most bizarre arguments I've seen yet.

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Democracy