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These staggering graphics put the WWII death toll in perspective.

medicine, nurses, casualties, death,
Image (modified) https://www.flickr.com/photos/gbaku/4019920791 /Wikimedia Commons.

Three World War II nurses sit on a bench in white uniforms.

Trigger warning: Images of war.

The civilian and military deaths of World War II make it, to this day, the most deadly in the history of our world.

But I had no idea of the full scope of this until I watched the video below made in 2015. But first, a tiny little personal story.


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How many places in the United States have trenches left over from a war with the rest of the world?

I have a friend in Germany who showed me some of the World War II trenches in the woods by his house near Aachen just about 10 years ago. I was blown away by that. We have some things like that left over from the Civil War, but nothing related to a world war. In fact, in some of those trenches and former battlefields, there are still unexploded weapons found even now. What it really means is: World War II is still not finished killing people.

soldiers, war, civilian casualties, military

Unexploded bomb found in Koblenz, Germany, 2011.

Image by Holger Weinandt/Wikimedia Commons.

When people think of war, they often think of soldiers and those who actively seek to do battle.

Overall, of the people killed in World War II, one-third of them were military and the rest civilians.

The Soviet Union (Russia) had by far the most casualties, both civilian and military. This was largely due to things like the Siege of Stalingrad — entire cities were cut off from food, water, and supplies for years, and starvation was all around. (It was also because Russia was headed by a ruthless dictator at the time, Joseph Stalin.)

Holocaust, Jewish civilians, Russia, WWII

War and people in Kiev, June 23, 1941.

Image by K. Lishko (modified)/Wikimedia Commons.

Then there was the Holocaust, which claimed 6 million Jewish civilians and some others as well, such as Roma ("gypsies"), people with disabilities, gays, etc.

There were also events like D-Day (June 6, 1944), that cost 2,500 U.S. soldiers' lives in a single day.

D-Day, Normandy, U.S. troops, Omaha Beach, fighting

U.S. army troops drudge to shore during D-Day landing, Omaha Beach, Normandy. June 6, 1944.

Image by U.S. Coast Guard (modified)/Wikimedia Commons.

When you see the scale of this and consider the total number of lives, both civilian and military, from all countries who had casualties in World War II, the figures are simply astounding.

70 million dead. In six years.

More people died in World War II than in any other war in history. Between the civilian and military casualties, it adds up to roughly the entire 2013 population of the states of New York, New Jersey, and California ... combined.

I work on and write about things from all over the Internet, so I've seen pretty much everything “shocking," “terrifying," and all kinds of things “you won't believe."

But this? I've watched the clip at least 10 times, and I still can't get my mind around it.

The image above is just a taste from Neil Halloran's "The Fallen of World War II." You can see the whole video below; it's 18 minutes and chock full of data on how many lives — civilian and military — were lost.

These are some of the more fascinating parts:

  • The death count of American soldiers starts at about 2:00, including totals, D-Day, and Okinawa.
  • European totals start at 3:20, when Germany invaded Poland. There were so many countries involved, it's pretty amazing. These numbers include battles as well as mass executions.
  • At 4:30, the Western Front, involving Britain and the U.S., begins.
  • Some really staggering numbers about the Eastern Front (the Soviet Union, including Stalingrad) begin about 5:00. This is where the German army began to incur massive losses. The Soviet Union was the first country to defeat Germany but at an almost unbelievable cost in the lives of soldiers and civilians.
  • Civilian deaths, including the Holocaust, begin at 7:30. The Holocaust itself killed about 6 million people.
  • Numbers for the Asian theatre, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki, begin at 12:00.
  • The grand total is revealed about 13:15, and then that's compared with other conflicts throughout history.

At 07:20, you can pause the narration to interact with the charts. And then, it proceeds to get into the civilian deaths, including The Holocaust. It's fascinating, if pretty sobering.

But the good news is, we haven't had a conflict like it since. Let's do what we can to keep it that way, eh?

Because weapons have become so much more destructive than they were then, the idea of another world war is actually much more unthinkable than ever before.

So you may be thinking, "Hey, Upworthy ... this really isn't very UPworthy, if ya know what I mean?!"

When I first watched this, I was actually shocked at the total numbers of people who died in World War II — especially the totals for people in other countries, which we see less often than those for the U.S. only. When the body count hits 70 million, it's something I can't begin to fathom. The 1905 George Santayana axiom goes, "Those who cannot remember the past are destined to repeat it" ... well, that's what I take from this. Your mileage may vary.

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

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Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

A group of students staring at their phones.

The Norwegian government is spearheading a significant initiative to prohibit students from having smartphones in schools. This move comes in the wake of compelling studies demonstrating the positive impact of removing these devices from students’ hands and allowing them to focus more on their learning.

The effects have been particularly beneficial for girls.

Over the past few years, smartphone bans have cropped up in several school districts throughout Norway, allowing researchers to study how the bans affected students. Sara Abrahamsson, a postdoctoral fellow at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, analyzed students at 400 middle schools and found that the bans had psychological and academic benefits.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health published the results.

1 Girls made fewer appointments for psychological help

The study found that there was a significant decrease in the number of visits that girls made to see a psychological specialist for mental health issues. “Relative to pretreatment this is a significant decline by almost 60% in the number of visits,” Abrahamsson wrote in the study.

2. Steep drop in bullying

The study shows that girls experienced a 46% reduction in bullying after smartphone bans were enacted and boys had a 43% reduction.

smartphone, smartphone ban, norway

Boys looking at memes on a smartphone.

via Max Fischer/Pexels

3. Improved grades for girls

The study revealed that introducing a smartphone ban at the beginning of middle school improved girls' GPAs and increased their chances of enrolling in an academic-oriented high school track versus a vocational study. On the other hand, the ban appeared to have no notable effect on boys’ GPA, teacher-assigned grades, or likelihood of pursuing an academic high school track.

4. The ban had a more significant effect on economically disadvantaged girls

The study found that the ban resulted in greater benefits for economically disadvantaged girls regarding academic performance, appointments for psychological symptoms and the probability of attending an academically focused high school.

The positive impact that the bans have on girls is significant, given the fact that studies show they’ve been the most deeply affected by the rise in mental health issues amongst young people that have coincided with smartphone adaptation.

One of the most disturbing trends is the dramatic rise in suicide rates among girls in developed nations.

smartphones in schools, norway, smartphone ban

Students taking a selfie in school.

via RDNE Stock Project

Jonathan Haidt, author of “The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness” and advocate for banning smartphones in schools, explained why smartphone use is more damaging for girls than boys.

“There is a special relationship between social media and girls,” Haidt told “The Reason Interview with Nick Gillespie” podcast. “When boys get together … they're likely to organize themselves into groups to compete [on multiplayer video games].”

“Girls are much more interested in talking about relationships. Who is on the outs with whom? Who's dating who? They have a more developmental map of the social space,” Haidt continued.

When there is conflict within peer groups, social media poses a much greater threat to girls.

“Boys' aggression is ultimately backed up by the threat of physical domination and punching or pain, " Haidt continued. “Girls' aggression is equal in magnitude, but it's aimed at relationships and reputation. It's called relational aggression. Video games, if anything, prevent boys from getting in fights. … The platform settles everything. But girls' relational aggression is amplified. The worst year of bullying is seventh grade. I'm really focused on middle school.”


Pop Culture

'Britain's Got Talent' contestant blew Simon Cowell away singing a song he 'hates'

Her heartfelt version of "Tomorrow" brought people to tears—and completely changed Simon's tune.

Sydnie Christmas nailed her rendition of "Tomorrow" from "Annie"

Contestants on "Britain's Got Talent" (as well as "American Idol" and "America's Got Talent") have long feared Simon Cowell's judgment, so imagine auditioning with a song choice that automatically brings out his sour side.

That's what contestant Sydnie Christmas did when she chose to sing "Tomorrow" from the musical "Annie," which is Simon Cowell's least favorite song. But much to everyone's surprise, she totally blew him away with her beautiful soulful rendition, causing him to change his tune.

Before performing, Christmas bounded onto the stage with her genuine smile and spunky energy, which endeared her to the judges and audience immediately. She even cracked a joke about her middle name being "Mary" (Sydnie Mary Christmas would be quite the name choice) and got everyone laughing with her.


However, when she announced she'd be singing "Tomorrow," Cowell winced and the other judges groaned.

"That is Simon's worst song," warned judge Amanda Holden.

But when Christmas, who works as a receptionist at a gym, began to sing, it soon became clear that this wasn't an ordinary rendition of the musical classic. Soulful, heartfelt, sad but hopeful, she built the song up bit by bit, bringing the audience along with her on an emotional ride.

Watch:

Not only did she get the coveted Golden Buzzer, but she also managed to get Simon Cowell to say he now loves the song he said he'd hated just minutes before. Viewers loved it, too.

"That was the first time I could take this song serious. Before today I hated it, too," wrote one person.

"When they say you have to make the song your own, she did just that. I have never heard a better version," wrote another.

"Absolutely beautiful; love how the word “tomorrow” always sounded unique EVERY TIME! Listened over and over…" added another.

"I've heard that song a million times and she REALLY got the poignancy of it," shared another. "It is a sad song, but a song of hope, and it is hard to walk that line and she KILLED IT. It's not just about her voice, it is how she sold that song."

She even pulled in people from various walks of life, moving them with her performance:

"I'm a 60 year old highway worker. Just got off work and my wife sent this to me. What I'm trying to figure out is who's been cutting onions in my vehicle? Seriously, teared me up. This took me COMPLETELY off guard and I am so delighted to have experienced this diamond!"

"41 year old hip hop head here and never did I think I would be touched like this. The sound of suffering with a glimmer of hope in the sound. Who is cutting onions at this time."

"I’m a 60 year old builder sitting in my van having lunch. I just watched this. The guys in the next van are taking the P coz I’m crying my eyes out! Brilliant!"

As someone named Annie, I've had "Tomorrow" sung to me countless times over the years, so I shared Simon Cowell's initial grimace upon hearing what she was going to sing. But I too was moved by Christmas's performance and gained a whole new appreciation for the song after her gorgeous rendition. Not an easy feat. What a delightful surprise for us all.

Tony Trapani discovers a letter his wife hid from him since 1959.

Tony Trapani and his wife were married for 50 years despite the heartache of being unable to have children. "She wanted children,” Trapani told Fox 17. "She couldn't have any. She tried and tried." Even though they endured the pain of infertility, Tony's love for his wife never wavered and he cherished every moment they spent together.

After his wife passed away when Tony was 81 years old, he undertook the heartbreaking task of sorting out all of her belongings. That’s when he stumbled upon a carefully concealed letter in a filing cabinet hidden for over half a century.

The letter was addressed to Tony and dated March 1959, but this was the first time he had seen it. His wife must have opened it, read it and hid it from him. The letter came from Shirley Childress, a woman Tony had once been close with before his marriage. She reached out, reminiscing about their past and revealing a secret that would change Tony's world forever.


"Dear Tony, I bet you are surprised to hear from me after so many years. I was just thinking about you tonight like so many other nights. But I thought I would write you and find out how you are," the letter reads. "Tony, please don't be angry or surprised to hear this. I have a little boy. He is five-years- old now - grey eyes and beautiful black hair. What I am trying to say Tony is he is your son."

"Please, Tony if you can find it in your heart to forgive me, please come and see him," Shirley wrote in the letter. "Every day he asks me where is his daddy and believe me Tony I can't even answer him anymore. If would be forever grateful to you if you would just see him. ... I'll close now hoping and praying you will answer. P.S. His name is Samuel Duane."

Now, Tony faced the fact that he had a son that would be around 60 years old and he set out to find him. For over a year, Trapani’s sister tried to track down the mysterious Samuel Duane Childress, until she finally contacted his wife, Donna.

Tony and Samuel met in January 2015 and he felt like a new dad. After meeting his father, Samuel said his mother told him she sent the letter, but Tony never responded. "Why my wife didn't tell me," said Trapani. "I don't know. She wanted children. She couldn't have any. She tried and tried."

"I always asked my mom, I said, 'Well what does he look like?'' Samuel said. "She said, 'Well, go look in the mirror."

The two met and caught up on a lifetime of memories with the understanding that they could never change the past. "Just to know him now is so important to me. It's going to fill that void," Samuel said. But just to be sure, Tony took a paternity test to ensure they were father and son.

The test came back negative, revealing that Tony was not the father. The news upset Tony and Samuel, but they still had a unique bond. They shared a relationship with Samuel’s mother and both have been on an incredibly wild ride after Tony found the mysterious letter.

“They're keeping that bond,” Donna said. “That paper doesn't mean anything to him. That bond has been made—and we're going to move on from here.”


This article originally appeared on 2.23.24

Family

Dad makes brilliant motivational podcast for toddlers to help center them for day of chaos

“I’ve got to get my son to stop listening to this podcast. It’s his daily inspiration.”

Photos by Carlos Gutierrez and Ketut Subiyanto|Canva

Dad imagines what his toddler's motivational podcast sounds like

Toddlers are built differently. Something about when they take those first trepidatious steps tells them that they no longer need things essential to human life. It also gives them a supersonic ego boost of invincibility, which is a concerning combination given the size of their heads in comparison to their little bodies and not-so-agile reflexes.

One dad has successfully convinced parents on the internet that toddlers must all listen to this completely made up podcast. Tyler Champagne has brought "Toddler Motivational Podcast" to life with one of his recent Instagram posts. In the video, Champagne, dad of a 2-year-old son and newborn daughter, imagines what it would sound like if his toddler had a motivational podcast.

The dad of two is sitting behind a podcast microphone speaking in a hushed voice that's oddly motivational. Maybe don't play the video while your littles are in the room—no need to give them any ideas.


"I don't sleep at night. Sleep is for elderly people, like my parents in their 30s. When I'm sleeping, I'm not causing chaos, right? When I'm awake, I can continuously cause chaos throughout the day. Concentric circumference. Wanna know what I had for breakfast today? I licked one grape. That's all I need. I don't eat food. Food is a waste of time. When I'm chewing, when I'm swallowing, not causing chaos, okay?" Champagne says while motivational music plays in the background.

This is probably one of the most accurate portrayals of how it feels having a toddler in the home and parents couldn't agree more.

"My toddler is getting rowdy listening to this speech," one person raises a fist.

"How do we all have the same kids," someone cries.

"My toddler watch[ed] this and screamed 'that’s right'," another says.

"Don’t y’all know. 90% of their hydration happens in the bathtub," a commenter reveals.

Well, it may be a weird coincidence that every parent has the same kid. But it also seems totally plausible that once parents are asleep, some sort of motivational podcast like this comes through their baby monitor. Watch the video below, just make sure your toddler is out of earshot.

Why Your Next Mattress Should Be Latex, Not Memory Foam

The 100% organic mattress is made from sustainable materials and you can try it risk-free for 100 nights.

Do you ever feel like you’re on an eternal quest for good sleep? Have you tried everything from sleep masks and white noise machines to weighted blankets and herbal supplements? If so, it’s probably time to reconsider the most obvious element of good sleep: your mattress. Of course, when it comes to mattresses, for years memory foam has been the top choice for comfort. But today consumers want something that is more sustainable and healthy. And for that reason, more and more are turning to the Peace Lily Latex Mattress, a game-changer in the world of sleep. This 100% organic marvel doesn’t just deliver superior comfort; it does so without using any of the toxic chemicals that are bad for your health and the planet. Want to hear more about how you can get a better night’s sleep and help the planet at the same time? Then let’s talk about why you should choose latex over memory foam.

The Problem with Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses, while cozy at first cuddle, come with a long list of not-so-cozy problems. Ever wake up in the middle of the night feeling like you're sleeping on a radiator? That's heat retention for you, a notorious trait of memory foam that turns your bed into a sauna. Do you often find yourself waking up with the morning sniffles or headaches that just won't quit? You may assume that this is natural, but it’s often a silent signal of off-gassing—the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the synthetic materials memory foam beds are famous for.

But it's not just about uncomfortable nights or mysterious sniffles. The environmental toll of these synthetic materials is hefty, contributing to our planet's growing pile of non-biodegradable waste. As we become more aware of our ecological footprint, the choice of mattress becomes more than a personal comfort issue; it's a health and environmental decision. Switching from memory foam to a more sustainable option like natural latex isn't just good for your sleep; it's a step towards a healthier planet.

The Peace Lily Latex Difference

Latex mattresses are in a league of their own when it comes to combining comfort, durability, and health. Unlike their memory foam counterparts, latex doesn't trap heat. Instead, latex lets you enjoy a cool, serene slumber thanks to its open-cell structure that promotes air circulation. This means you can say goodbye to those sweaty wake-up calls. Plus, the inherent durability of natural latex ensures that your mattress remains supportive and sag-free, offering an unwavering comfort that lasts for decades, not just years.

Of course, while latex is fantastic, not all latex mattresses are created equal. What makes the Peace Lily Latex Mattress stand out is the fact that it is made of 100% sustainable, certified organic, non-toxic materials. We’re talking inner foam layers made from GOLS certified organic latex with sustainably sourced rubber sap; a cover and handles made from high-density organic cotton for a soft, cloud-like feel; and batting made from GOTScertified organic New Zealand wool for plush, breathable luxury.

To top it all off, Peace Lily is embarking on the world’s first regenerative latex program focused on recovering degraded soil using specialized agroforestry practices. With new estimates saying that in 60 years all of the topsoil in the world will disappear, this makes a real difference! Every single element and sourcing process is thoughtfully chosen for its sustainability, lack of off-gassing, and luxury comfort, ensuring you breathe clean air and reduce your carbon footprint while you sleep soundly.

The Greener Option

So what does sustainably sourced latex actually mean? The Peace Lily Latex Mattress is produced by tapping rubber trees in a way that allows them to continue growing, and thus continue absorbing carbon dioxide. In that way, every single mattress becomes part of a larger, greener cycle.

But the environmental benefits of this particular Peace Lily mattress don’t just stop at production. Sleeping on a mattress free from the toxic chemical cocktail found in many non-organic options means you're resting in a cleaner, healthier space every night. The Peace Lily Latex Mattress boasts non-toxic, antimicrobial, and hypoallergenic properties, thanks to its natural latex and organic wool. These materials naturally resist dust mites, mold, and mildew, ensuring a sneeze-free, breathable sleep environment. With prestigious certifications like GOLS, GOTS, OEKO-TEX, and eco-INSTITUT® to back up these claims, you get the assurance that you're sleeping on a mattress that meets the highest standards of environmental and health safety.

Peace Lily, Here for a Good Time and a Long Time

Worried that the Peace Lily Latex Mattress won’t be right for you? Don’t be. For starters, the Peace Lily Latex Mattress is a flippable mattress with two different firmness levels. One side is medium, the other is firm. And if you want something a little softer or firmer you can add a Peace Lily mattress topper for a fully customized sleep. But even if you try all that and you still don’t like the Peace Lily, that’s cool too, because they offer a zero-risk 100-night trial! Sleep on it, dream on it, and if you don't absolutely love it, they’ll take it back and give you a full refund.

The Peace Lily Latex Mattress ships free, arriving at your doorstep compressed in a box, ready to expand into the bed of your dreams, all over the United States. No extra fees, no hidden costs — just pure, unadulterated comfort waiting to unfold in your bedroom. And it all comes with a 25-year limited warranty so you can feel confident investing in your sleep and health. This mattress is built to last and Peace Lily backs that up with this amazing warranty.

Better Sleep, Better Planet

If you’re looking for the perfect night’s sleep, ditch the environmentally disastrous memory foam and go with natural latex instead. The Peace Lily Latex Mattress offers 100% organic materials and customizable firmness levels, plus cooling sleep, unbelievable durability, and antimicrobial benefits, so you get better sleep and a cleaner planet. If you want to improve your sleep, general health, and contribution to the environment - this is the best investment you can make!

Click here to order your Peace Lily Latex Mattress today. From what we’ve found we think you’ve got nothing to lose, and the entire planet has something to gain.