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These stressed-out parents got help from a surprising source: total strangers.

They say "it takes a village" to raise a child. And sometimes, they're totally right.

Whoever invented children obviously never intended for them to be taken out in public. Us parents only have two hands to wrangle them with. We can only run so fast as we chase them through a crowd.

We only have so much patience!


Sometimes, we need a little help. And for every person who rolls their eyes when they hear a baby on a plane, or for every cafe that threatens to discipline your kids if they disrupt other diners, there are tons of people who understand the struggle and are happy to lend a helping hand.

Here are five stories of random strangers stepping in to help parents in need to remind you that we're all in this together:

1. A kind lady cut up this mom's food so she could breastfeed her son.

Photo by Briar Mcqueen, used with permission.

For parents of young kids, going out to eat can be a small pleasure in a day full of diapers and tantrums. Well — if the kids cooperate, that is.

"Today was the first time I went out for breakfast alone with my 8 week old son," Briar Mcqueen recently wrote on Facebook. Immediately, she had her hands full. Her son, Jaxon, started crying for food.

So she put her own food aside and fed him.

"After a few minutes this older lady walked up to me, I was scared, thinking she was gonna tell me to put my boob away, instead she starts cutting up my breakfast for me and said 'what a good mama you are, we can't have your food getting cold can we.'"

What a sweet surprise.

"I honestly could have cried," Briar wrote.

2. This mom couldn't get her baby to fall asleep on a plane. But the woman next to her could.

Photo by Rebekkah Garvison, used with permission.

Flying with a baby is every parent's nightmare. And for Rebekkah Garvison, that nightmare arrived in full force on a recent flight. Her young daughter, Rylee, wouldn't stop crying. The plane was full, and it hadn't even taken off yet.

It was going to be a long ride.

But when Rebekkah changed seats to get a little more room, she got an amazing response from her new seatmate, Nyfesha Miller, who offered to try her hand at calming the little one down.

"As soon as she had her, Rylee was looking out the window and stopped crying," Rebekkah wrote on Facebook. "When we got in the air she fell right asleep and slept in her lap the whole flight until we got to our gate. [Nyfesha] kept saying it wasn't a problem at all and it was actually a comforting feeling for her. She even carried her off the plane and held her so I could get the stroller and carseat put back together so I wasn't struggling to try and do it all alone."

"You will never understand how happy this act of kindness has made my family," Rebekkah wrote.

3. For these parents, all hell broke loose at a restaurant. The kindness of two strangers made things a little easier.

Photo by Melissa Wistehuff, used with permission.

Murphy's Law says that everything that can go wrong will go wrong. That's exactly what happened to the Wistehuff family during a recent trip to a local restaurant.

First, their youngest son, Ian, threw an epic, screaming, flailing tantrum. Then, with Ian still losing it, their older daughter Luca said she felt like she was going to throw up. The parents, Melissa and Jason, divided and conquered as best they could. But there was no denying the disaster at hand. They asked for the check in a hurry...

...only, the waiter explained, the tab had already been picked up by a fellow diner who was impressed with their patient parenting. Another nearby diner then offered to pay the tip.

For the Wistehuffs, it was one less thing to stress about in a chaotic moment.

“Just when you think that the world is putting you down, they’re not. They’re picking you up,” Melissa told Yahoo! Parenting. “They completely changed our night.”

4. A couple of kind words were exactly what these parents needed to hear during a stressful evening out.


Photo by Stephanie Hartman, used with permission.

Stephanie and Arick Hartman's son Avery was born early. Very early. He came into the world after only 25 weeks, weighing just over one pound. He also, unsurprisingly, came with a lot of health problems.

After a few months, though, the Hartmans were feeling confident enough to take Avery out to his first dinner in public.

"It wasn’t long before he vomited. All over Arick’s shirt," Stephanie wrote for The Mighty. Arick passed him over to Stephanie. In case she was feeling left out, Avery vomited on her, too!

"We were unaware that all of this had attracted the attention of our neighbors. ... They were middle aged and decked out head-to-toe in biker leather," Stephanie wrote. "For a few minutes they admired Avery, but it was what that man said before they left that will stick with me forever. He put a heavy hand on my husband's shoulder. 'I want you to know, being a dad isn’t easy. But you. You’re doing a great job.' He looked at me. 'You both are.'"

5. This guy did his job with one hand and soothed one mom's baby with the other.

Photo by Coty Vincent, used with permission.

Coty Vincent was not having a great day. She was trying to secure a rental car following an accident, and on top of that, she had her hands full with her young twins.

As anyone who has ever rented a car can tell you, the process is not usually a quick one. Thankfully, as Coty's restless twins began to squirm, a friendly Enterprise employee stepped up to the plate.

"While he helped me with my rental due to a hit and run accident, he held one of my twin sons as I don't have a double stroller," Coty wrote on Facebook. "One of the most compassionate and caring people I've ever met. We need more people like John who go that extra step. "

To all the kind people out there who are willing to help soothe, wrangle, feed, or just hold our kids: thank you.

We might not want to admit it, but as a parent myself, I know that we're not always sure we can do this on our own.

One day, when we find ourselves out and about without our kids and we see a young parent struggling with a powder-keg toddler or a fussy infant, we'll be more than happy to pay it forward.

Science

MIT’s trillion-frames-per-second camera can capture light as it travels

"There's nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera."

Photo from YouTube video.

Photographing the path of light.

A new camera developed at MIT can photograph a trillion frames per second.

Compare that with a traditional movie camera which takes a mere 24. This new advancement in photographic technology has given scientists the ability to photograph the movement of the fastest thing in the Universe, light.


The actual event occurred in a nano second, but the camera has the ability to slow it down to twenty seconds.

time, science, frames per second, bounced light

The amazing camera.

Photo from YouTube video.

For some perspective, according to New York Times writer, John Markoff, "If a bullet were tracked in the same fashion moving through the same fluid, the resulting movie would last three years."


In the video below, you'll see experimental footage of light photons traveling 600-million-miles-per-hour through water.

It's impossible to directly record light so the camera takes millions of scans to recreate each image. The process has been called femto-photography and according to Andrea Velten, a researcher involved with the project, "There's nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera."

(H/T Curiosity)


This article originally appeared on 09.08.17

Health

Her mother doesn't get why she's depressed. So she explains the best way she knows how.

Sabrina Benaim eloquently describes what it's like to be depressed.

Sabrina Benaim's “Explaining My Depression to My Mother."

Sabrina Benaim's “Explaining My Depression to My Mother" is pretty powerful on its own.

But, in it, her mother exhibits some of the most common misconceptions about depression, and I'd like to point out three of them here.

Misconception #1: Depression is triggered by a single event or series of traumatic events.

empathy, human condition, humanity

Depression isn’t just over sleeping.

Most people think depression is triggered by a traumatic event: a loved one dying, a job loss, a national tragedy, some THING. The truth is that depression sometimes just appears out of nowhere. So when you think that a friend or loved one is just in an extended bad mood, reconsider. They could be suffering from depression.

Misconception #2: People with depression are only sad.

family, parents, mom, anxiety

The obligation of anxiety.

Most people who have never experienced depression think depression is just an overwhelming sadness. In reality, depression is a complex set of feelings and physical changes in the body. People who suffer from depression are sad, yes, but they can also be anxious, worried, apathetic, and tense, among other things.

Misconception #3: You can snap out of it.

button poetry, medical condition, biological factors

Making fun plans not wanting to have fun.

The thing with depression is that it's a medical condition that affects your brain chemistry. It has to do with environmental or biological factors first and foremost. Sabrina's mother seems to think that if her daughter would only go through the motions of being happy that then she would become happy. But that's not the case. Depression is a biological illness that leaks into your state of being.

Think of it this way: If you had a cold, could you just “snap out of it"?

No? Exactly.

empathy, misconceptions of depression, mental health

Mom doesn’t understand.

via Button Poetry/YouTube

These are only three of the misconceptions about depression. If you know somebody suffering from depression, you should take a look at this video here below to learn the best way to talk to them:

This article originally appeared on 11.24.15

Here's how to be 30% more persuasive.

Everybody wants to see themselves in a positive light. That’s the key to understanding Jonah Berger’s simple tactic that makes people 30% more likely to do what you ask. Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the bestselling author of “Magic Words: What to Say to Get Your Way.”

Berger explained the technique using a Stanford University study involving preschoolers. The researchers messed up a classroom and made two similar requests to groups of 5-year-olds to help clean up.

One group was asked, "Can you help clean?" The other was asked, “Can you be a helper and clean up?" The kids who were asked if they wanted to be a “helper” were 30% more likely to want to clean the classroom. The children weren’t interested in cleaning but wanted to be known as “helpers.”


Berger calls the reframing of the question as turning actions into identities.

"It comes down to the difference between actions and identities. We all want to see ourselves as smart and competent and intelligent in a variety of different things,” Berger told Big Think. “But rather than describing someone as hardworking, describing them as a hard worker will make that trait seem more persistent and more likely to last. Rather than asking people to lead more, tell them, 'Can you be a leader?' Rather than asking them to innovate, can you ask them to 'Be an innovator'? By turning actions into identities, you can make people a lot more likely to engage in those desired actions.”

Berger says that learning to reframe requests to appeal to people’s identities will make you more persuasive.

“Framing actions as opportunities to claim desired identities will make people more likely to do them,” Berger tells CNBC Make It. “If voting becomes an opportunity to show myself and others that I am a voter, I’m more likely to do it.”

This technique doesn’t just work because people want to see themselves in a positive light. It also works for the opposite. People also want to avoid seeing themselves being portrayed negatively.

“Cheating is bad, but being a cheater is worse. Losing is bad, being a loser is worse,” Berger says.

The same tactic can also be used to persuade ourselves to change our self-concept. Saying you like to cook is one thing, but calling yourself a chef is an identity. “I’m a runner. I’m a straight-A student. We tell little kids, ‘You don’t just read, you’re a reader,’” Berger says. “You do these things because that’s the identity you hold.”

Berger’s work shows how important it is to hone our communication skills. By simply changing one word, we can get people to comply with our requests more effectively. But, as Berger says, words are magic and we have to use thgem skillfully. “We think individual words don’t really matter that much. That’s a mistake,” says Berger. “You could have excellent ideas, but excellent ideas aren’t necessarily going to get people to listen to you.”


This article originally appeared on 2.11.24

Pop Culture

A comic about wearing makeup goes from truthful to weird in 4 panels.

A hilariously truthful (and slightly weird) explanation of the "too much makeup" conundrum.

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

A comic shows the evolution or devolution from with makeup to without.

Even though I don't wear very much makeup, every few days or so SOMEONE...

(friends, family, internet strangers)

...will weigh in on why I "don't need makeup."


Now, I realize this is meant as a compliment, but this comic offers a hilariously truthful (and slightly weird) explanation of the "too much makeup" conundrum.

social norms, social pressure, friendship, self esteem

“Why do you wear so much makeup?"

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

passive aggressive, ego, confidence, beauty

“See, you look pretty without all that makeup on."

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

expectations, beauty products, mascara, lipstick

“Wow you look tired, are you sick?"

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

lizards, face-painting, hobbies, hilarious comic

When I shed my human skin...

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

Not everyone is able to turn into a badass lizard when someone asks about their face-painting hobbies. Don't you kinda wish you could? Just to drive this hilarious comic all the way home, here are four reasons why some women* wear makeup:

*Important side note: Anyone can wear makeup. Not just women. True story.

Four reasons some women* wear makeup:

1. Her cat-eye game is on point.

mascara, eyes, confidence

Her cat-eye game is on point.

Via makeupproject.

2. She has acne or acne scars.

acne, cover up, scarring, medical health

She has acne or acne scars.

Via Carly Humbert.

3. Pink lipstick.

lipstick, beauty products, basics, self-expression

Yes, pink lipstick.

Via Destiny Godley

4. She likes wearing makeup.

appearance, enhancement, creative expression

Happy to be going out and feeling good.

Happy Going Out GIF by Much.

While some people may think putting on makeup is a chore, it can be really fun! For some, makeup is an outlet for creativity and self-expression. For others, it's just a way to feel good about themselves and/or enhance their favorite features.

That's why it feels kinda icky when someone says something along the lines of "You don't need so much makeup!" Now, it's arguable that no one "needs" makeup, but everyone deserves to feel good about the way they look.

For some people, feeling good about their appearance includes wearing makeup. And that's totally OK.


This article originally appeared on 05.28.15

Joy

Adorable 'Haka baby' dance offers a sweet window into Maori culture

Stop what you're doing and let this awesomeness wash over you.

If you've never seen a Maori haka performed, you're missing out.

The Maori are the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, and their language and customs are an integral part of the island nation. One of the most recognizable Maori traditions outside of New Zealand is the haka, a ceremonial dance or challenge usually performed in a group. The haka represents the pride, strength, and unity of a tribe and is characterized by foot-stamping, body slapping, tongue protrusions, and rhythmic chanting.

Haka is performed at weddings as a sign of reverence and respect for the bride and groom and are also frequently seen before sports competitions, such as rugby matches.



The intensity of the haka is the point. It is meant to be a show of strength and elicit a strong response—which makes seeing a tiny toddler learning to do it all the more adorable.

Here's an example of a rugby haka:

Danny Heke, who goes by @focuswithdan on TikTok, shared a video of a baby learning haka and omigosh it is seriously the most adorable thing. When you see most haka, the dancers aren't smiling—their faces are fierce—so this wee one starting off with an infectious grin is just too much. You can see that he's already getting the moves down, facial expressions and all, though.

@focuswithdan When you grow up learning haka! #haka #teachthemyoung #maori #māori #focuswithdan #fyp #foryou #kapahaka ♬ original sound - 𝕱𝖔𝖈𝖚𝖘𝖂𝖎𝖙𝖍𝕯𝖆𝖓

As cute as this video is, it's part of a larger effort by Heke to use his TikTok channel to share and promote Maori culture. His videos cover everything from the Te Reo Maori language to traditional practices to issues of prejudice Maori people face.

Here he briefly goes over the different body parts that make up haka:

@focuswithdan

♬ Ngati - Just2maori

This video explains the purerehua, or bullroarer, which is a Maori instrument that is sometimes used to call rains during a drought.

@focuswithdan Reply to @illumi.is.naughty Some tribes used this to call the rains during drought 🌧 ⛈ #maori #māori #focuswithdan #fyp ♬ Pūrerehua - 𝕱𝖔𝖈𝖚𝖘𝖂𝖎𝖙𝖍𝕯𝖆𝖓

This one shares a demonstration and explanation of the taiaha, a traditional Maori weapon.

@focuswithdan Reply to @shauncalvert Taiaha, one of the most formidable of the Māori Weaponry #taiaha #maori #māori #focuswithdan #fyp #foryou ♬ original sound - 𝕱𝖔𝖈𝖚𝖘𝖂𝖎𝖙𝖍𝕯𝖆𝖓

For another taste of haka, check out this video from a school graduation:

@focuswithdan When your little cuzzy graduates and her school honours her with a haka #maori #māori #haka #focuswithdan #fyp #graduation @its_keshamarley ♬ Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngāti Ruanui - 𝕱𝖔𝖈𝖚𝖘𝖂𝖎𝖙𝖍𝕯𝖆𝖓

Heke even has some fun with the trolls and racists in the comments who try to tell him his culture is dead (what?).

@focuswithdan Credit to you all my AMAZING FOLLOWERS! #focuswithdan #maori #māori #followers #fyp #trolls ♬ original sound - sounds for slomo_bro!

Unfortunately, it's not just ignorant commenters who spew racist bile. A radio interview clip that aired recently called Maori people "genetically predisposed to crime, alcohol, and underperformance," among other terrible things. (The host, a former mayor of Auckland, has been let go for going along with and contributing to the caller's racist narrative.)

@focuswithdan #newzealand radio in 2021 delivering racist commentaries 🤦🏽‍♂️ #māori #maori #focuswithdan #racism DC: @call.me.lettie2.0 ♬ original sound - luna the unicow

That clip highlights why what Heke is sharing is so important. The whole world is enriched when Indigenous people like the Maori have their voices heard and their culture celebrated. The more we learn from each other and our diverse ways of life, the more enjoyable life on Earth will be and the better we'll get at collaborating to confront the challenges we all share.


This article originally appeared on 01.28.21