“A balm for the soul”
Heroes

# This incredible illustration captures the entire known universe in a single image.

While poking fun at astronomer Carl Sagan in a now infamous sketch, comedy duo Tim and Eric once stated you wouldn’t want to put the universe into a tube.

Why? Because "you’d end up with a very long tube probably extending twice the size of the universe."

Of course!

GIF via Tim and Eric.

## So maybe the universe won’t fit in a tube. But what about cramming it into a single image?

It’s a pretty mind-blowing idea to be sure. Most of us have enough trouble mapping out our work weeks, let alone the entirety of known existence.

But that’s precisely what artist Pablo Carlos Budassi was able to do in the brilliant illustration below, which is an artist's depiction of the breadth of the observable universe.

## How did Budassi accomplish such an incredible, visually striking feat?

Well, first he consulted a series of logarithmic maps of the universe published by Princeton University researchers in 2005.

A logarithmic map is one that increases by an order of magnitude (a power of 10) instead of by equal increments. This type of map takes massive amounts of information and compresses it into a singular image that can be deciphered as easily as a third-grader’s "Favorite Pizza Topping" pie chart.

The visual representations of these maps, however, can be a bit hard to read for the average person.

Worst. Rorschach test. Ever. "Map of the Universe" by Gott & Juric, Princeton University, used with permission.

Not what you’d normally call easy on the eyes, amiright? It was exactly this ... let’s call it "lack of visual flair" that inspired Budassi to create the hypnotic image above.

The idea came to him while planning his son’s birthday party, according to Tech Insider.

He was creating hexaflexagons for the kids — a fancy way to describe those paper, choose-your-own-adventure origami thingies that were all the rage back in elementary school.

"When I was drawing hexaflexagons for my son's birthday souvenirs, I started drawing central views of the cosmos and the solar system," said Budassi, likely impressing anyone within earshot. "That day the idea of a logarithmic view came, and in the next days I was able to [assemble] it with Photoshop using images from NASA and some textures created [on] my own."

## The image is just as impressive close up, where you can see details of different parts of the universe.

Here's a zoomed-in shot:

I swear I can see my house from here. Image by Pablo Carlos Budassi/Wikimedia Commons.

## Set at the center of Budassi’s illustration of the observable universe is our solar system — Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and all the other neighbors.

Just beyond the orbit of Neptune lies the Kuiper belt — a massive, asteroid-type belt and home to dwarf planets Pluto, Haumea, and Makemake — then the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies.

Pulling back a bit, we see the cosmic web, a gargantuan, web-like structure consisting of several irregular galaxies which was first captured in an image just two years ago. At the very edges of Budassi’s map lie the cosmic microwave radiation and invisible plasma produced by the Big Bang.

## Never before has the insignificance of our entire existence been so beautifully rendered.

I kid, but Budassi’s illustration kind of puts into perspective how small we are in the grand scheme of things, does it not? Makes that 15-minute traffic delay on the way to the office seem, I dunno, not worth losing one’s cool over, maybe?

After all, when you think about it, even the big things are pretty tiny from a certain vantage point.

Parenting

## When a Patagonia employee breastfed her baby in a meeting her male VP's response was a masterclass in workplace values

### Talk about a "family-friendly workplace."

Years after it happened, Patagonia's approach to the "family-friendly workplace" is a whole new level that still deserves our attention - and praise.

The outdoor clothing and gear company has made a name for itself by putting its money where its mouth is. From creating backpacks out of 100% recycled materials to donating their \$10 million tax cut to fight climate change to refusing to sell to clients who harm the environment, Patagonia leads by example.

That dedication to principle is clear in its policies for parents who work for them, as evidenced by a 2019 viral post from Holly Morisette, a recruiter at Patagonia.

"While nursing my baby during a morning meeting the other day after a recent return from maternity leave, our VP (Dean Carter) turned to me and said...'There is no way to measure the ROI on that. But I know it's huge.'

It got me thinking...with the immense gratitude that I have for on-site childcare at Patagonia comes a responsibility to share a 'call to action'. A PSA to tout the extraordinary benefits that come along with not asking employees to make the gut wrenching decision to either leave their jobs or leave their babies. TO HAVE TO LEAVE THEIR JOBS OR LEAVE THEIR BABIES. That perhaps just one person will brave the subject with their employer (big or small) in the hopes that it gets the wheels turning to think differently about how to truly support working families.

That with a bit of creativity, and a whole lot of guts, companies can create a workplace where mothers aren't hiding in broom closets pumping milk, but rather visiting their babies for large doses of love and serotonin before returning to their work and kicking ass.

It's no wonder that Patagonia has 100% retention of moms. Keeping them close to their babies keeps them engaged. And engaged mothers (and fathers!) get stuff done. Thank you, Patagonia, for leading the way. "

Holly Morissette on LinkedIn: "While nursing my baby during a morning meeting the other day after a recent return from maternity leave, our VP (Dean Carter) turned to me and said..."There is no way to measure the ROI on that. But I know it's huge." It got me thinking...with the immense gratitude that I have for on-site childcare at Patagonia comes a responsibility to share a “call to action". A PSA to tout the extraordinary benefits that come along with not asking employees to make the gut wrenching decision to either leave their jobs or leave their babies. TO HAVE TO LEAVE THEIR JOBS OR LEAVE THEIR BABIES. That perhaps just one person will brave the subject with their employer (big or small) in the hopes that it gets the wheels turning to think differently about how to truly support working families. That with a bit of creativity, and a whole lot of guts, companies can create a workplace where mothers aren't hiding in broom closets pumping milk, but rather visiting their babies for large doses of love and serotonin before returning to their work and kicking ass. It's no wonder that Patagonia has 100% retention of moms. Keeping them close to their babies keeps them engaged. And engaged mothers (and fathers!) get stuff done. Thank you, Patagonia, for leading the way. " www.linkedin.com

Just the first eight words of Morisette's post are extraordinary. "While nursing my baby during a morning meeting..."

As if that's totally normal. As if everyone understands that working moms can be much more engaged and efficient in their jobs if they can feed their baby while they go over sales figures. As if the long-held belief that life and work must be completely separate is a construct that deserves to be challenged.

And then the comment from her male colleague about the ROI (Return on Investment) of breastfeeding—witty, considering the time and place, and yet so supportive.

On-site childcare so that parents don't have to choose between leaving their jobs or leaving their babies. Letting life integrate with work so that working families don't have to constantly feel torn in two different directions. Flexibility in meetings and schedules. Allowing for the natural rhythms and needs of breastfeeders. Making childcare as easy and accessible as possible so that employees can be more effective in their jobs.

All of this seems so profoundly logical, it's a wonder that more companies have not figured this out sooner. Clearly, it works. I mean, who has ever heard of a 100% retention rate for mothers?

Patagonia's got it goin' on. Let's hope more companies take their lead.

Family

## Nine common phone behaviors that are relationship red flags, according to couples therapist

### Some of these are surprising.

@couplesthearpywithjohnathan/Instagram, Photo credit: Canva

A couples therapist shares the 9 common phone habits that should be considered red flags.

Odds are we all have some bad phone habits that aren’t necessarily serving our intimate relationships. But those flaws, like scrolling through social media during time together, for instance, are totally manageable. A partner’s overt secrecy with their device, on the other hand, might warrant some real concern.

Still, experts usually suggest that we almost never check our significant other’s phones if we suspect questionable behavior, however tempting it may be. However, there are certain signs that one can be on the lookout for in order to make an informed decision.

Couples therapist Jonathan Van Viegen, MA MFT, recently shared the 9 phone behaviors that he and his wife “never let happen” in their marriage.

Most American couples tend to share passwords within a few months of dating. So if there’s reluctance to share passwords in a long term relationship, this could be a red flag.

2. Hiding their phone

Guess the saying of “if you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear” applies here.

3. Keeping phone face down

While it’s completely understandable to turn the phone face down to escape from a barrage of notifications, this could be something to take note of if you suspect your partner isn’t being truthful.

4. Turning body or phone away from you when they’re on it

Again, this isn’t inherently malicious. Perhaps this partner is simply trying to not distract themselves or their loved one. But it takes on new meaning if it’s combined with these other behaviors and it could spell problems.

5. Closing apps or locking phone when you approach them

This one is a lot less ambiguous, as the person is clearly trying to cover up their tracks.

As someone who’s watched my husband get locked out of accounts randomly and have to change his password countless times, I would argue that there are plenty of benign reasons for changing passwords. But again, in combination with other behaviors, I could see how this might get labeled as a red flag.

7. Hot and cold about you touching their phone.

If “sometimes it’s okay, other times it’s met with a big reaction,” then you’ve got yourself a red flag.

8. Gets angry or defensive when approached about their behavior

This is kind of a red flag for nearly any subject. Couples should be able to have difficult conversations. In this case, about the need for privacy. If they are aggressively “protective” about it, partners should maybe be wary.

9. Suddenly highly protective of their phone

If your partner goes from being completely open about sharing their phone to suddenly not wanting you near it, that could be a red flag. Unless of course they are currently trying to plan a surprise party for you (also speaking from experience here).

Van Viegen did add the disclaimer that while this set of rules works for his marriage, he’s not saying that everyone should “follow our example - so you do you. But be reassured knowing that at least one other couple in the world isn’t putting up with these disheartening red flags.”

## Solving Trust Issues in Relationships

Of course, for some couples, it might be less about looking for red flags and instead looking for ways to build, or rebuild trust. In another video, Van Viegen breaks down three steps to help with that.

1. Focus on Your Desired Future

Instead of getting stuck in past betrayals or breaches of trust, envision a future where trust is restored. Imagine what relationship would look like “when trust is fully restored,” and look for “small signs” that trust is returning, he advises.

2. Identify Exceptions

“Nothing is all bad all the time. Reflect on those times when trust was felt, even if it was small or brief…By examining these exceptions, you’ll store moments in your memory bank where trust was possible—allowing you to build on those moments,” Van Viegen writes.

Get a clear picture of where your relationship currently stands when it comes to trust on a scale of 1-10. And keep asking yourself “On a scale of 1 to 10, how much trust do I feel in my partner right now?” and “What would need to happen to move that number up just one point?” throughout the process. As with most things, recording progress is very helpful.

For more tips like this, give Van Viegen a follow on Instagram here.

Health

## Here's why you're probably waking up right at 3 or 4 in the morning and how to make it stop

### It happens to just about everyone.

A woman with her eye mask on in bed.

Do you often wake up at 3 or 4 a.m. with an intense feeling of anxiety? Do you get stressed that you’re awake and begin making a mental laundry list of everything you need to do the next day? Do you start thinking about fights you once had with your spouse or ponder how you have let yourself down in the past?

If so, you’re not alone. It’s common for people to wake up at 3 or 4 a.m. regularly and there’s a reason why we choose this time to catastrophize and worry. The good news is that there are some steps we can take to get through that awkward phase of the night so we can wake up refreshed.

## Why do I wake up at 3 or 4 a.m. every night?

Many of us reliably wake up in the middle of the night because after we’ve had a good chunk of sleep, our bodies start to slowly prepare us for the day by reducing melatonin, the hormone that puts us to sleep and increasing levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

That biological phase of sleep is why we start to feel stressed.

A woman wakes up in the middle of the nightvia Oscar Calstrom/Pexels

After the big hormone release at 3 or 4 in the morning, if you are dealing with stress in your life, you are more likely to wake up. If your life is calmer and you don’t already have a stress baseline, you will probably wake up, fall asleep quickly and forget that it happened.

## Why do I wake up feeling stressed in the middle of the night?

If you’re already experiencing stress in your life, that extra cortisol kick is going to cause you to wake up with a feeling of anxiety. The problem is that when we’re lying in bed in the middle of the night, we are in a vulnerable position. “Around this time in the sleep cycle, we’re at our lowest ebb physically and cognitively. From nature’s viewpoint, this is meant to be a time of physical and emotional recovery, so it’s understandable that our internal resources are low,” Greg Murray, a psychology researcher with expertise in mood, sleep, and the circadian system, writes in The Conversation.

“But we also lack other resources in the middle of the night – social connections, cultural assets, all the coping skills of an adult are unavailable at this time,” Murray continues. “With none of our human skills and capital, we are left alone in the dark with our thoughts. So the mind is partly right when it concludes the problems it’s generated are unsolvable – at 3 a.m., most problems literally would be.”

At this moment, when we’re stressed and feeling vulnerable, stuck in bed with no way out, we can begin to spiral. This is when we ruminate on why we forgot to feed the dog that one day in 1994 or contemplate why things went bad with your first significant other at 21. It’s when we start recalling a disagreement with a friend and plotting out what we’ll say the next time the issue arises.

At this point, if we don’t stop spiraling, we’ll be up until 5 a.m. and will feel like garbage when it’s time to go to work.

The good news is that there are ways to get back to sleep and stop the downward anxiety spiral.

Make a list

Dr. Jade Wu says that if you wake up and feel stressed about things you need to take care of, walk out of your room (so you don’t associate it with stressors) and make a list to read in the morning. This will free you of your worries, because you know you can care for them when you are awake.

Murray says you should redirect your attention from your thoughts to your breath, which is a form of meditation. “I bring my attention to my senses, specifically the sound of my breath. When I notice thoughts arising, I gently bring my attention back to the sound of breathing,” Murray writes in The Conversation. This works in 2 ways: first, it takes your attention away from your spiraling thoughts and second, the breathing exercise helps you relax.

Have a bite to eat

Sometimes, we wake up in the middle of the night because we’re hungry and our blood sugar is dropping. “The first question I ask [my patients] is, ‘When was the last time you ate?’” Michael Breus, Ph.D. psychologist specializing in sleep disorders, told Sleep.com. “Often, they’ve finished their last meal at 7 p.m.; now it’s 3 in the morning — that’s eight hours later — so guess what? They’re out of fuel.” If you’ve woken up because of a drop in blood sugar, experts recommend eating a small snack that includes protein and fat, like peanut butter.

Identity

## 'I wanted to jump like a girl.' Pole vaulter Sam Kendricks credits women for his success.

### The Olympic silver medalist was asked who he wanted to jump like when he was younger. His answer was everything.

Photo credit: filip bossuyt from Kortrijk, Belgium

Sam Kendricks competing at the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics

Sam Kendricks is an excellent pole vaulter, as evidenced by his multiple national and World Championship wins and his two Olympic medals in the track & field event, and he credits the women in his sport for his rise to the top.

A reporter asked Kendricks, who took home the silver medal at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, who he wanted to jump like when he was younger, and his answer was refreshing.

## Kendricks turns the tables on doing something 'like a girl'

"I wanted to jump like a girl," he said. "It's funny, I was a great loser. I was not the gifted athlete. And at every level in the beginning I was jumping with the girls. And not because they weren't good, but because I can learn a lot from them and they beat me every time. And I learned how to jump like Stacy Dragila, the first Olympic champion in the women's pole vault…I jump like a girl.

Kendricks said that women saved the sport of pole vault because it was too dangerous in the past. He said 17 or 18 young men have died pole vaulting, but no women have.

"Women prove that people can be smart and still pole vault. So it made coaches and athletes get smarter. And girls know how to pole vault because it's different speed, you can't hide flaws. Some of the greatest girls are the best technicians, right? You can't argue that."

Watch:

## Women have only been pole vaulting in the Olympics since 2000

People may be surprised to learn how young women's pole vault is as a competitive sport. There wasn't a World Championships for the event until 1999 and women's pole vault was only added to the Olympics in the Sydney games in 2000. (For comparison, men have been pole vaulting in the Olympics since 1896.)

Kendricks casually but confidently giving kudos to women in pole vault is important on multiple levels. For one, seeing a man name a woman as his role model in a sport is unusual. The pioneers of women's sport only had men to look to for training examples and heroes, so seeing the reverse is a heartening sign of a more level playing field. But Kendrick goes a step further in saying that women have made pole vault better. Gender parity isn't just about balancing inequalities—it can actually be beneficial for everyone in the sport.

"What a great guy, its so refreshing to hear him say all this."

"It's almost as if learning from those that have been disadvantaged and found ways to overcome their hurdles, rather than those that depend on luck's gifts, is the best way to become your best self. Who'd have thunk it."

"Open-minded observation leading to smart tactics. That's what we are talking about."

"AND, look how nothing was taken away from him? He complimented, valued, learned and respected a woman/women, and he is just the same person/man, if not better! Who knew? What a great leader for today's men."

"So wonderful to listen to a man so comfortable in his masculinity and prowess that he can actually compliment and acknowledge women's accomplishments without having to lash out and try to destroy. Thank you for your maturity."

## Gender parity in sports is beneficial for everyone

Some people pointed out that women frequently have better technique in various sports than men because they can't rely on sheer muscle strength to power through moves. So men can—and do—learn about more effective technique from women.

"Observing and learning from women often leads to better technique. Guys will try to muscle out a move, for most women that is not an option."

"They had to create the correct technique; they couldn’t just be strong. I think it’s the same with rock climbing too."

"I’m no professional athlete, but I’ve learnt (Japanese) archery in the past. And just like him, I was a struggling loser, when I decided to watch closely both men and women, and decided to try to mimic women. In one year, I went from hopeless to one of the main members of my school for the reasons he listed: girls don’t 'brute force' their way with bad technique, in general. Copying their technique was the best choice I ever made in sports."

"This has been true in the sports I participate in as well: snowboarding, now climbing, and skydiving. Women tend to have some of the best technique and most efficient movement."

"When I coached junior college soccer I would recruit players without a lot of soccer experience, such as basketball players to fill out the roster. I would always tell them to watch high level women’s soccer, like the USA national team because they were technically superior."

Beautiful. Here's to women's sports taking their rightful place in international competitions and here's to the men who recognize, acknowledge and celebrate the ways women having opportunities to compete helps make sports better for everyone.

Culture

## Paul Rudd's reaction to being named Sexiest Man Alive is perfectly Paul Rudd

### Nothing exemplifies why Rudd was named Sexiest Man Alive more than his reaction to it.

Paul Rudd has been named People's 2021 Sexiest Man Alive.

In perhaps the most universally agreed-upon choice it's ever made, and one of the most surprising, People magazine named Paul Rudd as 2021's Sexiest Man Alive. Even if it's been a few years, it may take some time for that to sink in. I mean we, still can't get over it and present this as evidence that he should be given the new title of Sexiest Man Alive Emeritus.

Rudd, with his boyish grin and flawless skin, is certainly cute. But when you add in his well-established talent and extreme likability, the miraculously immortal icon is equally beloved by rom com fanatics, hipsters and Marvel obsessed comic book fans. He's got it all—the eyes, the hair, the teeth, the bod, as well as the acting chops, the humor, the humility and the genuine nice-guy-ness that makes a man sexy in the eyes of most, if not all, of us.

Nothing exemplifies why Rudd was named Sexiest Man Alive more than his reaction to it.

Check out what he told People:

"I do have an awareness, enough to know that when people hear that I'd be picked for this, they would say, 'What?' This is not false humility. There are so many people that should get this before me."

Humility = sexy.

"When I think about myself, I think of myself as a husband and a father," he said. "Like I'm that. I just hang out with my family when I'm not working. That's what I kind of like the most." (Rudd has been married to his wife Julie for 18 years and they have two kids, Jack, 17, and Darby, 12.)

Family man = super sexy.

"She was stupefied," Rudd said about wife's reaction to the news. "But you know she was very sweet about it. After some giggling and shock, she said 'Oh, they got it right.' And that was very sweet. She was probably not telling the truth, but what's she going to say?"

Sweet husband = oh so sexy.

After saying his friends were going to give him "so much grief" for the title, he added:

"As they should. I would. I mean I'm going to lean into it hard. I'm going to own this. I'm not going to try to be like 'Oh, I'm so modest.' I'm getting business cards made. But all of my friends will destroy me and I expect them to. And that's why they're my friends."

True friendship = Sexy sexy sexy.

Finally, on how his life will change after the title:

"I'm hoping now that I'll finally be invited to some of those sexy dinners with Clooney and Pitt and B. Jordan. And I figure I'll be on a lot more yachts. I'm excited to expand my yachting life. And I'll probably try to get better at brooding in really soft light. I like to ponder. I think this is going to help me become more inward and mysterious. And I'm looking forward to that."

That signature sassy sarcasm that somehow makes him sound self-deprecating = SO DARN SEXY.

He said he had to read the email twice when he received the news, and his first reaction was "Oooh, get ready for outrage."

But of course, there is no outrage because Paul Rudd is a perfect choice. He is *just* unconventionally sexy enough to keep the title interesting, but also totally, 100%, undeniably sexy. Nailed it, People.

And just to add one more fun bit to the mix, watch Stephen Colbert put Paul Rudd through a rigorous audition process to see if he was worthy of being named Sexiest Man Alive:

Which, of course, he is. In both mind and body, as Colbert so hilariously demonstrates:

Thank you, People, for finally acknowledging the obvious. And thanks for the #crushforlife hashtag that speaks for all of us.