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You remember the mannequin challenge, right?

It was the viral video meme that occupied our time in 2016 between mourning celebrity deaths and googling "Brexit." The premise of the challenge was to stage a scene in which participants held perfectly still while a camera moved around or through them and music (usually the song "Black Beatles") played in the background, creating a mannequin-like visual effect.

Much like the "Harlem Shake" and the ice bucket challenge, the videos became increasingly elaborate and high profile, with everyone from Hillary Clinton to the Dallas Cowboys jumping in on the action.

Of course, holding still for brief periods of time comes more easily to some people than to others.

Which is exactly the point of a new, and very clever, entry to the mannequin challenge.

It comes from Parkinson's NSW, an Australia-based support network for people who have Parkinson's disease. They used the mannequin challenge concept to shine a powerful light on the disease's symptoms and the everyday struggles people with it face.

Parkinson's disease is a nervous system disorder that affects movement and can create tremors in the body. They're small at first but over time can become debilitating — making common, daily tasks nearly impossible to complete.

Since the very premise of the mannequin challenge involves standing perfectly still, something many people with Parkinson's cannot do, the message of the video is clear. "Until there's a cure, life is our challenge," reads the title card at the end of the video.

There is currently no cure for Parkinson's, but scientists believe that finding one is possible through further research.

According to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, there are currently 1 million Americans living with Parkinson's and approximately 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Research is dependent on funding, and funding is dependent on support and awareness, so using a viral trend is a brilliant idea that might make a real difference.

The ice bucket challenge, silly though it may have seemed at the time, actually did help fund a real breakthrough in finding a cure for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease). Viral trends can be weird and seemingly meaningless, but every once in a while, they can also really make a difference.

Watch the full Parkinson's NSW mannequin challenge video here:

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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People have clearly missed their free treats.

The COVID-19 pandemic had us waving a sad farewell to many of life’s modern conveniences. And where it certainly hasn’t been the worst loss, not having free samples at grocery stores has undoubtedly been a buzzkill. Sure, one can shop around without the enticing scent of hot, fresh artisan pizza cut into tiny slices or testing out the latest fancy ice cream … but is it as joyful? Not so much.

Trader Joe’s, famous for its prepandemic sampling stations, has recently brought the tradition back to life, and customers are practically dancing through the aisles.


On the big comeback weekend, people flocked to social media to share images and videos of their free treats, including festive Halloween cookies (because who doesn’t love TJ’s holiday themed items?) along with hopeful messages for the future.
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She's enjoying the big benefits of some simple life hacks.

James Clear’s landmark book “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones” has sold more than 9 million copies worldwide. The book is incredibly popular because it has a simple message that can help everyone. We can develop habits that increase our productivity and success by making small changes to our daily routines.

"It is so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis,” James Clear writes. “It is only when looking back 2 or 5 or 10 years later that the value of good habits and the cost of bad ones becomes strikingly apparent.”

His work proves that we don’t need to move mountains to improve ourselves, just get 1% better every day.

Most of us are reluctant to change because breaking old habits and starting new ones can be hard. However, there are a lot of incredibly easy habits we can develop that can add up to monumental changes.

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