This week's Upworthiest stories: The only way to win a discussion and 18 more.

How to have better conversations. A clever project that makes art out of food. A look at what Ayn Rand would think of Paul Ryan. Reflections from a writer taking a year-long break from the Internet. And more. Enjoy!


Arts and Culture

How We Talk To One Another / Nick Pyati / Gotta Have A Code

"The only way to 'win' a discussion is to come away with the soundest position possible, regardless of whether it is what you believed when you came in." How often do you discuss, versus just debate?




The Best Exam Question Ever / Chris Blattman

A short and sweet blog post on a short and sweet exam question.




Urban Meyer Will Be Home For Dinner / Wright Thompson / ESPN

A spectacular piece on the price of perfectionism, the quest for balance, and the promises a star football coach made to his family on the way to redemption.





Big Appetites / Christopher Boffoli

An immensely enjoyable and witty art project; the bar code lineup, cinnamon lumberjacks, and unionized mustard spreader are my favorites.




PSY's Gangnam Style Is The Best Invisible Horse-Riding Rap Video You'll See All Week / Melissa Locker / Time

This tongue-in-cheek Korean music video has gone global, thanks to its infectious beats, over-the-top fashion, and wry sense of humor. (via Bo)




Politics and World Affairs

Atlas Spurned / Jennifer Burns / The New York Times

What Ayn Rand would think of Paul Ryan and other politicians who claim her as their intellectual inspiration.




Philanthropist Wants To Be Rid Of His Last $1.5 Billion / Jim Dwyer / The New York Times

Inspiring story of a self-made billionaire who gave anonymously for decades, still flies coach, and intends for his foundation to spend all its money and close its doors by 2020.




Big Med / Atul Gawande / The New Yorker

The always-worth-reading surgeon and writer asks what hospitals can learn from restaurant chains like the Cheesecake Factory.




Have Obama And Romney Forgotten Afghanistan? / Dexter Filkins / The New Yorker

"After eleven years, more than four-hundred billion dollars spent and two thousand Americans dead," we've built a deeply corrupt and weak Afghan government. What happens when we leave?




What Would It Take To Start A Gun Control Debate In The US? / Ethan Zuckerman / My Heart's In Accra

Important piece on "agenda setting" — how what is debated and acted on in politics is actually decided.




Business and Economics

Alan Greenspan On His Fed Legacy And The Economy / Devin Leonard and Peter Coy / BusinessWeek

A surprisingly candid Greenspan on how Ayn Rand changed his life, how he met his wife Andrea Mitchell, and why his speeches were so filled with jargon and "Fed speak."





World's Largest Economies / Andrew Bergmann / CNN Money

Animated chart shows the rise of various economies from 2000 to 2017 (projected); it's interesting to watch China go from 1/10 to 2/3 of the US in that time.




Working 9 To 12 / Richard Posner / The New York Times

John Maynard Keynes predicted we'd become so productive that we'd only need to work 15 hours a week. This book review looks at our lack of leisure and asks if that's a bad thing.




Dear Facebook Employees: Here's The Truth About Your Stock Price / Henry Blodget / Business Insider

Long, clear, and well-argued case for why Facebook's stock is still overvalued and likely won't hit bottom for a while.




Science and Technology

Are We All Braggarts Now? / Elizabeth Bernstein / The Wall Street Journal

One side effect of Facebook, Twitter, and the like: "We've become so accustomed to boasting that we don't even realize what we're doing."




The Desert That Creates The Rainforest / Maggie Koerth-Baker / Boing Boing

How a small patch of African desert makes the biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest possible. (via Albert)




Thomas Kuhn: The Man Who Changed The Way The World Looked At Science / John Naughton / The Guardian

An appreciation of "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions," a landmark book that undermined conventional notions of intellectual progress and introduced the phrase "paradigm shift."




Offline: How's It Going? / Paul Miller / The Verge

A technology writer who is getting paid to not use the Internet for a year weighs in on how his life is different, what he's learning, and what he misses.




Curiosity Rover: Martian Solar Day 2 / 360 Pano

Amazing: a 360-degree panoramic view from the Mars rover.




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Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."