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Want to keep your BFF game strong despite distance? Try these 9 tips.

Long-distance friendship is the new long-distance romance.

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Life has a tendency to throw a lot of curve balls our way.

A new job, a new relationship, or simply a desire to see more of the world often forces us to make the toughest decisions, like moving away from the places we grew up (and those we grew up with).

And while you can pick up any magazine or scan through countless blog posts for tips on how to maintain a long-distance romantic relationship, there is significantly less information available about how to do the same with long-distance friendships.


Image via iStock.

The good news is, the digital age is making it easier than ever to keep in touch with those we love, platonically or otherwise, and social media has made it almost impossible to fall out of touch with friends regardless of area code or time zone. If you're about to be away from your closest friends for a long time, don't fret.

Take Toronto-born illustrator Hatecopy and Indian artist Babbu the Painter, who have been best friends since 2015. When Babbu embarked on a six-month trip to India at the beginning of this year, their friendship was put to the test — a test they passed with flying colors thanks to daily interactions on various forms of social media. They're just one example of friends who have stayed close through the power of social media.

It might not be easy, but the truth is that the digital age has made it easier than ever before to follow Hatecopy and Babbu's example and stay connected no matter how much distance lies between you and your bestie.

Here are nine ways friends keep that long distance friendship alive:

1. Make a plan.

Living multiple time zones apart can present a real challenge in terms of communication. But simply mapping out the day and finding the peak hours (or even minutes) to chat with your BFF can make all the difference and give you both something to look forward to.

2. Stay committed.

Image via iStock.

Long-distance friendships require a lot of effort from both parties involved if they are to work. This means occasionally putting in some late-night hours and making a real effort to chat even if you might be a little too worn out from the day to do so.

3. Don't be afraid to harness the power of social media to stay in touch.

4. Remember that you can never share too many silly animal photos to lift each other's spirits.

For example, here's Babbu using the power of animal photos to put her BFF in a good "mooed," if you will.

5. Use social media as a wellspring of memories and jokes to build off of or look back on.

I am SO lucky to have had Karissa Goellner visit this weekend! There is just something so refreshing about being with...

Posted by Haley Armstrong on Sunday, January 31, 2016

6. Make the goal of each interaction you have online to make each other laugh.

There's nothing like a good goofball stand-off to get the endorphins pumping no matter where you are in the world. And hey, if you don't have much time together, you'll want to keep every second as enjoyable as possible.

7. Make the person you're taking to feel like the only person in the world at that moment.

Make each minute count, shut out other distractions, and make it all about you guys.

Image via iStock.

8. See it as an opportunity to get a glimpse into a different world.

Hatecopy and Babbu, for example, used the near 10-hour time difference between them to compare (or lament) the vastly different choices in Indian and Canadian cuisine.

Image via Hatecopy/WhatsApp.

9. Try to embrace the perks of a long-distance relationship.

They give you reasons to travel, they inspire more active communication, and for likeminded professionals like Hatecopy and Babbu, they allow you to receive an outside, unbiased opinion on your work that a friend may not be willing to give in person. ‌‌

"We've faced obstacles and challenges together that made us almost inseparable," Hatecopy told The Fader. "Our friendship allows both of us to express our creativity without judgement, and give each other a second pair of eyes to proof and improve on our work."‌‌

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Our home, from space.



Sixty-one years ago, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to make it into space and probably the first to experience what scientists now call the "overview effect." This change occurs when people see the world from far above and notice that it’s a place where “borders are invisible, where racial, religious and economic strife are nowhere to be seen.”

The overview effect makes man’s squabbles with one another seem incredibly petty and presents the planet as it truly is, one interconnected organism.


In a compelling interview with Big Think, astronaut, author and humanitarian Ron Garan explains how if more of us developed this planetary perspective we could fix much of what ails humanity and the planet.

Garan has spent 178 days in space and traveled more than 71 million miles in 2,842 orbits. From high above, he realized that the planet is a lot more fragile than he thought.

“When I looked out the window of the International Space Station, I saw the paparazzi-like flashes of lightning storms, I saw dancing curtains of auroras that seemed so close it was as if we could reach out and touch them. And I saw the unbelievable thinness of our planet's atmosphere. In that moment, I was hit with the sobering realization that that paper-thin layer keeps every living thing on our planet alive,” Garan said in the video.

“I saw an iridescent biosphere teeming with life,” he continues. “I didn't see the economy. But since our human-made systems treat everything, including the very life-support systems of our planet, as the wholly owned subsidiary of the global economy, it's obvious from the vantage point of space that we're living a lie.”

It was at that moment he realized that humanity needs to reevaluate its priorities.

“We need to move from thinking economy, society, planet to planet, society, economy. That's when we're going to continue our evolutionary process,” he added.

Garan says that we are paying a very “high price” as a civilization for our inability to develop a more planetary perspective and that it’s a big reason why we’re failing to solve many of our problems. Even though our economic activity may improve quality of life on one end, it’s also disasterous for the planet that sustains our lives.

It’s like cutting off our nose to spite our face.

Actor William Shatner had a similar experience to Garan's when he traveled into space.

"It was among the strongest feelings of grief I have ever encountered," Shatner wrote. "The contrast between the vicious coldness of space and the warm nurturing of Earth below filled me with overwhelming sadness. Every day, we are confronted with the knowledge of further destruction of Earth at our hands: the extinction of animal species, of flora and fauna … things that took five billion years to evolve, and suddenly we will never see them again because of the interference of mankind."

“We're not going to have peace on Earth until we recognize the basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality,” Garan said.

However dire the situation looks from the surface of Earth, the astronaut has hope that we can collectively evolve in consciousness and wake up and embrace a larger reality. “And when we can evolve beyond a two-dimensional us versus them mindset, and embrace the true multi-dimensional reality of the universe that we live in, that's when we're going to no longer be floating in darkness … and it's a future that we would all want to be a part of. That's our true calling.”


This article originally appeared on 12.16.22

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.

Photo credit: Canva, @anabelmadrigal/TikTok

This is going to really gross some people out.

Few condiments are as polarizing as mayonnaise. There’s seemingly no middle ground—you’re either grossed out at the mere mention of it, or you love to slather it on practically everything.

For those that fall into the latter category, it might come as no surprise that recently, mayo-loving Costco customers bonded over the woeful fact that the retailer does not offer mayo packets for their famous 1.50 hot dogs.

The conversation got so passionate that Hellmann’s Mayonnaise ended up getting involved.


Perhaps it all started with this TikTok below, in which a Costco customer who “doesn’t even like mayo that much” but swear that the condiment on a hot dog hit different” showed themselves taking a ziploc bag of mayo from home and layering it onto the Costco dog as though frosting a cake.

Let’s just say…not everyone was on board with this.

@anabelmadrigal like not even the little pack of mayo, WHAT IS THE REASON ?! 😫😫😫 i also dont like mayo THAT much but it hits different on a hotdog >> 😫 #costco #costcofood #hotdog #mayo #humor #fyp #diy #food ♬ sad SpongeBob music - michael

“Mayo on hotdog is a disease. Get well soon,” one person wrote.

Still, many mayo lovers banded together in support of the idea.

“Finally, I found my people,” one person wrote.

Meanwhile, another said, “as a mayo lover you just opened my eyes.”

Quite a few even admitted to carrying personal mayo packets themselves.

A similar conversation blew up on the Costco subreddit, where the original post read ““I don’t understand why my Costco doesn’t have mayonnaise for the hotdogs. They’re my favorite condiment for them and no matter how many requests I do they don’t even respond.”

Funny enough, the top suggestion to solve this problem was to “Buy a giant box of single serve packets from Costco Business Center. Put a few packs in your pockets. Put the mayo on your hot dogs.”

Eventually word got to Hellmann’s, which unveiled a hilarious—though undoubtedly fake—contraption to end this grievance for good on the company’s Instagram page.

“It’s come to our attention that some of you are bringing your own mayo to hot dog spots where mayo isn’t offered,” the caption read.

“So today, we’re announcing the development of the Mini Mayo Dispenser: an innovative, miniaturized mayo delivery device designed to support mayo-on-dog lovers everywhere–especially consumers of our friends’ iconic, delicious, and beloved $1.50 hot dogs.”

Take a look at this very official looking set of blueprints below:

And oh how the mayo fans rejoiced.

“Now 🌭 THAT 🌭 is 🌭 innovation,” one person wrote.

“Genius! 👏” commended another.

As for the folks who have read this far in an article about mayo and have been resisting the urge to vomit: we commend you for our bravery, and there’s also some interesting reasons behind that visceral reaction.

According to an article from The Takeout, one could be that the combo of colorlessness and slippery texture can remind us of certain…bodily fluids, which our “lizard brain” associated with rot and decay. That would definitely explain why some anti-mayo folk can easily handle more colorful alternatives like aioli.

Either way, as long as there are egg yolks, oil and vinegar in this world, mayo-heads will fight the good fight to keep it in its rightful place…which is everywhere.

Woman stole someone's window seat on plane, how to respond

Most everyone has been in a situation once or twice where you look down at your ticket while boarding your flight to double check your seat number only to find someone already sitting in your seat.

Typically the person responds respectfully and with a slight twinge of embarrassment as their error is pointed out to them. It happens to just about everyone at least once. There's no shame in accidentally sitting in the wrong seat.

But what happens when you notice someone sitting in your seat but instead of them excusing themselves from your space, they direct you to sit in their seat? Their middle seat. Unless your original seat was in the lavatory, there is likely zero world where being told to sit in the middle seat feels like an upgrade. There's nothing wrong with the middle seat per se, but unless your seat mate is your partner, friend or family member, you're squished between two strangers fighting for armrest space.


There are all sorts of qualms people have about the middle seat. Having to step over someone to get to the bathroom, having other people step over you to get to the bathroom, someone inevitably falling asleep on your shoulder. The list could go on but it just comes down to comfort, which is why many people pay for a window or aisle seat. But it can feel like you've hit the jackpot when the airline seats you in a window seat without you having to pay an upgrade fee. That's exactly what happened to this Reddit user.

The airline gods shone down on them that day and gifted them with a window seat that they were thoroughly looking forward to only to discover it occupied.

"It was an 8 hour flight, and I wanted to sleep with the wall support the window seat offers. However, when I get on the plane, a lady is in my seat. She says 'oh, I didn’t realize. You can just sit here' and points to the middle seat. I have a hard time with confrontation so I just accepted it. If this were to happen again, how do I respond," u/Hairy_Visual9339 asks.

Commenters were quick to give the timid flyer advice for future encounters with audacity filled seat mates.

Photo of airplane seats with overlay of Reddit screenshot

Photo credit: Canva/Reddit Screenshot

"No, that doesn't really work for me. I'd like my seat," one person quipped.

Another offered their own anecdote as a cautionary tale, "Made the mistake of not doing this on a train. Only one other person in whole carriage, of course it's my seat. They have a laptop set up act like I'm being very unreasonable and so I sit somewhere else. Fine whatever. Four hours into 8 hour journey and the train is now complete full. I've been forced to move seats twice already, everything is booked and I'm some desperate, seat-less vagabond with nowhere to store my suitcases, wandering the aisles in vain, despite having a perfectly good reservation."

When all else fails, tattle, "just say, "I'd rather have my window seat thanks." and if that doesn't work tell a flight attendant."

"My response is always “oh, no thank you” and I just stare at them until they move," someone shares.

Just because you're an adult doesn't mean you can't tell another adult so they can fix the situation when your discontent is being ignored, in one person's case, let the help come to you.

"Some guy tried to take my seat and stick me in his middle seat across the aisle so he could sit with his wife and teenager and I said “oh, no thank you. I picked this seat intentionally when I checked in”. He starts throwing a hissy fit, trying to get me to take his shitty middle seat and the flight attendant swooped in like a freaking goddess, and told him to move. He goes to the other side, still bitching, and banged his head on the luggage compartment so hard that three rows worth of people audibly gasped," says a commenter.

Study showing increased divorce when wife is ill is wrong

It was the study that shook views of marriage across the country. Researchers concluded that men simply couldn't handle the "sickness" part of their wedding vows, consistently bowing out of their marriage if their wife became sick. The results of the study were cited everywhere and you can still find them being regurgitated in hot take internet think pieces.

The paper is titled “In Sickness and in Health? Physical Illness as a Risk Factor for Marital Dissolution in Later Life," and the findings were reported on by large publications. But it turns out the results have serious flaws causing the authors to rush to correct their mistake.

According to Retraction Watch, the first author, assistant professor at Iowa State University, Amelia Karraker "seems to be handling the case quickly and responsibly." The beauty of peer reviewed research is that there are multiple sets of eyes to check your work, which is what led to the discovery of the paper's flaws.


It was her colleagues from Bowling Green State that discovered the error while trying to duplicate the findings. The numbers kept coming up short of what was reported in the original paper.

"I sent them the statistical analysis file, which documents all of the steps as to how we came to all the estimates in the paper. And they pointed out to us, to our horror, that we had miscoded the dependent variable," Karraker tells the outlet.

The mistake had already been printed and republished on multiple media outlets, but the original writers of the paper contacted their editor to alert them of the error. While this error plays a large role in the high risk of divorce when a wife becomes ill, it doesn't completely eliminate it. The risk does still increase but it seems to increase in one health circumstance–heart problems. Other illnesses did not seem to have the same level of divorce risk. So what happened?

Woman in hospital bed

Photo credit: Canva

Well, according to Karraker, not all of the participants finished the study. Turns out the ones that left before the study ended were accidentally coded as having gotten divorced, when that couldn't have been determined since they were no longer participating. Karraker and her co-author got the participant information and data from a previous study conducted by University of Michigan which included data from 2,701 heterosexual marriages.

The study focused on four serious diseases: heart disease, stroke, cancer and lung disease showing an increase in divorce risk if the wife falls ill versus the husband. While Karraker's results were flawed due to the unfortunate mistake, other studies who don't use her results show a significant increase in divorce rates when the wife becomes seriously ill.

In the study "Gender disparity in the rate of partner abandonment in patients with serious medical illness" by Michael J. Glantz, MD et al, the authors explain, "female gender was found to be the strongest predictor of separation or divorce in each cohort." Glantz shares that divorce rate was 11.6% for cancer patients, which is similar to the average. "There was, however, a greater than 6-fold increase in risk after diagnosis when the affected spouse was the woman (20.8% vs 2.9%; P < .001)"

via Kelsey Dawn Williamson / Facebook

An unexpected statement on a Frog and Toad T-shirt.



Kelsey Dawn Williamson, 23, from Benton, Illinois has ordered over 50 shirts from AliExpress, an online retailer based out of Hangzhou, China. But when the Frog and Toad shirt she ordered on May 10 arrived, she "literally did not know how to react so I just took a few moments to stare at it and try to process."

The infant-sized shirt has a picture of the iconic reptiles from the children's book series riding old-fashioned bikes with "FUCK THE POLICE" written at the bottom.


Williamson posted a photo of her daughter Salem in the shirt on Facebook and it quickly went viral.

The shirt that was delivered looked exactly like the one in the online store, just without the caustic N.W.A. lyric.

China, comedy, NWA

Frog and Toad T-shirt that was advertised.

aliexpress.com

While it seems utterly bizarre that someone would create a shirt with "FUCK THE POLICE" written beneath a picture of Frog and Toad — a duo who've never been known to harbor ill will against law enforcement — there's a good reason.

Memes featuring Frog and Toad are so popular they have their own subreddit. The shirtmaker, who probably doesn't have a license to use Frog and Toad, must have got the photo from a Google search. The person who made the shirt was most likely Chinese and either didn't speak English or has a very poor eye for detail.

After Williamson received the shirt, she Facetimed her husband and they screamed together. "We both just lost it, dying of laughter," she told Buzzfeed. "All he could say was 'Oh shit.'"

"I've told [Salem], 'People really like your frog shirt!'" Williamson said. But she's not letting her child wear the offensive shirt to preschool. "It's going in her baby box so we can bring it up when she's older."

Unfortunately, the incident has been all laughs for Williamson. She's received messages from people who've fat-shamed her daughter.

trolling, body shaming, negative feedback

The online trolling.

via Kelsey Dawn Williamson / Facebook

Frog and Toad memes, memes, fuck the police

Nothing nice to say.

via Kelsey Dawn Williamson / Facebook

e-commerce, Facebook, children\u2019s books

A positive message.

via Kelsey Dawn Williamson / Facebook

"People were actually messaging me just to say mean things about her," she said. "A ton of people calling her fat, asking me what I feed her to make her so big, telling me the shirt I bought was too small."

But Williamson has remained strong and fought back against the shamers. She edited her post to address her daughter's weight but refuses to take it down. "SHE SEES SPECIALISTS FOR HER WEIGHT. SHE CANT HELP IT. I CANT HELP IT. MY HUSBAND CANT HELP IT. IT IS OUT OF OUR CONTROL. JUST LAUGH AT THE FUNNY SHIRT," Williamson wrote on Facebook.

That's right people, just laugh at the funny shirt, and stay out of people's business.

children\u2019s literature, encouragement, education, social behavior

Frog says, “Come at me, bro!"

This article originally appeared on 06.01.19