Joy

# Watch this spooky smart cat figure out how to unjam and open a door all by itself

### The logical calculations are impressive to witness.

Photo by kitsanoo on Unsplash

Some cats are scary smart.

As someone who has had cats as pets all my life, I can attest to the range of intelligence our feline friends possess. Some cats have pebbles for brains, while others can wow you with their abilities.

Then there are the spooky smart cats. The ones you can see calculating in real time. The ones who convince you they could plot your demise if you don't bend to their whims and they'd probably leave no evidence.

Ones like the cat in a viral video (shared by @catshouldnt on X) who not only knew how to open a door but who figured out how to remove the door jam inserted at the top of the door first so it could successfully get out.

Even knowing the outcome, it's impressive to watch:

I've watched my cat calculate how to jump from the nightstand to the top cabinet of our closet, and that's always fun. The understanding of geometry and physics cats seem to intuitively possess is wild to witness, and the fact that my cat almost always makes seemingly impossible jumps perfectly never fails to impress me.

But this cat? This cat is on a whole other level. When you think about the thought process here, how any steps it requires in a specific order to open the door, it's pretty incredible that a cat could figure it out.

Commenters weighed in on Reddit with how their own cats handle doors:

"We had a cat like that when I was a kid. He would usually grab the knob and then swing his chonk ass back and forth to open it."

"My cat either rams it open with her head, pulls it open from the bottom, or jumps for the handle. She WILL get in eventually."

"Meanwhile one of my cats is completely defeated by a door that's open a inch."

"Meanwhile i have a cat door taped open because my cat is too dumb to push it."

"I met a cat that tried to claw through the hinge side of a door that was half open, then meow for help."

Seriously, cats' brains range from boxes of rocks to Einstein. It's incredible.

People like to compare cat and dog intelligence to human children and determine an age equivalent, but veterinarian Dr. Cathy Barnette shared on Cats.com that those comparisons aren't really accurate. A 2016 study did show that cats have about twice as many neurons as dogs, which could indicate that cats are smarter than dogs at the very least, but studies are mixed and intelligence in animals is notoriously difficult to measure.

There's no question about the smarts on this cat, though. If I were that owner, I think I'd be sleeping with one eye open.

Community

## Decluttering top of mind for 2024? This Facebook group can help

### This online community offers easy-to-implement advice for decluttering, organizing, and cleaning up your home and your life with support from 125,000 members.

With the new year comes plenty of resolutions we all vow to keep up with the best of intentions. But by February 1, our resolve has often waned as life gets in the way and things go back to how they were. What we all need a little more of is motivation.

When we participate in something collectively, it’s easier to meet goals and maintain the enthusiasm to get things done. While the support of a friend or two is great, imagine having the power of an entire online community cheering you on and offering advice along the way.

This is where the Daily Decluttering Challenge Facebook group comes in. This online community offers easy-to-implement advice for decluttering, organizing, and cleaning up your home and your life with support from 125,000 members.

“By building a network of people who can support and encourage you along the way, you can make progress towards your goals faster and more effectively. Remember, no one achieves success alone, and having a strong support system can make the difference in a goal set versus a goal achieved,” says Kristin Burke, a goal achievement coach.

In addition to tips for tidying up around the house, members share advice on how to tackle one thing at a time, where to donate excess items, and what they do to exercise more willpower to avoid buying new things.

For anyone hoping to declutter their lives in the new year, this Facebook group has the perfect challenge to get you started.

Beginning in January, members kicked off 2024 by focusing on junk mail, emails, and drawers for the first week. Then they will move into different areas of the house, breaking it up into one room a week. There will also be 17 different community chats that offer additional tasks to challenge you every 2-3 days and encourage you to keep going and know you’re not alone.

Here are a few tips from Stacey Smith, the group admin, to get you started:

1. Start small. Set a timer for 15 to 20 minutes and see what you can accomplish during this time.
2. Focus on a single area at a time. A lot of the group members recommend focussing on a flat surface area, such as your bedside table or an area near where you sit. Keeping a space decluttered that you always see can inspire you to take the next step.
3. Take pictures of your progress. You don’t always notice the progress that you’re making, so taking a before and after photo of your decluttering projects can help you see the transformation you’re making.
4. Break up your tasks. If you get overwhelmed, take a step back and break your project up into smaller tasks. For example, if you’re working on a junk drawer, start by getting rid of all the trash and broken items first so it becomes more manageable.
5. Don’t worry about how long it takes you. If it takes you a week to clean out a single drawer, that’s OK. It isn’t a race. The clutter didn’t happen overnight, so you can’t expect to have it cleared out overnight, either.

If you’ve got decluttering on your list of 2024 resolutions, this Facebook group is for you. Don’t be one of the 43% of people who quit their resolutions by the end of January. Instead, let the online peer support keep you motivated for January and all year long.

Family

## Gen X mom can’t understand why her Millenial and Gen Z kids watch TV with closed captions

### She came around after she heard their reasoning.

The generational caption debate is a big deal.

If you’re a Gen Xer or older, one surprising habit the younger generations developed is their love of subtitles or closed-captioning while watching TV. To older generations, closed-captioning was only for grandparents, the hearing impaired, or when watching the news in a restaurant or gym.

But these days, studies show that Millenials and Gen Z are big fans of captions and regularly turn them on when watching their favorite streaming platforms. A recent study found that more than half of Gen Z and Millenials prefer captions on when watching television.

It’s believed that their preference for subtitles stems from the ubiquity of captioning on social media sites such as TikTok or Instagram.

This generational change perplexed TikTokker, teacher and Gen X mother, Kelly Gibson.

### Always leaning! #genx #millennial #caption #learning

@gibsonishere

Always leaning! #genx #millennial #caption #learning

"I have three daughters, and they were here. Two of them are young millennials; the other one is an older Gen Z," Gibson explained in a video with over 400,000 views. "All of them were like, 'Why don't you have the captions on?'”

The mother couldn’t believe that her young kids preferred to watch TV like her grandparents. It just did not compute.

"My Gen X butt was shocked to find out that these young people have decided it's absolutely OK to watch movies with the captions going the whole time," she said jokingly.

But like a good mother, Gibson asked her girls why they preferred to watch TV with captioning, and their reason was straightforward. With subtitles, it’s easier not to lose track of the dialog if people in the room start talking.

"They get more out of it," Gibson explained. "If somebody talks to them in the middle of the show, they can still read and get what's going on even if they can't hear clearly. Why are young people so much smarter than us?"

At the end of the video, Gibson asked her followers whether they watch TV with subtitles on or off. "How many of you out there that are Millennials actually do this? And how many of you Gen Xers are so excited that this is potentially an option?" she asked.

Gibson received over 8,400 responses to her question, and people have a lot of different reasons for preferring to watch TV with captions.

“Millennial here. I have ADHD along with the occasional audio processing issues. I love captions. Also, sometimes I like crunchy movie snacks,” Jessileemorgan wrote. “We use the captions because I (GenX) hate the inability of the movie makers to keep sound consistent. Ex: explosions too loud conversation to quiet,” Lara Lytle added.

“My kids do this and since we can’t figure out how to turn it off when they leave, it’s become a staple. GenX here!” Kelly Piller wrote.

The interesting takeaway from the debate is that anti-caption people often believe that having writing on the screen distracts them from the movie. They’re too busy reading the bottom of the screen to feel the film's emotional impact or enjoy the acting and cinematography. However, those who are pro-caption say that it makes the film easier to understand and helps them stay involved with the film when there are distractions.

So who’s right? The person holding the remote.

Education

## A guy and his friends shared their travel plans. The results perfectly explain the wealth gap.

### What on Jeff Bezos's green earth did we just watch?

Sometimes you see something so mind-boggling you have to take a minute to digest what just happened in your brain. Be prepared to take that moment while watching these videos.

Real estate investor and TikTok user Tom Cruz shared two videos explaining the spreadsheets he and his friends use to plan vacations and it's...well...something. Watch the first one:

So "Broke Bobby" makes \$125,000 a year. There's that.

How about the fact that his guy has more than zero friends who budget \$80,000 for a 3-day getaway? Y'all. I wouldn't know how to spend \$80,000 in three days if you paid me to. Especially if we're talking about a trip with friends where we're all splitting the cost. Like what does this even look like? Are they flying in private jets that burn dollar bills as fuel? Are they bathing in hot tubs full of cocaine? I genuinely don't get it.

To be crystal clear here, the top 5 friends on the Forbes list are willing to spend more than double what the guy at the bottom of the Welfare 10 list makes per year on a 3-day guy's trip. I don't know what to do with this information.

But that's not even the full spreadsheet. It might make sense if this guy was just rich, had always been rich, only knew rich people, and therefore having multiple millionnaire friends was his normal. Surely that's some people's reality who were born into the 1%.

That's not the case here, though, because Cruz also has a Welfare 10 list. He says this group of friends who make less than \$100K a year call themselves that, and perhaps that's true. (If I were a part of this group, I might call myself a welfare case too because everything's relative and some of these dudes spend more in an hour of vacation than I spend on my mortgage each month.)

It's like we can see our society's wealth gap all laid out nice and neatly in a spreadsheet, only these people aren't even the uber-wealthy and uber-poor. This is just the range of this one guy's friends.

I have nothing against people who build success and wealth for themselves, and even \$5 million per year is hardly obscenely wealthy by billionaire standards. But Cruz says he's known most of his "welfare" friends since college, which presumably means most of those guys have college degrees and are making pittance in comparison with the Forbes list. One could claim the guy making \$5 million a year just works harder, but does he really work 100 times harder than the guy making \$50,000? Doubt it.

Money makes money, and after a certain threshold of wealth or income, it's actually quite easy to get and stay rich without actually "earning" more money, assuming you're reasonably wise and responsible. So maybe the guys who are willing to shell out \$125,000 for a week-long trip should offer to pay the travel expenses of the friends they "hang out with regardless of income" who don't even make that in a year, since that's probably just the interest they're making on their wealth anyway.

But what do I know? This is like an entirely different world to me and probably 99+% of Americans, as evidenced by some of the responses.

Naturally, there will be a range of incomes in any group of people, but 1) most of us don't actually know how much our friends make, and 2) even fewer of us make spreadsheets with that information in order to rank our friends and figure out who can go on which vacations.

People are just endlessly fascinating. That's all I've got.

Education

## Have you ever heard of the Ludlow Massacre? You might be shocked when you see what happened.

### It's important to know your history.

Strikers, Ludlow Tent Colony, 1914.

The early 1900s were a time of great social upheaval in our country. During the years leading up to the Ludlow Massacre, miners all around the country looking to make a better life for themselves and their families set up picket lines, organized massive parades and rallies, and even took up arms. Some died.

It's always worth considering why history like this was never taught in school before. Could it be that the powers that be would rather keep this kind of thing under wraps?

Here is Woody Guthrie's tribute to the good people who fought in the battles of Ludlow to help make a better tomorrow for everyone — you can just start the video and then start reading, if you wish:

100 years ago, the Rocky Mountains were the source of a vast supply of coal. At its peak, it employed 16,000 people and accounted for 10% of all employed workers in the state of Colorado. It was dangerous work; in just 1913 alone, the mines claimed the lives of over 100 people. There were laws in place that were supposed to protect workers, but largely, management ignored those, which led to Colorado having double the on-the-job fatality rate of any other mining state.

It was a time of company towns, when all real estate, housing, doctors, and grocery stores were owned by the coal companies themselves, which led to the suppression of dissent as well as overinflated prices and an extreme dependence on the coal companies for everything that made life livable. In some of these, workers couldn't even leave town, and armed guards made sure they didn't. Also, if any miner or his family began to air grievances, they might find themselves evicted and run out of town.

Strikers, Ludlow Tent Colony, 1914.

## The Union

The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) had been organizing for many years in the area, and this particular company, Colorado Fuel and Iron, was one of the biggest in the West — and was owned by the Rockefeller family, notoriously anti-union.

Put all this together, and it was a powder keg.

The Ludlow Colony before the massacre, 1914.

Strikers, Ludlow Tent Colony, 1914.

Strikers, Ludlow Tent Colony, 1914.

## Strike!

When a strike was called in 1913, the coal company evicted all the miners from their company homes, and they moved to tent villages on leased land set up by the UMWA. Company-hired guards (aka “goons") and members of the Colorado National Guard would drive by the tent villages and randomly shoot into the tents, leading the strikers to dig holes under their tents and the wooden beams that supported them.

Why did the union call for a strike? The workers wanted:

1. (equivalent to a 10% wage increase),
2. Enforcement of the eight-hour work day,
3. Payment for "dead work" that usually wasn't compensated, such as laying coal car tracks,
4. The job known as “Weight-checkmen" to be elected by workers. This was to keep company weightmen honest so the workers got paid for their true work,
5. The right to use any store rather than just the company store, and choose their own houses and doctors,
6. Strict enforcement of Colorado's laws, especially mine safety laws.

Cavalry charge on striker women in nearby Trinidad.

Militia and private detectives or mine guards, Ludlow.

## The Powder Keg Explodes

The attacks from the goons continued, as did the battles between scabs (strikebreakers) and the miners. It culminated in an attack on April 20, 1914, by company goons and Colorado National Guard soldiers who kidnapped and later killed the main camp leader and some of his fellow miners, and then set the tents in the main camp ablaze with kerosene. As they were engulfed, people inside the tents tried to flee the inferno; many were shot down as they tried to escape. Some also died in the dugouts below the burning tents. In the first photograph below, two women and 11 children died in the fire directly above them. A day that started off with Orthodox Easter celebrations for the families became known as the Ludlow Massacre.

The "Death Pit."

Rear view of ruins of tent colony.

Funeral procession for Louis Tikas, leader of Greek strikers.

## The 10-Day War

The miners, fresh off the murders of their friends and family members, tried to get President Woodrow Wilson to put a stop to the madness, but he deferred to the governor, who was pretty much in the pocket of the mine companies.

So the miners and those at other tent colonies quickly armed themselves, knowing that many other confrontations were coming. And they went to the mines that were being operated by scabs and forced many of them to close, sometimes setting fire to the buildings. After 10 days of pitched battle and at least 50 dead, the president finally sent in the National Guard, which promptly disarmed both sides.

## Union Victory

While close to 200 people died over the course of about 18 months before and after the battles at Ludlow and the union ultimately lost the election, the Ludlow Massacre brought a congressional investigation that led to the beginnings of child-labor laws and an eight-hour workday, among other things.

But it also brought national attention to the plight of these miners and their families, and it showed the resilience and strength that union people could display when they remained united, even in the face of extreme corporate and government violence. Historian Howard Zinn called it "the culminating act of perhaps the most violent struggle between corporate power and laboring men in American history." And the primary mine owner, John D. Rockefeller Jr., received a lot of negative attention and blame for what happened here.

The UMWA is still a solid union today, and there is a monument in Colorado to those who died in the Ludlow Massacre.

Image by Mark Walker/Wikimedia Commons.

This article was written by Brandon Weber and originally appeared on 08.14.14

Joy

## 1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

### Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Education

## PhD student shares her plan for a 'no buy year' that could save her thousands

### Small tweaks like this could help almost anyone get closer to their financial goals.

Many people find a no-buy year to be extremely helpful for their financial goals.

Everyone wants to save money. But with continuously rising costs, virtually no one knows how to make those lofty “10K in savings by 2025!” aspirations really happen.

One thing’s for sure—without some kind of plan, they most assuredly won’t happen. Which is why PhD student Mae Westrap created a detailed list of actions to make 2024 a “no-buy year."

For those who don’t know, a “no-buy year” is a self-imposed set of rules when it comes to extraneous spending. Though everyone’s “no-buy year” might look a little different, the general rule of thumb is to avoid unnecessary items or impulse purchases. That extra money can then go towards debt, savings, a larger, a more meaningful purchase, whatehaveyou.

Determined to stop “living paycheck-to-paycheck,” Westrap began taking a hard look at her finances and realizing that she wasn’t spending on “experiences or anything special,” leaving her to blame her situation on “pure laziness.”

And thus, her “no-buy” plan was born. And to hold herself accountable, she

's shared her journey on TikTok.

First up on the agenda: consolidating books and entertainment.

If you haven't perused your local library lately, do yourself a favor.

@miawestrap /TikTok

Westrap admitted that she spends way too much on books, and will often put down a book she has already purchased because the next new release has caught her eye (relatable). So to combat this, she purchased a library card, which she was amazed to discover how much her library card had in terms of new releases and even audio books, which made her able to also cancel her Audible subscription.

In addition, Westrap created a list of books she already had that she’s excited to read to keep her motivated to use what was already available. Plus, she went through and canceled streaming subscriptions she wasn’t using like Disney + and Paramount +.

Westrap's next goal might be a tad controversial: cutting out caffeine.

Pepsi is a "big no-no" for Westrap this year.

@miawestrap /TikTok

Westrap shared that she would be weaning herself off of her beloved Pepsi Max, which she currently bought 500-milliliter bottles of everyday that set her back about “a grand a year.”

“That’s like the big no-no of 2024,” Westrap said in her video.

And while this might trigger some coffee lovers out there, with cafes costing anywhere from \$1 to upwards of \$5+ a cup—depending how fancy you take your joe—it’s a habit worth looking at to see where costs could be cut.

Lastly, Westrap made a list that put items in one of three categories. Green (for items she could buy without question like groceries) Yellow (for items that could be bought if she has extra cash, like face cleanser) and a red list (for things she absolutely cannot buy, like Pepsi Max, books, clothes, etc.).

@miawestrap 2024 is the year of no cherry pepsi max. Not sure why I said I “bought” a library card, they’re free!!! #nobuyyear #nobuy2024 #nobuychallenge #lowbuyyear #budgeting ♬ original sound - Mia Westrap

While your no-buy list doesn’t have to look like Westrap’s, her template makes it easy to replicate in a way that does make a no-buy year work for you, especially as you figure out your own red, green and yellow categories.

Yes, a no-buy year does take some planning, but in addition to extra cash flow, you can also have peace of mind, a chance to declutter, more time and energy to spend on something more meaningful to you. Plus less consumption means less waste, meaning less damage to the environment.

It’s also good to note that you can commit to a no-buy month, rather than a full year. Or a no buy year for one item. Again, this should probably be a personal approach that’s challenging, but it doesn’t have to be extreme. And even if you “fail” in your no-buy attempts, you have still changed your relationship to shopping, which is a big win.

Bottom line: any goal, certainly a financial one, needs to be broken down into small actions that feel doable. A no-buy year is just one example of how to enact that principle.

Education

## Teacher explains how '90s kids never had water bottles in school and 'somehow' survived

### “Save some water for the fish!”

Miss Smith has some thoughts about water bottles in school.

Americans' attitudes about water have changed over the past 30 years. In the past, a common phrase on the athletic field was, “Don’t drink too much water, you’ll get a cramp,” and the only people with water bottles were hippies.

Now, people everywhere walk around with large water bottles, sometimes up to 64oz, attached to themselves like purses. It’s like people leave the house with the sincere belief that they will not be able to find potable water for the next 3 weeks.

The hydration craze has also meant that water bottles have become trendy status symbols and markers of personal identity. Are you more of a Yeti person or a Stanley?

The trend has also been passed down to our children, who are encouraged to bring water bottles to school daily. Miss Smith from the Popular Bored Teachers TikTok page had fun with the trend in a video that received over 1.5 million views.

“Does anyone over 30 remember being allowed to have a water bottle in their elementary classroom?” she asks in the video.

### Do you remember these days?

@bored_teachers

Do you remember these days?! #boredteachers #teachers #teacher

Miss Smith recalls the only water she had during school back in the day was at lunch or during snack and even then, the time she was allowed at the water fountain was limited.

"You were like gulping for life at that water fountain while kids behind you were like obnoxiously counting down or being like, 'She's getting more than 3 seconds!'" Then, the teacher would tap you on the shoulder, and you were done.

“Can you imagine if we did that to today’s kids? The emails! The calls I would get,” she continued.

The funny thing is that even though kids didn’t drink much water back in the day—and if they did, it was out of a fountain—somehow they survived. Now, we’re raising an entire generation that feels compelled to lug a heavy and costly bottle with them wherever they go, fearing they will suffer from dehydration.

The post resonated with many folks over 30 who lived through the dry days of pre-Millenium America.

"I hear all the time that behavior issues have risen since we were kids; my theory is we were too dehydrated to misbehave," LauraLadymon joked. "We didn’t have water bottles because they also didn’t want us to ever go to the bathroom," UA added. "I don’t remember drinking water as a kid. Unless it was from a hose, it was Kool-Aid or milk. How am I still alive?" Julia said.

The hydration craze was in the news recently after the new, limited edition Stanley + Starbucks water bottle was released at Target stores. The frenzy over the \$45 bottle had people camping outside Target and jumping counters to get their hands on newly designed bottles that are hot with younger women.

The bottles promise to keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for an extended period of time. So when you drop your daughter off at first period, her water is still cold by the 3:05 bell rings.

### Camped out at Target for the new viral pink Starbucks Stanley cup thing for my kiddo. Ridiculous? Yes. Fun? Also yes…😜#StanleyCup

@vincentmarcus

Camped out at Target for the new viral pink Starbucks Stanley cup thing for my kiddo. Ridiculous? Yes. Fun? Also yes…😜#StanleyCup