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.

## From political science to joining the fight against cancer: How one woman found her passion

### An unexpected pivot to project management expanded Krystal Brady's idea of what it means to make a positive impact.

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Cancer impacts nearly everyone’s life in one way or another, and thankfully, we’re learning more about treatment and prevention every day. Individuals and organizations dedicated to fighting cancer and promising research from scientists are often front and center, but we don’t always see the people working behind the scenes to make the fight possible.

While studying political science in college, Brady envisioned her future self in public office. She never dreamed she’d build a successful career in the world of oncology, helping cancer researchers, doctors and advocates continue battling cancer, but more efficiently.

Brady’s journey to oncology began with a seasonal job at a small publishing company, which helped pay for college and awakened her love for managing projects. Now, 15 years later, she’s serving as director of digital experience and strategy at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which she describes as “the perfect place to pair my love of project management and desire to make positive change in the world.”

As a project manager, Brady helps make big ideas for the improvement of diagnosing and treating cancer a reality. She is responsible for driving the critical projects that impact the lives of cancer researchers, doctors, and patients.

“I tell people that my job is part toolbox, part glue,” says Brady. “Being a project manager means being responsible for understanding the details of a project, knowing what tools or resources you need to execute the project, and facilitating the flow of that work to the best outcome possible. That means promoting communication, partnership, and ownership among the team for the project.”

At its heart, Brady’s project management work is about helping people. One of the big projects Brady is currently working on is ASCO’s digital transformation, which includes upgrading systems and applications to help streamline and personalize oncologists’ online experience so they can access the right resources more quickly. Whether you are managing humans or machines, there’s an extraordinary need for workers with the skillset to harness new technology and solve problems.

The digital transformation project also includes preparing for the use of emerging technologies such as generative AI to help them in their research and practices.

“Most importantly, it lays the groundwork for us to make a meaningful impact at the point of care, giving the oncologist and patient the absolute latest recommendations or guidelines for care for that specific patient or case, allowing the doctor to spend more time with their patients and less time on paperwork,” Brady says.

In today’s fast-changing, quickly advancing world, project management is perhaps more valuable than ever. After discovering her love for it, Brady earned her Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification through Project Management Institute (PMI)—the premier professional organization for project managers with chapters all over the world—which she says gave her an edge over other candidates when she applied for her job at ASCO.

“The knowledge I gained in preparing for the PMP exam serves me every day in my role,” Brady says. “What I did not expect and have truly come to value is the PMI network as well – finding like-minded individuals, opportunities for continuous learning, and the ability to volunteer and give back.”

PMI’s growing community – including more than 300 chapters globally – serves as a place for project managers and individuals who use project management skills to learn and grow through events, online resources, and certification programs.

While people often think of project management in the context of corporate careers, all industries and organizations need project managers, making it a great career for those who want to elevate our world through non-profits or other service-oriented fields.

“Project management makes a difference by focusing on efficiency and outcomes, making us all a little better at what we do,” says Brady. “In almost every industry, understanding how to do our work more effectively and efficiently means more value to our customers, and the world at large, at an increased pace.”

Project management is also a stable career path in high demand as shown by PMI research, which found that the global economy will need 25 million more project managers by 2030 and that the median salary for project managers in the US has grown to \$120K.

If you’d like to learn more about careers in project management, PMI has resources to help you get started or prove your proficiency, including its entry-level Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification program. For those interested in pursuing a project management career to make a difference, it could be your first step.
Science

## Time travel back to 1905.

Back in 1905, a book called "The Apples of New York" was published by the New York State Department of Agriculture. It featured hundreds of apple varieties of all shapes, colors, and sizes, including Thomas Jefferson's personal favorite, the Esopus Spitzenburg.

### That was 110 years ago, when commercial apple orchards were still pretty rare and when even in the biggest of those orchards, everything was done by hand.

1905, image of an apple orchard in Oregon

Yeah, yeah, yeah. But why is that apple book such a big deal? The book is significant because most of the apples listed in it have all but disappeared in the past century. DISAPPEARED. In fact, we used to have thousands of apple varieties, but most of those have largely vanished due to industrial agriculture. Now, many varieties are only found tucked away in agricultural research centers and preservationist orchards.

Fact: Today, the 15 most popular apple varieties account for 90% of all apple sales in the U.S. The most commonly sold apple? Red delicious.

### 2015 looks so different.

The fate of all those apple varieties is not uncommon. "In the last century, nearly 75% of our agricultural crops have disappeared. They're simply gone. Today, farmers primarily grow 12 crops. And of these, we mainly eat potatoes, rice, corn, and wheat."

So what gives? Why the huge shift? In part, the shift has a lot to do with seed regulation. Back in the day, farmers would save seeds from year to year and share them with friends and neighbors. But nowadays, most seed production is controlled by big companies — and those companies patent their seeds, prohibiting things like seed saving or sharing.

### So what do we do now?

Not all hope is lost (yay!). It may be an uphill battle, but there are lots of small farmers working to preserve the freedom to freely share and use seeds. People store thousands of seeds from all around the world in buildings called seed banks, and trade with other farmers at seed swaps.

"They're preserving culture and biodiversity, one seed, one plant, and one person at a time." How 'bout them apples? (No, really, I bet those antique apples they're swappin' are ridiculously tasty.)

Family

## Parents get a wave of support after their family has 'unhinged' reaction to new baby's name

### Hoping their family was taking notes.

Canva

Unsolicited opinions aren't just annoying. They can be hurtful.

Sure, parents sometimes make some…interesting choices when it comes to naming their child. But the key word there is choice. It probably should go without saying that it’s not the best move to insert an opinion on something rather personal and vulnerable, especially when that opinion is not requested.

But nonetheless, people do cross this boundary, expressing their disapproval and giving new moms and dads yet another reason to second guess themselves.

As one frustrated mom shared on Reddit, her own in-laws gave what she described as the “most unhinged” reaction to her newborn’s name, leaving her and her husband completely “crushed.”

At first, everything went smoothly.

“I just had a baby this week,” the mom wrote in her post. “We were still in the hospital when we announced her name and got a slew of the usual responses that normal, sane people say when hearing about the name of a baby (‘what a lovely name!’). Because saying anything different is insane, right?”

But then when her husband texted his side of the family to share the newborn daughter’s name, all hell broke loose.

Mind you, these parents didn’t name their child Watermelon Gumdrop or Fern Gully or something else truly out there. The name they chose, which caused them a lot of unnecessary grief, was Rosa.

Not only does Rosa, the Spanish word for “rose,” sound lovely, it carries all poetic meaning symbolized by the flower: hope, love and courage. What’s not to like?

Rosa is a baby girl name of Mexican origin.

Canva

But instead of celebrating their name choice, the mother-in-law apparently responded with ““no, I don’t really like that name. I much prefer Violet.”

“We were stunned,” the woman continued. “I simply cannot imagine being a family member who’s being INFORMED of a newborn’s name, and thinking you should have input…We LOVE our daughter’s name, and did not want to have our first moments with our daughter marred by this comment.”

But wait, it gets worse. The family then called the hospital several times after their texts were ignored. Then the following day, the husband’s sister also sent a barrage of texts with “alternative she prefers”.

Then, when told that the entire family on the mom’s side supported the name, the mother-in-law laughed and said “they must not have good taste- nobody here likes it. Nobody.”

And here is what really shows the effect this appalling behavior really had: “We are sleep deprived. Coming down from an emotional high, during which our daughter was in NICU and I almost needed a blood transfusion because of how much blood I lost. My husband, so stoic and assured, is f**king crushed. I’m FUMING. I will NEVER forget how they made my husband feel during one of the most vulnerable and special times in his life,” the mom wrote.

Most Unhinged Reaction To Naming Your Child?
byu/UWhatMate innamenerds

People who read this woman’s story were “livid” on her behalf, and rallied to give her some support long overdue.

“What on earth is wrong with Rosa???? It’s a beautiful name!! Tell your mother-in-law she is ridiculous and she can shut up immediately, if not sooner,” one person commented.

Another pointed to how truly ridiculous this situation was, writing, ““The name is ROSA? I thought from reading this that it was at least going to be a controversial name. Rosa is beautiful. Even if it’s not your cup of tea, it’s hard to find anything wrong with it. OP should take this as the sign it is and reevaluate their individual relationships with that side of the family.”

Several even suggested going into little-to-no-contact mode with that side of the family, since odds are they wouldn’t prove any more helpful in the stressful postpartum days to come.

“Tell her she doesn’t need to meet baby if she is so insistent on the name being changed,” one person commented.

Sadly, sometimes boundaries must be pushed a little further with those who will not respect more lenient ones. Especially when it comes to family members. And especially when it comes to parents trying to raise their kids in the most healthy environment possible. Hopefully these parents were able to move forward and enjoy welcoming their little Rosa into the world.

Family

## Teacher admits there are 11 things that Boomer parents totally got right

### Did they teach their kids respect?

Teresa Kaye Newman thinks that Boomer parents were right about a few things.

Teresa Kaye Newman, a teacher about to have a son, knows a lot about how to deal with children. So she created a list of 11 things she agrees with Boomers on when it comes to raising kids.

Newman believes she has credibility on the issue because she has 13 years of experience dealing with “hundreds and hundreds” of other people’s kids and has seen what happens when her so-called “Boomer” parenting principles aren’t implemented.

Of course, Newman is using some broad stereotypes in calling for a return to Boomer parenting ideas when many Gen X, Millennial and Gen Z parents share the same values. But, as someone who deals with children every day, she has the right to point out that today’s kids are entitled and spend too much time staring at screens.

Here are the 11 things that Newman agrees with Boomers on when it comes to raising kids.

### 11 Things I agree with boomer parents on raising children

@teresakayenewman

11 Things I agree with boomer parents on raising children, as a #teacher and soon to be mom.

“All I’m going to say is my kid has a whole world to explore and none of that has to do with being stuck in front of a tablet.”

### 2. No smartphone until high school

“Kids that are younger than that age do not know internet safety to a point where I feel comfortable letting them have free reign of the internet.”

### 3. Teaching the value of education

“What I’m going to teach them is [education] has nothing to do with how much money you’re making or how successful you’ll be professionally. But you will still value it, nonetheless. You will go with it as far as you possibly can, and then once you’re done with it, you can do whatever you want.”

### 4. Respect your teachers and treat them well

“This may be biased because I am a teacher, but everyone who has gone through a professional degree program and has put in the time and is there, giving you the quality education, deserves some type of attention and deserves to be treated well.”

### 5. Be kind to elderly folks

“If they’re on public transportation and they’re sitting down and there’s an old lady standing next to them and there are no other seats available, my child will know to stand up and give that lady his seat.”

### 6. Yes ma’am

Newman will teach her kid to use the terms sir and ma’am when speaking to adults. “It does not matter your age or status in society, as long as they are respecting their pronouns, that’s how we’re gonna be talking to other people.”

### 7. Greetings and gratitude

“Simple greetings and simple terms of gratitude are just not being taught like they used to. I think it’s really sad.”

### 8. Consequences for poor behavior

“If they’re neglecting their schoolwork and not doing what they’re supposed to do, they get their technology taken away. … Simple things like this are pretty common sense and I’m not sure why they’re not being done anymore.”

### 9. Respect adult conversations and spaces

“They don’t get to interrupt 2 adults speaking to each other. They don’t get to come and butt in at an inappropriate time when 2 people are talking to each other."

“My child is going to put as much work in the house as we are regardless of whether he’s paying rent out of his own pocket or not. That’s because when my son becomes an adult, I want him to be a partner or a spouse or a roommate that someone is proud to have around.”

### 11. Bedtime

“I don’t care how old my kid is as long as he is living under my roof as a minor; he’s gonna have some sort of bedtime. But this staying up until 3 or 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning or pulling all-nighters like kids are used to … is absolutely not normal. And I’m not going to have a kid that’s staying up that late and then not waking up the next day.”

Family

## Mom isn't sure whether her Christmas regifting gift hack makes her 'terrible' or a 'genius'

### "My kids are spoiled."

Elizabeth wants to know if she's "terrible" or a "genius."

While it is lovely to have friends and family members give your children toys for holidays and birthdays, they can pile up and take over entire rooms of the house. Plus, many parents are mindful of their kids having too many playthings because they don’t want them to be spoiled.

Elizabeth, an actress and popular TikTokker, accidentally came across a Christmas regifting hack that prevents toy pile-up and she’s not sure whether it makes her the hero or the villain in her story.

“I'm doing something super controversial for my kids’ birthday and Christmas presents this year,” she said in a post with over 1.5 million views. “Half of me is like, 'You're a terrible person, you're crossing the line,' and the other half is like, 'You are a literal genius.'"

For her daughter's recent birthday, she received "a lot" of gifts from the 10 kids at her party, parents, their friends and relatives. After Elizabeth’s daughter opened them, they wrote “thank you cards” to everyone who gave them gifts and then the mom took half of the presents and hid them in a bin in the basement.

@elizabethacting

The gifts were mixed in with items they had bought for the daughter that they found on sale to give her later, whether for her birthday or Christmas. It was an easy way for the family to save money and make her daughter’s big days less stressful for everyone involved.

Now, with the gifts all mixed in the same bin, Elizabeth and her husband have no idea what they bought their daughter and which toys she received on her birthday. "I don't remember," Elizabeth admits.

"I'm gonna wrap up this gift and put 'from mom and dad,' and it might not be from us,” she said while holding up a puzzle. “What do you think? Does this make me a terrible person, or is this such a genius gifting hack for kids who just get way too much?"

She then positioned her decision as a way to avoid giving her kids too many gifts.

"My kids are spoiled; they get everything; they have way too many gifts,” Elizabeth said. “I'm trying to do less this year while still making it a magical Christmas. It's a very fine line!"

Is Elizabeth right or wrong to put her and her husband's names on gifts that someone else bought? What if her daughter realizes she’s getting gifts she received her birthday?

The commenters overwhelmingly supported Elizabeth and her husband’s “hack,” especially when living in economically uncertain times.

"I think if she hasn’t asked where anything is, then she doesn’t remember," C wrote. "In this economy, a win is a win," Ava Rae Wilson added.

"My sisters have been doing this for years, but instead she will just grab the presents before her kid opens them and hide them for Christmas," Gigi Russo wrote. "My husband and I do the same thing. Our girl is 7 and she has never remembered seeing one of the gifts before," Kels added.

Education

## Over-the-top school dress-up weeks have parents feeling grinchy

### The holidays are busy enough without throwing "dress as your favorite Christmas song" into the mix.

Time to rein in the school dress-up days, folks.

Hey, kids! Happy December! We know that school can feel like drudgery, and it's been a few months since school started, and we want you to not hate coming here, so we decided to do something fun and festive that we think will create a sense of school pride and spirit! It's school dress-up week!

What this means is that during the busiest time of the year, when your parents are already up to their ears in holiday prep, shopping for and wrapping gifts, planning and attending work parties and end-of-year recitals and concerts, trying to navigate the emotional complexities of holiday family drama, trying to make your Christmas magical by moving that frickin' Elf on the Shelf every night, etc., we're going to add to the to-do list by pressuring them to help you come up with specific outfits to wear to school for an entire week. Doesn't that sound neat?

Dress-up weeks are fun on paper, and they can be fun when they're kept super simple. "Wear red or green!" is easy enough. "Dress as your favorite Christmas character!" though? Not so much.

Parents are crying uncle on over-the-top dressup weeks, saying it's just too much. A mom who goes by Mariah on X shared her frustration with how "ridiculous" the whole thing has become.

"I have 2 kids and 9 different dress up days next week," she wrote, before laying out some of the significant problems with said days:

"1. It expects families to be able to go out at the drop of a hat and get multiple Christmas character shirts and ugly sweaters at the most expensive time of year. It’s just another way to alienate kids whose families can’t afford a bunch of extra stuff or the mental load of the extra work.

2. It also assumes EVERYONE in the school celebrates Christmas and creates a whole week out of dressing up for it. Most people do celebrate Christmas where I live but then it’s even more alienating for people that don’t."

Then she offered a simple solution: "Have a PJ Day on the last day before break and call it good… please."

Mariah is certainly not the only parent to feel strongly about dress-up weeks—or months. Some parents shared that their young elementary school kids—second and third graders—had dress-up days the entire month of December leading up to the holiday break.

It's one thing when it's high schoolers who might have the ability to take themselves to a thrift store or whip together some kind of outfit themselves, but for elementary school kids, it's 100% on the parents.

Some teachers are even weighing in with why they dislike dress-up days as well, both for the annoyance and the lack of inclusivity.

Some people offered solutions that allow those who enjoy dress-up days to have their fun while taking the pressure off of everyone else. For instance, one teacher shared that her school dress-up days are always a specific way of dressing up OR wearing school colors. She said many of the students opt for school colors so no one feels like the odd one out for not wearing their PJs or holiday socks or whatever.

She said it's helpful for her as a teacher as well, since dress-up days are a lot of pressure and can mean spending extra money that a lot of teachers don't have to spend.

What if schools moved the dress-up days to January, when the holiday hustle and bustle has passed and the long winter could use an extra dose of fun? What if they kept them super simple, sticking to colors or general things that are easy for everyone, like "Wear your favorite comfy pants" or "Silly hairstyle day" or something like that.

The bottom line is to not let school dress-up days turn into the road to hell paved with good intentions. Rein it in, folks, for the parents' sake.

Health

## Why starting with the "bad news" first might be best, according to science

### Maybe softening the blow isn't always the best option

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

Imagine you're getting ready to drop some bad news on someone. Say, breaking off a months-long relationship.

"I'm not sure how to say this," you start. "This has been really great. Dating you has been a lot of fun. You're really wonderful. And—" You roll out a string of platitudes and compliments, dreading and delaying the part that comes next, when you finally say "It's over."

You think you're being nice. Protecting their feelings. You don't want to be coldhearted, right?

Science, however, says there might be a better way.

A study from 2017 finds that, in most cases, a much smaller "buffer" before the bad news is actually preferable. According to the people who matter most.

Alan Manning, a professor of linguistics at Brigham Young University, and Nicole Amare, his research partner, were interested in what he calls the "information design" of giving bad news. Quite literally, how much stuff should you say or write before just getting on with it?

The procedure was simple: 145 volunteers were shown two similar but differently worded versions of the same message, side by side, and asked to choose which they found the least objectionable. (Stuff in the vein of, "Your car is being recalled" all the way to "Let's break up" or "You're fired.")

Manning says, in most cases, there was a clear preference for the more concise message.

Participants also mostly responded that clarity and directness were more important than how considerate the message was.

The findings contradict a lot of the previous research, Manning says, which stressed buffers and positivity and silver linings. He says when you just talk to people, you get a different story: "When you ask people if they want the bad news straight-up, they almost always say yes."

If bad-news recipients just want it straight, why do we tend to draw it out?

Manning says it's because we're looking out for ourselves. It's easier and makes us feel better to beat around the bush a little bit.

Photo by Joanna Nix-Walkup on Unsplash

Turns out, the whole thing is a practical exercise in empathy.

"One of the great challenges of growing up and being a fully functioning adult is being fully aware of other people's needs around you and not just your own," he says.

He hopes the study will help people become better deliverers of bad news, and, ultimately, take better care of each other. He urges us to think critically about how sensitive the message we're delivering is and to respond appropriately. Don't be callous, he says, and blurt out "I'm breaking up with you," before even saying "Hi." But a smaller buffer is almost always appreciated by the recipient.

It's hard to break old habits. It's even harder to be direct. But getting and giving bad news is part of our daily lives. It'll be worth the effort to do it right.