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What to plant in your garden to attract the prettiest birds.

Certain Disney princesses have a way with birds. Singing to them. Having them land on her finger. But you want to know the secret?

Check out the background.

[rebelmouse-image 19528901 dam="1" original_size="400x282" caption="GIF from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."" expand=1]GIF from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."


Snow White's secret to getting up close and personal with her winged friends might be the plants around her. Plants, be they bushes, trees, or flowers, provide food and shelter to birds and other critters. Unfortunately, the world today is pretty different from what it was in Snow White's time. A lot of that natural habitat is now gone.

The Audubon Society has a charming, simple-as-heck fix for the problem.

Nestled in their website is a database of birds, plants, and geographic data. Put in your zip code and — voilà! — you'll get a list of beautiful, native, non-invasive plants you can add to your windowsill, rooftop, or garden that will help support local bird populations.

For example, let's say you were in zip code 10001, right in the heart of New York City. Do you have a roof planter? Orioles just love butterfly milkweed.

‌Wow! Photo via U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — Midwest/Flickr.‌

Milkweed is easy to grow and attracts butterflies and other insects (which birds like to eat). Orioles use its fibers in their nests. Planting it means more food, shelter, and habitat for all kinds of birds. This kind of support is important because some birds are struggling due to man-made changes like urbanization, habitat loss, and climate change.

"A number of bird species are in trouble," says John Rowden, Audubon's director of community conservation. Luckily, he says, anyone can help out — "even a container on a balcony, patio, or fire escape can help."

Here are more examples of what you can find in the Audubon database to help the birds near you:

A windowsill full of bluebell-of-Scotland will attract hummingbirds, even all the way up in Juneau, Alaska.

Photo by Cerlin Ng/Audubon Society.‌

Alaska too cold for you? Los Angeles hummingbirds would love the flowers of the chalk liveforever succulent.

Chicago suburb? Plant a plum tree; get some lovely little finches.

‌Photo from Homer Edward Price/Flickr.‌

A purple passionflower would look lovely in Austin, Texas, and might attract some cardinals too.

‌A common passionflower in Bermuda. Looks a little freaky, doesn't it? Photo from Captain-tucker/Wikimedia Commons.‌

Want something larger, and a little less flashy, for a garden in Philly? Mockingbirds love to eat American holly berries.

‌Photo from Kehl Mack/Pixabay.‌

Planter box in Seattle? Bright orange honeysuckle flowers could bring in waxwings.

‌Plus, I mean, look at them. Fireworks!‌ Photo from Walter Siegmund/Wikimedia Commons.

This works, even in the desert. Got a little space outside your window in Las Vegas? Golden currant could bring in wrens.

[rebelmouse-image 19528908 dam="1" original_size="750x500" caption="Image from Sten Porse/Wikimedia Commons." expand=1]Image from Sten Porse/Wikimedia Commons.

Anyone can do this, and it really does help. The birds will thank you.

Western tanager and Douglas fir. Photo from Timothy Lenahan/Audubon Photography Awards.

If you're on a budget, many of these plants can be found as cheap seeds too. The Audubon database also points people to their local Audubon chapter, where they can get detailed advice about plant and bird care.

So whether you're looking for a fun summer project to beautify your home, a way to help out native birds, or you just want to up your chances of finally fulfilling your Disney princess dream, head on over to their website and check it out.

Family

Dad takes 7-week paternity leave after his second child is born and is stunned by the results

"These past seven weeks really opened up my eyes on how the household has actually ran, and 110% of that is because of my wife."

@ustheremingtons/TikTok

There's a lot to be gleaned from this.

Participating in paternity leave offers fathers so much more than an opportunity to bond with their new kids. It also allows them to help around the house and take on domestic responsibilities that many new mothers have to face alone…while also tending to a newborn.

All in all, it enables couples to handle the daunting new chapter as a team, making it less stressful on both parties. Or at least equally stressful on both parties. Democracy!

TikTok creator and dad Caleb Remington, from the popular account @ustheremingtons, confesses that for baby number one, he wasn’t able to take a “single day of paternity leave.”

This time around, for baby number two, Remington had the privilege of taking seven weeks off (to be clear—his employer offered four weeks, and he used an additional three weeks of PTO).

The time off changed Remington’s entire outlook on parenting, and his insights are something all parents could probably use.

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Photo by Bambi Corro on Unsplash

Can flying to college twice a week really be cheaper than renting?

Some students choose to live at home while they go to college to save money on living expenses, but that's generally only an option for families who live in college towns or cities with large universities where a student can easily commute.

For University of British Columbia student Tim Chen, that "easy commute" is more than 400 miles each way.

Twice a week, Chen hops on a flight from his home city of Calgary, flies a little more than an hour to Vancouver to attend his classes, then flies back home the same night. And though it's hard to believe, this routine actually saves him approximately $1,000 a month.

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Tony Trapani discovers a letter his wife hid from him since 1959.

Tony Trapani and his wife were married for 50 years despite the heartache of being unable to have children. "She wanted children,” Trapani told Fox 17. "She couldn't have any. She tried and tried." Even though they endured the pain of infertility, Tony's love for his wife never wavered and he cherished every moment they spent together.

After his wife passed away when Tony was 81 years old, he undertook the heartbreaking task of sorting out all of her belongings. That’s when he stumbled upon a carefully concealed letter in a filing cabinet hidden for over half a century.

The letter was addressed to Tony and dated March 1959, but this was the first time he had seen it. His wife must have opened it, read it and hid it from him. The letter came from Shirley Childress, a woman Tony had once been close with before his marriage. She reached out, reminiscing about their past and revealing a secret that would change Tony's world forever.

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Internet

Man goes out of his way to leave tip for a server after realizing he grabbed the wrong receipt

Instead of just brushing it off and moving on, the man wrote out a note explaining what happened with a sincere apology along with a $20 cash tip and delivered it to the restaurant.

Man goes out of his way to leave forgotten tip for server

Being in the service industry can be hard. People have to spend long hours on their feet, deal with repetitive movements that can create pain and sometimes interact with not so nice customers. When you rely on tips for survival on top of everything else, it can feel like a bit of a gut punch when someone decides not to leave you one despite how good your service was.

One customer must've realized the disappointment that can occur after not receiving a tip when serving tables because he went out of his way to give one. In a post shared on Reddit, a customer revealed in a letter that he realized he took the wrong receipt after leaving. Instead of taking the blank one, he took the merchant's copy which holds the tip amount and his signature.

The error was discovered when he was checking his bank account and saw the amount taken off of his card was not the amount he expected. That's when he decided to check the receipt from that day and saw the error.

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Science

Scientists have finally figured out how whales are able to 'sing' underwater

The physical mechanism they use has been a mystery until now.

Baleen whales include blue, humpback, gray, fin, sei, minke whales and more.

We've long known that baleen whales sing underwater and that males sing in tropical waters to attract females for mating. What we haven't known is how they're able to do it.

When humans make sound underwater, we expel air over through our vocal chords and the air we release rises to the surface as bubbles. But baleen whales don't have vocal chords, and they don't create bubbles when they vocalize. Toothed whales, such as sperm whales, beaked whales, dolphins and porpoises, have an organ in their nasal passages that allows them to vocalize, but baleen whales such as humpback, gray and blue whales don't.

Whales are notoriously difficult to study because of their size and the environment they require, which is why the mechanism behind whale song has remained a mystery for so long. It's not like scientists can just pluck a whale out of the ocean and stick it in an x-ray machine while it's singing to see what's happening inside its body to create the sound. Scientists had theories, but no one really knew how baleen whales sing.

Now, thanks to researchers at the University of Denmark, that mystery has been solved.

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You can learn a lot by alayzing faces.

There are countless situations in life where we have to figure out how someone really feels, but they have a good poker face that keeps their feelings well-hidden. According to body language expert Terry Vaughan even the most deceptive people in the world have a tell: the left and right sides of their face don’t usually match.

So, which side do we believe? Vaughan says the left.

“The reason this is a powerful hack is because the left side of the face is more likely to reveal the ‘true emotion’ or the ‘dominant’ emotion if there’s a mix,” Vaughan says. The reason? “The right hemisphere of our brain does more heavy lifting in dealing with processing emotions. The left hemisphere…is a little more analytical or ‘strategic.’”

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