Why you should let this comic book writer inspire you to be more productive, using text messages.

People are always looking for that "one weird trick" that will rocket them to success.

Life hacks are up there with cats and reaction GIFs on the list of Things the Internet Loves. Everybody's eager to find that perfect shortcut for living a full, productive life without actually doing anything. There are probably more Super Clever How-To Guides for Being Awesome online than there are people in the world. Which kinda makes sense when you think about it: We still haven't found the One True Way to Do Things Better/Stronger/Faster, so we have to keep hunting for the next best option.

(Unless someone has figured it out, and they're just not telling us. In which case, not cool.)


But if there's anyone who knows how to get sh*t done, it's comic book writer (and certified BAMF) Kelly Sue DeConnick.

Kelly Sue is probably best known for her work on Marvel's "Captain Marvel" comic book, which inspired a rabid legion of fans calling themselves "The Carol Corps" after the main character, Carol Danvers. DeConnick also writes the death western "Pretty Deadly" and the femmesploitation prison book "Bitch Planet" while running a film/TV production company with her husband (and fellow comic book writer) Matt Fraction and raising two adorably weird kids (plus she invented the "Sexy Lamp Test," which is kinda like the Bechdel Test only better). "Vanity Fair" calls her "The Future of Women in Comics."

So basically, she's got a lot on her plate. But somehow, she gets it all done and still has time to engage with fans on Twitter and Tumblr.


Kelly Sue (kneeling, center) with a few members of the Carol Corps. Photo via Flickr.

DeConnick has also volunteered to be your very own personal life coach/motivational speaker (via text message).

You don't have to follow Kelly Sue's 3 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily schedule to be productive.

All you need to do is text @bitchesg to (971) 244.8342, and Kelly Sue will send you a daily dose of how-to hints and motivational ass-kickery.

She calls it B*tches Get Sh*t Done because as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler famously declared, women who are often considered such tend to also be renowned for their remarkable levels of productivity. Translation:

Of course, they had to censor themselves for NBC (Kelly Sue has no such qualms). GIF from "Saturday Night Live."

Kelly Sue launched B*tches Get Sh*t Done in January 2014. She was mostly just messing around after hearing about an SMS subscription service called Remind which allows teachers to mass-text their students with reminders and assignments (which, to me, sounds absolutely horrible). In this case, Kelly Sue is the teacher, and the 2,000 people who subscribe to the service are her productivity disciples.

Kelly Sue being infinitely more productive than you. Photo by Terra Clarke Olsen/Flickr.

So no, sadly, you're not the only one she's texting (sorry). But there's something about that little message that feels remarkably personal — moreso than, say, an email, or even a social media feed that you have to manually scroll through. When you hear that little ping in the middle of the day (or in my case, that R2-D2 bleep-bloop) signifying a new text, it's almost like Auntie Kelly Sue is looking over your shoulder and reminding you that you're awesome and that you're doing a good job but that seriously you need to get to work.

B*tches Get Sh*t Done might not change your life, but it will nag you with positivity until your sh*t gets done.

B*tches Get Sh*t Done's daily inspiration comes in many different forms. But perhaps what's best about it is that it doesn't pretend to be some deep, profound revelation that will change your life. It's a friendly, positive reminder that the best way to get sh*t done is to, well, get sh*t done.

Here are a few of my favorites, courtesy of the BGSD Tumblr archive:

http://bgsd-archive.tumblr.com/post/110652616978/being-uncomfortable-is-a-reasonable-price-to-pay

http://bgsd-archive.tumblr.com/post/110735923974/stop-for-a-sec-find-a-mirror-tent-your-fingers

http://bgsd-archive.tumblr.com/post/109790123084/someone-somewhere-is-playing-eye-of-the-tiger

http://bgsd-archive.tumblr.com/post/113204411771/itll-go-better-tomorrow-bgsd

http://bgsd-archive.tumblr.com/post/125526503433/12-of-sharks-glow-not-sure-why-i-find-that

http://bgsd-archive.tumblr.com/post/126442172306/overwhelmed-1-thing-at-a-time-small-bites

http://bgsd-archive.tumblr.com/post/126350499906/bitches-get-shit-d-monday-fresh-start-clean

At the end of the day, it's still up you to make sh*t happen. Still, sometimes it helps to have a swift kick in the app.

(That app being Messages. See what I did there?)

To me, the best part about BGSD is the fact that there's no new age-y mantra about it. It's a refreshingly realistic approach that's obvious and yet so easy to forget: You get sh*t done by doing sh*t, so stop searching for shortcuts and just do the sh*t.

That's why it's nice to be reminded every now and then and to have someone else tell you that you're on the right path but that also maybe it would help if you went for a walk or wrote out your to-do list and actually stuck to it this time and made sure to really cross things off as you go and also don't forget that thing that you've been putting off but really need to do!

I could keep going, but what's the point? I got sh*t that needs doin'! (Like filing this story, for example.)

Kelly Sue being more effing metal than you. Photo by Pat Loika/Flickr (text added).

Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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