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Big news, everyone: G.I. Joe has traded in his weapon for a yoga mat.

They're like G.I. Joes, but in yoga poses! All photos by Yoga Joes.

The toys, called Yoga Joes, are the creation of designer Dan Abramson, who was looking for ways to get more dudes into yoga.

Abramson hard at work on some Joe designs.


Abramson started doing yoga years ago to help with a back injury. But even though he was amazed by all its health benefits, he wasn't seeing a lot of other men in his classes.

The numbers back up his observation too, with some estimates saying that only about 18% of the millions of people who do yoga are men.

"In America, yoga is often viewed as a woman's sport," Abramson said. But he didn't see why it had to be that way.

You might know Abramson from his first yoga enterprise, Broga Mats — "manly" yoga mats that look like burritos or arrow quivers.

Yes, that's a rolled up yoga mat.

But when he launched a Kickstarter to bring Yoga Joes to life, Abramson quickly realized he had stumbled onto something much bigger than bro-ga.

Group yoga.

His fundraising goal was blown out of the water almost immediately, and suddenly, Yoga Joes were real. And they were selling out.

But, more importantly, Abramson found that these silly little Army men were speaking to more than just the regular dudes who were nervous about going to a yoga class.

First, there were the soldiers and veterans who use yoga to cope with major stress or PTSD.

A group of soldiers pose with Yoga Joes.

"It was sort of an accidental discovery," Abramson admitted. "I knew they were doing yoga, but I didn't know it was on this scale."

Tons of military members and their families reached out to him after the launch. And Abramson quickly became close with organizations like Connected Warriors, who offer free yoga programs to veterans.

"The coolest example was when I got an email from the girlfriend of a senior staff sergeant in the Air Force," Abramson said. "She said, 'My boyfriend is handing them out to his pilots before they go up to fly so they remember to keep calm and breathe.'"

A few months later, Abramson said, she sent him photos of his Yoga Joes in inverted high-speed flight.

"It's pretty sweet," he said.

Other customers just like having Yoga Joes around to remind them to chill out.

Yoga with a view.

Abramson said people often put them on their car dashboards as a reminder to keep calm in traffic. Or on their desks at the office. Or on the kitchen counter.

Or any place where they find themselves getting overwhelmed or frustrated. Which could be pretty much anywhere.

For others, Yoga Joes are a symbol of peace.

Some Joes chill out on a tree stump.

A Yoga Joe is a soldier disarmed and choosing meditation over violence. At least, that's how some people see it.

"Generally when you hear about peace, it can be very preachy. This is kind of like, funny peace. People like funny peace," Abramson said.

Abramson said the response to Yoga Joes has been overwhelming, and it's inspired him to work even harder.

Some of Abramson's early sketches for his new line of Joes.

Abramson is getting ready to launch a new series of Joes that shows off more advanced yoga poses. And if you don't think he's taking this seriously, you should hear him describe going back and forth between engineers and yoga experts to design figurines that are both accurately posed and capable of standing on their own.

"This became bigger than I ever planned," Abramson said. "And I'm trying to do justice for that, the way it's touched people."

Not bad for an idea that started as a jokey way to get dudes into yoga. Not bad at all.

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.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.

A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”

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