One of the few bright spots of the past few months of quarantine has been Josh Gad’s “Reunited Apart” YouTube series. Every few weeks, he hosts a virtual reunion with the stars and other members of the production team from some of the most beloved movies of the 1980s like “Lord of the Rings,” “Goonies,”“Back to the Future,”“Splash” and most recently, “Ghostbusters.” Tomorrow (Sunday, June 28), Gad will bring the series to a conclusion with a reunion of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Here’s who’s involved and how to watch.
Earlier this week, Gad released the trailer for the reunion (above), but unlike previous trailers for the series, it really doesn’t give much away, other than that Matthew Broderick (who played Ferris Bueller) will be involved. Fortunately, the Today Show interviewed Gad about tomorrow’s reunion, and we learned that Alan Ruck (Cameron Frye), Mia Sara (Sloane Peterson), Jennifer Grey (Jeanie Bueller) and Ben Stein (who is simply credited as “economics teacher”) are also on the lineup, along with “a lot of surprises along the way.”
In each episode, Gad raises money for a various charities. Previous organizations have included Project HOPE (a global health and humanitarian relief organization), DigDeep (working to ensure every American has water and sanitation access), The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (supporting those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic) and Equal Justice Initiative (which works to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, challenge racial and economic injustice, and protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society). At this point, he has not yet announced which organization will receive the donations from this episode.
“Reunited Apart: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” will premiere on Sunday, June 28 at 9 a.m. PST/12p.m. EST on Gad’s YouTube channel.
Though many people were first introduced to Christian Cooper via his now-viral video of a woman calling the police on him while he was birdwatching in Central Park, he has been a fixture of the birding community for years. Not only did that racist confrontation on May 25, 2020 make news, but it has also prompted more people to try in birding (especially since it’s usually a pandemic-friendly activity). Today, Cooper will host a livestreamed session on #BirdingWhileBlack, as well as a virtual tour of Central Park and a session on birdwatching. Here’s how to attend.
If you’re interested in birding, or want to learn more about Cooper’s work, today’s your chance. The PBS science series NOVA is hosting a virtual field trip and presentation called “Central Park Birder Christian Cooper on Birding and Inclusion,” today, Tuesday, June 30 at 2p.m. EST. The event will feature a discussion and Q&A with Cooper, who isn’t just an avid birder, but also a board member of the New York City Audubon. In addition, he’s a former editor and writer for Marvel Comics, and is currently a biomedical editor with Health Science Communications. (So basically some type of superhero whose power is fighting racism through science and birding.)
In the livestreamed session, Cooper will talk provide general tips for birdwatching, as well as his experiences of birding while Black, and the viral video. He’ll also discuss his advocacy work toward making birding more inclusive for people of color (particularly the racial profiling many Black birders experience in outdoor spaces) and the LGBTQ+ community.
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How to watch
The event today is free to attend, and will be livestreamed on Nova’s YouTube page and Facebook page at 2p.m. EST. If you’re not able to watch live, you can catch the videos after the event takes place on the same pages mentioned above.
When travel first slowly began to open up, airlines confirmed they would put social distancing measures in place: blocking out middle seat assignments and not packing the planes to full capacity. However, United and American Airlines have now both opted out and are lifting social distancing measures on their flights, filling them to capacity—middle seats included.
The rationale for the change? According to the airlines, underselling flights isn’t really effective social distancing anyway. As Doug Parker, chief executive officer of American Airlines said, “Social distancing is not something we can provide very well as an airline. No airline can. You can say you’re not going to sell the middle seat, but you’re not six feet away from the person at the window or on the aisle, certainly not six feet away from the person ahead of you or behind you.” (The Centers for Disease Control aren’t exactly backing him up there, professing “substantial disappointment” with the decision.)
Both airlines affirm that they will alert passengers, in advance, if it looks like their flight will be full.
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A United Airlines representative stated that most passengers are currently opting to keep their travel plans intact, although the airline will offer them a travel credit and the opportunity to rebook on a new flight as late as 24 hours before their scheduled departure.
United has also made it mandatory for passengers to complete a “Ready to Fly” checklist pertaining to their health. According to USA Today, it asks passengers to confirm that they have not had COVID-19-related symptoms in the past 14 days, been diagnosed with the virus in the past 21 days or had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
Also, neither airline will allow passengers to fly unless they are wearing a mask.
Apple’s WWDC 2020 convention will be a remote, online-only event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision keeps attendees safe, but it does have its downsides—namely, the social aspect of WWDC, where developers meet up to talk shop and swap swag, including app stickers and pins.
To keep the sticker-trading tradition alive in light of this year’s digital-only WWDC, app development studio Team Nighthawk teamed up with over ninety other app developers to create the Indie Sticker Pack. You’ll get more than 100 stickers representing more than 90 developers’s apps. Better yet, all of the proceeds will be split as equal donations to the Equal Justice Initiative and the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 response fund.
You can buy the stickers as a physical pack for $12.99 that will be shipped to you in the near future (exact timing will depend on the volume of orders received and Team Nighthawk’s resources) and as a collection of digital stickers/icons that can be used in iMessage for $1 on the App Store.
Team Nighthawk outlined its commitment to transparency to ensure customers and developers will be able to see where the money is going, and it intends to post Twitter updates to keep everyone up to speed on production and expected shipping times. All of that is covered on the Indie Sticker Pack’s FAQ page. The Indie Sticker Pack page also has a “Support” link to reach out to Team Nighthawk via email if you have any questions.
It’d be neat to see similar communities put together packages like this for other events that have gone digital this year—such as a collection of pins for this year’s PAX attendees won’t be able to collect and trade them in-person like normal. As for WWDC, you’ll be able to watch Apple’s big press conference on Monday, June 22 at p.m. Eastern/10 a.m. Pacific. Make sure you set up a reminder so you don’t miss it.
Hosting an exchange student is an enriching experience that allows you to serve as the bridge that allows another person to enter into America. Through exchange programs, you can teach your hosted student about American culture: our food, our political history, our pop culture, our natural beauty, our diverse cities and the day-to-day realities of American life. At a time when America’s reputation on the world stage is in decline, it may be more important than ever.
If you’ve ever considered hosting an exchange student and want to know how it works, here is a basic overview.
Through an exchange program, students from around the world have the opportunity to come to America to continue their studies while living with you. Typically, exchange students are in their last years of high school or in college. They will live with you for a specified time, attending a local school while you introduce them to life in America.
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The benefits for you and the student include:
Forging lifelong bonds
Opening windows to understanding other cultures
Making a positive impact on someone else’s life
Who is eligible to host
Anyone looking to host a student must pass a background check as well as a check of your home. Just as when you apply to adopt or foster a child, the exchange program will ensure that the home and people hosting are safe and have all space and resources necessary for their exchange student to live comfortably.
The specific criteria set by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs states you must:
Be able to provide for an additional member of the family including a separate bed, suitable study area, and three meals per day.
Offer a supportive environment as the student goes through his or her adjustment process.
Be interested in teenagers/international students and have realistic expectations of what life with a teenager is like. Help your student adapt to your family and to U.S. life and culture.
Familiarize your student with your hometown and promote participation in school and community events.
Provide a safe and secure environment for the student to live and learn.
First, you will find an exchange program that you would like to apply and participate as a host family. You will then need to:
Fill out the “Host Family Interest” form.
Speak with a representative to ask any and all questions while they provide in-depth.
Complete an application with in-depth details about you, your family (if applicable), and your overall lifestyle.
Upon acceptance as a host/host family, you’ll work with a representative to be matched with the student that best fits with your everyday lifestyle, family dynamics and interests. For example, if you enjoy skiing because you live in Colorado, having a student that also enjoys adventurous activities will benefit you both.
You must provide the information for a background check performed on your own. You can use IntelliCorp, a virtual way to input all of your information and send it directly to the exchange program. You will only be accepted as a host if you pass a criminal background check.
In the case of emergency
Exchange students will go through a full physical prior to being accepted into the program. After the physical, they will be required to submit a report specifying that they are in optimal health and able to travel and participate in the program.
Exchange students are provided with a health insurance plan that will cover their expenses in the event they experience a medical emergency.
Finding a program
You can find a ton of programs and resources on the internet. Here’s a list of them to get you started on your student exchange hosting journey:
If you keep going back and forth on the pros and cons of schools physically re-opening this fall, you’re not alone. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics can’t quite put its finger on what we should do. Just a couple of weeks since first recommending that schools make it a goal to have students physically present in classrooms this fall, the AAP is now saying a one-size-fits-all approach is not going to work.
The AAP put out a new statement on Friday, this time in partnership with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the National Education Association (NEA) and the School Superintendents Association (AASA). That new statement reiterates the academic, social and emotional benefits of children returning to school in person; but it also acknowledges that local school leaders, public health experts, educators and parents will need to determine together how and when schools re-open, particularly by taking into account the spread of COVID-19 in their own communities:
Returning to school is important for the healthy development and well-being of children, but we must pursue re-opening in a way that is safe for all students, teachers and staff. Science should drive decision-making on safely reopening schools. Public health agencies must make recommendations based on evidence, not politics. We should leave it to health experts to tell us when the time is best to open up school buildings, and listen to educators and administrators to shape how we do it.
The AAP’s updated recommendations still offer advice for reopening schools more safely with all the methods we’re now accustomed to—frequent hand-washing, sanitizing high-touch surfaces, physically distancing as much as possible, wearing face masks, etc. But we also know these tactics are harder to implement indoors and with large groups of people.
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The organization’s new statement reads, in part, like a response to President Trump’s recent threats to cut off federal funding to schools if they do not reopen (which he has no authority to do).
But the AAP, AFT, NEA and AASA say:
Reopening schools in a way that maximizes safety, learning, and the well-being of children, teachers, and staff will clearly require substantial new investments in our schools and campuses. We call on Congress and the administration to provide the federal resources needed to ensure that inadequate funding does not stand in the way of safely educating and caring for children in our schools. Withholding funding from schools that do not open in person full time would be a misguided approach, putting already financially strapped schools in an impossible position that would threaten the health of students and teachers.
For more specifics on how the AAP recommends schools manage physical distancing, disinfecting and hygiene practices during the pandemic, see their full updated recommendations.
This article was originally published in June and was updated on July 13, 2020 with the AAP’s new recommendations. We will continue to update as necessary with any new recommendations.
Have you been so angry, frustrated and/or stressed lately that you just want to scream as long as you can into the void? Us, too. But as it turns out, we now have the option of having our blood-curdling wails echo throughout the land—specifically, Iceland. The small island country, and place where you’ve been meaning to visit for years but something keeps coming up, is sacrificing its soundscape for the greater good.
Iceland’s tourism board operates the new program—called “Let It Out”—which gives people around the world the chance to scream into their phone, tablet or laptop, and have it played outside on a loudspeaker in Iceland. According to Zoë Aston, a UK-based therapist and mental health consultant featured on the site, scream therapy has been around since the 1970s, and is used as a way to let out pent-up emotion. Screaming can be especially effective when you’re able to release a loud noise into a wide-open space, she explains. “This literally allows your amygdala to release the stress stored there and move forward,” Aston adds.
How to participate in Icelandic scream therapy
If you want to give this scream therapy a shot, here’s what to do. (It’s pretty straightforward and does not involve leaving your home/couch/bed). Just go to the site, and click on the yellow circle that says “Tap Here to Scream.” Then, your browser will likely ask permission to access your microphone (which is necessary to record your scream).
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Once that’s done, click and hold on the yellow circle with the old-timey microphone and scream until the green border of the circle appears. And that’s it! You can have them play your scream back to you and send it to Djúpivogur, East Iceland (or other locations throughout the country that the site selects for you) where it will be blasted from speakers outside. Happy screaming!
I’ve written about how to have a variety of “big talks” with our kids as they grow up—enough of them that we’ve grouped them into their own section so you can peruse them easily. Right now we, as parents, can’t afford to avoid talking with them about any number of challenging topics—the global health crisis, systemic racism, LGBTQ rights, hate speech, white supremacy, consent. At least not if we want their generation to do better than ours has managed so far.
As a side note to a lot of these conversations, we often point out that the silent example we set for them as parents is just as vital and powerful a component to raising our kids to be better. We can talk to kids about empathy and kindness and fairness (and we should), but it’s the way we operate in the world that really sends a message. That’s often what they’re really absorbing.
If we let the door slam behind us instead of holding it open, we’re sending a message. If we’re rude to the server in the restaurant, we’re sending a message. Hell, even if we don’t put the shopping cart back up at the front of the store when we’re done with it, we’re sending a message. And that message is: “My time matters, my experience matters, my convenience matters more than anyone else’s.”
A friend of a friend recently posted on social media about an experience she had waiting in line for ice cream. For the most part, customers were standing the recommended six feet apart and wearing masks—except for the two young women standing directly behind her. The wait became longer than she expected and the proximity and lack of masks on these young people began to make her nervous; finally, one of the young women called out to someone else who wasn’t standing in line: “Mom, do you have masks?”
The mother came over and said, “I have them, but you don’t have to wear them. The people in front of us weren’t wearing them.”
Our kids—our little kids, our big kids, our teenagers and our grown kids—are watching us right now. They are looking to us to teach them how to manage the anxiety that comes from navigating life in a pandemic. They are looking to us to understand how to make sense of living in such a divided country. They need us to talk to them about these things, but they also need to see us doing the right things—regardless of whether everyone else in line is setting the same example.
I’m not here to explain to anyone why we should be taking precautions right now. It’s been explained. If you believe COVID-19 is a liberal hoax, I can’t help you or your kids. If you think Costco requiring a mask infringes on your rights, you are blatantly ignoring the rights of everyone else, and I can’t help you.
But most of us recognize that living in a society means we don’t get to do whatever the hell we want, whenever or wherever the hell we want to do it. In the United States, we have to drive on the right side of the road—even if we really prefer the left side—so we don’t crash into oncoming traffic. If we all follow that rule, we all stay a little safer on the road.
Our kids have a front row seat to how we’re dealing with everything that is happening right now. Now is our chance to model for them what it means to have empathy, to care for others, to protect everyone in our community. It means speaking up when we hear someone say something racist or anti-LGBTQ. It means wearing a mask and practicing social distancing, no matter how fed up we may be with it.
Everything feels hard right now. Everything is hard. But now more than ever, we have an opportunity to practice what we’ve been preaching all these years. Our kids are watching us very closely. What are they seeing?
For the past few years, we’ve been told that loneliness is a public health crisis, as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes each day. The messaging is that we’re people—people who need people—and spending too much time by ourselves is a major problem. Oh, but at the same time, apparently we’re all introverts now, and socializing with others is exhausting. So which is it? Turns out, it can be both, because “loneliness” and “being alone” are two completely different concepts. Here’s what sets them apart, and why having a better understanding of what each term means can help.
Loneliness versus being alone
Given the quarantining, physical distancing and self-isolating we’ve been doing for the past few months, the assumption has been that those who live alone must feel lonely. And while that may be the case for some people, it’s not for others, who feel as though they’re constantly surrounded by friends, family and co-workers, even if it’s virtually. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive. Let’s take a look at what each of them mean.
Loneliness is the feeling you get when you want to connect with someone, such as your partner, and either there is no one to connect with, or your partner is unavailable for connection.
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Writing for Psychology Today, Dr. Eglantine Julle-Daniere notes that being alone is “the physical state of not being with another individual, might it be human or animal,” while loneliness is a “psychological state characterized by a distressing experience occurring when one’s social relationships are (self-)perceived to be less in quantity and quality than desired.” In other words, it’s when the social contact you have at a given time isn’t fulfilling for you.
And if you are alone right now, Julle-Daniere suggests using this time as a chance to refocus on yourself, your needs and on what makes you feel good. “It is a time to use to identify which people you want to connect with [and] what hobbies you want to pick up,” she writes.
The takeaway here is that you could spend most (or all) of your time alone, but not feel lonely—or, you could be constantly surrounded by people and experience loneliness all the time. Understanding the difference between the two may help you better cope with your current situation.
If you’re like me, you relentlessly charge your devices even if doing so might be hurting the battery over the long-term. “This is the way,” I think to myself as I look over at the AirPods Pro charging case that I’ve left plugged in for the last three weeks.
One of the best forms of preventative maintenance you can easily carry out for any Apple device is to periodically check their battery health. I don’t mean the number in the upper-right corner of your screen that shows you how much juice you have left as a percentage. I mean the slightly more-buried setting that gives you a clue about how your battery is faring overall.
For more on battery life, check out the video below:
While there’s not much you can do if your battery is awful, save for getting a new one, at least you’ll have a clue that your device is approaching “ancient” status or that your charging habits might be preventing you from sucking as much life out of your device as you can. With luck, you’ll notice a dying battery while your device is still under warranty, so your battery replacement will be free, instead of $$$.
Here’s how to check the battery health on every kind of Apple device:
How to check your iPhone’s battery health
To see how well your iPhone’s battery is doing, pull up the Settings app and tap on Battery. Wait a moment, and you’ll get a number of graphs that show you your battery level (and activity) over the past 24 hours or the past 10 days.
These are all well and good, but what you really want to do is tap on Battery Health, which might give you the grim news:
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Don’t freak out if you get that message at the top, though. Again, these are just data points. If your iPhone still usually gets you through the day without a problem—and you don’t experience significant performance penalties as a result of your meh battery—then don’t sweat it. You might want to consider upgrading to a new phone at some point (or a pricey battery replacement), but it’s not essential unless you’re really experiencing noticeable issues while using your phone or tablet every day.
What about the iPad?
So, bad news: You’ll be able to see your charging and usage graphs on an iPad, but there’s no dedicated “battery health” section to give you an idea of your battery’s lifespan. You’ll have to turn to a third-party app like iMazing or coconutBattery to get details like that. Bummer.
How to check your Mac’s battery health
If, or when, you upgrade to macOS Big Sur, you’ll see that the “Energy Saver” section no longer exists in your System Preferences. In its place is a new Battery section. You can probably guess where this is going.
Click on it, and you’ll get a similar-looking setup as to what you’d find on iOS. You’ll be able to see how much you’ve used your battery over the past 24 hours and 10 days, and you’ll be able to access all the previous Energy Saver settings—including scheduled startup and shutdown for your Mac.
Sadly, as with the iPad, you won’t be able to see the overall health of your Mac’s battery. You can get a sense of how many charge cycles your battery has gone through by pulling up your Mac’s System Information and then clicking on Power (found under the “Hardware” section). There, you’ll see your battery’s cycle count, condition and maximum capacity, and you can compare said cycle count against Apple’s limits to get a sense of how your battery is faring.
How to check your Apple Watch’s battery health
Once you upgrade to watchOS 7, you’ll be able to check your device’s battery health directly from your wrist. Pull up your Settings app and tap on Battery. You’ll be hit with a graph that shows your Apple Watch’s charge over the past day:
Scroll down a smidge and tap on Battery Heath, where you’ll be able to see your Apple Watch’s overall battery capacity. It’s as easy as that. As with the other types of Apple products, don’t stress if that number isn’t what you expected. As long as you can get through the day without needing to charge your Apple Watch midway through, you’re probably doing just fine.