WWII vet who escaped Nazis finally gets Purple Heart, Prisoner of War Medal nearly 80 years later

July 5, 2022

For nearly 80 years, World War II veteran and D-Day survivor William “Willie” Kellerman hadn’t received official recognition of his sacrifices due to a paperwork error. All that changed on Tuesday, June 29, when the 97-year-old was presented with a Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and Prisoner of War Medal by General James C. McConville, the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, at Fort Hamilton Community Club in Brooklyn, New York, reports People magazine.

“I feel like I have been living in a shadow and I’ve turned the lights on,” Kellerman tells People. “I will never forget the experience I had back in 1945.”

After growing up in the Bronx during the Great Depression, 19-year-old Kellerman ended up on a war ship off the shores of Normandy on June 6, 1944, which became known as D-Day. Within days, he landed on Utah Beach, France, joining the fight against the Nazis.

Just a few weeks later, on July 4, Kellerman’s radio was shot while he faced heavy gunfire. With no way to communicate, his captain sent him to find his Battalion’s headquarters.

“I said, ‘Where do I go?” recalls Kellerman, a private first class at the time, “and he just said, ‘Just head that way.'”

But as he was jumping through hedgerows and dodging bullets, Kellerman came face-to-face with a German tank and was taken prisoner.

“They came out of the tank with machine guns,” says Kellerman, who had to stay with the Nazis in a tent that night. “The next day they took me back where they had about 60 to 70 other Americans that they had gotten.”

Kellerman recalls being given one slice of bread a day and only being able to walk at night. “Our planes would shoot a

Above, William Kellerman. (Photo source: U.S. Army)

nything moving in the daylight,” he explains.

Thankfully, he managed a daring escape: “I crawled into the bushes, and when they were out of sight, I ran in the opposite direction,” he says. “I got to a farmhouse, and it was becoming daylight.”

Kellerman says he knocked on the door and tried to explain that he was an American who had escaped, but the residents didn’t speak English.

“They gave me all their French clothes and took my uniform and burned it,” he recalls.

They wouldn’t let him stay because they could all be killed if the Germans found them, so he took off on foot and walked along the railroad tracks, Kellerman recalls. “Then I got brave,” he says of moving from the tracks to the road.

Kellerman felt that he was getting “braver and braver” as he passed the Germans and began to stop at houses for food. After finding a bike along the side of the road and getting a flat tire, he visited what he thought was a bicycle store. But to his surprise, it was actually the secret headquarters of the French Resistance.

“It’s a good thing I knew who won the World Series that year because they asked me all kinds of questions to make sure I wasn’t German,” he says. “I convinced them I was who I said I was.” They kept him hidden in the Freteval Forest, where he stayed until Allied forces took over, he recalls.

“I finished the war with them,” says Kellerman, who was shot in the leg and hand when he fought alongside Allied forces.

Kellerman says he recovered at a hospital in Bayreuth, Germany before returning home from the war. He’d go on to attend art school in New York City and live in Havana before settling down with his wife Sandy in Long Island, New York. Together they raised three children as he opened and ran a series of stores offering sewing machines, vacuum cleaners. and typewriters.

He wouldn’t return to Normandy until 2018. This time, his family joined him as he received France’s Legion of Honor. “It felt great to be back because they weren’t shooting at me,” says Kellerman, laughing. “They welcomed me, asked for my autograph and gave me a medal.”

But even after that, Kellerman doubted that recognition from his own country would ever come. For years, Kellerman and his daughter, Jean Kellerman-Powers, had been trying to get the U.S. Army to look at his service record, they tell People. The 2019 short documentary about D-Day, Sixth of June, finally made it happen.

Filmmaker Henry Roosevelt showed an early cut to Lieutenant Colonel Egan O’Reilly and General Mark Milley (now chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s highest-ranking military officer), and began the process to get Kellerman and other veterans the medals they deserved.

“The best thing to come out of our film is the audience that watched, listened and acted upon it,” says Roosevelt. “That piece of medal and ribbon—one that Willy and his daughter Jeanie have been pushing for decades—that means the world to him and his family. It means that William Kellerman is finally being heard.”

The film also led to Ozzie Fletcher, a 99-year-old Black man who served in WWII, receiving a Purple Heart in June 2021. Fletcher was wounded during the Battle of Normandy, but had been denied the Purple Heart due to racial inequalities.

Research contact: @people

Mom cheating on husband with clown hired for her kid’s birthday sparks fury

July 1, 2022

An unusual post on Reddit by user mikesTHrowawayforme has attracted a very mixed reaction online and given a new meaning to the phrase “scared of clowns.” In the post, the writer describes how—after his wife insisted they hire a clown for their son’s birthday—she then cheated on him at the party with said clown, reports Newsweek.

My wife insisted on hiring a clown for my son’s birthday despite my protests because A) Who the f*** hires clowns anymore B) I have a (not aggressive but present) fear of clowns,” the user writes. “I gave in to my wife because I love her…The biggest regret of my life. She was pissy at me all day, she disappeared during the party around the same time as the clown was on break.”

At the request of other users, he goes into more detail. “Hmm okay I’ll try to keep my cool cause the whole thing feels so ridiculous and like i said initially is humiliating,” he writes. “I had noticed they were chatting in the kitchen right after his break, he was making her laugh (which i guess he’s paid to do) it didn’t seem overly flirtatious so I went bout enjoying the party.

“Only to return to the kitchen and neither of them were there, I wandered around the party looking for my wife not too concerned with where the clown was at all. Anyway, I eventually found her leave the direction of my study and she literally (this is where it gets ridiculous) had some clown makeup on her lip and cheek. I pointed it out to her, she wiped it off without an explanation.

“She escorted me away from the study. a few minutes later I was within eye-line of my study and the clown peaks his head out and waltzes out back to the party. He finished his shift but he seemed more distracted than the first half glancing over at my wife who was clapping with the children.

“Once the party ended I noticed something [peaking] out of the top of her dress. Now with warranted suspicion I took it out and it was the clown’s business card tucked into her bra…

“That’s when I confronted her and she confessed almost immediately.”

Research contact: @Newsweek

Elmo gets his first COVID vaccination shot

June 30, 2022 

Elmo just got a COVID-19 vaccine shot—in a public service announcement from Sesame Workshop aimed at persuading human parents to get their young kids COVID shots, too, reports Variety.

 The beloved red Muppet is three-and-a-half-years-old, according to Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street. That means he recently became eligible for a COVID shot—now that the vaccines have been federally approved for children five and under.

 “Yeah, there was a little pinch. But it was OK!” Elmo says in the spot, which also features his dad, Louie.)

 “Was it safe? Was it the right decision?” Louie says in the PSA. “I talked to our pediatrician so I could make the right choice. I learned that Elmo getting vaccinated is the best way to keep himself, our friends, neighbors, and everyone else healthy and enjoying the things they love.”

Elmo’s shot comes after other Sesame Street characters have also gotten COVID vaccines. In November, Big Bird—who is six years old — got a vaccination and was featured in a PSA. At the time, anti-vax conservatives accused Sesame Workshop of trying to “brainwash children” with the campaign.

In a tweet  sent on Tuesday, June 28, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) lashed out at Sesame Workshop—complaining that the latest PSA shows “@elmo aggressively advocat[ing] for vaccinating children UNDER 5. But you cite ZERO scientific evidence for this.” Cruz had previously called the Big Bird PSA “government propaganda.”

 Sesame Workshop collaborated on the Elmo PSA with the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative’s COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative.

 The spot encourages parents and caregivers to get informed about the COVID-19 vaccines following the announcement earlier in June of the FDA’s emergency use authorization and CDC recommendation of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for children ages 6 months and older. The PSA also was produced in partnership with the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

 “Many parents understandably have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines for young children, and we want to encourage them to ask questions and seek out information,” Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, SVP of U.S. social impact at Sesame Workshop, said in a statement. “With help from Elmo and his dad Louie, we want to model real conversations, encourage parents’ questions, and help children know what to expect.”

 Kids under five will be considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with two doses of the Moderna vaccine (a quarter of the dose for adults) four weeks apart; or three doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine (a tenth of the dose for adults), with the first two doses given three weeks apart and a third dose administered at least eight weeks after the second dose.

 Sesame Workshop is directing viewers who want more information about COVID-19 vaccines to GetVaccineAnswers.orgDeTiDepende.org, and vaccines.gov.

 Research contact: @Variety

Loving dog brings his mom presents while she’s in the shower

June 29, 2020

A dog named Fin misses his mom while she’s in the shower—so, he has devised an interesting strategy to get her attention: He leaves little gifts outside the bathroom door, reports My Modern Met.

Whether he’s giving the gifts selflessly or has an ulterior motive questionable, though. Fin isn’t the biggest fan of his mom taking showers. She’s gone so long, which means there’s less time to play. So, the thoughtful pup came up with an intriguing strategy to get her attention. He began delivering gifts—all kinds of household items—to the bathroom door, in hopes of getting her to open the door again.

“From what my fiancé says, Fin brings a couple items to the door while I’m in the shower to see if any of them will get me to open the door,” says Fin’s mom, Vee Thayer. “Sometimes I’ll open it to find an assortment of items; other times, it’ll just be one thing.”

At first, Thayer was understandably confused. But soon, she came to look forward to the surprise gifts. There’s no way to predict what they’ll be. Some of her favorite things he’s brought her have been duct tape, tongs, shampoo, socks, his dog bed, a bowl of his food, hangers, and a pack of Post-it Notes.

She and Fin even have a little ritual now: “When I open the door, I always say thank you and check out each item. His face is the cutest when the door opens—it’s a mixture of pride and concern, like, ‘Oh jeez, I hope I brought the right thing!’”

Fin is also a very playful pup  and seems to think the right assemblage of items is the key to getting his humans to come back from wherever they’ve gone and play with him instead.

He even has devised another endearing ritual, in the hopes of getting his dad back from work sooner. “When he senses it’s about time for dog dad to get home from work, he’ll sit in a specific spot at the corner of the carpet in our living room and wait,” says Thayer. “The longer the wait, the more toys and items he’ll grab. It’s like he’s trying to find ‘the thing’ that will make his dad walk through the door.”

Fin’s adorable offerings have earned him many appreciative followers on both TikTok and Instagram, and he doesn’t seem to have any plans to stop soon.

Research contact: @mymodernmet

Is dyslexia a gift? The disorder seems to have helped some of history’s greatest minds achieve success

June 28, 2022

Dyslexia has affected some of history’s greatest artists and scientists, including Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, and Professor Stephen Hawking.

Entrepreneurs Richard Branson and Steve Jobs—who went on to build billion-dollar companies—also have dealt with developmental dyslexia, a disorder in which children with normal intelligence and sensory abilities show learning deficits for reading.

Now, researchers at the University of Cambridge in Britain have discovered that people with the learning disorder actually have special skills that have enabled our species to survive, reports Study Finds.

The investigators say these individuals are better at solving problems and adapting to challenges, so much so that they could hold the key to tackling climate change. Those with the common learning disability specialize in exploring the unknown, likely to be vital in the coming decades as space exploration takes off.

“The deficit-centered view of dyslexia isn’t telling the whole story,” lead author Dr. Helen Taylor says in a university release. “This research proposes a new framework to help us better understand the cognitive strengths of people with dyslexia.”

Estimates suggest that dyslexia could affect up to one in five people in the United States.

“We believe that the areas of difficulty experienced by people with dyslexia result from a cognitive trade-off between exploration of new information and exploitation of existing knowledge, with the upside being an explorative bias that could explain enhanced abilities observed in certain realms like discovery, invention and creativity,” Dr. Taylor adds.

The study is the first to look at dyslexia from an evolutionary perspective—providing new insights on its prevalence among the gifted and talented.

“Schools, academic institutes, and workplaces are not designed to make the most of explorative learning. But we urgently need to start nurturing this way of thinking to allow humanity to continue to adapt and solve key challenges,” Taylor says.

study is based on a theory of evolution called “complementary cognition,” which suggests that  humans evolved  to specialize in different but supportive ways of processing information. Combining these abilities enables us to act as more than the sum of our parts —increasing creativity.

At the most fundamental level, it reflects the extent to which individuals are about to exploit the unknown. The phenomenon is rooted in a well-known trade-off between exploration of new information and exploitation of existing knowledge.

For example, if you eat all the food you have, you risk starvation when it’s all gone. However, if you spend all your time exploring for food, you are wasting energy you don’t need to waste. As in any complex system, humans must ensure that they balance the need to exploit known resources and explore new resources to survive.

“Striking the balance between exploring for new opportunities and exploiting the benefits of a particular choice is key to adaptation and survival and underpins many of the decisions we make in our daily lives,” the researcher continues.

Exploration encompasses activities that involve experimentation, discovery, and innovation. In contrast, exploitation focuses on using what’s already known including refinement, efficiency, and selection.

“Considering this trade-off, an explorative specialization in people with dyslexia could help explain why they have difficulties with tasks related to exploitation, such as reading and writing,” Dr. Taylor concludes.

“It could also explain why people with dyslexia appear to gravitate toward … professions that require exploration-related abilities, such as arts, architecture, engineering, and entrepreneurship.”

The researchers add that collaboration between individuals with different abilities could help explain the exceptional capacity of our species has to adapt.

In Switzerland, an hotelier and two artists challenge the definition of luxurious hospitality

June 27, 2022

Dream of a night under the stars—but allergic to sleeping bags? This summer in Switzerland, an artistic/hospitality concept named  Null Stern—The Only Star Is You  may offer exactly what you need, reports Forbes magazine.

Imagine a hotel room without a roof or walls, set directly under the sky within a magnificent Alpine landscape. For some, it may look like an optical illusion, but for the 6,500 travelers on the waiting list, a night at Null Stern (whether near Saillon in the Valais region, or at 6,463 feet above sea level in one of six locations in Eastern Switzerland) is very much a reality.

Surrounded by vineyards, the Saillon suites will be available from July 1 through September 18, 2022.

“The definition of luxury has evolved over the years from tangible to intangible,” said co-founder hotelier Daniel Charpentier. “Marble in the bathroom is now much less important than a guest’s emotional experience.”

Charpentier worked in hotels all over the world before he came back to settle in his native Switzerland. There, he met concept artists (and twin brothers) Frank and Patrik Riklin, known first for an art installation set inside a 1980s nuclear shelter hidden in the basement of an apartment building in St. Gallen.

They named it “Null Stern Hotel,” the no-star hotel. Since then, the Riklin brothers continue to imagine artwork and art installations that challenge people’s habits and thought processes. outside of museums and galleries, i

For Null Stern, the three partners search locations that offer both a dramatic backdrop and view. They build platforms on which they place a Queen size bed, two nightstands and light fixtures.

“We call them zero-real estate suites,” said Mr. Charpentier. “But they are within walking distance of bathrooms and also a back-up bedroom that’s reserved for these guests in case the weather turns.”

Each suite costs $295 per night and comes with its own butler, in charge of bringing out dinner and breakfast to guests in bed. But the Null Stern butler is its own invention too. The person who takes care of the guests will wear a white shirt, white gloves and a bowtie but will have complete freedom as to what else to wear. And while he will be responsible for traditional service tasks, he will also be freed to improvise in order to enhance the experience.

Inspired by the simple beauty of the Swiss landscape, the Riklin brothers are known for taking their art outside of museums and galleries, the typical boundaries. In fact, by giving human beings a place to rest within nature, they are showcasing the landscape as art.

Finally, a new suite named the “anti-idyllic” suite and created in partnership with the town of Saillon, challenges even the beauty of the landscape. Set between a gas station and a highway, it aims to provoke a “positive disruption.”

“There are so many problems in the world right now, how can we sleep?” asked Patrik Riklin. “Our new version is an incubator for reflection.”

The brothers’ goal is to make guests stop and think. Perhaps by continuously breaking with conventions, they will succeed in bringing people together to effect change.

“What is luxury? How can we be safe?” they ask.

“We all love nature, but we continue to destroy it,” he said. “The bedrooms of the future may very well not have walls or roofs anymore because we won’t have the resources to build them any other way.”

Whether you choose the “conventional” suites or the anti-idyllic one, Null Stern will challenge your thinking. Will we just go back to the way we used to travel before the pandemic? Art asks questions. The answers are up to us.

Research contact: @Forbes

Sleeping like a baby: American Academy of Pediatrics releases new safe slumber guidelines

June 22, 2022

Co-sleeping under any circumstances is not safe for infant sleep, the American Academy of Pediatrics stressed on Tuesday, June 21, in its  first update to its safe sleep guidelines for babies since 2016, reports CNN.

“We know that many parents choose to share a bed with a child, for instance, perhaps to help with breastfeeding or because of a cultural preference or a belief that it is safe,” said Dr. Rebecca Carlin, who coauthored the guidelines and technical report from the AAP Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and the AAP Committee on Fetus and Newborn, in a statement.

“The evidence is clear that (co-sleeping) significantly raises the risk of a baby’s injury or death,” said Carlin, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. “For that reason AAP cannot support bed-sharing under any circumstances.”

Some 3,500 infants, many of whom are living in socially disadvantaged communities, die from sleep-related infant deaths in the United States each year, the AAP said.

“The rate of sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUIDs) among Black and American Indian/Alaska Native infants was more than double and almost triple, respectively, that of white infants (85 per 100 000 live births) in 2010-2013,” the AAP noted in a statement.

“We’ve made great strides in learning what keeps infants safe during sleep but much work still needs to be done,” Dr. Rachel Moon, lead author of the guidelines and professor of pediatrics at the University of Virginia, said in a statement.

Put babies to sleep alone on their backs on a flat, firm mattress covered in a snug, fitted sheet, with no extra bedding or bumpers, the AAP advised.

While the AAP strongly advises against co-sleeping, its updated guidelines say babies should sleep in the same room with their parents for at least six months on a separate sleep surface with a firm, flat surface.

Based on new Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations that will go into effect this week, the only products that can be marketed for infant sleep include cribs, bassinets, play yards, and bedside sleepers. Bedside sleepers are separate small cribs or bassinets that attach to the parent’s bed but allow babies to sleep alone without any bedding. Parents should not use products for sleep that aren’t specifically marketed for sleep, the AAP said.

Other sleep environments also can put infants at risk. Resting with a baby on a couch, armchair, or cushion and falling asleep raises the risk of infant death by 67%, the AAP noted. If the baby is pre-term, born with a low birth weight or is under four months old, the risk of death while co-sleeping on a bed, couch or other spot increases five to ten times, the academy said.

“A great way to test if a surface is too soft is to press your hand down and then lift it up. If your hand leaves an indentation, it’s too soft,” said Alison Jacobson, CEO of First Candle, a national nonprofit committed to the elimination of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths through education and advocacy.

Parents should always put babies to sleep alone on their backs on a flat, firm mattress covered in a snug, fitted sheet, according to the AAP. Avoid all extras in the crib, including soft toys, blankets, pillows, soft bedding, sleep positioners or crib bumpers, as babies can become trapped by such items and suffocate.

Babies do not need any of those cushioned products to be warm and comfortable, Jacobson said. “Instead of a sheet or blanket, place baby in a swaddle sack or wearable blanket.”

“Crib bumpers have been linked to more than 100 infant deaths during the past 30 years,” the AAP states on its consumer website, healthychildren.org.

In fact, putting excessive clothing or blankets on an infant, especially in a warm room, can be associated with an increased risk for SIDS, Jacobson said.

“Hats and any other head covering should be removed before placing your baby down to sleep,” she said, adding that babies only need one more layer than an adult would typically wear.

What’s more, the new CPSC regulations will ban all products marketed for infant sleep that have more than a 10% incline. Those include inclined sleepers and sleep positioners—which are also called baby nests, docks, pods, loungers, rockers, and nappers, the AAP said. A number of the products may not be sold as sleep aids, but babies often fall asleep while using them.

Baby rockers have led to more than a dozen infant deaths, government agency warns. Many such products on the market have up to a 30% incline, which can be dangerous because babies’ heads fall forward during sleep, the APP said. This chin-to-chest position can restrict their airway, causing suffocation. Infants can also roll out of the devices and become trapped under them, the AAP warned.

The Safe Sleep for Babies Act, signed into law last year, outlaws the manufacture and sale of inclined sleepers and crib bumpers.

In its new guidance, the AAP also warns against the use of commercial devices that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS or other sleep-related issues, including wearable monitors.

In addition, do not use home cardiorespiratory monitors—devices that monitor baby’s heart rate and oxyge —as a way to reduce the risk of SIDS, because there is no evidence that they work, Jacobson said.

“Using products claiming to increase sleep safety may create a false sense of security” for parents that “could result in reducing infant safe sleep practices,” she said.

Research contact: @CNN

What is the Enneagram Test and why is everyone obsessing over it?

June 22, 2022

It seems as if everyone is talking about the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator Test. It’s similar to the classic Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which, odds are, you already have run across at a work retreat, or as part of some career or college counseling session in high school.  Like MBTI, the Enneagram test helps you to identify your specific personality traits, reports Real Simple.

There are nine Enneagram types, and according to the Enneagram Institute, “it is common to find a little of yourself in all nine of the types, although one of them should stand out as being closest to yourself. This is your basic personality type.”

It takes about ten minutes to complete the quiz, most respondents say.

While, personality quizzes aren’t necessarily 100 percent accurate (because how can a test sum up one person completely?) knowing your personality or traits could help you become more aware of your strengths and weaknesses, to improve your relationships, boost your performance at work, or achieve personal goals. A little introspection never hurt anybody.

Take a look at the nine Enneagram types below. You can learn more about each one and take the test at The Enneagram Institute’s website.

1: The Reformer: This type is known as “rational, idealistic.” He or she wants to make change and is well-organized, but sometimes that might mean that the respondent is too critical or perfectionistic.

2: The Helper: This is the “caring, interpersonal” type. People with this personality are friendly, warm-hearted, and want to help others; but “typically have problems with possessiveness and with acknowledging their own needs.”

3: The Achiever: This type is “success-oriented and pragmatic.” Respondents are highly ambitious and charming, but they might become too obsessed with success and their image.

4: The Individualist: Known as the “sensitive, withdrawn” type, these respondents are “emotionally honest, creative, and personal, but also can be moody and self-conscious.”

5: The Investigator: These types are “intense, cerebral.” They are innovative and inventive, and can come up with high-level ideas, but they might be seen as detached or intense.

6: The Loyalist: These respondents are “committed, security-oriented.” According to the Enneagram Institute, “they foresee problems and foster cooperation, but can also become defensive, evasive, and anxious.”

7: The Enthusiast: This type’s name is pretty much self-explanatory. Respondents are extroverted, spontaneous, and always looking for new experiences. However, they can be impatient, impulsive, and over-extended.

8: The Challenger: Known as the “powerful, dominating” type, the Challenger is self-confident and assertive, but can be temperamental and domineering.

9: The Peacemaker: People who are this type are “easygoing, self-effacing.” They are  accepting and supportive, but that can lead to them becoming too complacent.

After reading these descriptions, you probably already have guessed what your personality type might be. See if you are right by taking the quiz.

Research contact: @RealSimple

Why does my cat wag its tail?

June 21, 2022

A cat will often use its tail to convey emotions—swishing it from side to side or thumping it on the ground. Indeed, each wag may indicate a different mood, reports Newsweek.

It’s important to pay attention to what your cat’s tail is doing, along with the rest of its body language, animal behaviorist Zazie Todd recently told the magazine.

“If it’s only a small movement, and if it only involves the tip of the tail, most likely it’s just telling you that the cat is paying attention. If it’s a bigger, wider swish, then it’s most likely a distance-increasing signal—the cat would like more distance between [itself] and you.”

 Cats also have a “distance-decreasing signal,” said Todd, the author of “Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy” (Greystone Books, May 2022).

“There’s a lovely signal where they have the tail straight up, often with a little hook in it, at the top. This is a distance-decreasing signal—a sign that happens between friends, whether that friend is another cat or a person.”

What’s more, different cats use signals differently. In a recent interview, Dr. Gabrielle Fadl, medical director of Bond Vet in New York City, informed Newsweek that some swish their tail back and forth when they’re excited, while others do it when they’re unhappy.

“This could mean they are stalking prey or a toy, or maybe they are just watching a bird outside the window. In other cases, a cat indicates that they are annoyed or that they dislike something that is happening by swishing their tail,” she said.

Below, Vicki Jo Harrison, president of the International Cat Association, sets out her guide for interpreting tail wags and body language cues:

  • Low wagging tail: “A cat wagging its tail low is generally an indicator that scared or anxious,” according to Harrison, who adds. “The low wag may be accompanied with pinned-back ears and the cat’s body crouched low to the ground.”
  • Low wag, tail tucked between legs or wrapped around body: “If your cat’s tail is tucked between its legs, this indicates that it is really scared or may be experiencing pain. When you see this, end your interaction with your cat and ensure that your cat’s environment is free of stressors. (Note: If your cat crouches with their tail curled tightly around their body for more than a few days, then an evaluation by your veterinarian is warranted to rule out pain or illness.)
  • Slow or quick swish: “When your cat slowly swishes its tail from side to side, it may be intently focused on something like a toy or another animal. If its tail begins to swish quickly from side to side, it [may indicate that your cat is] feeling playful and ready to pounce. The quick swishing tail may be coupled with dilated pupils and forward pointed ears.”
  • Quick twitch: “If you notice your cat’s tail doing a short, quick twitch, it usually indicates they he or she is concentrating, hunting, playing, or mildly irritated. Cats typically display this language when they are window-watching a small animal or bird. The wagging is often accompanied by chirping or chattering.”
  • Quivering tail: “A tail quiver means they’re especially excited to see you or another cat. Your cat will approach you with their tail high up in the air and the tip will do a little quivering movement, similar to how a rattlesnake shakes its tail.”
  • Thrashing or thumping: “When your cat thrashes its tail it usually is annoyed or angry. If you’re petting your cat and [he or she starts] thrashing the tail, [he or she is] trying to tell you to stop. If you don’t, the thrashing tail may be a prelude to hissing, growling, swatting, or biting.”
  • Wrapping tail around owner: “When your cat wants to show you affection, he or she may wrap the tail around your hand, arm, or even neck.”
  • Fluffed-up tail: “The classic Halloween pose of a puffed tail and arched back indicates [that your cat is] startled, frightened, or in danger. This is a defensive reaction indicating that your cat wishes to be left alone. They generally do this during a confrontation. They are known to fluff up to try and make themselves look larger and scarier to a predator, which is why he or she will arch their back too.”
  • Waving tail while lying down: “Sometimes a cat wagging its tail may indicate that he or she is in pain or feeling unwell. If your cat’s lying down and waving its tail while also not behaving normally—like not eating or hiding—they should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.”
  • Standing straight up: “When a cat’s tail is upright, it is feeling social and confident, and approaching in a friendly manner. If your cat approaches you with its tail up, this is a good time to pet or play with them.”
  • Question mark shape: Finally, our expert says, “A tail that looks like a question mark—it stands upright and curls at the end— indicates that your cat is happy. This is an invitation to interact with your cat.”

Research contact: @Newsweek

Everything we know about Jerry Seinfeld’s Pop-Tart movie

June 20, 2022

Hollywood is never afraid to give us movies with origin stories that we never asked for: That’s how we got the Jennifer Lawrence vehicle “Joy” about the creation of a mop and Ben Affleck’s newly announced movie about Nike’s marketing team.

What more could we ask for? Up next is a story about the creation of the Pop-Tart—titled “Unfrosted: The Pop-Tart Story,” and helmed by legendary comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who will co-write, direct, produce, and star in the film, reports Bustle.

Announced in the summer of 2021 by “Deadline,” the film is being produced by Netflix at a  reported $70 million budget and now boasts a cast full of A-List stars—among them, Melissa McCarthy, Jim Gaffigan, Amy Schumer, Hugh Grant, and James Marsden.

 Seinfeld got the idea from a 1963 rivalry between two rival Michigan cereal companies, Kellogg’s and Post, to create a new pastry that “will change the face of breakfast forever.”

 The film is described as “a tale of ambition, betrayal, sugar, and menacing milkmen” in the press release, promising a hearty dose of comedy. After all, it’s inspired by Seinfeld’s 2020 Beacon Theatre standup special, in which he waxed philosophic about his love for Pop-Tarts

Seinfeld co-wrote the film with “Seinfeld” alum Spike Feresten and comedian Barry Marder, and told Deadline, “Stuck at home watching endless sad faces on TV, I thought this would be a good time to make something based on pure silliness. So we took my Pop-Tart stand-up bit from my last Netflix special and exploded it into a giant, crazy comedy movie.”

Production is expected to start later this year—meaning, we can expect to see the film on the streamer sometime in 2023. No trailer or teasers have been released at this time.

 Research contact: @bustle