The first U.S.-hosted Olympics was a disaster, but it had many silver linings.

The year was 1904, and it was the United States’ first time hosting the Olympic Games.

This should have been an exciting moment, but America’s inaugural games in St. Louis were actually kind of a mess .

St. Louis wasn’t even supposed to be the host city of video games — Chicago was.

The Windy City had won the bid to host the 1904 Summer Olympics, but the games’ time frame overlapped with the Louisiana Purchase Convention( also known as the 1904 World’s Fair) in St. Louis, a more popular and established event. World’s Fair officers were unwilling to allow a “rival” event to take place in another city, forcing Olympic officials to move video games to St. Louis. The games were no longer a standalone event .

To make matters worse, by July — less than two months before video games began — no invitations to other countries had been extended. But even if the invitations had gone out on time, it was unlikely Europe would make a strong indicating due to political tensions back home and the considerable distance to travelling . The outcome was an Olympic delegation that, by default, skewed heavily American, with merely 42 of the 651 athletes coming from non-U.S. nations.

The games were also host to politicking, scandals, practical jokes, and bad luck — all of which attained for a colorful retrospective, but a lackluster event at the time.

However, amid the chaos and countless obstacles the athletes faced in St. Louis, the event served as a showcase for many Olympic records and firsts .

The fact that the games served as a de facto American platform didn’t curb the competitive fire of the athletes who did show up; many had trained their entire lives for the opportunity.

One such athlete was University of Michigan runner Archie Hahn .

Having won events at the 1903 Intercollegiate Championships, expectations were high for the multitalented way athlete. Hahn didn’t disappoint, winning gold in all three of his events: the 60 meters, the 100 meters, and the 200 meters. In the latter event, Hahn defined an Olympic record time of 21.6 seconds. His record stood for 28 years and endured better-attended games in the future.

Another was George Eyser, a gymnast with a wooden prosthetic leg who competed for the American team.

Concordia Turnverein Gymnastic Team, 1908. George Eyser is in the center. Photo by Louis Melsheimer/ Missouri Historical Society/ Wikimedia Commons.

A German immigrant, Eyser had lost his leg in a train accident as a child, but he stood out as the premiere talent in his local St. Louis gymnastics squad. And at the 1904 Games, he won six medals — five of them in a single day — securing his place in American Olympic history.

It would be over a century before the Olympics would watch another amputee compete in the games.

While this Olympiad was far away from flawless, it secured a place in athletic history not only with the individual athletic accomplishments it , but also the bevy of new athletics it hosted.

Prior to the St. Louis Olympics, boxing, freestyle wrestling, and the decathlon had never been medal events . A century afterward, it’s hard to imagine the Olympics without them.

Other introduced events, such as tug-of-war, don’t feel quite so essential because, well, they didn’t stick around too long. The six-member event debuted in 1904 with the U.S. winning all three medals, but it lasted only through the 1920 Game before its elimination. Nonetheless, many modern fans have been clamoring for its return to the Olympics.

These new events and the athletes they featured may have been foreign to many at the time, but they promptly won the hearts of fans the world over.

The inaugural U.S. Games ultimately served as a reminder — albeit a rocky one — that the spirits of Olympic competition and unity persevere even under the most bizarre circumstances. An Olympic athlete is trained to be tenacious in the face of adversity, and nowhere have we seen this better than the sparsely attended, poorly planned 1904 St. Louis Summer Olympics.

These games may not hold a spot in the pantheon of legendary Olympiads, but they still highlight the accomplishments and spirit of the athletes who participated. The endure and unlikely legacies stemming from these games remind even the most fatigued fans that the Olympics exist as a platform for the athletes .

The chaotic affair also served as a pioneering event, paving the style for United States’ rich history in video games in both hosting and competing.

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Trump’s solution to school shootings: arm teachers with guns

It is the gun, its the person behind the gun and its about helping people before they ever reach that point, said a mother whose son succumbed at Sandy Hook elementary

Donald Trump has said he will consider a proposal to arm school teachers in an attempt to prevent mass shootings, a move certain to prove fiercely divisive.

The US president, holding a listening session at the White House with survivors of last week’s Florida school shooting and others affected by gun violence, claimed that allowing airline pilots to carry and disguise guns had demonstrated the measure could be a success.

” It merely works when you have people very adept at use firearms, of which you have many ,” Trump said during an emotionally searing session on Wednesday that, inordinately, was broadcast live on national television.” It would be both teachers and coaches .”

Referring to Aaron Feis, a football coach who utilized his body as a shield to protect a student during the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, the president continued:” If the coach-and-four had a pistol in his locker when he ran at this guy- that coach was very brave, saved a lot of lives, I suspect.

Julia
Julia Cordover, the student body president at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School wipes away tears during a listening session hosted by Donald Trump at the White House. Photograph: Xinhua/ Barcroft Images

” But if he had a handgun, he wouldn’t have had to run, he would have shot him, and that would have been the end of it. This would only plainly be for people who are very adept at handling a handgun. It’s called concealed carry, where a teacher would have a disguised handgun on them. They’d go for special training and they would be there and you would no longer have a gun-free zone. Gun-free zone to a maniac, because they’re all cowards, a gun-free zone is:’ Let’s go in and let’s assault, because bullets aren’t coming back at us ‘.”

Trump added:” An attack has lasted, on average, about three minutes. It takes five to eight minutes for responders, for the police to come in, so the two attacks is over. If you had a educator who was adept at pistols, they could very well end the attack very quickly .”

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Trump says arming educators with concealed weapons could avoid school carnages- video

Knowledge of this would act as a deterrent to a would-be attacker, Trump claimed.” You know, a lot of people don’t understand that airline pilots now, a lot of them carry firearms, and I have to say that things have changed a lot. People aren’t attacking the way they would routinely attack and perhaps you would have the same situation in schools .”

The president asked for a show of hands in the room over the proposal: some were in favour, others were against.” We can understand both sides and certainly it’s controversial ,” he acknowledged, promising to discuss it seriously.

It emerged after the shooting at Parkland that there was an armed security guard on site but he did not get the chance to engage the gunman, Nikolas Cruz, on the sprawling campus. In May 2016, during the presidential election, Trump tweeted:” Crooked Hillary[ Clinton] said that I want guns brought into the school classroom. Incorrect !”

Donald
Donald Trump with notes during a listening conference with high school students and educators at the White House on Wednesday. Photo: Carolyn Kaster/ AP

Nicole Hockley, whose six-year-old son Dylan succumbed at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, spoke out against the idea of arming educators.” It’s not personally something that I support. Rather than arming them with a pistol, I would rather arm them with the knowledge of how to prevent these acts from happening in the first place ,” she told Trump.

Safety assessments programmes and interventions for distressed children are vital, she added.” Let’s talk about prevention. There is so much that we can do to help people before it reaches that phase, and I urge you please stay focused on that as well. It is the gun, it’s the person behind the handgun and it’s about helping people before they ever reach that point .”

Earlier during the session in the country dining room, where some speakers were tearful but composed as they recalled their experiences, Hockley also issued a challenge to the president.” This is not difficult ,” she told him.” These demises are preventable. And I implore you: consider your own children. You don’t want to be me. No mother does .”

During the session Trump also asserted that he would be “very strong” on background checks for firearm buyers as well as mental health issues. He sat in the middle of a semi-circle listening intently as six survivors of last week’s shooting and bereaved mothers from Parkland, Columbine, and Sandy Hook took turns to address him.

Donald J. Trump (@ realDonaldTrump)

Crooked Hillary said that I want guns brought into the school classroom. Incorrect!

May 22, 2016

Sam Zeif, 18, a Parkland student whose text messages with two brothers during last week’s shooting went viral, opposed back tears as he told Trump:” I turned 18 the day after. Woke up to the news that my best friend was go. I don’t understand why I can still go in a store and buy a weapon of war, an AR. I was reading today that a person 20 years old strolled into a store and bought an AR-1 5 in five minutes with an expired ID. How is it easier than i thought to buy this type of weapon? How are we not stopping this after Columbine, after Sandy Hook, sitting with a mom that lost her son? It’s still happening .”

Andrew Pollack, whose 18 -year-old daughter Meadow was killed at Stoneman Douglas, reflected the candid indignation of many when he took the microphone.” We’re here because my daughter has no voice- she was murdered last week, shot nine hours ,” he said.” How many schools, how many children have to get shot? It stops here, with this administration and me .”

Pollack, his voice rising with raw emotion, added:” It should have been one school shooting, and we should have fixed it, and I’m pissed because my daughter, I’m not going to see again .”

Interactive

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Why Traumatized People Heal Slowly, Mature Quickly, And End Up More Emotionally Intelligent Than Anyone Else

God& Man

Trauma is what happens when something frightens us … but then we don’t overcome it. When we don’t have the logic to explain how it happened, the faith to know why, or the means to convince ourselves it won’t again. We lose the little voice that usually tells us we don’t have to worry. We go into fight-or-flight, and then we stay there. A third trigger response emerges: to freeze .

We encounter the potential for trauma constantly- and nobody is immune. But it only ravages our intellects when we don’t complete the second half of the tale: this terrible thing happened … and then . That’s the way the human intellect adapts to adverse experiences. We resolve them when we can give them an explanation. But when we don’t have an answer, and we don’t try to find one? When we live with the brute in our chest for long enough? We confuse the coping mechanism for a personality trait, and we run health risks of carrying it forever.

When you start to heal, you learn how to survive again. You learn to do the simple things, things that didn’t seem important when you felt as though you were fighting for your life. Traumatized people don’t live in this world, they live in the world of reflexes and over-stimulation, of acute paranoia and reptilian impulses. So you learn to shower each day. You learn to cook your meals. You learn to respond to a friend’s text. You move in baby steps. You learn to speak up. You go to work and come home again. You honor appointments. You sleep. You learn how to get by.

Through this, you begin to develop a sort of acuity, a sensitivity to what it means to be alive. You re-learn humanness as adults and becomes this secondary, but exponential ripen process . You become hyper-attuned to other people’s motives and intentions. You analyse facial expressions and behaviors and have almost clairvoyant abilities to read them and respond.

You begin to realize what matters and what doesn’t. Tendencies and clothes and being popular all starts to seem like an inane way to expend your time. You begin to realize how many people are faking it- how many friends don’t really like each other, how many successful people aren’t even happy. You start to realize that the tart and sweet stupidity of youth is just that … stupid. You stop wasting days on friends that don’t care or nights you won’t remember anyway. You find things that have more meaning. An old spirit kind of wisdom that begins to procure.

This is when you enter the second phase of healing: when you ask yourselves what it would mean to thrive.

With your worldview shattered, you are able to start asking deeper topics. You begin to answer the why, the how, the if and but and when. You think about the objectives and you think about sin. You think about things like moral relativity and is understood that legislators are full of shit. You dwell on forgiveness and sometimes, find it. You read books and then read more. You prioritize independence and keep your social circle tight. You recollect bits and pieces of your childhood now and then. You start to remember the things you once loved. You rediscover within yourself an easiness. You have a thought that becomes a dreaming that becomes a goal. Gesture by gesture, you start to reclaim your inner power. You notice that the dread isn’t run, but there are more and more instances in which you are immersed in other parts of life enough that you don’t have to give yourself to it .

And maybe that was the goal all along .

The narrative of the broken person starts to be replaced, a single word at a time. Your pain isn’t the first thing you share. Your tragedy is not the most exceptional thing about you anymore. Shared misery is not the means over which you bond.

You begin to realize that all the wisdom you are yoking isn’t new, and it isn’t novel, and it isn’t groundbreaking. It’s been known and shared for centuries. It is in ancient texts and self-help guru blogs. It’s what your grandmother told you and what your intuition advised. And as you stand in all of the recognition and realization, you start to see something clearly: you weren’t meant for what you lost, and yet you had to lose it. You are somehow better for what you’ve been through. The worst things that ever happened can be portals, catalysts, for the best. You begin to see that a lot of people come out on the other end with a sort of gratitude for the things that once destroyed them.

They were, as it goes, starrings becoming supernovas- dying, but reborn.

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The Most Powerful Women Are Always The Ones You Dont See Coming

Jeff Isy

The most powerful females aren’t always the ones who seem overtly bold or assertive, though they certainly can be. They aren’t always the women stepping on toes to get what they want( though getting what they want is part of the scheme ). They aren’t always the ones that are the loudest- though creating their voices does become necessary so they can be heard.

The most powerful females are always the ones you don’t see coming.

The ones that build empires while others sleep. The ones who plan their comeback meticulously and quietly, behind the scenes. The ones who appear to be lambs, but emerge as the lions. These females are always underestimated, but they’re really the ones who have been in control all along- because they have self-control. Their they are able to self-validate does not depend on the approval of others.

These girls is a possibility browbeaten, bullied, dishonor, criticized, disempowered in many ways, by many different people- but one thing they all have in common is their ability to rise again from the ashes of their adversity.

Truly powerful females don’t wait around for people to give them permission to resurrect themselves. Crucify them or burn them at the stake and they will do what comes naturally- they will be reborn, each and every time .

They have an inner guidance brimming from their eyes, an inner flame in their bones and an unshakeable faith that can seem startling to those who depend on external institutions and systems to get ahead.

They don’t have to engage in sneaky maneuvers or covert tactics to one-up anyone. They let karma to unfold without batting an eye, all while refocusing on their own lives and progress. They know their merely competitor is their past self; they know that their aspirations and authenticity will pave a track for them that is unable to be replicated by con artists or copycats.

These females are original in their own right. They cannot be bought, sold or recreated. They have ownership over every facet of their existence. They possess a strong sense of self-mastery, an appreciation and acceptance of what induces them different and unique. While others are busy censoring themselves and catering to others, powerful women are not afraid to walk alone if it entails remaining true to who they actually are.

While others believe they can tap into achievement by following the rules to the tee, these women know they are at their bravest when they listen to their own gut instincts rather than the dark voices of society. Their intuition and talent allows them to transcend whatever limitations others impose on themselves with terrifying ease. Since the only authority they listen to is their own inner authority, they can continue to surpass man-made barriers.

Their success comes as a surprise to anyone who has ever underestimated them. But people forget: the ones who are forged by flame will always be able to recreate it to kindle their triumph.

When toxic people try to latch on and feed upon these women, they will always get burned in the process. Powerful girls are the harbingers of truth, of change. They naturally uncover the darkness in others by standing securely in their own light .

The ones who are birthed by chaos are always the bearers of revolution.

Their victories stand alone, on their own terms, because they were created by the magic of these women- their blood, their sweat, their tears, their resilience.

Feel free to underestimate these powerful women. It will cause them to rise higher than you could have ever dreamed .

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Blue-sky thinking: how China’s crackdown on pollution is paying off

Clear skies above Beijing again but some anxiety the problem is just being pushed elsewhere

The photographs on display at Wu Di’s Beijing studio imagine China and Beijing at their dystopian worst.

Naked, expectant moms stare out from the walls, their bellies uncovered but their faces hidden behind green gas masks.

Worshippers prostrate themselves around the Ming dynasty Temple of Heaven, desperately petitioning the smog-choked skies for a breath of fresh air.

But while the interior of Wu’s atelier offers a desolate panorama of China’s pollution crisis, outside, a different, brighter side to the country is, for once, on indicate.

Beijing’s skies, so often noxious and smoggy, are a perfect and mystifying cerulean blue.

” It’s 26 today ,” said Wu, a visual artist and documentary photographer, checking his smartphone’s pollution app to confirm the uncommonly low levels of PM2. 5, an airborne particulate links between lung cancer, asthma and heart disease.

” In the past, we made fund first and could only talk about the environment subsequently. But it’s clear the government has changed its mind ,” he said.” We can see everything is starting to move in the right direction .”

During the creation of the nightmarish airpocalypses portrayed in Wu’s artwork, pollution levels might have been 20 or even 30 times higher.” Beijing was like a giant airport smoking room that day. It was an epic haze ,” he recalled, pointing to an image staged in October 2013 in which a girl appears to inhale oxygen through a tube connected to two heart-shaped balloons.

Times, though, appear to be changing.

Wu
Wu says he became an artist after he saw foreign athletes wearing facemasks at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Photo: Tom Phillips for the Guardian

Traditionally, wintertime is Beijing’s smoggiest season, as coal burning ramps up to keep millions of residents warm. But the skies over China’s capital have been almost inconceivably clear of late, thanks partly to a government crackdown on the use of the fossil fuel.

Beijing enjoyed a record 226 days of “good” air quality last year and suffered 23 heavily polluted days, compared with 58 in 2013, state media announced last month. The South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong newspaper, greeted the recovery with the incredulous headline:” How did Beijing become one of China’s top cities for air quality ?”

Hu Xijin, the editor of the party-controlled Global Times, tweeted alongside a photograph of Beijing’s azure-framed CCTV headquarters:” Isn’t it good to have a ruling party that can honour its promise ?”

Lauri Myllyvirta, a Greenpeace campaigner, said China’s leaders could rightly claim credit for attaining Beijing blue again, temporarily at least, even if favourable weather conditions had played a major role in the exceptionally good spell.

Since last year, thousands of environmental inspectors have fanned out across the industrial belt around the capital as part of an aggressive clampdown on coal employ. Heavily polluting vehicles, mills and construction sites have also been targeted.” There is clear evidence the measures ran ,” said Myllyvirta, who said overall PM2. 5 levels in Beijing had fallen by 40% from their peak in 2012 -2 013.

But he voiced a note of caution. Median PM2. 5 levels in Beijing remained 65% above the national standard and more than five times World Health Organization guidelines last year. A recent bout of severe smog highlighted the fight ahead.

There are also fears that the crackdown around Beijing is forcing polluting industries to migrate south to regions such as the Yangtze river delta around Shanghai, where smog levels are rising.” The’ war on pollution’ is far from over … few people harbour illusions ,” Myllyvirta said.” But there is also no reason for cynicism as there’s clear evidence the measures ran .”

Wu, 41, abandoned his job as an executive to become an environmentally engaged artist a decade ago, shocked into a career change by images of foreign athletes wearing facemasks at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Ten years on, and with the skies over his adoptive home starting to clear, he said he is glad his artwork and photographs, some of which have featured in Greenpeace anti-pollution campaigns, have played a role in increasing public awareness.

” I want to produce work that they are able pushing society and the administration has stimulate the positive developments ….[ and] the most effective way to push the administration has make changes is through public opinion ,” he said.” It demonstrates my work isn’t a waste of time … It shows the power of art .”

Wu worries, however, that change may have come too fast. He was among those left shivering when environmental inspectors began destroying coal-fired heaters late last year as part of a push to switch to natural gas or electric heating systems.” It’s only four degrees in here … I is also difficult to ran ,” he complained, touring his studio in a thick brown coat.

” I agree with the government that we need lucid waters and lush mountains but … the measures should be more gentle and more human. I can cope with the low temperature, but what about the elderly? What about children ?”

In one nearby region, primary school students reportedly suffered frostbite and were forced to study outdoors in the sunshine after their radiators stopped running.

Wu is also concerned about the environmental damage still being inflicted on less visible regions, where pollution crises have not received the same level of media attention as Beijing’s toxic skies. For one installation, he asked 12 volunteer “disciples” to recreate one of Leonardo da Vinci’s frescos, The Last Supper , in a derelict mill.” The message is that because of pollution, mankind’s last supper could come at any time because of pollution .”

Overall, however, Wu believes China is on the right way.” We should admit the government is trying to do the right thing and we need to recognise that it takes time … to deal with environmental issues ,” he said.

If China’s war on smog robbed him of his principal inspiration, he is unperturbed.” There’s no lack of problems to inspire artists in China ,” he joked.” Some western artists are jealous of that .”

Additional reporting by Wang Xueying

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Mexico finds illegal avocado plantation in Monarch reserve

Mexican environmental inspectors say they’ve received 7.4 acres( 3 hectares) of illegal avocado plantations in the Monarch butterfly wintering grounds west of Mexico City.

It’s apparently the first time that a wave of avocado planting has directly affected the core of the Monarch area, a protected nature reserve.

Monarch butterflies migrate from the U.S. and Canada to pine and fir woodlands that flourish at about the same altitude as prime avocado-growing land.

Previously deforestation linked to lucrative avocado planting had been seen in areas to the west and south of the reserve.

But on Wednesday, the environmental protection office said one human had been arrested for weapons possession at the site.

Without pine trees to provide thermal covering and roosting sites, the butterflies can freeze to death.

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Microsoft Build will run from May 7 to 9 in Seattle, will overlap with Google I/O

Scheduling tech seminars is hard, especially in May, when seemingly every company wants to hold an important event, including Google and Microsoft. Typically, Google I/ O and Microsoft Build, the flagship developer conferences for both companies, happen within a week or two of each other in May. But not this year.

Microsoft today announced that its Build conference in Seattle will run from May 7 to 9. Google I/ O is scheduled to run from May 8 to May 10. That’s not ideal.

Google probably put Microsoft in a tough place given that it announced its dates first. Both companies use these events to stimulate major announcements that affect both their respective developer communities and their users. Last year, for example, Microsoft use Build to announce both new developer and cloud tools, as well as the latest version of Windows 10.

By scheduling Build right before I/ O, Microsoft clearly hopes to steal some thunder from Google.

Most attendees likely merely attend one of these shows, so that shouldn’t be an issue for most. Microsoft typically schedules two days of keynotes for Build, though, so May 8 will be an interesting day for the tech press if both Google and Microsoft hold dueling keynotes on that day.

Registration for Build will open on February 15. Developers who want to be in the running for a ticket for Google I/ O will have to set their hat in the ring between February 22 and 27.

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Pauley Perrette’s alleged attacker released from psych hospital

Pauley Perrette is frightened for her life after a homeless human who allegedly attacked her in 2015 was freed from a country psychiatric institution.

“It changed my life eternally, ” Perrette, 48, told Los Angeles’ Fox 11 in a statement this week. “I don’t walk outside my house. I think it’s entirely possible that the next term I hear about this guy is that he’ll kill a female.”

The actress said the district attorney advised her of David Merck’s release from Patton State Hospital.

Merck allegedly attacked Perrette in November 2015, repeatedly punching her and telling her he was going to kill her. The “NCIS” star said the incident left her “shaken and traumatized.”

Merck was charged with false imprisonment by violence, misdemeanour assault and making a criminal menace against Perrette. He pleaded not guilty, but was deemed incompetent to stand trial. A judge ruled in October 2016 that Merck be committed to the psychiatric hospital, the L-Aarea Beverly Press reported.

Police told Fox 11 that until and unless Merck perpetrates another crime, they cannot legally take any action against him, and locals interviewed by the station were divided on whether he seemed like a threat at this point.

Perrette previously said of the experience, “There were a lot of impressions and a lot of emotions, but I feel like at the end of it all, as strange as it audios, if that incident had to happen in the universe, I feel like it had to be me. I feel like it was supposed to be me somehow because I have a lot of experience working with the homeless, working with the mentally ill. Such instances, de-escalation that had to happen right then.”

Such articles originally appeared in Page Six .

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28 One-Sentence Tough Love Reminders Every 20-Something Needs To Hear Right Now

God& Man

1. Chasing people who do not want to be caught is a fool’s race.

2. Other people genuinely aren’t thinking about you that much, so stop worrying so much about what’s going on in their minds; they’re more focused on themselves.

3. No one is ever obligated to love you.

4. Life is genuinely fucking difficult and messy and heartbreaking but it’s also the only thing we really have, so you’re gonna have to give it your all anyway.

5. Sometimes, hard work will not get you what you want but that doesn’t mean you’re exempt from it.

6. Merely are responsible for the way you react to things.

7. More often than not you in control of the things you’re unhappy about, so quit bitching and build the changes you need to be happier.

8. Gossip is lazy, talking here something that actually matters.

9. The world isn’t against you, so stop acting like it is.

10. Who you are when no one is looking says a whole hell of a lot more about you than when all eyes are on you.

11. It’s okay and human to stimulate mistakes, however, it’s okay to never self-reflect and figure out how to remedy those incorrects or at the least get it right next time.

12. Not everyone is going to approve of your decisions, but if it feels right to you then that’s the only thing that really matters.

13. Opposing change is a waste of your limited energy, so figure out how to work with it.

14. Venting is perfectly okay, but if you get to the point where all you’re doing is complaining and have literally zero intention of taking action, then you’re not only wasting your time but also the time of the person who’s listening to your bullshit.

15. It’s not cute to be irresponsible, it’s foolish; grow up and do what you need to do to be a functioning is part of society.

16. You are wrong a lot more than you’re probably realizing.

17. It’s okayto ask for help, but there’s also value in trying to go it alone every now and then.

18. Not everything happens for a reason, sometimes shit simply sucks and you’re going to need to learn to accept it anyway.

19. Sorry, but not everyone who couldn’t love you is a dork, it’s just how life runs most of the time.

20. Even if you’re not where you want to be in life, you can still find ways to work with what you have; gratitude goes a long way.

21. If you’re wondering if someone else cares about you or not, it’s probably because they don’t.

22. Hanging on to should-have-beens or should-bes will do nothing but construct you miserable.

23. Never letting anyone closer doesn’t stimulate you strong and self-sufficient, it induces you scared and lonely.

24. Subscribing to an “” mindset is a race you’ll always lose.

25. Most of the things you waste your time are concerned about never actually happen.

26. Excuses rarely excuse whatever it is you’re trying to make up for.

27. Forgiveness without receiving an apology first is incredibly difficult, but also incredibly important for growth and self-love.

28. You are your biggest problem but you are also your best opportunity.

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19 amazing underwater photos that will make you re-think life on dry land.

Heads up, Ariel: There’s something positively mind-blowing going on under the sea.

These utterly gorgeous photos just made a big splash in the international Underwater Photographer of the Year competitor for 2018. The annual tournament showcases more than 100 of the world’s best photos captured in oceans, lakes, rivers, and even swimming pools. With wins in 11 categories, including portraits, wide-angle, and wrecks, the competitor brings out seasoned professionals and rising stars in this beautiful — albeit somewhat soggy — hobby.

Underwater photography greats Peter Rowlands, Martin Edge, and Alex Mustard judged more than 5,000 entries to crown the wins. Here are 19 of the best, including Tobias Friedrich’s “Cycle War, ” the image named photograph of the year .

1. Just when you thought you’d considered every fish in the sea…

Two opposing anthias in Tulamben, Bali.( c) Anders Nyberg/ UPY 2018.

2 . … something swimmings by and astonishes you.

A juvenile grouper hides inside a pink sponge in the Jardines de la Reina reef on the south coast of Cuba.( c) Nicholas More/ UPY 2018.

3. Like, genuinely astonishes you.

Get a room you two!

Actually, these tompot blennies aren’t kissing; they’re in a fierce battle in Swanage Pier, U.K.( c) Henley Spires/ UPY 2018.

4. It’s bold and colorful down there.

A male corkwing wrasse appears in Bovisand Harbor, Plymouth, U.K.( c) Kirsty Andrews/ UPY 2018.

5. Busy and beautiful too.( Even when it’s a bit intimidating .)

The underbelly of a docile sand tiger shark and a large school of “bait fish” in North Carolina.( c) Tanya Houppermans/ UPY 2018.

6. And on its best days, underwater life is a weird and wonderful combining of all of the above.

Haven’t we all been stuck inside a jellyfish at one point in our lives? Hang in there, buddy.

A juvenile trevally is wedged between the tentacles and buzzer of a jellyfish in Janao Bay, Philippines.( c) Scott Gutsy Tuason/ UPY 2018.

7. The photographers were able to capture some totally delightful surprises…

A crab feeds in the Vuoksi River, Finland.( c) Mika Saareila/ UPY 2018.

8 . … like this haunting dance of fierce predators…

Bull sharks swim in the deep blue ocean of Ponta Del Ouro, Mozambique.( c) Sylvie Ayer/ UPY 2018.

9 . … and these graceful, lithe swans that appear a little more like lovebirds.

Swans feed in the waters of Loch Lomand, Scotland.( c) Grant Thomas/ UPY 2018.

10. It doesn’t get much more impressive than this commanding humpback whale saying hello.

A humpback whale assumes the “spy hopping” posture in Vavau, Tonga.( c) Greg Lecoeur/ UPY 2018.

11. But then you see this micro seahorse captured with a macro lens and remember that sizing isn’t everything.

A Japanese pygmy seahorse blends in to its surrounds in Kashiwajima, Japan.( c) TianHong Wang/ UPY 2018.

12. There’s this sweet sea lion, who could teach a masterclass on the perfect selfie.

A sea lion poses for the camera in Julien Bay, Australia.( c) Greg Lecoeur/ UPY 2018.

13. And so could this Asiatic cormorant, who stimulated sure to show off its good side.

The elegant bird dives for fish in Osezaki, Japan.( c) Filippo Borghi/ UPY 2018.

14. And we can’t leave out this “otter-ly” adorable little swimmer.

An Asian small-clawed otter swimmings during a train session before it’s released back into the wild.( c) Robert Marc Lehmann/ UPY 2018.

15. Though sea creatures aren’t the only ones making a life down below.

The ex-USS Kittiwake sat upright in the waters of Grand Cayman for more than 250 years before surge from a hurricane knocked it over.( c) Susannah H. Snowden-Smith/ UPY 2018.

16. Human can’t assist but experience the thrills….

Musician and surfer Donavon Frankenreiter enjoys the waves in Tavarua, Fiji.( c) Rodney Bursiel/ UPY 2018.

17 . … and colds of life in the big blue sea.

This haunting image is “Cycle War, ” by Tobias Friedrich, winner of the Underwater Photograph of the Year.

“Cycle War.”( c) Tobias Friedrich/ UPY 2018.

The photograph captures motorcycles on a truck on the frequently photographed wreckage of the SS Thistlegorm off the coast of Egypt in the Red Sea. Of this winning entry, contest magistrate Peter Rowlands said, “It is of a subject which has been photographed literally thousands of times. The artistic skill is to visualize such an image and the photographic talent is to achieve it. Perfectly illuminated and composed, I predict that there will never be a better shot of this topic from now on.”

18. But it turns out humen have left a lot of vehicles down there.

This car went through the ice of Finland’s Saimaa lake, but no one was hurt.

Always recollect where you parked!( c) Pekka Tuuri/ UPY 2018.

19. But you can’t actually blame those people for getting a little too close to the breathtaking beauty of life underwater.

And more importantly, who would want to?

A healthy shark population swimmings at sunset in Moorea, French Polynesia.( c) Renee Capozzola/ UPY 2018.

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