16 Aww-Some Photos That Prove Cats Are Living Masterpieces

What is the cat power that makes our hearts melt? We bet you can’t resist it! If you still think you can, have a look at a Picasso cat and other fluffy pets that were created for love and admiration only.

Bright Side has collected some cat photos that turned out to be meowsome masterpieces.

“Kitty found comfort on this statue’s lap.”

When a cat finds out it’s really tasty:

“Our cat is a Picasso cat.”

“This is why I never leap on to the bed without checking first.”

“Found my cat in this pose.”

“A section of my fish tank broke yesterday, causing a corner of my house to be lit up by rainbow colors. My cat Bailey decided to sit in that corner and became a rainbow cat.”

“Went shopping for a lamp, found these pillows.”

“I’m a hunting rug!”

“Draw me like one of your French girls, Jack.”

“My cat created a masterpiece. I framed it.”

The way this cat turns an ordinary picture into a masterpiece:

“The castle siege was defeated, but at great cost…”

Another rainbow cat

It’s stretching time!

Cats become famous because they have paws and bellies. People aren’t that lucky.

When you’re so good, nothing can ruin your image:

Bonus: How to attract a cat

Cats have so many different superpowers: they can turn into a liquid, fit into tiny boxes, sleep in weird poses, and of course, conquer our hearts. Do you agree?

Source : https://brightside.me/wonder-animals/16-aww-some-photos-that-prove-cats-are-living-masterpieces-656860/

'7 Little Johnstons' Star Elizabeth Is Living Her Best Life Following Her Breakup With James

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The young stars of the TLC reality series 7 Little Johnstons are growing up in front of our eyes — and cameras are capturing some major milestone moments. For Jonah, it’s his high school graduation and for Anna, it’s learning how to drive. 

Unfortunately for oldest daughter Elizabeth, that major milestone is her first heartbreak. Lizzie’s breakup with longtime boyfriend James has fans devastated — but she is determined to stay strong. 

“Once I turned 16, that is officially when James and I started dating,” she said on the show. “But I received a text from James ending our relationship. I guess you can say I am angry but I have to put on the mask and show that I am OK.” To make matters worse, James posted a photo with another girl just a couple of weeks after their breakup. 

“It hurts just seeing him move on so quickly,” she added. “I miss him a heck of a lot.”

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So, why did James end his relationship with Elizabeth? 

The breakup definitely came out of left field for viewers and Elizabeth. James has been a regular on 7 Little Johnsons since last year, when he took Elizabeth to homecoming. “Being close to James is just like being close to any other average-sized person,” she said at the time. “I mean I have to look up to him every now and then but that’s it.” 

Before their split, James was extremely protective of Elizabeth and her family – especially when people used the m-word. “I want to hurt them,” James said of the bullies. “But Elizabeth is over there, ‘Stop. Calm down.’ And I think she’s right because if I was to go do something about it, they probably just want to keep doing it because they see it gets to me. But since we’re smart about it, it just died down. We don’t have to worry about that stuff anymore.”

Trent and Amber were also big fans of James. “Amber and I caught on very quickly, with us being little people and with Elizabeth being a little person, that it was not an issue for James,” Trent said. “He wasn’t interested in a little person. He was interested in Elizabeth.” 

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Amber added, “In relationships like this, whether it’s a person in a wheelchair or a little person, you’re always going to catch flak like that. If the two people in that relationship… it’s doesn’t matter to them, that is what’s important. And clearly with James and Elizabeth, it doesn’t matter to James that Elizabeth is little.” 

How is Elizabeth doing today? 

According to her Instagram, Elizabeth is not letting boy troubles get her down. She recently posted a photo with her family on the social media platform, writing, “I’m thankful for this wonderful bunch who I’m proud to call my family. I love them all unconditionally even when we butt heads we all come out stronger in the end.” 

She also attended this year’s homecoming solo, but was all smiles. 

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Plus, she has all her followers supporting her. “I just watched your show and it reminded me of my first break up. It will be one of many kiddo! You are beautiful and have a lot going for you. Keep that strong bond with your family. They will always be your best cheerleaders,” one fan wrote. Another added, “Really pretty girl… Don’t be sad about James he doesn’t deserve you anyway.” 

Your loss James. Watch 7 Little Johnstons Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on TLC. 

Source : https://www.distractify.com/entertainment/2018/11/07/Z13Lcxs/7-little-johnstons-elizabeth-boyfriend

Here's What Everyone Does for a Living on 'This Is Us'

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Even if you’re a die-hard This Is Us fan like us, we wouldn’t be surprised if you struggled to come up with what exactly Toby does for a living. Sure, he surprises Kate at her weight loss camp and all the Pearson family gatherings, but what does he do from 9 to 5? 

Don’t worry if you can’t name his job, you’re definitely not alone. “What kind of job does Toby have? Cause we never see him working. How do they realistically pay their bills?” one fan recently tweeted. Another added, “What do Toby and Kate do for a living? I feel like they’re always home lol. Kate does gigs from now and then, but that alone pays a mortgage in LA?” 

So we decided to round up all the career fields the characters on the NBC series follow — so next time the question comes up, you won’t hesitate to answer. And yes, he does have a real job! 

1

Jack Pearson

2

Rebecca Pearson

3

Kate Pearson

4

Kevin Pearson

5

Randall Pearson

6

Beth Pearson

7

Toby Damon

8

Sophie

9

Miguel Rivas

10

Zoe

Source : https://www.distractify.com/entertainment/2018/10/31/ZhpNwU/what-does-toby-do-for-a-living-this-is-us

19 Gadgets That Prove We’re Living in the Future

Science and technologies are developing so fast that it’s practically impossible to track all the new inventions that appear. Gadgets that we couldn’t even dream about are now entering our lives at the speed of sound. Bionic lenses that can change reality, invisible air umbrellas, and a 3D pen that ‘draws’ tangible objects — the future is here!

Bright Side wants to show you these gadgets and accessories that sounded futuristic only a few years ago.

1. The technology of intraocular bionic lenses developed by scientists is believed to restore eyesight. Who knows, maybe in the future lenses could fully substitute an eye like this imaginary lens below?

2. Another type of lens that is being developed now has an imprinted electronic circuit and lights that will be able to project information on the world outside. This is our idea of what these lenses could look like in reality:

3. And here come the inventions we can already use. A 3D pen lets you ’draw’ any object you like.

5. Paro seal is a Japanese therapeutic robot designed to help patients with Dementia. This is the way these robots are charged.

6. With these creative T-shirts you can let your kids draw on their clothes.

7. This portable solar charger will help you re-charge your gadgets wherever you are.

9. Somnox pillow is a robot that produces soothing sounds, synchronizes with your breath, and makes it slower while you sleep.

10. This invisible umbrella creates an adjustable air curtain that protects you from rain drops.

13. Portable air conditioner will provide you with fresh cool air without disturbing your colleagues.

14. This split keyboard will let you place your hands in the most comfortable manner.

15. A Numbrella is a hands-free umbrella ideal for both rainy and sunny weather.

17. With these coffee sachets you don’t need a coffee machine to enjoy your favorite drink.

18. This mini air tank will let you dive for up to 10 minutes.

19. This goggles umbrella fully covers the upper part of your body letting you see what’s going on around you.

Which of these inventions would you like to have? Tell us in the comments!

Source : https://brightside.me/creativity-design/19-gadgets-that-prove-were-living-in-the-future-628110/

7 Eye-Popping Facts About Living in Antarctica (−110°F Outside and No Peeing in the Shower)

Antarctica is often called the White Mars due to its severe conditions. In 2005, the French-Italian polar station, Concordia, was built there. The European Space Agency (ESA) conducts research there. At the same time, almost 60 people live there in isolation, extremely low temperatures, and with a lack of light and oxygen. They’ve all gone through months of preparation to work there for no less than 9-12 months. The station consists of 2 cylindrical buildings: the first one is called “quiet” and it’s the place where all the labs, living rooms, and a hospital are located. The second one is called “noisy” and has the gym, storage area, dining hall, movie theater, and a rec room.

Bright Side will tell you about Concordia and how people manage to live there.

1. The average temperature in Antarctica is −58°F. The lowest temperature is −110°F.

The temperature never rises higher than −20°F even during summer. Ordinary bacteria can’t survive there and to go outside people have to put on several layers of clothing, special shoes, puffy mitts, and glasses. All the clothes weigh just as much as a space suit.

Concordia is located at 2.050 miles above sea level which is why the air there is really thin and has a low level of oxygen. It is also so clean that it absolutely doesn’t smell of anything. After getting back to the mainland, researchers describe their shock with the overwhelming variety of smells.

2. People live in complete darkness for 4 months a year.

Antarctica doesn’t have nights and days as we know them: during winter, the sun doesn’t rise over the horizon, and people spend 4 months in complete darkness. During summer, it doesn’t go below the horizon. Due to this fact, circadian rhythms get messed up and sometimes it’s hard to fall asleep or eat something because feels like you’re eating in the middle of the night. The first rays of sunshine after darkness feel like a holiday: everyone drops what they’re doing, goes up the roof, and watches the sunrise for the first time in 4 months.

3. The nearest supermarket is 2,500 miles away.

Concordia is located farther from civilization than the ISS and it’s not that easy to get there: large loads are brought by a caravan of sleighs (it takes 10-12 days), and smaller loads and food are brought by small planes constructed for the extreme temperatures.

Despite the fact that the nearest supermarket is located 2,500 miles away, it doesn’t mean that the researchers are put on a bread and water diet: they eat meat, fish, dairy, fresh fruits, and vegetables. The members of the international team love to cook traditional dishes like frog legs or borscht. Many products are kept frozen and eggs are covered in wax.

Alexey Ekaikin, a glaciologist from Russia, shares his “day in the life” of living at the station: “Today all the residents of the station received a newsletter that Concordia has run out of milk and we’ll have to use powdered milk until we get a new load. There’s no milk in the heart of Antarctica, too bad!”

4. During winter, the station is completely isolated from the mainland.

It’s impossible to leave Concordia during winter. There’s no connection with the mainland and, if something unexpected happens, you can only count on yourself. That’s why there’s a well-equipped hospital there and a big sector of the station is packed with food. The food is also stored in storehouses near the station.

Usually, around 15 people stay there for winter. Most of the ones who stay have 2 specialties, for example, a plumber could assist in the OR and a chef could also be a firefighter.

5. Researchers try to find out how this harsh environment influences people. It’s necessary for future space flights.

The feeling of a total isolation often leads to stress and various psychological difficulties — from absent-mindedness to depression and those things are properly studied there. Scientists believe that the knowledge gathered will prepare people for long space flights, improve space engines, and help figure out how to build the first Moon and Mars stations.

All team members have special digital diaries, wear special watches that document the times they sleep and work, and track how much time people spend with each other. After the data is collected, it’s properly analyzed to see if there are any changes in people’s behavior.

In addition to that, the station workers conduct more than 20 scientific projects: seismologists, astronomers, meteorologists, climatologists, physicists, and glaciologists work there.

6. People not only work but also have fun there.

Station workers love interesting leisure time: researchers give tours of their laboratories, play basketball on the snow, and love dancing and costume parties. Sometimes the team uses video calls to answer school and college students’ questions, on Christmas they love to make a call to the president of Italy via Skype.

Many of them try to speak with foreign colleagues and practice their foreign language skills since the team there is truly international and consists of Swiss, French, Italian, English, and Russian people.

7. Peeing in the shower is banned at Concordia.

All the fresh water at Concordia is made of snow. They need a lot of fuel to melt it which is why they work hard to save water: after being used in the showers, the water is properly cleaned and delivered for reuse. This is why people can’t use their own soap and shower gel there: everyone is provided with a 3-in-1 shampoo that is compatible with the cleaning system. You also can’t pee in the shower because the system doesn’t cope with the recycling of human waste. If maintenance workers find an increased level of ammonium in the water, they make an announcement about it at a general meeting.

Here you can watch a short video tour of Concordia.

Would you dare to visit Antarctica? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Source : https://brightside.me/wonder-places/7-eye-popping-facts-about-living-in-antarctica-110f-outside-and-no-peeing-in-the-shower-625260/

Former 'Life Below Zero' Star Kate Rorke Is Not in Alaska, but She's Living Her Best Life

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If you love Alaskan Bush People, then you need to watch Life Below Zero — if you don’t already. The National Geographic series also takes viewers to the most remote regions of Alaska to see how people survive in the frozen tundra. 

However, while most of the show’s cast is returning for Season 11, Kate Rorke is not one of them. So, what happened to Andy Bassich’s wife Kate from Life Below Zero?

Well, fans met the blonde beauty when the show premiered in 2013. Back then, she was married to co-star Andy. Kate, who is not originally from Alaska, met Andy while on vacation and decided to move up north to be with him. The couple wed shortly after. 

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Unfortunately, in 2015, Andy and Kate announced they were calling it quits. One year later, the divorce was finalized and Kate moved away — ending her time on the Nat Geo series. She later opened up about the split, claiming Andy was physically and mentally abusive. 

Since then, Kate has not returned to Alaska and Andy is living alone with his dogs. Despite her decision to leave reality television, Kate is seemingly doing better than ever. On her official Facebook page, the 61-year-old regularly interacts with her fans and shares many of her life updates from Newfoundland in Canada. 

And it looks like she is also enjoying warmer climes — recently returning from a vacation in the Caribbean. She recently shared a photo with her brother, writing, “Great to spend time with my amazing brother Tolson. We have not seen each other in about 16 years. Far too long.” 

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Even though it has been three years since her last appearance on Life Below Zero, followers are still hoping she will return. But that doesn’t seem likely. 

“It’s good to be home,” Kate said in a video post. “The memories are good, the friends are good, and it’s nice to be around people who have known me since the beginning of time it seems as we get older… You guys, you all got me here and you saved my life in a way, so love to you. Over and out.” 

What is Andy up to on Life Below Zero

In a sneak preview for Season 11, it was revealed that Andy is still on his own in Alaska and has recently lost his beloved dog, Iceberg. 

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“It’s sad to see him go. You get really attached to them and then they leave and it’s kind of a hard thing to live through,” he said on the show. “Last year, I retired him halfway through the year, but even with one eye, he was still a pretty good darn lead dog. You know, he had a great life with me, we traveled a lot of miles together, had a lot of great adventures and he was a pretty cool dog. I’m going to miss him. It’s sad to see him gone but it’s time to start training the new Iceberg.”  

Watch the season premiere of Life Below Zero on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 9 p.m. on the National Geographic. 

Source : https://undefined/entertainment/2018/09/14/Z1IROvs/what-happened-kate-life-below-zero

20+ People Living in 3100 While We’re Stuck in 2018

Some really incredible technologies are entering our lives right now. Did you know Dublin and Singapore already have buses with USB ports, where any passenger can charge their device on the go? At the same time, inventive (and lazy) people make this world better by proving we can create the comforts of the future almost from scratch. So unexpected and different, the year 3100 is closer than we think — with the help of both science and creativity.

Bright Side has collected a bunch of unexpected photos that prove that the future is right around the corner.

1. Now you can take a morning ride even if your office is in your home.

2. Who said you can’t sleep comfortably on a bus?

3. No one will escape from this guy.

4. This is Jarvis. He’s a staff member of a hotel in Palo Alto.

5. When you’re a parent, you gotta be creative.

6. You’ll always be able to spot the vacant bathroom!

7. AliExpress + imagination = future

8. Meet some school hacks from 3018

9. This generation IS brilliant

10. I wish I was as creative as this guy.

11. RoboCop’s dog?

12. You couldn’t invent it in 2018.

13. Batteries will stay with us forever, right?

14. The key to future technologies is simplicity.

15. They should have patented this.

16. The next level of water for your dog:

17. Breaking news! Some travelers already live in the year 3100.

18. This Dublin bus truly came from the future.

19. A new outlook on lunch breaks:

20. Breakfast will also become much more pleasant.

21. And here’s a kid not hiding the fact she’s a time traveler:

Have you ever witnessed any proof of time travel? Maybe it’s you who was the mastermind of a futuristic invention? Share your stories with us.

Source : https://brightside.me/creativity-design/20-people-living-in-3100-while-were-stuck-in-2018-600210/

Ryan Reynolds Picked a Fight with Paddington Bear and the Internet Is Living

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The king of Twitter is at it again. Only this time he isn’t dragging his perfect wife, Blake Lively, or even picking a fight with a human Hollywood celeb. In a bizarre turn of events, Ryan Reynolds has taken to Twitter to start a “feud” with Paddington Bear. Yep, that’s the one you’re thinking — the stuffed bear who famously sports rain boots and a duffle coat. 

Ryan, who is famous for his Twitter digs, has been known to rope in celebrities such as Kanye and Hugh Jackman into his feed. When the rapper mentioned the new Deadpool movie’s soundtrack has songs that sound “similar” to his, the actor responded by saying, “Agree. I’m having a word with Celine Dion.”

But this time, he’s taken to dragging a stuffed animal on the platform, and the internet is eating it up. Because, Ryan Reynolds, of course. Ryan tweeted, “So honored by all the @peopleschoice noms. Hope you vote for Deadpool 2 and feel free to write us in for best Family Film. Because watch your f–king back, Paddington.”

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It didn’t take long for the world to respond. People who worked on the Paddington movies promptly replied to his tweet. Hugh Bonneville wrote “Language, Mr Reynolds, language.” #hardstare #paddington2,” while sound designer @CarpenterSound responded, “He thinks he’s being cute and funny. But he shouldn’t mess with Paddington like that.”

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The morning after Ryan’s tweet, the official (and verified!) Paddington Bear himself decided to chime into the conversation. He succinctly tweeted “#hardstare” in response to the actor’s cheeky threat.

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Although Ryan hasn’t tweeted out a reply, it’s safe to say that the actor has met his Twitter match in the small stuffed animal. Which says a lot about both parties. Of course, it isn’t the first time Ryan has gone through great lengths to promote his Deadpool film franchise.

In fact, he’s been known to pull labor-intensive and time-consuming pranks to market his movies. A few months ago, he photobombed a birthday video long-time friend Hugh Jackman was recording, belting Annie‘s “Tomorrow” and “Who Let the Dogs Out,” dressed up as the superhero.

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And even when he’s not promoting Deadpool, the actor seems to spend a lot of his time on social media roasting everyone from celebrity friends to his very own wife and children. On Father’s Day, he wrote “My daughter’s only 6 months old and already drawing. I’d hang it on the fridge but honestly, it’s absolute garbage.”

TBQH, we love him. And we’re so grateful of the time he sets aside just to make sure his followers are amused.

See who ultimately wins this battle between Ryan and Paddington Bear when the People’s Choice Awards airs November 11 on E!

Source : https://www.distractify.com/trending/2018/09/06/1UlQT9/ryan-reynolds-paddington-bear

15 Things the Japanese Can Teach Us About Living a Balanced Life

The Japanese fans made headlines in July 2018 when they stayed to clean up the stadium during the World Cup. Heartbroken after their team lost to Belgium, they tried to cope with their disappointment by collecting rubbish at the Rostov Arena where the game was held. It was not the first time the Japanese fans had cleaned up stadiums after games. They always show the rest of the world how important it is for everyone to keep their community clean. This is not the only lesson the Japanese can teach us and we have much more to learn from this amazing culture.

Here at Bright Side, we have carefully studied 15 principles that the Japanese follow and the way these principles influence their lives.

1. Follow the rules.

The Japanese observe order in everything. You will not see people pushing or bumping at each other in stores, on transport, or in other public places. Even if the train station is packed with hundreds of people you will see no chaos — people will line up and wait for the train while respecting each other’s personal space.

2. Keep the planet clean.

Japan has one of the world’s most elaborated garbage disposal systems. It all starts with sorting the garbage at home, and it is not as simple as it seems. The garbage-sorting guide of Nihama city, for instance, has 42 pages that describe, in detail, how this or that type of waste should be treated. In the picture: Japanese football fans clean up the stadium after the game.

It is also a common practice for the Japanese when friends, schoolmates, or co-workers gather to spend a few hours to collect trash in the neighborhood.

3. Seek order and harmony in everything.

The Japanese concept of Wa (literally meaning “harmony”) refers to seeking harmony everywhere from interpersonal communication to the arrangement of items. The art of ikebana and traditional Japanese poetry, tanka and hokku, for example, are based on principles of harmony in flower arrangement and rhythm. The Japanese believe that harmony in objects and space organization brings harmony into a person’s mind and soul. In the picture, women are thoroughly checking the cups alignment.

4. Take responsibility.

The Japanese can probably set the best example of being highly responsible in the workplace. In order to increase the safety of the passengers and personnel, Japan Railways introduced the so-called “pointing-and-calling” system, also known as Shisa Kanko. This system is based on associating every task with physical movement and vocalization in order to prevent errors.

Sometimes we do things automatically and Shisa Kanko raises our awareness by making us do things consciously by pointing at objects and saying out loud what we are doing. You can use this efficient system in everyday life. If you tend to forget whether or not you’ve turned off the iron before you leave the house, simply look at the iron, point at it, and say out loud “I turned the iron off.” In this case, you will be sure you did everything correctly for the rest of the day.

5. Have fun like no one’s watching!

In Japan, having good fun is just as important as working hard. And really, who can be bored in a country where karaoke and Cosplay were born? Karaoke, in particular, is one of the most popular ways to shake off stress after a long day at work. In the picture, you can see young people take part in Sailor Moon Cosplay.

6. Be polite.

The Japanese culture is based on politeness and there are countless ways to be polite from table manners and gestures to using certain words when addressing certain people. The concept of politeness itself (teinei in Japanese) is very popular and it is often associated with respect, which implies putting oneself down and putting others first, especially when around elderly people, teachers, bosses, guests, or clients. In the picture, you can see how attendants welcome the first customers in a store.

7. Turn little pleasures into a festival.

Almost everything you do in Japan turns into a little ritual. Would you like a cup of green tea? You will get it accompanied by traditional sweets called wagasi. They come in many shapes and styles but they are all made so finely and meticulously that each of them looks like a work of art.

Some of the Wagasi types are popular all year round while others are seasonal. Their basic ingredient is sweet Azuki bean paste, often used as Wagasi filling.

8. Devote at least one minute a day to a skill you want to improve.

The principle of Kaizen tells us that any task, no matter how tough and complicated, can be accomplished in small steps. In terms of practicality, it means that if you spend at least one minute every day doing the thing you want to master, you will achieve success. If you want to improve your language skills, devote one minute (or more, if you can) to learning every day and you will see that your skills improve with time. The secret of this principle lies in its systematic nature which makes even one minute of daily activity worth several hours of practice once a week.

9. Make the most of what you have.

Japan can teach the whole world how to make the most out of the least, especially when it comes to the efficient use of limited space. No land for house building in the city? No problem! In Japan, small humble houses appear right between the existing buildings and even though they are small, they have everything necessary for comfortable living.

10. See the beauty in everything.

The Japanese philosophy Wabi-Sabi teaches us to see beauty in everything, even if it is imperfect. A bright example of this principle is the art of Kintsugi which consists in repairing broken ceramics in a special way. The lacquer used to repair broken pieces is mixed with golden, silver, or platinum powder in order to bring out the cracks instead of hiding them. Isn’t it a good lesson of cherishing what we have in our modern world that’s always striving for perfection?

11. Take care of those who need it.

Japan was the first country where cat cafes, or Neko Cafe, became extremely popular. Limited spaces, strict rental agreements, and busy lifestyles do not let the Japanese have pets at home. Such cat cafes are a good way to take care of stray cats and get positive emotions that pets give us.

Though keeping cats in such cafes is still a controversial issue, any practice that ends in saving animals’ lives is rather good than bad. Cat cafes appear in different cities of the world welcoming people to adopt cats and make them part of the family. In the picture, you can see a cat café in Kurashiki, Okayama.

12. Use gadgets to make your life easier and more comfortable.

The motherland of robotics can show off all sorts of gadgets that make our lives easier, more comfortable, and more enjoyable. The most unusual gadget and accessories include glasses with cones for applying eye drops, a mask for accurate lipstick application, a full-body umbrella, and a stationary organizer “built” in a tie. In the picture, you can see Pepper, a human-shaped robot that you can meet working as an attendant in some of the Japanese stores.

13. Eat healthy food.

According to statistics, Japan leads the world in life expectancy. A healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet help the Japanese live long lives. The core ingredients of the Japanese diet are fresh fish and seafood, vegetables, seaweed, and rice.

14. Respect the elderly.

Japan celebrates Respect for the Aged Day every September, but taking care of the elderly is part of everyday life. This care is performed both in the family, where the eldest children take care of their parents, and in special institutions. In the picture, you can see a train station worker accompany an elderly person.

15. Relax before you get stressed.

Hanami, literally “flower viewing,” is the traditional act of enjoying cherry blossoms. Hanami is a bright festival that attracts people from all over Japan and abroad and makes them travel from city to city to follow the cherry blossom. Hanami is relaxing and it has a certain philosophy behind it. Cherry flowers have a very brief lifespan and it reminds us of the nature of life and death and helps us appreciate the present moment.

Which of these lessons do you find to be the most thought-provoking? Would you like to follow any of these principles? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Source : https://brightside.me/wonder-curiosities/15-things-the-japanese-can-teach-us-about-living-a-balanced-life-593710/

I’ve Been Living in Singapore for 4 Years and Would Like to Share 10 Things That Surprise Me Every Day

Hi everyone! My name is Vasilisa and I am from Belarus. This is the fourth year I have been living and studying in Singapore. The country is not that big — there are 5.8 million people living on the territory of 247 square miles. In the 1960s, it was a poor and corrupted country but the country’s current prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew managed to perform an economic miracle and turned Singapore into one of the most successful countries in the world.

Especially for Bright Side readers, I am going to tell you about some surprising things a person can find when visiting Singapore.

1. Singapore is a country of fines.

Strict laws and high penalties helped turn Singapore into the country it is now. The country is even called the “fine city” in jest.

You are not allowed to smoke, litter or even eat in unauthorized places. For example, one can’t have a snack on public transport. If you litter twice, you’ll get a signboard that reads, “I have littered” and you’ll have to clean streets all weekend. Drivers are fined for not fastening their seatbelts and can be imprisoned for speeding.

People are also fined for saying filthy words in public places or even for leaving an unflushed toilet. They say some elevators have detectors that will block the lift until the police come if someone decides to defecate there.

Additionally, it is forbidden to connect to somebody else’s Wi-Fi — this action is considered as hacking. Until recent times, there was even a law that prohibited walking naked in your own flat. What if the neighbors could see you?

Some criminal actions are punishable by beating with sticks. But the most severe punishment is connected with using and distributing drugs. This action, as well as murder, is punishable with the death penalty.

2. It’s very safe here.

Due to its strict judicial system and legislation, Singapore is considered to be one of the safest countries in the world. The crime level is very low here and most imprisoners are road rule breakers. There are many cameras in the city watching the order of things and there are almost no policemen. You can safely walk in the city both during the day and at night.

3. People lead a healthy lifestyle in Singapore.

This is a small stadium not far from my home.

The authorities of the country try to make people accustomed to a healthy lifestyle. And they partially do it with the help of limitations and bans. For example, hookahs, electronic cigarettes, and snuff are forbidden here. One can’t buy alcohol after 10:30 PM, while cigarette companies print scary pictures on cigarette packaging. But these aren’t the only ways Singapore promotes a healthy lifestyle.

Almost all yards near houses have exercise machines and treadmills — people can train for free there. Also, there are many athletic complexes where Singaporean people have yoga and pilates lessons. Various exercises are held both in yards near homes and in malls. For example, every Thursday near my home there is a free Zumba lesson. If you live in a building of a higher ranking, then there will likely be a gym and a swimming pool present. Also, for elderly people, they create special clubs where apart from visiting sports events for free, people in their golden age can simply spend time together and walk in the park.

Also, much attention is paid to healthy eating. Many products in shops are labeled with stickers that say, “Healthy Choice” — it’s the food that has less sugar, more fiber, no trans fat, etc. They even have special campaigns where if you buy more products with this sticker, you can register them in a special application and get points.

Various marathons promoting a healthy lifestyle are held in the country. For example, the marathon for slimming gives an opportunity to win prizes if you show a good result after losing weight; another one is a step marathon which allows people to take part in a lottery of prizes if they take 1,000 steps daily. And, of course, there are numerous running marathons in Singapore both for kids and adults.

Together with the high level of medical services and high social responsibility, these conditions give good results. According to one source, in 2017, the average life expectancy in Singapore was 83 years.

4. An unusual person named Mr. Toilet lives in Singapore.

There is a person with an unusual profession living in Singapore — his name is Jack Sim and he is known as Mister Toilet. Jack manages the World Organization of Toilets and he even made up a holiday called The Day of Toilets in 2001. If you ever want to celebrate it, it’s the 19th of November.

This organization does many good things: it educates about proper hygiene and promotes the creation and maintenance of a normal sanitary society. The idea is to take care of people’s health because unsanitary conditions and water pollution affect it negatively. This organization has done great work in India where, as we know, the hygiene culture is at a very low level.

I had the honor of meeting Jack personally and I must say, he has a real talent for motivating people (he’s even better than Schwarzenegger), even if it’s about something unusual like sanitary hygiene. He said that he had built many business projects but at the age of 50, he realized that this life was not eternal and he wanted to do something really useful for this world — that’s how he started this organization.

5. Do you see tissues? It’s occupied!

There is a word “chope” in the Malay language that means “stamp”. And in modern Singlish (the local dialect which is a mixture of Singapore and English languages) this means, “to reserve a seat in a food court with the help of tissues or other objects”. This may sound funny, but it is really true!

In Singapore, you can reserve (or stamp) your table at a restaurant by simply putting a pack of tissues, an umbrella, a ticket, a plastic bag, a bottle — or just about any of your belongings on it. That’s it! No one will occupy this spot because they know it is already occupied.

Of course, if you have simply forgotten your tissues or an umbrella on the table, the staff will likely take them away after a couple of hours. Or not! People will keep meeting, eating, and saying goodbye, and those lonely tissues will still be lying on the table like an indestructible monument to a Singaporean “chope”.

6. A car is a luxury.

Firstly, taking into account all the duties and registration fees, taxes, and other various payments, the purchase of a car in Singapore ends up costing an arm and a leg — approximately $100,000 (and that’s on the low end). Additionally, there are many toll roads, toll tunnels, and paid parking lots which also become quite expensive. This harsh method helps the small country to fight traffic jams and air pollution.

At the same time, public transportation is developed very well here. Well-equipped buses, trains, metros, monorails and bicycle paths are all made for people’s comfort. There are various promo campaigns held in the sphere of public transport such as free entries to the subway till 7:45 AM (only in the downtown area), cheap night buses and more.

7. It’s very hot and at the same time, cold in Singapore.

Singapore has an eternal summer — the air temperature rarely goes below 85°F. That’s why if you are going to visit this country, remember to take sunscreen and a hat, otherwise, you might end up having a heat stroke.

But local shop owners, metro and bus workers, as well as office clerks miss the cold very much and set their air conditioning at 60°F. Air conditioners are everywhere and you can imagine the temperature differences a person has to endure going inside and outside all day. Frankly speaking, I still haven’t got used to this and that’s why I always carry a sweater with me.

8. A little about local styles

Generally, Singapore residents’ clothing style looks more European — they also like brand names and cool styles. But there is one thing to note — due to the hot climate, the most comfortable shoes are flip-flops. That’s why you can come to most restaurants wearing these simple shoes. If some event requires a dress code, they will always make an announcement that flip-flops are forbidden at the event.

Men can’t come to the office in shorts and restaurants can also prohibit such attire. Also, there is an old Chinese tradition that tells people not to cut their nails. In the past, this was an indication of being an unskilled worker. Unfortunately, nowadays, you can meet many people wearing this kind of “manicure”. Frankly speaking, it looks so-so.

9. Most families have housekeepers.

Many local families have their own housekeepers. These women come from the Philipines, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka to earn money. They usually live in a flat owned by the family they work for and very often it’s the only way for them to earn money. Their room most often looks like a tiny closet without windows. These housekeepers do all the house chores and look after the owners’ children, having only one day off per week and one vacation every 2 years. Of course, not all hosts are so strict with their housekeepers and in some families, the conditions are different.

All the money they earn is sent home. Usually, it consists of 500-600 Singapore dollars per month (400-500 USD). Apart from salary expenses, the hosts also pay fines and spend money for the housekeeper’s food.

10. It’s a really futuristic city, and it’s simply beautiful.

The city authorities decided that there would be no stone jungles in Singapore. That’s why 30% of the city is covered with greenery. There are many parks, botanical gardens and a national park here — one can easily see many flower pots both in malls and on the streets. Plants and trees can be seen everywhere — on the roads, on pedestrian crosses and building roofs. They pay much attention to the environment, education, and the quality of medical care in Singapore. The government is trying to apply all the latest technologies such as special sensors to provide its residents with maximum comfort.

The easiest way to come here is for school, as I did. At first, Singapore was nice to me but it felt a bit distant. After some time, I got used to this country and I really love it now. Singapore is like a hub of talents, a bridge between the worlds. I came here from Belarus and now, thanks to the education I got here, I can move to any place in this world. Yes, the city is full of comforts but I had to trade in a bit of my freedom. It’s each person’s choice to decide whether they want to live in this country or not.

Bonus: what you should see in Singapore

If you are going to visit Singapore, keep in mind that it’s monsoon season from November till February. Usually, the rains start and finish quickly but they bring a long-awaited evening coolness. Generally, you can come here at any season — it’s always sunny and warm here!

What you should do in this city:

  • See the famous hotel Marina Bay Sands with a swimming pool on its roof. Rooms in the hotel are quite expensive and the swimming pool is always overcrowded due to its popularity; hence, I would not recommend to stay at this hotel nor visit the pool. However, there is a nice bar on the roof called Ce La Vi — the entrance fee will be the same as the entrance fee to the observation deck but you’ll receive a free beverage from the pub. If you are a girl and it’s Wednesday, you can get the privileges of the so-called Lady’s Night — a day when the entrance is free. This promo exists in many city pubs.
  • Go for a night safari and visit the zoo.
  • Have a ride on one of the biggest Ferris wheels in the world.
  • Visit Chinatown and Little India and their local restaurants and shops.
  • Go shopping on Orchard Road.

Places you can visit for free:

  • Gardens by the Bay
  • Haw Par Villa Park
  • Buddha Tooth relic temple and museum
  • An open-air concert on Esplanade stage
  • Botanic Gardens (sometimes they give free concerts and free tours.)
  • The Chinese garden
  • Sentosa Island (if you don’t go by monorail, walk from VivoCity mall to Sentosa Boardwalk.)
  • The fountain show, “Spectra” at Marina Bay
  • Theme festivals
  • Concerts featuring the symphonic orchestra
  • Walking tours in Chinatown and Little India

Have you ever been to Singapore? Would you like to visit? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments!

Source : https://brightside.me/wonder-places/ive-been-living-in-singapore-for-4-years-and-would-like-to-share-10-things-that-surprise-me-every-day-587510/