TIME viral

Watch an 11 Year Old Perform a Killer Choreographed Dance to Nicki Minaj’s ‘Anaconda’

It's awesome, even if the song's subject matter isn't exactly, uh, tween-friendly

Sia hired an 11-year-old dancer to perform a ridiculously great dance routine in the video for her smash hit “Chandelier” — and maybe Nicki Minaj should have done the same thing for her “Anaconda” video. Just kidding, that probably would have been weird given the video’s, er, graphic nature. But if Nicki does decide to hire a tween dancer in the future, she should give Taylor Hatala a shout.

In the video above, 11-year-old Hatala — who her instructor Laurence Kaiwai describes as a “beast” — delivers a totally killer performance to “Anaconda” alongside Kaiwai, who choreographed the routine. The song and its lyrics clearly are not the most tween-friendly material, but at a certain point you kind of just forget that Hatala is 11 because whatever. She totally nails it.

 

TIME Sports

Tiny Football Players Thwarted by Their Greatest Nemesis: A Vinyl Banner

Watch here in slow motion

Fresh off an impressive 24-0 victory, the Mighty Mites — a youth football team in Wallkill, New York — attempted to celebrate their success by running through a large white banner. Alas, things did not go as planned for these young athletes, ages 6 and 7.

They try and try to break through the vinyl banner and the whole thing just ends up as one big disaster. Major props to whoever made the decision to put this video in slow motion. Also, props to the young cheerleaders who thought this moment was an appropriate time to bust out their best moves.

(h/t Deadspin)

TIME viral

Watch a Toddler Expertly Choreograph a Dance to Sia’s ‘Chandelier’

This 2-year-old is gonna liiiiive, like tomorrow doesn't exist

The official video for Sia’s smash hit “Chandelier” features the incredible dancing of 11-year-old Maddie Ziegler. But this video features the moves of an even younger dancer: a 2-year-old named Zaya. Watch here as she leads two adults in a modern dance number inspired by the emotional song, at times mirroring the types of moves Ziegler shows off in the official video.

For comparison’s sake, here’s the official music video:

MORE: Watch Lena Dunham Dance To Sia’s “Chandelier” on Late Night with Seth Meyers

MONEY First-Time Dad

Why Millennials Should Have Kids—and Soon

Luke Tepper
Yes, he costs a ton, but he's worth it.

There are plenty of financial and lifestyle reasons to not have a child, but there are also costs to delaying or forgoing, notes MONEY reporter and first-time dad Taylor Tepper.

I finally realized that I’m no longer in charge of my own life a few of weeks ago.

It was a Tuesday at 9:45 p.m. I had arrived home from work at 7:30, just as my wife was putting our son to sleep.

I cooked dinner for the two of us. We ate together on our small dining room table and then spent the rest of the night preparing for tomorrow. Mrs. Tepper collected Luke’s toys and straightened up around the house while I programmed the coffee maker and started to load the dishwasher… only to discover that we were out of soap. Sigh.

I jabbed my feet into my slippers. The dishes needed to be washed, so I found myself headed outside in my pajamas.

As I plodded to my neighborhood grocery store, it dawned on me that I wasn’t running this chore because I wanted to, but because our delicate family ecosystem demanded that the dishes get washed at night. Otherwise, the milk bottles and containers wouldn’t be ready by the morning, meaning my wife wouldn’t be able to pump at work and my son wouldn’t be able to eat.

This two-hour spell of cleaning, organizing, and readying felt like the actualization of a Millennial nightmare.

I had handed over the keys to my liberty to an infant. Before Luke was born, I could sleep all morning, grab a pint whenever I wanted or fly around the country to visit friends. I could quit my job, write a novel, start an artisanal pickled beet company or simply toss a Frisbee in the park all day.

Those days are over. Full stop. But the real question is: Would I ever want them back?

The opportunity cost of having kids

Most people of my generation aren’t like me. In fact, just over one-in-four Millennials tied the knot between the ages of 18 to 32, according to Pew Research Center. That’s 10 percentage points lower than Gen Xers at a similar point in their lives in 1997 and more than 20 points below Baby Boomers in 1980.

Further, research by Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania’s Stewart Friedman seems to indicate that the majority of my peers aren’t interested in kids. Friedman’s study looked at the views Generation Xers had toward bearing children as they graduated college in 1992 and Millennials in 2012. Almost eight in 10 Gen Xers said they planned to reproduce, Friedman found, compared to only 42% of Millennials.

Parenthood comes with a price that Millennials may not be eager to pay. According to the most recent numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it will cost middle-income moms and dads an average $245,340 to raise one child up to age 18—a stunningly large figure for those who are already burdened by student debt and who graduated into a nasty Recession.

It doesn’t help that America is one of two countries without any kind of paid maternity leave and childcare is very expensive.

Another factor that might dissuade Y women: Mothers who alter their career paths to care for their children can lose out on a lot of potential income. Economist Bryan Caplan pegs the opportunity cost as high as $1 million.

And, of course, there are the non-financial opportunity costs of bearing children: less freedom, less time, and less sanity.

The payoff of having kids early

I understand all of this. I’m living it. My wife and I spend the vast amount of our weekends doing the laundry, sweeping, mopping, shopping and organizing. We schlep and push and haul all day long. Not to mention the $1,600 a month we’re giving to someone else to care for our child. We could have put that money toward a dream vacation, a starter home… or alcohol.

But conceiving a family in your 20s comes with certain advantages. For instance when Luke leaves the nest, my wife and I will be in our mid-40’s and just entering our peak earning years. That means while he’s off at college, we can power save to boost our retirement portfolio.

Plus, you’re more likely to have flexibility at work in your 20s, since you probably have a more junior position with less responsibility. The higher up you get on the food chain, the tougher it is to leave early to go to a parent-teacher conference or soccer game (or so my older colleagues tell me).

There’s also the fact that your ability to actually conceive children decreases as you age, per the Mayo Clinic, while the risks of complication—from C-sections to pregnancy loss—increase in your mid-to-late 30’s. And complications typically mean more money for health expenses.

Look, there are many reasons not to have a child. You may simply not want one—and that’s fine.

But to dismiss the idea of raising a child, or raising him now as opposed to ten years in the future, because you haven’t yet traveled the world or written that magnum opus slightly misses the point of it all. When you raise a child, especially with someone you’ve committed your life to, your self-interest becomes tied up in theirs.

To put it another way, what a lot of people don’t think about is that there’s an opportunity cost to deciding not to have a child: You don’t get to experience the sublime joy of yielding your wants and desires for the happiness of the people you love.

Taylor Tepper is a reporter at Money. His column on being a new dad, a millennial, and (pretty) broke appears weekly. More First-Time Dad:

TIME kids

Watch Eric Holder and Arne Duncan Stand Up to Bullies

They're helping to launch Cartoon Network's anti-bullying campaign

Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are kicking off the school year by participating in Cartoon Network’s Speak Up anti-bullying campaign, which aims to get 1 million people to share “I Speak Up” videos to combat bullying.

Check out their videos below.

Here’s Eric Holder’s:

And here’s Arne Duncan’s:

TIME viral

Just a Toddler and a Basset Hound Having a Spirited Outdoor Dance Party

Special shout-out to the toddler for pulling off pink Crocs

Actress Amy Bruni, known for her role as an investigator on Syfy’s Ghost Hunters, has been kind enough to share a cute video of her daughter, Charlotte, romping around with her best canine pal.

The pooch’s name is Zoe and she’s a rescue Basset Hound. She’s also — as you can clearly see — a pretty phenomenal dancer.

MORE: Little Dog in Giant Spider Costume Freaks People Out in the Perfect Prank

MORE: Genius Dog Learns to Walk Upright After Breaking Her Front Legs

TIME Books

5 Things You Might Not Know About Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss, Aug. 11, 1967
From the Aug. 11, 1967, issue of TIME TIME

From TIME's 1967 profile of the beloved author

Dr. Seuss, who died in 1991, is back in the news with the release Tuesday of the new book Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories. The book contains four stories that were published in Redbook in the 1950s, where the celebrated The Cat in the Hat author had a regular column.

In 1967, TIME sent a reporter to cover a summer program for kids at the La Jolla Museum of Art in California, which also starred Theodore Geisel, better known then and now as Dr. Seuss. “If you don’t get imagination as a child, you probably never will,” he said, explaining the need for the program, “because it gets knocked out of you by the time you grow up.”

In honor of his lesser-known stories, here are a few lesser-known facts from that 1967 story:

Dr. Seuss wasn’t necessarily for kids.
The career-making images that TIME cited? An advertising campaign for Flit insecticide.

Dr. Seuss’s wife helped him develop his stories.
Their marriage was financed, TIME reported, by a “cartoon of egg-nog-drinking turtles” that Dr. Seuss sold to Judge magazine in 1927. (Sadly, she died only a few months after that 1967 profile was published.)

Dr. Seuss had no formal art training.
He walked out on “a high-school art teacher who refused to let him draw with his drawing board turned upside down” and that was that. For non-art education, he went to Dartmouth and Oxford.

Dr. Seuss’s early vocabulary was inspired by school curricula.
Many books meant to teach kids reading used standardized lists of basic words that should be known by students of various ages, and Dr. Seuss’ work — despite the fantastical nature of the stories those words created — was no exception. He stopped using the lists when he no longer found them adequate, “because,” TIME explained, “today’s television-viewing children have an expanded vocabulary.”

Dr. Seuss worked on an Oscar-winning animated short film.
Dr. Seuss’s Gerald McBoing-Boing cartoon won the Academy Award in 1951. You can watch it here:

Read the full 1967 profile of Dr. Seuss here, in TIME’s archives: The Logical Insanity of Dr. Seuss

TIME viral

Little Kid Dancing at a Wedding Totally Steals the Spotlight From the Bride

He's basically the Billy Elliot of wedding dancing

As the old saying goes: dance like nobody’s watching. This little kid, whose spirited dance routine was captured at a wedding by YouTube user Blake Weir, really took that advice to heart. The experience seems so spiritual and transcendent for him that he doesn’t even appear to hear the music (which happens to be “Sweet Caroline.”) Instead, he’s simply listening to the music playing in his own heart.

MORE: You’ll Fall ‘Crazy in Love’ With These Groomsmen After Watching Their Incredible Wedding Dance

 

TIME Gadgets

Hands On: Ollie Is an Acrobatic Mini-Robot Designed for Speed

Sphero

A spry toy that's three times faster than Sphero

A little over a year ago, my former colleague Harry McCracken wrote about Sphero, a nimble robotic orb you could bowl around a room like a remote-controlled plastic baseball using a smartphone or tablet.

Colorado-based Sphero (nee Orbotix), the futuristic gizmo-maker that came up with the eponymous Sphero robotic ball, is about to release its next big thing: another remote-controlled robot-toy, only one designed to zip around play-spaces three times faster.

You wouldn’t guess as much looking at it. Take one of those miniature soda cans you sometimes get on airplanes, paint it white and turn it on its side, then strap a pair of rubber rings around the ends like caterpillar track (the obvious analogy being something tank-like, and no one’s ever described a tank as “fleet”). Instead of aluminum, make the frame polycarbonate (a type of highly durable plastic), and instead of carbonated liquid, fill it with the gyroscopic innards of a gymnastic robot.

Do all that (and stylize the sides with a stack of tiny LED rectangles, and paint the tread deep sky blue) and you wind up with something that’s a little less versatile and elementally durable than Sphero, but a whole lot faster.

Sphero calls it Ollie, like the trick you can do with a skateboard or snowboard where you jump into the air without ramping off something else. Ollie can pull off ollies, do a quick spin in place, spin in place indefinitely, speed boost while driving (called “grabs”), jump around like a hot potato, pull off wheelies, or rocket across the room and turn on a dime before zipping off in a new direction. Ollie is available today for iOS and Android devices from gosphero.com for $99, with plans to sell the toy in stores starting September 15.

I’ve been playing with Ollie for about a week, putting the tubular robot through its paces in a largish room with a wood floor and a few plush rugs (both of which it navigated with ease). Unlike Sphero, which came with an inductive charging base, you have to plug Ollie into a USB outlet to charge, and its built-in battery takes about three hours to fill while returning about an hour of playtime. It’s a snap to turn on or off: just tap your mobile device (running the control app) against the toy and it connects, illuminating Ollie’s LED rectangles. You turn Ollie off by closing the app.

There’s some minor assembly required, but it’s pretty basic. Out of the box you get Ollie itself, a pair of optional “hubcaps” and two rubber “tires.” Ollie works with or without the tires (drifting’s easier with them off, hitting top speeds is easier with them on), and like Sphero, the company plans to sell a line of upgrades starting at $10 each, most of them tire-related and designed to let you tweak whether your Ollie is grip- or speed-oriented. Sphero sent along a small ramp made by Tech Deck, though it looks like the one the company is planning to sell as an official accessory–something called “Terrain Park” with ramps at either end of connector rails–is a totally different product.

Also like Sphero, Ollie seems like a product that–as Harry said of the former in his hands-on–“runs the risk of being something you love for half an afternoon and then stick in the back of a drawer forever.” I’d say it’s even more of a risk with Ollie. Though it can travel a lot faster than Sphero (up to 14 m.p.h. versus Sphero’s comparably poky 4.5 m.p.h.), it ships with just a handful of activities compared with Sphero’s 30-plus.

Once you exhaust Ollie’s velocity-related possibilities over the course of that half-afternoon (one of those possibilities including, in my case, unintentionally freaking out our Sheltie), you’re left with the tricks, which you access through a free control app pulled down from Apple’s App Store or Google Play. The app’s also where you can fiddle sliders to set top speed, finesse handling and acceleration, or optimize for hard or soft surfaces.

Sphero

In Sphero’s case, the control app included a slew of augmented reality exercises, games and programmable macros. In Ollie’s case, all you get are some light gymnastics: a few spins and mundane tricks. Flip the phone sideways and the interface shifts from a virtual motion control joystick to a square grid beside the virtual joystick that lets you swipe to trigger a few trick maneuvers, rewarding deftly executed ones with little messages like “sick spin” or “intergalactic steam roll bit flip.” But we’re talking a handful. Put Ollie in the hands of a child creatively laying down makeshift obstacles and the possibilities grow, but out of the box, Ollie feels even more niche than Sphero.

Speaking of kids, Ollie seems pretty durable for a toy that, unlike Sphero, has exposed moving parts. My two-year-old had no compunctions about chasing Ollie down, snatching it up, then giving it an emphatic toss (Ollie didn’t seem to mind). While I’m pretty sure Ollie’s not meant to be an aerial projectile, I can vouch for the toy’s ability to survive several drops from heights of about two feet onto a hardwood floor without breaking or malfunctioning. (I can’t say the same for the floor, which picked up a few dings in the process.) Also, if you’re thinking about using Ollie outside, be aware that where the company bills Sphero as waterproof as well as “pet-proof,” Sphero quips that Ollie “outruns pets and hates water.”

Questions of demographic appeal aside, I do have a minor quibble with the control scheme. Sphero’s app turns your mobile device’s touchscreen into a kind of pancaked joystick. Ollie gleans directional and velocity input using Bluetooth based on where your thumb or fingers are in relation to a central point on the screen. The good news is that the connection operates lag-free, and Ollie responded to my swipes instantaneously–up to the stated connection range of 30 meters (just under 100 feet).

Sphero

But the app shares some of the downsides of touchscreen-based control schemes that attempt (and generally fail) to give you precision control of three dimensions using only two. If you’ve played tablet or smartphone ports of 3D games made for actual 3D gamepads, you know what I’m talking about: a tendency to lose your place in the touch area when things get frantic, since there’s nothing to physically limit or “bound” your fingers on a touchscreen.

In Ollie’s case, the problem manifests less as directional control–it’s easy enough to gauge whether your thumb’s at three- or nine-o-clock without looking down at the screen–than picking the toy’s velocity. Since Ollie can move at such high speeds, you have to make course corrections far more often. So your eyes have to be on Ollie all the time, making it easy to lose your place in the app’s radius-related speed controls.

Don’t get me wrong: I like Ollie well enough, and my two-year-old now routinely asks for it by name. I can also imagine an older child coming up with some pretty sophisticated play scenarios, say devising a makeshift obstacle course using ordinary household objects or toys and working hand-eye coordination skills as well as design ones. I just wish Sphero could have come up with more for the toy to do out of the box on the app side.

The company says it’s planning to release a few more apps down the road, including one that’ll let you draw paths on the touchscreen that Ollie follows as well as others that’ll let programmers goof around. But I can’t speak to those because they aren’t yet available.

Getting Ollie racing along at top speeds certainly has its satisfactions (exhausting an energetic toddler being one of them), but Ollie needs more in its arsenal to make it, like Sphero, about more than the novelty of remote-controlling a movable toy with your mobile device.

MONEY Toys

Lego Is Now The Largest Toy Company In The World

After the success of 'The Lego Movie,' the company plans to double down on using motion pictures to drive sales.

After stacking on another six months of rapid growth, Lego is now the largest toy company on the planet.

The Danish block-maker on Thursday announced that revenues increased 11% in the first half of 2014. Total sales hit $2.03 billion, narrowly beating out Mattel’s $2 billion in revenue over the same period.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, Mattel missed expectations earlier this year as interest in its flagship Barbie doll waned. In contrast, Lego earnings have soared on the strength of products related to its wildly popular movie. The film, released in February, received rave reviews and spurred new interest in the company’s products.

In a press release announcing earnings, Lego CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp said he wasn’t sure how long the movie’s line of toys will continue their momentum. But, as the Journal points out, the company has doubled down on using motion pictures to drive sales. A movie based on Lego’s Ninjago line of ninja-themed toys is planned for 2015, and The Lego Movie 2 is scheduled for a 2017 release.

While success at the box office has surely helped spur Lego sales, the block-maker’s earnings should come as no surprise considering its other recent victories.

As MONEY’s Brad Tuttle previously reported, Lego is experiencing strong growth in China, and Knudstorp is on record as predicting his company would quadruple its revenue in less than a decade. This comes during a time when competitors like Mattel have struggled to keep up sales. Even Lego Friends, a girl-focused line of toys that was widely panned for promoting stereotypes, has been a smash hit, with sales to girls tripling in the wake of its release.

Looking forward, Lego plans to continue its growth by turning multicolored building blocks into a global icon. “We have been investing and we will continue to invest significant resources in further globalising the company,” said Knudstorp. “Ultimately this is what will ensure the future success of the Lego Group.”

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