TIME society

Hero Professor Soothes Crying Baby During Class, Keeps Teaching Like Nothing Happened

A photo of the sweet moment is going viral

When a student’s baby boy started crying in class, the professor picked up the child, soothed it and continued his lecture on organizational behavior with the babe in his arms.

A photo of this hero professor Sydney Engelberg, a grandfather of five who teaches at Hebrew University, was uploaded to Facebook by his daughter Sarit Fishbaine, with the message “That’s what I call “organizational behavior”!” Since it was first posted on May 11, it has racked up nearly 50,000 “likes,” 4,400 shares and an influx of “love letters,” his wife Fredi Siskind Engelberg told Yahoo’s Parenting section.

TIME society

Introducing the Period Fairy, the Menstruation Mascot We’ve All Been Waiting For

Watch HelloFlo's clever new ad

HelloFlo’s previous ads have included a hilarious clip capturing the awkwardness of puberty and another about the horrors of new motherhood. Now, the women’s health company and period supply service is back with a new video — and this one introduces us to the legend of the Period Fairy.

The two-minute advertisement stars a young girl named Lillian who’s on a quest to find the mysterious Period Fairy. She conducts interviews with the Period Fairy’s former colleague (the Tooth Fairy), rival (Santa Claus) and ex-boyfriend (Cupid).

“I really wanted to play with the idea of a female superhero who helped girls with their first period,” HelloFlo founder and CEO Naama Bloom told AdWeek. “To me, this spot is very different from the others because it’s not one punch line after another. It’s funny but also very sweet and more endearing than the others.”

Oh, and the ad also introduces a great new word: vagical.

TIME society

This Woman Was Born to Be on Wheel of Fortune

She took home so many of the best prizes

A Connecticut woman was on a roll during a Wheel of Fortune appearance Monday night.

In just a few minutes, Shannon Buganski landed on the $10,000 spot and two “½ Car” spots, winning a car and a trip to Italy. In the end, she cleaned up with $86,368 in cash prizes—one of the larger hauls in show history, a spokesperson told The Hartford Courant.

She told the newspaper she would be using the winnings to pay her bills.

TIME society

Art Collector Leaves $50,000 Tips for 2 Waitresses in His Will

He had been dining at the NYC restaurant for decades

A prominent collector of Asian art left two of his favorite waitresses a massive tip in his will.

Robert Ellsworth, who died in August at age 85, left $50,000 for each of two waitresses at a Manhattan restaurant called Donohue’s Steak House, according to the New York Post. He referred to the pair as “Maureen at Donohue’s” and “Maureen-at-Donohue’s Niece Maureen” in his will, though their actual names are Maurren Donohue-Peters and Maureen Barrie (and yes, they’re an aunt-niece pairing).

Ellsworth was a regular diner at Donohue’s, often eating a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch and a sirloin steak for dinner. He always gave a flat tip of 20%, though bills ranged in price from $60 to $220.

Donohue-Peters, 53, told the New York Post she was “shocked” about the final, generous tip. “I just couldn’t believe it. I didn’t expect anything.” She said she had known Ellsworth her entire life, since the time her father ran the longtime restaurant.

Ellsworth, who earned the nickname “King of Ming” for his collection, was worth an estimated $200 million at the time of his death.

[New York Post]

TIME Business

The Tension Created By Stretch Goals

basketball-ring-backboard
Corbis Images

Shane Parrish writes Farnam Street

"Low goals do cause lower performance and high goals increase the percentage of cheating"

It’s one thing to set big stretch goals and it’s another to acknowledge the tension and incentives that creates within an organization.

Charlie Munger, speaking at the 2000 annual meeting for Wesco Financial, explains:

There are two lines of thought …. A whole bunch of management gurus say you need B-HAGs — bold, hairy, audacious goals. That’s a technique of management — to give the troops a goal that looks unattainable and flog them heavily. And according to that line of thought, you will do better chasing a B-HAG than you will a reasonable objective.

And there’s some logic in that — because if you tell your kid A-minuses are fine and he likes partying around the beer keg and can easily get A-minuses, you may well get a lower result than you would if you gave him a different goal.

Then there’s another group that says that if you make the goals unreasonable enough, human nature being what it is, people will cheat. And you see that in the public schools — where they say you’ve got to have the reading scores better so we’re going to pay the teachers based on the reading scores getting better. So the teachers start helping students cheat to pass the reading tests. So human nature being what it is, if the goals are unreasonable enough, you will cause some cheating in your corporation — or even within your top management.

Each organization has to find its own way.

I can’t solve that problem. There are two factors that are at war. You don’t want the cheating — which is bad long term and bad for the people who are doing the cheating. However, you do want to maximize the real performance. And the two techniques are at war.

What people generally do is give people the unreasonable goal and tell ‘em, “You can’t cheat.” That’s basically the goal at General Electric. They say, “We don’t want any excuses. … But don’t cheat. … If you can’t handle those two messages, why, perhaps you’d be happier flourishing somewhere else.” That is the American system in many places.

I’ve got no answer to that tension. Low goals do cause lower performance and high goals increase the percentage of cheating. Each organization has to find its own way.

This piece originally appeared on Farnam Street.

Join over 50,000 readers and get a free weekly update via email here.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME society

94-Year-Old Man Finally Graduates From College, More Than 75 Years After He Started

His education was interrupted by World War II and then his work

A 94-year-old man will graduate from West Virginia University (WVU) this month after working on his degree on and off for more than 75 years.

Anthony Brutto of Morgantown enrolled at WVU in 1939 and started studying engineering, physical education and industrial arts before being drafted into World War II and serving in the Army Air Corps, according to a WVU press release.

He started his degree again when he came back home, but he soon had to stop taking classes because his wife fell ill.

From then on, he worked as a machinist in factories that manufactured aircraft before retiring in the mid-’80s to make wooden sculptures of birds and wild animals, as well as jewelry. But he still kept plugging away at his coursework.

“It was always important to me to graduate,” he said, according to the release.

TIME society

Why an Architect Wrote a 52,438-Word Dissertation With No Punctuation

Examiners at the University of British Columbia accepted it unanimously

An architect pursuing a doctorate at the University of British Columbia wrote his 149-page, 52,438-word dissertation without any periods or commas.

Patrick Stewart, 61, who belongs to the Nisga’a, a group of indigenous people in British Columbia, told Canada’s National Post that his dissertation, entitled “Indigenous Architecture through Indigenous Knowledge,” was designed to raise awareness about “the blind acceptance of English language conventions in academia” and to make a statement about “aboriginal culture, colonialism.” And he claimed there is “nothing in the (UBC dissertation) rules about formats or punctuation.”

When he defended his punctuation-free dissertation, the examiners accepted it unanimously.

Read an excerpt from the giant run-on sentence on the National Post‘s website.

TIME society

Read the Original Mother’s Day Message

In honor of the holiday, read President Woodrow Wilson's proclamation

Philadelphia activist Anna Jarvis (1864-1948) came up with the idea for “Mother’s Day” at the beginning of the 20th century as a tribute to her mother.

On May 10, 1908, in what is considered the first Mother’s Day celebration, she sent 500 carnations to Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church, her mother’s church in Grafton, W.Va. (which was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1992).

The event generated an enormously positive response, and after extensive lobbying and letter-writing efforts, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation on May 9, 1914, declaring the second Sunday of May “a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.” Read his message here:

Mother’s Day Proclamation

Over time, Jarvis felt that the spirit of the day had been undermined by “greedy” floral, candy and greeting card industries, which “gouged the public,” and used the holiday as “a means of profiteering,” the New York Times reported on May 18, 1923.

TIME society

Watch a 10-Year-Old With Down Syndrome Find Out She’s Going to Be a Cheerleader

A Facebook video of the emotional moment has racked up more than 3.8 million views in a week

In a heartwarming video going viral this week, Lacey Parker, a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome, finds out she nabbed a spot on the cheerleading team at North DeSoto Middle School in Stonewall, La.—following in the footsteps of her sisters.

The 40-second video of the youngster reading the roster on an iPad at home and shouting “I made it!” as family members embrace her has been viewed more than 3.8 million times and shared more than 50,000 times since it was uploaded to Facebook on May 1 by her mom Renee Parker.

(h/t Today.com)

TIME society

This Is What a Feminist Wedding Magazine Looks Like

Betty Clicker Photography

Catalyst's creators want to challenge industry norms

Correction appended, May 10, 2015

Brides and grooms come in all races, sizes, sexualities and ages. Unfortunately that diversity doesn’t typically translate to the glossy pages of wedding magazines — which studies have shown often depict lithe heterosexual brides in big white gowns, and rarely showcase any type of diversity.

Tired of the stereotypical couples and content (from dieting to decorating advice) found in between advertisements in traditional bridal magazines, progressive wedding planner Liz Susong and feminist wedding photographer Carly Romeo decided to join forces and create an alternative. The result is Catalyst, a feminist magazine due out in May that celebrates love but takes a critical look at weddings.

Catalyst

 

Romeo, 29, started shooting weddings in 2013 somewhat reluctantly after moving home to Richmond, Va., and realizing it was one of the only ways she could make a living as a photographer.

“I have a lot of capital ‘F ‘feelings about weddings in general, as an industry and as a social item,” says Romeo, who has an academic and activist background in feminism. “I believe that your wedding is a great day but not necessarily the best day of your entire life. I care more about people who want to have a great marriage and not a great wedding necessarily.”

And so, despite fears of isolating her potential clientele, she wrote a manifesto explaining the importance of being a feminist wedding photographer.

Susong, who had recently walked down the aisle hand-in-hand with her husband and had feminist readings at her Washington D.C., ceremony, strongly identified with the message and reached out to the Romeo.

“As all good relationships begin, we met on the internet,” Susong, 27, tells TIME.

But Susong and Romeo soon realized they weren’t the only ones who felt as if there was a progressive void in the reported $51 billion wedding industrial complex. After holding a successful “un}convention” for wedding professionals with similar ideologies in November, they decided to take their message out to those who have felt marginalized by the wedding industry.

In less than a week and a half, Susong and Romeo raised the $13,490 they needed on Kickstarter to fund printing their magazine. The duo are funded for two issues, but hope to continue if the first volume is a success. As of now, Catalyst is available online and at select bookstores.

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 4.47.10 PM

Apart from celebrating diverse couples and offering fun horoscopes and DIY tips, Catalyst also features articles that critique everything from diet culture to monogamy to the idea that a feminist wedding can even exist.

“We don’t have a shortage of content at all,” Romeo says. “The demand and interest has been so encouraging. It is going to keep growing.”

Correction: The original version of a photo credit in this story misstated the name of the photographer. It is Betty Clicker Photography.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com