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Amazing/Weird Period Board Game Teaches Kids About Menstruation

Back in my day, kids learned about periods the old fashioned way: By being shoved into a gender-segregated classroom with the lights off and forced to watch a cartoon about deodorant, new hair growth, and monthly bleeding. But this is 2016, and ladies no longer need to hide in dark classrooms to learn about the joys of sanitary napkins and the maze that is the fallopian tubes. Champion swimmers talk about their periods on international television, and marathon runners let their blood flow freely down their legs as they cross the finish line.

Now you can learn about menarche with a spin of the ovaries. Designers Daniela Gilsanz and Ryan Murphy created the Period Board Game in a Rhode Island School of Design class to turn the awkwardness of menstruation education into a fun experience.

To play, you just have to turn one of the two ovaries, releasing a marble that’s either red or clear. If it’s red, you’re on your period, and you get to move forward on the game board. If it’s clear, sorry, you’ve just learned about vaginal discharge.

You can play cards that protect you from period woes like leaks and PMS, or end up without a tampon headed for the nurse’s office to sit out your next turn. The first person to get around the board—past ovulation, periods, and PMS—wins.

Will this actually turn talking about periods with young girls into a fun, positive experience? Maybe. It at least forces kids to say the word tampon a few times, although without a doubt, kids will find a way to find the whole situation mortifying regardless. But hey, every child should have to confront the realities of ovulation at some point. Plus, it’s so cute!

The game doesn’t have a distributor yet, since it was a student project, but hopefully some company will pick it up and put one in every kid’s hands soon enough.

See it in action in the video below:

The Period Game from Daniela Gilsanz on Vimeo.

All images courtesy The Period Game.

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Is There a Limit to How Many Balls You Can Juggle?
Carl Court, Getty Images
Carl Court, Getty Images

In 2017, a juggler named Alex Barron broke a record when he tossed 14 balls into the air and caught them each once. The feat is fascinating to watch, and it becomes even more impressive once you understand the physics behind it.

As WIRED explains in a new video, juggling any more than 14 balls at once may be physically impossible. Researchers who study the limits of juggling have found that the success of a performance relies on a number of different components. Speed, a.k.a. the juggler's capacity to move their hands in time to catch each ball as it lands, is a big one, but it's not the most important factor.

What really determines how many balls one person can juggle is their accuracy. An accurate juggler knows how to keep their balls from colliding in midair and make them land within arm's reach. If they can't pull that off, their act falls apart in seconds.

Breaking a juggling world record isn't the same as breaking a record for sprinting or shot put. With each new ball that's added to the routine, jugglers need to toss higher and move their hands faster, which means their throws need to be significantly more accurate than what's needed with just one ball fewer. And skill and hours of practice aren't always enough; according to expert jugglers, the current world records were likely made possible by a decent amount of luck.

For a closer look at the physics of juggling, check out the video below.

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'Puggle,' 'Emoji,' and 298 Other New Words Added to Scrabble Dictionary
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iStock

Scrabble aficionados and wordsmiths around the world will soon have some new reading material to bone up on. In celebration of National Scrabble Day today, the makers of the classic word game announced that 300 new words will be added to Scrabble’s official dictionary.

The new words will be published in the sixth edition of Merriam-Webster’s The Official Scrabble Player’s Dictionary, which will be released this fall, according to Mashable.

Here are just a few of the new additions:

Emoji (noun): A small computer symbol used to express emotion
Ew (interjection): Used to express disgust
Facepalm (verb): To cover the face with the hand
Macaron (noun): A cookie with filling in the middle
Puggle (noun): A kind of dog
Sriracha (noun): A spicy pepper sauce

Some players of the 70-year-old game may be surprised to learn that “ew” isn’t already a word, especially considering that Scrabble recognizes more than 100 two-letter words, including “hm” (another expression), “ai” (a three-toed sloth), and “za” (slang for pizza). If played strategically and placed on a triple word square, “ew” can land you 15 points—not bad for two measly letters.

New Scrabble words must meet a few criteria before they’re added to the official dictionary. They must be two to eight letters long and already in a standard dictionary. Abbreviations, capitalized words, and words with hyphens or apostrophes are immediately ruled out.

Peter Sokolowski, editor at large at Merriam-Webster, told Entertainment Weekly, “For a living language, the only constant is change. New dictionary entries reflect our language and our culture, including rich sources of new words such as communication technology and food terms from foreign languages.”

The last edition of the Scrabble dictionary came out in 2014 and included 5000 new words, such as "selfie," "hashtag," "geocache," and "quinzhee."

[h/t Mashable]

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