Things That Matter

Apple Just Made It Easier To Say What You Really Mean Thanks To Hundreds Of New Emojis

Getting excited for a new phone update is something that’s usually reserved for super nerds. After all, there’s only so keen you can be for security patches and bug fixes! But, there’s a pretty good reason for all of us to get excited for the latest iPhone update: new emojis. That’s right – all of you cool cats out there sporting one of the more modern iPhone models can get your hands on iOS 13.2, and a myriad of more inclusive and diverse emojis. And since there’s gonna be so many emojis for you to choose from, we’ve put together a list of our favorite additions for you to check out.

There’s now a pretty fab range of skin tones.

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Gone are the days where we’re stuck with a strangely-golden looking face to showcase our emotions. We’ve got black police offices, brown witches, and even zen, white meditating yogis … ah now, we probably see that last one a little too often for comfort in real life. The point is that being able to choose different skin tones for our emojis is one of those subtle ways we’re seeing diversity and inclusivity seep into the cultural zeitgeists of our time. A little representation is never a bad thing, no?

We can also select neutrally-gendered emoji designs, too.

And we’re not just talking about cute little signs like hearts and stars. No, there’s a new range of people depicted in all of their neutral glory, for those of you out there who don’t identify with the gender binary. Or maybe you just don’t think the tiny images on our phones were meant to be assigned a gender. Whatever floats your boat. The point is, the new iOS emojis not only embrace diversity in terms of race, but also in terms of gender identity, too. The new gender-neutral emojis tend to favor gray tops to circumvent whatever hangups our culture has about color and gender, and also feature a softened jawline. The typical haircut, a kind of longer short ‘do, completes the look. We approve.

The yawning face is the emoji you didn’t know you needed.

Gone are the days when we have to use sleeping emojis to really highlight the extent of our exhaustion. Brain-dead from having to study for 48 hours straight? There’s now a yawning face for that. Dragging your feet because you haven’t gotten your coffee fix for the day? The yawning face is exactly the expression you need. Spent the night awake bonking your new beau? Again, yawning face. You’re only limited by your imagination, amigas.

The couple emojis are more inclusive, now, too.

Credit: wafmag / Instagram

Gone are the days when you could only choose between basically white straight and gay couples. The new update brings with it homosexual and heterosexual couples, but ensures that you can also choose from couples who have different skin tones. Because, hey! Not everyone is white. It’s about time we saw more emojis that acknowledged that, please and thank you. The only thing we’re unsure about with these new couple emojis are the moustaches. Have moustaches ever made a proper comeback? We’re not sure. Stop trying to make fetch happen, Apple.

Physical disabilities also make a cameo in this update.

Because sometimes we humans need aids to make our way through the world – so we may as well have emojis reflecting that. There’s now people with probing canes, mechanical arms and legs, ears with hearing aids, deaf people signing, people in wheelchairs, and even guide dog emojis! And while some of you out there may question the reasoning behind emojis geared towards blind people, the cool thing is that the accessibility functions on iPhones are designed to describe emojis. After all, at the end of the day, inclusivity is about accessibility, too. 

The time has finally arrived: we have an emoji suited for our periods.

Clearly, this update is about making sure people feel seen. And there’s no doubt that this something us menstruating humans have needed for a long time. We now have a drop of blood at our fingertips to declare that we’re just having a bloody awful time and need chocolate, Netflix, painkillers and hugs, in varying doses. Woe betide anyone who tries to use the drop of blood emoji for anything other than its God-given use of being the bat-signal for periods.

So on a scale of one to ten, just how excited are you for the new range of emojis? Those of you who can’t wait to reinvent your textual emotional expressions are in luck – the update is available now for iPhone-havers.

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11 Free Classes To Help You Walkout Of Quarantine As A Better Version Of Yourself

Things That Matter

11 Free Classes To Help You Walkout Of Quarantine As A Better Version Of Yourself

asisebaila/ Instagram

OK…so most of us have now been under stay-at-home quarantine orders for a few weeks now. And although I’ve alternated mostly between getting some work done and then eating (not well, I might add) and sleeping – I’ve been interested in trying to do something different during all of this.

Sure I could binge watch all the new series on Netflix or endlessly scroll through my Facebook and Instagram feeds, but I’m already bored with that. So what’s one to do?

Here is a roundup of some of the top free, fun, and cool classes that you can take online right now to help keep yourself busy:

Brush Up On Your Latin American History With A University Professor

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We all know that we’re taught very little – if anything at all – about Latinx culture in the United States. Thankfully, we have access to great online resources, our families, and Latino literature to help keep us informed. Well now you can also sign up for the University of Houston’s Latin American History Through the Novel course.

Channel That Inner Creativity Into Art

Brit + Co is offering all of their classes for free during the pandemic. All you have to do to take advantage of their top-selling courses is use the code SELFCARE at checkout and you’ll quickly be learning how to decorate cakes, take wedding photos, improve your Instagram skills, and so much more.

Become A Tech Genius And Learn How To Code

Credit: Pixabay

If HTML, JavaScript and JPEG are foreign concepts, then a coding class is the way to get computer literate. This free coding class can teach you coding basics and so much more with over 120 hours of training. It’s a great starting point for anyone, from those looking for web development basics all the way to pros looking to brush up their skills.

Get Yourself Dance Floor Ready For Once We Can Finally Go Out Again

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Everyone can dance, all it takes is some music — and tunes aren’t even needed for some forms of dance. Whether looking to learn ballet or just how to groove at a party, there’s a dance lesson for you. 305 Fitness has a plethora of free classes on YouTube.

Get Yourself An Ivy League Education

Credit: @classcentral / Twitter

The eight Ivy League schools are offering hundreds of online courses to the public for free.

Dhawal Shah, founder of the online course aggregator Class Central, compiled a list of more than 400 classes that are available in subjects as varied as Machine Learning for Data Science and Analytics from Columbia University; HOPE: Human Odyssey to Political Existentialism from Princeton University; The Science of Well-Being from Yale; and Gamification from the University of Pennsylvania.

Work On Your Fitness

Credit: Aly Song / Flickr

Not interested in stimulating your brain? How about your body? Many gym chains across the country have shuttered but are offering online classes for free.

Peloton is offering new users a 90-day trial on its app. This news comes as the company announced the closing of its showrooms until at least March 29. It added that this week it began producing content from its new studios in New York, “but it will be entirely closed to the public until further notice.”

Golds Gym is offering free access to its app, Goldsamp, until the end of May, where more than 600 audio and video workouts along with DJ mixes get you ready to work up a sweat. Planet Fitness is offering “Home Work-Ins” streamed live at 7 p.m. ET daily on its Facebook page.

Get Into Those Yoga Poses

Credit: Yoga With Adriene

When it comes to online yoga classes, over 6 million people trust Adriene. I’ve personally ditched the couch and went through a few videos. And they are great. In the playlists, you’ll find 30-day challenges for regular yoga practice, which work equally well for complete beginners and people who love sweating at gyms. Plus, Adriene and her doggie are super cute — so you’ll definitely enjoy their company. 

Take Ana Lilia’s 5-Minute Breathwork Meditation

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Right now we are being constantly bombarded with distressing newscasts and never-ending social media updates, so it’s especially important that we know how to de stress and unplug. This super helpful guided mediation class will help you start your day off on the right foot.

Take That Brilliant Idea And Become The Entrepreneur You Always Wanted To Be

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Perhaps because we all have so little to do right now, we’re full of extra ideas. Feel like one of those ideas could be worth launching into your own business? Then Coursera’s course titled Innovation for Entrepreneurs: From Idea To Marketplace is the online course for you – and it’s free.

Gain Some New Professional Insight Into Your Career

Recently launched School16 is offering live, remote classes every week for free, starting April 1st, for anyone who wants to learn about careers in tech like product management, sales, operations and more.

Every session is taught by leaders in companies ranging from fast growing startups to large tech firms like Slack and Google, where students hear directly from people hiring and managing these teams about what skills candidates need to have to be attractive hires, and what jobs will be available in the months and years to come. 

Get Some Cooking Tips From Michelin-Starred Chefs

Credit: MassimoBottura / Instagram

Even if you hate cooking, when else will you have the chance to learn from a Michelin chef? Massimo Bottura, whose name is associated with one of Italy’s finest restaurants, Osteria Francescana, recently announced the launch of his Instagram cooking course. It’s called Kitchen Quarantine and it’s a fun video guide to cooking basic stuff at home.

Or maybe you don’t want to do anything at all…and that’s OK too.

All of these are great options to keep yourself active and motivated during these certain times. But keep this in mind: it’s OK to not be superhuman during this crisis. One-hundred percent totally OK. It’s OK to somehow feel both productive and lazy, both stir-crazy and introverted. It’s OK to feel this crazy need to make the most of these days while nothing is regular and no rhythms are intact.

You can take this unprecedented pause in normality to learn nothing new, do nothing new, acquire nothing new — not a new skill, not a six pack, not even a new outlook on life.

It’s important to remember that there is no shame in being unproductive and uncreative, especially during a global outbreak. If you’re only resolution at present is to emerge at the end of this, with your family, alive and well, that’s OK.

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A Latino Man Crashed Into A Freezing River In Iowa And Could Reach His Phone. That’s When He Called On Siri To Help

Things That Matter

A Latino Man Crashed Into A Freezing River In Iowa And Could Reach His Phone. That’s When He Called On Siri To Help

KIMT / YouTube

“Siri, call 911!” an Iowa teenager shouted as his Jeep started to sink in a freezing river. Gael Salcedo, 18, hit a patch of black ice while on his way to his college classes at North Iowa Area Community College. Given the option to collide with other drivers or to plummet into the freezing Winnebago river, Salcedo swerved toward the river. While Salcedo doesn’t remember what happened after that split-second decision, he does remember getting very, very clear once he was in the river. “I turned to the right and from there, everything just went blurry,” Salcedo told KIMT3 News. “I didn’t know where I was going and then I just didn’t know what to do,” he confessed to the outlet. We can’t even imagine what it would be like to go from a normal commute to being trapped in a sinking car in a freezing river. “I was just thinking in my head. I think I’m going to die,” Salcedo told the outlet. Then, adrenaline and action took over. Salcedo rolled down his windows, for fear that his Jeep would sink, and started searching for his phone to call 911. He couldn’t find it.

When Salcedo couldn’t find his phone, he resorted to the second-best option. “Hey Siri, call 911,” Salcedo asked. Siri aims to please and complied immediately. Shortly after he was on the line with local authorities, he found his phone.

Firefighters guided Salcedo on how to safely walk through the freezing river current to the river banks.

CREDIT: @LUIS_VAZQUEZ_C / TWITTER

Salcedo told KIMT3 News, “I lost my phone and since I couldn’t find it, I was like ‘Hey Siri, call 911.’  And once Siri called, that’s when I found my phone finally.” So while Siri may have allowed the Mason City firefighters to respond more quickly, the firefighters and Salcedo did all the heavy lifting from thereon. Mason City Fire Department Lieutenant Craig Warner waded toward the nearly submerged Jeep and assessed the situation. The current was so strong that Salcedo couldn’t open the driver’s side door, so they waded to the passenger side, and were able to free the door. “[I] basically explained to him that there’s no other way.  You’re going to have to walk out.  I’ll be right there with you holding on every step of the way,” Lt. Warner told Salcedo, according to KIMT3.

“My hands were freezing.  I couldn’t feel my legs anymore, so I was struggling a lot and the water was just so strong, so I kept tripping,” Salcedo told the outlet, crediting Lt. Warner for helping him up “a bunch of times.” This was no walk in the park. Freezing water can cause muscles to become stiff and weak at the minimum and cause hypothermia at worst. “I used all my strength to get out of the water,” he said.

Salcedo was brought to the hospital and treated for shock.

CREDIT: GAEL SALCEDO / FACEBOOK

Salcedo had been sitting in freezing water for enough time to warrant a hospital visit. Salcedo’s coordination and muscle stiffness was so bad, he had trouble walking even after he hit solid ground. With a first responder on each side, they were able to safely help Salcedo to the ambulance and help him get in. Salcedo was treated at MercyOne North Iowa hospital for shock. He was released just three hours later.

Salcedo originally hails from Weslaco, Texas, a place without any snow or ice. Today, he’s back to Twitter to shame President Trump for bullying 16-year-old Greta Thunberg. A few days before, he retweeted news that Brazil’s President Bolsonaro called Greta Thunberg a “brat” after she condemned rising violence against indigenous people living in the Amazon. You go, Gael Salcedo.

Share this story to anyone you love who loves to hate on technology.

CREDIT: @GAELSALCEDO2 / TWITTER

Back in 2011, Cult of Mac reported the first suggestion that Siri may save your life one day. At the time Siri was in her infancy and the concept still seemed fantastical to consumers. “Sure, Siri can act silly and it can find the perfect retailer, but it has some very practical and important uses as well,” the outlet pondered. Nearly a decade later, Gael Salcedo seems to be the first reported person to have relied on Siri to make an emergency call and was saved because of it.

“Thanks to technology he will have a happy Christmas,” one person tweeted in Spanish. Meanwhile, some trolls continue to discredit the usefulness of the technology. One troll commented, “probably staged – making some incentives for advertising.” Others are sharing the story with a simple statement: “Siri saves lives.”

Watch the full news report below!

READ: A California Woman Is Considering Charges Against An Apple Employee After He Sent Photo From Her Phone To Himself

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