Mattel and National Federation of the Blind Release Uno Braille Edition

Uno Braille Edition
(Mattel/Uno Braille)

If there’s one thing we just can get enough of, it’s familiar toys becoming even more inclusive. So when Mattel recently announced a new version of Uno that would allow those who are blind or visually impaired to join in the fun, we just had to share the details.

While it may look similar to the original game, Uno Braille Edition has been designed in partnership with the National Federation of the Blind to be a completely inclusive experience.

Starting with the cards, each number, color, and direction is spelled out in Braille on both the front and back sides, making gameplay accessible like never before. In addition, the company has launched UnoBraille.com, a site that will allow players and their families to download braille readable instructions.

The company has even gone a step further by releasing voice-enabled audio instructions and help available on both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Players can ask questions throughout the game, and also be reminded of the rules — something that will likely come in handy for families everywhere who frequently disagree on the finer details.

Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, says steps like these not only make games more inclusive but also encourage others to learn and understand more about communicating in general. “UNO Braille is doing more than making this beloved game more accessible. It’s also helping promote the importance and normalcy of braille by putting it in places people might not expect, and integrating it into the play of blind children.” 

It’s not the first time Uno and other popular games have made strides towards becoming more accessible. Just a few short years ago, Uno released their ColorADD cards for those with color blindness. Mattel joins other toy giants such as Lego who continue to advance gameplay for all children as well as their parents who refuse to grow up.

It’s a step in the right direction and shows just how far we’ve come as a society when it comes to fostering a more caring and understanding world for our children. It’s a trend that you’ll keep seeing over and over in retail, and one we hope continues to trend for years to come.

Son “Fixes” Family Photo as a Gift for His Dad and Now It’s a Work of Art

Son hilariously fixes family photo for his dad
(TikTok/kylescheele)

There’s an entire website dedicated to the hilarity of “Awkward Family Photos,” and in a series of videos, TikTok user kylescheele reminds us why we love them so dang much. For some reason, traditional family photos are often bizarre. From strange coordinated outfits to poses that look so unnatural they may as well be aliens doing their best human impressions, there’s no shortage of things that can go wrong. But after staring at the same family photo for decades, Kyle decided to make some changes.

In part one of Kyle’s TikTok, he gives some background on the photo in question. In the scope of things, the picture isn’t horrible. In fact, it would have been a pretty acceptable family photo aside from one small problem. Even though it’s been hanging in his house for decades, Kyle’s dad hates that freaking picture (understandably).

Kyle explains, “for no discernable reason, the photographer had only my dad tilt his head, but my dad didn’t know that until after the photo was already developed.”

Maybe a small head tilt doesn’t sound like something that would ruin a photo, but uh, it definitely ruined the photo. In a picture full of family members looking straight forward, plopped in the middle is Kyle’s dad, staring crookedly at the camera.

The photo has been hanging in the same spot for roughly three decades thanks to Kyle’s mom who unironically loves it. But as a gift to his dad, Kyle decided to put his Photoshop skills to use and fix the photo once and for all.

In a stroke of absolute genius, Kyle decided to not only to straighten his dad’s face in the photo but to tilt the faces of everyone else in the picture. He orders a large, framed copy of the new and improved family photo, and even though he’s seen it before, he is thoroughly tickled when he opens the box.

@kylescheeleThis is the best gift idea I’ve ever had. ##greenscreen ##photoshop ##christmas ##gift ##family ##familypictures ##funny♬ original sound – kylescheele

Finally, it’s time for part two. The moment of truth. Without cracking a smile, Kyle hands his dad the wrapped work of art. As his dad begins to pull back the paper, a smile spreads across his face. He turns the photo to Kyle’s mom, and as soon as she processes exactly what her brilliant son did, she bursts into uncontrollable laughter.

The new picture transcends the category of “family photo” and is now more accurately a work of art, one that will hopefully hang in the family’s house for decades to come. Legend has it that if you hold your ear to your own awkward family photo, you can still hear Kyle’s mom laughing to this day.

@kylescheeleI’ll put my mom’s laugh against yours any day. ##photoshop ##dadlean ##christmas ##gift ##part2♬ original sound – kylescheele

Betty White Turns 99 Tomorrow and Credits a Sense of Humor for Her Health

Betty White is OK
(Getty/Amanda Edwards)

The comedy legend, who has been spending her COVID quarantine safely at home, hanging out with ducks, is turning 99 this weekend. How does a Hollywood icon celebrate 99? By making sure she’s around for 100, so continuing to stay home amid the pandemic…and still feeding her ducks.

“What am I doing for my birthday?…Working on getting ‘The Pet Set’ re-released and feeding the two ducks who come to visit me every day,” she told Entertainment Tonight.

“Betty White’s Pet Set” was a show in the early 70s featuring White with celebrities and their pets, ranging from dogs and cats to elephants, tiger sand zebras. The show is getting re-released for its 50th anniversary on February 23rd.

In a year that saw us lose many comedy icons, including Carl Reiner and Fred Willard, the beloved White continues to write the book on aging with grace.

She said the one thing that keeps her going is a sense of humor.

“Don’t take yourself too seriously. You can lie to others, not that I would, but you cannot lie to yourself,” she told People. She also echoed that as her advice for living a happy and long life.

“Having a sense of humor and looking at the positive side, and not dwelling on the downside,” she said. “Takes too much energy being negative. Also having a good agent who keeps me busy all the time.”

While COVID numbers continue to climb throughout North America, and wreaking special havoc on the elderly, we have to be thankful to the duck family for keeping Betty White happy and sane through the worst of it, and for being the only ones to help the legendary actor celebrate turning 99.

12 Funniest Parenting Tweets of the Week 1/15/21

Funniest parenting tweets 1-15-21
(Getty/Hello Africa, Twitter/simoncholland)

Possibly the funniest thing about kids is that they don’t realize just how funny they are. Seemingly out of nowhere, kids pull out comedy gold and deliver it with complete sincerity. No matter how frequently it happens, it catches us off guard in the best possible way. Thankfully, Twitter parents share their kids’ funniest moments, inviting us to laugh along with them. Here are 12 of this week’s funniest parenting tweets, featuring both hilarious parents and their hilarious kids.

As long as you get the worst parts out, they should be fine

Honestly that’s a steal

Parenting is an enigma

Absolute genius

It’s not *the worst* nickname

This is a big brain move

Kids are brutal, part 2

So awake, in fact, that I may never sleep again

Just for 5 minutes, I want to see the world the way my kid sees the world

It’s so hard to get mad at a response like that and they know it

He May be onto something

Did you miss last week’s funniest parenting tweets?

Spoil Your Pup With Ben and Jerry’s Frozen Doggie Desserts

Ben & Jerry Doggie Desserts
(Instagram/benandjerrys)

This is not a good time for many people. You know who IS loving this era, though? Dogs. It has never been a better time to be a man’s best friend. For starters, most of us are home WAY MORE than ever before. On top of that, we’ve had our first dog beer invented so we could take our bro-ship to the next level and Budweiser unveiled their Barkweiser 7-pack that comes with a beer-shaped dog toy for your pup. And now this: Ben and Jerry’s is getting into their game by creating the first line of frozen dog treats.

 

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A post shared by Ben & Jerry’s (@benandjerrys)

It’s the first product in the company’s four decades that is specifically created for an animal. The company has always had a pet-friendly approach, both in the founders’ passion for environmental causes, and in their policy to office dogs (there are many four-legged friends roaming the offices). The treats are being sold in individual 4-ounce cups or in packs for four.

Pontch’s Mix, the first treat, has frozen peanut butter, pretzel swirls, and was named after an office French Bulldog.

Rosie’s Batch has creamy pumpkin and mini dog-friendly cookies and is named for a rescue mutt in the corporate headquarters.

The Doggie Desserts are available everywhere now and are even safe for humans to eat (although seems kinda rude tbh). Since dogs don’t do dairy (generally), the treats are made with sunflower butter, so they are perfectly safe and delicious for dogs.

“We know our fans love their dogs and treat them like family,” said a spokesman for Ben and Jerry’s. “We created this line so pups can enjoy something even better than belly rubs.”

There have never been more ways to spoil your dogs, but if you can’t do it during a global pandemic, when can you? The frozen dog treats are available at supermarkets and chain stores everywhere.

Father Figures: Reluctant Dad

“I spent years convincing myself that I never wanted to be a dad. I had such strong feelings about the poor relationship between myself and my own father that I feared ever being viewed by someone in that same light.

I worked diligently to build a great career and pay off all debt prior to even thinking about having kids, thinking that maybe setting them up for a life free from those hardships might help me avoid the same pitfalls that my own father encountered.

Finally came the news from my wife that we were expecting. I was nervous and apprehensive. My greatest fear had always been being a bad father and now I was going to get my test.

We went to our ultrasound extremely naïve, already planning for how our lives were about to change. The tech calmly put down her equipment and told us that there was no heartbeat and the pregnancy wasn’t viable.

I was devastated. Devastated for my wife. Devastated for our plans. Devastated that I couldn’t do anything to ease my wife’s pain.

We went through three consecutive miscarriages and dozens of tests, all to be diagnosed with bad luck. With our fourth attempt my fear of being a bad father had shifted. My greatest fear now was never getting to be one.

Finally: a heartbeat. Hope.

We endured one more miscarriage scare during our fourth pregnancy but it proved to only be a hiccup.

I’m now 6 months into this dad thing and I can honestly say I’ve never been part of anything better than this. I can’t imagine not being this little girl’s daddy.”

– Scott Dillon

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Fans React to Chris Evans Picking up the Captain America Shield Again

Captain America
(Marvel)

In somewhat shocking news, Chris Evans is nearing an official return to Marvel movies, picking up the shield again to reprise his role as Captain America. According to Deadline, Evans will be bringing Captain America back in at least one movie, possibly more. The caveat, though, is that he won’t be the main draw, he’ll be a secondary character, sort of like Robert Downey’s Iron Man in a few of the MCU movies.

Evans was a great Captain America, so why are fans shocked? Because his ending in Avengers: Endgame seemed really well done for the character. It was a great send-off to Cap and that whole phase of the MCU. I mean come on, he literally even took the Captain America shield and passed it off to Falcon at the end of the movie. What better passing of the torch could you ask for?

But Evans hasn’t had enough of Steve Rogers, though the details as to which film he’ll be in are still unclear. Is it the most shocking reversal when it comes to movies? I mean no, clearly not, as long as it’s done well and not just haphazard (looking at you, Emperor Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker). Maybe it’ll be some sort of Dr. Strange, alternate reality thing, or maybe a flashback-y movie.

Fans…are split, to say the least. Some are PSYCHED to see one of the MCU’s most beloved superheroes back in action, while others think it could diminish his great ending in Endgame.

Even Chris Evans tried to play it off, saying on Twitter that it was “news to me.”


Marvel has a TON of new projects and heroes on their plate, and no shortage of difficult situations to navigate (like a Black Panther-less Black Panther), so Evans returning to his iconic role adds another interesting twist to the new direction.

Jim Carrey Wins a Critics Choice Award for “Best Villain” in Sonic Movie

Jim Carrey Wins Award for Best Villain
(Paramount Pictures)

Two-time Golden Globe winner Jim Carrey can now add another award to his resume… for his role in a film about a talking hedgehog.

Announced on the Critics Choice Awards website, Jim Carrey took home a ‘Critics Choice Super Award’ for his role as Dr. Robotnik in the 2020 Sonic the Hedgehog movie.  Formed in 1995, the Critics Choice Association (which is still one of the largest collections of film critics in North America) has been providing annual ‘Super Awards’.  These awards honor films and performances in genres that are typically overlooked by the Academy, such as Superhero, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Horror, & Action.

I think this is such a cool idea.  There are some really great performances in plenty of films each year, and awards like these allow more actors to be recognized.

If you’ve seen the Sonic movie, you have to admit, Carrey was one of the best parts.  It might have just been classic Carrey, but he was still very entertaining.  What was initially thought to become a disaster in the history of video game movies after that first trailer released, Sonic the Hedgehog would end up grossing over $300 million worldwide at the box office.   My family and I saw it in theaters and have watched it at least a dozen times at home since we purchased the digital edition.  With a sequel now greenlit, Sonic and Sega fans have plenty to look forward to in the future.

I’m just so glad they went with the redesigned Sonic.  The first trailer with the original design they were going to use gave me nightmares for a week.  I don’t think I would have slept again for the rest of my life if I had to stare at this thing for an hour and a half.

(Paramount Pictures/Luckyone)

GoldenEye 007 Gets a New Custom Mario 64/Peach’s Castle Level

(Graslu00)

When it comes to the N64, GoldenEye 007 and Super Mario 64 are some of the best games on the console.  You could even argue that they’re some of the best games ever made.  What do you get when you combine the two?  You get something so great, I wish that original developer Rare would have just included it as a bonus level on Goldeneye’s N64 cartridge.

Developed by StupidMarioBros1Fan, this “Goldeneye with Mario Characters” mod (which originally released back in 2018) features a new Super Mario 64 Peach’s Castle level, recreated within GoldenEye.  It contains the classic GoldenEye gameplay and sound effects, and even includes mission objectives and a Bowser boss fight.  YouTuber Graslu00 who mainly focuses on Goldeneye and other N64-era games showcases the level in the video above and helped create and test it as well.

I just think it’s hilarious to see the Koopa’s walking around with weapons.  Even the thought of Mario carrying out the mission of saving the princess “James Bond” style cracks me up.

If you want to play it for yourself you can download the mod here.  This mod will replace every character in Goldeneye with Mario characters, and even changes the original dialogue to reference characters like Peach and Bowser.  This new level is a fantastic addition, but if you really want to relive the entirety of GoldenEye 007 in a whole new light, this mod is definitely the way to do it.

Now if only someone would add dual flamethrowers.

Teen With Autism Becomes a Successful YouTuber Thanks To Her Dad’s Encouragement

Dad's support helps daughter with autism create successful YouTube
(YouTube/ToyQuest101)

Helping kids pursue their passions is a delicate business. We want to be encouraging but not pushy, helpful but not overbearing. It’s thrilling to watch our kids fall in love with their hobbies, whether they’re short-lived or end up lasting a lifetime. Things often become more complicated when our kids internalize stigmas that shake their confidence, but with support and encouragement, every single child can be successful in their own way.

13-Year-old Illiana, as most kids do, loves watching YouTube videos. In 2017, Illiana’s dad, Miguel Figueroa, had a brilliant idea – or so he thought. His daughter lit up when she watched her favorite videos, so why not start her own channel? When he approached Illiana with the idea, he was filled with enthusiasm simply thinking about his daughter pursuing something she loved. Her response, however, turned his enthusiasm to an immense sadness.

“She said, well, I can’t, because I had autism,” he told ABC6 “And it really broke my heart.”

Figueroa was not about to let his daughter give up before she even tried, and more importantly, he wasn’t going to let her believe she couldn’t do something simply because she had autism. The father-daughter duo decorated their basement with their collection of superhero paraphernalia, laid out stacks of comic books, and made the first “Toy Quest 101” video together.

Three years later, Illiana and Miguel’s channel has nearly 120,000 subscribers on YouTube. The adorable duo feature unboxing videos, toy reviews, and even celebrity interviews. The pair bond over their mutual love of superheroes, comic books, sci-fi, and most importantly, spending time together.

Their YouTube channel explains, “Our mission is to transform the lives of children with autism and special needs worldwide and inspire the lives of children and families through our videos and our story. Our vision is to bring awareness and promote a culture of acceptance where all kids with autism and special needs can be empowered to do what they set their mind to and not feel that their disability is a road block to accomplishing their dreams and or wishes.”