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The Uncommon Life, Uncommon Knowledge

Uncommon Knowledge: Why Are Yawns Contagious?

June 29, 2015

“Don’t do it,” you warn your drowsy coworker. They yawn and it’s all over. Yawning has many triggers, such as boredom, sleepiness, and even temperature. Studies also show that we will sometimes yawn to draw in brain-soothing ambient air through the nose and mouth. All that aside, yawns are pretty universally contagious. Yawning feels pretty great, so why not join in? Some studies have even shown contagious yawning after just being shown a photo of someone yawning. But why? Scientists are stumped, which can only lead to some fun speculation. It’s currently believed that they are indeed an evolutionary trait whose original purpose has faded out, but because there’s no negative affect, there’s no pressure to get rid of it. Let the theories fly on what evolutionary advantage they once held…

Retro Good Night, Sleep Tight Nightlight | $36.00

The Uncommon Life

A Haiku For You

February 17, 2012

We don’t mean to seem immodest here, but our emails are pretty awesome. Wouldn’t you agree?

This month, we’re inviting you to help us write them. Here’s the contest: Write a haiku poem for one (or all) of these four products. If we pick your poem, you’ll be featured in an upcoming email and win the item you extolled! Read on for the rules and details:

Periodic Table Building Blocks: These 20 toy blocks contain the entire periodic table– every known element in the universe. Pretty deep, right?

Tipping Tea Cup: Tipping back and forth to brew your tea, this cup sure has some poetic rhythm.

Stump Ring: Is there anything more symbolic than your true love’s initials carved into the trunk of a tree?

Recycled Glass Owl Night Light: Our night owl’s eyes seem to gaze right into your soul.

The Rules

  • Your poem must be a haiku. What does that mean? Glad you asked! Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry with a rich and storied past, but we’re going to simplify the rules for the sake of good fun. Your poem must be contain 17 syllables: 5 on the first line, 7 on the second, and 5 on the third.

    Here’s an example that Marisa wrote for our soup & sandwich tray:

    “I love you, Grilled Cheese”
    “And I you, Tomato Soup”
    -Doomed never to touch

  • You can write one poem for each of the four products.
  • Leave your haiku(s) in the comments below.
  • By submitting a poem, you’re giving us permission to post your name and haiku poem throughout our site, social networks, emails and maybe even catalog!
  • Deadline to enter: March 2
  • Fan us on Facebook. We’ll be posting contest updates along the way, and expect to see some fun poetry gracing our wall soon!
  • We’ll announce the winner(s) by March 20, 2012. Each winning poet will receive the product they best objectified in their haiku.
  • Questions?

    Ok, go. We can’t wait to see your creative poetry!

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