The tragic death of one runner’s mother inspires a 1,000-mile run for suicide prevention

WASHINGTON (Circa) — In April of 2017, firefighter Alex Hall got an unexpected call from his friend and fellow ultrarunner, Thaddeus Meyer.

Meyer was calling to tell Hall some heartbreaking news: His 72-year-old mother had committed suicide.

“What does a brother do at that point but say, I’m here for you. Let me know what you want from me,'” Hall said. Continue reading “The tragic death of one runner’s mother inspires a 1,000-mile run for suicide prevention”

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This 19-year-old kicked his gaming addiction and found a passion for photography

LEONARDTOWN, Md. (Circa) — For Andrew Lawlin, playing video games was just something he’d always done to connect with friends, but when he was just 16 years old, he realized his hobby had turned into an addiction.

“I was gaming for 10 hours one Saturday, and my parents came home and were like, ‘Hey, what have you been doing all day?’ And I was like, ‘Gaming,'” he said. “At that point, they were just disappointed.”

That’s the point, Andrew said, he realized he needed to make a change. Like most millennials, Andrew turned to the internet for help. Continue reading “This 19-year-old kicked his gaming addiction and found a passion for photography”

Can falling pregnancy rates signal a coming recession? These economists think so.

WASHINGTON — If you think giving birth looks painful, looking at the cost of bringing a child into this world might actually hurt your wallet.

No, seriously. Giving birth can cost thousands of dollars. The median cost of a vaginal birth with no complications is a whopping $10,958, according to 2014 data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. And for those who opt for a Cesarean section (C-section), the median cost is $18,570.

All of that said, it kind of makes sense that women wouldn’t want to get pregnant if the economy looks like it’s going down the drain. Continue reading “Can falling pregnancy rates signal a coming recession? These economists think so.”

US kids are breaking down stereotypes by drawing more female scientists than ever before

WASHINGTON, DC (Circa) – When you hear the word “scientist,” what image comes to mind? If you had to draw one, would your scientist be male or female?

Well, according to a recent study out of Northwestern University, U.S. kids are drawing more female scientists than ever before.

David Miller, the lead author and a psychology Ph.D. candidate at Northwestern, said he analyzed five decades of “Draw-A-Scientist” studies conducted since the 1960s.

As part of his research, Miller looked at 78 studies which included more than 20,000 responses from children over the course of five decades. Continue reading “US kids are breaking down stereotypes by drawing more female scientists than ever before”

Researchers hope a Super Nintendo controller and robotic fish can change the way marine life is monitored

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — There are lots of fish in the sea, but none quite like the one MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory recently unveiled in Science Robotics.

Let’s be clear, this isn’t a scaly, slimy kind of fish.

This is a soft robotic fish, known as “SoFi,” which was designed to help scientists explore marine life up close.

Robert Katzschmann, a CSAIL Ph.D. candidate and lead author of the study, said although “there’s been a lot of technological progress in the world of nature filmmaking,” they wanted to find a way to document marine life without disturbing the sea creatures they were trying to observe. Continue reading “Researchers hope a Super Nintendo controller and robotic fish can change the way marine life is monitored”

A driving test could lead to new technology that determines how soldiers are assigned to units

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Circa) — Oftentimes, soldiers are assigned to a specific unit based on logistics or rank, but in the future, that might not be the case.

Jean Vettel, a neuroscientist at the Army Research Lab, is hoping her team’s research will lead to new technology that assigns soldiers to units based his or her physiological response to different forms communication.

“Our goal in this study is really to drive new methods, new analysis tools, so that we can start to understand how we can actually look at the successful communication between people, as what’s predicting of the memory recall rather than just something within a given person,” Vettel said.

Continue reading “A driving test could lead to new technology that determines how soldiers are assigned to units”

The next step in sustainable footwear? Shoes made from eucalyptus fibers.

Editing and story by Alix Hines

Video shot by Jason Zucker and Allbirds

NEW YORK (Circa) — Shoes are a part of our everyday routine, but have you ever stopped to think about the materials they’re made from?

The shoe startup, Allbirds, certainly has, and they’re “branching out” from their original line of Merino wool kicks.

On Thursday, Allbirds launched the Tree Collection, which is a sustainable line of shoes crafted using eucalyptus fibers.

Continue reading “The next step in sustainable footwear? Shoes made from eucalyptus fibers.”

The Army is taking drone technology to new heights with these 3D printed UAVs

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The Army is taking drone technology to new heights by bringing 3D printed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to soldiers in the field.

Engineers at the Army Research Lab (ARL) in Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, developed a drone catalog that would give soldiers access to on-demand, mission-specific drones.

John Gerdes, a mechanical engineer who worked on the project, explained that a soldier would simply pull up the catalog using a phone or tablet and enter how far they need to fly or how long they need to stay in the air. Continue reading “The Army is taking drone technology to new heights with these 3D printed UAVs”

Her rapist is behind bars because a nurse asked the right questions

In November of 2014, when Abby Honold was a junior at the University of Minnesota, the unthinkable happened: She was raped.

As soon as she could escape her rapist, Honold reported the sexual assault to police and went to the hospital.

But if it weren’t for the sexual assault nurse who was on call that day, Honold said she doesn’t think her case would have ever seen prosecution. Continue reading “Her rapist is behind bars because a nurse asked the right questions”

Thousands of oyster castles line the shore of this island. Here’s why.

When Hurricane Sandy hit in October of 2012, it wreaked havoc on states along the eastern seaboard.

Chincoteague Island, which is located in Virginia’s Eastern Shore region, was just one of the coastal communities that felt the impact of the storm’s tidal surge.

“There were a lot of areas that were scoured from the impacts of the water,” explained Kevin Holcomb, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Since then, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has partnered with The Nature Conservancy and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission in an effort to build a “living shoreline.” Continue reading “Thousands of oyster castles line the shore of this island. Here’s why.”