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A bike that mimics multiple sclerosis presents the disease on a new level.

A clever campaign just might help someone you know.

What do you see in this image?

All images via Grey Australia/YouTube.


Looks pretty straightforward, right? A classic 10-speed bike, like you might find in your parent's garage. Nothing exceptional.

But things aren't always how they seem at first glance. In fact, a quick ride on this bike would throw a lot of people off, and that's exactly why a group of Australian designers, neurologists, and advocates created it.

This bicycle was designed to mimic the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

You may know someone who has it. (The disease, not the bike.)

Roughly 2.5 million people out there know what it's like to live with multiple sclerosis, a disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord, making it hard for the brain to properly talk to the body.

It's mysterious and often frustrating, especially considering that researchers are still unsure what causes it. That, mixed with its unpredictable nature as a disease, makes it hard for people to grasp what it's like to have ... until now.

Here are five clever ways they did it:

Bike = MS? You better believe it. Here we go.

1. This bike looks great on the outside, but the inside tells a different story.

One of the most frustrating parts of MS is that it's considered a hidden disease. You can look completely normal and healthy on the outside but actually be suffering on the inside.

It's one of the reasons many people can't understand what their loved ones are going through. Diagnosing MS is no cakewalk either; its symptoms can be so hard to see that it's hard to determine whether a person has it or not.

This bike looks sharp and ready to hit the road, just like someone diagnosed with MS. But just wait.

2. Be prepared to feel wobbly.


With MS, the instability is real, and this bike was designed with that in mind. The makers purposely built it with crooked wheels, a misaligned frame, and balky tires to create the effect. It's incredibly hard to find your balance when you're riding, and if you took it for a spin, there would be a good chance you'd end up on the asphalt.

People living with MS could relate since they often have problems with walking and feel dizziness.

3. You never know what's going to happen next.


Symptoms of MS vary widely from person to person, but not knowing what's going to happen or when it's going to happen is a common theme.

On the bike, the designers shifted gears, took out teeth on the rear cassette, and used heavy parts to create a jarring, unpredictable feeling when riding.

4. The brakes, seat, and handlebars recreate numbing.


Ever sit in a position too long and your legs go numb? That's sort of what it's like for someone living with MS. Only it's not just your leg. It's different parts of your body, all the time.

Losing sensation in your feet and hands makes you feel like you have to do everything harder to make it work. To replicate this feeling on the bike, after they used thin handlebar tape with ball bearings wrapped underneath, and made the seat super uncomfortable. Hang on or sit for a while and you'll go numb.

5. It takes so much more effort to go anywhere.


For some of us, it's hard enough to roll out of bed and face the day when we're feeling perfectly fine. Someone living with MS has to constantly fight through the day to make it through.

With all the alterations above, riding this bike is also a strain, to put it lightly.

Our bodies are machines, just like a bike.

When something is off, the body reacts and works to find a fix. With MS, there is no permanent fix, but there are ways to ease symptoms and slow disease progression with medicine and physical therapy.

Most people won't get to ride this bike, and, of course, it's nothing compared to the challenge of actually having the disease.

But this unique approach might make MS easier to understand — both mentally and physically.

By improving awareness and relating it to something most people do understand (bikes!), it hopefully can allow people to see MS on a different level.

Created by cycling Paralympian Carol Cooke, bike mechanics, neurologists, folks living with MS, and Grey Australia, the campaign hopes to raise awareness for the disease in advance of the MS Melbourne Cycle in March 2016.

Watch the full campaign ad here:

Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

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Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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