A medical school in Cleveland got one of the coolest gifts of all time from Microsoft: holograms.

Who hasn't thought about what it would be like if holograms were more commonplace?

Not just holograms as specters for spectators...



A pseudo-holographic Tupac Shakur performs for hipsters and hop-alongs at Coachella 2012.

...but holograms as an integrated part of our lives — as the new standard interface for personal computing.

GIF from "Minority Report."

Engineers may know how to create holograms, but the technology has yet to touch our lives in ways that are relevant and useful to us.

Holographic technology may finally be getting the chance it deserves and in a truly worthy way.

In a partnership with Microsoft, medical students at Cleveland's Case Western Reserve University are learning the intricacies of the human anatomy with holograms.

The goal is for a team of students and faculty to create a comprehensive anatomy curriculum using HoloLens, Microsoft's augmented reality headset that projects computer-generated holograms onto users' view of the physical world.

The HoloLens will be available for early purchase by approved developers in 2016 for the low, low price of $3,000 per headset. Photo via Jorge Figueroa/Flickr.

Radiology professor Mark Griswold was one of the first people at CWRU to test HoloLens. Griswold's "world had changed the moment he first used a prototype," according to a press release from the university.

"I think this will improve students' confidence in learning anatomy dramatically," says Griswold in the video below. "With HoloLens, you can imagine having a class standing around a model, almost like a tour group in a museum, where they're all interacting completely naturally."

GIF from Microsoft HoloLens/YouTube.

The technology proved itself instantly to students, too.

"You can take any anatomical part and show any of it," said CWRU medical student Satyam Ghodasara. "You can move it around, you can make it kind of translucent so you can see through the outside, and that really helped me understand how cardiac anatomy worked. It was a way of seeing it that you couldn't do with an actual heart."

GIF from Microsoft HoloLens/YouTube.

Holograms can make the impossible possible, which could transform education as we know it.

From arts to astronomy, archaeology to engineering, augmented reality could have huge implications for how people learn. “The whole campus has the potential to use this," said Griswold. "Our ability to use this for education is almost limitless."

Even NASA has plans for the HoloLens. They want to send headsets to space so Earth-bound scientists can better collaborate with their colleagues in the cosmos.

A rendering of how augmented reality could look for scientists collaborating in a 3D simulation created using Mars rover data. Photo by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

For now, early signs point to holograms having a positive effect on the future of medicine.

On top of the new perspectives they allow, another change holographic learning could bring to medical schools is a reduced need for cadavers.

GIF from Microsoft HoloLens/YouTube.

While learning anatomy the old-fashioned way will always have an important place in medical training, who can honestly argue that fewer dead bodies lying around in noxious chemical baths isn't a good thing?

Check out a video about the Microsoft-CWRU partnership:

Courtesy of FIELDTRIP
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The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities due largely in part to social factors such as inadequate access to housing, income, dietary options, education and employment — all of which have been shown to affect people's physical health.

Recognizing that inequity, Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson sought out to help his community maximize its health during the pandemic — one grain at a time.

Johnson manages FIELDTRIP, a health-focused restaurant that strives to bring people together through the celebration of rice, a grain found in cuisines of countless cultures.

"It was very important for me to show the world that places like Harlem want access to more health-conscious foods," Johnson said. "The people who live in Harlem should have the option to eat fresh, locally farmed and delicious food that other communities have access to."

Lack of education and access to those healthy food options is a primary driver of why 31% of adults in Harlem are struggling with obesity — the highest rate of any neighborhood in New York City and 7% higher than the average adult obesity rate across the five boroughs.

Obesity increases risk for heart disease or diabetes, which in turn leaves Harlem's residents — who are 76% Black or LatinX — at heightened risk for complications with COVID-19.

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Empathy. Compassion. Heart-to-heart human connection. These qualities of leadership may not be flashy or loud, but they speak volumes when we see them in action.

A clip of Joe Biden is going viral because it reminds us what that kind of leadership looks like. The video shows a key moment at a memorial service for Chris Hixon, the athletic director at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018. Hixon had attempted to disarm the gunman who went on a shooting spree at the school, killing 17 people—including Hixon—and injuring 17 more.

Biden asked who Hixon's parents were as the clip begins, and is directed to his right. Hixon's wife introduces herself, and Biden says, "God love you." As he starts to walk away, a voice off-camera says something and Biden immediately turns around. The voice came from Hixon's son, Corey, and the moments that followed are what have people feeling all their feelings.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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via Witty Buttons / Twitter

Back in 2017, when white supremacist Richard Spencer was socked in the face by someone wearing all black at Trump's inauguration, it launched an online debate, "Is it OK to punch a Nazi?"

The essential nature of the debate was whether it was acceptable for people to act violently towards someone with repugnant reviews, even if they were being peaceful. Some suggested people should confront them peacefully by engaging in a debate or at least make them feel uncomfortable being Nazi in public.

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The English language is constantly evolving, and the faster the world changes, the faster our vocabulary changes. Some of us grew up in an age when a "wireless router" would have been assumed to be a power tool, not a way to get your laptop (which wasn't a thing when I was a kid) connected to the internet (which also wasn't a thing when I was a kid, at least not in people's homes).

It's interesting to step back and look at how much has changed just in our own lifetimes, which is why Merriam-Webster's Time Traveler tool is so fun to play with. All you do is choose a year, and it tells you what words first appeared in print that year.

For my birth year, the words "adult-onset diabetes," "playdate," and "ATM" showed up in print for the first time, and yes, that makes me feel ridiculously old.

It's also fun to plug in the years of different people's births to see how their generational differences might impact their perspectives. For example, let's take the birth years of the oldest and youngest members of Congress:

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