A photographer nearly froze to capture these images. The results? Spectacular.
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Barilla

45 minutes after diving under the ice into the frigid water of the Arctic, Paul Nicklen's body starts uncontrollably shivering.

He can't feel his fingers — or the camera in his hands — at all. The only way he knows he's actually taking pictures is to watch his finger hit the shutter button on the camera.

But he keeps pressing on, taking photos, until the early stages of hypothermia start to set in and everything starts to slow down. That's when he knows it's probably time to wrap up the shoot.


Image by Paul Nicklen via Barilla/While the Water Boils.

Nicklen is a Canadian photographer who has spent much of his career photographing wildlife in frigid polar environments.

"I'm really good at freezing," he jokes.

He's even been away from home for up to 10 months at a time, relying solely on the equipment and food he brought with him to survive. (And what does he eat on those trips? Lots and lots of pasta, he says, because "I can take 90 pounds of pasta into the field and that will last me three months.")

But no amount of shivering, extreme conditions, or any other challenges can keep Nicklen from getting the shot.

"This is my one chance to connect the world to the changing polar regions and that's what drives me," Nicklen told Hannah Hart on While the Water Boils. "If I’m cold and frozen and miserable, I can push past that to get these images."

Image by Paul Nicklen via Barilla/While the Water Boils.

Nicklen’s work is not just about getting a beautiful photograph —  it’s also about education.

Through his art, he wants to draw attention to fragile ecosystems, climate change, and other pressing issues affecting polar wildlife. That's why he takes photographs in some of the world's harshest environments and has had encounters with numerous wild animals, including polar bears, narwhals, leopard seals, and penguins.

In fact, educating others about these issues was so important to Nicklen that it's why he chose to become a photographer in the first place.

"I went off to university to become a biologist," he said, "but I became frustrated that we weren't affecting change with that science."

"I thought if I can become a photographer and if I can get a job with say, National Geographic, now I have the chance to reach a hundred million people to bridge the gap between the important science and the public," he adds.

Paul Nicklen. Image by Paul Nicklen via Barilla/While the Water Boils.

To Nicklen, even something as simple as a caption can help get the word out about important conservation issues.

In fact, he uses his Instagram — which he calls "millennial-bait" — to draw people in through a beautiful photograph and then, while he has their attention, teach them something about the animal or landscape shown through the caption.

With more and more exposure and education, Nicklen hopes he can mobilize others to care about science and conservation, too. And hopefully that can help drive action and change to help combat the issues affecting these polar regions.

Image by Paul Nicklen via Barilla/While the Water Boils.

Nicklen discussed his passion for his work recently on While the Water Boils.

This is a YouTube show where Hannah Hart (YouTube star and author) sits down with people to find out more about their passions. Learn more about him and his photos in this video:

Capturing these stunning wildlife images puts his life at risk, but he does it to shed light on an issue that affects us all.

Posted by Upworthy on Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Nicklen's story shows that there are lots of ways to use your passion — whether it's photography and science or something else entirely — to help make the world a better place.

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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Pete Buttigieg is having a moment. The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana keeps trending on social media for his incredibly eloquent explanations of issues—so much so that L.A. Times columnist Mary McNamara has dubbed him "Slayer Pete," who excels in "the five-minute, remote-feed evisceration." From his old-but-newly-viral explanation of late-term abortion to his calm calling out of Mike Pence's hypocrisy, Buttigieg is making a name for himself as Biden's "secret weapon" and "rhetorical assassin."

And now he's done it again, this time taking on the 'originalist' view of the Constitution.

Constitutional originalists contend that the original meaning of the words the drafters of the Constitution used and their intention at the time they wrote it are what should guide interpretation of the law. On the flip side are people who see the Constitution as a living document, meant to adapt to the times. These are certainly not the only two interpretive options and there is much debate to be had as to the merits of various approaches, but since SCOTUS nominee Amy Coney Barrett is an originalist, that view is currently part of the public discourse.

Buttigieg explained the problem with originalism in a segment on MSNBC, speaking from what McNamara jokingly called his "irritatingly immaculate kitchen." And in his usual fashion, he totally nails it. After explaining that he sees "a pathway to judicial activism cloaked in judicial humility" in Coney Barrett's descriptions of herself, he followed up with:

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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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