A pregnant mom found peace of mind on the road with a helpful piece of tech called Hum.
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Hum by Verizon

Imagine you're pregnant and stranded on the freeway.

That was Meli Arevalo's biggest worry when one day, smoke suddenly started coming out of her engine. She was seven months pregnant at the time.

"I was pregnant and just being stranded in the freeway ... would've not been a good thing," she says.  


Image via iStock.

"Our car was kinda getting hot," Arevalo remembers. "But we didn't know why."

Luckily, Arevalo had a device installed in her car that could help her spot the issue right away: Hum by Verizon.

Through the Vehicle Diagnostics feature provided by Hum, Arevalo was able to pinpoint the car's alternator as the exact source of the problem. She then gave their helpful Mechanics Hotline a call, and they even assisted her with the next steps she needed to take.

Image by Hum by Verizon.

"I explained what happened," says Arevalo, "and they transferred me to a mechanic right away and the mechanic answered all my questions."

Now that she knew what was wrong, Arevalo was able to quickly have her car fixed before anything more serious happened.

"If it weren't for [Hum]," she adds, "I honestly don't think we would've ever known. It saved us a lot of money."

Hum also helps prevent all sorts of unpredictable hassles down the road — something incredibly important now that Arevalo has two lovely kids and needs the car for their daily routine.

"We only have one car, so it's everyday," she says. "We drive everywhere with it."

When you're a busy family racking up miles on your car, it helps to have a device that can make life a little easier.

Forgot where you parked? (We've all been there.) Well, Hum can find your exact spot and let you know through the app. In fact, if your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, just use their Pinpoint Roadside Assistance to let Hum know exactly where to send help. Plus, if your car is stolen, you can find it on the app and notify police right away. "It's right on your phone," says Arevalo. "Like the tip of your fingers."

"Knock on wood that won't happen, but you have peace of mind that if it does happen, we can get the car back," she adds.

Image by Hum by Verizon.

One of the coolest things that Hum provides is the monthly health report. It provides useful data on your car so you always know how it's doing. It's like having your car checked out — without actually having to drive anywhere.

Today, Arevalo and her family drive with much less worry knowing that Hum has their back.

Whether it's visiting family, going to school, or heading to a doctor's appointment, Hum is right there with them every step of the way. "We really like it, and we even recommended it to friends and family," says Arevalo. "Just because of how easy it was for us and the headache that it saved us."

"Even my mechanic asked me what it was so he could tell his clients."

When you have a device whose main purpose is to make owning a car much easier, it makes all the difference when it comes to giving your family a safer — and most easygoing — ride in town.

Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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