+
Heroes

A very low-tech approach to cleaning the ocean could have big results.

'It's a big mission, but it can be done. In fact, we're doing it right now.'

Two Australian surfers just came up with a really neat way to help clean the ocean.

It's called the Seabin, and it's the brainchild of Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski. They call it "a simple solution to our oceans' pollution."



It lives up to its name, looking like a bin in the sea.

Here's how it works.

Water and trash flow through the bin. The trash gets caught in the bin, while the water gets pulled up through a pump on the dock. Then a water pump separates oil from the water, and the water flows back down where it started, sans trash.

Image from The Seabin Project, used with permission.

The trash is collected by simply pulling the Seabin out of the water and dumping it out.

Ewwww ... you might have been swimming in that.

While other ocean-cleaning ideas are being put into place right now, the Seabin is a bit different.

Take, for example, The Ocean Cleanup, a 1.2-mile-long system slated for launch in 2016. The Ocean Cleanup collects plastic as it washes through the structure. The Seabin, as you can see, is a tiiiiiiiny bit smaller than that.


OK, a LOT smaller.

And while The Ocean Cleanup will handle plastic in the deeper ocean, the Seabin is made primarily for docks, marinas, and yacht clubs. And unlike The Ocean Cleanup, the Seabin can also capture and separate oil from the water, too, which is a big deal.

Plus, a single Seabin can collect more than a half ton of trash per year.

That's a little over 1,200 pounds, to be more specific. The creators plan to make future Seabins out of recycled plastic, too.

“One of the goals is to make the Seabin from our own plastics to create another Seabin to capture more; it’s a domino effect,” the creators explained in a video. “The second goal is to create a world where we don’t need the Seabin.”

For now, we need all the help we can get when it comes to our oceans.

Every year, 8 million tons of plastic wind up in the ocean, and it's estimated that the ocean is currently home to around 5.25 trillion (with a "t") pieces of plastic.

A man removes plastic bags and other rubbish from Manila Bay. Photo by Jay Directo/AFP/Getty Images.

"It's a big mission, but it can be done. In fact, we're doing it right now."

That's the message Seabin creators have for the world. It's easy to feel hopeless and throw your hands up in defeat, but if we all work together to find the right combination of antipollution tactics, we can reclaim clean, beautiful oceans.

via FIRST

FIRST students compete in a robotics challenge.

True

Societies all over the world face an ever-growing list of complex issues that require informed solutions. Whether it’s addressing infectious diseases, the effects of climate change, supply chain issues or resource scarcity, the world has an immediate need for problem-solvers with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

Here in the United States, we’re experiencing a shortage of much-needed STEM workers, and forward-thinking organizations are stepping up to tap into America’s youth to fill the void. As the leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM education, FIRST is an important player in this arena, and its mission is to inspire young people aged 4 to 18 to become technology leaders and innovators capable of addressing the world’s pressing needs.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Marlon Brando on "The Dick Cavett Show" in 1973.

Marlon Brando made one of the biggest Hollywood comebacks in 1972 after playing the iconic role of Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather.” The venerable actor's career had been on a decline for years after a series of flops and increasingly unruly behavior on set.

Brando was a shoo-in for Best Actor at the 1973 Academy Awards, so the actor decided to use the opportunity to make an important point about Native American representation in Hollywood.

Instead of attending the ceremony, he sent Sacheen Littlefeather, a Yaqui and Apache actress and activist, dressed in traditional clothing, to talk about the injustices faced by Native Americans.

She explained that Brando "very regretfully cannot accept this generous award, the reasons for this being … the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee."

Keep ReadingShow less

Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

Keep ReadingShow less