A white guy, a Black guy, and a pretty blonde all tried to steal a bike. Here's how the public reacted.
via ABC

A few years back, the hidden camera TV show "What Would You Do?" staged a social experiment in a park that revealed how people are treated because of their race and sex.

Three actors pretended to try to steal a bike out in the open with burglary tools, forcing passersby to ask themselves: is the person a thief or did they simply lose the key to their bike lock?

What Would You Do? Bike Theft (White Guy, Black Guy, Pretty Girl) www.youtube.com

The first actor in the experiment was a white male. When strangers ask him if that's his bike he replies, "Not exactly" and people go on their merry way. Even when he asks a someone if they know the owner of the bike, they find it "odd" that he's trying to take the chain.

One hundred people walked past the thief and only one couple tried to stop him. Even a Black woman gave him the benefit of the doubt, "I remember thinking, young white men don't carry burglar tools," she tells reporter John Quiñones.

When a Black male actor replaced the white actor, passersby immediately confronted him about the bike. A crowd quickly surrounded the Black man and people called the police.

Finally, when an attractive blonde girl assumed the role of bike thief, two men stopped to help her break the lock.

This situation is clearly anecdotal, but it's a clear example of how people are treated differently in society based on how they look.

We know that mammals feed their young with milk from their own bodies, and we know that whales are mammals. But the logistics of how some whales make breastfeeding happen has been a bit of a mystery for scientists. Such has been the case with sperm whales.

Sperm whales are uniquely shaped, with humongous, block-shaped heads that house the largest brains in the animal world. Like other cetaceans, sperm whale babies rely on their mother's milk for sustenance in their first year or two. And also like other cetaceans, a sperm whale mama's nipple is inverted—it doesn't stick out from her body like many mammals, but rather is hidden inside a mammary slit.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully

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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