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Car seats have been ruthlessly torturing new parents for decades.

This took hours. Image via Thinkstock.


There's nothing worse than squeezing this bulky, 10-pound monstrosity through the tiny door of your compact hatchback. Then, when that's all done, you have to cram a screaming, fidgeting toddler inside of it.

Meanwhile, because of the uneven distribution of your baby's weight, pediatricians recommend putting your kid in a rear-facing car seat until at least age 2. Which means you've got to not only put the terrible, hulking thing in the car, you've got to put it in backwards, where the back is totally unsupported.

The whole thing is a frustrating-as-hell disaster. And yet, you gotta do it. You gotta put that car seat in the car and that kid in that car seat. Otherwise bad things can happen. And you don't want to be a bad parent, do you? Do you???

One possible solution might be to redesign the whole car instead, as Swedish carmaker Volvo is currently proposing.

In their new concept, the baby rides shotgun with the built-in car seat facing the rear. This is how it works:

According to Christina Tynan-Wood of Yahoo! Tech, this could be way safer for babies.

"Young children do not fare well in crashes when facing forward. But in a rear-facing seat, the entire back of the seat supports the child's spine and neck, providing a much better chance of escaping from accidents unscathed."

It also allows the adult sitting in the back seat to face the child and attend to their needs as suddenly and unexpectedly as they often come up.

Screenshot by Volvo Cars/YouTube.

It's still a just concept design and not in production yet. And like so many other concepts, there's a chance it may never be produced. Which is a potential shame.

Parenting is hard. New parenting is — often — even harder.

Even when you're trying your darndest to keep your kid safe, there are so many mistakes you can make and so many people quick to tell you you're doing it wrong. That's why little quality of life improvements for new parents — like more generous parental leave, Finland's "baby box," and carmakers actually stepping up to build car seat functionality into their designs — are important. They say:

"We hear you, and we know what you're doing is hard. You're not alone. And we got your back."

Here's hoping Volvo actually gets this done. And that more automakers follow their lead.

Health

A child’s mental health concerns shouldn’t be publicized no matter who their parents are

Even politicians' children deserve privacy during a mental health crisis.

A child's mental health concerns shouldn't be publicized.

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.


It's an unspoken rule that children of politicians should be off limits when it comes to public figure status. Kids deserve the ability to simply be kids without the media picking them apart. We saw this during Obama's presidency when people from both ends of the political spectrum come out to defend Malia and Sasha Obama's privacy and again when a reporter made a remark about Barron Trump.

This is even more important when we are talking about a child's mental health, so seeing detailed reports about Ted Cruz's 14-year-old child's private mental health crisis was offputting, to say it kindly. It feels icky for me to even put the senator's name in this article because it feels like adding to this child's exposure.

When a child is struggling with mental health concerns, the instinct should be to cocoon them in safety, not to highlight the details or speculate on the cause. Ever since the news broke about this child's mental health, social media has been abuzz, mostly attacking the parents and speculating if the child is a member of the LGBTQ community.

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Science

Dyslexic plumber gets a life-changing boost after his friend built an app that texts for him

It uses AI to edit his work emails into "polite, professional-sounding British English."

via Pixabay

An artist's depiction of artificial intelligence.

There is a lot of mistrust surrounding the implementation of artificial intelligence these days and some of it is justified. There's reason to worry that deep-fake technology will begin to seriously blur the line between fantasy and reality, and people in a wide range of industries are concerned AI could eliminate their jobs.

Artists and writers are also bothered that AI works on reappropriating existing content for which the original creators will never receive compensation.

The World Economic Forum recently announced that AI and automation are causing a huge shake-up in the world labor market. The WEF estimates that the new technology will supplant about 85 million jobs by 2025. However, the news isn’t all bad. It also said that its analysis anticipates the “future tech-driven economy will create 97 million new jobs.”

The topic of AI is complex, but we can all agree that a new story from England shows how AI can certainly be used for the betterment of humanity. It was first covered by Tom Warren of BuzzFeed News.

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This article originally appeared on 04.15.19


On May 28, 2014, 13-year-old Athena Orchard of Leicester, England, died of bone cancer. The disease began as a tumor in her head and eventually spread to her spine and left shoulder. After her passing, Athena's parents and six siblings were completely devastated. In the days following her death, her father, Dean, had the difficult task of going through her belongings. But the spirits of the entire Orchard family got a huge boost when he uncovered a secret message written by Athena on the backside of a full-length mirror.

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Famous writers shared their book signing woes with a disheartened new author.

Putting creative work out into the world to be evaluated and judged is nerve-wracking enough as it is. Having to market your work, especially if you're not particularly extroverted or sales-minded, is even worse.

So when you're a newly published author holding a book signing and only two of the dozens of people who RSVP'd show up, it's disheartening if not devastating. No matter how much you tell yourself "people are just busy," it feels like a rejection of you and your work.

Debut novelist Chelsea Banning recently experienced this scenario firsthand, and her sharing it led to an amazing deluge of support and solidarity—not only from other aspiring authors, but from some of the top names in the writing business.

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