Canadian doctor's brilliant 'evil genius' hack transforms 1 ventilator into 9
via Leapsmag / Twitter

One of the biggest obstacles to fighting COVID-19 in just about every country is the lack of ventilators. Patients with severe cases suffer from inflammation and a build-up of fluid in the lungs. This makes breathing and oxygenating the blood nearly impossible without a ventilator.

As COVID-19 cases rise in Canada, the medical community fears the country's largest province, Ontario, could run out of ventilators very soon.

"What our modeling is showing is that if we cannot keep these interventions in place ... we're going to run out of capacity really, really quickly — likely in the next two weeks," Beate Sander, a scientist who has been modeling the pandemic's impact on Ontario's health-care system, told the CBC.


The province is working to come up with more but it still may not be enough.

"We've procured 300 more ventilators to add to the 210 we currently have in surplus," Ontario health minister, Christine Elliott's spokesperson, told the CBC. "We continue to work on procuring additional ventilators."

If hospitals run short on ventilation equipment, they may be forced to make the dreadful decision between who dies and who is saved.

To get the most out of the ventilators at his hospital, Dr. Alain Gauthier, an anesthetist at the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital in Ontario, rigged one of the ventilators so it could serve up to nine people.

The hack was shared online by a fellow physician, who called him an "evil genius."

According to the CBC, the rigged ventilator will only work with patients that have similar lung capacities. Multiple hoses are attached to the machine so it is running several times its normal power.

"At one point we may not have other options," Gauthier told CBC News. "'The option could be well, we let people die or we give that a chance."

via Alan Drummond

Gauthier came up with the idea after seeing a 2006 video on YouTube. He says the idea has been tried once before, after the mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017.

The hack was so impressive it even caught the attention of Elon Musk who tweeted, "Interesting thread."

Engineers in Italy earned similar attention this week for hacking scuba gear and turning it into a ventilator mask. Italy is the country second hardest-hit by the virus and is having its own troubles with equipment shortages.

In just three hours, Cristian Fracassi and Alessandro Romaioli, engineers at Isinnova, created a prototype for a 3-D printed valve that successfully converts the scuba gear into a ventilator mask.

The mask tested successfully in an Italian hospital so the engineers have made the 3-D valve plans available to everyone for free.

The coronavirus has been a terrible scourge on humanity, but there will be some positives that come from the pandemic. Tragic events like this one push people to improvise and innovate new solutions that may help humanity in the future.

via Reddit

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Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.