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Heroes

Elon Musk's energy company is making glass shingles that double as solar panels.

We all know the feeling. Looking at your energy bill can be a lot like this:

How the heck did I use $30,000 worth of electricity? Was it all my Tesla coils? Photo from iStock.

Electricity is expensive. Renewable energy could help, but the technology has its hurdles to overcome, including cost, availability, and infrastructure.


There's also another psychological barb: A lot of renewable energy tech is kind of goofy-looking.

So Elon Musk has a new plan. He wants to make solar power super pretty.

Image from Tesla.

On Friday, Elon Musk announced that his company would make glass roofing shingles that double as solar panels.

There have been solar shingles before, but what makes Tesla's different is they're incredibly pretty. Compared to those big, bulky, blue ping-pong tables we probably normally think of, these are downright artistic. Musk hopes by making the panels visually attractive, they'll entice more homeowners to add them to their roofs.

They showed off four different types of tiles: terra cotta, slate, textured glass, and smooth glass.

They work like thousands of little solar panels all hooked together.

Image from Tesla.

They're basically mini-solar cells covered in a durable glass coating that will protect them from the elements. They can be designed to match different shapes and styles to fit the house.

The shingles will likely be out of reach for most homeowners at first. Tesla hasn't announced a price, but a similar product by Dow costs about $20,000 for a small patch of 350 shingles. Tesla's websitedoes suggest that with the lower utility bills they'd end up paying for themselves, however, and government incentives could help too.

All that said, for now, they'll probably be similar to Tesla's first electric cars — a cool device for people who are really into new technology. But they could end up becoming more popular: Think of all the people driving electric cars now. And we have seen solar power in general get massively cheaper in the last few years, a trend that is likely to continue.

This is a neat example of how renewables could end up integrated into everyday life.

Right now we depend on just a few huge power plants, but in the future inventions like this — combined with more affordable energy storage options — could turn our homes, offices, and garages into mini power plants.

This could not only help us transition away from fossil fuels and toward more green energy, it could also be a lot cheaper and make the market more dynamic.

Which would probably make everyone more like this:

FEED ME ELECTRICITY, SUN, MNOM MNOM MNOM MNOM MNOM. Photo from iStock.

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

Because you're a girl.

This article originally appeared on 04.14.17


I was promoted a few weeks ago, which was great. I got a lot of nice notes from friends, family, customers, partners, and random strangers, which was exciting.

But it wasn't long until a note came in saying, “Everyone knows you got the position because you're a girl." In spite of having a great week at a great company with great people whom I love, that still stung, because it's not the first time I've heard it.

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Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

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All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

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Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

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From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

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Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

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