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Health

Georgia introduces all-terrain wheelchairs to make its state parks more accessible

The great outdoors belong to everyone.

all terrain wheelchairs, wheelchair accessibility

Aimee Copeland is a quadruple amputee and advocate for those with physical disabilities.

We all know that Mother Nature is often the best medicine to relieve stress, improve fitness and increase happiness. However, these benefits aren’t always accessible to everyone. Hiking trails are next to impossible for many with physical disabilities, especially wheelchair users.

That’s why the Aimee Copeland Foundation, an organization created by a master social worker and quadruple amputee to help build a more inclusive community, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources have collaborated to provide an innovative way to make outdoor recreation more obtainable—through a fleet of all-terrain, free-to-use wheelchairs scattered across 11 of Georgia’s state parks and historic sites.


Each chair is equipped to hike, hunt, fish and easily travel through difficult terrains like mud, water, sand and snow. And since the devices were designed with safety in mind, certification and a “buddy” are required to qualify for use. That said, visitors who qualify include those with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injuries and lower limb amputations.

“Our mission is to provide outdoor opportunities for every Georgia citizen and visitor,” said Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites Director Jeff Cown in a press release. “I am proud to partner with the Aimee Copeland Foundation to offer access to visitors with mobility or physical disabilities.”

As Cory Lee, 32-year-old travel blogger and wheelchair user, notes in an interview with The Washington Post, this could be life-changing for many people. Lee has covered accessible adventures throughout the world, and yet has never been able to properly explore his home state of Georgia, as his regular wheelchair couldn’t handle the trails.


Lee had previously traveled to other states that provided terrain-ready wheelchairs, like Muskegon State Park in Michigan. Traversing the three-mile shoreline in his rented all-terrain wheelchair “allowed me to have so much independence on the sand,” he said. Now, he and others will be able to have that kind of independence in even more places throughout the country. In addition to Michigan and Georgia, South Dakota, Colorado and Minnesota have similar programs.

Independence and mobility have been noted to be the most vital factors in determining quality of life for those with disabilities. Despite the stigmas surrounding them, wheelchairs are valuable tools for providing this kind of autonomy. It’s lovely that more advancements are being made to improve a device that already helps so many fully live their lives. Hopefully even more take on this idea.

Health

Motivation expert explains how two simple words can free you from taking things personally

You don't need to take responsibility for everything and everyone.

Mel Robinson making a TED Talk.

Towards the end of The Beatles’ illustrious but brief career, Paul McCartney wrote “Let it Be,” a song about finding peace by letting events take their natural course. It was a sentiment that seemed to mirror the feeling of resignation the band had with its imminent demise.

The bittersweet song has had an appeal that has lasted generations and that may be because it reflects an essential psychological concept: the locus of control.

“It’s about understanding where our influence ends and accepting that some things are beyond our control,” Jennifer Chappell Marsh, a marriage and family therapist, told The Huffington Post. “We can’t control others, so instead, we should focus on our own actions and responses.”

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You would think the “right answer” would be largely up to personal preference, much like which way to face while showering and whether or not to snack in the shower…two previous hot button issues online.

But according to Singh, there are definitive pros and cons to each option, which could settle the debate once and for all.

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Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.

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Woman tells God to make her a tree in next life, moms agree

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Brianna Frye has had enough of what it takes to be a woman in today's society and the comedian, who is also a working mom, took to Instagram to ask for a do over in her next life. The exasperated mom has some suggestions for the big guy upstairs that seem quite reasonable as she pleads her case.

"When I tell you I am so freaking tired of being the woman, I really just feel like God could've made me a dinosaur or a frog or even a tree at this point. I'm fine with being a tree," Frye says.

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Parenting

People share nine seemingly 'overrated' baby items that new parents should absolutely get

No, you don't need the most expensive stuff but parents are swearing by things on this list.

Amazon

People share nine seemingly 'overrated' baby items you need

As a participant in the Amazon Associates affiliate program, Upworthy may earn proceeds from items purchased that are linked to this article, at no additional cost to you.


From the moment you find out you're expecting a baby it seems like every store you've ever shopped at also received the positive pregnancy results. Suddenly you're getting emails and ads for every baby item imaginable. Your head is spinning with choices and no real idea on what you actually need, especially if this is your first baby.

It doesn't take long to figure out that baby items are expensive and there are a lot of them, but which items can be left on the shelf and which ones should make its way to the registry? A group of parents answered the question, which overrated baby item they'd absolutely recommend spending the money on and some things may be a surprise.

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Focus Features/Youtube, Representative Image from Canva

A still from Focus Features' "Won't you Be My Neighbor?" documentary trailer (Left). Dad smiling and holding child (right)

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In a clip posted to TikTok, Fogel explained how he had recently stumbled upon a study about the effect that “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” had on kids.”

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