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Ethan Och loved playing drums in his high school band. But then he decided to quit.

Playing with the band was something Ethan loved to do, but he knew he was starting to lag behind his classmates. And it simply wasn't possible for him to keep up.

All images via USA Today.


As a student with spinal muscular atrophy, Ethan thought he had tried everything to stay on track with the rest of the band. He switched to lighter aluminum drumsticks, and he even had the sticks velcroed to his wrists, but his body was simply making it impossible to play — or so he thought.

As a student with spinal muscular atrophy, Ethan thought he had tried everything to stay on track with the rest of the band.

So he went to his band teacher and said, "I really hate to do this, but I have to quit band."

His band teacher was not about to let that happen.

USA Today reports that Ethan's band teacher Gina Christopherson would not take "no" for an answer. She knew how much Ethan loved the band, and she simply refused to let him quit.

Instead, she downloaded an app — or, rather, 75 of them — to find Ethan a new kind of drum set.

Now Ethan plays an instrument like everybody else in the band — just in a different form.

Ethan's new instrument is an iPad that's hooked up to an amplifier. He uses it in practice, at the basketball games, and he even played in the marching band with the amplifier hooked up to a car battery that was pushed next to him in a stroller.

"He's part of the team. You don't leave somebody behind."

Gina Christopherson doesn't think she went above and beyond her duties as band director. She simply sees Ethan as any other band member with an instrument that's all his own. It shows how technology is providing new and awesome ways to make the world more inclusive than ever.

Check out USA Today's video about Ethan, the iPad, and Gina — who may just be the greatest band director I've ever heard of.

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Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

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Trader Joe’s, famous for its prepandemic sampling stations, has recently brought the tradition back to life, and customers are practically dancing through the aisles.


On the big comeback weekend, people flocked to social media to share images and videos of their free treats, including festive Halloween cookies (because who doesn’t love TJ’s holiday themed items?) along with hopeful messages for the future.
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via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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