+

What happens when a bunch of middle schoolers, an aquarium, and rad new technology get together to help a penguin? Answer: brilliant results.

GIF from 3D Systems/YouTube.


Purps, a 23-year-old African penguin, suffered an injury to her left leg in a spat with another bird back in 2011. She tore a flexor tendon, which is similar to a human tearing their Achilles tendon in their ankle, an injury that often affects walking.

Her caretakers at the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut, fashioned a makeshift boot out of moldable plastic to help her walk, but it was time-consuming to make and bulky. There had to be a better solution out there.

GIF from 3D Systems/YouTube.

When Kelly Matis, vice president of communications and conservation at the aquarium, learned that the local middle school had recently acquired a 3D printer, she realized it was the perfect opportunity for some community teamwork.

Enter the creative, genius students from Mystic Middle School.

After the aquarium reached out to the school, the kids came to meet Purps.

Image via 3D Systems/YouTube.

They knew they wanted to help her by using their 3D printer, but weren't exactly sure how to create the design.

Enter Connecticut-based 3D equipment and services company ACT, who initially supplied the school with their new printer.

ACT brainstormed a better-fitting, lighter boot design, then went back to the kids and taught them how to put the plan into action.

Mold of Purps' foot and ankle. Image via 3D Systems/YouTube.

“The students truly amazed us in how their creative thinking, imagination and intuitiveness led this process,” said Nick Gondek, director of additive manufacturing and applications engineer at ACT, in a statement.

Mystic Middle School kids. Image via 3D Systems/YouTube.

With the help and guidance of ACT, the students created a much more functional boot for Purps and even utilized a computer software program called Geomagic Sculpt to give it treads for traction.

Penguin-sized boot with traction. Image via 3D Systems/YouTube.

The students' innovative efforts alongside the help from ACT and the Mystic Aquarium resulted in this penguin walking up a storm.

Purps walks! Image via 3D Systems/YouTube.

The students were thrilled to get to see their work really make a difference.

It just goes to show that a little inspiration, creativity, and collaboration can help a penguin go a long way.

Check out Purps' whole story below:

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

Lynch is part of a growing line of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory

Upon first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
Keep ReadingShow less