kenguru wheelchair car

The Kengura featured on Translogic.

We live in a modern world full of technological wonders. Just look at the way we get from A to B—electric vehicles that need no gas, Teslas that drive themselves … it’s an interesting time to be alive.

And yet, even with all these advancements, transportation remains an issue for many drivers with disabilities. Though many vehicles offer wheelchair access, for example, it can still take considerable time and effort to simply get in and out.

That’s where the Kenguru comes in.


The Kenguru (pronounced like Australia’s most popular marsupial) is not just another smart car. It’s making a splash in the electric vehicle world for being the very first EV created specifically with wheelchair users in mind.

Instead of multiple side doors, the Kenguru has one large door that takes up the entire back panel. With the punch of a button, the door opens for direct access. No seats, no trunk. Just freedom.

Driving is equally simple. Motorcycle-style handlebars replace the traditional steering wheel, and the company is currently working on a joystick version for those who have more limited upper body strength. There are only three gears: forward, neutral and reverse. And, according to The Next Web, it’s technically considered an electric scooter, meaning there’s no driver’s license required to operate it, making things even more accessible.

The Kenguru only clocks about 25 mph and has a 60 mile range, but speed and distance aren’t really the main point—inclusivity is. With this kind of vehicle, drivers can easily enjoy a quick trip to the store, an impromptu movie, meeting with friends … simple pleasures that are easily taken for granted.

Plus, there’s the Kenguru’s affordability. An article for Startup Selfie reports that where the car is priced around $25,000, buyers qualify for a federal “green incentive,” which offers a rebate discount. Some drivers will qualify for the “vocational rehabilitation incentive,” if the Kenguru is considered a work vehicle. In other words, these vehicles could shoot down to anywhere from $20,000 to a flat zero.

Stacy Zoern, an attorney in Texas, discovered Kenguru after purchasing—then totaling—a fully modified $80,000 van … all within only a few months of having it. Yikes.

Zoern tells Translogic that for some time after the accident, she depended on others to get around. On a whim, she searched the internet to see if the technology had improved over the years. She was pleased to discover that it had.

There was only one issue: The Hungary-based company that developed the Kenguru lost its bank loan and was relying solely on fundraising. But Zoern was so impassioned by what Kengura had to offer disabled drivers, she decided to give them a call, and the rest appears to be a partnership destined for success.

Zoern joined forces with Istvan Kissaroslaki (the vehicle’s original creator) to move the company to Austin, Texas, and has worked diligently to gain investors. By 2014, Kengurus were fully produced in the U.S. You might have already seen one cruising nearby.

And beyond supply chain challenges (not having the funding to build enough cars for such a heavy demand), Zoern says that the plan is for Kenguru to go worldwide, with dealerships in Spain and Germany showing interest.

This is an exciting example of how technology can help connect us—all of us—to life, and make the world a better place.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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