Heroes

NASA shared a photo of that Delaware-sized iceberg from space. It's huge.

'Will the glaciers behind the ice shelf accelerate and have a direct contribution to sea level rise?'

NASA shared a photo of that Delaware-sized iceberg from space. It's huge.

Are we on a sinking ship, watching dreadfully as the sea rises around us, an iceberg — bobbing in the distance — the telltale sign of our demise?

No, I'm not talking about what happened to passengers of the Titanic. I'm talking about the ridiculously massive chunk of ice — roughly the size of Delaware — that broke off from an Antarctic ice sheet last week.

Just as a reminder, here's Delaware:

Image via Google Earth.


Sure, Delaware might seem pretty small when you compare it to, say, Alaska or Texas. But a chunk of ice as large as Delaware — about 2,200 square miles, or over seven times the size of New York City — is simply enormous for what's basically one of Mother Earth's ice cubes.

The iceberg is so big, you can see it from space.

Imagery acquired by NASA on July 12, 2017, really helps put its size in perspective.

This infrared image taken from space reflects a "false-color view" of the region, according to NASA; the darker the blue hue, the warmer the temperature. Image via NASA.

To better understand why we have this humungous piece of floating ice on our hands, we have to go back three years.

According to NASA, a crack that'd been slowly inching along Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf suddenly began accelerating in size and scope in 2014.

In the GIF below, you can watch that crack — highlighted in pink — go from taking baby steps forward from 2006-2014, to suddenly chugging along several miles a year, 2014-2017.

The crack eventually caused a rift deep and long enough, and that's what caused the iceberg to break off.

Dan McGrath, a glaciologist at Colorado State University, said scientists aren't exactly sure what changed in 2014 that allowed the rift to expand so rapidly, but, in all likelihood, human-created climate change didn't help.

"The Antarctic Peninsula has been one of the fastest warming places on the planet throughout the latter half of the 20th century," he said. "We haven’t made a direct connection with the warming climate. Still, there are definitely mechanisms by which this rift could be linked to climate change, most notably through warmer ocean waters eating away at the base of the shelf."

Although this iceberg has caused quite the stir, the truly telling developments will come later, experts believe.

This latest iceberg removed more than 10% of that particular ice shelf, The New York Times reported, and that could speed up the flow of glacial water into the ocean.

To put it simply, that would not be good.

"It’s significant as a sign of what is happening to Antarctica as a whole," former Vice President Al Gore explained to Stephen Colbert of what we can learn from the event. "This particular ice shelf, it’s already floating, so it won’t raise sea level, but if the others behind it also come off, that could release more land-based ice that would raise sea levels."

It's a big question NASA scientists are asking, too.

"The interesting thing is what happens next," said Kelly Brunt, a glaciologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of Maryland. "Will the glaciers behind the ice shelf accelerate and have a direct contribution to sea level rise? Or is this just a normal calving event?"

Only time (and our collective desire to confront climate change) will tell.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Spanx founder Sara Blakely surprised her employees with a trip for two to anywhere in the world.

It all started with a pair of white pants.

Sara Blakely was getting ready for a party in 1998 and couldn't find a pair of undies that looked smooth under her white pants. So she took a pair of scissors to a pair of control-top pantyhose and ended up creating the first rendition of what would become her billion-dollar business idea.

Just two years later, Blakely's Spanx undergarment brand was being touted on Oprah's Favorite Things list. Twelve years after that, Blakely graced the cover of Forbes as the world's youngest self-made female billionaire.

Not too shabby for a woman who sold fax machines door-to-door before some unsightly panty lines drastically shifted her life.

After founding Spanx with just $5000 of her own money, Blakely, now 50, just sold the majority stake in the business to investment firm Blackstone, with a valuation of $1.2 billion. Blakely isn't leaving or anything—she retains a significant share of the company, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and will become executive chairwoman once the transaction closes.

"This is a really important moment in time for female entrepreneurs," Blakely said of the deal in a press release. "I started this company with no business experience and very little money, but I cared the most about the customer, and that gave me the courage to launch the company."

Blakely also cares about her employees. Every conscientious businessperson understands that you can't grow a successful company without hard-working employees, but not every businessperson generously rewards the people who help build and maintain their success. Blakely does, however. Upon selling part of the company, she decided to share some of the wealth she gained with the 500+ people she employs.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."