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indian drum dhol bagipes

Who knew that the dhol and the bagpipes made such a fabulous combo?

For most of human history, pretty much everyone formed families with people who lived within walking distance of where they lived. But over the millennia, advances in transportation, communication and technology have shrunk our world into a global neighborhood. Today it's not at all unusual for people from countries thousands of miles away from each other to marry, blending not only families but diverse cultures and traditions as well.

How those cultures and traditions come together can be interesting, though. Cultural clashes occasionally do happen and figuring out how to honor everyone's background when bringing together two families from vastly different places can be a challenge.

One couple came up with an utterly delightful way to do just that at their Scottish-Indian wedding, and it has everyone bopping along.


In some ways, Scotland and India are worlds apart. One is known for its cool, moist weather while the other contains 10 of the 15 hottest places on Earth. One is joked about for having bland food while the other's cuisine has been studied to figure out what makes it so flavorful. One is part of an island with a smaller population than New York City, while the other takes up a vast stretch of a continent and holds around one-seventh of the world's people. From clothing to food to religious traditions to melanin levels, Scotland and India are two very different countries.

That doesn't mean they don't make a fabulous combo, though. Wait till you hear the musical mashup that brought this Indian groom and Scottish-Indian bride into their reception:

If anything can bring people together instantaneously, it's music. Who knew that a bagpipe (traditional Scottish wind instrument) song and dhol (traditional Indian drum) would blend so well together?

The video was shared by Arun Bhopal, brother of the bride, on TikTok. People in the comments have shared how much they love how the musical traditions complemented each other.

"Absolutely LOVE this, two cultures coming together and appreciating each other," wrote one person.

"This combo, wow…didn't realize how much it works together," wrote another.

Several people said they wished they could get the song on Spotify, and Bhopal shared that it sounded even better in person. We can only imagine.

What a joyful celebration of two cultures coming together in love. More of these kinds of traditional musical mashups, please.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

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.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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True

You could say Marine biologist, divemaster and National Geographic Explorer Dr. Erika Woolsey is a bit of a coral reef whisperer, one who brings her passion for ocean science to folks on dry land in a fresh, innovative and fun new way using virtual reality.

Images courtesy of Meta’s Community Voices film series

Her non-profit, The Hydrous, combines science, design, and technology to provide one-of-a-kind experiential education about marine life. In 2018, Hydrous produced “Immerse 360”, a virtual underwater journey through the coral reefs of Palau, with Dr. Woolsey as a guide.

Viewers got to swim with sharks, manta rays and sea turtles while exploring gorgeous aquatic landscapes and learning about the crucial role our oceans play—all from 360° and 3D footage captured by VRTUL 2 underwater storytelling VR cameras.


Hydrous then expanded on the idea to develop two more exciting augmented adventures using Meta Quest 2 technology: “Expedition Palau,” a live event where audiences can share a “synchronized immersive reality experience”, which includes live narration from Woolsey, and “Explore,” a “CGI experience” to enjoy the magic of the ocean at home.


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“I’ve been extremely fortunate to explore and study coral reefs around the world,” Woolsey said, sharing that it was “heartbreaking” to see these important habitats decay so rapidly while the latest scientific reports did not clearly lead to widespread compassionate action.

“How do we care about something we never see or experience?” she reflected. As she discovered, virtual reality would be a powerful solution for eliciting empathy. “VR has the ability to generate presence and agency and make you feel like you’re there. It's that emotional connection that can bridge scientific discovery and public understanding”

The combination of virtual reality and the ocean’s natural breathtaking beauty is, as Woolsey puts it, a “match made in heaven” for getting people more engaged in ocean education. “When you’re floating you can look up and down and all around you…seeing a school of fish surrounding you and reefs in these cathedral-like structures. Rather than watching a video of a scientist, you get to become the scientist.”

Hydrous also has special kits to provide middle school students hands-on learning about ocean life. In addition to a journal, activity cards and a smartphone VR viewer, each kit includes lifelike 3D printed model pieces of a coral reef so that middle school students can try building their own.

These reef models even turn white when temperatures rise inside the aquarium, which mimics the real “bleaching” that corals endure when they die due to higher than normal ocean temperatures. Students really do become scientists as they figure out how to bring color back to their reef.

While it’s true that the health of our oceans affects us all, the growing threats our oceans face—pollution, overfishing, climate change—don’t always affect us on an empathetic level. Through the use of technology, Woolsey has created an innovative way to connect hearts and minds to one of the Earth’s most important resources, which can inspire real and lasting change.

“We can’t bring everybody to the ocean, but we’re finding scalable ways to bring the ocean to everyone.”

To learn more about Hydrous, click here.

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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