Heroes

See the surfboard that reads the ocean in a way many scientists haven't been able to.

You don't need a background in science to contribute to science. But in this case, you may want to know how to surf.

This surfboard is so smart, it may change what we know about the ocean.

This may look like an ordinary surfboard but nope — it's the future. Image via Smartfin.


It's called a Smartfin (formerly known as Smartphin), and it's mixing technology with surfing to answer questions about the hardest-to-reach part of the ocean: the area closest to us.

Scientists have a heck of a time figuring out what's going on in the ocean waters nearest to the shore.

It turns out that the part of the ocean that's most accessible for swimming, surfing, and having fun is also the hardest area to collect data from. Who would have thought?

As described in Wired, the effects of constant waves crashing on the shore make it difficult to use equipment that'll last and properly track the waters. Sounds rough.

The water is so mysterious. Image via Thinkstock.

That's where Dr. Andrew Stern and Benjamin Thompson come in.

Stern, an environmental filmmaker and former professor, and Thompson, a surfboard engineer, have developed what they call the Smartfin: a surfboard fin that's embedded with a data-collecting chip that can track crucial data on nearshore waters. According to Wired, it can determine a surfer's location and then measure the temperature, salinity, and acidity of the water.

That sounds like a pretty cool development in itself, but two little words remind you that the effect might be much bigger: climate change.

Nearshore waters can tell us a lot about the kind of effect climate change is having on our oceans.

From a feature in Outside:

"Oceans have absorbed about a third of the carbon dioxide we've emitted since the dawn of the industrial age, making them around 25 percent more acidic than they were then. That lower pH (higher acidity) impedes the growth of calcium carbonate and is already harming shellfish fisheries and coral reefs."

The Smartfin produces data the science community can use to understand what's happening to our nearshore waters, which tells us about the impact of climate change over periods of time. It can also tell surfers where to find the best waves. A double win!

You may be able to buy one soon. Image via Smartfin.

Smartfin is coming soon to California.

Smartfin plans to pilot its device with 150 participants in San Diego starting in November 2015, says Design Indaba. After a two-month testing period, it should be available for people to buy. So stay tuned!

Surfers and scientists working together on one of the biggest issues of our time? Yes, yes, and yes. A+ teamwork.

Just makes you wonder: What will the next big idea be?

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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