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This is Ralph's first Emmy nomination in more than 50 years.

Audiences and critics alike have raved over the ABC mockumentary comedy “Abbott Elementary” for being an honest, heartfelt and humorous love letter to teachers. The show recently racked up seven Emmy Award nominations, including Sheryl Lee Ralph for “Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series.”

Ralph has graced a long list of movies, TV shows and broadway musicals—including “A Piece of the Action'', “Moesha” and “Dreamgirls”—but this marks her first Emmy nomination in more than 50 years as an entertainer. Back in July 2022, her son posted a video to Twitter of the actress receiving the good news. Her joy is infectious.

Ralph, who plays the no-nonsense kindergarten teacher Barbara Howard, had her own love letter written out following her nomination. The thank-you note, read aloud by Ralph for "Good Morning America," was addressed to her late father Dr. Stanley Ralph, who also happened to be an educator.

“Dear Dad,” Ralph began, reading with childlike enthusiasm. “I just want to thank you for being my best and favorite teacher ever!”

She continued “I thank you for reminding me that there is NOTHING wrong and DEFINITELY something GREAT about being a lifelong learner. Just like you. And I want to thank you for always reminding me about that five letter word T-H-I-N-K. Thinking never hurt anybody. In fact, think more.”

She concluded, “I know you were a great teacher to so so many, but you were my BEST. Thank you.”

The huge success of “Abbott Elementary” is due in part to its sincere portrayal of a day in the life of teachers—managing to shine a light on the very real challenges teachers face while still managing to inspire laughter. Show creator Quinta Brunson even named the fictional public school after her own sixth grade teacher, with whom she got to share a sweet surprise exchange on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

Whether or not Ralph (or “Abbott Elementary”) ultimately wins the award, the work itself is winning hearts for illustrating the huge impact that teachers can make. That’s a pretty sweet victory.

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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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.


“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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