Rice University

A plaque marking the death of a glacier comes with a haunting message to future generations.

The former Okjökull glacier in western Iceland is the first to lose its status as a glacier due to climate change. Known now as simply "Ok," the once sprawling ice sheet has melted to about seven percent of what it was a century ago and was declared no longer a glacier in 2014.

Scientists predict that in the next 200 years, if the climate crisis is not mitigated, the rest of Iceland's 400 glaciers will meet the same fate.

Next month, the land that Ok once covered will be marked with a memorial plaque. Researchers from Rice University in Houston, Texas, Icelandic author Andri Snær Magnason, and geologist Oddur Sigurðsson—who first declared the glacier's lost status—will unveil the plaque in a public ceremony on August 18.

The plaque's text begins, "A letter to the future," then reads:

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If you've ever been in a public restroom with a small child, you may have heard them complain about the hand dryers or seen them covering their ears as they walk by them.

It turns out, there's a scientific reason for that.

Nora Keegan of Calgary, Canada just published a paper in a medical journal with research proving that hand dryers may be detrimental to children's hearing. But the coolest thing? She's only 13.

When she was younger, Keegan noticed that her ears would sometimes ring after she starting using hand dryers in public restrooms. "I also noticed that children would not want to use hand dryers, and they'd be covering their ears," she told NPR.

So at age nine, she decided to explore whether automatic hand dryers might actually damage children's hearing. Between 2015 and 2017, she tested the volume of 44 hand dryers in public restrooms in Alberta, Canada. Using a decibel meter, she measured the noise levels of different hand dryers from various heights and distances.

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Natasha Rossi believed she had the perfect life.

She had two awesome kids — two and a half-year-old identical twins — and the love and support of her boyfriend, Desi. Life, she thought, could only get better.

All photos via Upworthy/Walgreens.

Then, in January 2019, she was hit with some of the hardest news that anyone can hear.

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