Heroes

The water on the ground's too nasty for farming, so they're growing crops in the air.

Yeah, we've made a mess. Here's the kind of off-the-wall idea we need to keep growing edible food.

The water on the ground's too nasty for farming, so they're growing crops in the air.

The farmers in Bujama, Peru, have a water problem.

It's a lot like the one farmers in many other places are facing: Their water's poisoned by pollution. In Bujama's case, it's cadmium, lead, and arsenic. The largest source of water in Peru is the Rímac River, one of the world's most polluted rivers as a result of mining runoff pouring into the smaller waterways that feed it.


Vegetables grown using this water suck up the bad stuff, so the majority of produce grown for millions of people is contaminated. This isn't just a local problem either. Most food-borne illnesses in the U.S. are caused by toxins in veggies.

Some engineers had a kind-of extreme idea: grow produce off the ground, using water delivered by air.

Students at the University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) devised a pilot project with 10 humidifiers connected to 48 tubes.

Lettuce was planted in 51 holes cut into the tubes.

The set their tubes on racks a few feet off the funky earth.

Water from the ground = bad. Water from the air? Better.

The humidifiers pulled water from the air. That clean water then dripped into the tubes. Boom: 2,448 healthy heads of lettuce.

Success!!

For a month, they gave away the produce to anyone driving by.

This is how healthy food can be grown in Bujama — and beyond.

All they need is a bajillion humidifiers and tubes. We can only imagine what a farm based on this idea is going to look like, but all the damage we've done to the earth is forcing people to think outside the box. And up into the air.

Here's a video of this cool project.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

When the COVID-19 pandemic socially distanced the world and pushed off the 2020 Olympics, we knew the games weren't going to be the same. The fact that they're even happening this year is a miracle, but without spectators and the usual hustle and bustle surrounding the events, it definitely feels different.

But it's not just the games themselves that have changed. The coverage of the Olympics has changed as well, including the unexpected addition of un-expert, uncensored commentary from comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Snoop Dogg on NBC's Peacock.

In the topsy-turvy world we're currently living in, it's both a refreshing and hilarious addition to the Olympic lineup.

Just watch this clip of them narrating an equestrian event. (Language warning if you've got kiddos nearby. The first video is bleeped, but the others aren't.)

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