These fish are shooting out of a 'cannon' to keep their population alive. (Yes, really.)

Salmon have interesting migration and reproduction habits.

They're born upstream in rivers, in gravel beds. They spend most of their developmental years in those rivers, but by adulthood, the fish swim downstream, making their way to the ocean.

While swimming in the Atlantic or Pacific, these adult salmon eat and swim until its time to spawn.


Image via Thinkstock.

At that point, the fish head back to the rivers (often the river from which they came) and swim upstream until they reach the gravel bed, start the next generation of salmon, and die.

Ecologically, this return to the river is important — the deceased fish brings vital nutrients from the ocean back upstream, and in most other cases, those nutrients wouldn't ever find their way there.

Unfortunately, humans have a tendency to get in the way: We build dams, holding back rivers and blocking the path of the spawning fish.

We've come up with some workarounds, the most common being fish ladders, which run alongside dams, allowing fish to swim upstream (Wikipedia's explanation has a lot of great pictures).

But those ladders are expensive and often take a long time to build.

Researchers are looking for other solutions ... such as shooting fish out of a cannon.


Image via Whooshh Innovations.

OK, it's not really a cannon — it's more akin to a pneumatic tube, to be fair. But “salmon cannon" sounds much better, right?

The cannon was created by “Whooshh Innovations," a Washington-based company dedicated to using such methods of transportation in various new contexts.

Transporting fish above dams seemed like a good use, so they built a set of prototypes. Here'a video of the cannon in action — the GIF above comes from it.

As seen in the video, the fish (the cannon isn't limited to salmon) enter the tube single-file and, during their trip, are in an air environment, but no matter, within a few seconds, they're returned to the water.

In most of the examples shown, the fish are loaded into the tube by a worker, although in many cases that's not required. In situations where it is, that still may be OK — in addition to fish ladders, another conventional solutions to the fish migration problem is called “carry-run-toss" (it's shown at 2:05 in the video), and that's a lot more labor intensive.

The carry-run-toss method literally involves a person ... running up a flight of stairs and ramps and tossing the fish into the water at the top of the dam. This is a real job.

(If you can't watch the video, the carry-run-toss method literally involves a person taking the fish from a tank, running up a flight of stairs and ramps, and tossing the fish into the water at the top of the dam. This is a real job.)

The salmon cannon can transport fish up to 250 feet (with a 100 foot incline) at speeds approaching 22 miles per hour — that's about an eight-second trip for the fish.

Mental Floss reports that the tubes can transport 40 fish per minute, which is apparently a lot.

It is still highly experimental, but it has promise: Officials are already testing it out in hopes that it works.

Dan Lewis runs the popular daily newsletter Now I Know ("Learn Something New Every Day, By Email"). To subscribe to his daily email, click here.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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