They spent 20 years developing this aircraft engine. Can it change the future of aviation?
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United Technologies

At any given moment, there are about 5,000 planes flying above the United States.

87,000 flights take place per day. Millions of flights per year. And that's just the United States.

With that volume of air traffic, needless to say, a new type of aircraft engine — one that produces 75% less noise for those on the ground and burns 16% less fuel — is a huge deal for both people and the planet.


It’s called the PurePower® Geared Turbofan™ engine, and after 20 years in development at Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies, it’s going to change the game of aviation.

See for yourself what makes this engine so special:

So what’s the secret? The basic concept is this: Pratt & Whitney’s engine is designed with a high bypass ratio, meaning that 12 times the amount of airflow passes around the engine’s core versus going through the core itself, which makes the engine more efficient overall.

Higher efficiency means less fuel burn, and less fuel burn means fewer emissions.

Still not impressed? Here's the kicker: This new aircraft engine reduces annual carbon dioxide emissions by 3,600 metric tons per plane.

At a time when our environment is in serious need of some tender loving care, cutting our carbon footprint in any way we can is more important than ever.

But even we'll admit that 3,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide is pretty hard to visualize. So what does that actually mean?

It's the equivalent of 766 cars being taken off the road for an entire year.

Calculated differently, that's 279,574 cars being taken off the road for a day — only a few thousand cars shy of the daily traffic crossing from New Jersey into New York City.

What if nearly all the cars driving into NYC simply didn’t show up one day? The resulting reduction of carbon dioxide would be equivalent to a single PurePower engine.

Image via iStock.

It's also equivalent to more than 4.6 million households using absolutely no electricity for 24 hours.

About 4,660,000 households, actually.

That’s like if everyone who lives in New York City (3 million households) Los Angeles (1.3 million households), and Las Vegas (213,000 households) used no electricity whatsoever for 24 hours.

Image via iStock.

It's even equivalent to 5,419 people going vegetarian for a whole year.

Typical meat eaters have a bigger carbon footprint than vegetarians — even those who only eat the USDA recommended 0.21 pound of meat per day (or less).

Have you ever considered going vegetarian for a year to reduce your impact on the environment? How about convincing 5,418 people to do it with you? Your collective impact would equal that of just one PurePower engine.

Image via iStock.

Chances are, commuters aren’t just going to suddenly stop driving into NYC. But that’s why innovations like this aircraft engine are so important.

As Pratt & Whitney Engineer Monica Dujic explains, “There is a future in aviation that can help the environment ... and the people around you.”

Now that is something worth celebrating.

via Jess Martini / Tik Tok

There are few things as frightening to a parent than losing your child in a crowded place like a shopping mall, zoo, or stadium. The moment you realize your child is missing, it's impossible not to consider the terrifying idea they may have been kidnapped.

A woman in New Zealand recently lost her son in a Kmart but was able to locate him because of a potentially life-saving parenting hack she saw on TikTok a few months ago.

The woman was shopping at the retailer when she realized her two-year-old son Nathan was missing. She immediately told a friend to alert the staff to ensure he didn't leave through the store's front exit.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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Gates Foundation

Once upon a time, a scientist named Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in the medical journal The Lancet that he had discovered a link between autism and vaccines.

After years of controversy and making parents mistrust vaccines, along with collecting $674,000 from lawyers who would benefit from suing vaccine makers, it was discovered he had made the whole thing up. The Lancet publicly apologized and reported that further investigation led to the discovery that he had fabricated everything.

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President Biden/Twitter, Yamiche Alcindor/Twitter

In a year when the U.S. saw the largest protest movement in history in support of Black lives, when people of color have experienced disproportionate outcomes from the coronavirus pandemic, and when Black voters showed up in droves to flip two Senate seats in Georgia, Joe Biden entered the White House with a mandate to address the issue of racial equity in a meaningful way.

Not that it took any of those things to make racial issues in America real. White supremacy has undergirded laws, policies, and practices throughout our nation's history, and the ongoing impacts of that history are seen and felt widely by various racial and ethnic groups in America in various ways.

Today, President Biden spoke to these issues in straightforward language before signing four executive actions that aim to:

- promote fair housing policies to redress historical racial discrimination in federal housing and lending

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