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Heroes

This guy thinks plastic water bottles should have graphic warning labels. He makes a great point.

Our water bottle addiction causes of lot of destruction. Maybe we need more reminding.

Shocking, graphic warning labels ... on plastic water bottles?!

Yep. That's right. I know, I know, it sounds a little extreme, but think about it — if packs of cigarettes can warn smokers about the dangers of tobacco, why shouldn't we do the same thing with water bottles?

That's where Trey Highton is coming from, anyway.


He's a doctoral student in California. And for a recent art assignment, he developed a project that would sound the alarm on water bottles and how they're basically wreaking havoc on Mother Earth.

Admittedly, Highton is not a huge fan of their awful, horrible, no-good impact. But with the recent drought, his project is starting to seem like a really good idea.

Just look at all these bottles:

Lots, and lots, and lots of plastic bottles in San Francisco. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Knowing how effective those cringeworthy anti-smoking campaigns can be, Highton decided to mock up some similar labels for water bottles.

And I have to say is wow. Gosh darn it, he just might be on to something!

They range from, the "ew, gross" variety of sushi made out of garbage...

Sushi? Delicious. Garbage-made sushi? NOPE. This is an example of the type of label Highton wants on water bottles in California. Image via Trey Highton.

...to the "whoa, gross, that is totally a dead bird" variety of a photo of a dead bird that swallowed a lot of plastic garbage.

Here is another example. If you couldn't tell, it doesn't bode well for birds when they ingest our pollution. The label above supports the eco-friendly Surfrider Foundation, of which Highton is a member. Image via Trey Highton.

These images might be tough to look at, but that's his point.

"Recycling is not a silver bullet," he explained to Upworthy. "We have to intrinsically change consumers' attitudes about plastic."

Highton launched a Change.org petition demanding legislators in his state "add graphic environmental warning labels to single-use plastic water bottles."

And so far, it has gotten lots of attention.

As of June 25, 2015, more than 9,400 people had signed — just about 600 signatures shy of his current goal.

"I've been stoked on the amount of support the petition has received thus far," Highton said. "The page is averaging about a thousand views a day over the last week, so it seems to be picking up momentum."

California's drought has probably helped in getting the word out on his campaign. After all, the state is freaking out right now about how little water it has. And with good reason.

"People can deny climate change and global warming all they want," Highton said.

"But anyone who drives up and down California and passes any of our lakes and reservoirs can clearly see the dire shape we're in."

A dramatic before and after comparison (taken in 2011 and 2014) shows Folsom Lake in northern California. Images by California Department of Water Resources via Reddit.

He's aware of the uphill battle he faces in making the campaign a reality, though.

"For me, 10,000 signatures is still just getting started," he said. "We have a long way to go in terms of outreach and support before stakeholders at the governmental level will take this initiative seriously."

You want those stakeholders to take it seriously, though, don't you? Of course you do. Thenclick here to support Highton's efforts.

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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True

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.


www.youtube.com

“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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