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Science

Watch the 'Interceptor' trash fence stop a literal wave of garbage from flowing into the ocean

Innovation at its best

interceptor trash fence, ocean pollution, river pollution

Literal islands of trash get created on the surface of the Caribbean Sea. This barrier aims to stop that.

The Interceptor Trashfence might sound like something out of an offbeat science fiction movie, but it's a very real tool being used to thwart further pollution in our oceans.

The Ocean Cleaunup, a nonprofit focused on technology that prevents plastics in rivers from drifting into the ocean, posted a video to YouTube revealing a trial of one of its latest innovations—The Interceptor Trashfence.

Living up to its name, the giant chain link fence was placed in Guatemala's Rio Motagua Basin, which The Ocean Cleanup believes to be the “heaviest polluting river in the world.” With an estimated 20,000 tons of plastic flowing through it each year, it’s a pretty safe assumption.

All of that waste goes directly into the Caribbean Sea, where blankets of garbage can be seen floating on the water’s surface. In 2017, the body of water was dubbed “the sea of plastic'' after disturbing photos showing those immense amounts of litter went viral.

However, with this trash fence intercepting an incoming tsunami of trash, there’s hope that the Caribbean Sea might return to its former glory.


The video shows the approaching wave, edging ever closer to the Interceptor. As the water impacts the Trashfence’s sturdy steel beams, all the plastic can be seen staying behind. It will take countless hours to clean up the literal mountains of trash left behind, but the good news is, the oceans would be clean and clear.

As the video progresses, we see that the Interceptor is not quite foolproof yet. Some bits of plastic are able to flow through certain weak spots in the fence. Still, the amount of garbage that stays behind is remarkable.

It’s hard to tell what is more uplifting— seeing the filtered water go about its merry way, or the look of delight the workers have at seeing their experiment get that much closer to success.

Many well-wishing commenters left their advice on how to prevent a potential breach in the future, such as molding the fence into a V shape pointing upstream, or doing a multifence approach. Others just came in to praise the nonprofit's efforts.

"Man this is heartbreaking to see yet so inspirational. You guys are doing amazing work," one person wrote.

Another added, "We need more people like you and the effort you put into this project to save our world for future generations and keep us from killing off our planet."

Even if the Interceptor wasn’t completely victorious, the overwhelming amount of trash accumulated could be enough of a shocking visual to at least bring a sense of urgency to the situation. As The Ocean Cleanup explained in the description section of its video, 1000 rivers are responsible for roughly 80% of ocean pollution. A twofold combination of removing plastic that’s already there, as well as stopping new plastic from entering (i.e., “closing the tap”), is essential.

The Interceptor is an innovative piece of technology, but a positive impact still primarily lies in the everyday choices we make as individuals. Relying less on single-use plastic items—making sure to bring cloth bags to grocery stores, not using plastic straws, opting for glass containers over Tupperware, and so on—is one small thing that can make a big difference. If there’s any doubt, just take another look at the video for a sobering reminder.

Pedro Pascal and Bowen Yang can't keep a straight face as Ego Nwodim tries to cut her steak.

Most episodes of “Saturday Night Live” are scheduled so the funnier bits go first and the riskier, oddball sketches appear towards the end, in case they have to be cut for time. But on the February 4 episode featuring host Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian,” “The Last of Us”), the final sketch, “Lisa from Temecula,” was probably the most memorable of the night.

That’s high praise because it was a strong episode, with a funny “Last of Us” parody featuring the Super Mario Brothers and a sketch where Pascal played a protective mother.

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AMC Theaters/Youtube, Variety/Twitter

AMC announced that it would be implementing a new three-tier ticketing system.

AMC Theaters, America’s largest movie theater chain, announced on Feb 6 that it will be adopting different ticket prices based on seat location.

Moviegoers will have three tiers to choose from based on sightline of the movie screen—Preferred Sightline, set in the middle at the highest price point, Value Sightline, set in the front of the auditorium at the lowest price, and Standard Sightline, which is basically everything else (including the back seats, which are perhaps the most commonly picked) set at the traditional cost of a ticket.

In other words…heartbreak will feel more expensive in a place like this…or less, depending on where you sit



The company’s announcement was met with both criticism and approval. While some feel the move follows a well-established business model, others have found it to be taking away a valued aspect of the moviegoing experience.

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Photo by alevision.co on Unsplash/ @camerconstewart_uk/Instagram

"Sometimes it pays to learn a language!"

It feels safe to assume that if money were no object, people would always choose to travel business class over economy. After all, who doesn’t want a fast check-in, fancy food and drink choices and more of that sweet, spacious legroom?

However, at anywhere between four to ten times the price of a regular economy ticket, this style of traveling remains a fantasy for many who simply can’t afford it.

Luckily, thanks to one man’s clever travel hack, that fantasy might be more achievable than we realize.

Cameron Stewart, a British photojournalist and camera operator, recently shared how he was able to score business class tickets at a fraction of the price, simply by switching the website language from English to Spanish.
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via Pexels

A mother puts a fresh diaper on her baby.

Scientists at Penn State University have devised a “smart diaper” that alerts parents when their baby is wet. The diaper is made of paper, treated with sodium chloride (salt) and has a circuit board drawn with a pencil.

When the humidity level rises in the diaper, the graphite and the urine are absorbed by the paper and it turns on a sensor powered by a small lithium battery. The sensor then sets the alarm on an app that parents download onto their phones.

“The hydration sensor is highly sensitive to changes in humidity and provides accurate readings over a wide range of relative humidity levels, from 5.6% to 90%,” the researchers at Penn State said in a statement.

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Pop Culture

Kelly Clarkson and Pink's gorgeous unplugged 'What About Us?' duet came with a timely​ message

"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry…"

Pink and Kelly Clarkson teamed up for a sweet acoustic version of "What About Us?"

Pink and Kelly Clarkson are both known for having powerhouse voices that can belt at incredible ranges but also soften for a sweet ballad. Put the two of them together, and…well, dang.

On Feb 6, Clarkson featured Pink on her daytime talk show, in which she often sings with musical guests. The two superstars sang several acoustic duets with pitch-perfect harmonies, prompting fans of both artists to clamor for a collaborative album.

One song they sang together was Pink's "What About Us?" Pink previously described the song to The Sun in 2017: "The world in general is a really scary place full of beautiful people. Humans are resilient and there's a lot of wonderful—like I said in the song—'billions of beautiful hearts' and there are bad eggs in every group. And they make it really hard for the rest of us."

In the intro to their duet, Clarkson asked Pink about the impetus behind her writing the song.

"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry and people are being forgotten," Pink shared. "People are being counted out and their rights are being trampled on just because a group of people doesn't believe in them."

"Like, I don't understand how so many people in this world are discounted because one group of people decided they don't like that," she continued. "And I won't—I won't have it. One of the most beautiful things that my dad taught me was that my voice matters and I can make a difference, and I will."

The lyrics of the song seem to address the political leaders and decision-makers who hold people's lives in their hands as they pull the levers of power. It's a beautiful song with an important message wrapped up in gorgeous two-part harmony.

Enjoy:

Pop Culture

Keanu Reeves shocks a small-town pub by stopping in for a pint and taking photos with the staff

“So today we had a surprise visitor for lunch. What a lovely man he was, too."

Keanu Reeves in São Paulo, Brazil, 2019.

Keanu Reeves has a reputation as one of Hollywood’s nicest celebrities. Recently, he cheered up an 80-year-old fan who had a crush on him by calling her on the phone. He’s also bought an ice cream cone for a fan to give an autograph on the receipt and crashed a wedding to take photos with the bride and groom.

He’s also an incredible humanitarian who gave up a big chunk of his money from "The Matrix" to a cancer charity.

The “John Wick” star was his usual gracious self over the weekend when on Saturday, February 4, he and a friend walked into The Robin Hood pub in Tring, Hertfordshire, about 30 miles outside of London.

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