+
More

Vet Phil Klay quotes Ronald Reagan in defense of accepting refugees.

You should hear what Phil Klay has to say about refugees.

After Paris was rattled by terror attacks on Nov. 13, 2015, some have argued the U.S. should stop accepting Syrian refugees.

Believing some fleeing the war-torn region could be affiliated with ISIS, a majority of governors have spoken out against refugee resettlement in their states, and several presidential candidates have doubled down on that idea.

But if you ask author Phil Klay, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and author of "Redeployment," they've got it all wrong.


Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images.

On Nov. 19, 2015, Klay took to Twitter to explain why, exactly, accepting refugees is the right thing to do.

In 17 tweets, the author outlined how his experience as a Marine helped shape his view on the issue, and even quoted Ronald Reagan — a political icon often praised by many of the same presidential candidates who vehemently oppose accepting refugees — to help make his point.

















"I get that people are scared," Klay tweeted.

"But it's only during frightening times when you get to find out if your country really deserves to call itself the 'home of the brave.'"

Not only has his series of tweets been collectively retweeted and "liked" thousands and thousands of times, but several media outlets took note of the veteran's views, as well.

It's likely that the "attempt to effectively close our borders to Syrian refugees" Klay mentioned was in reference to the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act — a proposal that would essentially halt resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the U.S.

Despite the bill's popularity, however, several leaders are standing with Syria's refugees.

Many leaders are reminding the world that Syria's refugees are, in fact, the victims of violence.

Despite a rise in anti-refugee sentiment, several countries from around the globe, such as France and Scotland, are undoubtedly standing with those in dire need of assistance.

In the U.S., other presidential candidates have spoken out in defense of housing refugees from the region, claiming "we cannot allow terrorists to intimidate us into abandoning our values and our humanitarian obligations."

In a speech given at the the G-20 conference in Turkey earlier this week, Obama spelled out the need to separate religious extremists responsible for the Paris attacks with the victims of those very same extremists.

Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images.

"We also have to remember that many of these refugees are the victims of terrorism themselves," Obama said. "That's what they're fleeing."

Klay's tweets prove that, regardless of what side of the political aisle you're on, compassion is a vital American value we all should remember.

We're not at war with Islam.We're at war with extremism.

And, as articulated so well by Klay, it's important to stay true to the values that make America great — especially when it means staying brave for the sake of those who need us during some frightening times.

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.

Keep ReadingShow less
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.


Keep ReadingShow less