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You may not have heard of these 5 women. Which is why this Lego set needs to exist.

Maia Weinstock knows a thing or two about women in science.

She's a science writer, researcher, and a deputy editor at MIT News, who fell in love with biology and astronomy at an early age. "I've always been interested in understanding how our world and universe works," Weinstock said.

She also has a self-described "mission" to inspire young girls to pursue science careers.


While the job market in science, technology, education, and math (STEM) is the fastest growing in the U.S., there's still a pretty big gender problem: Women are vastly underrepresented in STEM careers, making up only about 14% of engineers nationwide according to some estimates.

To help tackle the STEM gender gap, Weinstock decided to start in the toy aisle.

Why? Because according to her (and many other advocates for women in STEM), girls are often steered away from science careers at a very early age.

"Girls are discouraged along the way through a series of barriers," said Weinstock. "This starts from the day they're born, or even before they're born — parents set expectations for how they treat boys differently from girls."

Weinstock designed a set of Lego minifigures made to resemble five of NASA's most influential women.

Image via Maia Weinstock.

The design, submitted to Lego's "Ideas" page, needs 10,000 supporters to be reviewed by Lego designers. Currently, the "Women of Nasa" project has received support from over 5,000 people and has gotten shoutouts from NASA and the UN too.

The five women Weinstock chose are not all famous astronauts. They're a careful mix of recognizable faces and unsung heroes.

There's Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. And Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space.


Photo via Maia Weinstock.

There's also Margaret Hamilton, the computer-scientist who developed the in-flight software used for the Apollo moon missions.

Image via Maia Weinstock/NASA.

Then there's Nancy Roman. Known to many as the "Mother of Hubble" for her role in planning the Hubble Space Telescope, she was also one of NASA's first female executives, as well as a public advocate for women in science.

Image via Maia Weinstock/NASA.

And finally, Katherine Johnson, a mathematician who calculated the trajectories for the Mercury and Apollo missions, including the one that landed human beings on the moon for the first time.

Image via Maia Weinstock/NASA.

Weinstock hopes that seeing successful women depicted as iconic Lego figurines will inspire girls and boys alike.

"We need to value women in positions of power as role models," said Weinstock. "Giving girls toys that show them what they can be is one way to do that. But it's also extremely important for boys to see females in these roles when they go to toy stores, so that it's expected that men and women can and should be a part of the same fields."

Image via Maia Weinstock.

Plus, according to Catherine Hill, a researcher at the American Association of University Women, kids start picking up on gendered stereotypes by the age of 3. Those stereotypes can include the idea that construction toys like Legos are "for boys" and can ultimately discourage a girl from her initial interest in science and engineering.

"My LEGO proposal certainly isn't going to completely change the equation," said Weinstock. "But I do think it would help at the earliest, most impressionable stages.

For Weinstock, diversifying STEM is about inspiring kids as early as possible by paying tribute to the achievements of those who came before.

If the project is picked up, millions of kids could get the chance to learn about and be inspired by the women who've been at the center of our space program for decades.

Maybe it seems like a small step, but as NASA itself has shown us, one small step can change the world.

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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“Stranger Things” actor David Harbour and British singer-songwriter Lily Allen, whose Vegas wedding in 2020 came with an Elvis impersonator, gave a tour of their delightfully quirky Brooklyn townhouse for Architectural Digest, and people were absolutely loving it.

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Buffy Sainte-Marie shares what led to her openly breastfeeding on 'Sesame Street' in 1977

The way she explained to Big Bird what she was doing is still an all-time great example.

"Sesame Street" taught kids about life in addition to letters and numbers.

In 1977, singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie did something revolutionary: She fed her baby on Sesame Street.

The Indigenous Canadian-Ameican singer-songwriter wasn't doing anything millions of other mothers hadn't done—she was simply feeding her baby. But the fact that she was breastfeeding him was significant since breastfeeding in the United States hit an all-time low in 1971 and was just starting to make a comeback. The fact that she did it openly on a children's television program was even more notable, since "What if children see?" has been a key pearl clutch for people who criticize breastfeeding in public.

But the most remarkable thing about the "Sesame Street" segment was the lovely interchange between Big Bird and Sainte-Marie when he asked her what she was doing.

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Oregon utilizes teen volunteers to run their YouthLine teen crisis hotline

“Each volunteer gets more than 60 hours of training, and master’s level supervisors are constantly on standby in the room.”

Oregon utilizes teen volunteers to man YouthLine teen crisis hotline

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Mental health is a top-of-mind issue for a lot of people. Thanks to social media and people being more open about their struggles, the stigma surrounding seeking mental health treatment appears to be diminishing. But after the social and emotional interruption of teens due the pandemic, the mental health crises among adolescents seem to have jumped to record numbers.

PBS reports that Oregon is "ranked as the worst state for youth mental illness and access to care." But they're attempting to do something about it with a program that trains teenagers to answer crisis calls from other teens. They aren't alone though, as there's a master's level supervisor at the ready to jump in if the call requires a mental health professional.

The calls coming into the Oregon YouthLine can vary drastically, anywhere from relationship problems to family struggles, all the way to thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Teens manning the phones are provided with 60 hours of training and are taught to recognize when the call needs to be taken over by the adult supervisor.

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Family

Mom shares her brutal experience with 'hyperemesis gravidarum' and other moms can relate

Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe case of morning sickness that can last up until the baby is born and might require medical attention.

@emilyboazman/TikTok

Hyperemesis gravidarum isn't as common as regular morning sickness, but it's much more severe.

Morning sickness is one of the most commonly known and most joked about pregnancy symptoms, second only to peculiar food cravings. While unpleasant, it can often be alleviated to a certain extent with plain foods, plenty of fluids, maybe some ginger—your typical nausea remedies. And usually, it clears up on its own by the 20-week mark. Usually.

But sometimes, it doesn’t. Sometimes moms experience stomach sickness and vomiting, right up until the baby is born, on a much more severe level.

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), isn’t as widely talked about as regular morning sickness, but those who go through it are likely to never forget it. Persistent, extreme nausea and vomiting lead to other symptoms like dehydration, fainting, low blood pressure and even jaundice, to name a few.

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“Sister Wives” star Christine Brown is back in the dating pool after ending her “spiritual union” with polygamist Kody Brown and she needs a little help to get back in the swing of things. Christine and Kody were together for more than 25 years and she shared him with three other women, Janelle, Meri and Robyn.

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