Note: Videos may auto start with sound so be prepared.
Disability Advocates (Interesting People)
Miss America and Miss Wheelchair Virginia, Camille Schrier and Ryann Kress, are combining efforts to use their public platform to raise disability awareness. They both suffer from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, the same as I do, with the genetic connective tissue disorder affecting their lives in different ways. The United States is unprepared for the needs of its disabled citizens, whether requiring a wheelchair or invisible like those with chronic fatigue. This is especially true when those needs include continued employment with reasonable accommodation. These beauty queens hope to change perception and reality in their positions as public figures. (Via Ehlers-Danlos Society)
Whales (Interspecies Communication)
Sam Ridgway included a recording in the article “Spontaneous Human Speech Mimicry by a Cetacean,” published in the October 23, 2012, edition of Current Biology, that caught the world’s attention. Noc, a 2-year-old Beluga male captured as part of the U.S. Navy’s marine mammal program, began mimicking human sounds in 1984 only when on his own or with humans. The article includes fascinating interviews with people who were interacting with Noc during that period to explore both the psychological and physiological aspects of Noc’s attempt at communication.
Attempts to reproduce Mars-like farming conditions offer little hope of the success in The Martian. Researchers used soil on Earth that mimicked the appearance of Mars soil and created a version based on the chemical makeup revealed in data gathered by NASA’s Curiosity rover. Adding fertilizer to the synthetic soil was not enough to counter the differences. (Via Pat MacEwen)
Electric racing cars offer the same value to developing electric vehicle technology that petroleum racing has provided for many years. It’s not the engines so much as the performance control that interests innovators. Commercial and consumer vehicles have different expectations than Formula E cars, such as with distance and lifespan, but race cars test the outer limit of what’s possible. This allows battery efficiencies and other innovations to trickle down into the consumer market. QEV Technologies and others talk about what they’ve gained in the article.
This article resonates not just with my beginning writing career, but even now with 10 books and a good number of short stories released through traditional and indie publishing. It takes a special kind of courage to click send. The article proposes we focus not on the courage to risk rejection and instead see ourselves as brave explorers into the unknown (my paraphrasing) who cast a wide net, hoping to find success. I’m going to try to work my mind around this in 2021, something I’ve done before, but it never lasts long enough. Ready to join me?