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5 months ago · by · 0 comments

Man Powers Scooter With Used Vape Batteries

A clever 23 year old graduate says disposable vape devices are marketed as expendable, but still have plenty of power—and people need to know that. He used 80 discarded vape batteries to power his e-scooter—and to make a point about waste. He purchased the scooter on eBay for $37 and the discarded vape batteries were free.

Tobiasz Stanford from Wiltshire now uses the e-scooter everyday and calls it very reliable. “It can go up any hill, has been used in rain, and has been driven through puddles. The only downfall is that it’s quite noisy but other than that the performance is crazy. These vape batteries are very active still, yet they’re marketed as disposable. It needs to stop” he said.

Stanford has always had a fascination with electronics and moving parts and his curiosity was piqued when he saw his friend smoking a vape and wondered how it worked. He researched different types of vapes and found some could be recharged and reused five times before the vape liquid ran out. After taking them apart, he discovered they used a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

He began recharging the batteries and found after one cycle they could function “almost like a brand new battery”—and decided to try powering a scooter with them. The one he bought on eBay didn’t have good range and could only go 10 mph. “I had to be careful wiring up the batteries but now the scooter works better with the vape batteries than it did before. It goes up to 15 mph, can go up any hill, and can charge in about three hours. Once it’s fully charged I go around six miles everyday on it.”

Tobiasz says people are “wowed” when he tells them the small scooter is powered completely by disposable vape batteries. “Everyone’s quite surprised. My family and friends are completely shocked when they see what I’ve done. It’s a very small scooter and most people can’t even tell it’s even powered – never mind powered by vapes.”

Tobiasz says he wants others to know that disposable vapes can in fact be reused and believes there needs to be more restrictions on the reuse of disposable vapes—especially because if they’re dumped in a landfill the chemicals would eventually leach out. “We need to think about ‘e waste’ with greater importance. These batteries are very active still” he said.

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5 months ago · by · 0 comments

Oklahoma Man Saves Family From Fire

An Oklahoma City man is being hailed a hero for springing into action by running to save a family whose house was on fire. The early morning fire started inside the home and the family was able to get outside. They found themselves surrounded by flames in the backyard. The fire even made its way to their driveway, charring outdoor furniture and melting away parts of their cars.

Otis Lewis was at a park nearby when he saw smoke in the distance and ran towards it to help.
Lewis said “I just kind of used my weight and dropped my weight to kind of pull it back and pull it down to break this fence open right here. I didn’t want to be that person that stands by and watches something happen. God had me here for a reason and I was meant to be here.” Lewis was able to get the girls through the fence to safety.

The family is grateful Lewis was there and willing to help. Lewis said he’s happy everyone made it out safe, but the work isn’t over. “Love others as much as you love yourself so I’m hoping that we can come together as a community and pitch in to help this family out,” Lewis said.

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8 months ago · by · 0 comments

Massachusetts Engineers Aim to Turn Ocean Plastic into Fuel Onboard Ships

Chemical engineers are pioneering a process to equip diesel ships with the onboard capacity to turn collected plastic garbage into fuel. The result dubbed “blue diesel” would save time, money, and emissions in both the trips necessary for ocean-cleaning vessels to reach the mainland to offload and in running fuel use.

Professor Nikolaos Kazantzis and Michael Timko at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts took a lot of perseverance in their work of developing blue diesel from the fact that the chemical bonds of plastic and those of fossil fuels are essentially the same. Their work was funded by a two-year, $259k grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) 2026 Idea Machine competition.

They modeled the economics of the project based on existing datasets of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean that’s already being cleaned by several groups using large ship-mounted booms and nets. Nikolaos says “The project is still in the early stages, but it appears that economically, the HTL system is a modest additional cost relative to the clean-up vessel and boom system. The next challenge will be to creatively structure the portfolio of the public policy responses of collecting and removing waste plastic – including the impact on marine and human health.”

Team member and fifth-year Ph.D. candidate Elizabeth Belden said that the technology would also be exceptionally useful on rivers, since they would require less fuel to navigate on, and since the overwhelming majority of plastic in the ocean enters it via major river systems.

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8 months ago · by · 0 comments

Exchange Program Aims At Building Bridges Across American Divide

This past summer more than 300 high school graduates signed up for a unique student exchange program. Unlike the well-known foreign exchange model that affords students a chance to study abroad, this program gives students the opportunity to soak in a brand-new culture without ever leaving the country.

the American Exchange Project, or AEP for short, co-founded by 29-year-old David McCullough III, grandson of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough. “We fund kids to spend a week in the summer after senior year in an American town that is politically and socio-economically and culturally very different from the one that they’re growing up in,” McCullough said.

McCullough described the origins of AEP: “I grew up in the Ivory Tower, like, a life of enormous privilege. I wanted to get out of all of that and see a part of the country that I wasn’t exposed to, but I knew was out there.” In 2016, he borrowed his mom’s car and spent two months driving across the country, experiencing all social and political backgrounds. He said “I thought I’d be chased away. I thought doors would be slammed in my face. I thought people wouldn’t want to talk to me. And not only did that not happen, but the opposite of that happened everywhere I went.”

For the past three years he’s been giving high school graduates that same experience, and so far at least, it’s having the impact he hoped it would. Young adults in the program say it was a bonding experience that was out of this world. McCullough hopes to offer the program to a million students a year by decade’s end, and all free of charge, thanks to big name donors, including the likes of Steven Spielberg. “I think this all ought to be as typical to the American high school experience as the prom,” McCullough said. “I think every kid in every town should have an experience like this.”

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8 months ago · by · 0 comments

Wedding Suppliers Donate Services to Bride-To-Be Going Through Cancer Treatments

A bride-to-be going through cancer treatment is “completely overwhelmed” after her wedding venue and suppliers offered to donate everything for free. Katelen Cheshire, 23, and Billy Green, 29, from Telford, set the date for November 16th in a Christmas themed wedding at Stanford Farm, Shrewsbury.

Cheshire said she had a look around Stanford Farm with Cindy Edwards over video conferencing and had fallen in love with the venue. Cheshire said “At the end of the Zoom she asked to get to know me a bit more and about my situation. After that, she told me she wanted to do the wedding completely free of charge, we ended up crying together. I couldn’t string out a sentence, I was completely overwhelmed with her kindness.”

Edwards contacted suppliers who also said they would provide services for free, including flowers, decorations, photos and music. A bridal dress has been given to the 23-year-old by Distinctive Bridal wedding shop.Edwards said “It’s incredible what teamwork can do and this really will be a Christmas wedding to remember.”

As Cheshire counts down to her wedding day, she’ll be traveling back and forth to hospital for chemotherapy and has a cell transplant scheduled in December. Cheshire said the chemotherapy treatments have led to a financial strain and when Edwards decided to organize this, it took a huge weight off her shoulders. “She truly is an incredible person. I couldn’t be anymore thankful for what everyone is doing for me” Cheshire said.

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8 months ago · by · 0 comments

Maryland Teen’s Nonprofit Helping With Climate Crisis

Shrusti Amula, learned that food waste contributes to climate change and she wanted to make a difference. The 16-year-old from Maryland decided to use the climate crisis to help address hunger and homelessness. She founded Rise N Shine Foundation in 2019 and started her first composting program at a local school.

Composting offers numerous environmental and agricultural benefits. For starters, composting redirects organic waste away from landfills. When organic waste is stored in landfills, it generates a greenhouse gas called methane. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, methane is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of its heat trapping capacity.

Rise N Shine Foundation’s composting program collects food waste during school lunch hours and hauls it back to composting sites. Partnering with multiple local schools and corporate sponsors, the organization currently runs composting programs in eight schools and has gathered over 150,000 meals for families facing food insecurity.

Through her efforts, she has diverted 200,000 pounds of food waste from landfills and helped schools reach the “Green School” certification process. The composting program is just one of dozens of programs from her non-profit organization. They’re dedicated to motivating people of all ages and backgrounds to take on leadership positions to help the less fortunate.

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8 months ago · by · 0 comments

Senior Dog Finds Forever Home After 11 Years In Shelter

A shelter dog was finally adopted after waiting 11 years. Vanessa had been living at Villalobos Rescue Center, in Louisiana since she had been dumped there in 2012 as a puppy. Whilst Vanessa didn’t get the best start to life, she was looked after and nurtured by staff at Villalobos. Now a senior dog, her chances of finding her forever home were even lower.

Only 25% of older shelter pups get the chance to be rehomed into a loving family. Generally these older pups already have some basic training, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time teaching them commands. They have generally grown out of puppy habits, such as chewing, and are more likely to be toilet trained too. Unfortunately, they are overlooked because most adopters are wary of health issues or are seeking out young pups. Many shelters have senior programs who will pay for all of the costs for senior shelter dogs for the rest of their lives to increase their chance of finding a forever home.

Vanessa is crate-trained, well-behaved and extremely friendly. The sweet pup finally found the forever home. Her new owner is an experienced adopter, having already adopted two dogs from Villalobos in the past. Both of her dogs had recently passed so she visited the center and immediately found her match with Vanessa.

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9 months ago · by · 0 comments

Bride Receives Card On Her Wedding Day From Her Father From Beyond The Grave

A bride received a letter and card from her dad from beyond the grave on her wedding day. Freya Rosati was just 11 when her dad, Philip Hargreaves, died from esophageal cancer at the age of 53. The two were very close but understanding his fate, Philip wrote nine cards for Freya, eight for birthdays, and a final one for her wedding day in the weeks before he died.

Freya,now 32 years old and a self-professed “daddy’s girl”, she was determined to involve her father as much as possible on her big day. Little bits and pieces of their 11 years together were everywhere from the music to the decor. Having enjoyed a holiday to Antigua, Freya had steel pans play her aisle-walk music. Photographs of Philip and Freya bedecked a ‘memory tree’ which sat at the front of the wedding venue.

But it was her mom Theresa reading the card to wedding guests in lieu of Philip’s father-of-the-bride speech—that left everyone in tears. Freya said “Even looking at his handwriting on that card, it really just felt like he was there, and it was so nice. It was such a sad moment but so important to me that the card was read out.”

The message Philip wrote is as heartwarming as the circumstance in which it was read. “I wish I could be standing next to you, the proudest dad in the world, to walk you down the aisle to the man you love, and to the next chapter in your life. Today is your day, enjoy everything about it. Laugh and cry. Be happy and confident. Face everything full-on. You will then succeed in your life together. You gave me some of the proudest moments in my life with your sense of humor, intelligence, understanding, and caring nature. Don’t ever change. Love you forever, dad.”

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9 months ago · by · 0 comments

I Want To Mow Your Lawn Still Going Strong

I Want To Mow Your Lawn, the volunteer movement to help seniors with lawn maintenance is still going strong. Brian Schwartz from Wayne, New Jersey, has pull-started a nationwide movement to automate and scale kindness after losing his job during the pandemic and feeling like he wanted to make a positive impact in the world.

He started a volunteer lawn care organization to help seniors, the disabled, and veterans mow their lawns, trim their hedges, and cut back their trees. And he and its volunteers have been doing it all for free. Three years later, the nationwide movement has helped spruce up over 2,000 lawns. The I Want To Mow Your Lawn organization collaborates with major equipment makers like STIHL MilwaukeeTool and Ryobi to outfit volunteers with equipment to help others.

The overwhelming support and recognition from individuals, volunteers, and partners like Project Evergreen and Raising Men Lawn Care Service have been heartwarming,” Schwartz said. The organization’s YouTube channel reveals it’s not all about lawns, but snow and ice, as well as piles of leaves. If there’s a lawn with a problem, Brian and his team are still happy to help.

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9 months ago · by · 0 comments

Chick-fil-A Worker Saves Choking Child at Drive-Thru

A Georgia Chick-fil-A employee jumped into action and saved the life of a young girl after she heard the child’s mother screaming for help in the drive-thru. Liliana Leahy stopped at her local Chick-fil-A restaurant in Newnan with her daughter Theia on her way to the grocery store.
While waiting in the drive-thru line, Theia suddenly began making choking noises in the backseat.

Terrified, her mother Leahy jumped out of her seat and ran to help her daughter, whose eyes were filling with tears as she motioned that she had something stuck in her throat. “I have learned before to help in this situation, but I froze and panic set in, so I screamed for help,” Leahy said.

Immediately, a Chik-fil-A worker ran over to help and began performing the Heimlich on Theia. Sure enough, a coin flew out of the girl’s mouth. Leahy said the ordeal was only a couple of minutes but it felt like forever. Chick-fil-A staff, who have a reputation for being among the friendliest fast food workers in the country, then gave Theia ice cream after she asked for some.

After the terrifying ordeal, Leahy asked friends on a social media post to help track down the worker who saved her daughter’s life — an employee named Mia, whom she was able to speak with. Mia Isabella Velez, 18, said she originally thought what she heard was laughing but once she recognized what she was hearing as cries for help, her instincts kicked in. Velez said “It’s surreal when you hear that you saved her life. You don’t expect to get that title. It’s a lesson for all of us to learn that you can be the light to somebody else, and I’m so glad I got to be the one for that family.”

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