30 Aug 2015

A Kenyan won the gold medal in javelin after learning how to throw on YouTube (5 Videos)

Kenyan Julius Yego  secured a gold medal at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing in javelin. His throw of 92.72m won the competition by four meters, and was not far away from the current world record of 98.48m, held by Jan Zelezny of the Czech Republic.

What is remarkable is that Yego is almost entirely self-taught. He used YouTube videos as a guide. He cited watching videos of Zelezny and Norwegian Andreas Thorkildsen, both of whom won Olympic and world titles.

“My coach is me, and the YouTube videos,” Yego said. Why? “Everybody in Kenya is a runner.” Which means that there aren’t that many coaches who can train those who are interested in less-heralded disciplines, such as the javelin. (Kenya is famous for producing great track athletes. In Beijing, the East African nation leads the medals table with six golds, three silvers, and two bronze.)

So Yego turned to the video-sharing site owned by Google for help. “I watched YouTube and it really paid off for me, to see the training techniques and skills they are using,” Yego told CNN in 2013. “I do not have a coach, my motivation comes from within. Training without a coach is not an easy thing.” (He later worked with Finnish javelin coach Petteri Piironen.) Yego presumably learnt by using videos such as this:

Those sorts of videos aren’t rare on YouTube. For example, here is how to throw a discus:

Or if you want to know how to crossover a basketball:

How about learning to play pickle ball, which seems to be a mix between ping-pong and tennis:

Who knows, keep practising with these videos and one day you might ascend to the top of any of these sports—like Julius Yego.

The Solitary Trees of Northern California in Infrared (15 Pics)

Oak II -- Novato, California, USA  -- 2015   

Tire Swing IV -- The Hills of Marin County, California, USA  -- 2013
Tree & Hill -- The Hills of Marin County, California, USA -- 2015
Two Trees on a Hill - Study Number 8, Hills of Marin County, California, USA  2013
  Down in the Valley -- The Hills of Sonoma County, California, USA -- 2014
 Hamilton I -- The Hills of Marin County, California, USA -- 2014
Hamilton II -- The Hills of Marin County, California, USA -- 2014
White Tree X -- The Hills of Marin County, California, USA -- 2014
Tree & Hill XII -- The Hills of Marin County, California, USA -- 2015
 White Tree XI -- The Hills of Solano County, California, USA -- 2015
White Tree XII -- The Hills of Sonoma County, California, USA -- 2013
White Tree XII -- The Hills of Sonoma County, California, USA -- 2013
Tree & Hill V -- The Hills of Marin County, California, USA 
-- 2013
 Dark Roast -- The Hills of Marin County, California, USA -- 2013

 Dark Roast -- The Hills of Marin County, California, USA -- 2013

The Salem Express Sits At The Bottom Of The Red Sea (20 pics)

The Salem Express sank to the bottom of the Red Sea in 1991 near the island of Safaga, Egypt. It was one of the worst maritime disasters in history as the wreck killed close to 1,000 people. Now only the wreckage remains.

29 Aug 2015

Man with almost-perfect poop donates it to help patients with C-diff infection

It’s the middle of the day for Eric, a 24-year-old research assistant at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and nature is calling.
Eric leaves his job and hops a train. Then a bus. Then he walks some more. He passes countless toilets, and he needs to use them, but he doesn’t.
Eventually, Eric arrives at a nondescript men’s room 30 minutes away from MIT. A partition separates two toilets. There’s a square-tiled floor like in any public restroom. It’s unremarkable in every way, with one exception: A pit stop here can save lives.
Eric hangs a plastic collection bucket down inside the toilet bowl and does his business. When he’s finished, he puts a lid on the container, bags it up and walks his stool a few doors down the hall to OpenBiome, a small laboratory northwest of Boston that has developed a way to turn poop from extremely healthy people into medicine for really sick patients.
A lab technician weighs Eric’s “sample.” Over the past 2½ months, Eric has generated 10.6 pounds of poop over 29 visits, enough feces to produce 133 treatments for patients suffering from Clostridium difficile, an infection that kills 15,000 Americans a year and sickens half a million.
To donate, Eric had to pass a 109-point clinical assessment. There is a laundry list of factors that would disqualify a donor: obesity, illicit drug use, antibiotic use, travel to regions with high risk of contracting diseases, even recent tattoos. His stools and blood also had to clear a battery of laboratory screenings to make sure he didn’t have any infections.
After all that screening, only 3% of prospective donors are healthy enough to give. “I had no idea,” he says about his poop. “It turns out that it’s fairly close to perfect.”
And that, unlike most people’s poop, makes Eric’s worth money. OpenBiome pays its 22 active donors $40 per sample. They’re encouraged to donate often, every day if they can. Eric has earned about $1,000.
“It takes us a lot of time and effort to find these donors,” says OpenBiome’s research director, Mark Smith. “When we do find them, we want to keep them as engaged as possible and really want to compensate them for their time.”
Why is Eric’s poop so valuable?
A hundred trillion bacteria live inside your gut, some good, some bad. When patients take antibiotics for infections, sometimes they fail to work; good bacteria gets killed off while bad bacteria — C. difficile — grows unchecked.
The life-saving bacteria from the guts of people like Eric can help. When their healthy microbes are placed inside the intestines of a sick person they can chase out harmful C. difficile bacteria. It’s called a fecal transplant. The treatments are administered bottom-up, through a colonoscopy, or top-down, through a tube in the nose.
OpenBiome’s poop donors have created about 5,000 treatments, and the organization says the results have been stunning. Stinky human waste is an astonishingly simple cure: 90% of the patients get better.
“They’ll actually have this really transformational experience where they’ll be going to the bathroom 20 times a day and then have normal bowel movements sort of immediately or the next day,” Smith says.
The organization’s fecal transplants cost $385 to purchase and are providing a treatment to more than 350 hospitals in 47 states.
At OpenBiome’s lab, technician Christina Kim, working under a fume hood that sucks up odors, pulls the lid off Eric’s collection bucket and demonstrates how she turns poop into the life-saving treatment.
“It’s nice that this room is actually closed off because this is where the smelly part happens,” she says.
She examines the consistency of today’s offering. A nearby chart has descriptions and illustrations for seven types of stools. It was developed by a hospital in Bristol, England, as a visual guide.
Not all poop is acceptable.
Types one or two, defined by the Bristol Stool Chart as “like nuts” or “lumpy,” are too dry to process into a treatment.
If a donor’s stool is “mushy” or “watery” — that’s a type six or seven — then it can’t be used because it could be a sign the donor has a gastrointestinal infection.
The perfect poop is type three, which is “like a sausage but with cracks on its surface;” type four, which is “like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft;” or type five, “soft blobs with clear-cut edges (passed easily).”
“It’s actually an established medical chart,” Kim says with a chuckle. “It’s very important.”
Maybe it was the hot sauce he used on his quinoa and cheddar cheese casserole last night, or the banana and peanut butter he ate with a bowl of bran flakes and almond milk for breakfast, but Eric’s stool is type five, just barely acceptable for processing.
Kim scoops the feces into a clear plastic bag and adds a saline solution. For two minutes the bag sloshes around inside a machine called the “jumbo mix.” The fiber in Eric’s stool is filtered out, and what’s left behind is a liquid teaming with helpful bacteria.
With a pipette, Kim transfers the watery remnants of Eric’s poop into 250 ml plastic bottles. On average, one stool donation fills four, but today Eric’s impressive half-pound sample fills seven. One bottle equals one treatment.
The 133 treatments Eric has provided won’t be distributed until he’s passed a secondary healthy screening. For now, they sit frozen in quarantine inside a giant freezer.
Most donors head on their way after handing over their sample, but during today’s visit Eric asks if he can see the treatments he helped create.
Cool air blasts his face as Kim opens the freezer. His jaw drops at the sight of his icy brown bottles, which look like frozen chocolate milkshakes. The bacteria inside them is still alive, cryogenically preserved at -112°F.
“That’s fantastic! Holy cow!” Eric says, beaming. “It’s unreal. I never thought I would be staring at my poop frozen in a freezer destined to help people across the country. It’s really cool.”
But did he do it for the money? The ridiculously easy money?
“Not at all,” he says. “It’s a nice perk, of course.”
If you’re inspired to donate like Eric, you have to live in the Boston area. And you may have to wait. Some 6,000 people have already signed up. OpenBiome usually invites about 50 people for interviews every week.
“It’s easier to get into MIT and Harvard than it is to get enrolled as one of our donors,” Smith says. “A lot of our donors are pretty excited to take something they do every day otherwise and save people’s lives with it.”

After the "Syrian father selling pens in Beirut while holding his sleeping daughter" image went viral, a campaign was started yesterday to help him, it raised $15,000 within first hour and over $47000 so far (5 Pics)

 Thousands of dollars were raised in just three hours after a picture of a refugee seemingly trying to sell pens on a street in Beirut with his daughter slumped over one shoulder was widely shared.

The image, showing a man holding eight biros, were posted on Twitter by Gissur Simonarson, who describes himself as an activist.

After being inundated with requests to help the man, Simonarson announced he was going to try and find him. He launched a Twitter account named #BuyPens and was contacted within 30 minutes by someone who saw the man every day around his house.

Twenty-four hours later, the man and his daughter were identified as Abdul, a single father with two children, and his daughter Reem, who is four.
 They are believed to be Palestinian Syrians from the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus.

 Simonarson decided to start a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise money for Abdul and his family.

Within half an hour, he provided an update: “We have reached my goal of $5,000 in the first 30 min. This was never meant as a cap, just something to start with. “Let’s make sure that Abdul and Reem can really start a great new life.”
 Within three hours, he had raised $15,260 (£9,897), three times the original goal.
At the time of writing, 1,287 people had donated $40,554 (£26,303) in 14 hours, 812 per cent of the original target.
Gissur Simonarson told The Independent: "I'm now in touch with Unicef special protection unit to help get him to a safe location, and make sure he will not be taken advantage of.
"I'm also considering setting up some kind of fund that would give him payouts monthly, so he doesn't end up with a bag of money, and not know what to do with it."

Dayton Police Officer Pulls Over Black Man for Making Eye Contact

 John Felton says he had it just arrived in Dayton with his brother for a birthday party and was driving down Salem Avenue.

"My brother had his seat belt on and everything and I was like, 'This cop is following me, I don't know why he's following me I'm going to make sure I don't do anything to make him pull me over.'" Felton told ABC 22/FOX 45 Reporter Natasha Williams.

Felton says he was eventually stopped and initially told by the officer he had committed a minor traffic violation. Felton decided to videotape the incident.

"Your turn signal, your turn signal was on but you didn't turn it on 100 feet prior," the Dayton officer is heard saying on the video Felton recorded on his cellphone.

Felton says, "Didn't I say he was going to do this? I watched you behind me the whole time, that's why I got my video camera on, too."

Felton, a college graduate who now lives and works in Michigan began questioning the officer further about the traffic stop.

"I am doing nothing, because I have Michigan plates, other than that why are you trailing me," Felton asked the officer. 

"You made direct eye contact with me and held onto it when I was passing you," the officer responded.

Felton: What! I didn't even see you." 

Officer: "I am not going to argue with you, sir. I'll just scan your license and give you a citation for the violation and you could take it to court."

Felton said he was surprised the officer admitted the reason he was pulled over, but he says he knew from the beginning what it was all about.

"I got a nice car. I don't know if he seen I was a black male. I feel like I was targeted, the Michigan car and it was about 11 o'clock at night," Felton said.

Felton said the incident points out the real issues that exist even in the 21st century. 

"I am not your stereotypical black male that a lot of people have in mind. For me it's awareness that this stuff still happens in 2015," he said. 

We reach out to Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl but he did not get back with us. Dayton police did comment on their Twitter page, saying they were reviewing the videotape of the incident. And Felton tells me that a sergeant from the Dayton Police Department contacted him by email Thursday, August 27, to get his side of the story.

How To Make A DIY Reclaimed Wood Picture Hanger (10 Pics)

The best way to get started is to find a wood pile that's not going to be used. You'll need about 8-10 pieces of 3/4"x4" fence slats or siding boards to ensure you have enough wood for this project.
You don't necessarily want wood that has been destroyed, so make sure it has been eaten by termites, been burnt, etc. Once you have your pieces, decide how wide and long you'd like your picture hanger. You can either cut the edges using a handsaw or try breaking them if you want a more rustic edge.
Lay out the pieces of wood so you get a rough idea of what it's going to look like. Then realize that you are going to have a whole lot of sanding to do.
An electric sander will definitely make this part of the project go faster. Sand down each piece of wood so it's smooth. This will help lessen any splinters you may get.
Now it's time to assemble the boards. Line up three pieces of wood, one on each edge then one in the middle. You'll then nail the longer boards to these three boards to create your picture hanger.
Find your favorite color stain and stain all of the boards.
Once the stain has dried, hammer in a nail on each side and then tie twine around the nail heads, creating a nice rope line for your pictures. Use mini clothes pins that are spaced out perfectly. These will be used to hold your pictures.
Once finished, you can attach it to the wall. It turned out great!
From here you can add your favorite pictures, to include pictures of you, your friends, your family, or just your favorite things in general.
Here is another variation of the reclaimed wood picture hanger. You can hang each piece of wood individually on a wall, then add the twine, and mini clothes pins.