'He never gets sad': Connor has 'Childhood Alzheimer's,' and his little buddies are his rock
PHILADELPHIA — They call themselves “Connor’s Crew” at West Vincent Elementary School near Philadelphia: BFFs who can’t get enough of the one pal who, at just 11 years old, may be gone before any of them graduate from high school.To see them in action is like watching a rainbow cross a clouded sky.Elle Greco holds Connor Dobbyn’s hand through the library; Connor wraps his fingers tightly around hers. Another fifth-grade friend, sitting on the floor in front of them, turns her head back every few minutes to throw Connor a fetching smile as librarian Laura Vanemon reads excerpts from “Crenshaw,”...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Commentary: Fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral can be 'saved' another way: digitally
New reporting about last spring’s devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris — and, specifically, how the world-renowned structure is still at risk of collapse — offers yet another reminder of the fragility of humankind’s greatest creations and the stark reality that centuries of culture and history can be wiped out in minutes.Several years ago, in spring 2016, I was at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, one of the oldest and most renowned art museums in the world. I was there to announce the 3D digitization of the museum’s entire collection of 1,250 pieces of irreplaceable classica...
Why Madison Bumgarner's rodeo hobby should concern Diamondbacks so much
Madison Bumgarner was able to keep his identity more or less a secret while competing in rodeo, but there’s no hiding the dangers associated with the former Giants pitcher’s preferred hobby of roping calves.Using the alias of “Mason Saunders,” Bumgarner has been surreptitiously participating in team roping events — and doing quite well, even winning $26,560 in a December competition — The Athletic reported Sunday. Not that the man who signed a five-year, $85 million deal with the Diamondbacks needs the extra cash — roping runs much deeper than that for Bumgarner, who said “it’s just part of wh...
The Mercury News
Climate study shows methane 'burp' from melting Arctic tundra is unlikely
New research by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of Rochester eases long-standing fears that thawing Arctic permafrost could belch out mass amounts of climate-warming methane gas.Scientists had warned of a scenario in which the thawing tundra could release enough methane to sharply accelerate global warming. However, the study published Friday in the journal Science found that permafrost that melted during a previous warm period between 18,000 and 8,000 years ago released little of the greenhouse gas. So it’s likely that the permafrost won’t contribute much methane du...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Katherine Johnson, legendary NASA Langley mathematician, dies at age of 101
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Katherine Johnson, the NASA Langley Research Center mathematician who went from “hidden” to hero in her late 90s, died Monday morning at the age of 101.In the early days of the space program, before the advent of modern computers, Johnson’s precise trajectory calculations – done with pencil and paper, or chalk and blackboard – put John Glenn and other astronauts into orbit and brought them safely home. She was part of a team of “human computers” who inspired Margot Lee Shetterly’s best-selling book “Hidden Figures,” which was subsequently adapted into an Oscar-nominated mov...
Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)
UnitedHealthcare tackles homelessness as a root cause of poor health, and Philly is a test bed
PHILADELPHIA — Purvis Wright’s health, and life, were spiraling out of control.Wright went to the hospital in July 2018 after a spate of blackouts and throwing up blood. “It was all downhill,” Wright said this month. “I wound up with my eight or nine different sicknesses all at once.”After a long stay at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, Wright tried going home that September, but the West Oak Lane house where he had an apartment had been sold and all his belongings were gone. That setback forced Wright, 62, onto an odyssey of depending on siblings and homeless shelters for a roof and a be...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Family travel five: Exploring our underwater world
Introduce your family to the beauty and wonder of our underwater world. Here are five places where you can swim, snorkel and learn to dive.———1. Ambergris Caye, BelizeBelize is home to the second largest coral reef system in the world, luring scuba enthusiasts eager to dive the Great Blue Hole, the large submarine sinkhole once explored by Jacques Cousteau. If you team up with an experienced and reputable outfitter, it’s also a great place for beginners and more proficient family members to appreciate the glory of our underwater world. Las Terrazas Resort is a family-friendly condo-style hotel...
How were coronavirus patients evacuated from ship? With Kansas City group's ingenuity
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City research institute became part of the international novel coronavirus story this week when a unique, high-tech biocontainment pod it designed was used in the evacuation of more than 300 Americans quarantined on a cruise ship off the coast of Japan.The U.S. State Department owns four of the units created by MRIGlobal, formerly the Midwest Research Institute.The department said 14 of the Americans on the Diamond Princess who tested positive for the virus “were moved in the most expeditious and safe manner to a specialized containment area on the evacuation aircra...
The Kansas City Star
A North Carolina crisis hotline slashed more than half its staff. Now, dispatches can take hours
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In moments of intense emotional distress — when suicidal thoughts emerge, for example, or withdrawal symptoms become overwhelming — thousands of Mecklenburg County residents turn to the Mobile Crisis Team.But in recent months, some people calling for urgent help have been told it could take hours for response.The service’s president, Keshia Ginn, blames funding cuts for the delays. Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, the managed care organization that contracts with the Mobile Crisis Team, though, says it hasn’t “cut” funding but changed the way services are reimbursed.Recently,...
The Charlotte Observer
Ice cover takes deep dip on Great Lakes
Icy, snow-covered lakes are a normal part of Midwest winters, but Great Lakes ice cover is taking a big dip this year in Michigan and other states, weather experts say.The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory found that as of Thursday, the Great Lakes ice cover was 17.6%.Last year at this time, the ice cover hovered around 67%, according to the National Weather Service in Duluth, Minn.In the winter of 2019, Michigan experienced a record-low temperature of minus-14 in late January. But this winter has seen warmer-than-usual temperatures...
The Detroit News