Bad PR: Chorus concert copyright restrictions

One of the local school districts here in Iowa had an all-elementary-school chorus concert on Friday. At the beginning, the audience was told

Please turn your cell phones off. Please do not use flash photography; we don't want to startle any of the participants. And no videotaping, please, because of copyright restrictions.

Not safety or privacy or confidentiality considerations. Copyright restrictions.

270 shining little faces on stage, ready to perform. A packed auditorium full of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and family friends. And the deflating message that they get, mere seconds before their children begin to sing in their dulcet voices, is:

Hi, John Q. Public. Thanks for slogging your kid to school, even in the rain and snow, every Wednesday at 7:30am all year for chorus practice. Thanks for getting your kid all gussied up for this huge event. We know that your precious angel is up on stage getting ready to sing his or her heart out. We know that the whole extended family is here to support that little boy or girl. But even though your heart is just bursting at the seams to capture the joy and excitement of this experience and share it with your child and your loved ones, we'd like to invoke 'copyright protections' so, too bad, you can't do that. Have a good concert!

What a slap in the face. And we wonder why the public doesn't support school bond referenda...

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

Meet the Bajau sea nomads — they can reportedly hold their breath for 13 minutes

The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.

Wikimedia Commons
Culture & Religion
  • The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
  • Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
  • Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
Keep reading Show less

Golden blood: The rarest blood in the world

We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.

Abid Katib/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
  • Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
  • It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less