Element S(urvival): A Coat-and-Sleeping-Bag-in-One for the Homeless

Homelessness is perhaps the most disconcerting reminder of the staggering gap between the rich and the poor in some of the world's wealthiest nations. In Detroit alone, more than 18,000 people are homeless – a social circumstance most grueling over the cold winter months. To address the issue, 21-year-old Detroit design student Veronika Scott has developed a clever multifunctional garment – Element S(urvival), an inexpensive but highly insulated winter coat that quickly and easily transforms into a sleeping bag.


Scott spent $2,000 of her own money to construct several prototypes, developed after extensive field research through months of conversations with Detroit's homeless in order to identify their core needs. (The conversations themselves, no doubt, were an additional source of warmth for them.)

The coats are made of Tyvek home insulation and wool army blankets, materials low-cost enough that Scott hopes to eventually start offering the coats for free. After meeting with Scott, Mark Valade, CEO of Michigan-based clothing heritage brand Carhartt, donated a number of sewing machines, which Scott plans to use in an assembly line for the coats, employing the homeless themselves and helping them get not only warmth, but also a paycheck.

Catch the full story on NPR and consider supporting Scott's work with a PayPal donation.

via GOOD

Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine, Design Observer and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.

3D printing might save your life one day. It's transforming medicine and health care.

What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.

Northwell Health
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
  • Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
  • Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
Keep reading Show less

Beyond Meat announces plan to sell ‘ground beef’ in stores. Shares skyrocket.

Beyond Beef sizzles and marbleizes just like real beef, Beyond Meat says.

Culture & Religion
  • Shares of Beyond Meat opened at around $200 on Tuesday morning, falling to nearly $170 by the afternoon.
  • Wall Street analysts remain wary of the stock, which has been on a massive hot streak since its IPO in May.
  • Beyond Meat faces competition from Impossible Foods and, as of this week, Tyson.
Keep reading Show less

Thumbs up? Map shows Europe’s hitchhiking landscape

Average waiting time for hitchhikers in Ireland: Less than 30 minutes. In southern Spain: More than 90 minutes.

Image: Abel Suyok
Strange Maps
  • A popular means of transportation from the 1920s to the 1980s, hitchhiking has since fallen in disrepute.
  • However, as this map shows, thumbing a ride still occupies a thriving niche – if at great geographic variance.
  • In some countries and areas, you'll be off the street in no time. In other places, it's much harder to thumb your way from A to B.
Keep reading Show less

Can you guess which state has the most psychopaths?

A recent study used data from the Big Five personality to estimate psychopathy prevalence in the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C.

Surprising Science
  • The study estimated psychopathy prevalence by looking at the prevalence of certain traits in the Big Five model of personality.
  • The District of Columbia had the highest prevalence of psychopathy, compared to other areas.
  • The authors cautioned that their measurements were indirect, and that psychopathy in general is difficult to define precisely.
Keep reading Show less