Anti-Vaccination Mom Changes Mind After All Three Kids Contract Rotavirus

Kristen O’Meara, a teacher who lives just outside of Chicago, decided not to vaccinate her three daughters when they were born, citing belief in scientifically unsound anti-vaccination “research.” She has since changed her mind after her daughters (who are all under the age of seven), and she and her husband, contracted rotavirus, a painful illness that can cause diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration.

“I put my kids at risk,” she said in an interview that aired on Good Morning America on Monday. “I should have taken more time to research both sides.” and “I scoured everything I could possibly find about why vaccines might be harmful. I became pretty convinced.”

 A recent study from the American Academy of Pediatrics found that the number of doctors encountering parents who have refused their child vaccines for non-medical reasons has increased 74.5 percent to 87 percent between 2006 and 2013.

The thing about O’Meara’s technique (scouring everything about why vaccines might be bad for you) is that it conveniently leaves out the settled science that vaccines are actually not bad for you, and are, in fact, good for you, in that they effectively prevent a host of diseases. The act of looking for information isn’t inherently honorable—anyone who scours 4chan for information about why women might be scientifically worse than men is bound to come out an avid men’s rights enthusiast. Check your research methods, people!

Anyway, O’Meara’s kids are now fully vaccinated and she says she feels guilty for putting them at risk.

“I’m frustrated with the amount of misinformation I encountered when I set out on this journey,” O’Meara wrote in a New York Post article called “I was an anti-vax crackpot—until this happened.” “But in the end I am thankful, for the sake of Natasha, Áine and Lena, that I was able to reassess my position and accept information that is based on well-established, sound scientific evidence.” See full video here

Source: Anti-Vaccination Mom Changes Mind After All Three Kids Contract Rotavirus

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The Puerto Rico blackout, from space

fire at a power plant in Puerto Rico left almost 1.5 million homes and businesses without power on Wednesday night. On the ground, businesses were forced to close, and traffic ground to a halt as lights went dark. Around 340,000 people were left without water, and millions were without air conditioning and fans in 90-degree heat. A huge number of Puerto Ricans are still affected, and the scale of the problem is visible from space.NASA’s Earth Observatory shared before-after images of the island, taken by The Visible Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite. The first image, taken at 2:50AM local time on Wednesday, shows the island bathed in artificial light, especially concentrated around the capital city of San Juan in the northeast. The second, captured at 2:31AM on Thursday, paints a very different picture. While San Juan is still fairly lit, surrounding urban areas are not, and many rural areas are pitch black. The southern city of Ponce is almost entirely in the dark.

The images were captured using VIIRS “day-night” band. Earth Observatory explained that this band “detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe signals such as gas flares, city lights, and reflected moonlight.” Moonlight is the reason that the shade of the ocean shifts between the two images.

Power had been restored to just under 400,000 homes and business by Thursday night, but millions are still without electricity. The island’s government-owned power authority AEE said it expected more than half of its customers to have power by Friday morning, and 90 percent are hoped to be connected by Saturday.

The Big Picture is a recurring feature highlighting beautiful images that tell big stories. We explore topics as large as our planet, or as small as a single life, as affected by or seen through the lens of technology.

Source: The Puerto Rico blackout, from space

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Americans Waste $2.1 Billion a Year on Premium Gas

Do you put premium gasoline in your car? You’re probably wasting your money. A new study by AAA found that 16.5 million Americans had filled up their cars with premium gas unnecessarily in the past year. That’s $2.1 billion, completely wasted.

Roughly 70 percent of Americans own cars that have no practical need for premium gas and only need regular. AAA conducted tests using 87-octane (regular) and 93-octane (premium) gas in those kinds of cars and found that the premium gas gave absolutely no benefits above the regular gas.

“Drivers see the ‘premium’ name at the pump and may assume the fuel is better for their vehicle,” John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair, said in a statement.

Just 16 percent of Americans own a car that requires premium fuel. And if you’re in that 16 percent you probably know who you are. The remaining 14 percent? Those people need the mid-grade gasoline. At this point I’d suggest checking your car’s manual to figure out which camp you’re in. Continue reading

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Go Exchange Your Explodey Galaxy Note 7 Right Now

Samsung is rolling out mass quantities of replacement Galaxy Note 7 devices to carrier stores. The company says it has shipped more than 500,000 new Note 7 devices to carrier and retail stores and customers can go in for an exchange starting today. Go do it!

According to the CPSC recall announcement from last week, Samsung sold 1 million Galaxy Note 7 phones before it halted sales due to battery explosions. Samsung says that 25 percent of Note 7 devices in the United States have already been exchanged or returned for another device.

You can walk into your carrier store with your Note 7 to do an exchange. Customers that purchased online or from Samsung directly can call Samsung to get a replacement. Samsung is marking all boxes with safe Galaxy Note 7 devices with a special black square on the UPC code. There is also a software update being issued to phones that will show a green battery indicator. If you’ve got that indicator, you can be assured your battery is safe.

Given how much of a nightmare the unofficial recall was, we only hope it’s easier for customers to get safe, replacement phones this time around. So if you’ve got a Galaxy Note 7, get to your local retailer and get a replacement soon.

Source: Go Exchange Your Explodey Galaxy Note 7 Right Now

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AT&T’s Project AirGig could be a wireless alternative to fiber

Bringing gigabit internet to rural areas is usually an expensive proposition — but soon, it might not be. AT&T Labs today announced Project AirGig, a new wireless internet delivery system that carriers high speed internet service over power-lines without actually tapping into the physical wired infrastructure. More specifically, AT&T plans to mount hundreds of tiny radio stations atop telephone poles to bring high-speed internet to customers without laying down new cable.

The project is still in its experimental phase, but AT&T says it’s bursting with potential. AirGig’s relay stations may sit on top of telephone poles, but it doesn’t actually need to tap into the pole’s power source — it doesn’t send signals over the lines either, opting instead to regenerate millimeter wave signals from station to station. Because the stations are designed with to use affordable plastic antennas and make use of existing infrastructure, it offers a potential way to bring high-speed connections to new areas without laying down new cable. Not only does that save a ton of money, it also means the new system could be deployed faster.

Source: AT&T’s Project AirGig could be a wireless alternative to fiber

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Nike’s self-lacing HyperAdapt shoes go on sale November 28th

Nike designer Tinker Hatfield promised us power-lacing shoes to mimic the kicks from Back to the Future in 2016, and now we know what day they’ll go on sale. The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 will be available at “select” retail locations by appointment beginning November 28th. The company brought Wired in for a look behind the scenes of the shoe’s development, but we’re expecting more details, like how to set up an appointment and pricing, in the coming weeks.

Source: Nike’s self-lacing HyperAdapt shoes go on sale November 28th

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This Giant Claw-Handed Drone Is Coming For Your Kids

Most drones aren’t particularly scary. Aside from maybe gashing you open if they crash into you, there’s not much harm they can do. Until you add a pair of articulated arms with claws on the end, which turns drones into some kind of giant cyborg eagle ready to snatch babies and the elderly right off their feet. Continue reading

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