GOOD

People Are Awesome: Meet the World of Warcraft 'Guide Dog' for a Blind Vet

After losing his sight in Iraq, a soldier wanted to try his hand at video game battle. And he's doing it with some help from a virtual friend.


The lush and complex environment in World of Warcraft can occasionally be difficult to navigate for millions of gamers with sight. So imagine doing it while completely blind.

That's what Ben Shaw does. Once a Scottish soldier fighting in Iraq, Shaw lost both eyes in a roadside-bomb blast in Basra. While many people might have allowed such an injury to ruin the rest of their lives, Shaw has refused to stay on the sidelines. In 2008, he taught himself to drive a racecar. Now, with a little help from his friends, Shaw is learning to conquer WoW.


For a while, people had tried and failed to help Shaw navigate WoW, which demands a lot of patience and persistence even without leading around a blind person. Eventually, Shaw met a fellow Scotsman named Owen, who has since acted as a sort of digital guide dog for Shaw, giving him verbal cues about where to move and when to strike. Owen calls Shaw, whom he met online about a year ago, is a good friend and a "delight" to play the game with. "Where people were seeing [leading Shaw] as a challenge, I see it as a delight to have somebody as committed as Ben to raid beside," Owen told WoW Insider in a new interview. "Ben and I clicked straight off the bat, and this made it simple to see Ben as a raider, not a burden."

Owen said he's gotten so used to the partnership that now it's harder for him to play WoW without Shaw than it is to play with him: "Nowadays, it's second nature to me."

Who ever thought that slaughtering orcs and ogres could be so kind and selfless?

Articles
via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading
Business

Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

Keep Reading
Health

A meteorite crashed into Earth nearly 800,000 years ago. The meteor was 1.2 miles wide, and the impact was so big, it covered 10% of the planet with debris. However, scientists haven't been able to find the impact site for over a century. That is, until now. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal believes the crash site has been located.

Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

Keep Reading
The Planet