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Interactive: Using STEM to Improve Search and Rescue

This content is brought to you by The Air Force Collaboratory. Trained with the technical tools and skills to find and save lives, Air Force...



This content is brought to you by The Air Force Collaboratory

Trained with the technical tools and skills to find and save lives, Air Force Pararescuemen are often called upon to help when disasters strike.

Whether it’s providing care and rescue to a downed flight crew or helping victims of a natural disaster like the severe flash flooding in Colorado, pararescuemen (known as PJs—a nod to their earlier name, pararescue jumpers) need to be on the scene quickly. PJs work through specific training skills that are designed to maximize their success in the "The Golden Hour"—the first hour after disasters occur. If a PJ can find a victim under a collapsed structure and then render aid in the first 60 minutes, the odds of survival increase dramatically.

Given the dangerous conditions of many unstable areas, PJs carry the highly technical equipment that is engineered to be portable but effective for almost any situation that arises. A team of Air Force engineers and scientists work behind the scenes to create tools like a compact air lift that has the power to lift hundreds of pounds of rock, infrared cameras to search in the dark, and portable medical equipment to help until victims can be transported to safety.

To learn more about the science behind search and rescue missions, follow Air Force pararescuemen in this infographic as they race against the clock to save lives.

Infographics
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.

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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.

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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.

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