For some, Valentine’s Day and all that it entails for the weeks leading up to it, can be a time full of fancy meals, beautiful flowers, expensive gifts, and one-of-a-kind events. But for others, the holidays serves as a reminder of love lost, time wasted, and less than ideal experiences. If you’re in the latter group and have fallen victim to negative memories of past relationships you just can’t shake, the El Paso Zoo in Texas has something for you.
The zoo is currently running a promotion that allows anyone in the world to name a cockroach after an ex and then have it fed to a meerkat on Valentine’s Day. The event, called “Quit Bugging Me,” will be livestreamed so everyone can see the results. The names will be displayed near the meerkat exhibit starting on February 11. El Paso Zoo event coordinator Sarah Borrego told CBS News that they hope the community becomes more involved with the zoo through this unusual promotion.
“This is a fun way to get the community involved in our daily enrichment activities. The meerkats love to get cockroaches as a snack and what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than by feeding them a cockroach named after your ex!“
“All of us have exes and we are still not over it and it’s a great way to get the community in and also get out a little bit of the frustration,” she added.
On their Facebook page, El Paso Zoo posted:
“What’s the perfect Valentine’s Day gift? ❤️ Naming a cockroach after your ex, of course! Message us your ex’s name and we’ll name a cockroach after them! We’ll post names (First and last name initial!) starting February 11 here on Facebook! Watch on Facebook Live or on our website’s Meerkat webcam on Valentine’s Day at 2:15 pm to see them devour these little bugs!”
Oddly enough, El Paso isn’t the only Zoo who is trying to cash in on heartbreak for Valentines day. The Hemsley Conservation Center in Kent, England, will also name a cockroach after your ex for a small donation, but the roach will not be fed to a meerkat. Likewise, a similar promotion is running at the Bronx Zoo.
The El Paso Zoo’s campaign has beat expectations and, thanks to an overwhelming response, the following update was recently posted on their Facebook page:
“We’ve had a TREMENDOUS response to our Quit Bugging Me event! ❤️ So much that we have decided to spread the love to some of our other animals here at the zoo! We’ll keep you posted on feeding times next week!”
Awesome New Infrared Goggles Could Help Blind People ‘See’ Surroundings
People who are blind or deal with low vision face a unique number of challenges in their daily lives, ranging from accessing published material to holding a job or living on one’s own.
However, emerging infrared technology under research could help the blind and visually impaired navigate the world around them using a pair of innovative goggles.
In new research recently published and yet to be peer-reviewed, Manuel Zahn and Armaghan Ahmad Khan at Germany’s Technical University of Munich explored how their 3D camera and haptic feedback armband can assist people with low vision.
“Even in the present era, visually impaired people face a constant challenge of navigation,” the pair wrote. “The most common tool available to them is the cane. Although the cane allows good detection of objects in the user’s immediate vicinity, it lacks the ability to detect obstacles further away.”
The two students’ design deploys two infrared cameras placed in a 3D-printed goggles prototype to get a stereoscopic view that is transformed by a small computer into a map of the user’s surroundings. The infrared gear also works in the dark. The armband then uses 25 actuators arranged in a grid that vibrates when users come close to objects while also assisting them in their orientation. As users walk near obstacles, the vibration intensity of the actuators increases.
In tests, subjects enjoyed roughly 98 percent accuracy while getting through obstacle pathways, with all five participants completing the course in their first run. After two additional runs, the volunteers were able to navigate the obstacles more rapidly.
Zahn and Khan frequently cited Microsoft’s Kinect motion detection system for the Xbox in their study, but the pair are confident that their own setup will be far smaller, cheaper and less conspicuous than the gaming device.
The new headset could offer an interesting opportunity for blind and partially sighted people to clear the myriad obstacles they face when performing regular tasks or navigating the world around them.
Toddler Goes On $2000 Furniture-Shopping Spree On Mom’s Phone
A New Jersey mom learned that keeping your browser open may not be the best idea as children, and even infants, become increasingly tech savvy.
Madhu Kumar was browsing Walmart’s furniture selection on their website and had added some items to her shopping cart but never checked out. She was shocked and confused when she started to receive a steady stream of packages from the big-box retailer.
Madhu immediately turned to her husband and two older children to find out who ordered the packages.
“I need one or two, why would we need four?” Madhu asked.
As it turned out, her toddler Ayaansh Kumar – who, at 22 months old, was barely learning to count – had gone on a $2,000 shopping spree while playing on his mother’s phone.
“It is really hard to believe that he has done this, but that’s what happened,” Ayaansh’s dad, Pramod Kumar, told NBC New York.
Among the packages were some that could barely be squeezed through the family’s front door at their home in Monmouth Junction.
Purchases included accent chairs, flower stands and a range of other household items that arrived throughout the week.
“He’s so little, he’s so cute, we were laughing that he ordered all this stuff,” his mom remarked.
From birth, young Ayaansh had observantly watched his family members engage in a range of activities from home – including shopping, attending classes, and going to school. And as it the case for many kids of his generation, he knows the basics of operating a smartphone.
The parents are still waiting for all of the boxes to arrive so that they can return them to their local Walmart. The retailer has already told the Kumars that they are eligible for a refund, but the parents plan to save at least a few items to remind them of their son’s first e-commerce adventure.
“Moving forward, we will put tough passcodes or face recognition so when he picks up the phone he finds it in locked condition,” his father said.
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