Mask Innovation Could Earn You Some Serious Cash

By Staff
Friday, April 9, 2021 12:58 PM Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, much of the optical indstury has offered a helping hand through the form of creating and donating PPE. Now, creating an innovative face mask design could earn you some serious cash. The Biden administration and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority have announced the Mask Innovation Challenge: Building Tomorrow’s Mask, a challenge open to all Americans to design an innovative new face mask to keep us safe. Ideas are due on April 21, 2021, at 5 P.M. Eastern, and winners will recieve $100,000. Head over to the BARDA's blog to learn more. 

It's Time for the Puparazzi

By Staff
Thursday, April 8, 2021 11:06 AM Have a photogenic dog that you just can't get enough of? This could be their moment: Guide Dogs for the Blind has opened up submissions for their annual Puparazzi Photo Calendar Contest. Head over to the website for more on how to get your pup involved. 

Here Come the Cicadas

By Staff
Wednesday, April 7, 2021 11:33 AM You might've heard that this summer is the summer of the cicada. A group of cicadas known as Brood X have been burrowed underground since 2004—and this May, they're waking up. So what exactly is Brood X, what happens when they resurface, and why is everyone talking about it? Head over to the Washington Post for the rundown on all things cicada.  

The Next Generation of COVID-19 Vaccines

By Staff
Tuesday, April 6, 2021 1:39 PM We have three safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S., but scientists are perfectionists and always strive to improve. So what will the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines look like? Ideally, NPR Health News reports, a perfect vaccine would include some new characteristics such as being stable at room temperature, only requiring one shot and even being something patients can self-administer. Head over to NPR to learn more about what these vaccines might look like in the future. 

#VMBrightSpots—Transcona Optical

By Staff
Monday, April 5, 2021 1:40 PM Is there anything more exciting than seeing kids who love visiting their eye doctor? The team at Transcona Optical in Manitoba, Canada, had a very special patient last week: a little optometrist in training. 

Cherry Blossoms Bloom

By Staff
Friday, April 2, 2021 1:03 PM As Spring arrives in the Northern Hemisphere, so do cherry blossom blooms. From the famous trees in Washington, D.C., to Japan, to the Netherlands, and more, people all across the Northern Hemisphere are rerouting their walks to catch a glimpse of one of spring's most iconic blooms. Head over to Euronews Travel for a peek at cherry blossoms near and far. 

Check Out The Louvre From Your Couch

By Staff
Thursday, April 1, 2021 2:49 PM Travelling to Paris is probably out of the question for most of us right now, but that doesn't mean we can't virtually travel while we wait for it to be safe to visit The City of Lights in person again. Thankfully, The Louvre is here to help. The world famous museum has just launched a brand new online database which includes its entire collection—that's over 480,000 pieces. Head over to Mental Floss to learn more, or check out the database here

It Might Be a Bad Idea to Post Your Vaccine Card Online

By Staff
Wednesday, March 31, 2021 1:00 PM For many, getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is an exciting cause for celebration, and, in turn, many recently vaccinated people find themselves wanting to post about it on social media. Although getting vaccinated is a fantastic feat of science, it might not be a good idea to post a picture of the little white card you receive after the vaccination—it might be something scammers can use against you one day. Head over to CNBC for more. 

This Is Jeopardy!

By Staff
Tuesday, March 30, 2021 10:23 AM Yesterday marked 57 years since Jeopardy! first appeared on TV screens across the U.S. To celebrate, head over to Mental Floss for some facts you may not know about the famous show, from "illegal" wagers to what happens if all three players end up with negative values at the end of a show. 

#VMBrightSpots—Nittany Eye Associates

By Staff
Monday, March 29, 2021 12:41 PM Celebrating World Optometry Day was a bright spot for many last week, but it was especially fun that the holiday also coincided with National Puppy Day. Here, the team at Nittany Eye Associates in College, Pennsylvania, celebrated both together. 

Up Close and Personal With Fagradalsfjall

By Staff
Friday, March 26, 2021 1:21 PM Last week, Fagradalsfjall, a volcano in Iceland, began erupting for the first time in more than 800 years, according to the BBC. The BBC also reports that the eruption has resulted in 10.5 million cubic feet of lava pouring out of the volcano, attracting tourists from all around Iceland. And while Iceland may be out of reach for most of us, we can still see the eruption up close and personal thanks to technology. Head over to Wired for some incredible drone footage of this once in a lifetime experience. 

What's Going On in the Suez Canal

By Staff
Thursday, March 25, 2021 12:01 PM On Tuesday morning, a ship nearly as long as the Empire State Building is tall got stuck sideways in the middle of the Suez Canal, one of the most important trade waterways in the world. According to Wired, "at least 150 ships laden with oil, automotive parts and consumer goods have now accumulated on both sides of the Suez in this painfully slow moving crisis. Approximately $10 billion worth of fuel and products, bound for far reaches of the planet, are now stuck in an aquatic traffic jam." So how on earth did this happen, and how can it be undone? Head over to Wired for a deeper look at this unusual situation. 

What Happens When a Food Critic Loses Her Smell?

By Staff
Wednesday, March 24, 2021 11:30 AM After contracting COVID-19, Tejal Rao, a restaurant critic for The New York Times lost her sense of smell and found that her appetite had changed drastically. So how can Rao continue to do her job, which relies so heavily on both of those senses? Currently, she is participating in "smell training," the only therapy for loss of smell that's been proven to work. Head over to the Times to read more from Rao, or listen to Rao on the Times' podcast, The Daily

There Might Be a Free Donut in Your Future

By Staff
Tuesday, March 23, 2021 11:26 AM Live in the U.S., and got your COVID-19 vaccine? There's a free donut in your future. This week, Krispy Kreme announced they're offering one free glazed donut to anyone who brings in their vaccination card. The promotion runs through the end of the year, too. 

#VMBrightSpots—Visionary Eye Centre

By Staff
Monday, March 22, 2021 11:16 AM This week, the team at Visionary Eye Centre in Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada, had a big bright spot to celebrate: their tenth anniversary.