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Texas Kid Graduates from College at 14… Just Like His Sister Did

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  • Think you’re pretty smart? Wait till you read about this bunch of overachievers.

When people talk about things that run in the family, it’s usually about something more or less negative. Maybe it’s stubbornness, baldness, or susceptibility to some disease.

Of course, there are also those families where everyone’s ridiculously good-looking or maybe extremely musical. But the Taylor Schlitz family from Texas has everybody beat – it seems that they can’t help but produce genius kids.

How smart are we talking about here, exactly? Well, their son, Ian Taylor Schlitz, has just graduated from college with an associate degree in Arts.

But as if that’s not enough, Ian is not just book smart. He seems to have some business acumen too, considering he’s the president and CEO of his own company, Kidlamity Gaming.

Oh yeah, and this kid is just 14 years old.

“Ian is an ideal student,” says associate professor Andrew Stalder at the Tarrant County College (TCC), who taught Ian in one if his classes.

“He always had a positive attitude and was excited to tackle the assignments.”

Ian started working on his degree two years ago, when he was just 12. Then again, he was already taking college-level classes by the time he was 10.

Next year, by the time he’s 15, he’s set to have a bachelor’s papers on his wall. Next, he’ll be attending the University of North Texas, where he will be majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis on E-gaming Entrepreneurship.

So, congratulations to Ian on his degree! Even if he’s giving this author an inferiority complex.

And that’s before we’ve even mentioned his sister.

“Mom said I could be anything I wanted, so I graduated from college at 14.”

In His Sister’s Footsteps

That’s right, we did say that the Taylor Schlitz family had genius kids, in plural. And Ian sure had some tough expectations set for him by his sister, Haley.

Haley Taylor Schlitz seems like any other teenager on the surface. Like her brother, she likes video games, social media, reading… You know, normal teen stuff.

At the same time, at 16, Haley has been accepted to no less than nine law schools. Last year, she earned her associate degree in Arts and a bachelor’s degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies.

And while she was in high demand from a number of school, she picked the Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law for her Juris Doctor studies. She’s currently a sophomore. Again, she’s 16.

Haley says that the professors and students she studied with respected her and treated her as an equal, despite the massive age gap between some of them.

“I was so excited to be an in an educational environment where I could create an academic program designed for my academic needs,” Haley said in 2019, when she finished her bachelor’s.

“It was great to be able to go to class and just be a student. No crazy high school years where everything but education matters. I loved it.”

Haley’s brother got her beat in one sense, though. Haley was “already” 13 when she started her associate’s degree, as opposed to Ian’s 12.

Wow, imagine that. She had to wait until 13 before she went to college…

You know what, I can’t even bring myself to make jokes about these kids. They got two college degrees before even being allowed to drive. Ian and Haley, we applaud you.

How do we get a dose of this genius? Is it something in water or what gives?

Don’t Try to Box Us, Dad

Ian and Haley’s parents, William Schlitz and Myeisha Taylor, sure don’t know why their kids are so smar. But it’s not like the parents are without their achievements. Mrs. Taylor, for example, is actually Dr. Taylor, a practicing physician.

According to the TCC, both Haley and Ian tested as highly gifted at a very young age. As a result, their parents decided that it’d be best to give them customized education and moved them from the public school system to homeschooling.

“Once we got them into a homeschool environment, where we could build and tool their education just for them, they both made rapid advancement,” their father says.

Looking at the results, it seems Mr. Schlitz and Dr. Taylor made the right choice. Not only did Haley and Ian excel academically, they also learned from each other.

“I learned a lot from watching Haley with her own education. When I started to take classes at TCC, Haley would help me organize my schedule at the start of the semester. She showed me how to manage my time,” Ian says.

Their parents also had their own lessons to learn. The most important one was to get out of the way when their kids were busting through the education system at breakneck speed.

“I had to learn to stop trying to put them in the boxes we have created, based on age, in society. Once I learned that, I think I became a better, more supportive parent for their journeys,” Mr. Schlitz says.

And the Taylor Schlitz parents have one more journey to support. Their 12-year-old daughter Hana started taking classes at TCC this past summer.

Three kids, and all in college by the time they’re 13. What a family.

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Puppies Welcomed by Italian Farmer, and One That Stands Out

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  • You’ll never guess why this puppy was so easy to spot compared to the rest.

A farmer welcomed a litter of puppies earlier this month in Italy. And wouldn’t you know it, one of the puppies stands out against the rest, because it was a green puppy.

Yes, you read that right. A green pup.

Christian Mallocci was shocked when one of the puppies was born with green fur. Mallocci’s dog that gave birth, Spelacchia, gave birth to four puppies with white fur, the same color as Mama.

But that puppy with the green fur? Even Spelacchia being a mixed-breed doesn’t explain why the puppy was born green. 

The strange pigmentation could be from the biliverdin  that puppies sometimes come into contact with in the womb. Biliverdin is also the pigment that sometimes creates a green color in bruises. 

This puppy won’t always be green though. Eventually, with time, the pup will essentially grow out of its coloring as it gets older. 

Even so, Mallocci’s farm on the Island of Sardinia quickly decided on a name for the cute little peanut, I mean puppy. They’ve named their green puppy, Pistachio. 

Well it is rare for a puppy to be born with green fur, it does happen. In Massachusetts in 2017, a green puppy was born.

A little boy with his own rare condition adopted the puppy, with its own rare condition. Aww.

And of course 2020 brought a green puppy “into the world” when it was born in Asheville, North Carolina. The family named him, The Hulk.

Pistachio lucked out as the green pup, and will stay to live on the farm. Mallocci plans to raise Pistachio like his mother, and will soon train him to look after the sheep.

“Green is a symbol of luck and hope, so it may have been meant to be that the dog could make people smile amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mallocci said.

 

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The Ultimate Challenge: World’s First Microrobot to Operate Inside Living Butthole

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  • Clench you cheeks all you want, but this is the future of medicine.

Have you ever heard of a band called Butthole Surfers? They’re an offbeat alternative rock group, perhaps best known for their 1996 song Pepper, in addition to their… Shall we say, imaginative name.

But why are we bringing up inappropriately named 30-year-old rock bands, you might be wondering. The answer is – for science!

It seems a group of researchers from Purdue University have taken a page out of the Butthole Surfers’ playbook. They’ve developed a microrobot – or microbot – that can effortlessly surf right up your butthole.

Well, it’s really more of a tumbling motion, and they tested it on animals. But the point is, it’s the first successful robot of its kind in the world.

No larger than the width of a few human hairs, the microbot has proven itself in both artificial test environments and inside a mouse’s and a pig’s colon. This is the first time in known human history that such a device, that is a tumbling microbot, has performed successfully in a living organism.

We’re witnessing history here, folks. And it’s all taking place inside a colon.

Photo courtesy of Purdue University/Georges Adam.

A Tiny Acrobat

When we say that the robot moves by tumbling, what we mean is that it propels itself forward by performing a series of tiny somersaults. If it helps, you can picture a tiny gymnast doing their routine inside your butt.

Fine, we just wanted to get you to think about that. You can check out Purdue University’s video about the robot to see it in action.

Since the microbot is so ridiculously tiny, it can’t really carry any kind of battery with it. At least not one we can make with current technology. Instead, it is controlled and powered wirelessly from outside of the host body with a magnetic field.

“When we apply a rotating external magnetic field to these robots, they rotate just like a car tire would to go over rough terrain,” said Purdue associate professor of mechanical engineering David Cappelleri, who worked on the project.

“The magnetic field also safely penetrates different types of mediums, which is important for using these robots in the human body.”

Difficult Terrain

While the scientist performed their in vivo – or within a living body – testing in the butt, that’s not the only place they intend the machine to go. In their own words, they chose the colon as a test track due to “ease of access”.

They’re talking about the butthole, in case that wasn’t clear.

But that wasn’t the only reason the researchers reached for the colon. The second was that this particular environment is messy. Yes, they considered that a good thing.

“Moving a robot around the colon is like using the people-walker at an airport to get to a terminal faster. Not only is the floor moving, but also the people around you,” said Luis Solorio, assistant professor at Purdue Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering.

“In the colon, you have all these fluids and materials that are following along the path, but the robot is moving in the opposite direction. It’s just not an easy voyage.”

Really, I don’t even need to make jokes here. This story just writes itself.

This marvel of miniature engineering performed incredibly well even in the challenging conditions of the butt. What a little trooper.

Not Just for Fun

The research team is not doing this all just get to shove tiny robots up animal bottoms, though. It’s intended uses are purely medical, they assure you.

The final, planned end use of the microbot is delivering drugs directly to impacted areas inside a living body. While the testing is done on animals, they will eventually move on to human subjects.

That’s also the reason they chose pigs for the trials. Pig guts are apparently very similar to a human’s, according to the scientists.

“Moving up to large animals or humans may require dozens of robots, but that also means you can target multiple sites with multiple drug payloads,” explained Craig Georgen, Purdue Leslie A. Geddes associate professor of biomedical engineering.

The research team coated the microbot with a fluorescent fake drug mixture to observe whether it could deliver it successfully. After it reached its intended destination, the drug slowly released from the robot over the following hour.

“We were able to get a nice, controlled release of the drug payload. This means that we could potentially steer the microrobot to a location in the body, leave it there, and then allow the drug to slowly come out,” Solorio speculated.

“And because the microrobot has a polymer coating, the drug wouldn’t fall off before reaching a target location.”

The Future is Today

Speaking of the robot’s coating, the scientists found that there was no reason to worry about it staying in the host body after its filled its purpose. They are manufactured from non-toxic, biocompatible polymers and metals.

That’s good. Nobody would want a potentially toxic, drug-loaded machine flipping around in their butt.

The microbots are also cheap to produce. According to Cappelleri, a regular roll-to-roll manufacturing machine can produce hundreds of the tiny things at once.

The researchers also think that the device could be used not only as a drug transporter, but also as a diagnostic tool.

“From a diagnostic perspective, these microrobots might prevent the need for minimally invasive colonoscopies by helping to collect tissue. Or they could deliver payloads without having to do the prep work that’s needed for traditional colonoscopies,” Goergen mused.

While we strongly believe in the principle of “whatever floats your boat”, we at least welcome any technology that reduces the need for doctors to probe our butts.

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102-Year-Old WWII Vet Goes Skydiving

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  • Vivian “Millie” Bailey was inspired by President George W.’s jump at 90.
  • She doesn’t have current plans for. a second jump.

What’s on your bucket list? It’s an ironic time to be thinking about the things you want to do before you die. Amid a pandemic, death has never been closer for many of us. Still, we’re not allowed to go anywhere or do anything. Right now, my bucket list involves going into a coffee shop and sitting down with an overpriced latte rather than sitting masked in a drive-thru getting an overpriced latte. 

Unstoppable at Over a Century Old

Photo by Sean Mungur on Unsplash

But some people, those with indomitable spirits, aren’t brought down by a little pandemic depression, like 102-year-old Maryland resident Vivian “Mille” Bailey. She served in the Women’s Corp in World War II as a first lieutenant in a segregated army. She dreamed of skydiving after seeing President George W. do it at 90. 

 

“I was inspired by the fact that a person at that age could do the jump,” she told a local news station

 

Photo by Kamil Pietrzak on Unsplash

But Bailey could only dream; the $300 cost for a tandem jump was out of her budget until she took part in American Heroes Channel’s Honor Flight Heroes program. The producers asked if, at over a century old, there were things in her life she hadn’t yet accomplished. Some people, like me, would take offense and respond, ‘Haven’t I done enough? Like, live to 102?’ 

 

Not Millie Bailey, though. She mentioned wanting to skydive, and the producers picked up the tab so they could close the show with the footage. Her tandem partner, Cornelius, guided the jump and offered to take a second time after they landed safely. 

Photo by Filip Havlik on Unsplash

 

 

“Just once is enough,” Bailey quipped. 

 

 

Millie Bailey is a remarkable woman for many reasons. She’s in good health and stays active even through COVID. She lives at an assisted living facility in Maryland, where she puts together care packages for overseas military. Her nephew, Martin Johnson, takes the care packages to the post office for her, “I estimate she has sent over 14 tons of care packages for soldiers overseas.”

 

Here’s hoping that Millie can accomplish everything on her bucket list, even during COVID. 

 

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