Things That Matter

Apple Just Made It Easier To Say What You Really Mean Thanks To Hundreds Of New Emojis

Getting excited for a new phone update is something that’s usually reserved for super nerds. After all, there’s only so keen you can be for security patches and bug fixes! But, there’s a pretty good reason for all of us to get excited for the latest iPhone update: new emojis. That’s right – all of you cool cats out there sporting one of the more modern iPhone models can get your hands on iOS 13.2, and a myriad of more inclusive and diverse emojis. And since there’s gonna be so many emojis for you to choose from, we’ve put together a list of our favorite additions for you to check out.

There’s now a pretty fab range of skin tones.

Credit: bloggonsite / Instagram

Gone are the days where we’re stuck with a strangely-golden looking face to showcase our emotions. We’ve got black police offices, brown witches, and even zen, white meditating yogis … ah now, we probably see that last one a little too often for comfort in real life. The point is that being able to choose different skin tones for our emojis is one of those subtle ways we’re seeing diversity and inclusivity seep into the cultural zeitgeists of our time. A little representation is never a bad thing, no?

We can also select neutrally-gendered emoji designs, too.

And we’re not just talking about cute little signs like hearts and stars. No, there’s a new range of people depicted in all of their neutral glory, for those of you out there who don’t identify with the gender binary. Or maybe you just don’t think the tiny images on our phones were meant to be assigned a gender. Whatever floats your boat. The point is, the new iOS emojis not only embrace diversity in terms of race, but also in terms of gender identity, too. The new gender-neutral emojis tend to favor gray tops to circumvent whatever hangups our culture has about color and gender, and also feature a softened jawline. The typical haircut, a kind of longer short ‘do, completes the look. We approve.

The yawning face is the emoji you didn’t know you needed.

Gone are the days when we have to use sleeping emojis to really highlight the extent of our exhaustion. Brain-dead from having to study for 48 hours straight? There’s now a yawning face for that. Dragging your feet because you haven’t gotten your coffee fix for the day? The yawning face is exactly the expression you need. Spent the night awake bonking your new beau? Again, yawning face. You’re only limited by your imagination, amigas.

The couple emojis are more inclusive, now, too.

Credit: wafmag / Instagram

Gone are the days when you could only choose between basically white straight and gay couples. The new update brings with it homosexual and heterosexual couples, but ensures that you can also choose from couples who have different skin tones. Because, hey! Not everyone is white. It’s about time we saw more emojis that acknowledged that, please and thank you. The only thing we’re unsure about with these new couple emojis are the moustaches. Have moustaches ever made a proper comeback? We’re not sure. Stop trying to make fetch happen, Apple.

Physical disabilities also make a cameo in this update.

Because sometimes we humans need aids to make our way through the world – so we may as well have emojis reflecting that. There’s now people with probing canes, mechanical arms and legs, ears with hearing aids, deaf people signing, people in wheelchairs, and even guide dog emojis! And while some of you out there may question the reasoning behind emojis geared towards blind people, the cool thing is that the accessibility functions on iPhones are designed to describe emojis. After all, at the end of the day, inclusivity is about accessibility, too. 

The time has finally arrived: we have an emoji suited for our periods.

Clearly, this update is about making sure people feel seen. And there’s no doubt that this something us menstruating humans have needed for a long time. We now have a drop of blood at our fingertips to declare that we’re just having a bloody awful time and need chocolate, Netflix, painkillers and hugs, in varying doses. Woe betide anyone who tries to use the drop of blood emoji for anything other than its God-given use of being the bat-signal for periods.

So on a scale of one to ten, just how excited are you for the new range of emojis? Those of you who can’t wait to reinvent your textual emotional expressions are in luck – the update is available now for iPhone-havers.

A Latino Man Crashed Into A Freezing River In Iowa And Could Reach His Phone. That’s When He Called On Siri To Help

Things That Matter

A Latino Man Crashed Into A Freezing River In Iowa And Could Reach His Phone. That’s When He Called On Siri To Help

KIMT / YouTube

“Siri, call 911!” an Iowa teenager shouted as his Jeep started to sink in a freezing river. Gael Salcedo, 18, hit a patch of black ice while on his way to his college classes at North Iowa Area Community College. Given the option to collide with other drivers or to plummet into the freezing Winnebago river, Salcedo swerved toward the river. While Salcedo doesn’t remember what happened after that split-second decision, he does remember getting very, very clear once he was in the river. “I turned to the right and from there, everything just went blurry,” Salcedo told KIMT3 News. “I didn’t know where I was going and then I just didn’t know what to do,” he confessed to the outlet. We can’t even imagine what it would be like to go from a normal commute to being trapped in a sinking car in a freezing river. “I was just thinking in my head. I think I’m going to die,” Salcedo told the outlet. Then, adrenaline and action took over. Salcedo rolled down his windows, for fear that his Jeep would sink, and started searching for his phone to call 911. He couldn’t find it.

When Salcedo couldn’t find his phone, he resorted to the second-best option. “Hey Siri, call 911,” Salcedo asked. Siri aims to please and complied immediately. Shortly after he was on the line with local authorities, he found his phone.

Firefighters guided Salcedo on how to safely walk through the freezing river current to the river banks.

CREDIT: @LUIS_VAZQUEZ_C / TWITTER

Salcedo told KIMT3 News, “I lost my phone and since I couldn’t find it, I was like ‘Hey Siri, call 911.’  And once Siri called, that’s when I found my phone finally.” So while Siri may have allowed the Mason City firefighters to respond more quickly, the firefighters and Salcedo did all the heavy lifting from thereon. Mason City Fire Department Lieutenant Craig Warner waded toward the nearly submerged Jeep and assessed the situation. The current was so strong that Salcedo couldn’t open the driver’s side door, so they waded to the passenger side, and were able to free the door. “[I] basically explained to him that there’s no other way.  You’re going to have to walk out.  I’ll be right there with you holding on every step of the way,” Lt. Warner told Salcedo, according to KIMT3.

“My hands were freezing.  I couldn’t feel my legs anymore, so I was struggling a lot and the water was just so strong, so I kept tripping,” Salcedo told the outlet, crediting Lt. Warner for helping him up “a bunch of times.” This was no walk in the park. Freezing water can cause muscles to become stiff and weak at the minimum and cause hypothermia at worst. “I used all my strength to get out of the water,” he said.

Salcedo was brought to the hospital and treated for shock.

CREDIT: GAEL SALCEDO / FACEBOOK

Salcedo had been sitting in freezing water for enough time to warrant a hospital visit. Salcedo’s coordination and muscle stiffness was so bad, he had trouble walking even after he hit solid ground. With a first responder on each side, they were able to safely help Salcedo to the ambulance and help him get in. Salcedo was treated at MercyOne North Iowa hospital for shock. He was released just three hours later.

Salcedo originally hails from Weslaco, Texas, a place without any snow or ice. Today, he’s back to Twitter to shame President Trump for bullying 16-year-old Greta Thunberg. A few days before, he retweeted news that Brazil’s President Bolsonaro called Greta Thunberg a “brat” after she condemned rising violence against indigenous people living in the Amazon. You go, Gael Salcedo.

Share this story to anyone you love who loves to hate on technology.

CREDIT: @GAELSALCEDO2 / TWITTER

Back in 2011, Cult of Mac reported the first suggestion that Siri may save your life one day. At the time Siri was in her infancy and the concept still seemed fantastical to consumers. “Sure, Siri can act silly and it can find the perfect retailer, but it has some very practical and important uses as well,” the outlet pondered. Nearly a decade later, Gael Salcedo seems to be the first reported person to have relied on Siri to make an emergency call and was saved because of it.

“Thanks to technology he will have a happy Christmas,” one person tweeted in Spanish. Meanwhile, some trolls continue to discredit the usefulness of the technology. One troll commented, “probably staged – making some incentives for advertising.” Others are sharing the story with a simple statement: “Siri saves lives.”

Watch the full news report below!

READ: A California Woman Is Considering Charges Against An Apple Employee After He Sent Photo From Her Phone To Himself

50 Families In Mexico Living On $3 A Day Will Live In The World’s First 3D Printed Neighborhood

Things That Matter

50 Families In Mexico Living On $3 A Day Will Live In The World’s First 3D Printed Neighborhood

New Story Charity / Facebook

Silicon Valley has become the global epicenter for the development of new technologies, but for every great development when it comes to benefiting humanity, there are hundreds that just seem, no offense, just a bit silly and unnecessary. 3D printing has become the latest real revolution in the tech industry, as it allows objects that are originally designed digitally to become a real physical object.

Of course, people have mainly used 3D printing to make banal objects like toys and chocolate, but this technology has also been used for amazing purposes such as rebuilding old objects studied by archaeologists or printing body parts for disabled patients. So a new initiative in Mexico that caters for the most vulnerable. 

But what is 3D printing exactly? And how on Earth can you print a house?

The technology is not new. In fact, most of the basic knowledge around it was achieved in the 1980s, but it sort of faded away. The increased capacity of processors has triggered a 3D printing revolution. 3D printing is basically laying layer upon layer of any given material, which is generally some sort of plastic but has included substances such as chocolate (yes, really!) and in the case of 3D printed houses, cement.

The home-building process with giant printers becomes so much quicker and ultimately cheaper, as manual labor is kept to a minimum and materials are very basic. Another advantage is that errors are kept to a minimum so homes are safe particularly in regions that are prone to natural disasters such as flooding or earthquakes. Materials can be carefully chosen and issues such as leaks become minimal due to the tightness of the construction. 

A community in Mexico will get these 3D printed houses and that is just awesome.

Millions of Mexicans live in extreme poverty, and some of them survive in makeshift homes made out of wood, plastic, tin and basically scraps. This puts them in an even more vulnerable position as floods, fires or any other disaster can basically leave them with nothing at any point. Developers in the southern Mexican state of Tabasco have built the first two of the 50 printed houses they are aiming to complete by the end of 2020.

Brett Hagler, CEO and co-founder of New Story, the nonprofit building the community, told CNN: “These families are the most vulnerable, and in the lowest income … and they’re living on about an average of $3 a day.”

And he continued: “They’re living in literally a pieced-together shack that during the rainy season, it will rain and it will flood their shack. Some of the women even said that the water will go up to their knees when it rains, sometimes for month.”

Rains not only bring financial ruin, but also lead to epidemics of life-threatening conditions such as cholera or dengue, which is spread by the mosquitoes that thrive in stagnated water. We also love how the design keeps some traditional elements of houses in the area. Well done, everyone.

This might be the future of affordable housing, and it has been made possible by cooperation between great minds and hearts on both sides of the border.

Credit: CNN / YouTube

When great minds and generous hearts get together good things happen. These houses are the result of binational cooperation between US companies and Mexican nonprofits (yes, people from these two countries can and have done great things together).

As CNN reports: “New Story is a nonprofit that helps families in need of shelter. It has built more than 2,700 homes in South America and Mexico since it was founded in 2014. This is the first homebuilding project it’s done with 3D printing. The nonprofit paired up with ICON, a construction technology company that developed the 3D-printing robotics being used on the project. ÉCHALE, a nonprofit in Mexico, is helping find local families to live in the homes.”

See? Great things really do happen when political differences are set aside and we find our common humanity. The lives of families in this new 3D printed neighborhood will really improve and instead of merely surviving they will get on living.