First commercial flight from U.S. to Cuba in 50 years takes off

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The first direct commercial flight between the U.S. and Cuba in more than 50 years has taken off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, marking another historic thaw in relations between the two former Cold War enemies. 

The 9:45am JetBlue flight 387 will land in Santa Clara, Cuba, about 175 miles east of Havana, at a site renowned for the huge memorial that hosts the remains of revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara. 

JetBlue is one of six carriers — the others being American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, Southwest and Silver Airways — that will run a maximum of 110 daily flights to nine Cuban cities, according to the U.S. department of transportation. 

“We do think it’s an important part of history,” Marty St. George, the executive vice president of JetBlue, told The New York Times. “From a challenge perspective, we know the drill. Cuba has some unique elements because of 50 years of history between the U.S. and Cuba, but we’re ready to go.”

After President Barack Obama decided to restore diplomatic relationships with Cuba in 2014, restrictions on travel to the communist-run island have eased. 

Though tourism in Cuba is still illegal for U.S. citizens, there are now 12 categories of “authorized travel”, including for educational, religious and humanitarian reasons.

Secretary of State John Kerry hailed the historic flight as “another step forward”: 

JetBlue celebrated the route with salsa dancing and ribbon cutting: 

And people tweeted pictures of the plane: 

Finally, the aircraft’s doors closed, ready for take off:

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Nine-year-old boy prints a mechanical hand for his teacher

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Calramon Mabalot is a pretty wild kid. He likes 3D printing and, along with his brother, he builds lots of cool projects – including a mechanical hand for a local teacher he met while building 3D projects. In an interview with 3DPrintingIndustry, Mabalot described how he designed and built a prosthetic hand complete with full articulated fingers.

Why did he want to build a 3D-printed arm? “I like learning it,” he said.

https://twitter.com/HabSkibbix/status/745090207041544193

The project is part of the E-Nabling the Future project and can be downloaded and printed by anyone online. Mabalot met a teacher, Nick, who needed a usable prosthetic so he took up the challenge of building and assembling the project along with fitting the arm for the teacher.

Mabalot has his own website and Youtube channel and he seems like the sweetest kid in the world. While we adults flit between Facebook and email while waiting for lunch to arrive in the break room, this kid is showing us all up with his verve, drive, and talent. Seriously: take a look at the video below and be amazed.

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MIT accepts student who never finished school

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MIT accepts student who never finished school

Image: International olympiad of informatics / massachusetts institute of technology

Not that schoolwork isn’t important, but it turns out there are other ways to get into elite colleges like MIT.

Take the story of Malvika Raj Joshi, a 17 year-old from Mumbai who recently received her acceptance letter from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Despite dropping out during Class VII school (the equivalent of seventh grade in the U.S.), Joshi was very active in international computer science competitions, which attracted MIT’s notice.

It started when Joshi and her family members made the decision to “unschool” her, something they initially found risky, reported the Indian Express. Only one Indian college, the Chennai Mathematical Institute, would take her. 

From there, she started competing in the International Olympiad of Informatics, where she’s placed for the last three years in computing, with two silver medals and one bronze.

Image: INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIAD OF INFORMATICS

Turns out, MIT noticed and offered her admission in its computer science program. So it’s possible to drop out of school and still end up in one of one of the most prestigious schools on the market. Just win some Olympiads.

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A new drug that could save the US billions just got approved

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Medical Sick Injection

The FDA just approved a version of Enbrel, the blockbuster arthritis drug made by Amgen that brought in $5 billion in sales in 2015.

The newly approved drug, made by Novartis’ Sandoz division, will go by the marketed name Erelzi. It’s a type of drug called a "biosimilar," which is like a generic version of a biologic medication, a medicine produced by living cells.

Biosimilars are a bit more complicated than your average competing medicine: Unlike generics for chemical-based drugs like antibiotics, which can be interchangeable with branded versions, the copycats of biologic medications have a few more caveats.

This newest biosimilar is now approved to treat, according to the FDA, the same conditions that Enbrel is approved to treat:

  • moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis
  • moderate to severe polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • active psoriatic arthritis
  • active ankylosing spondylitis
  • chronic moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adults

This is now the third biosimilar that the FDA has approved.

Earlier in 2016, the FDA approved a version of Remicade, or infliximab, a drug used to treat autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Another one called Zarxio (also made by Sandoz) was approved in 2015. In July, the FDA held panels that recommended that the agency approve this biosimilar, as well as a biosimilar for another autoimmune drug called Humira.

There’s not a clear timeline on when Sandoz will be able to start putting Erelzi on the market, since there are some legal disputes surrounding the drug. In response to what price it would come in at, a Sandoz spokeswoman said: "It is too early to speculate about the price of Erelzi. That being said, we believe patients in the US can benefit greatly from a competitively priced etanercept manufactured in accordance with strict GMPs and high quality standards."

And a spokeswoman for Amgen said in a statement, "We have confidence in our patents related to Enbrel and are currently in litigation with Sandoz to enforce our patent rights. Immunex/Amgen and Sandoz have entered into an agreement with respect to a preliminary injunction regarding Sandoz’s etanercept as set out in the Court’s order of August 11, 2016."

Having more biosimilars in the US would be a big deal: It might be the best way to drive down the cost of (generally very pricey) biologic medications that have been around for a while. The savings of putting people on less costly biosimilars — even just new patients who have never taken the original — are estimated to be billions of dollars.

What makes biosimilars different from generics

Developing a biosimilar is not as easy as creating a generic knockoff; because you’re working with complex living things, making a copy isn’t so simple.

"When you have a small molecule like Lipitor, you know where every single atom is," Dennis Lanfear, CEO of biosimilar company Coherus Biosciences, told Business Insider in April. Generic versions of drugs like that can be chemically identical.

That’s not the case with something like a monoclonal antibody — a type of lab-produced protein that can go after certain cells like your immune system would — which can vary widely. This means that you have to run the biosimilar through a bunch of studies to prove that it does the same thing that the original drug does.

Coherus is developing biosimilar versions of drugs for autoimmune diseases and cancer treatment, including biosimilar versions of Humira and Enbrel. It plans to file a biologic-license application to the FDA for its version of pegfilgrastim, a bone marrow stimulant, in 2016.

"Biosimilars are here," Lanfear said. "They are now here today. The simple ones have been approved, like Zarxio, and the complex ones have also been approved."

SEE ALSO: Why a lifesaving drug that’s been around since 1923 is still unaffordable

DON’T MISS: The maker of EpiPen isn’t out of the woods yet

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Scientists are testing a new drug that could add years to your dog’s life

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The Eternal Dilemma of Relationships: Actions VS Words

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Couple having a discussion in the kitchen

What would you rather have: a partner who nags you within an inch of your grave but always takes care of you, or a partner who is sweet as honey but hangs about waiting for you to handle everything?

Whispers only sweet nothings plus does everything, you say? Well, I applaud your optimism while chuckling with mild amusement at your childlike dreams. It’s not going to happen — you will end up with one kind or the other (or someone who both shouts and does nothing, if you are one of those particularly unlucky ones). People who will do the world for you while also remaining easy on the ears do not exist. If they do, they become Mother Teresa and avoid the dating scene altogether.

The Greater the Actions, the Louder the Words

Whoever said actions speak louder than words missed an essential point — it is not an either/or scenario at all. Actions in relationships mostly come with the “and” of words. The ones who are quick to do things for you are also quick to talk your ears off. It is so naturally human that it cannot be avoided.

The more a person cares about you and does for you, the more they expect from you and of you. Actions come with expectations, and these expectations get expressed in words (or shouts if they go repeatedly unmet!). So, if your partner is in charge of cooking dinner and you show up late two nights in a row, rest assured there will be hell to pay the third night — “I’m making the effort to cook and you cannot make the effort to just show up?”. If they have taken over your laundry, you will surely hear about your dirty clothes strewn all over instead of being in the hamper. If they threw you a huge birthday bash and you don’t have any plans for their birthday, well, you are playing with fire my friend!

While we keep complaining about how much our partners nag us, the fact is that it’s pretty much collateral damage – if you want the care, you have to accept the nagging.

Conversely, the ones who are always quietly pleasant (if they even exist) will just not be that emotionally invested in you — they will not do so much. It’s quite simple, really: lesser the actions, lesser the words. If they don’t do as much in the first place, they will not expect as much from you. If they don’t expect as much, they don’t say so much. That’s probably the reason why relationships that afford both partners a lot of space also work – if no one is waiting for you at home, you don’t get yelled at for coming home late.

So, is it “Goodbye Meaningful Relationships” or “Goodbye Ears?”

Well, before you place the order for that hearing aid, let me hastily mention that one can, of course, have balance in a relationship. But before that gets figured out, you need to accept the fact that your partner is not Mother Teresa. While we enjoy being taken care of, we need to understand that the expectations, nagging, and parent-like scoldings are a natural outcome of that care. Just the same if your partner is the relaxed one who doesn’t interfere in every little aspect of your life — that will work only as long as you are OK to not have constant care and support.

This is not to say that one or the other is right; it is more about what fits better for two people. You can’t always see the love in the nagging. Sometimes you literally just want to pull your arm out and stuff it in your ear. Just the same, while it is very lofty to talk about space and independence in relationships, sometimes you actually need a pseudo parent — the complete package who pampers you like a child and scolds you as if you really are an erring 5 year old.

The idea is to balance it out while being aware of the actions-words equation. Don’t expect your partner to do everything for you and don’t do everything for them. Sometimes, leave them alone and let them do whatever the hell they want. Yes, the shirt does not exactly match the pants — let him go anyway. Yes, she is binging on those unhealthy cookies today — turn away!

Use this time to let go, be the cool one, and enjoy the calm and quiet (while it lasts). Just the same, if you have been whining like a baby for the last 3 days because of a cold and your partner has that exasperated-yet-concerned look that reminds you of your mother, well, accept your inevitable fate: there is a big bagful of words and only words coming right at you!

So this is the “big” secret to a happy life: next time your ears are tired, do the laundry. In the case that you are tired of laundry, send a little note to your ears to brace themselves and report for duty!

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4 Things Worth Spending On For A Happier, Healthier Life

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travelling

While most of the people explore ways to save some money, there are things in our life that are worth spending a bit of your cash. There are things that do not cost much, but can really make you or people around you, happier and healthier.

Here is a list of  the Top-4 things you really shouldn’t cut money on, in everyday life.

1. New experiences that enrich your life

You deserve to treat yourself. All human beings are selfish by their nature, and there is nothing wrong in being a bit selfish. You should not sacrifice your whole life to other people or animals. And the first way to spend your money effectively is new experience. It is rather a service than material goods. Under new experiences, people usually think education or job. But that’s not what I mean. Right now, we’re talking about active leisure, sports, and tourism. These things may not be that cheap, but they enrich your life for ages ahead. Besides, if you know all the tricks, you can avoid wasting too much money on your trip to the neighboring country.

You can learn more about how to save money on your trip. The researchers at Cornell University observed that material items are not as expensive as our mental values. We would buy a recently released smart phone and get tired of it in a few months, when a more fashionable model appears. However, we would never forget that amazing vacation on the seaside, snowy trip to the mountains or the exciting safari with rare animal species. It should not be just about going abroad or travelling to the Miami Beach, this point involves attending art exhibits, music gigs, doing outdoor activities, or simply learning a new skill. You might have never tried playing mini-golf or parasailing. Well, it’s never too late. Perhaps, you will discover that you truly enjoy this new experience. These activities usually cost up to $20-25, but your experience will cost much more.

2. Home Accessories & Decoration

You may wonder, but your health condition and mood greatly depends on the place where you live or work. Your apartment’s energy has a great impact on your guests as well. After all, it’s an impression you leave. That is why it’s crucial not to ignore the role of overall tidiness, general repairs, and, of course, small accessories that make the atmosphere snug. Nothing in the world works better than fast flower delivery when you’re expecting someone to arrive.

Other than the wonderful smell and positive visual effect, these living creatures also add a punch of color and good mood to the rest of your day. Consult local florists and select your type of flowers: chrysanthemums, sunflowers, roses, or Peruvian lilies.

3. Beauty and Grooming

This hack implies taking care of your hair, body, and clothing. Appearance always matters. You may be a great professional, but you’ll create a negative impression if you look unkempt. I should warn you that this section involves the greatest spending. You may decide to purchase cheap cosmetics or hair-care goods, but you risk making the situation even worse. Nowadays, it is recommended to pay more for bio-cosmetics instead of destroying your hair or nail structure with $1-3 shampoo or nail polish.

Remember: you’ll never get high quality for low price. That’s all myths people tell to sell. Call your friend, bring sushi with a bottle of good wine, and enjoy at-home hair dye. Home procedures may save you some money only in case you know people who are experts in this area. Don’t allow just anyone to color your hair or do some make-up. It is better to get your hair professionally dyed. After all, it will be very difficult to repair the damage done by cheap products.

4. Healthcare and Medicine

Perhaps, this is the most critical of all the points given here. People often ignore doctors, until the day something goes wrong. It is advisable to pay for extra examinations, even when you believe you’re absolutely healthy. We may not feel many of the health disorders, in their initial stages of development. It is crucial to take medical tests periodically. It is easier and much cheaper to get rid of a disease at an early stage than to fight with a serious one later. In addition, don’t hesitate to spend your cash on vitamins and minerals to keep fit.

Being close-fisted in these circumstances may ruin your life. Fitness gyms, travels, house decorum, hospitals, and beauty salons are things that are really worth your attention. You will never feel pity for investing a particular sum of money in your health or your child’s future. So, stop buying just every new tablet or shoes on the market – it’s time to think about more responsible aspects of our life, that will make you happier in the long run.

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This Transformers Short Film Is Every Kid’s Imagination Come True

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In his latest short film called The Real Deal, Patrick Bovin uses some flawless CG to bring a five-year-old’s imagination and Transformers toys to life. It’s as close as you can get to looking inside a five-year-old’s brain while they play, and we would happily sit through two whole hours of this, instead of this short being over in less than a minute.

[YouTube]

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Cyclist Goes Full Superman, Beats Everyone

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Pro tip to cyclists: sailing through the air horizontally while gripping your handlebars for dear life is the most efficient way downhill.

While this is 100 percent an ad for a fixie bike company, it appears to be both real, dangerous, and hugely effective. Just look at how this daredevil pulls ahead of everyone else! You can all stop spending too much money on teardrop-shaped frames now, because turning into Superman is clearly the aerodynamic edge the sport has been searching for.

Author’s note: don’t miss the Vespa woman’s face at 42 seconds. Chances are it’s the exact face you made earlier in the video.

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