Business

Girl growing up in wheelchair designs wheelchairs that fit people’s personalities

Instagram Izzy Wheels

Dublin, Ireland

‘If you can’t stand up, stand out’: the motto of the inspiring sisters Izzy and Ailbhe, who turn wheelchairs in works of art.

Izzy Keane was born with Spina Bifida and is paralyzed from her waist down. Her wheelchair has always been one of her most important possessions, as it lets her move wherever she wants to go. Although it’s always with her, she never felt it expressed her personality. 

Izzy found it frustrating that there weren’t any possibilities to personalize her wheelchair, Ailbhe Keane told Good Morning America. “Her mechanical chair was the first thing that people noticed about her, but it wasn’t a reflection of her bright and bubbly personality. She has a very positive relationship with her wheelchair and sees her disability as a major part of her identity.”

That’s why Ailbhe, her older sister, helped create different colourful wheel covers for Izzy’s chair as her final year college project in 2016 at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Ireland.

Izzy and Ailbhe have always had a special bond. As little kids, they loved to dress up together and decorate Izzy’s chair for special occasions.

Now, little over four years after starting the brand, they’ve worked with some of the world’s most famous companies and sold decorations all over the world. In 2019, the sisters collaborated with Barbie and in 2020, they teamed up with Hello Kitty to create new collections.

They’ve been featured in many big newspapers, as well as the Forbes 30 under 30: Retail & E-commerce  in 2018.

“Our mission with Izzy Wheels is to challenge negative associations with wheelchairs and let users celebrate their individuality by personalizing their source of independence. We want to show the world that wheelchairs can be so much more than a medical device, they can be a piece of artistic self-expression” – Ailbhe.

Making designs and actually putting it on the market gives Izzy a big confidence boost. It also helps as a great, positive conversation starter.

Customer leaves $3,000 tip after buying a beer as restaurant has to close due to COVID restrictions.

Facebook Branden Ring

Cleveland, Ohio, United States

A man in Cleveland, Ohio, left a three thousand dollar tip for a single beer at restaurant Nighttown that closed because of COVID-19.

It happened the last day the place was open. The customer walked in, ordered a beer and asked for the check. The owner of the restaurant, Brendan Ring, shared the receipt on Facebook, which came to $7.02. 

As the man walked away, he wished Ring well and told him to share the tip with his co-workers. “I looked down at the tip and realized he left a whopping $3,000 tip on a single beer purchase,” Ring said. “I ran after him and he said: ‘no mistake, we will see you when you reopen!’”

Former Amazon Employee Develops App to Translate Cat Meows into Words

Facebook Meowtalk

United States

A former Amazon engineer created an app to answer the question every cat owner has: What is my cat trying to tell me?

Javier Sanchez, the creator of the app MeowTalk, worked on Amazon’s Alexa and is now project manager at tech company Akvelon. 

Users can record sounds their cats make. According to the developers, the app can then identify what the cats mean, e.g. if they’re hungry or angry. With help of artificial intelligence, the app learns to identify new sounds and compare them to old sounds and translations, so the app will improve over time.

“It’s not a language. They don’t share words or communicate with each other. Cats never meow at each other out in nature,” Sanchez told the local NBC affiliate about meows.

Adult cats do meow to their owners, presumably because they discovered that it gets their owners to do what they want like stroking, feeding or letting them out of the house.

In the app there are currently twelve translations available, which include messages as ‘Feed me!’, ‘Let me out’, ‘Hello’, ‘I’m in pain’, and ‘I’m in love’. In the future, more might be added as the database expands and more meanings are discovered.