Posts Tagged ‘ryan’

Be your own light show in app-controlled CuteCircuit clubwear

CuteCircuits latest fashion line reminds us that wearable technology doesnt have to sacrifice beauty.

CuteCircuit’s latest fashion line reminds us that wearable technology doesn’t have to sacrifice beauty.

CuteCircuit )

London-based designers Ryan Genz and Francesca Rosella create clothes worthy of sci-fi fashionistas. Their latest CuteCircuit collection, which debuted at this year’s New York Fashion Week, features miniskirts, jackets, dresses, and accessories with LED-lit designs controlled by an iPhone app.

“We’re trying to bring a new dimension, to have everything be controlled by iPhone or a smartphone of some kind, so there’s some way users wearing interactive garments have really cool ways to control what they’re wearing,” Genz explained behind the scenes of CuteCircuit’s fashion show.

During CuteCircuit’s New York Fashion Week show, models using smartphone apps controlled when lit messages, designs, and animations were displayed across miniskirts, shirts, dresses, jackets, and various accessories they wore.

“Many years ago people would put on sequins because they wanted their clothes to sparkle, and there’s times you don’t want your clothes to sparkle, but if you can make them interactive you can make them sparkle when you want them to,” Genz said in the backstage video.

CuteCircuit is well-known for its fashion-meets-tech creations, including Katy Perry’s MET Gala silk chiffon gown adorned with 3,000 colorful lights, and Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger’s Twitter Dress, which displays tweets in real time.

We managed to make the technology invisible, so invisible that not even the models realized they were wearing technology until they turned it on using their phone app, the CuteCircuit site revealed.

“We managed to make the technology invisible, so invisible that not even the models realized they were wearing technology until they turned it on using their phone app,” says the CuteCircuit site.

Theodoros Chliapas/CuteCircuit)

“At CuteCircuit we believe that wearable technology is not a gadget strappedto your wrist,” CuteCircuit’s Web site states. “A piece of wearable technology should be a beautiful garment that allows the human body to become an interface, a sort of second skin, that can connect us to people and places, even faraway and remote ones.”

It’s this desire to connect people that inspired CuteCircuit to design interactive clothes that send messages to wearers at a great distance with its HugShirt. This unusual garment is embedded with sensors that “feel the strength of the touch, the skin warmth and the heartbeat rate of the sender, and actuators that recreate the sensation of touch, warmth, and emotion of the hug to the shirt of the distant loved one,” CuteCircuit claims.

As a Bluetooth accessory for a Java-enabled mobile phone, all the data from the HugShirt is transmitted from the sensors to the phone. “Sending hugs is as easy as sending an SMS and you will be able to send hugs while you are on the move, in the same way and to the same places you are able to make phone calls,” the CuteCircuit site promises.

The integration of telecommunication technology and social media enhances the wearer's experience of their garments and how they relate to other people, CuteCircuit says on its Web site.

“The integration of telecommunication technology and social media enhances the wearer’s experience of their garments and how they relate to other people,” CuteCircuit says on its Web site.

Theodoros Chliapas/CuteCircuit)

While the concepts of CuteCircuit’s clothes may sound gimmicky, wearabilty and a high-fashion look are still a priority of the line’s designers.

“Integrating fashion and technology is not an easy thing to do and you’ll still find people that think we send a garment out with a gigantic
car battery and thick electric wires inside,” CuteCircuit explains on its Web site. “This is not the case fortunately. The fabrics we develop are as thin as other fabrics and as comfortable, the batteries are microscopic (like a 50-cent coin for example), the only difference between a CuteCircuit garment and other garments is that CuteCircuit’s garments bring magic and fun into your wardrobe.”

(Via Fast Company)

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In Austin, it’s South by South Westeros

One of Daenerys Targeryan’s dragons, from ‘Game of Thrones.’ Daenerys is known as Mother of Dragons.

Daniel Terdiman/CNET)

AUSTIN, Texas — Who would have known that coming to the Texas capital this week would offer up the chance to get up and close with the fruits of Westeros?

Thanks to HBO, which is preparing to debut Season 4 of “Game of Thrones,” attendees at
South by Southwest (SXSW) are being treated to an exhibition of dozens of original artifacts from the hit show based on the books by George R.R. Martin. The exhibit is being held at the Austin Music Hall through March 11.

South by South Westeros comes to Austin (photos)

Ranging from Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons (she’s the “Mother of Dragons,” after all) to the pin of the Hand of the King to clothing worn by most of the show’s major characters, the show is a big-time treat for “Game of Thrones” fans.

Alas, none of the stars were on hand, but for those desperate for their fix from Westeros, Season 4 begins April 6.

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New ‘Godzilla’ already gets my roar of approval

February 26th, 2014 No comments



Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET)

You’ve probably heard there’s a new “Godzilla” coming, and the pointy fella’s not looking to give humanity a hug. The last time this happened on a large scale, with the 1998 “Godzilla” remake, I yawned, dragged my butt over to the theater to watch Matthew Broderick go to battle, and left feeling thoroughly unimpressed.

I have memories of weekend mornings as a child, hiding behind a pillow as my brother and I watched old black-and-white monster movies on television. “The Deadly Mantis” was particularly terrifying, but I always got a thrill when spiny-backed Godzilla showed up, rising out of the waves, hauling a desperate nuclear legacy behind him. It didn’t matter if he was stomping on cities or going at it with Mothra. Godzilla was a star of my childhood movie memories.

Godzilla 2014 poster

The poster for the 2014 “Godzilla.” (Click to enlarge.)

Warner Bros.)

It’s hard for slick modern films with overloaded GGI graphics to rekindle the visceral sensations of watching these movies as a kid. But the trailer for the new “Godzilla” is as close as I’ve come since I reached adulthood.

There are some interesting choices going on in the trailer, not the least of which is Bryan Cranston’s hirsute head. As a resident of Albuquerque and a “Breaking Bad” fan, I have an immediate fondness for any production Cranston is in. I have a sort of blind faith that he’ll pick a solid script and that “Godzilla” will be good based solely on his decision to show up for filming.

Cranston is all over the trailer. He’s growling, “You’re not fooling anybody when you say what happened was a natural disaster. You’re lying!” Shivers. There’s something rising up out the water. The torch arm has been ripped from the Statue of Liberty. There’s a big fat reference to the original 1954 film. There’s a nuclear explosion, so we know it’s not going to leave that crucial part of the legend out of the mix. These are all promising signs.

It doesn’t look like there will be any scrimping on the special effects. We see CGI all over the place in the ruined cityscapes and airplane crashes, but I’m fostering a belief that it will all be in the service of a strong core story with a human connection I’ll actually care about. Because, Bryan Cranston.

The trailer could have played coy with us. It could have gone all “Cloverfield,” but instead we get a pretty good glimpse at Godzilla’s screaming maw. This is totally the right call, because everybody knows what Godzilla looks like. There’s no use in trying to hide it.

My “Godzilla” optimism could turn out to be misplaced, but my hopes for this movie are running strong. We could just look at this as another dark reboot in the ongoing trend of dark reboots, a la “Batman Begins.” But the thing is, it’s hard to get much darker than the original 1954 Japanese “Godzilla.” I’m not talking about the re-cut 1956 Americanized version with Raymond Burr, which was released as “Godzilla, King of the Monsters!”

Before the new film comes out on May 16, it’s worth going back to the beginning, which I plan to do. It’s worth revisiting the fear, the sense of uncontrolled power, and the aftermath of nuclear scars left on Japan, all expressed by a beast that rose out of the sea and broke through the fragile constructs of mankind. These thematic goals may be too lofty for a Hollywood blockbuster, but I hope the new “Godzilla” at least strives to touch that primal part of us that still wonders what lurks deep beneath the waves.

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Earth revolves around the sun? 1 in 4 Americans say nope

February 15th, 2014 No comments

A clue.

Aryan Navabi/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

Please let’s be honest about this: knowledge is a dangerous thing.

If everyone knew everything, this would only lead to anarchy.

There are some basics, however, that are always useful when chatting with strangers in bars or going on a blind date with a very attractive scientist.

It helps, for example, to know that the Earth isn’t the center of the universe. (There’s at least a 30 percent chance that the attractive scientist might be from outer space.)

Not everyone, it seems, is aware that the sun doesn’t in fact worship us by circling our planet in reverence.

Indeed, as Agence France-Presse reports, 25 percent of Americans firmly believe that the sun revolves around the Earth.

This bracing statistic comes from a survey of more than 2,200 people conducted by the National Science Foundation.

This survey is performed every couple of years, just to see if America has made any progress. It’s like elections for Congress, but with actual facts.

You might be heartened that an actual 74 percent of respondents know that the Earth circles the sun. So let me reach into your heart and bring it back to its resting beat.

Fifty-two percent of Americans had no idea that humans evolved from animal species. This may be the 52 percent of people who believe that mayonnaise comes from the mayo plant.

Personally, I am not as depressed as you might be with these results.

In this survey, 30 percent of people said science deserves more government funding. There is no data suggesting that most of these people were the ones who believe the sun revolves around the Earth.

Moreover, I live in California, so I am duty-bound to believe that the journey is more important than the destination.

Unlike the more ancient nations, America’s journey has only just begun. And, look, we’ve already been to the moon and made sure the whole of Earth watches our movies and eats our scientifically processed food while they’re doing it.

That Earth/sun thing has neither a bearing on our daily lives, nor on our need to make the whole world American.

In the end, what difference does it make if the sun circles the Earth or vice versa?

It’s always up there and we’re always down here. That’s all we really need to know.

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Giant robot invades Blue Willow plates for geeky dinnerware

February 3rd, 2014 No comments

Blue Willow with robots

The robot invasion of tea time has begun.

Don Moyer)

Few things are more classic and stately than a nice, sedate set of Blue Willow plates. They exude good taste and an appreciation for history. They’re the sort of plates upon which you would serve an assortment of tea sandwiches. But the Blue Willow world is now under attack. By a giant robot. Run for your lives!

Artist Don Moyer’s Calamityware dinner plate Kickstarter project is turning tradition on its head with a plate that changes out the usual Blue Willow scene of two lovers for a disaster scene involving a one-eyed robot.

The change is subtle enough to escape detection with a quick glance, but a more detailed study reveals the robot in the edge motif and a frightened human looking up at the bot.

A single 10.75-inch porcelain plate goes for a $25 pledge. You can feed a crowd with six plates for $130. The plates are food-, dishwasher-, and microwave-safe. Bryan China Company, a US manufacturer, will apply Moyer’s design and fire the plates at 1,500 degrees to create the final product.

The robot plate is part of a series Moyer has been designing. Other entries include drawings of UFOs and sea monsters interrupting the usually tranquil Blue Willow look. If this plate project is successful, Moyer promises to continue the series, with the sea monster being next up.

With enough interest, Moyer may be able to offer the most subtly geeky set of dinnerware ever created. You’ll want to throw formal dinners all the time, followed by some tabletop RPGs, of course.

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Dallas Buyers Club: An Insider View with Vogue UK

February 1st, 2014 No comments


SHAMELESS flirting landed Jared Leto the part of transgender HIV victim Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club, which hits cinemas on Friday February 7.

“I was in Berlin and there was a Skype meeting set up with the director. It wasn’t really an audition, but I knew it was a test,” said Leto. “He was feeling me out, so I used it as an opportunity. As soon as we connected, I put lipstick on and he was stunned. I undid the black jacket I had on, pulled a pink furry sweater over my shoulders and proceeded to flirt with him for the next 20 minutes. I woke up the next day with the part, so… a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do.”

Director Jean-Marc Valleé promptly called Leto’s future co-star Matthew McConaughey to tell him that Leto had “hit on him”, but whatever Leto did worked and he was cast as Rayon. Dressed in an understated black suit and with hair pulled back in a bun (a far cry from his flamboyant on-screen persona), he joined McConaughey at a press conference to promote the film about AIDS activist and campaigner Ron Woodroof, which has earned both of them Oscar nominations. McConaughey has already won a Golden Globe for his performance, which he’s added to a growing awards collection kept on the bar he has at the home shared with wife Camila Alves. For both actors, the film is a career-defining one. McConaughey continues to eschew the romcoms and action films he appeared in the earlier stages of his career to star as Ron Woodroof, a homophobic redneck cowboy who contracts AIDS. “I’m still in the same book, just a different chapter,” McConaughey says of his decision to take on heavier roles. “I’m not arrogant enough to boohoo anything I’ve ever done in my career. I wouldn’t be sitting here now if I hadn’t done the films I did. I made a conscious decision and said, ‘I don’t really feel like doing some of the roles I’ve done in the past.’ I gained some anonymity by sitting back in the shadows and I became this fresh idea to people like Steven Soderbergh and William Friedkin.”

Leto plays McConaughey’s unlikely business partner, as witty and funny as he is big-hearted. The two underwent dramatic physical transformations, both losing serious amounts of weight, and look largely unrecognisable. Leto still can’t watch it (“I saw a piece of the trailer, it looked kind of interesting.”)

“The first scene when Ron’s in the stall, I thought ‘Jesus you look like a reptile,’” said McConaughey, referring to his appearance in the animalistic, sexually explicit opening shot. “I sat down and managed to take myself out of it and just watched Ron. The weight loss didn’t affect my energy – I had plenty of it. In fact, I needed three hours less sleep a night.”

The film is based on the true story of Woodroof, who rejected the ethically dubious medication given to him by local doctors to seek alternative unapproved drugs in Mexico, which he started smuggling back across the border. Along with the help of Rayon, he set up his own drug business, the Dallas Buyers Club, offering AIDS victims a subscription service to his treatments. It took 20 years for the film to receive financial backing (with Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling both having been linked to the lead role) and having finally been signed off, the film took just 25 days to shoot – a testament to the willpower and energy of the cast.

“Everyone had that feeling that we were walking the plank,” said McConaughey. “We all felt, ‘Well everyone has said no for so long, we’re on our own here. By hook or by crook, let’s not come up short.’ It’s made me question authority more clearly with more vigour – I’ve written my first two letters to congressmen since doing this film, which I’m sure had something to do with inhabiting Ron. On a very personal level, it also got me thinking, ‘Why sometimes does it take the greatest opposition in the world, death, to make us come alive?’”

Oscars recognition beckons for both actors. If McConaughey doesn’t win Best Actor for Dallas Buyers Club, there’s a chance his other film, The Wolf Of Wall Street, might win big. In it, he plays a veteran banker who teaches Leonardo DiCaprio’s character the ropes of the stock trade, as well as the unforgettable tribal-style chant that crops up throughout the film – in fact, the chant is based on a meditation technique McConaughey used to prepare for each scene, which DiCaprio suggested would be good to include in the film. As the odds close on McConaughey winning Best Actor, it’s no surprise that Leto is thankful not to be competing for acting awards in the same category.

“He is so good in that movie, isn’t he great in that film? I mean five stars,” said Leto. “I’m just glad he’s nominated for Best Actor, rather than Best Supporting Actor because if he were… shit, I’d have lost it. It would have been a tough one. Thank God.”



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Geek-A-Week cards: Collect your favorite nerd celebs

January 22nd, 2014 No comments

Kelly Sue DeConnick (comic writer of Captain Marvel and Avengers Assemble) is one of 52 celebs featured in the Geek-A-Week trading card deck designed by Len Peralta.

Kelly Sue DeConnick (comic writer of “Captain Marvel” and “Avengers Assemble”) is one of 52 celebs featured in the Geek-A-Week trading card deck designed by Len Peralta.

Len Peralta)

If sports stars get their own trading cards, why not the best and the brightest of the geek elite?

For a personal art project originally started in March 2010, artist Len Peralta challenged himself to see if he could contact 52 different geeks for 52 weeks, then interview them and draw them as trading cards he named Geek-A-Week. He succeeded. Now he’s on a Kickstarter quest to raise funds for a whole new 52-card Geek-A-Week set sporting a new design.

“I call Geek-A-Week a multimedia art project because you can enter it from a lot of different avenues,” Peralta told Crave. “You can just admire the project from an artistic standpoint and just enjoy the art. There are podcasts that go along with most of the cards, so you can listen in and then find the art. Or you can find the project just because you are a fan of someone I’ve drawn and then be pulled into the project that way.”

Adventure Time creator Pendelton Ward is the subject of the new Geek-A-Week trading card sets designed by artist Len Peralta.

“Adventure Time” creator Pendelton Ward is the subject of the new Geek-A-Week trading card sets designed by artist Len Peralta.

Len Peralta)

The cards are a standard size of 2.5 by 3.5 inches, with full-color digital paintings of each subject. The design is styled similar to 1977 “Star Wars” trading cards and the Wacky Packages cards.

“There is a part of every geek that is ‘The Collector,’” Peralta told Crave. “The project appeals to a person at the base level. On one hand, you are collecting these unique trading cards. But when you find out what I have to go through to get one of these geeks, you have a deeper appreciation of ‘The Quest’ — which is another aspect that I think people can relate to. I like to think that I am doing a lot of the hard work for people who wish they could meet some of these incredible people.”

Some of these “incredible people” featured in past Geek-A-Week cards include author Neil Gaiman, director Guillermo del Toro, Marvel comic book legend Stan Lee, the cast of “MythBusters,” actress Felicia Day, comic singer Weird Al Yankovic, “Big Bang Theory” creator Bill Prady, director Kevin Smith, musician Thomas Dolby, actor Wil Wheaton, magicians Penn Teller, actor Seth Green, actress Jeri Ryan, humorist John Hodgman, author Cory Doctorow, astronomer Phil Plait, comedian Chris Hardwick, actress Brea Grant, “Munchkin” RPG designer Steve Jackson, director Edgar Wright, comic book artist Jill Thompson, actor Aaron Douglas, cosplayers Team Unicorn, DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee, director Amy Berg, musician Mark Mothersbaugh, and Apple co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak, to name a handful.

Game of Thrones author George RR Martin is one of the many well-known celebs featured in past Geek-A-Week trading card sets.

“Game of Thrones” author George RR Martin is one of the many well-known celebs featured in past Geek-A-Week trading cards.

Len Peralta)

“There was a couple of people who had me freaking out a lot, Stan Lee for sure,” Peralta told Crave. “I felt so incredibly lucky to be able to talk to him and draw him. That card almost made the entire first series of Geek-A-Week worth it. Guillermo del Toro was another one for sure. In series two, it had to be George RR Martin. But the one that actually had me scream at my desk was when I got an e-mail from one of my musical idols Thomas Dolby that simply said, ‘Were you trying to get ahold of me for your project?’ I honestly think I screamed at my computer screen. That was a huge turning point for me. People were actually seeking me out. I was floored.”

The new Geek-A-Week card set, which is still in progress, features geeks including Pendelton Ward (creator of “Adventure Time”); Mark Millar (creator of “Kick-Ass”); John Roderick (singer/songwriter of The Long Winters); Chloe Dykstra (cosplayer); Amanda Palmer (singer); Harry Knowles (Ain’t It Cool News founder); Patrick Rothfuss (sci-fi/fantasy author); The Doubleclicks (musicians); Kelly Sue Deconnick (comic writer); James Urbaniak (comedic actor, voice of Doctor Venture on “Venture Brothers”), and many more.

In addition to the 52-card deck, people can also purchase additional geeky perks on the Geek-A-Week Kickstarter, including original songs by The DoubleClicks, Molly Lewis, and Mike Phirman, or a custom barber shop quartet voicemail sung by YouTube stars The Gregory Brothers.

Collect ‘em all!

Portland-based sister duo, The Doubleclicks, who are known for their geek power ballads, make for the perfect portrait in the new Geek-A-Week card set.

Portland-based sister duo, The Doubleclicks, who are known for their geek power ballads, make for the perfect portrait in the upcoming Geek-A-Week card set.

Len Peralta)

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Maryann Talia Pau’s 1 Million Stars to End Violence

January 14th, 2014 No comments



“Stars 1 Million to End Violence” or “u n million stars against violence ” is an installation by artist Maryann Talia Pau, on display at the Big Design Market in Melbourne, Australia. The inspiration pulled from a famous quote by Martin Luther King Jr: “Returning hate for hate only multiplies hate, adding blackberries Already void darkness to a night of stars. Darkness can not put out darkness, only light and love can do that.”

See more at the SOURCE.


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Solar Cooler chills beverages, makes ice with sun power

January 9th, 2014 No comments

Solar Cooler

Chill out, man, with the Solar Cooler.

Amanda Kooser/CNET)

Back in 2004, Ryan McGann, an engineer by training, was sitting on the beach. He was getting hot and his beer was getting warm. He thought to himself that there must be some way to harness the power of the sun to get the beer part of the equation right. That’s when he built his first Solar Cooler prototype for his own use.

Years later, he’s on the verge of launching the Solar Cooler as a consumer product by way of crowdfunding. The project should be live soon, likely on Indiegogo, to capitalize on the interest he’s garnered from showing off a prototype at CES. The 50-pound cooler has solar panels on top, two big wheels to navigate beach sand, charging ports for your gadgets, and a battery that can last up to 10 hours.

The cooler is plenty big. You could stock a whole beach party worth of beverages inside. It gets so cold, you can even make ice. At this point, you may be getting all excited about the concept, but the first round will be pretty much geared for well-heeled early adopters. Each Solar Cooler is expected to retail for about $1,200.

The Solar Cooler isn’t just all beer and beaches. The company is also working on a version for medical transportation to safely move sensitive items like vaccines through remote areas, particularly in developing countries where refrigeration is a big issue. McGann hopes money raised from the consumer model of the Solar Cooler will fund development of the medical transportation version.

That sort of makes the Solar Cooler a beer chiller with a heart of gold. It’s a fun idea and its super-cold capabilities could make it appealing for people who really are far away from an outlet and don’t mind dropping the cash to harness that power.

SolarCooler inside

A look inside the SolarCooler.

Amanda Kooser/CNET)

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Med student’s practice exam takes very real turn

January 4th, 2014 No comments

Ryan Jones with Jim and Louise Malloy. During a training session, Jones discovered Jim Malloy had a real — and potentially deadly — health condition.

Jackson Smith/UVA Health System)

A University of Virginia medical student who thought he was just taking part in a training exercise is now being credited with potentially saving a man’s life.

Med student Ryan Jones was participating in the standardized patient program at the medical school. Actors are assigned a specific condition they pretend they have, and medical students try to figure out what is wrong with their “patients” by listening to their complaints and examining them.

Actor-patient Jim Malloy was told to portray the symptoms of an abdominal aortic aneurysm, which happens when the main blood vessel that brings blood to the abdomen, pelvis, and legs becomes enlarged. The condition can grow for many years without symptoms. It is most commonly seen in men over the age of 60 who have emphysema, genetic risks, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and who were or currently are smokers.

Left untreated, if the aneurysm expands too quickly it can burst open or leak blood along the blood vessel walls. This could lead to internal bleeding and death. Fast-growing aneurisms that are larger than two inches across are often candidates for surgical removal.

When Jones examined Malloy, he actually found an abdominal aortic aneurism. The student initially thought Malloy may have been a decoy, but thought it was best to mention that he detected something real.

“He thought I might have been a ringer that was planted in there to test him, and I had no symptoms,” Malloy explained. “He thought I was a plant with the real situation.”

Malloy himself didn’t know there was anything wrong with him.

“I really didn’t think anything of it until the supervising doctor told me they had discovered something,” he said. “Then I was concerned that Ryan found, felt an aneurysm.”

Malloy had stent replacement surgery to remove the aneurism in August and has since recovered. His wife Louise said she was initially scared by the diagnosis and that she is extremely thankful Jones was able to detect her husband’s medical problem before it was too late.

“Don’t ever think you can’t affect a life,” she said in a UVA statement this week. “My husband, Jim, is living proof that you can.”

UVA said Jones is currently interviewing for residency programs across the country and plans to become a radiation oncologist.

This story originally appeared on

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