About a dozen military veterans have locked themselves inside a caged boxing ring, in a rough part of San Diego, and they’re starting to throw punches. It’s therapeutic, they say.

"A lot of people say, ‘You guys are punching each other in the face. How is that helpful?’ " says Aaron Espinoza, a former Marine. "But it’s a respect thing, it’s mutual. I have to push him, he has to push me to get better."

Espinoza is a regular at P.O.W., which stands for Pugilistic Offensive Warrior, a mixed martial arts training session that’s free for veterans. Iraq veteran Todd Vance founded the group after his own struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

"I was in a dark place for a long time and I personally used mixed martial arts to get myself back on track," says Vance. "Once I got back on track I went to school — studying social work."

First Rule Of The Fight Club: You Must Be A Veteran

Photo Credit: David Gilkey/NPR

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The world’s most widely used insecticides have contaminated the environment across the planet so pervasively that global food production is at risk. Full story here


The world’s most widely used insecticides have contaminated the environment across the planet so pervasively that global food production is at risk. Full story here



For all the scientific breakthroughs and high-tech communication advances, simple gatherings on a veranda or under a shade tree remain among the most effective ways to spread the word about the importance of good nutrition in improving maternal and infant health. It works all over the world, be it in Uganda, India, Guatemala or Chicago.

Read more from Pulitzer Center grantee Roger Thurow in his project: 1,000 Days: To Save Women, Children and the World


Artist Loren Stump specializes in a form of glasswork called murrine, where rods of glass are melted together and then sliced to reveal elaborate patterns and forms. While the murrina process appeared in the Mideast some 4,000 years ago, Stump has perfected his own technique over the past 35 years to the point where he can now layer entire portraits and paintings in glass before slicing them to see the final results.

Posted to Cross Connect by Sunil

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Skunk Bear’s “Father of the Week” designed a bionic pancreas.

Ed Damiano’s son David was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 11 months old. So Ed started to develop a system he calls a “bionic pancreas” — It’s designed to help people better manage their blood sugar.

He’s racing to get it approved by the Food and Drug Administration before his son leaves for college in three years.

Read the full story, from NPR’s Rob Stein, here.


  • Ed tests tubing for his son’s insulin pump.
  • A pump that uses the hormone glucagon to help provide better blood sugar control.
  • David wears a transmitter on his abdomen that sends data on his glucose levels to a monitoring unit.
  • Ed Damiano and his son David, 15, play basketball at home in Acton, Mass.

Credit: Ellen Webber for NPR

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Fishermen have found fortune and adventure in the frigid waters of the Bering Sea. But ocean acidification caused by carbon emissions has begun to alter the chemistry of the North Pacific, posing threat for Alaska’s crabs. PBS NewsHour’s Ray Suarez reports in collaboration with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and The Seattle Times.


It didn’t take long for researchers examining the tiny sea snails to see something amiss.

The surface of some of their thin outer shells looked as if they had been etched by a solvent. Others were deeply pitted and pocked.

These translucent sea butterflies known as pteropods, which provide food for salmon, herring and other fish, hadn’t been burned in some horrific lab accident.

They were being eaten away by the Pacific Ocean.

Learn more about ocean acidification with Pulitzer Center grantees Craig Welch and Steve Ringman in “Sea Change: The Pacific’s Perilous Turn