July 29, 2014

Alex Pring was finally able to hug his mother for the first time at age 6, and it was a big deal. Alex was born missing most of his right arm, and hugging was something he couldn't do before getting a specialized prosthetic created by a 3D printer.

"When he hugged me with two hands, he just didn't let go," Alyson Pring told the Orlando Sentinel. She believes the arm will help her son "see future possibilities and make them seem all the more reachable."

It's difficult for prosthetics to be made for children because the parts have to be so small, and it's also rare for insurance to pay, since they have to be replaced as the child grows. Wanting to find help for her son, Pring turned to e-NABLE, a network comprised of volunteer students, engineers, professors, and occupational therapists with the goal of aiding children without hands.

Albert Manero, a Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering at the University of Central Florida, quickly went to work with a team to create a bionic arm for Alex. It took seven weeks, and was fitted on Alex in early July. It cost less than $350 to make, and involved just a 3D printer, gears, and batteries. Alex uses several muscles to control the arm and hand, and "he learned pretty fast," Manero said.

The best part of this story? The prosthetic will help more than just Alex; the team uploaded the arm's blueprints onto the internet so anyone can download the documents and help a child in need. "My mother always taught us that we're supposed to help change the world," Manero said. "That's why we did it." Catherine Garcia

1:14 p.m. ET
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) maintained Friday that he'll support the Republican presidential nominee, even if that somebody happens to be Donald Trump, The Palm Beach Post reports.

In fact, Rubio might be more impressed with the billionaire business mogul than usual, saying his "performance has improved significantly" recently.

It's also worth noting that Rubio doesn't agree with former House Speaker John Boehner that Ted Cruz is Lucifer. Julie Kliegman

12:39 p.m. ET

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump was none too thrilled Saturday with the protesters who blocked his way into California's Republican convention the day before:

Leave it to Trump to make an off-color joke about the incident once he made it inside the hotel Friday.

'We went under a fence and through a fence," Trump said. "Oh boy, it felt like I was crossing the border, actually." Julie Kliegman

11:51 a.m. ET

Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook is perhaps best used for admiring photos of Mark Zuckerberg's dog. Beast, a Puli Hungarian Sheepdog, is quite good at camouflaging himself, as you can see in photos the social network's founder posted Friday:

This rug has eyes.

That's an awfully big mop. Julie Kliegman

11:29 a.m. ET

Jimmy Fallon has been singing bits and pieces of Styx's "Too Much Time on My Hands" on The Tonight Show for days. On Friday, he and actor Paul Rudd took the obsession to its natural conclusion, creating a shot-by-shot remake of the '80s music video. The end result is sufficiently goofy. Take a look below. Julie Kliegman

11:05 a.m. ET

Hundreds of activists stormed Iraq's parliament building Saturday in support of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who had accused Iraqi politicians of corruption, CBS News reports.

The demonstrators climbed over blast walls in Baghdad's Green Zone, which houses most of the country's ministries and foreign embassies, after parliament couldn't reach quorum to hold a session. The protesters broke furniture, chanted, and waved Iraqi flags.

For months, protesters have been demanding Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi take more steps to fight corruption. The capital announced a state of emergency amid the protests Saturday. Julie Kliegman

10:28 a.m. ET
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

San Francisco Police Chief Gregory Suhr released nine pages of racist and homophobic text messages sent between officers Friday and ordered all officers to undergo anti-bias training, The New York Times reports.

"We have nothing to hide," Suhr said of his 2,000-member force. "These are the actions of a few."

The messages, which disparaged blacks, Latinos, South Asians, and LGBT people, were found as part of an investigation into a rape charge against one of the officers.

The department is under federal investigation for the 2015 fatal shooting of Mario Woods, a black man. Julie Kliegman

9:33 a.m. ET

The head of an evangelical legal organization has pledged to carry a gun into Target's bathrooms to defend against transgender women. Liberty Counsel President Anita Staver is calling for a boycott of the retail chain after it announced that it will allow patrons to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity, The Huffington Post reports. Staver tweeted the following:

Staver later claimed she always brings guns into public restrooms. The Week Staff

See More Speed Reads