This Way Up for Saturday 24 December 2016

Seeing better at school, 2016 in tech, how freezing gunshot victims could save lives, and naughty or nice: who really gets the Christmas goodies?

Mr Foureyes: seeing at school

Opticians Ravi Dass and Stephanie Hill of Mr Foureyes sell prescription glasses, and for every pair of glasses they sell, a free pair is given to a child.

They run a business, or social enterprise, that supports their dream of providing free prescription glasses for any child who needs them.

Through their charity the Foureyes Foundation, they also run a hi tech screening programme in schools, to pick up kids with undetected eyesight issues.

"After I graduated I worked in a kids practice and I started seeing a lot of kids that were slipping through the cracks. They were the ones that would be coming in as teenagers or young adults and were struggling with reading problems or vision problems this was something that normally would be picked up earlier in the piece.” Ravi says.

Stephanie says young people will often think they're lacking at school when it is vision problems that are holding them back.

“Often they’ll be thinking they’re not that great at school, removing eyesight problems is one of the possible barriers it’s difficult enough being a kid at school anyway! It’s just removing a barrier that can help them succeed.” Stephanie says.

The enterprise is viable because they keep overheads to a minimum.

"We’ve set it up out of our garage, so you go and get your eyes tested, bring your prescription to us we fill that prescription whether or not you have your own frames or pick one of our frames. A pair of glasses is given to the charity for every pair we sell, it’s like a one for one model."

"10 percent of kids screened are referred on one school took eleven kids to the optometrist nine ended up with glasses," Stephanie says.

2016: the year in tech


keyboard Photo: (Pixabay Public Domain)

We hit a downtown electronics retailer with our tech correspondent Peter Griffin to review what's been hot (quite literally in one notable case) in 2016, and to examine some emerging product lines and technologies.

It's been a year where virtual reality has well and truly arrived, and Bluetooth personal audio has taken off.

And watch out for the arrival of more chatbots and the rise of the personal voice-activated "assistant" in 2017.

Peter Griffin

Peter Griffin Photo: Supplied

Chilling in the hood? Could freezing gunshot victims save lives

Crime Scene

Crime Scene Photo: (Pixabay Public Domain)

Nicola Twilley

Nicola Twilley Photo: Supplied

A controversial medical trial is taking place in Baltimore, freezing gunshot victims in an attempt to extend "the golden hour', and stop trauma patients from bleeding out.

Nicola Twilley has visited Baltimore to see how consent is being obtained to this EPR (emergency preservation and resuscitation) procedure, and some of the tensions it is creating within the community.

She's written about her experiences for the New Yorker.


Naughty or nice? Who really gets the Christmas goodies?

Santa's typewriter

Santa's typewriter Photo: (, Public Domain)

Dr Chris Smith of The Naked Scientists with groundbreaking research that must already be one of the front runners for this year's Ig Nobel science awards. For the first time there is empirical evidence that being good does not in fact increase the likelihood of Father Christmas arriving at your chimney.