Christina Koch is an American astronaut and engineer, who blasted off on March 14, 2019 to spend 328 days on the International Space Station (ISS) as part of Expedition 59, 60, and 61. She left behind family and friends, as well as a very special furry friend, but it was all to achieve a historical moment.
To date, 575 people have been in space. With all the space flights taken together, the total time in space has been 152.1 years. To put her accomplishment into perspective, Koch is one of only 12 active female astronauts. There have been 65 female space travelers in the history of space flight.
What Was Christina Koch’s Historical Moment?
Koch took off into space to be part of the first, all-female spacewalk in aeronautical history with Jessica Meir. She spent 42 hours outside the space station over six spacewalks. She conducted experiments in biology, tech development, and dark matter. Koch even broke the standing record for having the longest time spent continuously in space by a female astronaut. (She broke the record of 289 days, set by Peggy Wilson.)
Koch dreamed of becoming an astronaut, and she was trained to be ready for anything. She may not have been quite prepared for the reception she received upon her return to Earth and to her family on February 6, 2020. She’d been in space for nearly a year, and she was happy to be home. But LBD (Little Brown Dog) was more than excited. He was over the moon.
Who Missed Koch More?
Our favorite furry pets are with us every day, offering solace and support through our happiest and saddest moments. It’s easy to forget that the relationship goes both ways. For Koch, LBD was a constant companion and friend.
LBD appeared to feel the same way when she finally returned home. Beyond scratching the door and wagging his tail, he did not appear to be able to contain his affection and excitement. LBD licked her face. He may have been nervous that she would disappear again.
The Duo Back Together Again
Koch was glad that LBD remembered her, even after nearly a year. We might compare the adventure with The Incredible Journey, though in this case, Koch was on her out-of-this-world experience. LBD was waiting all that time for her to return home.
Koch’s historic moment was made even more special by the warm welcome when she returned home, but it also puts her sacrifice into perspective. Her training and experience had already included time in the US Antarctic Program, with travel in the Antarctic and Arctic regions. She has faced every manner of training, with challenges designed to test her mentally and physically.
Koch as an Inspirational Force
NASA selected Koch to be part of the Astronaut Group 21 in 2013. She finally completed training in 2015. Along the way, she’s also received many awards by NASA and other institutions. No matter where she has traveled around the world and out of this world, she’d probably agree that there really is no place like home.
Good Samaritan Saves Four Kids After Witnessing Car Plunge into River
It was an average evening for Harrell Fischer who was working on his boat one night in Sacramento, California. Suddenly he heard gunshots. Like out of a movie, he watched in awe as a car sped by and crashed into the river.
Immediately, Harrell and his friend jumped in the boat to rescue the passengers. The second he opened the car door, a child’s face was staring back at him, followed by little hands reach out to him. He reacted immediately after realizing four children, ages two-to-six, were trapped in the sinking car.
Thankfully, Harrel and his friend were about to rescue all four devasted children, who were in shock, from the freezing water. The boy who Harrell saved first said, “He killed my mom.”
There is a twist in the story. Before the car plunged into the river, the mother of four was shot in the head and killed instantly by the father. After the car crashed into the Sacramento River, the father exited and refused to help Harrell and his friend save the children.
The shooter in the crime is 27-year-old Mendiko Cuarzo who was sitting in the passenger seat when an argument ensued. The conversation became heated and he shot the 23-year-old mother. Mendiko is the father of three of the four children. The shooting caused the vehicle to run off the road and into the river.
This experience was incredibly traumatizing for the children. In addition to watching their mother be murdered while driving, they must deal with that loss. Also, their father will now go to prison so these children will be without either parent.
Harrell Fischer has mixed emotions of being at the scene. He is glad that he was there to save the lives of the children but also not happy he had to bear witness to the murderous situation and neglect from the father.
Investigators continue to look for motives in the killing. Cuarzo has previous convictions including illegal possession of a firearm.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the country has witnessed a sharp increase in gun violence. The number of gun-related deaths has been trending upward when compared to the same period from 2019 as the peak of the virus continues.
The economy has seen an unprecedented increase in gun sales and, when combined with social isolation and economic distress, the country’s long-standing gun violence crisis is intensifying. The murder of these four children by Cuarzo is the latest representation of this issue.
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted weak gun purchase and access laws allowing guns to fall into the hands of those with ill-intent. The pandemic also further emphasizes the structural inequity of the nation. The virus is putting vulnerable populations, such as children, women, and communities of color, at high risk.
The resulting impact has been lethal and devastating to local communities but also identifies that through policies, laws, and programs, citizens can remain healthy and safe in the future.
In addition to the increase in gun purchases, domestic violence is spiking due to the prolonged financial strain on middle and lower-income households. This leaves domestic violence victims trapped with abusive partners, many of whom have easy access to guns. Having access to a gun makes it five times more likely that an abuser will murder his female victim.
These troubling statistics indicate that there is a need for quick political action on proven programs and policies to keep families safe during these times. Some of the focal points must be a reassertion of the federal regulation of ghost guns, enact Extreme Risk laws, raise awareness of firearm storage practices, and increase funding for gun violence programs.
A bus that broke down resulted in the most unlikely of friendships
It was a hot 92-degree day in Milwaukee as Shamika began her daily bus route. Shamika drives one of many city buses that provides cheap and convenient transportation for the inner city. As she drove the bus down the city’s streets, the bus began to buckle and make odd noises.
After a few minutes of weird engine noises and trouble accelerating, fate struck. The bus came to a stop and the engine shut off, but would not turn on again. That also meant Shamika and the other passengers were left without air conditioning on that hot 92-degree day.
With no other options, Shamika was forced to make the passengers leave the bus and wait outside. The inside of the bus was quickly heating up beyond 92 degrees. This happened because the heat entering the bus had no way to leave it, resulting in a sauna of sorts.
As Shamika sat outside waiting for the city to send a tow truck for the bus, a young boy saw her. The boy was ten years old DJ Fromme or just DJ for short. He sat outside, killing time with his skateboard at hand. DJ watched the scene unfold and saw that Shamika was standing outside and was bored but looked unhappy.
DJ then decided to walk over the Shamika and try to cheer her up. He pulled out his skateboard and asked Shamika if she wanted to learn how to skateboard. With nothing else to do, Shamika agreed. The two quickly formed a bond as DJ showed her tricks and other tips for riding the skateboard.
Eventually, the two grew so comfortable with one another that DJ began to open up about his home life. Likely with no one else to talk to, DJ felt comfortable talking about his struggles with Shamika. DJ explained that he never met his biological parents. That alone had brought a lot of stress and negativity into DJ’s life, considering he was adopted.
To make matters worse, DJ also told Shamika that his current legal guardian was diagnosed with brain cancer. Shamika did her best to listen and comfort the DJ while explaining the things in his life, causing him grief.
After waiting a little while longer, the tow truck eventually arrived, and Shamika had to leave. Having been moved by DJ’s kindness and compassion, Shamika said goodbye to DJ at the bus stop and left.
The story could have ended there, but Shamika decided to return the kindness DJ showed. The next day, Shamika knocked on the door of where the DJ lived.
He answered the door and was surprised to see her standing at his doorstep alongside a brand new bicycle. DJ had said he wished for a bicycle the other day as the two became friends. DJ then accepted the bicyle and the two have contiued to be firends and a source of inspiration for others to be kind.
Dad suffering from broken heart syndrome, tells others to watch out for stress during the pandemic.
Richard Watkins is a family man first and businessman second who lives with a family in Ohio. As the executive of a large car manufacturing firm, stress is already something Richard is quite familiar with.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which hard last March in the United States, however, has made his stress rise to entirely new levels. Due to shutdowns and decreasing consumer demands, many jobs had to lay off or fire many workers as nearly 52% of small businesses have shut down for good.
In the face of mass layoffs, which left nearly 30 million Americans out of work and no jobs to turn to, Richard found himself in the position of having to lay off many workers as well.
The company simply couldn’t afford to keep paying worker wages while taking in no revenue since their manufacturing had all but stopped.
The result was an unfortunate but necessary layoff where Richard had to tell hundreds of workers the company could no longer pay them and had to lay them off for the time being.
In the midst of that incredibly stressful time, Richards’s father, who was 91 years old, also passed away.
On the day of Richards’s father’s funeral, Richard remarked to his wife that he’s back felt unusually tight, and his arms both went numb.
Richard then laid his head down on the kitchen table and closed his eyes. Initially, his wife didn’t react as Richard just seemed to be bowing his head down.
However, after nearly a minute of silence, Richard began to turn blue and did not respond to his wife’s frantic calls to him. Richard’s heart had stopped beating.
Richards’s wife immediately called 911, and paramedics were able to resuscitate Richard and get his heart back up and running.
Doctors at first believed Richard had suffered from a heart attack. However, this wasn’t the case. Richards’s heart and arteries did not have any blockages, and we’re seemingly healthy.
Instead, Richard says that immense stress had caused his stress to stop beating. Although rare, this phenomenon has been documented in the past.
Now Ricard has taken to social media to warn people about the dangers of stress. Richard says that reducing stress and dealing with it head-on is extremely important for your health. In fact, stress can even cause other issues like chronic inflammation, poor sleep, depression, and more.
Richard says he found many ways to reduce stress, which may or may not work for other people. One popular and scientifically proven way to reduce stress is through meditation. That doesn’t necessarily mean sitting silently for hours at a time.
Some people meditate for just five to ten minutes at a time. While others may “actively meditate” by silently walking and paying attention to their thoughts as they walk. Other people find other coping mechanisms like reducing obligations in their schedlues and taking more “me time” for themsleves.
Other experts urge people to take mental health days, and spend more time and money foucsing on their happiness other than pleasing work bosses or appeasing other unhealthy work ethics. All in all, the key seems to be making your life more simple and getting outside more often.
The Normality of Single-Parent Households
There is a common misconception in society regarding the end of a marriage as a woman. The thought is that the marriage ends because you are searching for a better option. While that may be the scenario in some instances, this is not the case in all.
Of course, having a partner is helpful for some situations but not all women are looking for their next husband and not all children need two parents to have a happy childhood. In many cases, the household is much happier without the father around since there is the added stress component.
Some mothers prefer to live and parent on their own. Naturally, there are challenging aspects, especially not having a dual income, but they can also run their home the way that is best for their children. This also lends to being the single person who is in charge.
For the strong-willed parent, it can be difficult to strike a balance between maintaining that train and keeping up with the best way to raise children, all while being happy in the marriage. On many occasions, both parents must compromise their feelings which can become cumbersome and feel like too much is given. This can be mentally exhausting and cause marital problems.
Single parents enjoy the opportunity to spend time and enjoy life with their children without butting heads with their spouse. This helps build relationships with the children in a loving and caring environment.
Of course, there are stresses associated with being a single parent but feeling like you can be yourself in parenting and life is the most important aspect of single parenting. It is difficult to constantly be happy with yourself when angry at your husband. Attempting to exist in a poor marriage can take its toll on your self-worth, which can occur for many years. Eventually, everyone hits a breaking point if improvements are not made.
Single parents get to enjoy the freedom of running the household and only focusing on the needs of their children and themselves. Of course, companionship is always a plus, assuming it is a positive relationship. When children are at a young age, a single parent needs to create a stable and sturdy environment.
Dating is often still acceptable, but it is different when the new boyfriend is taking up half of a dresser drawer with their belongings, half of the bed, and half of the entire residence. When having so much freedom as a single parent, it can be difficult to imagine having a live-in boyfriend or spouse.
There is a double standard for men versus women when a divorce occurs. Many men get re-married quickly after a divorce because they need that companionship. Generally, society is more accepting of men having and enjoying their freedom. On the other hand, society frowns upon women also enjoying their freedom.
Despite the differences between men and women post-divorce and the way society views everyone, the most important aspect of a single parent is creating a happy and supportive home for their children.
There will always be times of doubt when you wonder if you made the right decision, this is normal. They look at the joy in your children and the happiness in yourself, knowing you made the right decision.
Also, showing your children that you are a strong single parent is a powerful lesson in development. This shows that you do not need two parents in a single household to create a loving family and genuinely be happy. This is a life lesson they will carry with them for years to come!
A Unique Graduation Picture Set
High school graduations are occasions that get people thinking about both the past and the future. Many people become nostalgic when they graduate from high school. They think about their first school days. Dylan Bliss took this a step further.
He and his dog Ruger took an adorable picture together when he first started school more than a decade ago. Dylan Bliss’s mother Corie had a clever suggestion. She knew that the two of them had posed for a picture together when Dylan Bliss became a first grader. They could take a similar picture again, and this one would demonstrate the passage of time in a unique way.
Ruger is a much older dog now, but he’s alive and well. He was able to take a picture with Dylan Bliss to celebrate his graduation day. The family got Ruger when he was still a little puppy. Dylan Bliss and Ruger genuinely grew up together.
In both pictures, Ruger is wearing a collar and leash. Both of the collar and leash sets in the pictures match quite well, which helps to make the pictures look more similar and establish continuity. Dylan Bliss is holding onto the leash this time.
The expressions of both individuals have also changed. Ruger has his mouth closed in the first picture, but his mouth is slightly ajar in the second. Dylan appears to be more guarded in the first picture, since he’s barely smiling. He seems much more relaxed and confident in the second picture, as an accomplished high school graduate.
It’s also interesting to look at the changes in the quality of the pictures over the course of more than a full decade. The new picture is much clearer and brighter. It’s easier to see lots of fine details in the picture. Technology has changed over the course of Dylan’s life and Ruger’s life. Both pictures manage to make this clear, and both of them are capturing historical moments.
The backgrounds for both pictures are also different, and there’s something symbolic about that. In the first picture, the background is simple and fairly empty. In the second picture, there’s a stone wall in the background, as well as lots of green plants. Ruger has lived a very full life since the first picture was taken, and Dylan has become an adult. The new background of the picture helps to demonstrate that both of them have richer lives and histories now than they did in the past. It’s a complex set of pictures that communicates a lot at once.
People often purchase middle school, high school, and college yearbooks. They’ll remember those parts of their lives more effectively as a result. Taking professional senior class pictures is also popular. However, the pictures that people take at home can be just as special, especially because they’ll have plenty of chances to be creative.
Online, it’s popular for people to take pictures of themselves periodically and use those pictures to show how they have progressed over time. At the end of each decade, there are frequently viral trends where people compare photographs of themselves that were taken at the end and the beginning of the decade. Dylan Bliss’s picture with Ruger is similar, at least in a way. However, it’s much more personal.
The end of a decade is significant for everyone. However, people’s high school or college graduation years can all vary. A random year in any given decade could be particularly important to a person who graduated from school in that year. Dylan Bliss will probably remember 2020 in a relatively unique way for that reason.