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Five Heroic High School Freshman Heed Call to Action, Save Children From Icy Pond!

When the worst happens in front of our eyes, we all hope that we will have the fortitude to act. For five teenagers from New Jersey, a call to action manifested before themselves while heading home from an evening at Beacon Hill Country Club. The five kids were all from a local high school and they had been sledding at the local country club in Middletown when they heard a commotion coming from a pond near the bottom of the hill. As it turned out, two children on a sled had been rocketing straight toward the ice-covered surface. What happened next could have ended in tragedy if not for a group of brave kids.

Tyler Armagan, Ryan Day, Kieran Foley, Drew Scalice, and Joseph Dietrich had been hanging out at their favorite sledding spot in town when their lives changed forever. Kieran, a 14-year-old from New Jersey, said that he saw the two children careening down the hill and toward the ice-covered pond. Kieran stated, “They just went so fast right down the hill.” 

According to Kieran, the father of the children had been yelling for his kids to jump out of the sled. The problem was that 8-year-old Olivia and 4-year-old R.J. were not in control. In the Olympics, sleds can reach speeds of up to 70mph. While little Olivia and R.J. weren’t going that fast, they were certainly not in control. True tragedy was hovering over the entire moment but the boys leaped into action.

As it turns out, Kieran and his friends were all from the same Boy Scout troop. The kids kept their cool and jumped into action immediately. Kieran and his friends formed a human chain down to the pond where the two children had fallen into the icy water. Knowing that time was of the essence, Kieran waded into the water. Kieran stated, “I knew it wasn’t that deep, the water, so I just picked them up..” 

Drew was also shocked by what happened though he was quick to act. Drew told reporters, “All I can remember is seeing the kids come down (the hill).” Drew would go on to describe how Ryan helped calm the kids down after pulling them from the water, asking them questions about Christmas and what presents that they would want. As it turns out, this was a wonderful way to calm the kids down as their parents arrived.

After pulling the children from the freezing water, Kieran and his buddies consoled them as they tried to keep them warm. Soon Richard Heid and Stephanie Irlbeck appeared, the parents quick to thank the heroic children that had stepped up to the plate to save their child. As frostbite can occur within ten minutes in the right frigid temperatures, it isn’t dramatic to say that Kieran and his friends potentially saved two lives.

While 2020 was a constant lesson in how dark and hard the world can be, there are always silver linings to turn to for hope and inspiration. While much of the world was engulfed in chaos relating to politics or COVID, good folks like Kieran and his friends continue to do great things for the people around them. Perhaps we could all learn a little bit more from these heroic kids!

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Walk Along the Beach Turns Into Jurassic Experience For Shellfish Collector

Kelly Taylor

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When was the last time that you were truly blown away by something? We don’t mean impressed, we mean truly blown away. It’s a tough state of mind to find ourselves in, but that doesn’t mean that 29-year-old shellfish collector Marie Woods would have the same experiences! Woods had been foraging for shellfish along the Yorkshire Coast when she came across something quite remarkable. And when we say ‘quite remarkable’ what we really mean is ‘a relic of time’.

Let’s explore how a walk along the beach turned into a journey through time.

165 Million Years Ago…

Marie Woods was like many Yorkshire locals when she found herself walking along the coast, foraging for dinner. Woods had been looking for shellfish to incorporate into her meal when she came across something quite unique. In fact, what she found was something both out of time and out of place – an enormous footprint thought to be at least 165 million years old!

Now documented by experts, Marie was one of the first leaders in the field to examine the footprint. More than just a local shellfish enthusiast, Marie is also an archeologist. Upon finding the footprint, Marie would end up making international news. Marie said of her experience, “All I wanted was to grab some shellfish for my dinner.” Marie would go on to add, “..and I ended up stumbling across this.”

Woods wasn’t the only expert to put a pair of eyes on the uncovered footprint as Dr. Dean Lomax of the University of Manchester was quick to chime in. Dr. Lomax believes that the discovered print is that of the Megalosaurus, an animal that would stand with hips over two meters high and a body longer than nine meters. Put more plainly, Dr. Lomax says, “This is the largest theropod footprint ever found in Yorkshire, at least made by a large meat-eating dinosaur.”

The footprint is distinguishable at a glance, most notable due to its three-toed track and long shape. Dr. Lomax goes on to say that the shape of the footprint makes for a ‘large theropod’ or, as he likes to say, ‘a real Jurassic giant’.

Learning About Megalosaurus

Also known as the Great Lizard, the Megalosaurus was a large meat-eating dinosaur from the theropod class, existing throughout the Middle Jurassic Period. Found throughout Southern England, the first-ever genus of this dinosaur was found in 1824. Originally mistaken by a researcher for a 66-foot long lizard, Megalosaurus would receive more significant and accurate coverage after its inclusion in Richard Owen’s Dinosauria.

Described as bipedal with stout hind limbs, the Megalosaurus stood roughly 20 feet tall while weighing in at over 1,500 lbs. With short forelimbs and sharp teeth, the megalosaurus was quickly categorized as another meat eater for the time period. Unfortunately, we are still very short on further details as it has been beyond difficult for researchers to find a well-preserved fossilized skull for the Megalosaurus. Sans this information, it can be hard for researchers to get completely accurate details.

After discovering the fossilized footprint of Megalosaurus, Marie would contact other local experts where she would find out that her discovery was not completely new. Roughly a year ago, the footprint had been found by a local photographer named Rob Taylor. Though the image had been shared on social media, nothing had ever come of the discovery – at least not until Marie showed up.

Working with local experts, Marie and Rob are hopeful that their share discovery may find its way into a public display at the Rotunda Museum located in Scarborough.

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The Sydney Student Who Just Opened Up the Quantum Future

Shannon Jackson

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When a student goes above and beyond in a class, professors typically reward the person with extra credit and notable point of recognition. When a student goes and solves a long-standing quantum math problem with computer programming code that shifts the math understanding paradigm significantly, a professor hopes to have his or her name on the same research paper.

That was the case with one second-year student at the University of Sydney who managed to figure out how to program quantum computing problem solutions. The breakthrough is so big, major market players like Amazon are implementing the solution, and researchers in U.S. ivy league top brass are pouring over it in detail to upgrade their own understanding. For Pablo Bonilla, however, it’s another day at University.

Quantum computing involves then next step in computational power and capability that is currently be researched for even greater practical applications, particularly at the microscopic scale of physical operation. It’s a bit like thinking about how big data cylinders became large boxes, and then computer hard drives, and then flash drives the size of a finger or flat disk in a camera. Now, the next phase will go even smaller, allowing computer design to pack far more power into a smaller space. The ramifications of this new paradigm are huge.

Of course, for Bonilla, it doesn’t hurt when professors at Yale comment that Bonilla’s coding work is both exceptional as well as elegant in construction. Bonilla was able to find a modification that no one else had seen or thought possible for at least two decades. His new set of eyes found the hidden door to the next level that many others had spent a career already trying to solve without success. Once that door opened with Bonilla’s code, new possibilities in quantum computing have now become a reality. And, not surprisingly, his choices of code and solution were fairly simple in design as well compared to the complex choices others had pursued and ended up stumped.

Bonilla himself was anything but average. He had already grown up with a very unique perspective out of the norm being part of a family that emigrated to Australia from Uruguay. Growing up in a different land, culture and language than what he remembered in his early years may have very well allowed Pablo to see things from a different perspective than the mainstream, which worked to his advantage.

By the time Bonilla was in high school, it was obvious he was going somewhere. At 15, Bonilla was brought in early to try his hand on a different project at the University of Sydney. Today, Bonilla is reaching the end of his University tour, but he’s already committed to pursue a PhD as well. And, very likely, Bonilla will be making additional changes to quantum computing and more in his tenure.

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Beautiful Magellanic Penguins Returned to Atlantic Ocean After Rescue

Renee Yates

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The Magellanic Penguin is known for its distinct black bat and white belly. Standing between 24 and 30 inches tall, the Magellanic Penguin was first discovered in 1520 by Ferdinand Magellan, through whom they received their names. While one of the most populous of the South American penguins, these flightless birds are not entirely without external threats from nature, man, and global warming. So when twelve black-and-white penguins were discovered off the coasts of Argentina while suffering from anemia and malnutrition, it didn’t take long for help to arrive.

Argentina and the Atlantic Ocean

What would you do if you discovered a dozen penguins struggling to survive? For biologist Sergio Rodriguez of the Mundo Marino Foundation, the answer was pretty simple — you help them. Rodriguez described how the animals were found waddling around in a state of dangerous malnutrition as well as dehydration, both potentially fatal issues if left unattended.

Rodriguez is one of the leaders at the Mundo Marino Foundation located near San Clemente del Tuyu in Argentina. Her job there is to provide support for the local wildlife while also researching various conservation issues.

To verify that the Magellanic Penguins were truly struggling through dehydration and malnutrition, Rodriguez used her experience in the field. Rodriguez said, “In some cases, they had issues molting.. for various reasons, including lack of nutrients.”

When penguins cannot properly molt, Rodriguez says that they lack the appropriate feathers necessary to survive in cold ocean water. With a lack of real protection due to their interrupted molding process, the penguins had fled to the beaches of Argentina because they lacked the ability to withstand the colder temperatures of the sea. Put plainly, a lack of food and access to water had put their lives at risk. Sergio would go on to say, “They needed to be treated with a balanced diet, provided by nutritionists.”

For Magellanic Penguins that are healthy and capable of thriving in the wild, a traditional diet will consist of crustaceans, cuttlefish, krill, and even squid. Diving to a depth of up to 50m, penguins will forage for food, finding a constant supply of resources along the way.

The Mundo Marino Foundation

Comfortably nestled into the Mundo Marino Foundation, the rescued penguins were able to receive a steady diet of appropriate nutrition from the team at the Mundo Marino Foundation. While staying at the Mundo Marino Foundation, the penguins would also receive comprehensive vet checkups as well as blood work to verify their overall health. The birds were lucky to get rescued as they were fed, rehydrated, and returned to the ocean in relatively short order.

Mundo Marino is the largest aquarium in all of Argentina, established by Juan David Mendez. The aquarium first opened its doors in 1979 where it was built next to a crab land. Mundo Marion currently houses 20 pools, 50 sea mammals, 80 birds, and the star of the show Kshamenko, a male killer whale who was rescued after he had been stranded.

According to research compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, there are somewhere between 2.2 million and 3.2 million Magellanic penguins in the world, today. Traditionally, these penguins can be found throughout coastal regions surrounding Chile and Argentina.

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Bus Driver Gets Accolades For Assisting Homeless Individual In Milwaukee

Renee Yates

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It only takes one small act of kindness to transform the life of someone in need forever. The Driver of a Milwaukee bus managed to accomplish that feat recently.

She has since been lauded for helping a struggling passenger who had become homeless due to unforeseen circumstances get some much-needed support.

In October, bus driver Natalie Barnes began conversing with a passenger named Richard, who informed her that he had been homeless for a week after his previous residence was condemned.

She agreed when he inquired whether he could travel along during the night to avoid the cold.

“Everyone needs support at some stage in their lives,” Barnes wrote on the Milwaukee County Transit System’s blog. “I want to do everything I could to assist Richard in any way I could.”

She decided to take a break at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee during her shift and offered to get her passenger something to eat.

Richard was moved by the gesture, as shown by surveillance footage.

“Now I don’t know how to respond but thank you,” he told Barnes, promising to repay her in some way.

“I want to support you,” she said, refusing.

Barnes, on the other hand, was not satisfied with only one act of kindness.

Again during a break, she contacted a neighbor, who assisted in the placement of Richard in safe accommodation.

During the six-hour bus ride, Barnes and Richard had become friends. He now has her contact information, and they communicate regularly.

ABC News which initially aired the video and interviewed Barnes, said she talks to Richard every couple of days, and he honors her every time he speaks to her for supporting him.”

According to Barnes, “He refers to me as his little angel of security. I’m pleased to report that he’s making good progress.”

Barnes has won three commendations for exemplary service since joining the MCTS two years ago, and it is second nature to him to help others.

As per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, she frequently brings various types of sandwiches on the bus to distribute to those in crisis.

In a recent ceremony, Chris Abele, who is the Milwaukee County Executive, honored Barnes.

“(This is)What MCTS greatness is all about Natalie’s love, compassion, and reverence for this man that needs it,” he said. “Natalie exemplified what we all should be doing to combat homelessness: look out for one another, care for one another, and collaborate. Natalie’s words have made a huge difference in my life.”

Barnes continues to use her position as a bus driver to help as many people as possible.

Meanwhile, the city’s Mayor, Tom Barrett notes that there has been a four year drop in homelessness by forty-three percent. He added that there’s still much left to be done and expressed gratitude that more than 100 entities are working to end homelessness in Milwaukee.

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Jersey Mike’s Raises $15M, (Almost Twice Its Goal) For Charity

Kevin Wells

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One would think that in the midst of a pandemic, it would be the most difficult time to raise funds for any venture at all.

However, with Mike’s Subs achieving nearly twice what it set out to obtain for charity, it is obvious that many Americans are genuinely benevolent.

Trying to raise hundreds or even thousands of dollars can be a challenge, but doubling what you ask for in millions is a mind-blowing feat.

Here is how this restaurant chain managed to accomplish and surpass it’s multi-million dollar goal in one month.

Jersey Mike’s Subs breezed past their company target of collecting $8 million during their Yearly Month of Giving, generating an unprecedented $15 million to support upwards of 200 initiatives around the country.

In Naples, Florida, Mike’s Founder Peter Cancro commemorated the 2021 Day of Giving with his staff. The final day ended in Jersey after they welcomed donations from customers during March. Mike’s stores around the country donate one hundred percent of revenue to local causes, not just money.

On the 31st, over one thousand nine hundred restaurants, made popular for their readily available freshly baked bread (the exact recipe they began within 1956), donated one hundred percent of their profits to hospitals, youth groups, and food banks.

The sum raised is more than double that of last year, when the organization based in New Jersey donated $7.3 million to its communities.

Since the Day of Giving festivities were canceled in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, the accomplishments are much more meaningful this year. Jersey Mike’s started the practice in 2011.

Since its inception, they have managed to raise almost 50 million dollars for local charities, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation in that period.

Peter Cancro, Founder & CEO of Jersey Mike’s says after the disappointment of having to cancel last year’s Day of Giving, they were hoping to do well in 2021, and the massive support from people across the entire country has been an inspiration to him.

“We are overwhelmed with appreciation and admiration for our clients, franchise holders, and crew members who’ve made the time to give so generously to these charities at a time when they are in desperate need.”

It was at the young age of seventeen that Cancro, delved into the world of entrepreneurship and opened his first sub shop.

He gives accolades to two local businessmen in his hometown of Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey for his accomplishments.

One of them, Jack Baker operates a seafood facility named Baker’s Lobster Shanty. The other businessman is Bob Hoffman who focuses on sweet treats at his Hoffman’s Ice Cream shop.

Cancro thanks them for teaching him the value of giving back to the community.

His corporation’s goal has remained the same since the beginning: “Giving…making a difference in someone’s life.”

Cancro has proven repeatedly from his childhood days that once you stay motivated anything is possible. He received from his community and is making a consistent effort to give back.

So far, they’ve managed to give back in a huge way that has proven beneficial to families not just in his New Jersey hometown, but across the country as an amount.

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