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Teenage Gamer Honored by his School for Saving Friends Life On-line

Kevin Wells

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Almost everyone has played a video game at one point in their life. Whether it’s on your phone, on a computer, or on a gaming console. What can seem like a friendly game between strangers, sometimes can turn into friendship, especially when the game is on-line and you can easily chat with other players via a chat or a headset. Some people even find love through on-line gaming. What you don’t think, is that you might save someone’s life.

Reilly Howard, a 14-year-old from East Hampton, Connecticut, is a typical high schooler. He goes to school, plays sports, and occasionally plays video games. That’s where he met a 13-year-old from Florida. The two hit it off right away because they had similar interests and played the same games. They would meet occasionally on-line to talk and compete against each other in different kinds of games.

One night, Howard realized there was something wrong with his friend. He was upset and seemed to be crying. Howard started chatting with him and asking what was wrong. That’s when he said that he wanted to kill himself. At first, Howard didn’t know what to do. His parents weren’t home, and he had never dealt with a situation like this before. But he realized he had to do something to help, so he quickly took action. He called his friend on the phone and talked to him for a couple of hours.

His friend slowly started opening up to him and explaining how and why he was feeling this way. Howard took control of the conversation and tried steering it to positive things. Everyone has a bad day sometimes. That doesn’t mean you should just end it. Whether it’s from a bully, you’re doing bad in school, something going on at home, or anything else, there is another way.

Howard talked on the phone with his friend for over 2 hours. Listening and giving advice. Eventually he suggested his friend call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline where he was put on hold for 17 minutes — not great when you have someone who is contemplating his own death. During this time, Howards parents had come home, and he explained to them what was going on. They were proud of their son for all that he had done and was worried about his Floridian friend. They decided to get the police involved, calling the 13-year-olds local police department and having them respond to help.

Due to the efforts of Howard and his parents, that 13-year-old is still here today and getting the help that he needs. The East Hampton Board of Education, where Howard lives, will be honoring him later this month for his heroic actions in saving a life. Howard is humbled and gracious for being honored. He said that many teenagers don’t think they can make a difference. But there are people who will listen and you can have an impact. He thinks that is a message that should be heard.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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Great Dane on Home Security Camera Seen Protecting Family from Intruder

Shannon Jackson

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Humans just don’t appreciate dogs as much as they should. Tracey McCoy and her son were at their home in Oklahoma City when her worst nightmare came true.

McCoy’s security cameras were going in broad daylight and a strange man was seen going through the side door and entering the home. At first, McCoy thought that it was her older son. She was in the home at the time with her son, Nathaniel, who is blind.

The intruder walked right into the home as if he belonged there and owned the place. The intruder didn’t know that he was about to be greeted by Dubai, the family’s Great Dane mix, who weighs 133 pounds.

Dubai isn’t normally a vicious dog. In fact, he’s very friendly and docile. Dubai at first didn’t even do anything to this unwanted visitor and allowed him to say hello and pet the dog. Just as Dubai and the intruder were becoming friendly, McCoy walked into the kitchen and screamed. Dubai jumped into action and realized this was not a wanted guest and his owner was absolutely terrified by this stranger in the home. Dubai attacked the intruder and escorted him out by the rear end with his teeth. McCoy was able to watch the suspect run away and then come back moments later while he was in the back of a patrol car. Luckily, the police were able to snatch him out quickly before he was able to break into another home that didn’t have a trusty dog waiting to defend his owners. The suspect, Robert Ward, was positively identified by McCoy and is now facing a first-degree burglary charge but he was not armed.

This isn’t the first time a Great Dane has been able to spring into action and help its owners. There are countless stories of Great Danes protecting their owners and even helping an owner carry some groceries. While Great Danes aren’t usually thought of as service dogs, they are actually a perfect candidate for a service dog due to their size. The Service Dog Project has been training these large dogs to help war veterans and assist children with having a better quality of life. The Great Dane has stamina that was once needed to chase down bears and wild boars and they also have the strength and courage to stand up to predators, which was useful in the McCoy family case.

The Great Dane can be the perfect breed for a service dog because of its gentle personality and giant size. Dogs that are being used as balance support for the owner need to be large and about 65% of the person’s weight and 45% of the height. It takes a tall and strong dog to give confidence to someone who needs help to walk and support to regain balance if they start to fall. Great Danes serve this unique purpose. Great Danes may be large but don’t really require that much experience. Just a few walks a day are needed so it’s even better to pair this breed up with someone who has limited mobility. Great Danes can be trained to do specific tasks, such as hold open doors, turn on light switches, pull wheelchairs, and pick up dropped objects. Of course, they don’t need to be trained to protect their owners from intruders and will be happy to step in when needed.

While Dubai may not be trained to be a service dog anytime soon, he fulfilled his duty to the McCoy family and is getting lots of attention and treats for saving lives and property.

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Growing Up Near Nature Turns Children Into Happier Adults, According to a Research Study

Shannon Jackson

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There are lots of different ways to grow up; however, there is a theory that those who grow up more in touch with nature are more likely to be happy as adults. While the reasoning behind this hypothesis was unclear at first, it is now obvious that being close to nature is better for the soul. The night sky is darker, making it easier for people to sleep. The air is cleaner since there isn’t as much pollution out in the green areas. Finally, there is something that is claiming about watching the harmony of nature at work. Even though some people might be a bit hesitant to move this far away from civilization, there is now research showing that this kind of environment simply makes people happier.

Of course, people are always going to have their own personal preferences but the results of a recently published research paper are still intriguing. In a research paper that was completed in Denmark, a team of professionals followed close to 1 million people over the course of their childhoods. These were all children that were matched with appropriate controls for the completion of this study. The results of the study showed that the farther away from green children were, the more likely they were to develop a mental illness. Specifically, children who grow up exposed to the lowest levels of green were more than 50 percent more likely to develop mental health issues later in their life. This information was provided by databases kept by the Danish government. 

To complete the study, researchers took a look at satellite images of the various parts of Denmark. They used these images to figure out how much green was located around the areas in which these children grew up. Green was used to indicate how much nature was nearby. Specifically, the participants did not have to grow up near a forest to be exposed to a ton of green and be free from mental illness. Simply being close to public parks and green spaces, which might include forests, would be enough.

One interesting finding was that people who were located in a higher socioeconomic class, despite living closer to the city, were still exposed to plenty of parks. This means that they have the ability to protect their children from being exposed to a risk factor of mental health issues, despite living in the city. It should come as no surprise that those who have access to more resources are less likely to develop mental health issues.

On the other hand, even controlling for this important factor, the researchers still showed that more green means a healthier mind and a happier life. The greater the percentage of someone’s childhood spent near green spaces, the less likely they are to develop mental health issues as an adult. The researchers suggest that access to green spaces should be increased to allow people to spend more time near nature. 

The professionals also say that more research is needed. Even though they found a strong correlation in the study, they also say that correlation does not necessarily increase causation. The results are still strong. People should make every effort to spend more time outdoors near green spaces. The air is cleaner. The mood is calmer. It is healthier for the mind. With these factors considered, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that research is now showing that people need to spend more time disconnected from their devices communing with nature. Without a doubt, more parks are needed.

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A Bank and Non-Profit Company Help Girls Enter Tech and Other STEM Fields

Shannon Jackson

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The technology field has undergone a lot of changes over the past few decades. One of the biggest changes has been the growing interest that women are taking. In secondary schools across the country, there has been an increased focus on STEM fields. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Because of the increased focus, children of all backgrounds are beaming with a desire to learn more about these fields. This includes girls. Sadly, these are fields that have been historically dominated by men. This causes young women to be hesitant about joining these fields, knowing the societal pressure they might face. Fortunately, there is a nonprofit organization that exists to help women get into this field. This comes in the form of Girls, Inc.

The focus of this field is to help girls between the ages of six and 18 learn more about themselves and these fields as they strive to discover what it takes to build a successful career in these fields. This organization helps girls find mentoring relationships in a pro-girl environment and pushes them to conduct research that will help them build their resumes as they look to learn more about STEM fields. In this organization, girls learn about the various characteristics that are necessary to navigate social, gender, and economic barriers as they try to gain confidence and independence while also receiving a top-notch education. 

Thie program also gives girls the chance to partner with one of the largest banks in the world. This comes in the form of CApital One, a well-respected financial institution that has a program known as Capital One Program. This program places girls in a position to work with volunteer coders, who are professionals in the tech field. This gives girls the chance to learn more about coding and computer design. In some situations, the girls might even be able to build their own applications. This gives participants a unique experience with app-building tools. They learn about algorithms and get to ask questions of some of the most successful and generous professionals in the field. The mentors play a critical role in helping girls enter this field. The goal of this program is to help people acquire the skills and resources they are going to need in order to survive in an economy that is largely driven by the tech field.

There are numerous locations throughout the country that Capital One has set up programs like this, including Texas and the Bay Area out in California. Given the tremendous success that this program has already seen, the program is likely to expand to other parts of the country. Capital One desires to partner with other nonprofit organizations that work to break down barriers in the STEM fields of all types. This organization is always trying to find ways to increase the amount of diversity in this field, including encouraging women to get more involved. In the eyes of many, the STEM fields are the future. These fields are going to produce novel products and services in fields such as engineering, computers, healthcare, and more. 

It is incumbent on all of these organizations to push everyone, including girls and young women, to push people to think outside the box. Only when people start to step outside of their comfort zone will they discover what they are truly capable of accomplishing. This is true for young girls who would like to learn more about STEM fields and how they can turn a hobby into a long and rewarding career.

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These Hermit Crabs Will Blow Your Mind With Stunning Natural Ritual.

Renee Yates

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If you are like most people then you are likely fascinated with the ocean and all the creatures inside it. While we can talk forever about massive whales, scuttling squids, and scary sharks, we’d rather highlight a cute little crustacean known as the hermit crab. Now, you’ve likely heard of the hermit crab and, perhaps, you even know what it looks like. As a member of the superfamily known as the Paguroidea, hermit crabs manage to stand out all on their own. In fact, after learning about this natural ritual that hermit crabs complete, you might even want one of your own!

In a post shared on Facebook by a user named Melody Flowers, it was revealed that hermit crabs are always looking for bigger shells to live in. While you probably knew this already, what you didn’t realize about this ritual is far more fascinating. According to the post, which has since been backed up by other scientific journals, hermit crabs like to line up next to shells that happen to be too big for them. Hermit crabs can wait for up to eight hours for another crab to come along and try the shell out. Why do these crabs wait next to shells that are too large for them? As it turns out, the first hermit crab is simply waiting for the second crab in line to discard its shell. 

So we outlined a natural ritual that hermit crabs undertake when finding a new home. Why is this so fascinating? While you may have summoned up an image of two hermit crabs swapping shells, that isn’t entirely accurate. As the second crab lines up behind the shell, more will come to follow. Before long, observers would be able to watch as dozens of hermit crabs all trade shells with one another to ensure that everyone has a comfortable home to live in. The smallest shell of the bunch gets left behind while the shell that started the queue will go to the largest hermit crab of the lot. That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it? The coordination and cooperation that these hermit crabs have to deploy is nothing short of impressive. If only humans could get along so well when it comes to making to sure everyone is comfortable and safe within their home.

Even though hermit crabs will work together in order to find homes, they are still a competitive species. Gastropod shells can become a limited resource due to a variety of natural and unnatural factors, such as climate change and pollution. When hermit crabs are of a similar size, they are more competitive and violent with one another. When hermit crabs vary dramatically in size, there are more resources available for every member of the group.  Hermit crabs are a fascinating sort of creature because they can come in varying sizes with a lifespan ranging between 12 and 70 years.  The next time that you see a hermit crab, make sure it has the perfect shell to call home. Maybe it will remember you a couple of decades later!

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Good Boy! Canine Nabs Domestic Violence Suspect

Shannon Jackson

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It is no surprise when we hear about another dog who has saved the day and become a hero. Duke is the name of a Belgian Malinois who works with his human partner, Corona Police Officer Michael Neff. They are true partners, spending time together and working hard. One night Duke stepped up and saved the day in a way his human partner couldn’t.

Belgian Malinois Police Dogs

Many people don’t realize that Belgian Malinois are often trained to be police dogs. They have a lot of characteristics that make them really great at the job. One of their best qualities is their highly developed sense of smell, which makes them able to detect everything from drugs to explosives to cheetah scat.

Another great thing about Belgian Malinois is that they’re great running partners. They are medium to large-sized dogs that have no trouble keeping up with even a fit running partner. Belgian Malinois have a lot of energy and quick, active minds, with a strong protective instinct. All those things plus a great sense of smell make them great police dog candidates.

Domestic Offender

A California woman filed a protective order against her estranged husband so she could try to keep herself safe from him. One day, he ignored the order and went to her workplace in direct violation. Not only did he break the law by approaching her after he’d been ordered not to, but he also tried to hit his wife with his car.

Thankfully, the police were quick on the scene to confront the 31-year-old man who was trying to stalk and injure his wife. But when they tried to confront him, he took off in his vehicle.

California Protective Orders

In order to get a protective order in California, you need to be able to prove that you were abused (or threatened) and that you had a certain kind of close relationship, such as husband/wife or parents sharing a child. At the very least, the protective order will tell the offender to stay away from the protected person, including that person’s school or work. If the person violates the order, he or she could go to jail or be forced to pay a fine.

Duke Takes Over

It wasn’t just one officer trying to stop the husband; there were several officers involved in a vehicle chase. They tried to coordinate a pit maneuver to stop the car, but the suspect was still in his vehicle refusing to cooperate. 

At that point, the police fired rubber bullets into the driver’s side window, breaking the safety glass. Then Duke did a mighty jump straight through the shattered window to nab the suspect, who stood no chance against the mighty jaws of the Belgian Malinois police dog.

Happily, Duke was fine after the incident, even though he and his partner had a long night. Duke didn’t ask for much in the way of a reward; he was satisfied with some extra hugs and praise before he finally got to go home and get some rest.

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