Abigail Brady was busy mopping up her basement after the family’s water heater got damaged thereby causing a little flood in the basement. All of a sudden, she was disturbed by the cries of her 2-year-old son, Theo who needed her attention urgently.
“Help! Sel-eton!” she said her son kept calling out. “Sel-eton!”
Brady who resides in Herriman, Utah hurried to have a glimpse at what was happening. On getting there, she was startled to see Theo struggling to pull one of their past Halloween decorations, a life sized skeleton up the stairs. The whole sight cracked her up.
“The Halloween decorations had been in a corner by the water heater, so I’d pulled them away from the mess,” she said. “While everything was drying out, Theo found the skeleton. It was an instant hit.”
The tall, life-sized skeleton had been bought a couple of years ago for $20 at a store in the neighborhood. Brady at that point thought it would be a good addition for her front yard as part of Halloween celebrations.
“When we put it out last year, Theo hardly noticed because he was only 1,” said Brady, a stay-at-home mom.
Things would change later this year. Her son had resolved to be a close pal of Skeletons.
After helping Theo by taking the Skeletons upstairs, Theo was adamant on bringing his bony pal along to a visit to a local reservoir that mid-September day, Brady said.
“And when we got there, he wouldn’t let me leave him behind in the car,” Brady said. “So I carried him out to the beach, and we propped him up in the sand.”
Children and their parents were thrilled by the sight of Theo’s friend. While this was happening, Brady took her phone and recorded a video of Theo and Skeletons, posting it on TikTok. The video surprisingly caught on with people and the next day, she was shocked to see that it had amassed several thousand views. Now it’s gained over 2 million views.
Theo would later develop close interactions with Skeletons much to his mom’s surprise.
Theo coaxed his mum and dad, Casey Brady in allowing Skeletons stay with him in his room. He wanted to show Skeletons his most loved books and toys and especially the little yellow construction excavator that he once used to carry everywhere.
The excavator would soon be abandoned though.
“I put the skeleton in Theo’s rocking chair, but then I was lying in bed and thought, ‘It’s kind of weird to have a skeleton in my child’s room late at night,’ ” she said. “So I went in and sneaked it out.”
When Theo couldn’t find his new pal, his cries was heard yet again. “Sel-eton! Sel-eton!”
“After that,” Brady said, “I realized it was a losing battle.”
She and her husband came to an agreement to allow Skeletons to be his close pal.
“I really can’t say this is anything different for [Theo],” said Casey Brady, 30, who owns a roofing company. “It’s just a normal day for him. He’s the cutest kid — I love being his dad and seeing his imagination grow.”
Abigail Brady then came up with an idea to give Skeleton a name since he was going to accompany Theo on most days.
She sought for name suggestions on her Instagram page and eventually settled on Benny, the name of the skeleton character in the Disney series “Halloweentown”.
Benny now tags along with the family frequently. From the grocery store to the playground and the local swimming pool, he’s a usual sight with Theo.
“We’ve even taken him to a wedding,” she said.
The bond has grown stronger and Theo now has his breakfast with Benny every morning and thereafter proceeds to watch his sitcoms with the skeleton.
“Sometimes, he’ll also join us for dinner,” Brady said. “He’s a picky eater and doesn’t eat much.”
Brady is happy. She’s overjoyed that people on social media find it funny when they see photos and videos of Benny.
“The year 2020 has thrown us a hardball, so it makes me happy to know people are finding something positive to connect with,” Brady said. Brady still harbors plans to carry on with the postings and is even more prepared for one special day: Halloween.
“We’re planning to have a small family party with my parents and sister, and we’ll all dress up,” she said.
When asked what will be Theo’s costume this year, her son has chosen already.
“He definitely wants to be a skeleton.”
Geese Showing Off By Flying Upside Down
Amateur photographers love to get great shots, especially given that sometimes they seem random, and the trick to reaching professional status is to produce great shots consistently versus every once in a while. So, for photographers in Holland watching geese fly near Arnhem, the opportunity to catch a goose flying upside down was a bit out of the norm and eye-catching. As it turned out, the goose was showing off.
Geese in the region have regularly been seen flying upside down, which might seem somewhat odd to the bystander seeing the behavior for the first time. Locally referred to as “whiffling,” upside-down geese flying occurs on a regular basis when the bird manages to twist its belly up in the air and keep flying while the head is also twisted right side up. No one is quite sure why geese do this, but some guesses are it helps distract would-be predator birds from attacking when something looks odd, or it slows the goose’s flight to the ground. Geese are not the only birds to perform whiffling either; lapwings and godwits have been seen doing the same in flight.
Vincent Cornelissen was the lucky photographer who was able to snap a wonderfully clear shot of a goose near Arnhem, and it was his image that ended up triggering the latest online debate and interest in geese whiffling. Cornelissen had posted the image to his Facebook page to show off the photograph, and it ended up expanding his audience to some 10,000 different followers as a result. One particular fellow in Turkey turned out to be an aerodynamics professor at Istanbul University and used Cornelissen’s image as an example for students studying flight capabilities.
The upside-down goose was not Cornelissen’s first bird shot either. The photographer has been watching and catching images of birds since childhood, and his library of photographs over the years has grown expansive. However, the odd goose flight could arguably be Cornelissen’s most famous photograph by far. It was pure accident that he even got the shot, simply noticing that one of the birds was flying weirdly at the time. The odd flight approach wasn’t fully noticed until Cornelissen was working on post-processing of his images when he realized what the bird was doing.
At first, Cornelissen thought his audience would accuse the amateur of photoshopping the image, the practice of making a fake image with Adobe Photoshop, a highly powerful post-processing image editing program. However, Cornelissen was soon buffered by those in other countries who confirmed the behavior as being real and accurate.
As it turns out, when young geese become accomplished in flight, they do dumb stuff, most notably, flying upside down to apparently “show off.” It works great until the goose runs into trouble and then has to adjust for a potential flight mishap and crash on the ground. The whiffling has been confirmed by other photographers after Cornelissen’s image was produced, but his image remains the greatest clarity so far of the goose’s flight behavior.
Man Sets Guinness World Record For TALLEST Stack of M&M’s — EVER!
Where were you when you had your first bite of M&Ms? These multi-colored chocolate buttons were first introduced to the world by Mars, Incorporated on September 10, 1941 – more than 79 years ago! Sold around the planet, M&Ms have become one of the most popular sugary candies on the planet, gaining ground with its catchy slogan, “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”
More than just a sweet treat for chocolate lovers everywhere, one man turned to his favorite candy to land within the Guinness Book of World Records. That man, named Will Cutbill of the U.K., would do so by managing to balance five M&M sweets atop one another, bursting through the record of four held by Brendan Kelbie of Australia and Silvio Sabba of Italy.
Snacking and World Records
When we think of accomplishing a world record, most of us probably consider all of the work that likely goes into the equation. We certainly don’t anticipate beating a world record while relaxing in front of the television with our favorite snack. For Will and his bag of M&Ms, it turned out that sitting around was the EXACT recipe for success that would push him to victory. Will said, “One day in lockdown I was mixing up my confectionary choice (…) and this time the bag of M&Ms called me, and boy am I glad they did!”
Will had been sitting on his couch with his snacks when he felt possessed to try and stack them atop one another. At the time, Will thought that he was just killing time with his candies. He didn’t realize that he was practicing and preparing to break a world record! After seeing how good he was at stacking the M&Ms initially, he decided to go for as many as possible.
Will said before breaking his record, “One day I thought, right, let’s crack this. So I sat down determined to complete it.”
The future M&Ms world record holder would film his attempts to stack five M&Ms atop one another and in doing so, Will would capture his success as it happened. Will said, “I’ve had a lifelong ambition to break a world title. I’ve always wanted one.” Will would go on to admit that he had been purchasing the Guinness books every single year, hoping one day to add his name to its pages.
After breaking the record from the comfort of his living room, Will would submit the recording for review. Claiming that the moment felt ‘absolutely amazing’, Will would wait until the video was verified to actually celebrate. “It’s madness. I can now say I’m a Guinness World Records title holder!”
Despite earning the record for his ability to balance chocolate candies, Will admits that he himself isn’t very athletic. “I can barely stand on one leg, but I have a talent for chocolate!”
While he is happy to hold onto his record, for now, the U.K. native admitted that he’s already planning on future challenges. Will said that he was inspired and that his “creative juices” were flowing.
A Pandemic, a Tweet, Costco, and a Dream Job
No one knows yet why or how a post becomes viral, but when it does that communication moves across social media like a hurricane, gaining speed and strength as it is shared exponentially by readers. That was the case with one particular post by a daughter who felt bad about the career stump her father was in and wanted to help.
Rebecca Mix is like any teenager today, active on social media and posting anything that matters online to share, get reactions and interact. In the meantime, however, her father, Jeff, was dealing with the economic reaction to COVID, particularly in the pandemic’s impact on companies forced to lay off employees because of reduced contact and customer inflow in facilities. That put Jeff in the situation of needing to find work somewhere else at a time when everyone else was suddenly in the same boat. It wasn’t a pretty picture in the summer of 2020. Of course, Jeff Mix had his preference if he could choose; he wanted a job that had him moving versus sitting, had decent pay, and involved helping people. The last one was a tall order given the pandemic restrictions and social distancing.
Unfortunately, Jeff was also in the classic category of being an older worker, needing to work still versus retire, and taking care of dependents, namely his family. So not working was out of the question; he had to find something to fill the gap. And, if it was going to be a good spot, he wanted to work at Costco, the grocery warehouse and consumer retail venue that first coined the phrase, “big box store.”
Jeff liked their culture, the hours, and the in-person feel of the business. The culture matches the way he thought a business should run as well as how it dealt with its staff. But, he hadn’t been job-hunting in a long time and the market was very different in 2021. So, Jeff leaned on his daughter, Rebecca, for pointers.
Rebecca, in the meantime, narrated the whole issue on her Twitter account and then moved on. She thought it was a giggle to have her father working at Costco at the time. However, the thing about posting something on the Internet is that it stays there. And it also becomes public. So, among the thousands of readers who could possibly read Rebecca’s post, it turned out the CEO of Costco, Craig Jelinek, got tipped off by active internal screening on posts about Costco, and he read Rebecca’s post. With a few notes or calls, Jelinek arranged for a job interview for Jeff in Michigan via one of the local store managers there. That set the ball in motion.
Rebecca was contacted by one of the managers via her Facebook account and was told it started with her earlier Tweet. In mid-May 2021, Rebecca found herself going bananas trying to get a hold of her dad and make him understand the significance of the digital reach-out, specifically for him. Jeff thought the whole thing was great, but he was also an experienced worker and kept reserved in terms of anything coming of the matter. He was well aware companies do things at times just for goodwill on the marketing side, and then nothing really happens in practice. Jeff met with the local store manager, discussed job potentials, noted there was no mention of the social media posting, and then he left the interview without an offer. From Jeff’s perspective, it was over, maybe just going through the motions.
Then, Jeff got a call. He scored well in the second interview and was hired. Now he could be excited, and Jeff zapped a photo of his new Costco employee badge to his daughter when it was finalized and real. And, the job was what Jeff wanted; he got to mix with people, he was in a store culture he liked, he was on his feet a lot, and the job had good promise and pay for its role. All in all, it was a bit of karma coming back to Jeff and his family after a rough year and losses to COVID. So, the job hire was a huge blessing, and he has a new nickname now at work – the Twitter Guy.
The Infamous but Hilarious Canadian Sign War of 2021
Towards the end of April 2021, an odd thing happened in the town of Listowel, Canada. Two businesses decided to get snarky with each other in a public manner. On the one side of the street was a Speedy Glass venue, a small business firm that serviced the locals with glass and vehicle window repair. On the other side of the street was the local Dairy Queen, a fast-food chain venue for burgers, fries and milkshakes.
Big Things Come in Small Packages
The sign battle started off simple enough. Both businesses had a typical elevated advertising sign in front of their venue visible from the street which could utilize letters to customize messages. Speedy Glass decided to use theirs to goad the Dairy Queen in a word battle. It started off as a copycat. Trevor Cork had seen a similar little tiff in Virginia that went bonkers on the Internet, so he decided to try the same in his own town. Gathering the staff, Cork had their Speedy Glass street sign modified to send the invite, basically asking the Dairy Queen if they wanted to have a sign war. It took off from there like wildfire. Trevor had no idea where the reaction was going to end up going, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Dairy Queen sassed back pretty quick and put Speedy Glass on the spot. From there, both double entendres and outright one-up’s started flying back and forth, much to the amusement of the locals driving by and living in the area. Interestingly, both stores have kept their cool and not gone below the belt with their snips, but they have been pretty funny and challenging as the signs keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.
Of course, anytime someone is having fun, others want in on it too. The local casket store got in on the mix pretty quick and started their own shots. However, they didn’t have a big road sign and had to settle for a street-level A-sign instead. The locals loved it so much they started telling their friends and contacts outside of town, and Listowel started attracting tourists for the same as well.
A War is a Good Thing These Days
The timing of the sign war couldn’t have been better. The Covid pandemic was just depressing people something fierce, and the lack of social connection was making things worse. Suddenly, having a bit of humor and a good laugh with many of the business signs and their message conflict got everyone laughing their heads off driving by. It also amazingly brought the whole together as a community again when it needed that feeling the most. As some folks reflected on social media, the Listowel sign war was the best thing that could happen to them right there and then. Even now, folks still keep driving through town just to see the latest zingers and zaps on the local signs.
Will Listowel sign war eventually end and become a memory? Who knows? Even the infamous Hatfield and McCoy feud finally died out at some point. In the meantime, Listowel business owners like Trevor Cork are just enjoying the attention and the visitors, even in a pandemic.
Man Creates AI Program To Alert Him And Greet Dogwalkers in His Community
Dogs are deemed as man’s best friend for a multitude of reasons. What we have to understand, though, is that the love has to be shown to the dog as much as we want to be delivered to us.
Watching someone walking their dog is a pastime that never grows old, to the point that one man decided to build a hi-tech machine to detect when dogs and their owners were passing by his home.
Is that a thing? Certainly it is, and it has been bringing immense joy to him as well as the pups and their masters as they pass by his home.
Some people think it’s cute, others eerie, but no one can deny the thought and creativity behind developing that machine.
This may become the new greeting technology based on the incredible level of responses that have been pouring out towards both the owner and his creation, as you’ll learn below.
If you have at any point spent an evening(or the whole year 2020) on the internet looking at adorable dog videos, you’ll understand why Ryder of YouTube fame decided to create a computer, powered by Artificial Intelligence, which is able to discern dogs walking along the street pass their house and instantly shout praises to the dog walkers or owners.
His Youtube program is called Ryder Calm and has earned quite a following.
Getting things done by looking at the real puppers has always been better than wasting time and looking at only pictures of puppies, so the development began as an automated manner for Ryder to identify when somebody was walking down the street past their home. The computer, which is based on a Raspberry Pi, assesses a live feed from the camera module and employs a machine learning model (in this case, the YOLOv3) that has been programmed to recognize about Eighty different items, including people, vehicles, and dogs.
When a passing puppy is detected, an alarming automated text-to-speech voice warns Ryder via an actual megaphone, allowing them to rush to the window on time to catch sight, no matter what they’re doing.
Watching dogs is obviously not just his passion, but clearly an activity that his entire family enjoys doing. They enjoy it so much that they’ve programmed the system to function even during their absence. If that isn’t innovative, then what is?
For those occasions when they aren’t home to hear the alarm, the system can be programmed to play a pre-recorded “I like your dog!” message through the window, providing a complimentary dopamine boost to anybody walking their dog down Ryder’s street.
It’s a random and somewhat weird act of generosity, but I think we’d all take something at this stage. After all, any good gesture is better than the negativity endured throughout 2020, right?
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