Good Samaritans Rescue Woman Who Passes Out While Driving

WPTV News reports that a driver in Boynton Beach, Florida, passed out while stopped at a busy intersection. The car kept rolling forward. Another driver noticed and jumped out of her own car in the middle of heavy traffic to try to stop it. More people joined her and surrounded the car at great risk to their own lives in an effort to stop it.

Eventually, they are able to smash open a window with a dumbbell, unlock the car doors, and get to the driver. Among these rescuers was a nurse who attended to the driver until firefighters arrived on the scene.

-via Marilyn Terrell


Good People Being Good to People

In the information age, we are flooded with bad news, including so many stories about people being horrible to other people. We have to remind ourselves that those stories go viral or even make the news sites because they are unusual, and therefore "news." Meanwhile, the world is full of good folks doing good things and we don't hear about it much. Those are stories we need to see. Buzzfeed gathered some of the top stories from the subreddit HumansBeingBros because we need to read some heartwarming tales of people helping other people out. There's more to the story above that you can read here, about meeting the woman they "sold" the car to and what they left in the glove box. And you can read twenty more heartwarming stories in the Buzzfeed list.


What Children Do to Your Best-laid Plans

Lucy Huber posted a Tweet musing on the plans of parents-to-be. Really, babies and toddlers are small, and you can just carry them around, right? Experienced parents not only laugh at those plans, they all have stories that illustrate the many ways young children can complicate even the simplest tasks.  

You can read the whole thread at Twitter (it's still growing), or read a roundup of the 30 best tales at Bored Panda. The comments there have some great stories, too.

We took our 5-year old on a hike, and she did want to go...complaining and complaining. Then she found a nickle on the trail...and then a dime...another nickle! There was no stopping her. We had a nice 30-minute hike, and it cost me less than $2.50.

Now, that's a story worth passing along!


Passenger with No Experience Lands Plane in Florida

An airplane passenger lived through a rare experience, but a common nightmare, and lived to tell about it. A single-engine Cessna 208 was heading to Florida from the Bahamas when the pilot went incoherent, and then went unconscious. None of the passengers had ever flown a plane, but one had seen it done before, so he took to the radio for help. Air Traffic Controller Robert Morgan, who is also a certified flight instructor, pulled up a manual on the Cessna and talked the yet-unnamed passenger through the process of landing the plane at Palm Beach International Airport!



The plane landed successfully, allowing everyone to finally breathe again. We don't yet have word on the condition of the pilot. -via Boing Boing


The First Twin Study on Coffee Consumption

Various people have been suspicious of coffee ever since its stimulant effects were discovered in Ethiopia. Anything that made you feel this good has to be bad for you, right? But study after study shows that coffee used in moderation is okay, and can even help prevent a second heart attack. In the same paper, we learn about King Gustav III of Sweden. He reigned in the late 18th century, and was convinced that coffee drinking would shorten one's life. In addition to banning the beverage, he ordered a scientific experiment to show coffee's effects on lifespan.

The experiment used two subjects who were identical twins. This was a genius move, as twin studies weren't a thing yet, but it is still a tiny sample and wouldn't really tell us much. These twins had both been convicted of murder, but were offered a life sentence instead of execution in order to carry out the experiment. One was ordered to drink three pots of coffee every day for the rest of his life. The other would drink tea instead.

So how did the experiment turn out? Both men outlived the doctor who was supervising the experiment. They also outlived his assistant, who took over. And they outlived King Gustav. Finally, one of the twins died at age 83, but it was the tea drinker! One has to wonder if the coffee drinker kept drinking three pots a day after everyone else involved in the experiment died, but that's one thing we don't know.   

(Image credit: Julius Schorzman)


The Platypus Conspiracy



Years ago, ZeFrank used to make videos about all kinds of subjects, but he has found his niche in the world as a 21st-century David Attenborough, filling us in on facts about the world's animals that we don't get to see very often. Here he's got a short but rather interesting little video about a platypus that you should watch before you read the spoiler below.

Show spoiler



Poor Jerry gets the blame for everything.


The Twelve Principles of Finding Things

"Finding things" in this context is not about finding a job, or finding your true love. It's about finding things you have lost, like your car keys or the Scotch tape. You might start your search with a prayer to St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost things. Or you could start by swearing. Professor Solomon has worked out a system for finding things, based on experience, that starts with neither of those steps. Many of them don't even involve looking, because frantically searching only leads to frustration.  

Each of the 12 principles have their own link. Here's the index, but each principle has a link to the next one. It's important to start with the first one and read in order. By the time you get to the 13th (yes, there are really 13), you should have found your item. -via Metafilter, where you'll find further discussion on lost objects.


A Toaster by the Bed



Bob Mortimer is a storytelling legend. In this episode of the British comedy game show Would I Lie to You? he tells how he keeps a toaster by his bed. The panel has to determine whether it's true or not, so they interrogate him as to the exact procedure involved and the reasons why he does this. Yes, there's also a teakettle. Mortimer makes his morning scenario perfectly plausible, as anyone with several children will understand. You don't want to wake them up until you have to! But in explaining his morning routine, he manages to keep us all in stitches. When he refuses to say how many children he has, you get the impression he can't really remember, but doesn't want to admit it. Commenters who are familiar with Mortimer's humor also recommend we check out the episode called Theft and Shubbery. -via reddit


What Will Food Be Like 100 Years from Now?

When the movie Soylent Green came out in 1973, it predicted that by the year 2022, we'd be eating super processed food squares made from people. Oops, spoilers. Now that it's 2022, does anyone have an idea of what the food of the future will be? Let's hope it's not soylent green. But somehow we will have to feed the 9.8 billion people the earth may hold by 2050, and that won't be easy as our current agricultural practices are being affected by climate change.

Experts are looking at lab-grown meat produced from stem cells, ovens that resemble 3D printers to make our dishes for us, hydroponic crops, various foods made from insects, coffee made from all kinds of plants, dairy-free cheese, and innovations that allow us to grow locally what we now import. The future may hold a lot more food innovations you can read about at bon appetit. -via Damn Interesting

(Image credit: NASA/Bill Stafford)


The Island in a Lake on an Island in a Lake on an Island

This is Victoria Island in Canada's arctic far north. It's the eighth largest island in the world. The island almost entirely uninhabited except for the town of Cambridge Bay because the weather is considered a bit chilly by Canadian standards.

There are many lakes on the island, most of which are unnamed, including this one.

Within this unnamed lake is an island.

On that island is a lake. And in that lake is an island, which measures about 4 acres in size.

So it's what Atlas Obscura calls a "third order island". Josh Calder discovered it on Google Maps in 2007. It's one of two such islands. The other is a volcanic caldera lake island in the Philippines.

This island has no name. I suggest that Canada name its third order island after George VI, the third King of Canada.

What do you think Canada should name this geographic oddity?

Images: Google Maps


How Tourists Can See the Chauvet Cave Paintings Without Ruining Them



Those who are responsible for archaeological sites, both historic and prehistoric, are faced with a dilemma. How do you balance historic preservation with teaching people that history? It's like folks who live near a tourist attraction trying to balance the money tourists bring in with the damage they cause. But that's something you can't really balance. Even restricted tourism will damage fragile ancient artifacts over enough time. But what good are the artifacts if we can't see them? France came up with a workaround scheme to protect Chauvet cave and its ancient paintings by building Grotte Chauvet 2 Ardèche. Tour guide Benjamin Jutz give us a lovely explanation of the value of the paintings in telling us about the people who first made them 30,000 years ago. Tom Scott went there to show us because we can't afford to go to the south of France. Maybe next year. Or in another 30,000 years, by which time archaeologists will not be able to tell the difference.


Rock Music on Percussion Instruments

Joe Porter is a master percussionist who teaches his art at the University of Lethbridge Music Conservatory in Alberta. He does orchestral work, but doesn't limit himself to that form, as he also plays Brazilian, Japanese, Tahitian, and Caribbean percussion instruments.

In this short video, he runs through a rapid succession of instruments with songs that you'll recognize. He plays a few bars from Metallica's "Enter Sandman" on the hammered dulcimer, Guns 'n' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine" on the steel pan, AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" on the slapophone, Metallica's "Master of Puppets" on the flairdrum, the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Californication" on the vibraphone, and Iron Maiden's "The Trooper" on the marimba.

Check out Porter's YouTube channel for more percussion covers of music from The Avengers, Minecraft, Naruto, and Encanto.

-via The Awesomer


Generating Electricity from Workplace Accidents

The US Patent Office has seen a million gadgets designed to generate power, but this one seems like a stretch. 3M filed a patent for a safety harness that will generate electricity when a worker falls from a dangerous height, like from a scaffolding. Mind you, this is not some crank in his garage, it's 3M, and this wasn't from the distant past. The patent was filed in 2016! It may seem a bit gruesome to reap power from a falling worker, but does it even happen often enough to justify such a device?

The answer is in the fine print. The purpose of the generator is not to produce cheap power, but to produce enough to alert authorities of the fall, which it automatically does. The device is ready to go when disaster strikes, bypassing batteries that may have run down exactly because such falls are rare. The patent also serves as a warning to look beyond the headlines for the real story.  -via Weird Universe


Kid Nation: When Reality TV Went Too Far

In William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies, a group of young boys were stranded without adult supervision and eventually descended into chaos and murder. In 2007, CBS attempted to duplicate that excitement with a reality TV series based on the same idea. Kid Nation was supposedly an experiment to see if children left to their own devices could form a functioning community. Forty children between the ages of eight and 15 were brought to a movie set that recreated an Old West town and let loose to do their thing.

However, they weren't exactly free to do as they pleased. Kid Nation was actually a game show, in which the kids were sorted into four teams, and rewards were given to those who were the most useful to the group. Parents were banned from the set, but there were adults around: the film crew and a team of child psychologists.

The show was a disaster. The "reality" for the kids was a lot harder than they anticipated. They were free to quit, but felt pressured to stay and collect rewards. Some were injured during the production. The audience saw it as child abuse. The show only lasted one season. But contrary to Lord of the Flies, the best part of the whole experience was how well the children did with what they had to work with. Read what happened on Kid Nation at Messy Nessy Chic.


A Pain-free Life is Nothing to Wish For

Physical pain is no fun, but it has a biological purpose. Steven Pete has congenital insensitivity to pain (CIP), which means he hasn't felt pain in his 41 years of life. While he couldn't get a genetic test that pinpointed his condition until 2012, his parents and doctor knew when he was only six months old and chewed the tip of his tongue off. In childhood, he could break bones and not know until things got really bad, because he didn't seek help in the absence of pain. Pete's brother had the same condition, and their parents had to create workarounds to keep the boys from injuring themselves to death. As an adult, he must closely monitor his activities to know when he's had enough, or his body will collapse from exertion. Every bump and fall must be closely examined.  

While Pete feels no physical pain, there has been plenty of psychological pain. Doctors predicting his early death didn't help, and the constant workarounds for possible illness and injury are draining. Pete's brother committed suicide some years ago. Pete tells the story of his life without the warning signal of pain at Mel magazine.






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