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Veteran Plows Neighborhood with Wheelchair

Justin Anderson is an Iraq War veteran who uses a wheelchair and is battling brain cancer. He has a badass all-terrain wheelchair donated by a veteran’s group. Anderson modified the chair by adding a snowplow blade! Now he can clear the snow from the sidewalks in his Bellevue, Nebraska, neighborhood to make walking to the nearby school safer and to save his neighbors the backbreaking chore of shoveling snow.  

(YouTube link)

WOWT caught up with Anderson as he plowed the sidewalks.

Justin Anderson’s make-shift snow plow isn't about the recognition he says, but more about his duty.

“It's very gratifying. It's nice to know you're appreciated. But even if I didn't get any response from anyone – or nobody said Thank You – I'd still do it,” said Anderson.

-via Viral Viral Videos


83-Year Old Woman Walks into a Police Station Looking for a Hug


(Photo: Arvada Police Department)

Mary walked into the police station with a simple request: to hug an officer.

Upset at what she perceives as an uptick in violence against police officers in the US, the 83-year old resident of Arvada, Colorado walked into the Lake Arbor station and asked to hug an officer to thank the police for their work. Officer Steiner was on hand to do his duty. He and his colleagues were emotionally overwhelmed by the moment. KDVR reports:

She walked to her local police station, picked up the phone and told the lady who answered why she was there.

"That I wanted to express my appreciation to what our police people are doing," Mary said.

And after she waited for a minute, "This policeman came out, and, well, the minute he came out, I gave him a hug and told him how much I appreciated what the police people are doing."

-via Huffington Post


The Story Behind "Sweet Home Alabama"


(Photo: Jon Callas)

For far too long, I lived away from South. When I would return to my parents' home in the paradise of Alabama, I would hear the song "Sweet Home Alabama"--if not on the radio, then in my soul.

42 years ago, the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd released its iconic tribute to the heart of the Deep South. C.J. Lotz of Garden & Gun magazine interviewed Gary Rossington, one of the founders of the band and composers of the song:

What was the process like to write “Sweet Home Alabama”?

I had this little riff. It’s the little picking part and I kept playing it over and over when we were waiting on everyone to arrive for rehearsal. Ronnie and I were sitting there, and he kept saying, play that again. Then Ronnie wrote the lyrics and Ed [King] and I wrote the music.

The lyrics were a response to a Neil Young song, right?

Everyone thought it was about Neil Young, but it was more about Alabama. We had toured there, going all around playing clubs and National Guard armories. Everyone was real nice. When we were out in the country driving all the time, we would listen to the radio. Neil Young had “Southern Man,” and it was kind of cutting the South down. And so Ronnie just said, We need to show people how the real Alabama is.

We loved Neil Young and all the music he’s given the world. We still love him today. It wasn’t cutting him down, it was cutting the song he wrote about the South down. Ronnie painted a picture everyone liked. Because no matter where you’re from, sweet home Alabama or sweet home Florida or sweet home Arkansas, you can relate. […]

What’s the best thing about being Southern?

I love being Southern because of the people and the fans we have. People down here are more friendly—really warm people. We travel all over the world and it seems like the South is the place where the people are nicest and they think of the fellow man more.

-via Glenn Reynolds


New Zealand Will Choose a New Flag from 40 Possible Designs, Including These

The current flag of New Zealand is the British Union Flag in a corner with four stars on a blue field. These symbols represent the nation's origin as a British colony and the constellation of the Southern Cross.

The government is ditching this flag for something that represents the nation's present and future, not just its past. And it's putting the matter to a national vote. Here is a gallery of 40 designs that citizens have to choose from. The swirly one at the top of this post is particularly eye-catching. Daniel and Leon Crayford of Auckland designed it. They explain its meaning:

This unfurling pikopiko koru is about vibrancy and energy contained in a small space. By using the Māori spiral design and applying the colours of the 1902 New Zealand flag, it honours both the indigenous and colonial cultures.

-via Visual News


Denali

This is the story of a dog named Denali and his life with photographer Ben Moon. You will want to have a hankie ready, especially if you’ve ever loved a dog. Scratch that, you will cry even if you’ve never loved a dog. Denali had a wonderful life, but like that of all dogs, it was too short.

(vimeo link)

The quote at the end is from What Our Dogs Teach us about Aging. -via Metafilter


Sandwiches from Around the World

YouTube Link

Actress and blogger Lynn Chen decided to see how many sandwiches from around the world she could sample while in Los Angeles. Her finds are both varied and delicious looking. I know which one I'd like to try most. How about you? -Via Viral Viral Videos


25 Times Walmart Employees Simply Stopped Caring

Giant retail megastores are breeding grounds for apathetic employees, and when you simply don’t want to be at work it shows:

(Image Link)

Some apathetic employees spend their days figuring out how to avoid doing any work at all:

(Image Link)

Other employees can’t be bothered to put in more than the minimum amount of effort, even if it makes their store look bad:

(Image Link)

It’s hard to care about climbing the corporate ladder when management can’t even be bothered to check their spelling before having a sign printed:

(Image Link)

And when you work in a store that sells some really cheap and tacky products who can blame you for not having your heart in your work?

(Image Link)

See more from the 25 Times The Employees At Walmart Just Stopped Caring here


An Expert Level Coloring Book For Big Kids

One of the main reason adults outgrow coloring is the simplicity- they’re just too easy to color, too easy to stay between the lines, and that’s no fun. It’s not like adults don’t want to color anymore, it's just not as satisfying as it was when we were kids, and our more advanced minds demand a more challenging coloring book.

Enter Peter Deligdisch’s expert level coloring book Between The Lines, it’s jam packed with intricate line drawings that will test your coloring skills, and when you’re done you have the satisfaction of having created something you can pin up on your refrigerator!

-Via 22 Words


European Word Translator

“How do you say…” peppers every conversation when you’re trying to negotiate a different language. The European Word Translator fills in the blank, so to speak. This application uses Google Translate to give you your word in many European languages. Just enter a word (or two), and they will come up on the map. In the map above, the word is “cat.” There are some caveats:

Translations are generated by Google Translate. Some may be inaccurate or use non-European (e.g. Brazilian Portuguese) words.

Just one translation is provided for each word; watch out for words with multiple meanings!

The Google Translate API does not yet translate into all European languages.

* If Google Translate cannot find a translation, it simply shows the English word. This may be the case for the starred words on the map.

Still, it’s fun to explore, and may be useful for those studying the relationships between European languages. -via the Presurfer


Jimmy Kimmel Asks Kids If They Know Any Naughty Words

(Video Link)

We recently posted a video featuring a guy asking his three year old nephew to recite all the bad words he knows, many of which were unsurprisingly butt related.

But Jimmy Kimmel wasn’t satisfied with the results- he felt that this particular kid's list of curse words didn't fairly represent the bad words known by all kids, so he decided to head out to Hollywood Boulevard to see what kind of filth was running through the mind of L.A.’s children.

Kimmel's scientific research into the subject yielded some rather surprising results, including the fact that most kids think dumb is a bad word, and when these kids let loose it's enough to make a sailor blush!

-Via Cheezburger


Leap of Faith

(YouTube link)

A tiny French bulldog puppy takes his first ever jump off the couch onto the floor. You have to admit, he’s got style! -via Tastefully Offensive


Wrod

How fast can you spot a misspelled word? You might think it’s easy, but that’s just the first few levels. There are ten in the quiz called Wrod, and they get faster along the way. Now, by reading my writing, you may think I have no spelling ability whatsoever. I actually spell well, but I type very poorly and my eyesight is a problem in proofreading. The words in this quiz are large enough, but as the game speeds up, your shoulders may start to tense up. I finally managed to make it through all ten levels. Can you? Good Luck! -via b3ta


Mousetrap Chain Reaction in Slow-Motion

(YouTube link)

The Slow Mo Guys set up a chain of 150 mousetraps, and set them off manually. Dan doesn’t even have time to withdraw his hands an inch before they all go off! Luckily, only one of them actually trapped him, but that had to be a scary experience. We get to see it in glorious super slo-mo, then in real time, which takes no time at all. -via Viral Viral Videos


A Photographer's Dream Home That Anyone Can Fall In Love With

Everyone loves a good view, but if anyone can appreciate the importance of good aestetics, it's a photographer. That's why I'm not surprised in the least to discover this stunning house situated just outside a national park in Wales was commissioned by a photographer.

Aside from looking absolutely stunning and providing unparalleled views of the natural surroundings, this house is also fantastic in the amount of natural light it lets in and the way the walls, made from structural insultated panels, provide a perfect space for the artist to hang up his favorite works.

Check out more stunning pictures of the property at Homes and Hues: The Perfect Home for a Photographer


Der Fartenführer: The Story of Hitler’s Illnesses

The following is an article from Uncle John's Endlessly Engrossing Bathroom Reader.

What was it that caused Adolf Hitler’s physical and mental health to collapse in the closing days of World War II? He was losing the war, of course- surely that had a great deal to do with it. But for more than 60 years, historians have wondered if there was more to it than that.

THE LEADER

On April 21, 1945, an SS physician named Ernst-Günther Schenck was summoned to Adolph Hitler’s bunker in Berlin and ordered to stock it with food. By that time, Germany’s war was hopelessly lost -most of the country was already in Allied hands. Soviet troops had almost completely circled Berlin and were battling their way into the center of the city. Rather than flee, Hitler decided to make his final stand in his führerbunker in the heart of the Nazi capital. He would remain there until the end, which for him was just nine days away.  

Like all Germans, Dr. Schenck had been fed a steady diet of photographs, films, and propaganda posters of Hitler since the dictator had come to power in 1933. But the man he saw in the bunker looked nothing like those images. The 56-year-old Hitler “was a living corpse, a dead soul,” Schenck remembered in a 1985 interview. “His spine was hunched, his shoulder blades protruded from his bent back, and he collapsed his shoulders like a turtle… I was looking into the eyes of death.”

OLD MAN

Even more shocking than the way Hitler looked was the way he moved about the bunker. He walked with the slow, halting shuffle of a man thirty years older, dragging his left leg behind him as he went. He couldn’t go more than a few steps without grabbing onto something for support.

Hitler’s head, arms, and entire left side trembled and jerked uncontrollably. No longer able to write his own name, he signed important documents with a rubber stamp. He had always insisted on shaving himself -the murderer of millions could not stand the thought of another man holding a razor to his throat- but his trembling hands made that impossible, too. He could not lift food to his mouth without spilling it down the front of his uniform and could not take a seat without help -after he shuffled up to a table, an aide pushed a chair behind him, and he plopped down into it.

Hitler’s mental state had deteriorated as well. His thinking was muddled, his memory was failing, and his emotions whipsawed back and forth between long bouts of irrational euphoria (especially irrational considering how close Germany was to defeat) and fits of screaming, uncontrollable rage that lasted for hours.

DIAGNOSES

Schenck remained in Berlin until the end. On April 29, Hitler married his longtime mistress, Eva Braun, and the following day the pair committed suicide in the führerbunker. Germany surrendered unconditionally on May 7.


Der Führerbunker. (Image credit: German Federal Archives)

After the war, Schenck spent a decade in Soviet prison camps. He never forgot what he saw in the führerbunker, and after his release he spent years poring over Hitler’s medical records in an attempt to discover just what had caused the dictator’s health to decline so rapidly in the final years and months of his life.

He was not alone in this effort- in the more than 60 years since the end of the war, many historians, physicians, and World War II buffs have done the same thing. What caused Hitler’s collapse -was it Parkinson’s disease? Tertiary syphilis? Giant cell arteritis? Countless theories have been advanced to explain Hitler’s physical and mental decline, and after all this time the experts are no closer to agreeing than they were on the day he died.

THE CURE THAT ILLS

One of the more bizarre theories was advanced by some of Hitler’s own doctors in July 1944. The diagnosis came about by chance, after a visiting ear, nose, and throat specialist named Dr. Erwin Geising happened to notice six tiny black pills -“Doctor Koester’s Anti-Gas Pills”- sitting on the Führer’s breakfast tray next to his porridge, dry bread, and orange juice. After spotting the pills, Geising did something that Hitler’s own personal physician, an eccentric quack named Dr. Theodore Morell, had apparently never bothered to do: He examined the tin the pills came in and actually read the label to see what was in them. Geising was stunned by what he read. Could it be? Was the Führer bring poisoned by the pills he took to control his meteorism -powerful attacks of uncontrollable farting?

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