Father Figures: Selfless

“Joe had his own set of worries when we found out we were pregnant with our first.

Growing up a boy who didn’t know his dad, it’s no wonder he had worries. But he slipped right into the role as if he wrote the rule book on fatherhood himself.

Selfless doesn’t begin to describe Joe. Despite long, grueling hours at work, he never misses a beat at home, constantly picking up my slack, giving me breaks, swooping in to take over with our boys.

He lives and breathes for the moments others (admittedly even myself at times) overlook; every night, reading with and singing our oldest to sleep, he refuses to miss a bath time.

Joe is the dad I always wished I had growing up, the dad I always wished for my future children, the type of dad I wish for all children.

He’s a prime example of what a father should be.”

– Amber DeMar

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Dad Surprises Daughter by Secretly Adopting Dog She Cared for at Animal Shelter

Parents surprise daughter with dog she cared for at shelter
(YouTube/Lance Fuqua)

There are several formative moments we experience as kids that stick with us throughout the rest of our lives. We remember the first time we did something dumb enough to earn our very first stitches, we remember the first time we discovered something we were truly passionate about, and we remember the best moments with our very first pets.

Like most kids, Hallee Fuqua had wanted a pet for as long as she can remember. Her parents, however, were less than enthusiastic. They suggested that Hallee wait until after she graduated, ensuring that she’d take full responsibility for the dog she so desperately wanted. In order to get her animal fill until graduation, the teen began volunteering at her local Humane Society.

Hallee loved volunteering and grew especially attached to a dog named Rambo. She attended to other dogs at the animal shelter, giving them the attention and care they needed – but every week, Hallee eagerly anticipated the time she would get to spend with her beloved Rambo.

While browsing the shelter’s social media page one day in December, Hallee made a heartbreaking discovery – according to the Humane Society, Rambo had been adopted. Of course, this is the goal for all shelter animals. But Hallee had never bonded with an animal like she did with Rambo, and she never even got a chance to say goodbye.

Hallee soon found out that she didn’t have to say goodbye, because that year for Christmas, her parents decided to give her the gift of a lifetime.

“My wife and I decided to secretly adopt him 3 weeks ago,” Hallee’s dad said on YouTube. “With the help from the Humane Society we kept it a secret. She found out this weekend that Rambo had been adopted and she was broken. So Sunday night we surprised her with her early Christmas present.”

Hallee’s dad captured the incredible moment on video, a moment that the family won’t soon forget. Rambo found his forever home, and Hallee’s far-fetched Christmas wish actually came true.

Thumb Injury Forces 25-Year-Old Pro Gamer Into Retirement

Pro Gamer's Thumb Injury
(Instagram/tommyzoomaa)

Professional gaming is still a novelty to most people, but eSports isn’t going away anytime soon. And just like traditional sports stars, an elite gamer can see their career cut down in their prime. One of the best, 25-year-old professional gamer ZooMaa, has announced his retirement from competitive Call of Duty, due to a thumb injury-causing surgery.

Gaming is not a fad, it is here to stay. It’s always tough to see competitors cut down in their prime, and few things can cripple a gamer like a thumb injury. It’s like an ACL or Achilles injury in the NBA, it can be really tough to come back the same. Even a tiny blister can shelf an MLB pitcher for a month, so this injury is nothing to thumb your nose at.

ZooMaa, real name Thomas Paparatto, announced his retirement on Twitter.

“Playing through the weakness and pain in my hand just isn’t possible anymore,” he said. “I don’t enjoy competing when I can’t be the ZooMaa everyone knows and loves and feel like it’s not fair to myself or my team to go through all that again, potentially causing more damage to my hand.”

“It breaks my heart to step away from a game I put my heart and soul into every single day for eight years. Tearing up just writing this, but I don’t know what else to do at this point. It’s been an amazing run…I am grateful to have had a long playing career doing what I love at such a high level.”

He’s earned more than $400,000 just in Call of Duty tournament winnings and is widely considered to be one of the best. HI steam, the NY Dubliners, said they are thankful for everything he did.

“His incredible talent as a teammate and competitor has always made him amazing and the positivity he bring sto the community is truly special,” the org said in a statement.

ZooMaa started playing Call of Duty competitively in 2013, and professionally for the last six years. eSports has been on the rise recently, and gamers like ZooMaa played a major part in legitimatizing the eSports world.


And even though he’s stepping back, he’s not going to disappear.

“I love CoD and esports in general so much and will continue to show my love and support to the scene. I’m not sure what the future holds and will explore all options as I love this game too much to walk away completely,” he said. “I look at it as one door closing and another one opening.”

‘More Than Miyagi’ Documentary Explores the Life of Pat Morita

Pat Morita Documentary
(YouTube/Love Projects Films)

Nearly 40 years after it hit theaters, The Karate Kid is still a pop culture phenomenon, spawning multiple sequels, a reboot with Will Smith‘s son, and a streaming series that has caused a bit of a sensation on Netflix.

None of this would have happened without its original star, Pat Morita, who played Mr. Miyagi, Daniel-san’s sensei, and best friend.

The late Morita was more than just the Oscar-nominated costar of one of the 80s most enduring franchises, he also survived spinal tuberculosis as a child, battled drug and alcohol addiction, was a successful comedian, part of the Happy Days cast, and even appeared alongside Jay Leno in buddy cop flick!

A new documentary explores the many facets of the actor, including interviews with co-stars, family members, and friends like counterculture icon Tommy Chong, who says, “He became Mr. Miyagi,” Chong says in the clip. “In so many ways, that was him. That was Pat.”

The official synopsis: “The Oscar nominated actor best known for his role of Mr. Miyagi, left behind a painfully revealing autobiographical record of his much-too-brief time here on earth. Tracing his journey from being bed bound as a boy to the bright lights and discrimination in Hollywood. Deep inside that sweet, generous, multi-talented performer seethed an army of demons, that even alcohol and drugs couldn’t mask.”

Check out the trailer from More Than Miygai, which hits VOD on February 5th:

Mark Cuban Launches Low-Cost Generic Drug Company To Make Medications Affordable

Mark Cuban Drug Company
(Getty/Justin Sullivan)

Entrepreneur, Shark Tank shark, and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is the type of celebrity we deeply appreciate – the type who uses his success for good. He utilizes his experience and money to help up-and-coming entrepreneurs fulfill their own dreams on Shark Tank and even started the Mark Cuban Foundation which helps everyone from families of fallen soldiers to students in underserved communities.

Cuban is known for his generosity, and recently, he’s taken on a new and much-needed project. If you’ve ever gone to a pharmacy to fill a prescription, there’s a good chance you’ve been unpleasantly surprised by the price of your medication.

Even with insurance, the price of life-saving medication is often exorbitant – though generic drugs are slightly less expensive, the lack of competition in the market means that the cost is often prohibitive. Enter Mark Cuban, a billionaire who remains keenly aware of the problems that exist for the average person. But unlike the average person, Cuban has the financial means to enact significant change.

Due to the perpetually-increasing prices of even generic medications, Cuban recently launched the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company.

The company’s website explains, “The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company is dedicated to producing low-cost versions of high-cost generic drugs. We pledge to provide radical transparency in how we price our drugs.”

“We will let everyone know what it costs to manufacture, distribute, and market our drugs to pharmacies. We add a flat 15% margin to get our wholesale prices. This makes sure we remain viable and profitable. There are no hidden costs, no middlemen, no rebates only available to insurance companies. Everybody gets the same low price for every drug we make.”

By the end of 2021, the company aims to make more than 100 generic medications available at affordable prices. Cuban believes that transparency when it comes to pricing medication is essential, and undoubtedly, the company will help countless people get the medications they need at a reasonable price. The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company is a step in an important direction, one that addresses health care inequality in a very real way.

Marvel Wants You To Vote for the Next Member of the X-Men

Vote for the Next X-Men
(Marvel.com)

It can be easy to forget that comic books still exist. Obviously, plenty of people read them, but with Marvel and DC dominating multiplexes and streaming, more and more people are discovering comic books via their live-action adaptations.

It’s not always easy to remember, especially after the past 10 years of Avengers movies and ill-fated attempts to make the Justice League relevant for the first time since Saturday morning cartoons, but the modern superhero boom actually started at the turn of the century with the X-Men movies.

At the time, Bryan Singer’s X-Men and particularly X2 were the high-water marks for comic book movies, until Sam Raimi brought Spidey to the big screen and Iron Man, and The Avengers soon followed. But the X-Men were a big deal, much as they have long been in the comics. And while rumors abound that the mutants will soon be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, life goes on for them within the pages of comic books. In fact, changes are coming, and you can be a part of them.

Marvel is currently inviting comics fans to vote on the next mutant to join the latest version of the X-Men team, and the polls are open until February 2nd.

The website explains:

In 2021, Mutantkind will be selecting the first X-Men team of the Krakoan Age and you are invited to take part in the election. Marvel’s fan vote will be 100% responsible for the determination of the final member of this inaugural team, so choose wisely as your choice will have an everlasting effect on the future of the X-Men and the world at large.

The nominees are Banshee, Sunspot, Polaris, Strong Guy, Forge, Marrow, Armor, Boom-Boom, Tempo, and Cannonball. The website includes images and information on each mutant to help you make your choice.

Do you have a favorite? Do you want to see one of them elevated to the premier mutant superhero team? Now is your chance!

Head over to X-Men Vote to participate in the annual election of your protectors of Krakoa!

Orangutan Dad Swings Into Parenting After Mate’s Death

Berani and Cerah
(Denver Zoo)

The 2010s were certainly a decade of gender-norm bending in America and beyond, with stay-at-home dads (among other things) becoming more mainstream. But apparently, the human race isn’t the only group able to torch the status quo of traditional gender roles, as evidenced by Berani, a male orangutan at the Denver Zoo.

Many orangutans live well into their 40s or even 50s, so when female Sumatran orangutan Nias — nicknamed “Queen Bee” — died at 32 in mid-December, both her orangutan and human families were devastated.

However, Berani, her mate, quickly assumed the role of caretaker to the couple’s 2-year-old daughter Cerah. Similar to a human father, he’s “so attentive and protective of her, seeing to all her needs. He will carry her, comfort her, and even snuggles her when she sleeps,” zoo officials said.

Wild orangutan males aren’t usually involved in child-rearing, so “to see Berani step up as ‘Mr. Mom‘ is an extremely rare situation — and Cerah couldn’t have asked for a better dad.”

Berani and Cerah Cuddle
(Denver Zoo)

In fact, fathers taking care of their young is rare even in the zoo world, not just in the wild. Cindy Cossaboon, a zookeeper at the Denver Zoo, told CBS4 that she’d only heard of one other zoo case of a male orangutan stepping up to the Dad plate.

Still, considering how devoted a mate Berani was to Nias, those who knew the couple well can’t be too surprised he remains devoted to their offspring.

He “became instantly attached” to Nias upon arriving at the zoo, and “if she wasn’t around, he would not eat his biscuits and if she was around, he would share his food with her. It was [her] world and we all just lived in it,” her eulogy stated.

So far, Berani and Cerah are doing extremely well, as is Nias’s other daughter, 10-year-old Hesty, who has stepped up herself to play big sis to Cerah in light of their mother’s absence. “The three of them are sticking together and moving forward,” according to the zoo’s Facebook page.

Berani and Cerah
(Denver Zoo)

Great job, Berani! The Dad salutes you.

‘The Mandalorian’ Actress Brought Her Star Wars Loving Dad to the Set

Star Wars Dad
(Instagram/therealkateesackhoff)

Generations of Star Wars fans have been introduced to the franchise by their dads. I introduced my kids into the Stars world universe, just as my father did before me. Very few people, though, get the chance to pay their dad back by actually bringing them to a galaxy far, far away. That was the case for one person though, an actor on Disney+’s smash hit ‘The Mandalorian.’

Katee Sackhoff plays a Mandalorian badass named Bo-Katan. Her character was a fan-favorite in the animated series, and Sackhoff, who also voices Bo-Katan, got to bring her character to the live-action Star Wars Universe this season (and maybe next, after watching the finale?). And while it was surely amazing for her, what’s even cooler is she was able to bring her Star Wars loving dad to the set. Most dads don’t get to step on an Imperial cruiser.

“As the daughter of a Star Wars fan, this was one of the best moments of my life. My dad gave me my love of all things science fiction and to be able to take him to set was a dream come true…for both of us.

Thank you Disney, Thank you Dave Filoni for creating this fierce woman and thank you both Dave and Jon Favreau for believing I could take her into live action. You’ve made this little girl’s dream come true.”

The Mandalorian recently concluded an EPIC season 2 on Disney+, with the production of Season 3 to begin soon after work on “The Book of Boba Fett” wraps.

Father of 6 Provides Free Plumbing Services to Elderly Customers During COVID

Depher
(Facebook/Depher)

One of the most inspiring parts of the last year is seeing regular citizens stepping up in incredible ways to help their neighbors and communities during the pandemic. Whether it’s a college kid making pizza in his kitchen and dropping it out his window to raise thousands for food kitchens, a dad who lost his job and used his spare time to mow lawns of the elderly for free, or thousands more like them.

Here’s one more to add to the list of regular, everyday heroes; a plumber in the U.K. who has been fixing the heating and plumbing of elderly and disabled customers FOR FREE, helping thousands of families keep their heat and water going during the pandem.

James Anderson, a 53-year-old plumber dad of six in the U.K., started “DEPHER,” which is the Disabled and Elderly Plumbing and Heating Emergency Response, as a nonprofit to help even more people. To date, he’s helped thousands of families for absolutely no cost. In fact, he estimates he’s spent nearly $80,000 of his own money on these free service calls, which he said he does not regret a bit.

“Worth every penny if it kept people alive and warm,” he told the Good News Network. The dude does not take a day off, working 7 days a week and 70 hours per week on average. Oh, and he’s a father of 6.

He set up a GoFundMe so donors can help him continue to work. He said the money goes to hiring other plumbers in different locations to help him provide the free service to as many as they can help. He also said some rogue plumbers unfairly target and gouge elderly and disabled customers, who may not realize they are being taken advantage of.

So, you’ve got a guy with great skill, not only helping to literally save lives during a deadly global pandemic, but he’s also helping to stop shady and downright villainous predatory actors in their paths. He sees his mission pretty clearly:

“We’ve all got a social responsibility to each other – we need to be there for each other.”

You can donate to his efforts here.

Check Out This Stunning ‘Ocarina of Time’ Fan Remake in Unreal Engine 4

zelda Ocarina of Time unreal engine
(YouTube/Yianni Papazis)

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is one of those games that really deserves the remake treatment.  Sure, it’s just perfect the way it was on N64 (and the 3DS remastered version was great), but imagine it built from the ground up with some truly mind-blowing graphics.  We’re still not sure what Nintendo has planned for Zelda’s 35th anniversary (which is on February 21st, hoping for a Breath of the Wild 2 reveal), but in the meantime, check out what this one fan has done visually to the N64 classic.  It’s beautiful.

YouTuber Yianni Papazis has recreated Castle Town, The Temple of Time, and Hyrule Field in Unreal Engine 4.  In the video above, we get a tour of these areas and they even feature the accompanying music that brings back all those nostalgic memories from when I was a kid.  Unfortunately, Papazis isn’t working on this project anymore, but there is a playable Windows build for you to check out here.  While we won’t get to see any of the other locations Link visited in Unreal Engine, at least we can experience a small taste of what this upgraded version of Ocarina of Time would have been like for ourselves.

It might be a long shot, but Nintendo did remake Link’s Awakening for the Switch, so maybe we will see a big remake for other Zelda titles in the future.  One thing I will bet on though, is that a Legend of Zelda 3D All-Stars will be announced for the anniversary.  Much like the Super Mario 3D All-Stars compilation on Switch, they announced for Mario’s 35th anniversary last September, a Zelda compilation just seems like a no-brainer.  I would be absolutely ecstatic if Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, or even Wind Waker were available to play on the go, even if they did still retain their old-school look.

52-Yr-Old Father of 6 Painfully Pulls off 720 (Ok, It’s Tony Hawk, But Still!)

Tony Hawk Pulls off 720
(Twitter/tonyhawk)

A lot of stuff gets harder as you age. Especially physical stuff, even if you’re a legend of the sport. Sure, Tom Brady is somehow still kicking down in Florida, but he’s the exception that proves the rule. (Drew Brees is the rule.)

Age comes for all of us, and it will for Brady too (hopefully at the Super Bowl!) Just as it will for skateboarding, X Games legend, and friend of The Dad Tony Hawk. But not yet!

Hawk is clearly determined to keep old age at bay, at least judging by a tweet he shared the other day, in which he posted a video of himself attempting to pull off a 720-degree jump on a half pipe.

To his credit, he didn’t pretend it was easy. He didn’t only share the successful attempt, no, he shared an entire video edited together showing a bunch of failures, sometimes painful failures, before ending it with footage of him pulling it off.

It takes until his 7th try, with plenty of breathers in between, to seal the deal, and when lets out a triumphant “yeah!” and tosses his board aside, his sense of accomplishment is palpable.

In his tweet he explained that he hadn’t made one in over three years, and that the challenge was due to a combination of slowness, injuries, and old age!

“I recently made a 720 and it was a battle. The last one I made before this was over three years ago, and it’s much harder now all things considered: recently dislocated fingers hinder my grab, my spin is slower so I need to go higher for full rotation and… I’m really old.”

Ever the warrior, hawk stopped short of saying he was retiring from 720s.

“I can’t say for certain that this is the last one I’ll ever do, but I can’t imagine doing many more.” He also announced that he was going to donate the board for a raffle that would be used to make land the trick to raise money for public skateparks.”

12 Funniest Parenting Tweets of the Week 1/29/21

Funniest parenting tweets 1-29-2021
(Twitter/crookedroads770, Getty/Thanasis Zovoilis)

The parents of Twitter never disappoint. Whether they’re sharing their kids’ most hilarious quips or their very questionable parenting moments, we simply cannot get enough. Here’s to another glorious week of parenting tweets – we’ve rounded up 12 of our favorites for a bit of much-needed comic relief.

That’s one way to keep people from touching your money

So simple, yet so brilliant

We’ll never know how many unintentional world records dads have set in these critical moments

May the odds be ever in your favor

You’ll have it eventually, you just have to wait a while

I had the same kind of day at work

And yet coronavirus wouldn’t transfer through broccoli if you asked for a bite

I also choose this guy’s most influential quote

I cannot unsee it

Sometimes lying is not only acceptable, it’s necessary

The one thing I mastered in college that actually helped in the real world

Let us know when you find out

Did you miss last week’s funniest parenting tweets?

Ring Doorbell Captures Dad and Daughter Firefighters Rushing To Work Together

Dad daughter firefighters leave for work together
(TikTok/chloewilson111)

You know what they say, families that save together stay together. Ok, maybe nobody really says that but it’s only because they didn’t have a reason to until very recently. Having one firefighter in your house instills a sense of safety – these people are heroes, bravely putting their lives on the line every day to protect their community. A one-firefighter household means that one person will always be relatively calm in potentially dangerous situations, but a two-firefighter household is the obvious next step – TikTok fame.

Chloe Wilson and her dad Phil Wilson live together in Northern Ireland, and in early January, a video compilation of the pair leaving for work went massively viral. The dad-daughter duo often leave for work at the same time, because incredibly, they work for the same fire department.

Phil has been a firefighter since 1992, and during her last few years of school, Chloe decided to follow in her dad’s footsteps.

“I literally only started in December, I had always been interested in getting involved, especially with my dad being part of it all too”, Chloe told Armagh I.

After Phil’s wife Nuala got him a Ring doorbell for Christmas, the family quickly realized the doorbell’s camera captured some incredible footage – the very footage Chloe compiled and shared on TikTok.

“It comes up with a video every time the door is rung but it also has a sensor which detects and records if someone is coming up the driveway, so it goes off every time we leave the house on a call,” Phil explained.

Chloe compiled a video of the brave duo rushing from their home during all hours of the day and night, any time the on-call firefighters are alerted of an emergency that needs their assistance. The video Chloe shared on TikTok has received nearly 300,000 likes so far – people simply cannot get enough of the life-saving duo.

@chloewilson111🚒🚨 ##fireservice ##firefighter ##northernireland ##fyp ##emergencyservices ##foryoupage

♬ original sound – Chloe Wilson

Though Phil and Chloe work for the same fire department, they take separate cars since Phil is a veteran firefighter and more likely to actually end up attending to the calls. However, Chloe plans to continue working and gaining experience in the hopes of one day becoming a full time firefighter.

“I enjoy it that’s why I have kept at it,” Phill says. “And I think my daughter is enjoying it so far too.”