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Teacher Saves the Life of Her Student’s Grandma During Remote Learning Session

Teacher saves student's grandma
(YouTube/WOOD TV8)

The era of remote learning has come with its fair share of challenges. If getting kids to sit and focus on a screen for a day’s worth of lessons isn’t enough, lack of resources and technical problems throw a whole new mess of complications in the mix. As with most of life’s challenges, there is a silver lining. Sometimes remote learning comes with unexpected surprises – special guests, exciting activities, and in the case of one Muskegon Heights elementary school teacher, the ability to save a life.

While teaching her first-graders remotely on September 22, Julia Koch noticed one of her students having technical difficulties. Since students need their devices throughout the school day, it’s important that they charge them regularly. One student, however, explained that her device wouldn’t charge.

Rather than talking a first grader through tech support, Koch asked to speak to the student’s grandma, Cynthia Phillips. Interacting with students’ guardians happens nearly every day, especially when kids are learning from home – but unlike most teacher-guardian interactions, this one was life-saving.

As soon as Phillips started to speak, alarm bells went off in the perceptive teacher’s head.

“When she started speaking, I could tell that there was something wrong. I wasn’t sure what was wrong, but there was something wrong,” Koch told WREG.

Though Koch didn’t know exactly what to tell administrators, she contacted them immediately. She knew the woman needed help, and she knew the administration could quickly locate the students’ home address.

“I need someone at that residence ASAP, please,” a school staffer said to the 911 operator.

Koch’s instincts told her something was very wrong, and she was absolutely right. Phillips was having a stroke. Thanks to this teacher’s quick response, Phillips was rushed to the hospital where she remained for several days. Though recovery is a long and arduous process, the life-saving intervention came quickly enough to mitigate the damage.

As soon as she was well enough to do so, Phillips expressed her immense gratitude to Koch and the school’s staff. “Thank you for saving my life,” Phillips said. “If it wasn’t for them getting me the help, I needed I would’ve just not been here.”

Deepfake Tech Inserts Arnold and Sly into Step Brothers

Arnold and Sly in Step Brothers
(YouTube/brianmonarch)

Deep Fake technology is pretty insane.

It grants creators the ability to make it look like almost anyone is doing almost anything, in a very convincing fashion. It’s a potentially very dangerous tool, especially in today’s divisive times, and it’s possible to foresee a future in which video footage is manipulated in such a way as to provoke the public or even cause global conflict that can irrevocably impact the world in terrifying ways.

Thankfully we mostly use it to make funny clips.

In the past, deep fake has given us Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr. as Marty McFly and Doc Brown, and it has transformed Al Pacino into Ace Ventura. It has put Jim Carrey in The Shining and transformed Jennifer Lawrence into Steve Buscemi for some reason.

Now, the technology has been put to perhaps its greatest use yet: replacing Step Brothers’ stars Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly with two of the biggest action heroes of the 80s, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone.

If you told me they had actually fully remade Step Brothers with these two, I would have already purchased a ticket. The idea of those two muscle-bound quip machines facing off and teaming up in that absurd movie sounds even more ridiculously entertaining than the movie already is (and that’s saying something).

That remake, of course, will never happen. But until then, we have this glorious footage. Enjoy!

Best Bros Affleck and Damon Reunite to Roast Each Other (and Raise Money for Charity)

Affleck and Damon Roast
(YouTube/Omaze)

Some 20 years ago (starts weeping), the world was introduced to and quickly became captivated by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. The pair of Boston-based (actually Cambridge, but whatever) friends skyrocketed to fame by virtue of writing and starring in Good Will Hunting, a 1999 movie about a troubled genius and the psychiatrist who helps him overcome his past and realize his potential.

Affleck and Damon soon realized their potential when they won the Best Original Screenplay award and embarked on two decades of Hollywood stardom, with both of them achieving success as actors, and Affleck becoming a celebrated director.

After 20 years of ups and downs both professional and personal, it’s heartening to see that Affleck and Damon remain best pals, as evidenced by a fun video that’s circulating online.

The duo teamed up with Omaze to raise money for Damon’s Water.org foundation, which aims to provide access to safe, clean water, and Affleck’s Eastern Congo Initiative, which is working towards a sustainable and successful society in eastern Congo.

The pair created a video to promote sweepstakes for someone to have lunch with the two friends, though there seems to be some dispute over where. And over many other things, as the pair can’t help but give each other crap, like good friends do, over their respective franchises, and even their use of Instagram.

You don’t need to donate to the cause to enter the sweepstakes, but you’ll have a much better shot at winning if you do!

Check it out:

Orangutan Kisses Pregnant Woman’s Belly

Bullied 7-Year-Old Opens Food Pantry To Help Others Who Are Struggling

Bullied 7-year-old opens food pantry
(Instagram/cooldopeliving)

Being a kid is amazing. The freedom, the lack of responsibilities, the ability to do basically anything in public without repercussions that will haunt you for the rest of your life – it’s a time we aren’t fully able to appreciate until it’s gone. But for some, being a kid means facing struggles you aren’t equipped to handle. All it takes is one bully to turn the best time of your life into the worst. When you’re a kid being bullied, you often have to rely on others to stand up for you – unless, that is, you’re 7-year-old Cavanaugh Bell.

To say that Cavanaugh Bell was bullied feels like an understatement. The torment Cavanaugh experienced left him feeling lost, and at just 7-years-old, this brave young boy decided to do something about it.

“After I was bullied and I felt a darkness inside of me, I knew I didn’t want other kids to feel the same way I felt,” Cavanaugh explained on his GoFundMe page. “And, the more I gave back to my community, the more I wanted to keep doing it.”

After realizing his grandma was in the at-risk age group for COVID, Cavanaugh was determined to help her. But the 7-year-old knew his grandma wasn’t the only one facing a challenging situation – other people’s loved ones were at risk too, and Cavanaugh knew he had to help not just his loved ones, but everyone’s.

With his mom’s help, Cavanaugh poured everything he had into starting his own nonprofit, Cool & Dope. Rather than let the bullying keep him down, Cavanaugh used the feeling as motivation. No kid, no person, should feel the darkness he felt.

The Cool & Dope website states, “My name is Cavanaugh and I’m 7 years old. I used my own $600 savings to make care packs for the elderly in my area. I’ve been SO blessed to get help from people, like you, to create a FULL community pantry to help 5,000 people in need in Maryland.”

Cavanaugh is giving back, filling care packages with food and toiletries and distributing them throughout his community – he even opened a food pantry in a local warehouse. Just as importantly though, he’s empowering other kids to make a difference as well. In a video shared on Cool & Dope’s Twitter page, the little mover and shaker explained that he was tired of being told he was too little to help. According to Cavanaugh, nobody is too little to make a difference.

The most recent update on Cavanaugh’s GoFundMe page explains that his original goal was to help 1,000 people. A lofty goal, when a 7-year-old is in charge of the operation. But Cavanaugh has proven that he is no ordinary 7-year-old. With fierce tenacity, Cavanaugh has helped over 8,100 people to date. Filling trailer after trailer with supplies to distribute, opening a food pantry, and speaking out against bullying, Cavanaugh proved once and for all that no one is too small to be a hero.

Father Figures: Stepping Up

“My fiance Shawn and I met in May 2019, when I was a single mother of 7 kids.

My ex was abusive to my daughter. She suffered from shaken baby syndrome, so here I was, conquering the world as a single mother, with no support from my ex.

My fiance went from bachelor to stepping up to the plate and taking on the father role to 7 kids, aged 13,12,8, 7.5, 4, and 3, and he does it so well.

He goes from taking my son (13) out for guys’ time, then turns around and plays princess with my daughter. He works hard long hours that take a toll on his body so I can stay at home and pursue my dream of becoming a lawyer.

He goes without a lot of the time, not because he wants to, but because he puts the kids first, and back in March we welcomed our daughter. He loves her to the moon and back.

He has shown me what a good dad is and I am so blessed to have him in my life.”

– Ashley Bybee

Jeff Bridges Is Optimistic as He Begins Battle With Cancer

Jeff Bridges Cancer Prognosis
(Getty/ROBYN BECK)

Jeff Bridges is a beloved actor. He’s literally the Dude from The Big Lebowski. From Tron to True Grit, a handful of Oscar nominations (and a win for Best Actor in Crazy Heart), Bridges is a Hollywood legend. On Monday, he took to Twitter to announce he has been diagnosed with lymphoma.

“As the Dude would say.. New S**T has come to light. I have been diagnosed with Lymphoma. Although it is a serious disease, I feel fortunate that I have a great team of doctors and the prognosis is good. I’m starting treatment and will keep you posted on my recovery.”

There was an immediate outpouring of good wishes from many admiring fans and fellow celebrities. It’s honestly harder to find a more universally beloved actor than Bridges, given his history of work and his awesomeness as a person on Earth.

Bridges is currently working on a series for FX, which was among the many parties sending well wishes to the actor.

“Our thoughts go out to Jeff and his family during this challenging time and they have our love and support. We wish him a safe and full recovery. And, as Jeff always says, ‘We are all in this together.’ Jeff, we are all in this together with you,” the statement read.

Bridges thanked everyone for the support at this early stage and used the attention to remind people of their civic responsibility over the next few weeks:

“I’m profoundly grateful for the love and support from my family and friends. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes. And, while I have you, please remember to go vote. Because we are all in this together. Vote.org. Love, Jeff.”

Mando Gets a Jetpack in New Season 2 Footage

Mandalorian Special Look
(YouTube/Star Wars)

If you’re anything like me, you can’t wait until the end of October. Not only does the month culminate in Halloween – which will be (safely) celebrated one way or another, COVID be damned!, it also brings the premiere of season two of The Mandalorian.

The new season hits Disney+ on October 30th, and over the past few months, we’ve got a trailer and a bunch of hits about what the second season will entail. We know Mando is attempting to take The Child, aka Baby Yoda, to find his people, and that the bounty hunter is avoiding the wrath of Moff Gideon and his darksaber as he does so.

He will have the help of his two friends, Greef (Carl Weathers) and Cara (Gina Carano), who are wary of encountering “a race of enemy sorcerers,” and may or may not run into Ahsoka Tano, who may or may not be played by Rosario Dawson.

According to the new footage Disney+ just released, Mando will also be seeking assistance from his fellow Mandalorians (“If I can locate other Mandalorians, they can guide me,” he says), and the jetpack he coveted last season.

Check out the new footage, and get ready. Only ten days away!

The Dad Rocket League Community Remembers RJ aka Tartarus: Gamer, Friend, and Dad

Remembering RJ
(Twitch/TheDadGaming)

“Welcome to the club.”

It’s the first message that greets you upon visiting The Dad, a nod of acknowledgment that may seem like little more than a cool tagline – that is, until you realize what being a member of the club actually means. Being a dad is an experience like no other. It’s beautiful and stressful and exciting and exhausting all at once. It comes with challenges that only other dads can understand. Being a member of the club means being surrounded by people like you, and people very unlike you – but with one important thing in common: fatherhood. It doesn’t take long to realize just how deeply members of The Dad community care for each other, and that level of support extends far beyond things strictly related to fatherhood. When a member of our community celebrates, we all celebrate. If one of us needs help, the response is so enormous it’s almost deafening. And when we experience a tragedy, we mourn together.

On October 7, one of our own tragically passed away. RJ Barry was a father, gamer, and a valuable member of The Dad Gaming’s Rocket League community. RJ loved playing Rocket League and Call of Duty, racing 4 wheelers, skateboarding, but most importantly, the 29-year-old loved his friends and family. Particularly, his daughter Vivian.

RJ and Vivian

The loss of RJ hit The Dad’s gaming community hard – RJ had been an active member of The Dad’s Rocket League group since February, participating in weekly Tuesday game nights and befriending dads around the world. RJ was a skilled gamer, regularly making the playoffs and winning tournaments. But more importantly, RJ was a great friend and an amazing dad.

Jon Melo was just one dad who RJ befriended through The Dad’s Rocket League group, as the two dads played regularly on the same team (and somehow, lost regularly on the same team). Of course, the one week the two separated, both made the semi-finals before RJ’s team went on to win the tournament. “We always said we’re going to win it together,” Melo recalled.

“Honestly I can’t say enough about him,” Melo said. “He just was such an easy-going person and always there to listen to you if you needed someone. A lot of dads on here would say he was one loving outgoing fun guy to play with and was always positive.”

But for gamer friends and non-gamer friends of RJ, there was one constant: “That man loves his daughter and he would do anything for her,” Melo concluded.

The loss of RJ left gamer dads near and far both shocked and saddened. But with the enormous grief that came with the RJ’s passing came something beautiful – a community coming together to mourn and celebrate the life of a friend.

A post shared by Garrett Van Ginkel, The Dad Gaming – Rocket League’s admin highlighted the true nature of what it means to be a member of “The Club.” It’s about far more than gaming and memes – it’s about having a place to celebrate life’s wins and grieve life’s losses, and never having to do either alone.

Garrett’s touching post explained how after RJ’s passing, members of the community came together to honor their fallen teammate. Together, the group came up with ideas to honor RJ, who played by the name Tartarus. “We will be holding a 1 minute moment of silence at kick off of the first round of play,” Garrett explained.

“During the moment of silence, each team of 3 loaded in with only 2 players to symbolize that we were all missing a player,” Garrett told The Dad.

And silently, beautifully, the incomplete teams paid their respects.

Moment of silence
(Twitch/TheDadGaming)

“We are permanently retiring Team 21,” Garrett continued. “It was a common team for him to be on due to his rank, and it was the last team he played for in our tournaments. Moving forward, it will be known as Team Tartarus.”

RJ Moment of Silence
(Facebook/Brian Wilson)

Watch the moment of silence:

 

The group even moved their efforts outside the confines of the internet. Garrett explained, “I have set up a PayPal account to take donations for his daughter Vivian and his family. We will be promoting it on stream during the tournament, and have it displayed on the overlays so anyone that tunes in will see it. Once all donations are in, I will personally write a check to his family for the full amount in the PayPal account. The email address to donate is: [email protected]

As dads, we want nothing more than to be there for our kids, to take care of them. In RJ’s memory, the group is collecting money which will go to a trust in Vivian’s name. Though the trust will provide financial assistance to Vivian one day, it represents so much more than money – it’s emblematic of the true nature of being a dad. If there’s a problem, you try to fix it. If you can’t fix it, you do everything you can to help, and you do it with a whole lot of love.

RJ will be forever missed by both his friends and family, but he will always be remembered – and he will always be a member of The Club.