Billy Baldwin Reveals Teen Son Has Cancer, Is In Remission

Billy Baldwin Reveals son is in Remission
(Instagram/thebillybaldwin)

In these highly polarized times, I think there’s one thing on which we can all agree: FUCK CANCER.

There’s hardly a person among us who hasn’t been impacted by the insidious disease, either personally having been diagnosed or knowing a family member or friend who’s battled it in one form or another. Many of us have lost people to lung cancer or brain cancer or prostate cancer. It’s everywhere, and it doesn’t discriminate.

Perhaps the worst version of cancer is one that affects children. That’s exactly the kind of cancer Billy Baldwin and his family are fighting, and for the first time they’ve gone public with it. Baldwin, an actor from such films as Backdraft, Sliver, and Fair Game, is the younger brother of Alec Baldwin and currently stars in “Northern Rescue.” He’s married to Chynna Phillips of Wilson Phillips fame and they have three children.

Last week, on Instagram, Billy shared a photo of his teenage son buttoning up his shirt, which has the hashtag #F#ckCancer embroidered all over it, and revelaed that 17yo Vance Baldwin had been battling cancer for a year. In the post, Baldwin sounds like any proud father as praises his son’s courage and resilience in the face of 28 rounds of chemotherapy.

“Kid’s a tough son of a bitch.
Sharp as a tack.
Funny as hell.
Tough as nails.
Heart of gold.”

 

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A year ago today my son Vance was diagnosed with cancer… he was 16 years old. He kept it very quiet… we all did. He went through 28 rounds of chemo yet stayed VERY positive, focused and kept his life as normal as possible… every single day. Kid’s a tough son of a bitch. Sharp as a tack. Funny as hell. Tough as nails. Heart of gold. Courage, strength, bravery, attitude, warrior… never seen anything like it. Never been prouder. Love you son. ♥️ So much love & gratitude for how all his boys, teachers, coaches, parents… the whole SB community stepped up for him during this difficult time. Thanks gang… you know who you are… Vance, Chynna, Jameson, Brooke & I love you all. Your love, kindness & support definitely helped get him/ us through this difficult time. Thank you #drlawrencepiro… you are an amazing man!! #VBcrew #warhorse #fuckcancer

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Baldwin praised his entire Santa Barbara community and his family for their support throughout the ordeal, including his son’s doctor. For Vance’s part, according to Today.com, he posted on his own Instagram that he “Got diagnosed a year ago today, been clear for months now.”

It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, famous or anonymous, cancer is a plague, and any time someone is able to survive it is cause for celebration, especially when it’s a young person with their entire life ahead of them. Congrats to Vance Baldwin, may he remain forever in remission!

Fuck cancer.

Fitbit Unveils Emergency Ventilator to Support Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

Fitbit Emergency Ventilator
(Fitbit)

When COVID-19 began to spread, hospitals realized they did not have nearly enough personal protective equipment or ventilators to handle a large outbreak. Physicians in the U.S. were reading heartbreaking stories from Italy about emergency room doctors forced to decide which patients would get to live because they didn’t have enough ventilators.

So communities began to shut down in an effort to “flatten the curve”, buying time for hospitals to build up their supply of PPE. Companies that used to make sporting goods started making face shields for healthcare workers. Toy companies started churning out masks. And now we can add Fitbit to the list of companies giving back during the pandemic, as they unveiled a new ventilator that hospitals can use in a pinch.

The Fitbit Flow is billed as an easy-to-use, low-cost emergency ventilator that the company said was designed with clinical input from healthcare experts. It’s not as effective as a conventional ventilator, but they are far cheaper and will get the job done until the necessary equipment becomes available for a patient.

The company said they are planning to use their existing infrastructure to start manufacturing a whole lot of these ventilators. It’s a terrific development for healthcare workers, as the Fitbit Flow can really help during a surge situation. And with plenty of talk of a second wave of COVID-19, these ventilators may be sorely needed by the time they are available.

And it’s not a permanent change for the company dedicated to counting your steps, but it’s what they can do to help the country during its time of need.

“COVID-19 has challenged all of us to push the boundaries of innovation and creativity, and use everything at our disposal to more rapidly develop products that support patients and the healthcare systems caring for them,” said Fitbit CEO James Park.

“We saw an opportunity to rally our expertise in advanced sensor development, manufacturing, and our global supply chain to address the critical and ongoing need for emergency ventilators and help make a difference in the fight against this global virus.”

The new ventilator has been approved by the FDA for emergency use.

Study Reveals 1980s Metalheads Grew up Happy and Well-Adjusted

1980s Metal Heads Are Alright
(Getty/Michael Ochs Archives/Stringer)

For today’s youth, there is a lot of access to a lot of potentially dangerous and influential content. The internet is a treasure trove of information and, well, porn, not to mention conspiracy theories, fake news, and outright lies. Video games are more realistic, immersive, and violent than ever. And obviously porn is everywhere.

It wasn’t always so easy for impressionable kids to find questionable material.

Growing up in the 80s, porn was much harder to acquire, video games were nowhere near good enough to be an issue (unless the issue was being a couch potato), and the internet didn’t exist. For a decent stretch, the big boogeyman for 80s kids was heavy metal music. Like rap in the 90s, many parents hated heavy metal, and many politicians feared its impact on kids.

An article on Open Culture details the metal wars, wherein Ozzy Osbourne was put on trial and a bunch of musicians were hauled in front of congress to defend themselves and their art against censorship, warning labels, and murder accusations. As late as the 90s, kids were still being demonized merely for listening to bands like Slayer and Megadeth. Just as the West Memphis Three.

Well, it turns out all that handwringing was for nothing.

A study put out by psychology researchers at a collection of colleges – Humboldt State, Ohio State, UC Riverside, and UT Austin – put out a paper titled “Three Decades Later: The Life Experiences and Mid-Life Functioning of 1980s Heavy Metal Groupies,” in which they “examined 1980s heavy metal groupies, musicians, and fans at middle age.” The study looked at 377 participants and reveals that despite living somewhat riskier lives as kids (didn’t all kids live riskier lives in the 80s?), they grew up to become “significantly happier in their youth and better adjusted currently than either middle-aged or current college-age youth comparison groups.”

Wow. Who knew that getting your aggression out in healthy ways, and bonding with fellow kids over a shared enthusiasm for whatever music or pop culture you enjoy, could yield positive benefits!

Looks like Dee Snider gets the last laugh. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go get my vinyl copy of Shout at the Devil back from my dad.

Smooth AF Dad Commutes to Home Office Via Surfboard

Dad Surfs to Work
(TikTok/dylanjohnson245)

Life in the era of a pandemic has forced us to settle into a new kind of normal. Events such as “going out” and “doing things” have been canceled indefinitely. Instead of going out to bars and restaurants, we’re building our own – but, you know, for squirrels. Instead of going to work, we’re bringing work home (with varying success). Conference room meetings are a distant memory, and Zoom has become the place where all-important business is discussed (again, with varying success). One man took another long-forgotten memory of life before COVID, the dreaded commute, and brought it back with a splash.

A TikTok user named Dylan Johnson shared a clip of his dad on May 23rd with the caption “Like Father Like Son”. The video shows Dylan’s dad taking a running start before jumping onto a surfboard that sat waiting in a pool, with the phrase “Working from home” written across the screen. He then gracefully(ish), flawlessly, catches some non-existent waves before landing at the other side. This absolute boss walks casually to his computer and takes a seat.

As if he’s peering into our wonderstruck souls, this dexterous dad then rips off his glasses and winks at the camera. If someone could tell him he doesn’t have to impress us anymore, that’d be great. He’s done more than enough.

@dylanjohnson245Like Father Like Son ##dad ##learnontiktok ##surprise ##got2bhome ##favoritememories ##soapbop ##pool ##juicewrld ##rip ##igor ##eatemup ##homeroutine ##100 ##1♬ ALL IN – ZaeHD & CEO

The TikTok community flooded the video with comments expressing their appreciation for this dad’s impressive ride.

“CEO of having the coolest dad”, one viewer gushed.

“What a legend” applauded another.

Here’s hoping that someone develops a surfboard-only transit system by the time we all head back to work.

Dad Creates Fully Accessible Theme Park for Daughter With Disabilities

Morgan's Wonderland
(morganswonderland.com)

Watching your child miss out is never easy. Sometimes the solution is as simple as talking with their school or another parent. Things get a little more complicated, though, when your child has a disability. Don’t get me wrong, there has been an enormous amount of progress in inclusiveness over the years. But any parent of a child with disabilities will tell you, there is still a long way to go.

Many parents have even taken it upon themselves to make the world a more accessible place for their children. There was the dad who ran marathons with his son who had a disability, allowing him to experience the rush of crossing the finish line. And who can forget the dad who built a wheelchair accessible igloo for his nine (NINE) adopted kids, who all have special needs. Gordon Hartman of San Antonio, Texas joined the ranks of MVPs (Most Valuable Papas) when he built his daughter, Morgan, her very own amusement park.

Morgan was born with both physical and cognitive disabilities. From a young age, Hartman had to watch his daughter miss out. Morgan missed out on things that every child should experience, that most of them take for granted. Sometimes she was unable to participate due to physical limitations, but other times, she was intentionally left out by other children her age. Children who didn’t know Morgan often kept their distance – they simply didn’t understand that in more ways than not, Morgan was just like them.

The family was on vacation in 2006 when they decided to go for a swim at the hotel pool. As any other kid would, Morgan wandered towards a group of kids around her age playing nearby. Instead of inviting her to join in, the other kids quickly grabbed their things and left the pool.

Hartman was heartbroken. Watching the disappointment wash over his daughter was a call to action. Morgan needed somewhere to go, where she would never be left out. Kids like Morgan needed a place that was built specifically for them, in a world where very little is. And just like that, Morgan’s Wonderland was born.

 

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Hartman, a retired home builder, poured his heart into the project. In 2010, Morgan’s Wonderland opened its doors. The park has 25 fully-accessible attractions, including things like wheelchair swings, a carousel, and an off-road adventure. Morgan’s Inspiration Island, a companion water park, opened in 2017. The water park even has waterproof wheelchairs. Hartman stresses that while the park was built with accessibility in mind, everybody is welcome.

“While other theme parks accommodate people with disabilities and/or special needs, Morgan’s Wonderland was created with them in mind,” the San Antonio park’s website explains. “Our vision is to play an instrumental role in helping establish more ultra-accessible places where those with and without disabilities can come together for fun and a better understanding of each other.” The park even offers free admission to anyone with a disability.

The park is closed for the remainder of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus but hopes to reopen soon after.

This Short John Candy Doc Will Put a Smile on Your Face

Short John Candy Doc
(YouTube/Hats Off Entertainment)

Hollywood is littered with tragic stories of talented people dying young. We recently shared information about a documentary on Chris Farley, the beloved comedian and Saturday Night Live star who’s star burned incredibly bright for a few short years before he succumbed to his demons. Before him, there was John Belushi who had a similar story.

In between those two heartbreaks is the tale of John Candy, the Canadian comic force whose larger than life talent is often forgotten by today’s generation. But Candy was a huge star, coming up on Canada’s answer to SNL, SCTV, with Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, and Martin Short, making iconic appearances in early 80s comedy classics like Stripes, Vacation, and Splash, before eventually graduating to headline hits like Summer Rental, Uncle Buck, The Great Outdoors, and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

The man had range too, as evidenced by his heartbreaking turn with Steve Martin in Planes, Trains, and his charismatic part in Oliver Stone’s sprawling JFK. Unfortunately, he died too young, at just age 43, on the set of Wagons East.

Joe Ramoni of the Hats Off Entertainment channel on YouTube recently made a brief documentary showcasing Candy’s prolific comedy skills and larger-than-life charisma, and whether you’re new to the man or not, it’s a wonderful tribute.

Check it out:

Carole Baskin Takes Over Joe Exotic’s Zoo, Complete with Buried Body?

Baskin Takes Exotic's Zoo
(Netflix)

And the hits just keep on coming.

Earlier this year, before the world went crazy, Netflix released its Tiger King docuseries, about Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin, and the bizarre, sketchy, seedy world of big cat enthusiasts. The story captivated the country and birthed countless memes, many of them revolving around the feud between Exotic and Baskin, which had many layers and included a music video in which Exotic accused Baskin of feeding her husband to her tigers. With such a bizarre story, Nicholas Cage was quickly tapped to play Joe Exotic in a TV series.

2020 has been straight-up bonkers, y’all!

The series ended with Joe Exotic in jail for attempting to hire a hitman to murder Baskin, and now Baskin is taking control of the Tiger King’s Oklahoma property, leaving Exotic’s partner Jeff Lowe a month to vacate the premises.

According to Courthouse News, a federal judge gave Baskin ownership of Exotic’s cat compound after ruling that Exotic had fraudulently transferred the properties to his mother to avoid paying $1 million for trademark infringement.

“Big Cat Rescue’s constructive trust and equitable lien in and to the buildings shall survive any physical or title transfer of the building and shall follow any proceeds, except as to a good faith purchased for value,” the 11-page order states.

This is a victory of Baskin, but she’s not exactly free and clear of suspicions about her own activity. A judge recently found that her missing husband, whose death many suspect Baskin is responsible for, had his will forged. This news certainly won’t help Baskin avoid rumors of her participation in her husband’s disappearance.

Things get even weirder when you hear what Exotic’s partner, Jeff Lowe, has to say.

Lowe has a month to vacate the Oklahoma property, but he’s not leaving without stirring up some more shit. He went on TMZ to say Baskin can have the property, and the dead bodies he claims are buried on it.

“Lauren and I tried to donate it to the Indian Nation about a year ago,” Lowe told TMZ. “Because we knew there were the remains of a young American Indian boy buried here. We thought that the Nation should have the first opportunity to protect this land and his grave.”

You couldn’t make this stuff up.

The NBA is Back and Is Going to Disney World

NBA Disney
(Twitter/sportscenter/espn)

The NBA is going to Disney World. A sentence usually reserved for Super Bowl champions, but it feels like a win for all sports fan as the NBA becomes the first of the big four professional leagues to announce a return to live-action.

The NBA has approved a plan to play a truncated finish to the regular season with 22 teams playing 8 games, and then the league will have an accelerated playoff. The entire finish to the season until the possible end of the NBA finals will be a little over 70 days. The league settled on 22 teams by selecting the 16 currently in playoff position and then any team within six games of the final qualifying spot.

Are there logistics to work out, and players that need to get back to their cities and get back in shape? Absolutely. But it’s still a great day for sports fans, as they finally have something major to look forward to.

The NBA seemingly has cleared the major hurdles that commissioner Adam Silver wanted to see before resuming action. All 22 teams will be finishing out the regular season in Florida at the Wide World of Sports at Disney World.

The league will use three facilities to play a ton of games in a short amount of time, which will be great for sports fan viewing. Because there is still this whole global pandemic thing going on, there obviously won’t be any fans at the games. Players, coaches, and other personnel, basically anyone in “the bubble”, will be tested every single day. Everyone is staying at the same hotel, and there will be limited ability to leave “the bubble.”

The league is trying to create a single, isolated site to keep everyone as safe as possible. Basically, it’s going to be an NBA playoffs camp, which still sounds pretty awesome to a sports-starved nation.

Teams will start to come together for a minicamp before going to Florida in early July. On-site, the teams will have a few weeks of practices and scrimmages before games ramp up on July 31st. The NHL is also planning a late-summer return, with an expanded 24-team Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Props to the commissioner and the players union for getting this deal done, with far less drama than Major League Baseball.

Sports are back.

20 Magic Tricks That Will Upgrade Your Cool Dad Status

magic tricks
(Getty/krisanapong detraphiphat)

Ever catch yourself wondering how your grandpa pulled that coin out of your ear? Or how your fifth grade best friend got those rings to separate? Magic tricks stick with you, especially if you saw them as a child. Now that you’re the magical, mysterious grown-up, it’s officially your chance to mystify the kids in your life.

Here’s the thing about magic: Magicians don’t like to give away their secrets. If you step into a magic shop, the salesperson will likely repeat the same thing over and over again, “We’re not selling you the trick, we’re selling you what you need to do the trick.” Meaning, in order to know how to do most of the magic stuff out there, you’re going to need to buy-in. All is not lost, though. We managed to find some solid info on the internet to help us show you how to whip up some magic in your life. And, if it goes well, we’ve included stuff to buy to expand your repertoire of tricks. According to the Magic Masterclass, there are ten kinds of magic, so we’ve labeled things accordingly. Hope that helps!

Production Tricks

Making something appear “out of thin air.”

1. Pluck A Coin From Thin Air

You’ve seen this trick done. But, can you do it yourself?

2. Pull A Card Out Of Nowhere

Make your audience gasp by this single-card production trick and pull a card out of thin air.

3. Flower-Filled Wallet

Turn an “ordinary” wallet into a bouquet of flowers with this awesome trick.

 

Vanishing Tricks

Making something disappear.

4. Disappearing Coin

That coin pulled out of an ear? Make it disappear with simple sleight of hand.

5. Vanishing Toothpick

You got this. Just follow along with this super simple video and you’ll wow everyone.

6. Disappearing Pencil

Wanna wow your kids with their new school supplies? The disappearing pencil trick is relatively simple and a ton of fun.

7. Blooming and Disappearing Flower

You’ve seen the blooming and vanishing silk flower in a million birthday party magic shows. Why not invest in your own?

Transformation Tricks

Turning something into something else. (Like a rat into a goblet.)

8. The Bending Spoon

Is it possible that this is the oldest trick in the book? Uh… probably not. But, it’s pretty old school and super popular with little kids.

9. Transforming a Marker/Pen into a Magic Wand

This is showy and fun — Magic at it’s finest.

Restoration Tricks

Destroying an object, then repairing it.

10. Magic Can Restore/Repair

Wanna blow the mind of your kiddos and/or drunk friends? Refill a can. This video uses a beer can, but it’ll work with any can.

Transportation Tricks

Making an object appear to move from one spot to another.

11. The Sugar Cube and the Magic Number

All you need are a friend, a sugar cube, a pencil and a glass of warm water to make your friend’s lucky number “magically” move from the sugar cube to the palm of your hand.

12. Moving A Pencil With Your Mind

Really all you need for this is a very light pen or pencil and the ability to expel air without making a face like you’re blowing out candles.

Transposition

Similar to transportation tricks, except you making multiple items move.

13. Linking Paper clips

All you need for this trick is two paper clips and a piece of paper — a dollar bill works best.

 

14. Coin Pyramid

Okay, okay. Once you show this trick to someone a time or two, they’ll figure out that it’s actually super easy to do on their own and isn’t actually magic at all. They’ll certainly feel like it is the first time they watch. Little kids, especially, will be in disbelief.

15. Parting The Pepper

Before you start the trick, privately put some soap on your finger. Sprinkle some black pepper into a glass of water and have your friend stick their finger into the water. Nothing will happen. When you put your finger into the water, the soap will cause the pepper to scatter and separate from your finger.

Escape Tricks

Escape tricks are the ones everyone wants to do and not many people can figure out. There’s usually an air of danger or a sense of urgency involved.

16-18. Houdini’s Top 3 Escape Tricks

YouTuber Nadjib Haffaf broke down three of Houdini’s most popular escape tricks here. These might be a little too involved for the average dad. However, we wanted to include them so we didn’t leave anything out.

Levitation Tricks

Making the magician or something/someone appear to float.

19. The Magnetic Pencil

Make a pencil appear to float behind your hand.

20. Levitating Card

You’ll need to do a bit of prep work for this trick, but it’s sure to blow minds.

Hell Yeah, a Short Documentary About Chris Farley Just Dropped

Chris Farley Short Documentary
(YouTube/Hats Off Entertainment)

During times like these, we could all use a momentary distraction every now and again.

It’s not always easy to laugh when the world is on fire, and the past week, not to mention the past few months, have been downright harrowing, and that’s even without a parallel universe springing upon us. 2020 is wild.

Normally, we might run to the movie theater to get a break, or watch sports, but neither of those things are back from the COVID-19 quarantine break they’ve been on. But we do have the internet, and on the internet, there are countless TV shows, movies, YouTube clips, and more to keep us occupied and entertained when we need to step back from real life.

Having a laugh is one of the best ways to not only escape reality for a minute but to boost your mood. And over the past thirty years, few entertainers have been as funny or provided as many belly laughs, like Chris Farley.

The comedian’s career exploded on Saturday Night Live with sketches like the Chippendales try-out, Matt Foley, Motivational speaker, Gap girls, and more. Unfortunately, he died prematurely, a tragic loss that impacted many, especially his close friends and SNL colleagues Adam Sandler, David Spade, and more. A few years ago, Adam Sandler performed a touching tribute song on his comedy special, and now there’s a mini-documentary about the late comedian on YouTube.

Created by Joe Ramoni, who previously made a similar mini-doc about John Candy, the doc runs about 20 minutes and uses a variety of clips from Farley’s movie and television projects.

Check it out, and try not to laugh!