Dad Organizes Award-Winning Metal Festival for Son With Cerebral Palsy

There’s a certain amount of pride parents get when sharing beloved music with their kids. For true music lovers, it’s like sharing a part of one’s identity, forming a bond that’s difficult to describe yet impossible to deny.

(Credit: Richard McDeid)

Richard McDeid and his son, Mason, have a relationship built largely on a foundation of shared musical taste. They’ve attended over 1,200 musical performances, during which Richard learned more and more about the ironically relaxing effect heavy metal music has on his son.

(Credit: Richard McDeid)

Mason has cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that develops before, during, and shortly after delivery and affects a child’s movement, motor skills, and muscle tone. As a baby up until he was a toddler, Mason was crying all the time due to his constant discomfort. One day, during a particularly bad crying spell, Richard discovered something amazing.

“I arrived in from work and his mom took some time out. He would simply not stop, so I put him in his chair and turned on the Metallica ‘Binge and Purge‘ VHS tape. A few minutes later I was washing the dishes and noticed he’d stopped crying. I checked on him and he’d fallen asleep.

“This was the very first time he’d done that without someone holding him. Afterward, it started happening in the car whenever Metallica was on. He would calm down and relax. At first, it was only Metallica and then grew to other bands as he learned to recognize them, he instantly responded and it grew from there.”

Ever since Mason’s first show in 2008 (Rage Against the Machine), he has been hooked. Most venues provide him with front row treatment where the fellow true metalheads are.

(Credit: Richard McDeid)

“Mason has now seen Metallica eight times from the front row in 6 different states, including the Iowa raceway for his college graduation party,” Richard said in an interview with My Good Planet.

“I teased him for years that Metallica would play his graduation and, as impossible as that sounded, in the end, it was Mr. Mason sitting next to the stage that day.”

In 2017, Mason began experiencing some serious medical problems and had to be hospitalized. With a temperature of 107.9, things were looking bleak.

“Mason is a fighter and a true champion,” Richard said. “And, by definition, a champion is determined not by how many knockouts they have, but on how many times they get up after being knocked down.”

Mason proved, once again, that he was too much of a badass to go down for good, and in his honor, Richard organized a metal festival for the following March during National CP Awareness Month. With a lineup of ten bands and so many of his fans and supporters around, Mason enjoyed one of the best parties of his life.

Completely unexpectedly, the festival was later awarded best show of the year by the local Metalsota Metty Awards.

(Credit: Richard McDeid)

“All those people were nothing but positive, and it was a turning point in his path to recovery,” Richard recalls. “It means so much as our music scene is behind us boys; we are very lucky to have met so many loving, caring metalheads.”

Now, Richard is planning on making “Mason Metalfest” an annual benefit concert, with the second festival scheduled for March 23, 2019, in Minneapolis.

So, if you find yourself in Minnesota in late March and you’re in the mood for a kickass metal show, make your way to Lee’s Liquor Lounge. Get there early enough and you might even be able to snag a prime spot up front with the man of the hour himself.

Credit: Imgur

Olympian Says She Felt Her Late Dad’s Presence During Medal-Winning Race

Winning a medal at the Olympics is a dream come true, but it must be hard if you have a Dad-sized hole in your life. Katie Zaferes represented the United States well in the women’s triathlon, as she made the podium with a bronze medal finish. Maybe more than the medal, what made the moment special was feeling her late dad’s influence during her race.

She told reporters after the event that she made it midway through the triathlon when she saw a rainbow above her in the sky. To her, she knew what it was.

 

“I just gave a little, ‘Hi, Dad.’ I just feel  like that was him. I felt him,” she told reporters after the event. “I feel like he’d be so happy.”

Of course he would. He would be thrilled! Or is thrilled, wherever he is now. Before he was a rainbow in the sky helping his daughter win an Olympic medal, Bill Zaferes was responsible for introducing his daughter to the sport. He recently passed away in April. Zaferes said she had trouble in her competitions after he died, but that she definitely felt his presence during her race.

On Father’s Day, she posted a tribute to her late dad and his influence on her life. She said Father’s Day was the first time she ever did a triathlon, and it was something she did with him.

“I thought I was doing it for my dad, only to find out many years later it was all a scheme to get me interested in the sport,” she wrote.

 

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The two ended up doing many more triathlons together, culminating in Katie representing the US on the podium. But she will always remember running events with her dad. “He always had fun and came out with a story no matter what the scenario. He made me so proud.”

There is no doubt that she made him even prouder.

Hospital Turns Newborns Into Tiny Olympians

The Olympics are all what you make of it. If you get really into watching them, whether it’s for a specific sport (hockey! Gymnastics! Curling!?!), or just the thrill of the event, it can be a memorable experience. Of course, some people take it to the next level, like St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City.  These medical pros had a much-deserved laugh when they broke out the crocheted medals and Olympic attire for the babies born during the games.

Take anything relevant culturally and add it to cute newborns and you have a hit on your hands. Every parent probably feels like their newborn deserves a gold medal anyway. Although with our third, it’s my wife who deserves the medal, since that baby was pretty much a bowling ball.

A nurse said they planned to do this in order to bring some joy to families giving birth during the pandemic, and when the games were postponed, they held onto the idea. “I hope this is something families and babies can look back on over the years as something that made their delivery during the pandemic even more special and brought hope and encouragement,” she wrote.

Delivery is an emotional time, so honestly, everyone involved probably deserves a gold medal. That includes the dad because even the coaches get medals in team sports.

Ryan Reynolds Hosts First Xbox NPC Awards to Promote ‘Free Guy’

Video game NPCs (Non-Player Characters) rarely get the love and attention they deserve.  They provide us with story, items, and are just there if we want to find directions.  When you think about it, a video game would feel pretty empty without them.

In honor of those that await us to return quest items to them, Xbox and Ryan Reynolds are hosting the first (and according to Reynolds, probably last) Xbox Game Pass Non-Player Character Awards in association with Reynolds new film Free Guy.  The movie releases in theaters on August 13th and is all about an NPC named Guy who realizes he’s actually in a video game.  If anyone should be an advocate for all those NPCs that don’t get enough recognition, it’s Reynolds.

Among the video game NPC nominees are Parvati Holcomb (The Outer Worlds), Samuel Hayden (Doom Eternal), Chief Trader Mollie (Sea of Thieves), and Guy (Free Guy) himself.  The polls close on August 3rd, so if you’re interested in showing your support for all those lovely NPCs, you can vote down below.

Hawkeye Meets Hawkeye in First Look at Next Live Action Marvel Series

It’s clear now the MCU is going to use Disney+ content to expand their universe, and introduce the next wave of Avengering. Loki revealed Jonathan Majors as the next big bad (or rather, a “varient” of him), while the upcoming  What If…? series will likely have more to say about the new Infinity Stone level “thing” – the multiverse.

EW has given us the official first look at Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld in Hawkeye, debuting this fall. The series is about Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, and Kate Bishop, the young, gifted fan of the archer who wants to follow in his footsteps. (And their dog.)

Kate Bishop is a fan favorite character from a comics, and fans have been eager to see her appear ever since we saw a clip of Clint training a young woman in the first Endgame trailer. That turned out to be his blipped daughter, but after years of rumors and hints, Disney finally confirmed Steinfeld will indeed take on the mantel of the Young Avenger.

“[Kate is] a 22-year-old kid and she’s a big Hawkeye fan,” Renner said. “She has a wonderfully annoying and equally charming manner about her, because she’s such a fangirl of Hawkeye. The relationship grows from that, but the biggest problem for Clint is Kate Bishop and the onslaught of problems that she brings into his life.”

No word yet on the full plot of Hawkeye, but *SPOILER ALERT FOR BLACK WIDOW INCOMING*  we do know that Florence Pugh’s Yelena, the new Black Widow, might be on the hunt for her sister’s best buddy. While we wait to find out more, Renner is busy getting his young costar acclimated to the Marvel universe.

“Outside of acting in the thing, I was protecting her and giving her the CliffsNotes on how it goes with this kind of filmmaking: Green screen, superhero life, all that stuff,” Renner says. “I just wanted to protect her, because there’s a lot of physical stuff. She’s a wonderful actress, a wonderful human, and I can’t wait to see all the cool stuff that she’s able to do.”

Neither can we! Hawkeye premieres on Disney+ on November 24th.

Adam: So Many Hats

“My husband grew up as an only child with no immediate family close by, so it was really just him and his parents. I think that really contributed to him wanting to be a dad and to have more than one kid.

When we first started dating, he told me he’d like a baseball team of kids! We aren’t at that status but we have just welcomed our fourth healthy babe into this world.

There are so many hats my Adam wears (US Army infantry Cpt., graduate student, husband) but the top hat of them all is the one he wears as a dad. Watching him learn and grow into it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Our children look to him with perfect confidence in his ability to fix anything — from a skinned knee to a broken toy — and more importantly they know he will always take the time to do so. He loves teaching them, showing them, helping them grow and always takes that precious time to do so. He has learned to be a different father for all their different personalities and I hope he knows how special that is and that it’s not easy!

So often our fathers are pushed to the background of the parenting picture and I just want to give all the awesome dads out there a shout out. We see you, appreciate you and know your worth!”

– Morgan Nicholson

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Incredible Dad Reflexes Save Toddler from Water Slide Disaster

Dad strength and dad reflexes are real, and it’s always awesome to see them flexed in a major way. One dad is being praised for his incredible save when his toddler wandered onto the bottom of a backyard waterslide.

Behind the camera, Mom captures dad, mid-slide, pushing the older kids out of the way and twisting his body to snatch up the toddler and keep her safe from the onslaught of older siblings.

Posting the video to her TikTok, mom @RachKreitz got MILLIONS of views from people enjoying seeing dad superpowers in action.

@rachkreitzPosting again because they took it off for harmful acts but I see naked women everywhere 🤣 ##CompleteMyLook ##fourthofjuly ##american ##freedomrings♬ original sound – rachkreitz

This is impressive on a lot of levels, but it is something every dad can relate to. Once you have that third kid, it takes a lot of work to let the older ones do older kid things.  You never know when the toddler is gonna be a toddler and wander onto a slip ‘n slide.

The Olympics are eating up most of the sports media coverage, but if you want a true feat of athletic excellence, this video has it all. He’d get a perfect 10/10 from dad judges, both for the difficulty of the water slide and for the way he managed to move the bigger kids out of the danger zone AND safely secure the toddler while nailing the landing.

Give the man a gold medal, or at the very least, a cold beer.

Bob Odenkirk Update After On-Set Collapse: “He’s Going to Be Ok,” Says Son

On Monday Variety reported that actor/comedian/writer/national treasure Bob Odenkirk had collapsed on the set of his hit show, Better Call Saul, and was rushed to the hospital. After almost two nervous days without any more information, Odenkirk’s son, Nate gave the world a big sigh of relief.

The younger Odenkirk updated the legions of concerned fans and well wishers on his dad’s condition with a simply worded tweet that told all of us that “he is going to be okay.”

The news was met with incredible and overwhelming relief from millions around the globe. The tweet shared by his son was liked nearly half a million times and shared far and wide.

His representation followed with a statement of their own, saying Odenkirk was in stable condition following a “heart-related incident.”

“He and his family would like to express gratitude for the incredible doctors and nurses looking after him, as well as his cast, crew, and producers who have stayed by his side,” the statement said. “The Odenkirks would also like to thank everyone for the outpouring of well wishes and ask for their privacy at this time as Bob works on his recovery.”

 

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In a true testament to how much people love the guy, well wishes were unanimous across social media. It may not sound like much, but when was the last time everyone agreed on anything? But for one day, everyone on the internet came together to assert that Bob Odenkirk rules and that we all wanted him to get better ASAP.

 

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Former costar Bryan Cranston said earlier that day he had been feeling “anxious” and told fans to “please take a moment in your day today to think about him and send positive thoughts and prayers his way.”

Odenkirk made his name to a broad audience on Breaking Bad, but he is beloved in the comedy world for his work on Mr. Show With Bob & David, small parts in Curb your Enthusiasm and Arrested Development, an amazing sketch on I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson, and a wealth of other bit parts, cameos, walk-on roles and appearances. Thankfully we can look forward to more to come.

‘The Simpsons’ Team Really Wants the Rock to Be Friends With Lisa

The Simpsons are a television institution and one of the most important shows of all time. It feels like everyone has been a guest on the show, but there’s star they REALLY want to get: everyone’s favorite Jungle Cruise Captain/mineral-nicknamed movie star, The Rock.

In a Comic-Con panel, Yeardley Smith, the voice actor behind Lisa, asked the rest of the writers and producers on the panel if they could “please” have an episode with The Rock already. One of the writers reportedly even came up with a basic story outline for Lisa befriending The Rock.

It’s honestly surprising that The Rock hasn’t popped in at some point in 32 years of The Simpsons. Showrunner Al Jean said The Rock would probably do it if he was watching the panel, and several others put the plea in the universe to get word back to him.

“I think it would be really good for your career,” Smith joked. “..If you need a little boost, you know.”

Paralyzed Man Proposes on One Knee With Exosuit

There are many ways to make a proposal memorable, but some people raise the bar so high the rest of us can’t see it. This viral video would certainly qualify, showing a paralyzed man working on rehab using an exoskeleton suit to pop the big question to his girlfriend. Besides the whole future is now and cool as hell thing, it’s one of the most heartwarming videos you’ll see all day.

Josh Smith was paralyzed as a teenager at the beach, when he dove into a wave and hit a sandbar he didn’t see. Paralyzed from the neck down, he spent years rebuilding his mobility, piece by piece, to function independently. Then he met Grace Thompson on Bumble during the pandemic, and realized there was one more thing he wanted to do; get down on one knee.

The touching video was featured on Good Morning America.

“I knew I wanted to do something special for her and surprise her,” he told the morning show. “I had used the exoskeleton that I used during the proposal a few times during therapy. I knew about the device, but I had never seen anyone use it to get on one knee.”

Josh may have a hard time topping this when it comes to romantic gestures for his new bride, but he has a lifetime of trying ahead of him.