Hero Dog Receives Award After Saving Over 100 Koalas From Australia Bushfires

It’s time we stopped referring to dogs as “man’s best friend,” because dogs repeatedly prove that they’re everyone’s best friend. Dogs jump at the opportunity to help others, even if it means putting themselves in danger. Between 2019 and 2020, a dog named Bear won hearts around the world for doing exactly that in the wake of Australia’s devastating bushfires.

Between 2019-2020, an estimated 72,000 square miles of Australia burned in the catastrophic bushfires. Buildings and homes were destroyed, and wildlife habitats were reduced to ash. Tragically, countless animals died in the fires, with some endangered species now believed to be extinct.

Wildlife organizations including IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) stepped in, attempting to preserve whatever they could. While drones and thermal cameras assisted rescuers as they searched for injured koalas, one helper with a very particular set of skills located more than 100 koalas who otherwise wouldn’t have survived. That helper was 6-year-old Bear, an eager Australian Koolie dog trained for wildlife tracking.

“We give Bear his favorite command ‘Let’s go find!’ and he is off and running,” IFAW’s website explains. “As Bear begins to smell fresh scats and urine, he knows he’s on track. He will drop to the ground to tell us ‘follow me.’”

Before the 2019-2020 bushfires, Bear was struggling to find his place in the world. The rescue pup’s excessive energy and obsessive habits made it difficult for him to find a home, but the very traits that made him difficult to adopt out made him an overachiever in the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Detection Dogs for Conservation Team.

By the end of Australia’s devastating bushfire season, Bear had led rescuers to over 100 koalas who desperately needed help. On October 12, Bear received an award for his efforts at the Animal Action Awards.

“We think Bear really deserved this award because he’s been such a good boy in helping us find and rescue a lot of koalas, especially during the bushfires, but he works throughout the year to help us in our job to make a better and safer place for koalas,” Bear’s handler, Dr. Romane Cristescu of the University of the Sunshine Coast, said in a statement. “We’ll give Bear extra pats and extra play for his award.”

Man Finds Out From Kiss Cam That He’s Going To Be a Dad

The stadium jumbotron proposal was a very 1990s thing, and it’s worn out and tired by this point. What happened at a recent NBA game, though, is something far cooler and hopefully the start of a new trend. One NBA fan attending a game with his wife ended up getting a big-screen shock.

James and Taylor Baily were enjoying an Orlando Magic game when the duo ended up on the KISS cam. It was a surprise for James, but a much bigger one was right around the corner, as the entire thing was planned by Taylor. After they kissed, James looked up at the jumbotron and saw the message that scrolled under their picture. It read, “Congrats James! You are going to be a dad!”

You can see his jaw literally drop in excitement as he looks over to the missus for confirmation as he put it all together. She had planned the whole thing in secret, telling a local TV station later she wanted to do “something big” to surprise him. It doesn’t get much bigger than that.

The moment went viral, even getting some big play on SportsCenter. It was the pregnancy announcement heard round the interwebs, as the touching moment spread far and wide and was viewed millions of times.

“When I looked up and saw the writing at the bottom, that’s just when my jaw dropped and it was just such a whirlwind of emotions at that point,” James said.

That kid will probably be a Magic fan for life, no matter how bad the team becomes. And the same goes for the new dad. All in all, it’s one of the coolest ways to get welcomed to the club, and a fresh take on an old arena classic.

Halo Series Finally Coming to Paramount+, Here’s the Teaser

Video game movies are a strange beast.

Almost uniformly, they suck. They’re just not good. Even the exceptions, the ones that are good relative to the terrible ones, aren’t even very good. The best tend to be movies about video games (Wreck-It Ralph, Free Guy), not actual adaptations of video games.

And yet, we keep wanting more of them. We keep waiting for someone to get it right. It’s bound to happen one of these days. Maybe it will be HBO’s The Last of Us series. Not a movie, but still. Or maybe it will be Halo.

Halo was one of the first megahits of the modern video game era, the Xbox’s flagship game, both a pioneer and a dinosaur, the latest iteration – #6 – was just released to celebrate the game’s 20th anniversary. It’s being viewed, at best, as a fun throwback; its most favorable reviews are colored by the nostalgia. But it’s a known entity and has been flirting with a mo= vie adaptation for years. Now, we’re finally getting the next best (oR even better?) thing: a big-budget streaming show.

It’s coming to Paramout+ in 2022, after multiple delays and false starts. We don’t know much about it, but we know that Master Chief is the main character and that he will be portrayed by Pablo Schrieber (The Wire). That’s about all we know, and the first teaser for the series tells us even less.

We’ll have to wait and see with this one, but at some point, one of these video game adaptations eventually has to be good. Right?

 

The Rock Surprises Navy Vet by Giving Him His Personal Custom Truck

No one knows how to give back to the people more than Dwayne Johnson. The guy just loves being cool to the fans, whether it’s surprising a tour bus of them in his hood, or GIVING HIS CAR to one. Yup, The Rock, who used to call himself “The People’s Champion”, actually gave his own personal custom truck to a fan.

He gifted it to Navy veteran Oscar Rodriguez once he heard about the fan’s story. He invited him to a private screening of his new movie, Red Notice, which is blowing up on Netflix. And then he wanted to gift him the car from the movie. Porsche said no, so he decided to “do one better.”

“I’ll give away my personal custom truck as the gift. My baby,” he wrote.

He said he chose Oscar because the fan “exemplifies being nice and kind to his core.”

Johnson said he takes care of his elderly mom, he’s a personal trainer, is a leader in his church, supports and provides meals for domestic abuse victims, and is just a good, all-around caring human being.

The fan was incredibly moved. As you would be if the biggest star in Hollywood GAVE YOU HIS CAR.

 

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The Rock said “it’s the little things like this, that I get the greatest joy out of. But most importantly, I have the global platform to illuminate good, solid grateful human beings like Oscar. The kind we could always use more of.”

Good on The Rock for encouraging that, and there would definitely be a LOT more good in this world if people knew they might GET THE ROCK’S CAR for doing so. But the point of him picking Oscar was his desire to reward someone who was good for good’s sake, not because there was something else attached to it.

The Rock said Oscar said to him “it’s all love, that’s what it’s all about” and Johnson wrote that Oscar “deserves a helluva lot more than just me giving him my personal truck.”

I think Oscar is more than happy with his reward. And it’s a very cool move for Johnson to, once again, put more positivity into the social media world.

Harold Ramis’s Daughter Loved How ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ Honored His Memory

One of the biggest impediments to a new Ghostbusters movie was the death of Harold Ramis, who played the beloved Egon Spengler. Ramis was a legendary writer and director, and his passing in 2014 hit fans hard. When the long awaited Ghostbusters: Afterlife was announced, how they handled his legacy was always going to be the big question. And Ramis’s daughter was thrilled with how director Jason Reitman pulled it off.

We aren’t big into spoilers here, so we won’t ruin anything, but the movie was always going to have to address it. Reitman decided to form the narrative around Egon’s family, and have his grandkids at the center of the plot. And the way they integrate his story with the reunion of the other three original Ghostbusters has the late actor’s family pleased.

Violet Ramis Stiel told The Hollywood Reporter Reitman pulled it off. She said Reitman, son of the director of the originals, obviously,  may have been the only person who could’ve done it too.

“He was so careful to get it right, to really honor the early films and everyone who was in them, but also to make something for now and the future,” she said. “Maybe he is the only person who could do that, he is the physical bridge.”

Ghostbusters: Afterlife was a box office hit and the stars of the original said it’s the first film to recapture the spirit of the early days. And the way they handle Egon and his legacy was especially emotional to Violet.

“Ultimately, it leaves us with that feeling: The people we love are always with us,” she said. “They don’t go away.”

J.J. Watt Offers To Pay Funeral Expenses For Waukesha Victims

When tragedy strikes, it’s easy to get caught up in blame, politics, and anger. But there are also plenty of opportunities for kindness and empathy and support. As Mister Rogers once suggested, looking for the helpers can be more constructive.

Future NFL Hall of Famer JJ Watt has long been one of those helpers, often stepping up and using his money to help people in need, and to contribute to charitable causes he believes in. As a former Wisconsin Badger, he is especially attuned to the tragedy that happened at the Christmas parade in Waukesha recently.

Once again the longtime Houston Texan and current Arizona Cardinal, is doing what he can, offering to pay funeral expenses for the six people who died in the tragedy.

This isn’t the first time Watt has been the kind of example and role model today’s kids could use more of, especially when it comes to the world of professional athletics. He’s covered funeral expenses for those involved in a Sante Fe school shooting, and helped raise $37 million to rebuild more than 1000 homes in Houston after Hurricane Harvey.

He was also named the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award, which rewards charitable efforts, in 2017. It wouldn’t be a shock if he won again.

Dwayne Johnson Said It Was Ryan Reynolds Who Helped Him Through Dad’s Death

Dwayne Johnson suffered the loss of his dad last year and it was Ryan Reynolds who helped him through it. The Rock’s Red Notice co-star helped him process the loss of his father, who passed away on the first day of filming.

Johnson told People magazine Reynolds was there for him the first day he was back on set.

“The moment I walked in the door, Ryan gave me a big hug and said, ‘I got you, man’” he said. “The love, brotherhood and bond is there.”

Red Notice was an enormous hit for Netflix, as it was the biggest movie opening in the streamer’s history. It has since gone on to become No.1 globally and the biggest movie of all time for Netflix.

Johnson and Reynolds are obviously a pretty big reason why. And the two go way back, like wayyyy back. So far back, they actually met an MTV Spring Break. Anyone who can even remember those has to be in their 30s (or a really cool 20-year-old). Johnson was there promoting his first movie, The Scorpion King, and Reynolds was promoting Van Wilder. The two hit it off and have been friends since.

“I have not known any actor in Hollywood longer than I’ve known Ryan Reynolds, we started our careers together,” Johnson said to Entertainment Tonight. He compared their relationship to an old couple who bickers but also loves and respects each other.

He said his other co-star, Gal Gadot, was also a huge help in getting him through that rough period.

“Gal is always taking care of the people around her and has the most positive presence,” he said.

The co-stars have a real connection, and it comes across on screen in the success of their movie for Netflix.

MacGruber Is Back With Hilariously NSFW Jailhouse Interview and a New Mission

The jailhouse interview is ripe for satire, and the first look at the new MacGruber series nails it perfectly. Peacock is bringing the character back in a series for the streaming service and it’s supposed to pick up 10 years after the events of the original movie. Will Forte was hilarious in the original, although it didn’t quite find the audience they were hoping for.

The teaser from Peacock is VERY funny and serves as a catch-up for where the character is now. MacGruber is currently serving a prison sentence for killing Val Kilmer’s character. “I literally saved an entire American city and then they throw me in jail for killing one dude,” he said.

The teaser takes us through the hero’s trailer and what his life has been like since. It also shows Kristen Wiig’s Vicki St. Elmo has been in touch with MacGruber throughout that time.


Prison hasn’t been very good to MacGruber, but he’s also not there forever. He even knows that, saying, “You think they’re gonna keep me in here forever? One day something’s going to happen to America and they’re gonna need me and they’re gonna come here and they’re gonna beg for me to come out.”

That is the exact plot summary for the 8-episode miniseries. The “uber patriot” must take down a mysterious villain, Enos Queeth. MacGruber has to get his old team back together to defeat the forces of evil.

MacGruber was a very underrated movie, and the miniseries is a fun way to jump back into the character’s world. All eight episodes drop on Peacock on December 18th.

Vincent: Little Finger

“Vincent (@vvalerian), former Lieutenant in the United States Army, now enjoys his days parenting our two little ones in our forever home.

Thinking he was a ‘boy dad’ through and through, his world got rocked in April 2021 when our daughter was born! As you can tell, she already has him wrapped around her little finger.

I’m so thankful that my kids get to have this man as their father, as he is more attentive, affectionate, caring, and loving than I ever thought possible.

A good man, a great husband, and the best dad. We love you!”

– Alexa Valerian

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

A College Athlete Used His Own Money To Buy Thanksgiving Meals for Those in Need

A college football player used his own money to buy turkeys for people in need in his community. Thanksgiving is a time of giving, and you always see stories about millionaire professional athletes giving back. Those are cool and important, but it means, even more, when it’s a college kid forking over his own cash to help people in need.

University of Michigan running back Blake Corum teamed with some local charities to help give out Thanksgiving turkeys in Ypsilanti, Michigan. This is the first season college athletes could make sponsorship money off of their likeness, and Corum decided to use his to buy turkeys.

“I’ve always invested in giving back to my community and trying to get the next generation to live out their dreams,” he told a local news outlet. “I told my dad, I’m going to buy 100 turkeys.”

The running back was able to put together a “Giving Back 2 Give Thanks” event to give out his turkeys. His coach helped connect him to some other charities, and they were able to double the number of turkeys and meals they gave out. His teammate Nihai Hill-Green also took part in the give-back event.

Corum has been a standout on the field for the Wolverines, but it’s plays like this off the field that make a player a legend for a college program. A lot of college athletes might spend their first real money differently, so major props to one who gave it away to help people who are struggling to have a nice holiday.

“It’s an important holiday. Everyone deserves to have a nice little meal,” he said.