Useless But Cool Inventions: M&M Sorter

Firefighters Rescue Dog Stuck in Couch Without Harming the Couch

Firefighters rescue a dog from under a retractable couch
(people.com / KAMLOOPS FIRE RESCUE)

How many firefighters does it take to get a puppy out of a couch? That’s not the setup to a dad joke, it’s the real-life question one department in Canada got to ask itself after responding to a call for a dog trapped in a reclining couch.

Being a pet parent can be stressful and sometimes scary. Cats are crazy, and will randomly climb trees and get stuck up there for no good reason. Dogs, much chiller, will go so deep into a couch they literally can’t get out. As a Dad I’ve also been there, but I’ve never had to call emergency services because of it.

As the Kamloops Fire Department found out, it takes five firefighters, and a few hours of work to get a small dog out of the couch. The department shared the story on Facebook.

“We don’t rescue cats out of trees anymore…but we do occasionally rescue dogs out of reclining couches!”

“We are happy to report that Bean, her owners, and the couch are all doing just fine today.”

See, that’s why they are heroes, not only did they save the dog, but they also managed to save the couch in the process. Lesser men would’ve broken the couch to save the dog. True heroes realize you don’t need to choose.

The owner said they were really thankful for the firefighters in their community and that they were able to work so calmly to free their beloved pet. This could also be a good testament to why you shouldn’t let your dog on the couch, but let’s be honest, most pups are going wherever they want.

Good Samaritan Jumps Into Bay To Save Baby Ejected from Car After Bridge Crash

Man Saves Baby is Bay
(Twitter/TODAYShow)

The “hero” label is thrown around very casually in the social media era, but in this case, you can’t say it enough. A tragic car accident on a bridge in Maryland left a car dangling over the guardrail, and an infant, still stuck in a car seat, was ejected from the car and into the water below.

That’s when a bystander JUMPED THE GUARDRAIL to dive into the Bay and RESCUED THE BABY. That sounds like superhero movie stuff right there. A man literally LEAPT OFF A BRIDGE AND SAVED A BABY’S LIFE. It’s astounding that they both survived the episode, but it’s heroism in its purest form.

The Ocean City Police Department shared the first report on its Facebook page, and it was widely covered by the media. The infant was flown to the hospital, and the rescuer was in a good deal of shock himself, according to boaters who pulled them both out of the water. He’s chosen to remain anonymous.

The man’s 30-foot dive into the water wasn’t the only heroic act, as a 14-year-old girl on a boat with her dad spotted the accident and directed him to investigate. The duo found the man treading water with the baby and pulled them both from the water.

The 14-year-old, Alayna, said the rescuer didn’t say anything because he was in such shock. Her dad echoed his daughter’s statement, adding “it says a lot about some people’s demeanor, just doing the right thing when you got to do it.”

The dad also said he was proud of Alayna and her instincts to help during the incident.

“You’re taught through your life as a child and as you’re growing up, to respect and help others when needed, keeping your head on a swivel, you know, always looking around,” he said, “it’s those little things in life that teach you. You see your 14-year old daughter going through this and just say ‘wow, she’s learned and understood what has to happen in this world.”

The infant suffered some injuries but was stable, and the family agreed to keep the man’s identity anonymous. The police department is still investigating the accident, but one thing is clear, there was some major heroism on display and some pure magic that no lives were lost in such a dangerous situation.

YouTubers Theorize Disney+ Could Reset the Star Wars Movies

Dave Filoni and Pedro Pascal Discuss Upcoming Mandalorian Season
(Getty / Alberto E. Rodriguez / Stringer)

Recently, Pedro Pascal gave an interview in which he discussed plans for the third season of The Mandalorian. Like most Star Wars properties, future plans for the series are being kept under wraps, and the info that Pascal dropped was vague and incomplete. The hints dropped were interesting nonetheless, especially if they relate to a particular idea that has been floating around since the summer.

Pascal mentioned the possibility of “unexpected surprises and timelines” and the potential of characters to “cross over.” On one level, this sounds like the next logical step in Disney+’s plan, having announced a whole collection of Star Wars shows into which The Mandalorian and friends could potentially crossover. Or else he was referring to something far more drastic: an alternate Star Wars timeline, in which the last two movies never happened.

The theory is that The Mandalorian could take a page from Star Wars: Rebels, one of the animated shows Mando mastermind Dave Filoni managed. On that show, they introduced a concept called “world between worlds” which allows for characters to travel between timelines via a mythical dimension called “the Veil of the Force.”

If you watched the Star Wars LEGO Holiday special, in which Rey and other beloved characters bounce into and our of the new movies, the OT, and the prequels, then you get the idea.

Months ago the YouTube channel known as “Overlord DVD” suggested that due to the negative reaction to Rise of Skywalker, Disney is scrambling to course-correct. [Editor’s Note: There is no reason to believe Overlord DVD has any insight into Lucasfilm or Disney creative discussions]

The idea is that they could be looking to do something drastic by erasing the events of the sequel trilogy by porting it into an alternate reality. Sort of like how JJ Abrams’ new Star Trek reboot reinvented familiar characters by splitting them into their own timeline and tweaking their histories. Could that kind of game-changing move be what Pascal was referring to?

It sounds far-fetched, and it probably is, but The Mandalorian has already featured and name-dropped several characters from Star Wars: Rebels, which makes the potential of borrowing some story points less unlikely. But relegating three major blockbusters into the sidebin of canon would be a huge disruption. Despite the cartoons and the success of The Mandalorian, the movies are still the Big Show for most Star Wars fans.

There’s a lot more to this potentially insane theory, which you can read about in an article in Deseret News.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 Releasing on Nintendo Switch This June

Pro Skater Switch Release Date
(Activision/Vicarious Visions)

We finally have a release date!

After teasing fans back in March, it was officially announced today that the excellent Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2 remake will release for Nintendo Switch on June 25th, 2021.

If you’ve been holding off on purchasing this remake, it’s definitely worth every penny.  Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2 were already great games, but with updated graphics, quality of life improvements like reverts implemented along with online play, this is the must-own definitive version.  Also, the soundtrack still slaps to this day.

I already own the PS4 version and this might sound crazy, but I think I’m gonna have to double-dip.  The thought of being able to score million point tricks or spelling out S-K-A-T-E while laying in my bed sounds too good to be true.  Portability is a beautiful feature and my aging dad bod really appreciates these Nintendo Switch releases.

Steve Harvey Can’t Dislike Daughter’s Boyfriend Because He’s Michael B. Jordan

Steve Harvey Michael B Jordan
(Instagram/iamsteveharvey//MichaelBJordan)

It’s a tale as old as time: dad beefing with their daughter’s boyfriend. It’s a little trite, but old-school dads can still fall into those patterns. Plus, messing with your kids is one of life’s great joys. And however flawed they may be, they come from a good place of wanting your kid to be happy. Steve Harvey is one of those dads, and he’s tried to hate on his daughter’s new boyfriend. But he can’t because that boyfriend is MICHAEL B. JORDAN.

The comedian/game show host’s youngest daughter Lori is dating the terrific actor from “Creed”, “Black Panther” and a million other great things. The two have been dating for several months, and Harvey has finally met his match as an overprotective dad.

“You know what, I have tried not to like him,” he said on Ellen. He followed that by praising him soundly. The “Family Feud” star is exposed to just about every variation of complaint and annoyance people have conjured for years in survey answers, and he’s still coming up blank when he tries to think of something bad about Jordan.

And he’s not had this problem before. On Kimmel, he said he had plenty of success ousting past boyfriends, saying “I done get rid of all of them. All of them…Some of them just snuck in the back door on me and lasted a lot longer than I wanted it to,” he added. We’ll just leave it there and move on without comment.

“But this guy is such a good guy, man,” Harvey said of Jordan. “He is one of the nicest guys. I met his father. I’ve sat up with him, talking for hours.

“I just can’t find nothing wrong with him. I’m hoping to.”

Good luck, Steve! But also, Michael B. Jordan seems like a good dude and also your daughter is literally 24 years old so it’s probably time to stop that behavior. Hopefully, he’s joking a little bit, seeing as a daughter isn’t property.

Survey says: she’s a grown-up and doesn’t need you to tank her relationships forever!

Prince’s Legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Guitar Solo Gets Director’s Cut

Prince Rock and Roll HOF Performance
(YouTube/JAGtenthplanet)

Way back in 2004, I happened to be flipping channels when I stumbled across the rebroadcast of that year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony on (I think) VH1. This was back before streaming, and even before YouTube existed and offered access to every memorable moment that had ever been filmed. Suffice to say, I got really lucky to stumble across it.

The line-up that year included George Harrison, Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne, and Prince, all of whom were honored earlier in the program and most of whom were on stage for the show’s closing all-star jam which featured all the inductees (with Dhani Harrison standing in for his late father) performing Harrison’s classic Beatles’ track, While My Guitar Gently Weeps. It’s been nearly 20 years and I have never stopped talking about this performance, for one reason.

About halfway through the song (at the 3:29 mark), which is basically front-lined by Petty with support from Winwood and Lynne, Prince septs out of the shadows and absolutely takes over, lighting the ceremony on fire with one of the greatest, if not the absolute best, guitar solos of all time.

Anyone who has listened to Prince knows he’s an incredibly talented artist, but if you only know the hits or heard him on the radio or MTV, you might not understand how proficient a musician he is, especially at guitar. At his concerts, he regularly tears up covers of classic rock songs by the likes of Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and more, and this performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame puts his full powers on display.

No description can do his performance justice. Every time you think the solo has peaked, he unleashes a new riff and takes it up a notch, clearly having a blast the entire time. It wasn’t on YouTube at the start, but it is now, and it has over 100 million views, and it’s about to have even more when I finish this and go watch it again.

Now, the director of the ceremony, Joel Gladden, has re-cut the footage to focus even more on Prince during his solo, including more close-ups as the purple one blows the audience’s – and Tom Petty’s, and especially Dhani Harrison’s (just look at the awe on the kid’s face as Prince goes off) – minds. Gladden explains his intentions in an article about the footage in the Los Angeles Times.

Is this version of the footage better? Maybe, maybe not. But it hardly matters because the solo remains the same, and the solo is simply incredible. Watch the director’s cut below, then go back and watch the original footage that I watched all those years ago, and then just go back and forth and watch the solo over and over, as I’ve been doing for some 15 years.

And if you can tell me where the hell his guitar goes at the end, when he simply throws it up into the air. It never comes down!

Watch below:

Someone Has Made a Mod That Puts Barney Into the Resident Evil Village Demo

resident-evil-8-barney-mod
(Youtube/Marcos RC)

The Resident Evil franchise is famously known for it’s zombies, ridiculous storylines, creepy settings, and unsettling monstrosities.  Now, we can add purple dinosaurs to that list.

Last weekend, players had the chance to try out the upcoming eighth installment in the series ‘Resident Evil Village’ via a limited-time demo.  The demo was only available for 24 hours and once you started playing, you only had 60 minutes to explore and complete it.  Not one to let that short amount of time go to waste, modder Marcos RC managed to put Barney the Dinosaur into the game.  This isn’t the first time Marcos has modded a Resident Evil title, but I feel like it’s the best one yet.

The mod is pretty hilarious, but it doesn’t quite pack the same punch without Barney’s actual voice.  This needs to be rectified immediately.  Imagine Barney shuffling towards you saying things like “Super Dee-Duper!” or hearing him hum the Barney theme song to himself while standing in a dark corridor.  The thought alone sends shivers down my spine.

If you were one of the many (including myself) that missed out on trying the demo, developer Capcom ended up changing their mind.  They lifted the restrictions and made the demo accessible for everyone from now until the game officially releases on May 7th.  Will you be picking it up?

Disney Imagineers Branch Out and Build Robotic Baby Groot

Disney Imagineers build dancing robotic baby Groot
(YouTube/Walt Disney Imagineering)

I couldn’t tell you the plot to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but I vividly remember almost every second of Baby Groot’s flawless dance to ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky.” Groot is a creature of few words, repeating his catchphrase “I am Groot” in varying tones to convey whatever it is he’s trying to say. But like Chewbacca, Wall-E, and most other nonverbal characters, Groot makes up for his nonexistent vocabulary in wildly creative ways.

Whether you’re a fan of Guardians of the Galaxy or not, it’s impossible to deny just how freaking cute the sentient tree creature is. To celebrate baby Groot in all his shimmying glory, the Walt Disney Imagineers spent several years bringing him to life.

The Imagineers are the geniuses behind Disney theme parks, cruise ships, attractions, essentially everything at the crossroads between creativity and technology. Their extensive experience and ingenuity made their Disney branch the perfect one to take on project Groot – and fir real, they crushed it.

To celebrate the fruits of their labor, the Imagineers shared a video of their creative process on YouTube. In 2018, the team began work on Groot’s little legs. Once those were up and running, the team added the trunk of Groot’s body before letting him roam free around the office for a while.

“Using custom authoring tools that combine whole-body motion planning and traditional character animation, artists can quickly bring robotic characters to life with expressive motions and interactive behaviors,” Walt Disney Imagineering captioned their video. “There are no immediate plans for use in Disney theme parks; however, a prototype in the form of Groot is being used to test unique traits, gaits and capabilities.”

Robo-Groot had a few missteps, likely far more than the single tumble included in the video. But by 2020, the team was confident enough in their baby Robot to give him the full Groot, resting birch face and all.

Meet Linda Owens, The Woman Who Has Fostered Over 80 Infants Throughout 34 Years

78-year-old fosters over 80 infants in 34 years
(YouTube/KPIX CBS SF Bay Area)

Taking on the role of a foster parent is a monumental responsibility, one that requires a lot of patience and an enormous heart. Foster parents fulfill all of the daily responsibilities of a parent, in addition to the emotional toll of giving yourself fully to a little one knowing that it’s only temporary. Sadly, nearly half of the infants who enter the foster care system have faced neglect, and more than half come from homes with parents who abuse drugs or alcohol. Transferring unhoused infants into loving foster homes is of the utmost importance, and nobody understands the vital nature of a good foster parent quite like Linda Owens.

Linda Owens is a 78-year-old retired grocery store manager living in Hayward, California. Rather than retire to a life of leisure, Owens decided to change the world for the better. Throughout the past 34 years, the single mom has fostered 81 infants – sometimes two at a time.

Anyone who has raised their own infant knows just how exhausting it can be. We give ourselves pep talks, remembering that one day they’ll sleep through the night, eventually they’ll become more independent. But for Linda Owens, her time as a foster mom comes to an end before her babies can feed themselves, use the toilet, or even tell her how much they love and appreciate her.

The babies who are fortunate enough to end up in Owens’s expert hands often require more care than the average infant, some even going through drug withdrawal after exposure in the womb. Owens, however, is filled with gratitude for the opportunity to help.

“It’s a challenging job, but very rewarding,” Owens told KPIX. “This is what God’s handed me a gift to do.”

Owens’s 34 years as a foster mom means that many of her foster babies are now fully grown adults, the oldest now being 37 years old. But Owens has a special place in her heart for each and every baby that has passed through her door, and to this day, she remembers every single one. Some adoptive families have even kept in contact with Owens over the years, sharing their children’s milestones with the woman who helped complete their families.

CBS affiliate KPIX recently honored Owens with a Jefferson Award in recognition of her life-changing efforts, the same month Owens took in her 81st foster baby. Saying goodbye to an infant you’ve poured so much love into raising seems impossible. But for Owens, it’s a sign that she did her job, and did it well.

Of the baby girl Owens is currently fostering she says, “I can give her a kiss on the forehead and wish her the best, and say, ‘I love you.’”