Few people plan on becoming single parents because of the incredible demands of parenthood, but when life throws curveballs your way, plans change and heroes emerge. Heroes who pretend they’re not exhausted even though they are literally always exhausted, heroes who go above and beyond to give their kids an amazing childhood when everything is stacked against them. Recently, a Boston dad made headlines for raising his seven babies all by himself after tragedy struck his family. Ok, so he’s a swan, but we don’t discriminate. This dad is a hero in our book.
The Charles River Esplanade in Boston is home to many swans, but when a swan couple decided to raise a family there, wildlife lovers were ecstatic. Residents swooned over the swans, keeping a safe distance after momma swan laid nine perfect eggs. The protective parents guarded their eggs, and their human supporters stole glances from afar. In late May, seven of the eggs hatched and the swan couple became proud parents.
Baby swans made their debut on the Esplanade this week and we cannot get over the pure cuteness of the newly hatched cygnets! Enjoy a collection of photos of our Espla-swan family from @NBC10Boston at https://t.co/jlEqXJb4fE
📸: Mark Garfinkel pic.twitter.com/1nTF1Uwx74
— Charles River Esplanade (@EsplanadeBoston) May 27, 2021
Not long after their babies hatched, Boston residents noticed something was very wrong with momma swan. She was struggling to stand and to stay above water, so concerned observers called animal control. Sadly, by the time help arrived, momma swan had passed away.
Swans typically mate for life, co-parenting their babies and sharing parental duties from the very beginning. Even for non-human parents, raising little ones is a huge amount of work. Swans have to protect their babies from predators, bring food back to their nests, and keep their young safe from the dangers that surround them. Without momma swan in the picture, papa swan stepped up to do it all.
— Anna Meiler (@AnnaMeiler) June 4, 2021
Even after the tragedy of losing his partner, papa swan did what he needed to do for his family. He took on the role of both parents, caring for his babies and teaching them how to grow into capable, self-assured swans.
“They seem to be doing well,” Emma Feeney, marketing and events coordinator for the Esplanade Association told The Dodo. “You can spot them in the esplanade lagoon swimming together, with some of the babies riding along on his back. Geese will swim by them and you can tell that the papa swan is in full force, protecting the cygnets. You can tell that he’s just a great, great father to them. It’s very adorable.”
If you grew up in the ’90s, you couldn’t avoid Tony Hawk. The skateboarder and current social media funnyman might seem like the ultimate dad now, at 53. But, that doesn’t change his cool factor. Our dude became a professional skater at the age of 14. (And our teenager can’t even roll his scooter through the garage without scratching the Tiguan.) He served at the National Skateboarding Association’s world champion for more than a decade and, yeah, none of us will ever forget when the San Diego native successfully completed the first-ever 900 at the 1999 X Games. He was 31 years old. And he did it, again, for the last time, at 48. In other words, Hawk has lived his life defying the norms of being “too young” or “too old.” Even now, as a retired professional skateboarder, Hawk is still sponsored by Birdhouse, Vans, and few others. And even as recently as last year, our dude was still landing 540s. He’s that awesome.
And, as if he didn’t make enough money and gain enough fame and street cred from skating, he’s also played an integral part in developing no less than 21 video games across all gaming platforms. Most even came with a killer soundtrack. These Tony Hawk games are, without a doubt, the best. Give them a try — with or without your kids.
1. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2
Yes, the original Pro Skater is a monster and absolutely worth a deep dive. It “started it all.” But, like so many firsts you have in your life, it just wasn’t that great. Pro Skater 2 built on the original Tony Hawk game and expanded it into something truly magnificent. The art was better, the world was richer, and the soundtrack was bonkers good. It featured all the coolest acts at the time like Anthrax, Naughty By Nature, Rage, and even Powerman 5000. (We’ll say it without an ounce of embarrassment: “When World’s Collide” is an absolute banger.)
2. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 and 4
We’re bundling these into one entry because they’re so similar in terms of look and feel. The main difference between the two, however, is that Pro Skater 4 unleashed a ton of select, timed content that added a little more urgency to the game. Was it done perfectly? No. But, it was the start of something entirely new for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games.
3. Tony Hawk’s Underground
This TH game marked a big shift in the series. It was the first time you could step off your skateboard and explore the world around you without wheels under your feet. They also took a step away from the generic skating-for-the-sake-of-skating aspect and went into that choose-your-own-adventure story building for each character that is now widely popular in video games.
4. Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland
While this gem technically released after the next two entries on our list, it was better than both. For this game, developers pared down the insanity of tricks in Underground 2 and replaced them with things that were must-haves in the gaming world at the time. Wasteland boasts an obscenely large map full of storefronts and buildings you can go into and explore. The downtown LA world that it showed felt as never-ending as the GTA maps. But, you know, it was just a little too much for a skating game.
5. Tony Hawk’s Project 8
With a better-than-average (at the time) character creator, Project 8 held a ton of promise. It was, of course, lacking quite a bit. It was choppy and hard to play. But, because it was still somewhat grounded in reality, we like it slightly more than the next game on our list.
6. Tony Hawk’s Underground 2
Let’s just get it over with: Underground 2 is absurd. It was released in 2004 when Bam and Johnny Knoxville were still capitalizing on their idiocy to make make money doing dumb stunts and pranks. People fell for it, of course, because we always enjoy seeing extreme success and extremely painful failures. Underground 2 capitalized on our most basic desires. It was a game full of chances to try crazy skateboard stunts and fail at them without the hospital bill.
7. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2
Let’s face it: On the surface, this is just a remake of Pro Skater 1 and Pro Skater 2. They did this before with THPS HD. But, this time around they actually nailed it. The old characters are built out more and the new characters fit right in. The art in each level is infinitely better, too, building out the world with more detail, light, and substance. And, yes, it’s even got that same amazing soundtrack from the classics.
8. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
What’s that? You’re mad that the THPS OG is all the way at the bottom of our list? Stop living in the past. We get it — we’re often nostalgic for the things that sparked our initial interests. But, why dwell on a mediocre first start when you could play any other game in the series that takes on Tony Hawk’s initial premise and expands on it. Pro Skater started it all and was wildly popular… but it was only just the beginning.
There’s no debating it: Rocky is the single greatest movie of all time. While our love for Sylvester Stallone may not come close to our adoration for Keanu Reeves, it’s pretty damn close. And it ought to be. Stallone literally created the Rocky Balboa character and movie concepts. Guys. Don’t let his deep voice and boxer’s build fool you. He’s not a dumb jock. He actually wrote the script for Rocky, as well. And, where would we be without the likes of Rocky, Mickey, and Apollo Creed? One thing is certain: We’d be without the “Eye of the Tiger.” And we’d have no idea how important it is to run up those iconic steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Nope. Rocky changed our lives and, thus, so did Stallone.
When we say he wrote the movie, it’s important to remember that includes all the amazingly uplifting and truly hilarious dialogue, too. Rocky had some real zingers. Yes, we all yell “ADRIANNNNNN!” in that iconic Stallone mumble, but do you remember these other zingers from across the franchise as well?
Quotes From the One and Only Rocky Balboa
- “Life’s not about how hard of a hit you can give… it’s about how many you can take, and still keep moving forward.”
- “How ’bout I stay here and you fight?”
- “Every champion was once a contender who refused to give up.”
- “Do you like having a good time? Then you need a good watch!”
- “Remember, the mind is your best muscle. Big arms can move rocks, but big words can move mountains.”
- “Time takes everybody out. Time is undefeated.”
- “Nobody owes nobody nothing.”
- “You know I couldn’t have done nothing without you… Yo Adrian we did it.”
- “Yeah yeah, the Bill of Rights. Don’t it say something about going after what makes you happy?”
- “You gotta be a moron… you gotta be a moron to wanna be a fighter.”
- “Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.”
- “I am not the richest, smartest, or most talented person in the world. But I succeed because I keep going and going and going.”
- “Cut me, Mick!”
- “I stopped thinking the way other people think a long time ago. You gotta think like you think.”
- “If I can change and you can change, everybody can change.”
- “There’s a beast inside me.”
- “I believe there’s an inner power that makes winners or losers. And the winners are the ones who really listen to the truth of their hearts.”
- “Until you start believing in yourself, you ain’t gonna have a life.”
- “Success is usually the culmination of controlling failure.”
- “Ya know, they always say if you live in one place long enough, you are that place.”
- “You can’t learn anything when you’re talking. That’s a fact of life. As long as you’re talking, you’re not listening.”
- “Going in one more round when you don’t think you can. That’s what makes all the difference in your life.”
- “I think you try harder when you’re scared.”
- “Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!”
- “Yo, Adrian!”
- “You see, fear is a fighter’s best friend. You know, but it ain’t nothing to be ashamed of. See, fear keeps you sharp, it keeps you awake, you know, it makes you want to survive. You know what I mean? But the thing is, you gotta learn how to control it. All right? ‘Cause fear is like this fire, all right? And it’s burning deep inside.”
Rocky Quotes from Apollo Creed
- “Stay in school and use your brain. Be a doctor, be a lawyer, carry a leather briefcase. Forget about sports as a profession. Sports make ya grunt and smell. See, be a thinker, not a stinker.”
- “You thought I was tough? This chump will kill you!”
- “You’d better stop this fight! You ain’t nothin’ but a bum!”
- “There is no tomorrow! There is no tomorrow! There is no tomorrow!”
- “Just stay outta my face, chump.”
- “You know, Stallion. It’s too bad we gotta get old.”
- “Look. It’s the name man…The Italian Stallion. The media will eat it up. Now, who discovered America? An Italian, right. What would be better than to get it on with one of its descendants?”
- “Man, I won. But, I didn’t beat him.”
- “I predict the champ’s gonna take this one.”
- “Apollo Creed vs. the Italian Stallion. Sounds like a damn monster movie.”
- “That means, if he can’t fight, I’ll bet he can cook.”
Amazing Rocky Quotes from Everyone Else
- “I’m gonna eat lightning and you’re gonna crap thunder.” — Mickey
- “Your nose is broken. [Rocky: “How’s it look?”] It’s an improvement.” — Mickey
- “Stay down!” — Mickey
- “Go for the ribs! Don’t let that bastard breathe!” — Mickey
- “Why do you wear that sweating old thing? [Rocky: “It brings me luck.”] It brings you flies.” — Mickey
- “He doesn’t know it’s a damn show. He thinks it’s a damn fight!” — Apollo’s trainer
- “What do I owe you, Paulie? What do I owe you? I treat you good! I cook for you! I cleaned for you! I pick up your dirty clothes! I take care of ya, Paulie! I don’t owe you nothin’! And you made me feel like a loser! I’m not a loser!” — Adrian
- “Einstein flunked out of school, twice. [Paulie: “Is that so?”] Yeah. Beethoven was deaf. Helen Keller was blind. I think Rocky’s got a good chance.” — Adrian
What’s old is new again, it’s the surest thing about culture. This also applies to our Batmen, as one of the most iconic Bruce Waynes ever is back as the billionaire vigilante for the upcoming Flash movie. And now, we have our first glimpse of Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne for the first time in nearly three decades.
“The Flash” is currently filming in London and stars Ezra Miller. And they have the same Batman too, as Ben Affleck will be returning as the caped crusader. But one thing we’ll learn about the Flash is he’s fast enough to run to parallel realities, which is why we have Michael Keaton also reprising the Batman role. He’ll be playing an older version of Batman in an alternate universe.
Big Screen Leaks shared the photo of the older Bruce Wayne on Twitter, and fans were having it.
— Big Screen Leaks (@bigscreenleaks) June 20, 2021
The director of the movie, which is coming in the fall of next year, also teased Keaton’s Batman appearance by sharing a pic of his iconic Batman suit on Instagram last month. There’s no context, and just a small droplet or two of blood, which is an interesting choice! But just the logo alone was enough to get fans fired up for Keaton’s return.
View this post on Instagram
Tim Burton’s Batman movies relaunched the interest in the fabled comic book character and were ahead of their time when it comes to great comic book movies for adults. Keaton is a terrific actor and his take on Batman was badass, so it will be even more interesting to see it again 30 years later, as an older Bruce Wayne.
“The Flash” is set to hit theaters (remember those?) in November of 2022.
You’ve seen the Amazon Prime Day ads everywhere. It’s one of the biggest sale events of the year, and it’s completely online. You just get to sit back, relax, add some good, discounted stuff to your cart, check out, and wait for that sweet, sweet 2-day shipping to deliver your bounty to your door. Except that Prime Day can be chaotic — deals change by the hour, there are probably thousands (millions? We didn’t do the math, sorry) of products on sale, and we want you to get the very best deals. Because we’re looking out for you (and we’re shopping Prime Day ourselves, so we might as well help out; we’re thoughtful like that).
So, take a browse. We’ve organized the deals by category so your head doesn’t explode. Prime Day has everything from TK to TK, and we’ll be updating this page all day long.
Best Tech Deals
Sony’s noise-canceling headphones have reached cult status for a reason: They are godly effective, their battery life is 35 hours, and they really do cancel out the rest of the world. Also, they’re rarely on sale, so get ’em while you can.
If you’re looking for a watch that’s, well, a watch, but also has fitness options, like a heart rate and sleep monitor, built-in coaching, and more. It seamlessly connects with your Android, making it easy to use, too.
This highly-rated and versatile Chromebook with a Google operating system is fast, functional, and sleek. It comes with built-storage for easy offline access and comes with an extra 100GB of Google Drive space.
If you wanna jump on the AirPod bandwagon, we don’t blame you. With powerful noise-cancelling capabilities, wireless convenience, long battery power, and the ability to easily pair of Apple products, these are popular for a reason. Now’s the time to get them 25% off.
Ideal for your handheld gaming purposes, AND you get a 128GB SD card. The speed is what stands out here, so you won’t be sorry for upgrading.
If you need a premium gaming monitor, Samsung’s 24-inch monitor is on sale. Known for its superior picture quality and its ergonomic design, it’s what you need to level up.
Other noteworthy deals:
Best Kitchen & Home Deals
Want to impress the heck out of your dinner guests with an espresso drink? Sure you do. And you don’t have to spend your mortgage payment on an espresso machine — this highly-rated and high-quality Calphalon espresso machine is perfect for at-home use, and makes delicious, coffee shop-worthy drinks.
This is the creme de la creme of pressure cookers, so if you haven’t gotten one yet, or want to upgrade, the Ninja GF401 8-quart pressure cooker allows you to air fry, steam, slow cook, sear, saute, crisp, bake, roast, broil, dehydrate, and make yogurt. You can pretty much just throw away the rest of your kitchen and use this bad boy.
If you have pets, then you know you can easily spend all day every day vacuuming, and you’d still end up with fur in your food, your clothes — you get the idea. With this powerful Bissell pet slim corded vacuum, you can clean up with a lot more ease.
Other noteworthy deals:
Best Sports Deals
With OneTouch incline control, speed control, iFit, this treadmill auto-adjusts the speed through Bluetooth connection. It also has the ability to fold up after your run.
Still working on your WFH gym game? Upgrade with these solid cast dumbbells made with solid metal chrome finish. They’re comfortable and durable, and no-frills.
Silverback In-Ground Basketball Hoop, $480 (40% off)
This 54” in-ground basketball hoop gives you professional quality and durability so you can practice your basketball skills from the comfort of your home.
Looking for a beach tent for all your beaching and camping needs? This is the BMW of beach tents, and it comes with the WORKS.
Other noteworthy deals:
SCOTTSDALE, AZ—The Scottsdale Hospital broke ground today on a $10 million wing focused entirely on treating injuries fathers sustain while fast asleep.
Officials say the Chuck Haggerty Memorial Center for The Treatment and Study of Dad Sleep Injuries will give specialized treatment to those sleep injuries that only Dads seem to sustain.
“Every day, thousands of Dads manage to injure their necks, legs, shoulders, ankles and ribs, all while lying down motionless and unconscious,” said Dr. Kevin Williamson, chief of Dad Radiology at the hospital. “We want to know why, and we want it to stop.”
In addition to treating Dad patients, the new wing will also house sizable research labs. Hospital officials say they hope to become the first researchers to identify the mysterious, nocturnal force that is tweaking Dads’ shoulders.
The facility is named for Chuck Haggerty, a father of two who tragically woke up with a sore wrist in 2012 but is otherwise alive and healthy.
It was one of the most remarkable stories we’ve seen this year. A dad involved in a five-vehicle car accident on a bridge leapt into action, literally, when a baby was ejected from a vehicle into the bay below. Jonathan Bauer heroically jumped 30-feet from the bridge to save the baby in the water below.
And sometimes, awesome things happen to awesome people, so the Air Force Thunderbirds recognized his heroism and took him on an incredible flight as their “hometown hero” in the Ocean City Air Show.
When Bauer spoke about the incident, he said he did what he had to do. His daughter said seeing her dad jump off the bridge was the scariest moment of her life.
The Air Force Thunderbirds shared footage from Bauer’s flight and a pic of the hero dad, saying ‘his selfless act shows the best America has to offer, and we’re proud to have honored him with a flight today.’
View this post on Instagram
So now you all know the way to score a once-in-a-lifetime ride with the Air Force in the back of an F-16, you just have to respond with incredible heroism in the face of enormous challenges. But if it was easy, the skies would be full of hometown heroes, instead of the select few who have earned the unique reward.
Father’s Day is the greatest holiday of the year, clearly. A day for Dads, what more can you ask? But for families going through their first Father’s Day without Dad, the day takes a different tone. Legendary game show host Alex Trebek passed away in the fall, and his daughter paid tribute to the lesser-known side of the icon, as a dad.
Trebek’s oldest daughter, Nicky, shared a picture on Instagram of a touching family moment of her famous dad with all three of his children (Nicky is 55, Matthew is 31 and Emily is 28).
“Seems like a minute ago,” she wrote, along with the hashtags “missingyou”, “trebekgang”, and “dadlove”.
View this post on Instagram
Trebek loved being a dad to Nicky (who he adopted in 1981) and Matthew and Emily (who he had with his second wife). His kids have said previously he was a great dad who was generous to everyone and persistent in fighting challenges.
View this post on Instagram
His ‘Never Give Up’ spirit was on display during his courageous battle with pancreatic cancer, as he continued to film new episodes of Jeopardy during treatment.
It’s definitely a hard first Father’s Day for the Trebek gang without him, but they won’t be the only ones who never forget him.
“My husband is a natural – even if he’s not my son’s natural father.’
5 1/2 years ago I found out I was pregnant with my then-boyfriend’s child. He decided to not be a part of our lives from then forward, which at the time seemed devastating but ended up being the best thing possible.
My son was born in July and I raised him as a single mother always hoping for more for him. On our first date, my husband suggested I bring my son with me so I wouldn’t have to worry about finding a sitter. He was 6 months at the time and such an easy baby, so of course my husband fell instantly in love with both of us.
He has been the only dad my son has known, and that’s all I would want for him. He plays with him every night even after long days of work and finds new and creative ways to entertain him. He encourages him to be himself and challenges him to try new things.
When we wanted to grow our family, we had a very hard time getting pregnant and found out my husband has fertility issues. We underwent two rounds of egg retrievals and had four embryo transfers that ended in miscarriages, but I eventually got pregnant with our now almost-one-year-old.
My husband is my boys’ favorite parent, although he would tell you differently. He makes them both laugh regularly and is a great role model. I’m so happy my sons and I have him.”
– Veronica Albecker
Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]