Has Something Challenged Your Way Of Life Yet Today?
These Colombians stress the importance of taking your time to do something right, and their incredible artwork backs up that point. Consider the carver who at 4:58 travels into the woods to find the right tree to cut down.
A local reporter at Hometown Life shared a unique and heartfelt story on March 16 about a mother struggling to find shoes that fit her 14-year-old son. The story resonated with parents everywhere; now, her son is getting the help he desperately needs. It's a wonderful example of people helping a family that thought they had nowhere to turn.
When Eric Kilburn Jr. was born, his mother, Rebecca’s OBGYN, told her that he had the “biggest feet I’ve ever seen in my life. Do not go out and buy baby shoes because they’re not gonna fit,’” Rebecca told Today.com. Fourteen years later, it’s almost impossible to find shoes that fit the 6’10” freshman—he needs a size 23.
The teen's height doesn't stem from a gland issue; he comes from a family of tall people. Both his parents are over 6 feet tall.
Eric plays football for Goodrich High School in Goodrich, Michigan, but doesn’t wear cleats, which led to a sprained ankle. He also suffers from ingrown toenails that are so severe he’s had two nails on his biggest toes permanently removed.
Last year, the family was lucky enough to stumble upon five pairs of size 21 shoes at a Nike outlet store. It was discovered they were made especially for Tacko Fall, the NBA player with some of the most enormous feet in the game. To put things in perspective, Shaquille O’Neal wears a size 22.
However, Eric soon grew out of those as well. The family was left with one more option: have orthopedic shoes made for Eric at the cost of $1,500 with no guarantee he won’t quickly grow out of those as well.
After his mother’s heartfelt plea to Hometown Life, the family got much-needed help from multiple companies, including Under Armour and PUMA, who are sending representatives to Michigan to measure his feet for custom shoes.
CAT has reached out to make him a custom pair of boots. Eric hasn't had any boots to wear for the past five Michigan winters.
Kara Pattison started a GoFundMe campaign on behalf of the family to help them purchase custom shoes for “the rest of the time Eric has these feet.” It has raised nearly $20,000 for the family in just over a week.
“The success of this fundraiser is well beyond what was ever expected,” Pattison wrote on the site on March 18. “The Kilburns plan to open a bank account dedicated to Eric's future footwear and some specialized sports equipment. He can use this to get a helmet that fits for football along with pads. They will also look into a football and track jersey for him.”
The sense of relief felt by Rebecca, Eric and the rest of the Kilburn family must be incredible. It has to be frustrating to be unable to provide your child with something as basic as footwear.
“It’s been overwhelming,” Rebecca told Hometown Life. “I have been this puddle of emotions, all of them good…It’s the coolest thing to be able to say we did it! He has shoes! I am not usually a crier, but I have been in a constant state of happy tears…We are so grateful.”
One of the oldest frauds in the book is the “your loved one is in trouble” scam. Scammers call posing as a grandchild or loved one in distress who claims they’ve been kidnapped or are in jail. The scammer may also impersonate a nurse, police officer, lawyer or other authority figure representing the loved one.
The scammer claims that the loved one needs money wired to the fraudster immediately to bring them to safety.
The scam is effective because the victim is under pressure to get them money quickly, so they don’t have time to consider the fact that it may be a scam. All the while, they imagine the torment the loved one is going through. The urgency of the scam makes it much more likely that the victim will hand over the money.
The FTC is warning people that scammers have given this scam a new technological twist by faking the voice of the loved one by using voice cloning powered by artificial intelligence.
“Artificial intelligence is no longer a far-fetched idea out of a sci-fi movie,” the FTCs warning reads. “We're living with it, here and now. A scammer could use AI to clone the voice of your loved one. All he needs is a short audio clip of your family member's voice—which he could get from content posted online—and a voice-cloning program. When the scammer calls you, he’ll sound just like your loved one.”
All fraudsters need to clone someone’s voice realistically is a 30-second clip of audio that they can easily rip from Facebook, TikTok, podcasts, commercials or Instagram. The voice-generating software synthesizes what makes a person's voice sound unique and then finds similar voices by searching vast databases. This allows them to replicate someone’s voice in real-time to create a phone call that sounds authentic.
It’s terribly difficult to detect the scam because voice-cloning software has become increasingly accurate. As AI technology improves, avoiding being fooled by the scam will become harder.
"It's terrifying," Hany Farid, a professor of digital forensics at University of California, Berkeley, told The Washington Post. "It's sort of the perfect storm ... [with] all the ingredients you need to create chaos."
FTC officials say that in 2022 Americans lost $8.8 billion to fraud, with imposter scams being the most common, and there’s usually no way to get the money back. Scammers usually demand payment through cryptocurrency, money wires, or gift cards, so tracing it is impossible.
The FTC wants people to think twice if they receive a phone call from a loved one in distress or someone claiming to be their representative, especially if they ask for money.
“Don’t trust the voice,” the FTC warning reads. “Call the person who supposedly contacted you and verify the story. Use a phone number you know is theirs. If you can’t reach your loved one, try to get in touch with them through another family member or their friends.”
If you are targeted by one of these voice clone scams, report it to the FTC immediately. You could prevent the next person from being scammed.
A recently posted story on Reddit shows a mother confidently standing up for her family after being bullied by a teacher for her culture. Reddit user Flowergardens0 posted the story to the AITA forum, where people ask whether they are wrong in a specific situation.
Over 5,600 people commented on the story, and an overwhelming majority thought the mother was right. Here’s what went down:
“I (34F) have a (5M) son who attends preschool. A few hours after I picked him up from school today, I got a phone call from his teacher,” Flowergardens0 wrote. “She made absolutely no effort to sound kind when she, in an extremely rude and annoyed tone, told me to stop packing my son such ‘disgusting and inappropriate’ lunches."
"I felt absolutely appalled when she said this, as me and the teacher have, up until now, always maintained a very friendly relationship. She added that the lunches I’m packing my son are ‘very distracting for the other students and have an unpleasant odor.’ I told her that I understand her concerns, as the lunches I pack are definitely not the healthiest, but the lunches are according to my son’s preferences.”
The mother added that she usually sends her son to school with small celery sticks, blue cheese and goat cheese, kimchi, spam and spicy Sriracha-flavored Doritos.
“I ended the call by saying that I very much appreciated her worries, but that at the end of the day, I am not going to drastically change my son’s lunches all of a sudden, and that it’s not my fault if other students are ‘distracted’ by his meal,” the mother continued. “It is very important to me what my son enjoys, and I want him to like my lunches.”
The teacher replied with an email saying the mom's response was "unacceptable" and that his lunches were “just too inappropriate to be sent to school any longer.”
“I haven’t responded yet and don’t want to. I want to maintain a healthy relationship with my son’s teachers. I am confused as to what to do,” the mom ended her story.
It’s clear that the teacher is way out of line in this situation because the child is eating food that is entirely normal in Korean culture. It may have a strong odor to those who aren’t used to it, but that’s just an opportunity for the teacher to explain to the children how people from different parts of the world eat different types of food. It’s not that hard.
The only reason the teacher should have any choice over what the child eats is if it is egregiously unhealthy and may cause them harm.
The most popular commenter on the forum suggested that the mother bring the issue to the principal’s attention.
"Report her to the principal," Thatshygal717 wrote. "Her comments regarding your son’s food are 'disgusting' and 'have an unpleasant tone' aka cough cough racist tone. She’s too inappropriate to be teaching at the school any longer."
Another commenter, muffiewriters, assured the mother that she was doing nothing wrong. "Your son's food is perfectly normal," they wrote. "For a 5-year-old. Your family's food is normal. The teacher is TA for not recognizing that.”
The mother hasn’t shared what she did next, but she’s handled the situation perfectly so far. She told the teacher that it’s not her fault if other kids are distracted by her food and that she will not change her son’s diet to please other people.
The beauty of America is that we are a country of many different cultures mixed like a beautiful bowl of salad. It’s great that so many people supported the mother and reminded her that her family has every right in the world to eat the food they love, and if it bothers anyone, they can keep it to themselves.
P.S. That teacher has no idea what she’s talking about. Korean food is delicious.
Afroman ready for the 2024 United States Presidential Election
Joseph Foreman, better known to music fans as rapper Afroman, had his Ohio home raided by Adams County Sheriff's deputies last August. The deputies were acting on a warrant claiming probable cause that drugs, drug paraphernalia, and evidence of drug trafficking and kidnapping would be found on his property.
Afroman wasn't home at the time of the raid, but his wife captured footage of it on her phone.
The deputies found nothing, confiscated over $5,000 worth of Afroman’s hard-earned money, bashed in his front door, broke his front gate and destroyed his home security camera system. No charges were filed after the raid. The money was later returned to the "Because I Got High" rapper.
“They come up here with AR-15, traumatize my kids, destroyed my property, kick in my door, rip up and destroy my camera system,” he said in August, according to Fox 19.
The deputies have now filed a lawsuit against Afroman, claiming that he used their personas for commercial purposes without permission. The deputies claim the attention caused them to suffer "embarrassment, ridicule, emotional distress, humiliation, and loss of reputation."
The complaint adds that Afroman “created dozens of videos and images of Plaintiffs’ personas and posted them on various social media platforms including Facebook, YouTube, Snap Chat, TikTok and Instagram.”
The deputies believe they are entitled to all the profits from using their personas, including concert ticket sales, music videos, and all products associated with the Afroman brand, including beer, marijuana and clothing.
So Afroman got his house trashed, his kids traumatized, and his money taken, and now the officers involved want to sue him for appearing in the video recorded on his property? The rapper believes that the deputies' activities were criminal.
“The warrant put the Adams county sheriff in a position to attempt to kill me,” he wrote on Instagram. “After the Adams County Sheriff. Burglarized vandalized and destroyed my property. They became thieves and stole my money. After they stole my money they became criminals. After they became criminals they lost their right of privacy. My house is my property, my video camera films, everything on my property as they begin, stealing my money, disconnecting plus destroying my video camera system, they became my property!”
Afroman’s attorney has released a statement claiming he will countersue.
The attorney statement shared by Afroman shared on Instagram says that they are waiting on public records requests from Adams County. “We are planning to counter-sue for the unlawful raid, money being stolen, and for the undeniable damage this had on my client's family, career and property," it adds.
Afroman is right to feel that he’s the victim in this story. He was wrongly accused of multiple crimes and took retribution by making a video of the raid, which was conducted by public officials. In Ohio, it is legal to film police interactions, and it’s an important right that holds law enforcement accountable.
Spring has sprung, y'all! Officially on paper, at least. It's still flippin' cold and brown where I live, but we can see the daffodils stretching their way out of the ground and it won't be long before everything bursts into bloom.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Earth laughs in flowers." That feels true, doesn't it? These early days of spring are a bit like preparing to watch your favorite comedy, snuggled up on the couch with your people (or your cat), nummy snacks and comfy pants, smiling in anticipation because you know you're about to have some big laughs.
Hopefully, that's also how you feel jumping into these weekly roundups of joy, knowing you're about to get hit with some mood-boosting serotonin and cant-help-but-smile goodness. (That's how I feel each week pulling these lists together–it's like a little weekly smile therapy.)
Thankfully, you don't have to wait to enjoy these bursting blossoms of joy! Off we go…
1. There can't possibly be anything sweeter than this kid singing 'Three Little Birds'
I am so inspired by everyone who spoke up against book bánning at the Martin County School Board meeting today, including Grace Linn. Grace is, in her words, “100 years young.” She spoke about witnessing the rise of fascism during WWII, about losing her husband to the war when he was 26, and about protecting our freedom to read. Thank you, Grace, for reminding us that this is a part of history we must not repeat.
She's seen things in her life and she knows why this is important. How great to see her using her voice—and sewing skills—to defend the freedom to read.
7. Dad who never wants his picture taken makes an exception for the perfect dad joke
How do you get a country girl’s attention? A tractor.
My wife asked me to stop singing “Wonderwall” to her. I said maybe…
Dad jokes tend to be simple, inoffensive attempts at humor that are often puns and never funny. Except, of course, to the dad who tells them. But he usually gets more of a kick out of the embarrassment it caused his children than the joke itself.
The article’s title is an embarrassing dad joke in and of itself: “Dad jokes? That’s the way eye roll…”
In the article, Hye-Knudson shows how dad jokes are an extension of a father’s more aggressive parenting style. Dads are often the parent to initiate playfighting, which seems social at first glance, but on a deeper level, helps to train kids to be stronger, more resilient and discover personal boundaries.
In the same way, dad jokes work to teach children how to handle embarrassing situations for themselves and their parents.
“Ideally, fathers’ rougher style of joking fulfills a similar function: by teasingly striking at their children’s egos and emotions without teetering over into bullying, fathers build their children’s resilience and train them to withstand minor attacks and bouts of negative emotion without getting worked up or acting out, teaching them impulse control and emotional regulation,” Hye-Knudson quotes Dr. Peter Gray.
This badgering is even more helpful when children reach adolescence and are more prone to embarrassment. “In this sense, dad jokes may have a positive pedagogical effect, toughening up the kids who are begrudgingly exposed to them,” Hye-Knudson writes.
The term “dad joke” may have originated in America, but the same concept exists in other cultures, suggesting that the parenting strategy may be deeply rooted in human psychology.
In addition to toughening up children by exposing them to embarrassment, it also shows a willingness to be embarrassed on the dad’s behalf. This is another way for a father to model how to handle embarrassment and show that it’s not that big of a deal to be the butt of a joke.
The joke makes the subtle point to the child that if an adult can handle mild humiliation, they can, too.
Ultimately, the dad joke appears to be a way for fathers to teach their kids that it’s OK to put yourself out there in the world without worrying about what other people think. And, if you happen to fail, that’s OK; get back on the proverbial horse and try again. It’s a valuable lesson for kids because resilience will play a big role in the child’s future success, whether in relationships, creativity or professional life.
"By continually telling their children jokes that are so bad that they’re embarrassing, fathers may push their children’s limits for how much embarrassment they can handle,” Hye-Knudson writes. "They show their children that embarrassment isn’t fatal."