It's the most dangerous electrical job in America. Bill Reimels was born to do it.

Danger! High voltage!

The power is out, and people are worried.

The streetlights have gone dark, and the traffic signals flicked off. Hospitals and data centers have stopped humming as emergency generators groan to life. Across the region, everything — cars, transit, homes, and businesses — is at a standstill. Technicians monitoring the grid confirm it is a major outage. With millions of dollars in lost time on the line, it needs to be identified and repaired as quickly as possible.

Bill Reimels lives for these moments.


Bill Reimels approaches a work site in a helicopter. All images via Deepwater Horizon/Participant.

As part of a team responsible for maintaining and repairing power lines and transformers across the state of New Jersey, Bill Reimels' work needs to be done efficiently, correctly, and quickly. The company he works for, PSE&G, helps keep 1,200 miles of electrical transmission lines running smoothly — making sure cities from Woodbine to Wantage have consistent, reliable power.

The work he does isn't for the faint of heart, either. It takes electrical know-how, a calm demeanor, and the ability to solve complex electrical problems next to a high-voltage power line while sitting on a small seat off the side of a helicopter hovering hundreds of feet in the air.

Yes, you read that right. Watch the video below to see Bill in action:

Before he started working live lines, Bill climbed power transformers for 11 years. His new job takes him even higher — but he says it's well worth the risk.

"People used to ask me all the time — how do you do that?" Bill said. "It's just like anywhere else; you get used to working up there. You just watch where you put your hands and feet."

Bill hard at work.

That latter part is an understatement. Most long-distance high-voltage power lines in America carry a load between 155,000 and 765,000 volts, and touching even a spark could be deadly. At PSE&G, Bill is part of a huge team that constantly monitors and preventatively repairs lines so that big accidents where folks are really at risk are few and far between. That's crucial because people doing this kind of work risk electrocution, burns, and falls every single day, although all are relatively rare.

As for Bill, he said he's had a couple scares but nothing serious. That's amazing considering he does most of his work sitting in a chair hundreds of feet above the ground, held in place by a harness clipped to his back and a small sturdy seatbelt across his lap. That lap belt, Bill shares, is a new addition to their safety set up. "It's really for the pilot's comfort. If he needs to make a rough landing for whatever reason, he wanted to make sure we were safe and wouldn't bounce up into the rotor," he says. "I trust in my team to keep me safe, and make sure these lines are safe, too."

Bill's work isn't always about power lines. Sometimes he gets to help with other valuable work: helping biologists tag baby eagles.

"I love bald eagles, and as it turns out, we have 20 nests on our lines," he shares enthusiastically. Because bald eagles are protected in the United States, they can make their nests anywhere they want, and the helicopters on Bill's team generally give them and their nests a wide buffer when they pass by — at least 500 to 1,000 feet.

But sometimes they have to get a little closer, like when they're assisting biologists in identifying and tagging baby eaglets.

"We'll help gather them from the nest and take them to the biologists to do their thing, then we help put them gently back in the nest," he says. "It's pretty amazing, getting to hold my favorite animal in the world in my hands."

Ultimately, this work — challenging, thoughtful, and outside — is perfect for Bill. He couldn't imagine doing anything else.

"I'll never forget the first time I got to fly in the helicopter," Bill said. "I got to jump on a ride to check out a transformer. It was usually an hour and a half trip by car, but it was only 10 minutes by helicopter. It was such a thrill." He paused to think.

"Now it's kind of old hat," he laughed.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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