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Woman's wild story of surviving 14,500 ft skydive fall because of fire ants is a must read

It's usually a bad thing to land in a mound of fire ants at 80 mph. But not if you're Joan Murray.

skydiving, fire ant bite
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Picture of a fire ant. Eek.

You have a 50% chance of surviving a fall of 48 feet, roughly equaling a 4-story building. The mortality rate rushes all the way up to 90% when you fall 84 feet, the distance of a 7-story building.

So if you’re falling from a whopping 14,500 feet, just over two-and-a-half miles, you can safely bet that you’re most definitely not getting out alive.

But one woman did. And that’s not even the wildest part of her story.

In 1999, a woman and skydiving enthusiast named Joan Murray, 47, had traveled to North Carolina to embark upon her 37th free-fall, with the purpose of testing out new equipment.

After carefully packing and prepping, Murray made her jump. Only when she pulled the cord for her parachute, nothing happened. There she was, hurtling towards the Earth at 80 mph.

According to a Star News article reporting the incident, Murray was finally able to release her emergency chute at 700 feet, but that only “swung her out of control.”

In a display of cosmic irony, Murray eventually slammed into the ground onto a live mound of fire ants. You can’t make this stuff up.

But incredibly, Murray survived the fall. Most of her bones were shattered, her teeth fillings flew out, her face was severely bitten by ants and she fell into a coma for two weeks…but she survived. As for how she survived such a harrowing fall, her doctor simply wrote “miracle” on her file.

And while Murray’s survival is no doubt miraculous, evidence suggests that those fire ants were the little angels behind it.

Murray had remained conscious after her fall (yikes) and reported that she could feel the burning sensation of the army of ants stinging her. Eventually, it was the unbearable pain of the stings, not the insane fall, that made her pass out.

When paramedics arrived on the scene, they saw Murray completely covered in hundreds of thousands of fire ants—and around 200 stings on her body. It was believed that the venom from their stings not only shocked her heart (thus keeping it beating) but caused her body to produce more adrenaline until help came.

Perhaps the most unbelievable part of this story is that Murray actually skydived again only two years after this disaster. She also turned down an offer to retire with disability from her job and Bank of America and continued her banking career that extended over 20 years.

Though Murray passed away in May of 2022, she is still remembered not only for her amazing survival, but her optimistic outlook on life.

As she shared with “People” following the accident, "Sometimes we take life for granted. I truly have fun putting my shoes on in the morning."

May we all find a way to find the same positivity…perhaps without the fire ants.

A young woman drinking bottled water outdoors before exercising.



The Story of Bottled Waterwww.youtube.com

Here are six facts from the video above by The Story of Stuff Project that I'll definitely remember next time I'm tempted to buy bottled water.

1. Bottled water is more expensive than tap water (and not just a little).

via The Story of Stuff Project/YouTube


A Business Insider column noted that two-thirds of the bottled water sold in the United States is in individual 16.9-ounce bottles, which comes out to roughly $7.50 per gallon. That's about 2,000 times higher than the cost of a gallon of tap water.

And in an article in 20 Something Finance, G.E. Miller investigated the cost of bottled versus tap water for himself. He found that he could fill 4,787 20-ounce bottles with tap water for only $2.10! So if he paid $1 for a bottled water, he'd be paying 2,279 times the cost of tap.

2. Bottled water could potentially be of lower quality than tap water.

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Pop Culture

People are loving Drew Barrymore's live reaction to her first perimenopause hot flash

“I don’t know that I have ever heard a celebrity talk about a hot flash in the moment. Thank you for being so real."

The Drew Barrymore Show/Youtube

Drew Barrymore getting a quick assist from Jennifer Aniston

It feels safe to say that many, if not most people hail Drew Barrymore as the “Queen of Candid.” She can seemingly talk to absolutely anyone about anything in a way that’s consistently warm and authentic.

That even goes for when she experiences her first hot flash in front of a live television audience, apparently.

While speaking with guests Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler on her talk show, Barrymore abruptly appears flustered, fanning herself and removing her jacket.

Without missing a beat, she says, “I am so hot, I think I'm having my first perimenopause hot flashes.”
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Joy

A 9-yr-old cheerleader’s veteran dad couldn't help with her routine, so a high schooler ran to her side

Sensing something was wrong, he sprang to action with many witnessing his kind act.

Images from YouTube video.

Addie Rodriguez does her cheer.

Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

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Pop Culture

Guy shares the reason viral gym videos need to end, and it's so spot on

"If you can’t respect other people in a shared space, you don’t belong filming at all.”

“This sense of entitlement has gotten out of hand."

Gyms are communal spaces where people can come to improve their health, fitness and/or overall well-being.

However, it’s no secret that many gyms have also become a production studio of sorts where influencers can set up a tripod to demonstrate the most cutting-edge squatting technique or where the average Joe can take that obligatory gym selfie to prove that the workout did, in fact, happen.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with either of these activities. However, they have sparked a new kind of behavior in gymgoers where they feign extreme frustration if folks walk from one machine to the next or grab a piece of equipment and, heaven forbid, enter the frame.

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Pop Culture

Stanford student explains why Google Incognito mode doesn't really hide your searches

“In the least shocking reveal of all time, it was proven that it’s really not that private.”

A man using his laptop in Incognito mode.

If you were comfortable thinking there would be no evidence of your online activity while in Google’s Incognito mode, think again. According to a class-action lawsuit filed by Florida resident William Byatt and California residents Chasom Brown and Maria Nguyen, Google has been sharing your searches and selling your data, even while using Incognito mode.

On December 30, NPR reported that Google agreed to settle the $5 billion lawsuit that claims it misled users into believing that their activities weren’t being tracked while in Incognito mode.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers pointed out that Google never told its users it continued to collect data even when people were browsing in Incognito mode.

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Humor

Nigerians are taking the internet by storm with their naturally dramatic yet poetic speech

"Instead of saying 'I'm mad,' they'll say, 'my enemies succeeded.'"

Nigerians are cracking people up online with their dramatic flair

People are used to hearing quote worthy sentences with the dramatic flair when it comes to the likes of Shakespeare or Emily Brontë. It's the kind of sentence structure that makes everything sound like a love affair with the English language as you imagine someone writing with quill and ink. Maybe the English language has gotten a bit sloppy or lazy over the years.

But it seems that Nigerians have never stopped having a flair for the dramatics when it comes to speaking, at least that's what people on the internet have revealed. Recently a podcast ClxpsAndGxgs uploaded a clip to TikTok to discuss an X thread they discovered.

"Nigerians speak so poetic when they're upset, instead of saying, 'I'm mad,' they'll say, 'my enemies have succeeded,'" one of the hosts reads before bursting into laughter.

This is apparently just how many Nigerians speak, because the comment section of the original X post which appeared in 2021 and the comments under the recent video give near endless examples.

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