internet, school, hacking

This 11-year-old controlled his school district's internet for three months.

For the past two years, schools have relied on the internet to conduct at-home school, either exclusively or in a hybrid format. Though we're fortunate to live in a time when online learning is actually an option, it's not been amazing for many as Zoom fatigue, home fatigue and general pandemic fatigue set in.

Most kids can't do anything about that, but an 11-year-old named Elijah took matters into his own hands when he'd had enough of the COVID-19 life. And hoo boy, did it get him into serious hot water.

Elijah's mother, Victoria (@victoriaprettymuch) shared the story on TikTok in a video that's been viewed more than 2 million times. "If anyone wants a child who's 11, come get him," she wrote, then calmly described how she'd been holding the story in for seven months while everything got worked out.

The story goes that in April of 2021, Victoria was called into the school to talk about some issues with her son. The school told her that her son wasn't in any danger, but he was "in major trouble." When she arrived at the school, she was met by four police officers, the district attorney's office, the superintendent, the principal, three IT technicians—and her son, who was in tears.


@victoriaprettymuch

#FYP #foryoupage #tiktok #viral #trending #follow #PINKHolidayRemix #smart #kids

As it turns out, the kid had been controlling the entire school district's internet for the past three months. This fifth grader had managed to hack the system and turn it off and on whenever he felt like it. Victoria had to hire a federal attorney because the school wanted to press federal charges.

"What have I given birth to, Rainman?" she asked. "If you want him, come get him. I'm giving him away."

The video got such an overwhelming response, Victoria posted a follow-up video answering some questions and explaining the outcome of the situation with her "baby genius." The district attorney decided not to press charges because of his age. Instead, they were recommended to a first-time juvenile offenders program, where Elijah's had to complete five tasks for his record to be wiped clean.

One of the tasks was to build a video game—and he built a basketball video game in two hours.

@victoriaprettymuch

Reply to @sweetest_taboo91 Hopefully we answered all questions lol 😂

Like, holy moly, kid. A whole video game in two hours? He really is a prodigy.

People's reactions to the story are mostly to laugh and express support for the kid's tech-savviness. Obviously, committing cybercrime is not how he should be utilizing his talents, but he's only 11 and this is a good time to learn that lesson. (Also, haven't we all wanted to turn off some annoying parts of pandemic life for a while? Who can blame him for figuring out how?)

Some people joked that those "punishments" meted out to him were probably tests from the FBI to recruit him. Loads of people working in IT were impressed. One person asked, "Can he hack Sallie Mae?"

Really, though, the best thing for a ridiculously smart kid like this is to help him hone his skills and channel them into constructive, positive things. He definitely has a bright future ahead of him, and a patient, caring mom to help him get there.

Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

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Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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