Remember the viral video of someone with a Delta flight to themselves? There’s more to the story.
Twitter / Vincent Peone

When it comes to social media, things aren't always as they seem. Every now and then, we're reminded that sometimes an incredible viral video is just the result of movie magic.

Writer and director Vincent Peone posted a video on Twitter documenting his experience on a "private jet." Peone was the only passenger on a Delta flight from Aspen, Colorado to Salt Lake City, Utah. In the video, Perone is greeted by name, meets the pilots, and gets to sit wherever he wants on a completely empty plane. It seems like a pretty sweet experience, especially because flying commercial can be such a nightmare. When the video ends, it's presumably because the flight was taking off. The video went viral, getting millions of views on Twitter.

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Delta even responded to Peone's initial Tweet, which seemed confirm the flight actually happened. "That looks like an awesome experience! Thank you for the shoutout, and we truly appreciate you for choosing Delta!" said the airline.

Peone ended the viral video with, "Up, Up and Away," but in reality, the flight stayed, stayed where it was. Delta admitted that Peone did get on the empty plane, but the flight never took off. "Delta Connection Flight 3652 last week pushed back but shortly returned to the gate due to a maintenance issue. The aircraft departed a short time later without any customers onboard," Delta spokesperson Anthony Black told The Washington Post.

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Peone himself confirmed that this was true. "My video was 100% true...and then I stopped filming. After the private jet broke down again with mechanical problems, I took a normal one the following morning," the filmmaker wrote on Twitter. "The story took off fast, but the plane didn't."

"It reminded me of an experience you'd have flying in the '50s or something. It was very positive, and [the flight crew] thought it was funny. But I was like: Why would they even do this? Why even fly the plane? Delay me or cancel or something!" Peone said in an interview with the Post.

It turns out, it's actually not weird for a flight to fly without passengers. Instead of cancelling an empty flight, the airplane will still travel to the next destination if it's needed to operate later flights.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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