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'Recycle artist' to build 10 giant trolls across the US this summer in global art project

Danish rapper-turned-artist Thomas Dambo spent the last nine years building 100 enormously endearing trolls around the world, each with its own unique name, story and Earth-loving message.

Giant wooden troll sitting on the ground building rock towers
Courtesy of Thomas Dambo

The original Isak Heartstone troll sculpture in Breckenridge, Colorado

When we think of a "troll" in the internet age, we usually picture some sad sap wasting his one wild and precious life making inflammatory statements and luring people into inane arguments online.

But out in the physical world, some very different kinds of trolls are luring people away from their computers and out into nature. These benevolent trolls tower over humans with their enormous size and have an important message to share.

Also, they look really freaking cool.


Danish "recycle artist" Thomas Dambo has spent the past nine years building dozens of giant trolls all around the world. Each one is made entirely of recycled materials, and each is unique, with its own delightful name and origin story. Hector the Protector, who lives on the water's edge in Puerto Rico, came first in 2014. When Hector was first built, he was holding a rock to throw at anyone who threatened to hurt the island. After being damaged in Hurricane Maria, Hector "learned from his violent ways" and was rebuilt holding a lantern instead of a rock to guide sailors coming in during a storm.

Now there are at least 100 different trolls residing on nearly every continent.

Dambo has even created an entire elaborate folklore involving these trolls. For instance, legend has it that a global gathering of trolls that happens every 211 years, and in the last gathering, the trolls became angry with the humans who have stopped listening to nature and have been harming the Earth. They ultimately decided the best course of action was to eat the humans to save the planet.

But a group of six young trolls believed the humans were just young and ignorant, and because they "only live around eighty circles of light," they can't grasp the big picture. These young trolls decided to form a gang to save the humans and help them learn instead of destroying them.

Perusing Thomas Dambo's website makes it clear that these trolls are not just cool art sculptures, but living parts of an ongoing story that involves all of us, both in a literary sense and a literal one. The lore puts a fun and fantastical spin on the very real issue of humans being out of touch and so often in conflict with nature.

Take a look and listen to this brief tale about seven trolls and the magical tower they built to help the humans see more clearly.

And this magical world just keeps expanding. In the summer of 2023, he's bringing his troll installations to the U.S. with his "Way of the Bird King" tour. Dambo and a group of 22 builders will be traveling from coast to coast creating 10 new trolls out of more than 1,000 discarded wooden pallets.

“It's always been a dream for me to go on this coast-to-coast road trip, especially when I was a rapper touring around Denmark in a big bus," says Dambo. "So in some way, this feels like my big American breakthrough. My hope is that these sculptures not only showcase the beauty of repurposed materials, but also inspire people to reconnect with nature, spark their imagination, and foster a greater sense of environmental responsibility."

Artist Thomas Dambo of Denmark

Courtesy of Thomas Dambo

The first four trolls to be created on the tour will be:

6/28 Hainesport, New Jersey — a female troll named Big Rusty

7/5 South Londonderry, Vermont — a male troll named Lost Finn

7/21 Germfask, Michigan — a male troll named Benny Beardfisher

8/4 Cripple Creek, Colorado — a female troll named Rita Rockplanter

After that, Dambo and his team will head to the Pacific Northwest, where six more trolls will make their homes. Exact dates are still to be announced, but these trolls will be built in that region: Ole Ole, Pia Peacekeeper, Iduns Flute, Jacob Two Trees, Oscar the Bird King and FiFi Feet Splinter.

If they are anything like the trolls that currently live in Denmark, China, France, South Korea, Australia, Chile, Ireland and other places (including a handful of locations in the U.S.—you can find them all on the Troll Map here), they will surely draw people's attention. (But hopefully not too much attention. Poor Isak Heartstone, a troll in Breckenridge, Colorado, that was built as part of an arts festival, had to be destroyed and rebuilt in another location because too many tourists wanted a troll selfie with him, which caused complaints from locals.)

Thomas Dambo troll sculpture

Isak Heartstone 1.0, a troll in Breckenridge, Colorado, that had to be rebuilt in a different area due to too many tourists.

Thomas Dambo

Check out a few other trolls from Dambo's ongoing "Trail of a Thousand Trolls" project.

Troll sculpture in Denmark

Troll Ben Chiller in Denmark

Courtesy of Thomas Dambo

Troll sculpture with leg extending over a river

Troll MamaMimi in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Courtesy of Thomas Dambo

Some of Dambo's trolls interact with the human world:

Troll pulling a boat on land

Troll Kaptajn Nalle in Copenhagen, Denmark

Courtesy of Thomas Dambo

It takes a team of people to bring the trolls to life.

Artists building a troll

Troll ManeMor being built in Denmark in 2023

Courtesy of Thomas Dambo

What a wonderful, whimsical way to bring attention to how humans and nature interact.

You can find more about Thomas Dambo and his magical world of Earth-loving trolls on his website, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

A young mom with her kids in the ER.

Sage Pasch’s unique family situation has attracted a lot of attention recently. The 20-something mother of 2 shared a 6-second TikTok video on September 29 that has been viewed over 33 million times because it shows how hard it can be for young moms to be taken seriously.

In the video, the young-looking Pasch took her son Nick to the ER after he injured his leg at school. But when the family got to the hospital, the doctor couldn’t believe Pasch was his mother. “POV, we’re at the ER, and the doctor didn’t believe I was the parent,” she captioned the post.


Pasch and her fiancé , Luke Faircloth, adopted the teen in 2022 after his parents tragically died two years apart. “Nick was already spending so much time with us, so it made sense that we would continue raising him,” Pasch told Today.com.

The couple also has a 17-month-old daughter named Lilith.

@coffee4lifesage

He really thought i was lying😭

Pasch says that people are often taken aback by her family when they are out in public. "Everybody gets a little confused because my fiancé and I are definitely younger to have a teenager," she said. "It can be very frustrating."

It may be hard for the young parents to be taken seriously, but their story has made a lot of people in a similar situation feel seen. "Omg, I feel this. I took my son to the ER, and they asked for the guardian. Yes, hi, that's me," Brittany wrote in the comments. "Meee with my teenager at a parent-teacher conference. They think I’m her older sister and say we need to talk with your parents," KatMonroy added.


This article originally appeared on 10.24.23

Carsten Vollrath/Canva

Imagine watching your four-tier wedding cake hitting the ground before you even get a bite.

It's quite common for people to fantasize about their wedding day—the ceremony, the bridal party, the dress, the cake—and some people spend months or even years meticulously planning every detail. People even spend thousands of dollars hiring wedding planners to make sure that the big day stays fully organized and all the moving parts come together without a hitch.

But no matter how well you plan, sometimes things that simply can't be predicted happen. And how you and your beloved handle the hitches and glitches on your wedding day can say a lot.

Especially when that hitch or glitch is something major…like watching the beautiful, four-tier wedding cake—the one you spent time choosing and lots of money creating to share with your wedding guests—come crashing to the ground right in front of you.


That's what happened to one couple who eagerly watched as the caterers who were carrying their wedding cake tripped on their way into the room, sending their cake to an untimely demise in spectacular fashion.

The video, shared by @the.sarik on Instagram, is only about 10 seconds long, but it tells a whole beautiful love story in the reactions of both the groom and the bride.

Watch:

First of all, hope those waiters are OK. But secondly, staying calm and making the most of a bad situation is a huge character plus, and this groom clearly has those qualities in spades. You can see in the bride's face that she knows it, too.

"Her eyes show that she knows she got the right guy," wrote one commenter.

"The way he just called her to eat is just phenomenal," shared another.

"'Cake is still cake.' Yelling at those waiters won't solve anything, but it can ruin their whole lives," wrote another. "They know their mistake, and they can be corrected privately. May the reaction of this man be an inspiration to us all, to care for the feelings of other people more than material things."

"Of all the things that could ruin a wedding day, I'm glad the husband knew this didn't have to be one of them," shared another.

When unpredictable things do happen, it's largely the reaction of the people involved that determines whether they become tragic tales or entertaining stories. If what we saw in the video is any indicator, this couple will be telling their grandkids someday about how the guys carrying their wedding cake tripped and ruined it, and how Grandpa's response won Grandma's heart all over again.


This article originally appeared on 7.27.23

Joy

Gen X has hit 'that stage' of life and is not handling it very well

We are NOT prepared for Salt-n-Pepa to replace Michael McDonald in the waiting room at the doctor's office, thankyouverymuch.

Gen X is eating dinner earlier and earlier. It's happening.

The thing about Gen X being in our 40s and 50s now is that we were never supposed to get "old." Like, we're the cool, aloof grunge generation of young tech geniuses. Most of the giants that everyone uses every day—Google, Amazon, YouTube—came from Gen X. Our generation is both "Friends" and "The Office." We are, like, relevant, dammit.

And also, our backs hurt, we need reading glasses, our kids are in college and how in the name of Jennifer Aniston's skincare regimen did we get here?

It's weird to reach the stage when there's no doubt that you aren't young anymore. Not that Gen X is old—50 is the new 30, you know—but we're definitely not young. And it seems like every day there's something new that comes along to shove that fact right in our faces. When did hair start growing out of that spot? Why do I suddenly hate driving at night? Why is this restaurant so loud? Does that skin on my arm look…crepey?


As they so often do, Penn and Kim Holderness from The Holderness Family have captured the Gen X existential crisis in a video that has us both nodding a long and laughing out loud. Salt-n-Pepa in the waiting room at the doctor's office? Uh, no. That's a line we are not ready to cross yet. Nirvana being played on the Classic Rock station? Nope, not prepared for that, either.

Watch:

Hoo boy, the denial is real, isn't it? We grew up on "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, for goodness sake, and it's starting to feel like we made a wrong choice a chapter or two back and suddenly landed our entire generation in a time warp. This isn't real, is it? Thirty years ago was the 1970s. That's just a Gen X fact. So what if we've lived long enough for our high school fashions to go out of style and then back into style and then back out of style again?

Seriously, though, we can either lament our age and stage in life or we can laugh about it, and people are grateful to the Holdernesses for assisting with the latter. Gen X fans are also thrilled to see their own experiences being validated, because at this point, we've all had that moment in the grocery store or the waiting room when one of our jams came on and we immediately went into a panic.

"They were playing The Cure in the grocery store and I almost started crying," wrote one commenter. "I mean, how 'alternative' can you be if you're being played in Krogers? You guys are great! Thanks for making us laugh."

"I couldn’t believe it when I heard Bohemian Rhapsody being played in Walmart," shared another. "That was edgy in my day."

"I know!!! Bon Jovi at the grocery store!!! That was my clue in!!" added another.

"Long live Gen Xers! We have to be strong!! We can get through this together!! #NKOTBmeetsAARP" wrote on commenter.You can find more from the Holderness Family on their Facebook page, their podcast and their website, theholdernessfamily.com.


This article originally appeared on 1.28.24

Motherhood

Newly postpartum wife nervously shows off dress. Her fiancé's reaction has people gushing.

"He’s an amazing man who does nothing but lift you up. Hold tight to him, he’s a keeper!"

Sarah Chai and Vlada Karpovich|Canva

Man has sweetest reaction to postpartum fiancé wearing dress

Having a baby changes your body and while it may seem that some people pop right back to their pre-pregnancy size, not every one does. The expectation for people to be able to wear their old clothes mere weeks after birthing a tiny human is practically impossible for the vast majority of the human population. But it doesn't stop us from comparing and grieving the body that was once so familiar.

These drastic changes can leave people feeling self-conscious and defeated. Sophia Bullis was feeling a bit less confident about her new body after giving birth to a son she shares with fiancé Jeff. The new mom hasn't worn a dress since the baby was born due to these insecurities so she wanted to surprise Jeff with sporting an adorable white summer dress. In order to catch his genuine reaction, she set up her camera and it's giving everyone the feels.


Jeff is clearly the ultimate hype man. He comes around the corner carrying their baby and stops in the doorway staring in awe at Sophia. Pointing to the baby, he asks if the baby sees "that" before looking back up at his fiancé.

"I did not realize we were in the presence of royalty, let me try this again," Jeff says as he leaves and comes back only to pretend to faint.

Really, you couldn't ask for a better confidence boost than having your fiancé fawn over you in the most wholesome way possible. Commenters agree that Jeff is definitely a keeper.

"Men don’t know how much this means to women in general but especially after a baby," someone writes.

"If your man doesn’t make you giggle to the point where your cheeks hurt telling you how stunning you are what are you even doing," another says.

"I love how much he adores you! You deserve it mama," someone else shares.

"Men will never understand how much this means to women post pregnancy can be tough," one person gushes.

Jeff's support for his fiancé is a beautiful reflection of love that Sophia admits is one of the things she loves most about him in the caption.

"One of many things i love about him, his reactions and how he makes me feel so loved, pretty, wanted, and confident. Ive been struggling a lot lately with postpartum effects, and confidence with my body, and Jeff has been there for every step of it. It truly is hard, and if you are going through it, you got this," she shares.

See the sweet video below:

Georgia sorority sisters risk lives to save family trapped in sinking car

Sometimes people with the right skills just happen to end up in the right place at the right time. These are the moments we find out what reaction we would have if faced with an emergency situation. Five sorority sisters in Georgia were on their way out of town when they had a miraculous twist of fate on their detour to get lunch.

While heading off course to find something to eat, one of the girls spotted something out of the corner of her eye. Instincts kicked in when it registered what they saw. A car had lost control and veered off the road into a creek below. The girls called out to ask if they were okay and that's when the five sorority sisters kicked into automatic action.

Cori Craft, yells to the girls that her two small children are still trapped in the car, one of them just 4-years-old, strapped into his carseat.


All five girls quickly jumped into the water, working together to force the door open. Molly McCollum, Jane McArdle, Eleanor Cart, Clarke Jones and Kaitlyn lannace, were able to get the older child out but the youngest remained strapped into the completely submerged car. Time was not on their side as the girls explain, the little boy had been under the water for four to five minutes. By the time they were able to get him out, the boy was unconscious with blue lips.

Thankfully, Jones worked as a lifeguard in high school which allowed her training to kick in. The college student put the child on the car, performing CPR until he began breathing again.

"I was a lifeguard in high school for one summer, so I just remembered it from then," Jones tells GMA. "We had no clue if he was going to survive at all. And so I'm like, 'This is the one thing I know how to do that I can help. And so I'm just going to give it my best try.'"

After some time in the hospital, the boys have recovered from the terrifying ordeal. As for the sorority sisters, they were awarded with a badge of honor from the Burke County Sheriff's Department.