Heroes

Watch A Man Playing Piano In His House After The Floods For A Heartbreaking Reason

Colorado is under water. (My house was barely outside the flood zone in Aurora. I got lucky.) As of Monday night, according to the Denver Post, "State emergency management officials say that 17,494 homes have been damaged and 1,502 destroyed along a 200-mile stretch of the Front Range, but the numbers could change as the waters recede and emergency workers reach more isolated areas." Eight people have been reported killed, and many hundreds more are still unaccounted for. Here's one group's story. Watch it, then scroll down and see what you can do to help Colorado recover.

Watch A Man Playing Piano In His House After The Floods For A Heartbreaking Reason

Roommates Mark Changaris and Stephen Smith came back to their house after Stephen had been busy rescuing his sister, her partner, and their 8-month-old baby from the Lyons floods. They had just finished cleaning up and taking showers when this happened.


After the waters died down, Mark sat down at his piano, and his roommate, Maren Keeley, turned on her camera.

She had this to say:

"He loves the home, he's lived there for almost 4 years. He loves the piano. We needed something beautiful amidst the destruction and mud, rocks, and debris. Watching him play was the first time I actually felt sad and heartbroken by the events..."

If you want to help, there's a great organization that just sprang up to help, Boulder Flood Relief. I called them up and talked to a member of their all-volunteer staff. They are an amazing and resourceful organization. I'd like to get them 10,000 fans by the end of the week so they can get more volunteers and support to help keep things moving in the right direction. Like them on Facebook so more people can see that they exist, and then PLEASE share this. I'll owe you one.

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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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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