Blog Posts by Nadine Kalinauskas

  • Retired nurse uses her pension to feed the hungry in her community

    Retired nurse Charolette Tidwell is giving back to her community, and she couldn't be happier. Retired nurse Charolette Tidwell is giving back to her community, and she couldn't be happier.

    In 2000, recently retired nurse Charolette Tidwell learned that seniors in her neighbourhood, in need of cheap sources of protein, were resorting to eating pet food.

    "Allowing the generation that raised us to go to the point that they’re eating cat food and dog food, I can’t imagine that," Tidwell, 69, told NBC Nightly News. “I think it’s a forgotten population.”

    So Tidwell, who grew up poor and was taught to always help those in need, invested her pension in her community, launching the social services agency Antioch Consolidated Association for Youth and Family. She now feeds about 7,000 people a month in her hometown of Fort Smith, Arkansas, through the food pantry where she works, unpaid, six days a week.

    "In Arkansas, more than 160,000 seniors face hunger, according to a press release issued by Gov. Beebe and a study released by the Arkansas Department of Human Services Division of Aging and Adult Services," Ken Kupchick, director of marketing and development for the River Valley

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  • Man proposes every day for a year — without his girlfriend knowing

    Dean Smith clandestinely proposed to his girlfriend for 365 consecutive days, and she was none the wiser. Dean Smith clandestinely proposed to his girlfriend for 365 consecutive days, and she was none the wiser.

    On January 8, 2014, Dean Smith started filming a video that would be one year in the making. He held up a white board that asked his girlfriend, Jennifer Kessel, to marry him. It was her 25th birthday.

    The next day, he filmed himself proposing with a white board again.

    Then he did it the next day. And the next. Each board had the day’s date, and each scene was edited to count down the days until Jennifer’s next birthday — his intended proposal date.

    He held up the sign while flossing, doing laundry and eating breakfast.

    He asked her while showering, hanging out with his dog and gardening.

    At work, in the car and at the beach, he kept asking.

    He did this for an entire year, editing together 365 proposals in time for the big day.

    "I knew that Jennifer was a fan of proposal videos on YouTube and would tear up at the sincerity and thoughtfulness of each proposal," Smith told The Huffington Post.

    "She showed several of them to me, and I decided that I wanted to make her tear up to her own

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  • British man who wanted to be a father uses his mother as a surrogate

    (Photo via Thinkstock)(Photo via Thinkstock)

    A single gay British man in his twenties is in the process of adopting his own biological 7-month-old son — from his mother.

    While some raised eyebrows at the news of a man using his own mother as a surrogate for his child, a judge deemed the “unusual arrangement” — the man’s mother carried the baby using another woman’s eggs — “entirely lawful under the relevant statutory provisions.”

    According to the Telegraph, the judge wrote that the baby “has lived with…his biological father since birth. All the reports describe (the man’s) care of (the infant) as being to a high standard.”

    The judge also revealed that another family member initially agreed to be the surrogate, but had to back out for medical reasons.

    "The papers show that for some considerable time he has wanted to be a father," Justice Theis said at a family court hearing at the High Court in London. “He waited until his circumstances were settled in terms of a job and home to enable him to provide the care a child would need.”

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  • Mother, daughter give birth on same day, at same hospital

    Dr. Atef Zakhary holds the new babies of mother Angela Patram and her daughter Teranisha Billups. (TGH)Dr. Atef Zakhary holds the new babies of mother Angela Patram and her daughter Teranisha Billups. (TGH)

    A mother and her daughter have been hearing a lot of Father of the Bride Part II jokes lately — for essentially mirroring the 1995 comedy’s plot. 

    On Feb. 19, 37-year-old Angela Patram gave birth to her fifth child, daughter Rayna Simone Patram, at Florida’s Tampa General Hospital.

    Teranisha Billups with son Jerry Michaud, Jr. (TGH/Twitter)Teranisha Billups with son Jerry Michaud, Jr. (TGH/Twitter)Thirty-four minutes later, Patram’s first grandchild, Jerry Michaud, Jr. was delivered via Caesarean section at the same hospital.

    Teranisha Billups, 20, went into labour two weeks early — and delivered on the same day as her mother.

    "We knew our due dates were around the same time, but we never expected that it would happen on the same day," Patram told PEOPLE. “I was shocked when I found out. I was like, ‘This cannot be right!’”

    “I’ve been in this field for 29 years…I’ve seen maybe 14,000 deliveries,” said Tampa General Dr. Atef Zakhary. “I’ve never seen a mom and daughter deliver on the same day. And this is as close as you could get.”

    The remarkable baby news was confusing for some. Patram’s 4-year-old

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  • Is it a snow day or isn’t it? Danbury, Connecticut mayor teases students on Twitter

    Mayor Mark Boughton of Danbury, Connecticut (Facebook/Mayor Mark Boughton)Mayor Mark Boughton of Danbury, Connecticut (Facebook/Mayor Mark Boughton)

    It’s been an important part of Danbury students’ winter semester: checking Twitter to discover if their classes have been cancelled due to yet another snow storm pummelling the area.

    Danbury mayor Mark Boughton knows this, and has a little too much fun taunting the students with his exasperating tweets, rarely giving them the straight answer they’re looking for.

    Sometimes he announces the cancellation of classes at fictional schools:

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  • How to stop public urination: Make the walls pee back

    (Screengrab from YouTube)(Screengrab from YouTube)

    Public urinators in Hamburg, Germany’s St. Pauli district have been warned: It’s “peeback time.”

    The neighbourhood known for partying had a growing problem: drunks were relieving themselves on walls, home entrances and even on playgrounds.

    Fines and prohibitions did little to deter the gross habit, so annoyed community residents took matters into their own hands and used the urinators’ pee against them.

    Thanks to hydrophobic paint coating favourite urination spots, the walls in St. Pauli now “pee back.”

    “Don’t pee here! We’ll pee back” signs now read on treated walls.

    “We sprayed most-frequented walls in our district with a super-hydrophobic coating. This coating is so water-repellent that liquids splash right off the surface,” the community group explained in a YouTube video.

    “In doing so, we are not only making out message clear, but also making sure that it reaches our target group.”

    For partiers relieving themselves against these walls, this means getting splashed on by their own

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  • Brody Criz invites friends to bar mitzvah with pop-hits-inspired video

    We don’t know Brody Criz, but we hope his viral bar mitzvah invitation extends to us. We can take the place of his brother, who clearly has no interest in going.

    Criz invited his friends to his big bash with a three-and-a-half-minute video parodying recent hits: Pharrell’s “Happy,” John Legend’s “All of Me,” Lorde’s “Royals,” Frozen’s “Let It Go” and a (thankfully) blurred-out interpretation of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”

    “They’ll all do what I say because this here’s my party. And I’m allowed to be spoiledddddddd,” he sings in the “Royals” parody.

    And we believe him. The kid has his own music video!

    Clearly, this preteen is very comfortable being in the spotlight.

    We have a feeling he’d get along swimmingly with Sam Horowitz, the kid with the greatest bar mitzvah opening dance number ever.

    No word if Criz will descend from the rafters at his party, too (but we won’t be surprised if he does).

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  • Nine puppies rescued from dumpster in California

    (Marin Humane Society/Facebook)(Marin Humane Society/Facebook)

    On Tuesday night, a good Samaritan brought nine abandoned puppies to the Marin Humane Society in Marin County, California.

    (Marin Humane Society/Facebook)(Marin Humane Society/Facebook)The individual had spotted the pups, Rottweiler/Lab mixes all in good condition, beside a dumpster in San Rafael.

    The shelter believes the puppies are about 8 to 9 weeks old.

    It wasn’t clear why the cute canines were abandoned, but they will soon be eligible for new homes.

    According to CBS San Francisco, the puppies will be spayed and neutered, and will be up for adoption about a week later.

    “It’s heartbreaking to think of someone dumping these adorable puppies like so much trash but we know they’ll soon find good homes!” the Marin Humane Society wrote on Facebook.

    The humane society posted four photos of the adorable rescued pups on Facebook, which prompted Facebook users to post their own photos of their beloved rescued pets — and to thank the good Samaritan for doing the right thing.

    “Thank goodness someone thought to bring them to MHS. Such adorable puppies,

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  • Mental health advocate recalls suicide attempt and the sea lion that helped save him

    Kevin Hines is one of only 33 people to survive jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. (Tribune)Kevin Hines is one of only 33 people to survive jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. (Tribune)
    In 2000, a then-19-year-old Kevin Hines jumped off San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

    He survived.

    Hines, 33, is now a mental health worker who shares his story of mental illness and depression at events around the world, hoping to prevent other suicide attempts.

    “I’m one of less than one per cent to have survived that fall,” he said.

    “I’ve been given the gift of a second chance of life so many times.”

    Rescued California sea lion pups rest in their holding pen at Sea World San Diego (Reuters, 2015)Rescued California sea lion pups rest in their holding pen at Sea World San Diego (Reuters, 2015)At a recent conference in Australia, Hines shared his incredible survival story, which included a very unlikely hero.

    After hitting the water — the impact broke his back and shattered his vertebrae — he thought he spotted a shark circling beneath him.

    "I was freaking out in those waters. And I was thinking I didn’t die there and now I am going to die here in the water because of a creature of some sort," he told AFP.

    "I really thought it was a shark and I thought it was going to take off a leg and I was panicking.”

    "And then it just didn’t, it just kept circling beneath me. I remember

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  • #GiveAHug: Toronto boy fighting cancer is asking people to hug on March 5

    Tomorrow, 8-year-old Sebastian Yanquelevech will undergo brain surgery for the second time in his life.

    When he was 4, he was diagnosed with a large brain tumour. Surgery removed most of it, although he recently started suffering multiple seizures a day, making a second procedure necessary.

    The North York, Ont., boy says there’s one way people can help him and his family get through this difficult time: hug.

    Sebastian and his mother, Nadine Weis, are asking people to show their support by hugging their loved ones on surgery day, March 5.

    Sebastian Yanquelevech and his siblings share a hug. (Facebook/Nadine Weis)Sebastian Yanquelevech and his siblings share a hug. (Facebook/Nadine Weis)“I want to tell them so they can hug each other and that will make me feel awesome,” Sebastian told CTV News.

    Weis told the Toronto Star that she came up with the hug idea after her son told her, “I don’t want you to be alone while I’m in surgery.”

    While she insisted that her husband and family would make sure she wasn’t alone, Sebastian wasn’t reassured — until Weis suggested recruiting the power of the hug.

    “I urge everybody…on March 5…to hug the

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