Blog Posts by Nadine Kalinauskas

  • Philadelphia pizza shop customers pay it forward, feed the homeless

    Mason Wartman stands by the wall of 'pay-it-forward' Post-It notes in his store. (Imgur)Mason Wartman stands by the wall of 'pay-it-forward' Post-It notes in his store. (Imgur)

    In late 2013, Mason Wartman, 27, left his job on Wall Street to open up Rosa’s Fresh Pizza, a $1-a-slice pizza shop in Philadelphia. 

    "I had plateaued at my Wall Street job and had always wanted to own my own business," Wartman told ABC News.

    A few months later, a customer asked if he could buy a slice for someone in need. 

    Wartman had an idea: He drew a smiley face on a Post-It note and affixed it to the wall. The bright square became a voucher for a free slice, to be claimed by anyone hungry or broke. 

    It wasn’t long until “pay-it-forward pizza” took off. 

    "The homeless, they come in and say, ‘I hear you give out free pizza to homeless people,’” Wartman told The Salt.

    Mason Wartman samples some of his store's pizza (Imgur)Mason Wartman samples some of his store's pizza (Imgur)

    Since that first Post-It, Wartman has seen customers donate more than 8,400 slices, with 30 to 40 homeless people claiming slices every day. 

    Note left by a patron in Rosa's (Facebook)Note left by a patron in Rosa's (Facebook)

    "We keep our food reasonably priced so that our paying customers are able to pre-purchase slices that we give to homeless people in the area," Wartman said.

    "This is a

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  • Couple's sweet adoption announcement goes viral

    Cara and Eric Taylor announced their plans to adopt in an unconventional way. (Cara Taylor/Facebook)Cara and Eric Taylor announced their plans to adopt in an unconventional way. (Cara Taylor/Facebook)

    Cara and Eric Taylor are hoping to adopt from the state foster care system in 2015. 

    To announce their plans to expand their family, the Alabama couple opted for a twist on popular baby-announcement photos and posed in front of a row of six pairs of children’s shoes of varying sizes. 

    “Whichever one fits,” their holiday card reads. “It is our hope and prayer in 2015 to grow our family by adopting a child from foster care.”

    “It was a way to say, ‘We’re adopting’ in a fun, unique and almost baby-announcement way,” Cara, 31, a bank teller and photographer, told TODAY.

    "To me, sitting there with a little sign saying ‘We are adopting’ just didn’t’ do it. We wanted to bring attention to the foster care system as well, so that’s why we created it the way we did with all the little shoes," Cara told AL.com.

    When Cara shared the photo with Together We Rise, a nonprofit group dedicated to improving the lives of children in foster care, the group posted it on Facebook. People loved it.

    "It

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  • Alabama school arms its students with canned goods against school shooters

    Do these look like weapons against a potential attacker to you? (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)Do these look like weapons against a potential attacker to you? (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    The can is mightier than the sword? Probably not. But parents of children at WF Burns Middle School in Valley, Alabama, are being asked to arm their children with them just the same. 

    While most schools are trying to ban any would-be weapons from its halls, these cans of beans and soup are being allocated as self-defence tools should an armed intruder enter the school. 

    "We realize at first this may seem odd; however, it is a practice that would catch an intruder off-guard," the letter sent home to parents read. “The canned food item could stun the intruder or even knock him out until the police arrive. The canned food item will give the students a sense of empowerment to protect themselves and will make them feel secure in case an intruder enters the classroom.”

    The school insists the canned-goods collection is all part of an active shooter response training offered by the ALICE Training Institute.

    (“ALICE” stands for “alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate.”)

    The emergency

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  • Florida teen saves the police officer who was arresting him

    Teen, three officers honoured for saving police officer's life. (Fort Lauderdale Police Department)Teen, three officers honoured for saving police officer's life. (Fort Lauderdale Police Department)

    A juvenile offender is being hailed a hero for helping to save the life of the Fort Lauderdale police officer who was processing his arrest last fall.

    On September 10, 2014, Officer Franklin Foulks was processing the arrest of teenager Jamal Rutledge for probation violations when the officer suddenly collapsed.

    According to a statement from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, Rutledge, who was still handcuffed at the booking facility, “immediately began to kick the security fence and yell to alert officers in the area.”

    Thanks to Rutledge’s actions, nearby officer Todd Bunin ran to the scene and found Foulks on the ground, “clenching his chest in distress.” 

    Watch the entire incident unfold in surveillance video from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department below:

    Bunin notified police dispatch to send Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue as he removed Foulks’ gear and shirt. Two other officers, Robert Norvis and Raymond Ketchmark, overheard Bunin’s radio transmissions and joined Bunin, with

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  • Breakfast of champions? UK café adds 7,778-calorie, 59-item breakfast to menu

    Behold, the Monster Mega Challenge breakfast from Corner Cafe Portishead. (Facebook)Behold, the Monster Mega Challenge breakfast from Corner Cafe Portishead. (Facebook)

    We’ve heard it said time and time again: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. 

    This morning meal looks like it could get us through the week. 

    The Corner Café in Portishead, Bristol, England, recently unveiled a new menu item: The 7,778-calorie, 59-item Monster Mega Breakfast

    According to the Bristol Post, for just £15 ($27 CAD), the customer who dares to order the Monster Mega Breakfast will be served the following:

    “Six rashers of bacon, six sausages, six eggs, two thee-egg omelettes, four portions of fried potatoes and four portions of mushrooms. It also comes with six slices of black pudding, six hash browns, one bowl of chips, four onion rings, four slices of toast, two [slices of] fried bread, half a grilled tomato, two portions of beans and two portions of tomatoes.”

    To help wash down the massive breakfast, diners can choose between a milkshake or energy drink.

    To make the restaurant’s wall of champions, the diner who orders the meal must complete it within an

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  • In China, man wakes from coma after nurse waves cash under his nose

    Chinese 100 yuan banknotes are seen in this file picture illustration. (Reuters)Chinese 100 yuan banknotes are seen in this file picture illustration. (Reuters)

    Who needs smelling salts? Cold hard cash might do the trick.

    It’s a story out of China we’re having a hard time believing: A man who had been in a coma for over a year recently woke up — after a nurse waved cash under his nose

    Apparently, in August 2013, 30-year-old Xiao Li of Shenzhen, China, fell into a coma after he went nearly a week without sleep as he researched business ideas at an Internet café. 

    After remaining in that coma for over a year, his odds of recovery were slim — and then a nurse waved a 100-yuan ($19 CAD) bill under his nose. 

    “It was extraordinary,” chief medic Dr. Liu Tang told Central European News. “I’ve never seen anything like it in 20 years as a doctor.”

    “We had asked his family what really drove him, and they were very clear that it was money,” Tang said. “When we learned about his fondness for money, we experimented with notes and change.”

    “Memories of smell and sound can be very powerful stimulants,” he added. “We found that a crisp, new 100 yuan note

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  • Internet's most adorable dog-and-toddler napping duo becomes a trio

    (Jessica Shyba/Instagram)(Jessica Shyba/Instagram)

    Our favourite napping duo is now a trio. 

    Toddler-and-puppy pair Beau and Theo, whose napping photos went viral earlier in 2014, have a new addition to their napping routine: Beau’s baby sister, Evangeline. 

    And, sure enough, Evangeline, who goes by Evvie, has only made the cute group cuter

    Mom Jessica Shyba told BuzzFeed that while Beau took to napping with Theo almost immediately, it took Evvie about four months to get into her own napping rhythm, participating in what Shyba calls the “magical nap time trifecta.”

    “Theo and Beau started napping together the day after we brought Theo home from the Santa Cruz SPCA at 7 weeks old. Almost every day since, they have napped together. Evangeline only started joining in on the fun last week when she began to find a routine of her own,” Shyba said

    Shyba described the new routine on her blog:

    “Evangeline is the first to go to sleep, and after she’s sleeping I’m able to sit with Beau while he and Theo fall asleep. Once the are both out, I

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  • Orangeville teen raises money to buy paralyzed bunny a wheelchair

    Oreo the rabbit (Robyn Koley/Facebook)Oreo the rabbit (Robyn Koley/Facebook)

    Thanks to the kindness of strangers, Oreo will be able to walk again

    Oreo the 4-year-old black-and-white Netherland dwarf rabbit recently battled a near-deadly bacterial infection, which left his left hind legs partially paralyzed. 

    Instead of hopping around, the rabbit is now confined to a padded laundry basket. He occasionally drags himself around by his front paws. 

    “Now he can’t use his hind legs. When he wants to walk, he starts kicking and fussing around,” Orangeville resident Robyn Koley, Oreo’s 19-year-old owner, told the Orangeville Banner. “I posted a video of him trying to get around on his own and its very sad. He kind of flip-flops all over the place.”

    “He’s not in any pain, but depression [is] an issue,” she said. “He can’t figure out why his back legs aren’t working.”

    Koley wasn’t about to give up on her beloved pet. She set up an online donations page, hoping to raise the funds needed to buy Oreo a wheelchair. 

    It worked. It didn’t take long before Koley raise the

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  • Terminally ill teen granted last wish, meets Eminem day before he dies

    Combination photo of Gage Garmo and Eminem (Instagram/Getty Images)Combination photo of Gage Garmo and Eminem (Instagram/Getty Images)

    Gage Garmo got his dying wish

    On Sunday, the 17-year-old had a surprise visitor to his Rochester Hills, Michigan home: Eminem. 

    Garmo died the next night after a three-year battle with an aggressive form of bone cancer. 

    He would have turned 18 on Friday. 

    When Garmo was told he had just days to live, his friends took immediate action, spreading his story on social media with the hashtag #GarmoStrong, setting up a GoFundMe account to help support Garmo and his family, and trying to make Garmo’s dream of meeting Eminem come true

    Rainbow Connection, an organization that grants wishes to Michigan children with life-threatening or terminal illnesses, was already aware of Garmo’s wish. When his health took a turn for the worse, the organization scrambled to contact Eminem and make a visit happen. 

    Only days later, Eminem flew in from Atlanta, surprising Garmo in his family’s living room. 

    "Gage sat up with a grin on his face," said Rainbow Connection’s Ingrid Todt, on hand as Eminem

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  • In Karasjok, Norway, schools stay open — even when it's -50°C outside

    Kjöllefjord, seen here, is a Norwegian city located north of Karasjok in Finnmark, Lapland, Norway. (CP)Kjöllefjord, seen here, is a Norwegian city located north of Karasjok in Finnmark, Lapland, Norway. (CP)

    Feeling chilly? Here’s a story sure to make you feel toasty warm by comparison. 

    In Karasjok, a municipality in Finnmark county in northern Norway, school buses were cancelled today because temperatures dipped below -40°C and bus engines aren’t reliable to start or stop in such weather. 

    (School buses stop running at -38°C.)

    Schools remained open, however, and usually do unless temperatures dip below a devastatingly cold -50°C. Then students can choose voluntarily whether or not they want to go to school, says inspector Petter Asbjørn Balto at Karasjok school.

    “So there’s the sweet spot between -38 and -50 where the kids have to find their own way to school. Builds character, I guess…” wrote Redditor fradrig. 

    No word on whether these students have to walk uphill both ways in waist-deep snow. 

    Canadian Reddit users were quick to compare the freezing prairie temperatures they endured as schoolchildren. 

    “Grew up in Edmonton. I distinctly remember going to school many a time when it hit

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