First Lady Assists Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

A nice spot of charitable work undertaken by the rich and famous will always grab a headline and that’s exactly what First Lady Michelle Obama did when she joined the show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on ABC.  Allegedly, Mrs. Obama is quite a fan of the show that builds an incredible home for a family caught in some kind of devastation or tragedy trap.  According to an article in People, Mrs. Obama said, “this particular show is especially moving because it features Barbara Marshall, a Navy veteran, who despite her own struggles opened her home to serve homeless female vetarans in her community. She's an amazing example of the strength, values and service of America's veterans." 

Along with Dr. Jill Biden, the First Lady was participating in the Joining Forces initiative that tries to make life easier for veterans and their families.  It was Obama, Ty Pennington and his Fayetteville crew that began this work together.  The First Lady's job was to hang plaques, while admitting she had somewhat "limited" handy skills.  Still, it was clear she wasn't afraid of a bit of hard work since she was also spotted doing some of the gardening in the back yard. 

Part of a Good Cause

According to a report in Reality Magazine, the best thing about the project for the First Lady was, "to be part of an event so life-changing for such a deserving person."  She added that "Mrs. Marshall is a prime example of an American veteran who continues to serve her community with everything she has.  I hope lots of people will be inspired by her story to give back to their communities – especially to service members and their families."


Cute, Unidentifiable Animal

An animal has been found that seems is unidentifiable.  There is no doubt to its cuteness, but there are some questions as to what it is.  It looks somewhat like an orange and brown-spotted fur-ball that has huge red eyes.  But that’s about all the gob-smacked Wenling, Chinese zookeepers can say.  It came into their care from two random males who would not identify themselves either!  So one could say that the unidentifiable animal is genetic, given that its “parents” are unidentifiable too.  Not that such a thesis helps the case…

Monkey, Possum, Strange Creature?

There are discussions that it may be a monkey. But others have suggested that it could be a possum.  No-one is entirely sure.  It also has rat-like features and its fur is the color of marbled tortoise-shell.  Its tail is bushy and its paws, pointy.  It really is a funny looking thing, incredibly cute and makes everyone smile when first meeting it.

Mr. Unidentified is approximately 25cm long and enjoys the taste of grass.  So he’s cute, and eco-friendly!  According to Wang Gang, manager of the zoo, “I have consulted animal experts from Hanghou, Shanghai and Wenzhou, but right now no-one is able to tell me what this little creature is called.”

The Healing Power of our Four-Legged Friends

It has been known for a long time that dogs can bring therapeutic relief to patients with a whole slew of different needs.  It seems like the furry friends are able to take patients’ minds off their troubles. But a recent news story really made headlines when it was the dogs themselves who could have been hospitalized as well!  And these injured dogs were also providing aid to patients in a Dallas rehabilitation  institute.

Wheelchair-bound dogs Chili and Arlo have been able to inspire many patients.  According to program director at Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation Linda Marler, since “many of the patients are new to wheelchairs, when they see Chili and Arlo, they say, ‘If those dogs can do it, so can I.’”  Every week the dogs come and visit these patients who have incurred a traumatic injury or a stroke.  Indeed, 6-year-old Chili was thrown over a fence onto cement when she was just 8 weeks old.

Shapell Manuscript Foundation and Lake Champlain

On September 6, 1901, President McKinley was shot in Buffalo.  Initially it was thought that the President of the United States of America would not only make a full recovery, but that it would be a speedy one.  Thus, his Vice President at the time, Theodore Roosevelt, didn’t show too much concern about what might change the course of his political career forever.

At the time of the shooting, Vice President Roosevelt was on a different political mission: he was preparing the speech he was to deliver to the Vermont Fish and Game League’s annual meeting in an island of Lake Champlain. As part of its ‘Between the Lines’ program, Shapell Manuscript Foundation houses the original document written by Roosevelt to his superior McKinley, scribbled on the back of a railroad timetable.  It read: “Director of Hospital or House at which President lies Buffalo NY.  Wire me at once full particulars to Van Ness House Burlington Vermont.”

Roosevelt no doubt anticipated a pleasant trip that day in 1901 at Lake Champlain, but that wasn’t what happened.  This was a huge, unexpected shock.  Just three days after the assassination it seemed like McKinley was all set to recover; he had an excellent prognosis.  But that prognosis didn’t reign true and thus ultimately Roosevelt had to step up and replace President McKinley, becoming the youngest President of the United States of America.

The Amazing Wisdom of Non-Homo-Sapiens

If at first you don’t believe, look, look again.  It seems like there are some animals out there hitting the top of the IQ chart.  Apparently, if you want to make a killing on a gamble, your best bet may be a sheep! 

Sonny Wool, hails from New Zealand and is said to be able to predict the winner of the World Cup.  The furry friend determined it would be New Zealand to take home the winning prize against Tonga in the Rugby World Cup’s opening match.  Wool was given two containers of food which each had a flag of the different teams playing and it was the one with the New Zealand flag that he picked.

Apparently it didn’t come as such a great surprise to Sonny Wool’s owner.  According to Dan Boyd, even as a young lamb, Wool was able to predict when it was going to rain and thus he hoped his furry friend would follow in the footsteps of another super-smart non-homo-sapiens, Paul the Octopus.

Paul the Octopus

Paul came before Sonny.  Last year the octopus made the correct prediction on who would win the matches in Germany.  He knew Spain would kick Holland’s butt in the World Cup and he was right.  Paul could be seen on a tank that had a Spanish flag on it before he grabbed a mussel and ate it.  Apparently he showed absolutely no interest in the Dutch tank.  Not only that, but clever Paul also predicted the wins Germany would enjoy over Argentina, Australia, England, Ghana and that it would lose against Spain and Serbia.

So, next time you want to take a gamble and try and predict which team will win in a big game, instead of checking into traditional methods, maybe get yourself a clever pet!