Feel-Good Friday

The tornadoes which decimated Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky did unknown amounts of damage and injuries, a literal miracle occurred in Hopkins County, Kentucky.

Two babies survived a tornado in Kentucky that ripped the bathtub they were sheltering in out of the ground and tossed it with them inside, their grandmother said.

Clara Lutz told WFIE-TV that she put 15-month-old Kaden and 3-month-old Dallas in the bathtub on Dec. 10 with a blanket, a pillow, and a Bible. Then the house in Hopkins County started shaking. “Next thing I knew, the tub had lifted and it was out of my hands,” Lutz said. “I couldn’t hold on. I just—oh my God.”

Moments later, The Lord intervened.

Two sheriff’s deputies and two community members were out in the wreckage. The bathtub was then found in her yard, upside down, with the babies underneath.

“I just heard the sound of crying or screaming coming from a distance,” said Deputy Troy Blue. Two men lifted the bathtub, while Deputy Trent Arnold and another man pulled the babies from the tub.

There is nothing more to say than “God is good.”

Feel-Good Friday

Say hello to Nico Lavallée of Ottawa, Canada. Nico’s best friend if his stuffed deer Rudolph, but sadly, his younger brother tossed it into the Rideau Canal.

Thankfully, a few Canadian heroes helped Nico with his plight.

Everyone knows Santa’s favorite red-nosed reindeer knows how to fly. Unfortunately, his namesake, Rudolph, a beloved stuffed toy fawn belonging to 4-year-old Nico Lavallée, did not. Sadly, Nico found that out the hard way while on a walk with his mom, Brenda Duke, and siblings 2-year-old Santiago and 6-year-old Sebastian when his little brother decided to test his pitching arm by tossing the “stuffie” over the railing next to the frozen waters of Ottawa’s Rideau Canal.

That’s when older brother Sebastian came up with an idea. During the pandemic, neighborhood social media had become a lifeline to a community isolated by the lockdown. Sebastian urged his mom to reach out to neighbors to see if anyone might be able to help retrieve Rudolph.

As hard as it was to believe, a mission to rescue Rudolph was quickly mounted. Even the National Capital Commission (NCC), signed on, pledging to put its skateway squad on the lookout. Lo and behold, in the twinkling of one vigilant crew member’s eye, Rudolph was—though frozen and a bit soggy—MIA no more.

After he’d been thawed and groomed, the prodigal stuffie was reunited with a joyful Nico and his grateful family at NCC headquarters.

It’s nice to know there are still some good people around.

Feel-Good Friday

A scientist from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai has found a grape seed extract which may increase human lifespans. The extract has worked in mice, and shows promise in humans.

Injecting elderly rodents with a grape seed extract increased their remaining time by more than sixty percent. It also boosted overall lifespan by nine percent—equivalent to more than a decade in a human.

Corresponding author Dr Yu Sun, of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai, said, “The plant chemical has high potential as a clinical intervention to delay, alleviate, or prevent illnesses.”

The flavonoid known as PCC1 flushes out ‘zombie’ or ‘senescent’ cells that have stopped dividing. They accumulate naturally as we get older—and release chemicals that cause inflammation.

I’m not sure I want to live forever, but I’d like to live longer than my father, was died at the age of 66.

Feel-Good Friday

Meet Ebony Johnson of Ohio.

Ebony works at a local Dunkin Donuts, and became friends with customer Suzanne Burke three years ago. When Ebony fell upon hard times, Suzanne stepped up to help her and her family. Bigly.

A Dunkin’ Donuts employee in Ohio recently received a huge surprise from one of her loyal customers—a fully furnished home.

Employee Ebony Johnson met customer Suzanne Burke at the drive-thru window she was serving at three years ago. They chatted every time Burke came for her coffee in the mornings, and the two became friendly.

When Burke found out that her acquaintance, a mother of three, had fallen on difficult times and been evicted from her home in Mount Healthy, she made it her mission to help—reaching out to organizations that help people with difficulty.

Wow, it’s amazing what people can do for others who are in need.

Feel-Good Friday

Since most of my readers are in their 90’s – kidding, kidding – I thought this was a great Feel-Good Friday post. A study at University College London asked older folks to try red light therapy, and it apparently improved the vision of the subjects.

Lord knows my eyes are bad enough now; I cannot imagine how bad they’ll be in another fifteen years or so.

The simple of act of staring at a deep-red or near infrared light source for about three minutes was found to be enough to improve color vision in those suffering from failing eyesight.

The potential treatment allows the mitochondria in the human retina to produce more ATP, the principal energy currency of all cells, and offers a chance of keeping good color vision long into our golden years.

Just a single short trial run in 24 people was enough to improve their color vision for multiple days up to a week, and was most effective when performed in the morning. This is because the wavelength of light that was found to be effective is only present in our Earth sky at that time of day, and it’s also the time when the retinal-mitochondria produce the most ATP.

This could be a breakthrough for everyone suffering from poor vision. The therapy likely will not send you back to 20/20 vision, but every little bit helps.

Feel-Good Friday

Meet nine-year old Journee Nelson of West Palm Beach, Florida.

Journee was at the supermarket with her mother when a thug tried to rob her of her groceries and other items. As the mother was being struck, Journee jumped to action and started fighting her mother’s attacker.

A 9-year-old girl is being called a hero by police for fighting off a robber who attacked her mother outside of a Florida supermarket. West Palm Beach police officials were so proud of Journee Nelson, they honored her bravery this week. She received a medal, certificate and a Target gift card. The attack happened outside of Sabor Tropical Supermarket, 5011 Broadway Ave.

Surveillance video shows Danielle Mobley and her daughter walk up to their car in the parking lot. A man — who police identified as 29-year-old Demetrius Jackson — stands nearby, next to large propane tanks. He suddenly runs at Mobley, who is putting her groceries away, and tackles her to the ground.

That’s when Mobley said she let go of her purse and he ran away. But her daughter Journee chased after him. “She actually jumped up and chased him four houses down the block with me chasing her, calling her back,” her mom said during a news conference.

Amazing. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume Journee won’t turn out to be a soy-drinking wallflower. She’ll likely turn out to be the undisputed UFC champion.

Feel-Good Friday

Well, we found someone who certainly does not want to defund the police.

An elderly woman from Florence, Italy could not make dinner for herself because her caregiver was unavailable. The woman called 911, and the Florence police came to her location and did something exceptional.

A pensioner in difficulty at home because she cannot prepare dinner, the request for help to 113 and the arrival of the policemen on the spot who also improvise cooks and prepare a dinner for her. The two policemen of the flying section of the Police Headquarters of Florence who, alerted by the operations center, went to the place and, when they understood the situation, they immediately went to the kitchen preparing a meal for the lady, an 87-year-old.

The episode on Saturday night in the Coverciano area. “I’m tired and hungry but I can’t cook because my arm hurts”, is the particular request for assistance that arrived around 20 at the switchboard of 113. The agents immediately took charge of the request by sending a patrol.

After having been opened by a neighbor, the two policemen who rushed to the scene, Antonio and Giuseppe, entered the woman’s house and, after understanding her needs, immediately set to work: they accompanied the old woman to the kitchen, they set the table and made her tomato ravioli, allowing her to have dinner. (H/TMike AKA Proof)

What a great story and a couple of great officers. (Oh, the original story is translated from Italian, which is why some of the wording seems a little odd.)

Feel-Good Friday

This week’s Feel-Good Friday concerns an issue that affects me, and has affected me for a few years. Most of you know my issues with prostate specific antigens (PSAs) and the prostate biopsies I have had. Thankfully, they haven’t found any cancer – yet – but I still need checkups at least twice a year.

Now, Washington School of Medicine in Saint Louis found an RNA molecule which shuts down prostate tumors.

The scientists found that prostate cancers develop ways to shut down this RNA molecule to allow themselves to grow. However, when they implanted mice with human prostate tumor samples, the new treatment restored this so-called long noncoding RNA—and they’ve hailed it as a new strategy to treat the cancer which has developed resistance to hormonal therapies.

I cannot stress enough how much I hope this molecule can stifle cancer tumors. I do not enjoy prostate biopsies; they’re painful and they’re humiliating, especially when a nurse is in the room.

“In prostate cancer, the androgen receptor is very clever,” said Mahajan, who is also a research member of Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.

“Our research shows that it suppresses its own suppressor; essentially it binds to NXTAR and shuts it down. This means that in all the prostate cancer samples that we study, we rarely find NXTAR, because it is suppressed by the heavy presence of the androgen receptor in these types of tumors. We discovered NXTAR by using a drug that my lab developed that suppresses the androgen receptor. When the androgen receptor is suppressed, NXTAR starts to appear. When we saw this, we suspected that we had discovered a tumor suppressor.”

Please, please please, let this be true. At this point I am almost expecting the cancer is eventually going to catch me. It would be nice if there were alternative treatments besides constant biopsies.

Feel-Good Friday

This isn’t your normal, everyday episode of Feel-Good Friday, but it certainly is a feel-good story.

A high school in Michigan allows, nay encourages, their senior students to dress in costumes for their ID pictures. Most of the students take part and some of the ID photos are straight=up hilarious.

One high school in Farmington Hills, Michigan, has a unique annual tradition for its senior graduating class which demonstrates that folks around here—even the administrators—have a great sense of humor.

When students reach their senior year at North Farmington High School, they are allowed, and encouraged, to dress up in costumes for their school ID pictures.

The class of 2022 tweeted photos of their new IDs, alongside which character was their creative inspiration—usually scenes from popular movies.

It would be great if this tradition caught on across the nation, but I sincerely doubt that would go over with some of the public school scolds. You can see some of the IDs at the link, but I thought this girl was the winner. She looks just like the actress.

Feel-Good Friday

So a four-year old New Zealand boy accidentally called the police, and when he began talking to the dispatcher, he asked if the police officers could stop by his house and see his awesome toys.

A 4-year-old boy in New Zealand recently dialed the national emergency services number by accident. When the police answered his call? He invited them to see his favorite toys. Naturally, they took him up on his offer.

Southern District Police posted audio from the call on their Facebook page, stating, “While we don’t encourage children to call 111 to show us their toys, this was too cute not to share.”

“Hi,” the boy says on the phone to the police operator. “Police lady,” he says, “Can I tell you something?” After some back and forth, the little one says, “I’ve got some toys for you… Come over and see them!”

Given the picture at the bottom of the post, showing the boy hanging out on the bonnet of a police car—hands waving happily in the air—we’d say the spontaneous show-and-tell went more than well.

That was a really nice gesture by the officers, at least until they arrested the kid for not wearing a mask. Kidding, kidding!

P.S.I’m only putting up one post tomorrow, mostly because I’m exhausted. There will be a full slate of posts Sunday.