Page 44 of 44 FirstFirst ... 344344
Results 1,506 to 1,525 of 1525

Thread: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

  1. #1506
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Isle of Mull, Scotland
    Posts
    8,620

    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Quote Originally Posted by Spin_Drift View Post
    Shark leaps out of water and bites parasailor in bizarre attack



    David Strege



    July 1, 2021 8:44 pm ET



    A tandem parasailor hovering just above the water surface of the Red Sea sustained injuries when a shark leaped out of the water and bit his foot in a bizarre attack in the Gulf of Aqaba.
    The incident occurred last Friday off the Jordanian port city of Aqaba, as reported by the Daily Mailand The U.S. Sun.

    The 37-year-old Jordan man, who wasn’t identified, was taken to Prince Hashem Military Hospital where he underwent an operation on his right foot. He lost part of the back of his foot and suffered severed tendons, torn muscles and broken bones. He was listed as stable.
    The Sun tweeted video of the shark attack.

    “The shark attack garnered a lot of media attention; truthfully, it scared a lot of people, but this is something that can take place anywhere,” Mohammad Qatawneh of the Aqaba International Diver Center told the Jordan News, according to the Daily Mail.

    “I’ve been diving for 20 years and this is the first time I’ve heard of a shark attack.

    Mohammed Khalil Al Zabada of the College of Marine Sciences, told Gulf News, “Sharks are found in all the seas of the world, and in the Red Sea there are many types of sharks, but their presence in the Aqaba region is very rare.”

    More from Gulf News:
    Meanwhile, Nayef Al Bakhit, head of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, announced that a committee was formed to investigate information circulating about citizens being attacked by a shark in Aqaba Friday evening.

    “The committee will issue a detailed statement about what happened as soon as they complete the investigation,” Al Bakhit emphasized.

    Regarding news about sharks attacking a boat, Bakhit said that ASEZA was not informed and no sharks were seen in the Gulf of Aqaba on Sunday, the day after the man was attacked.



    The Daily Mail reported that several people have been attacked by sharks in the Red Sea in the past year, though farther south, off the Egyptian coast.

    It was not known what kind shark was involved in the attack on the parasailor.


    Doesn't sound like a very kind shark to me.

  2. #1507
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    16,890

    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Bee swarm attack kills Arizona man and injures five people

    By Alaa Elassar and Andy Rose, CNN
    Updated 2:02 PM ET, Sat July 31, 2021



    An open beehive was found in a tree after a bee swarm attack in Arizona.



    (CNN)A man is dead and at least five people were injured after a bee swarm attack in an Arizona neighborhood on Thursday.

    The man, whose identity has not been released, died after he was among three people "believed to have been stung hundreds of times" by the bee swarm in Marana, the Northwest Fire District said on Facebook.
    The two other people needed medical attention. The swarm forced a residential street to be shut down for several hours in the town northwest of Tucson.
    Three responding firefighters, including one who was hospitalized and later released, also were stung.
    Workers discovered an open beehive in a nearby tree. They estimated it weighed about 100 pounds, according to the Northwest Fire District.
    "Bee handlers have killed most of the bees and have removed the hive," Marana Police Department said on Facebook. "Although the area is much safer, there are still some lingering bees."
    Police warned residents in the neighborhood to remain cautious.




    Choose wisely -Treat kindly...

    A secret to a good marriage is to have a quick mind and a slow mouth...



    S/V ORCA 38' Herreshoff Ketch

  3. #1508
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    16,890

    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Swimply lets you swim in a stranger's pool. It's less weird than you think

    It's like an Airbnb-style for swimming pools. Your visit may or may not include a giant unicorn floatie.

    Meara Isenberg




    Summer temperatures can reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit here in Austin, Texas, so I'm often looking for places to swim. Thankfully, this city delivers. West of downtown, for example, you'll find the oldest swimming pool in the state, a city-owned spot called Deep Eddy. Venture farther from the city, and you'll land on Lake Travis, a large body of water frequented by folks fishing and double-decker barges with slides partygoers can shoot down into the water.
    But one swimming option I'd never thought about, much less tried? My neighbors' backyard pool, offered up for rent through a mobile app.
    That's the gist of Swimply, an Airbnb-style service for swimming pools founded in the summer of 2018. After hearing about it, I had to schedule a swim. Flash forward to a Sunday afternoon in July, and me carefully stepping into a stranger's shallow pool shaded by tall pecan trees. An oversized, rainbow-maned unicorn floatie awaited me.



    Swimply is the brainchild of co-founders Asher Weinberger, 35, and Bunim Laskin, 24, who met at a networking event Weinberger hosted for entrepreneurs in New York City. Laskin, then a college student, pitched Weinberger on the idea of monetizing home swimming pools.
    The pair pursued the idea by looking on Google Earth for houses with pools and knocking on doors to see if people would be willing to rent them out. After creating a simple website and watching thousands of people visit strangers' pools in just a few weeks, they decided to build a business.
    Today, Swimply is in all 50 US states, Canada and Australia, hosting half a million users and about 13,000 pools. Weinberger says he views the service as an experiential "extension of the sharing economy," offering things people want, rather than things people need. This contrasts with, say, transportation from Uber or hospitality from Airbnb.
    The COVID-19 pandemic marked a big moment for Swimply, Weinberger says. The app had just experienced a winter season with little activity, and the pandemic brought about a huge wave of financial uncertainty. "Term sheets were pulled. We were out of money. Didn't know what it was going to be," Weinberger says.
    As it turned out, people were all in for renting private pools, and Swimply experienced close to 5,000% growth year over year from 2019 to 2020, according to Weinberger.
    "We turned profitable [and] that attracted venture capital," Weinberger says. "We raised a Series A a few months back for $10 million. The team has gone from two people to close to 70 people."
    Weinberger says Swimply was able to fill a need on both sides of the marketplace. Not only did the service help those renting out pools pay for their expenses during the pandemic, but it provided an outlet for people stuck at home, he says.
    Taking the plunge

    The brown storage chest was packed with pool toys.
    SwimplyMy rented backyard oasis happened to be in a leafy east Austin neighborhood lined with quirky houses of all sizes. It was listed on Swimply as a "plunge pool," which is a smaller pool meant for wading and lounging, and measured 8 feet by 15 feet with a maximum depth of 6 feet (1.83 meters). At $20 an hour, it was less expensive than full-sized pools in the area, which can cost more than $100 an hour to rent. The average rental cost for a Swimply pool in the US is about $40 to $45 an hour, Weinberger says.
    When I clicked on the listing, I was able to swipe through a series of photos of the pool, including fancy aerial shots. There was a place for reviews, and the spot I booked, with nearly 50, had averaged five stars. "Clean, private, and easy to access," one swimmer wrote. Said another, "It was seriously JUST what the doctor ordered." Another nearby pool didn't fare quite as well, with some customers citing an inhospitable host and a "not ideal, but ... doable" request to limit toilet usage in the house.
    There were also amenities. With Airbnb, I might see a hair dryer, TV or washer, but this listing featured pool toys.
    Sean Ables and Bronwyn Towart, my hosts, started renting out their pool with Swimply last summer. Since then, they've seen guests book the pool for picnics, birthday parties and swimming lessons. One person even shot a rap music video, Ables says, laughing when asked if he made a cameo. It's given the couple the chance to meet some of their pool-less neighbors who are eager to escape the Texas heat.
    "One of the neighbors came and used the pool, and I guess they told everyone in their block, because we started getting all these people and they're like, 'Oh, we live in [house number] 1908 or we live in 1903,'" Ables said.
    Ables said the pair pretty much only use the pool themselves to cool off after exercising. When they listed their spot last summer, in the thick of the pandemic, he said they received a "crazy" number of bookings. People appreciated having something safe to do outside of the house.
    "They would bring their kids and let them just run off all their energy because they'd been at home all day," Towart says.
    'Building bridges'

    Weinberger, who hosts his own swimming pool on the platform, says connections are a big part of Swimply.
    "The bottom line is we're building bridges between communities, people are building friendships in their own local areas, and that is extremely important," he says.
    My listing allowed for a full refund up to 24 hours before the start time of the reservation and had a couple of house rules (no pets, no smoking, limit music during working hours). It also included access to a restroom, a feature most pools offer, Weinberger notes.
    I was instructed through the app to enter through a gate on the right side of the house, which was left open. Ables was in the backyard and briefly greeted me before leaving me and my boyfriend to the small saltwater pool. The first thing I did was make my way to a large brown storage chest and grab pool noodles, water guns and a beach ball. (Yeah, I was gonna get my money's worth.)
    The pool, shrouded by trees, was a bit chilly in the late afternoon. So after some water gun blasting, wading and a few unsuccessful attempts to sit comfortably on the giant floatie, we sank down in some chairs on the deck to dry off.
    Backyard takeover

    There were a few moments during my stay when my mind wandered to the people in the house I didn't know. I thought about who they were, and what it was like for them to have strangers regularly take over their backyard. Were they worried about me knocking over one of the deck's potted plants? Taking off with the mythical-looking floatie? But for the most part, my attention was tuned to swimming, and I soaked up what felt like an ordinary pool day.
    When I talked to Ables afterward, he told me Swimply added insurance to the app this year, making it safer for them to rent out their space. Weinberger said Swimply has a $1 million insurance policy for hosts and offers up to $10,000 in property damage coverage.
    After this summer, Weinberger has big plans. The Swimply team is going beyond pools, and has a waiting list called Joyspace, where thousands of people are signed up to offer their home gyms, home theaters, private tennis courts and home music studios.
    In the meantime, as August starts ticking by and the heat picks up in Austin, it's nice to know a legion of pools await me on my phone, offering more places than I ever expected to escape hot summer afternoons.
    First published on July 30, 2021 at 5:00 a.m. PT.
    Choose wisely -Treat kindly...

    A secret to a good marriage is to have a quick mind and a slow mouth...



    S/V ORCA 38' Herreshoff Ketch

  4. #1509
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    16,890

    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    450,000 honeybees have been occupying the walls of this home for 35 years. They just got rehomed

    By Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN
    Updated 4:04 PM ET, Mon August 2, 2021





    This is what a portion of the inside of the Weaver's farmhouse, where three colonies of honeybees had lived for almost 35 years, looked like before their removal.



    (CNN)Sara Weaver and her husband knew their newest home purchase in Pennsylvania needed some extra love and attention -- but what they didn't know is that an estimated 450,000 bees had been living in the walls for almost 35 years.



    Weaver bought the 1872 farmhouse in Skippack, about 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia, in December and told CNN the seller's disclosure mentioned there were bees in the wall. But since the couple bought the home in the winter, she said the bees didn't seem to pose much of a threat at the time of purchase.


    "On the seller's disclosure it said 'bees in wall' and that was it and I think because one, we didn't see them and two, we were just so floored that we actually found land in the (school) district that was within our price range that I didn't really ask any questions about those bees. I didn't think it would be that big of an issue. It didn't even cross my mind but when spring arrived that's when we started to see them."







    "The seller's husband passed away and I'm not sure what exactly happened but she wasn't living there, the condition this house was in was horrendous," Weaver said. "It was so dirty and now that I'm thinking about it, I originally thought it was dirt on the windows that I cleaned but it was probably honey because there were drip marks."


    Honeybees' greatest importance to agriculture isn't a product of the hive, according to the FDA. The agricultural benefit of honeybees is estimated to be between 10 and 20 times the total value of honey and beeswax, data from the FDA says.


    Beekeepers across the United States lost 45.5% of their managed honeybee colonies from April 2020 to April 2021, according to preliminary results from the 15th annual nationwide survey conducted by the non-profit Bee Informed Partnership.


    More than 20,000 species of bee exist throughout the world -- and they are dying, thanks to climate change, pesticide poisoning and plant loss.


    The couple didn't do a home inspection and Weaver admits they probably should have opted for one -- but she and her husband had been waiting patiently for a home in the neighborhood to hit the market, so when the farmhouse popped up on their radar, they jumped at the opportunity.


    A $12,000 fix to remove the unwanted house guests



    Now, that opportunity is costing them almost $12,000 in bee removal and reconstruction of the home.





    After searching high and low for the best person to handle the job, the Weavers found Allan Lattanzi, a general contractor and professional experienced beekeeper in the area.


    When Lattanzi pulled up to the home, he knew he had been there before. He was called out four years prior but the previous owner couldn't bear the cost of removal so she left them there and ended up selling the home.





    Lattanzi estimates there were 450,000 bees living within the walls of the farmhouse and he relocated three honeybee colonies, the homes bees make on their own, to Yerkes Honey Farm, his farm where he houses honeybees in hives, which are man-made boxes.





    Couple finds out they're living with thousands of bees after fresh honey drips down their walls




    Over the span of a week, Lattanzi removed each and every tile on the portion of the home the bees occupied, treading carefully to not harm the bees and find the queen, which he found Friday.





    The farmhouse is seen before the bee removal, left, and during the process, right.



    The Weavers are renting the farmhouse to tenants right now, with plans to eventually live there themselves one day. The current tenants hadn't reported seeing any honey dripping down wallsinside the home apart from seeing a few bees buzz outside the home once spring rolled around.


    "The bees were docile for a colony that has been in there for a while," Lattanzi said. "Normally when a colony is in a dwelling for a while they're usually defensive. Normally when I pull a slate tile off a house I'm instantaneously covered in very defensive bees attacking me, but most of these girls were pretty docile -- throughout the entire process I may have only gotten stung five or six times."


    And even though Weaver has to fork out the change for the home repairs and honeybee removal, and it's caused the couple quite the headache, she said it's their only option if they want to be able to add onto the home or live in it themselves.















    Choose wisely -Treat kindly...

    A secret to a good marriage is to have a quick mind and a slow mouth...



    S/V ORCA 38' Herreshoff Ketch

  5. #1510
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    16,890

    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    I’d really like to read someone else’s stories that I haven't seen before.

    Please contribute.
    Last edited by Spin_Drift; 08-03-2021 at 11:13 AM.
    Choose wisely -Treat kindly...

    A secret to a good marriage is to have a quick mind and a slow mouth...



    S/V ORCA 38' Herreshoff Ketch

  6. #1511
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Gauteng, South Africa
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Things can get a little boring if you read the Wakanda version version of the news. Here are some news from South Africa that gives a bit of context. The real story is that the liberation party of Nelson Mandela has turned into a feeding frenzy.

    https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/arti...e-opportunity/

    No real surprises, though, Africa is resplendent with examples

  7. #1512
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Bournemouth UK
    Posts
    1,985

    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Sheffield children gifted cuddly foxes with matching brain implants



    A father has brought a smile to 20 children by creating cuddly fox toys that have brain implants like them.


    The Sheffield Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus gave out the toys as a way to help children understand how their shunts work.


    Nick Hardman, uses a 3D printer to create different medical devices which he attaches to toys to help children cope with their illnesses.


    One recipient said he loved how the toy was "just like me".


    The implants are used for children with hydrocephalus, a condition that leads to a build-up of fluid in the brain and can be fatal if left untreated.

    Video at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-englan...shire-58137829


    Shunts, similar to those shown on the foxes, are placed inside the brain and a thin tube drains excess fluid to their stomach.


    Julie, whose son John has spina bifida and hydrocephalus, said: "I think it's fab because you can show him as many pictures as you want but it's never going to be anywhere near the real thing.


    "And it sounds really stupid but that [the toy] kind of explains it all in one.


    "He can look at it, feel it and that's better than a picture."





    Jess, whose daughter Edith also has both conditions, said: "They're really lovely. It makes it so she can see what we're talking about and what the doctors are talking about.


    "It's just a bit easier for her to see what's going on.


    Mr Hardman has previously made urine bags, feeding tubes and dialysis machines for soft toys given to other children.






    Nick

  8. #1513
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    16,890

    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Cat helps save 83-year-old who fell into ravine
    Caitlin O'Kane
    Mon, August 16, 2021, 7:15 AM·1 min read


    5B85196A-6569-4772-BE0E-C9B1847ABE3B.jpg

    Cat helps save 83-year-old who fell into ravine


    When a 83-year-old woman fell down a ravine in Cornwall, England, it was her cat who helped rescuers find her.


    The woman had been missing for over an hour, and concerned neighbors called emergency services, BBC News reports. Police went searching for her, but it was a member of the public who heard a meowing cat and located her.


    A passerby heard the cat, Piran, meowing loudly, which alerted them to the woman. Rescuers then saw the woman had fallen 70 feet into a stream, "with incredibly difficult access and uneven terrain," according to BCC News.




    Rescuers used a stretcher to pull the 83-year-old up the 70-foot ravine. / Credit: Bodmin Police


    Rescuers lifted the woman up the ravine on a stretcher and flew her to a hospital in an air ambulance. She is in stable condition.


    An eyewitness said the key to finding the woman was Piran's "quite persistent" meowing at the top of the ravine. "It's a massive 'well done' to all the emergency services who worked together and to Piran," the unnamed witness said. "The outcome could have been a lot worse."


    Bodmin Police, who helped in the rescue, agreed. "Piran the cat saved the day," police said. On Monday, the police department shared an update: "Whilst the lady concerned is still currently receiving care, she is in good spirits and is being well looked after."


    "We've also managed to obtain a photo of the Hero himself," the department added, sharing a photo of the black cat.

    0C09ABC2-0BDD-43C8-B60F-5A1BB238786F.jpg



    Bodmin Police called Piran a hero


    Choose wisely -Treat kindly...

    A secret to a good marriage is to have a quick mind and a slow mouth...



    S/V ORCA 38' Herreshoff Ketch

  9. #1514
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    16,890

    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    WORLD

    Teenager takes to the skies on round-the-world record bid

    By
    AFP
    Published
    August 18, 2021











    Zara Rutherford's Shark UL ultralight plane is on loan from the manufacturer and it made from a carbon fibre epoxy composite that is fuel efficient, fast and has a long range. — © AFP
    Dave CLARK

    Teenage pilot Zara Rutherford took her ultralight sports plane into the skies on Wednesday on the first leg of a 52-country, five-continent flight around the world.

    The intrepid 19-year-old British-Belgian dreams one day of becoming an astronaut, but for now her goal is to become the youngest woman to circumnavigate the planet flying solo.

    The first leg was a short hop across the Channel from her Belgian home town of Kortrijk to England. Her three-month voyage will then take her over oceans, deserts and the vast Siberian wilderness.

    She will try to avoid daunting main air hubs — apart from New York’s busy JFK airport — in her tiny 325-kilogramme (717-pound) Shark UL prop plane, and touch down instead on smaller airports and airfields for overnight rests and refuelling.

    She will be on her own for flights lasting five to six hours. She has secured permission to visit countries including Greenland, Honduras, Saudi Arabia and Myanmar.


    The first leg of Rutherford’s trip takes her from Belgium to the UK, her two homelands, but within five days she will have crossed the Atlantic to Greenland. — © AFP
    While not the youngest pilot to fly around the world solo — an 18-year-old Briton, Travis Ludlow, completed the trip in July — Rutherford is the youngest woman to attempt the feat.

    “I’m really hoping to encourage girls and young women to go into aviation and STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” she said before takeoff.

    “Growing up, I didn’t see many women in those fields and it was quite discouraging. So I’m hoping to change that.”
    Her aerial odyssey can be followed on Rutherford’s website, FlyZolo.com, and on the TikTok social media app.

    Rutherford has a satellite telephone and a radio to communicate with air traffic control in all the countries on her route, but in the cockpit she will be alone with her music and her podcasts.

    There is no following plane with backup, but her support crew in Belgium — including her father, a former British air force pilot — have planned the adventure carefully, notably by setting up in advance the necessary authorisations to fly into many different national airspaces.


    Zara Rutherford hopes her round-the-world record bid will inspire even younger girls to study science and engineering or become pilots. — © AFP
    Crossing the Atlantic will be the first big challenge, she says, but the long trek over Siberia to Mongolia will also see her often far from civilisation if she gets into difficulties.

    “I didn’t sleep very well, I’m quite nervous but I’m really excited,” she told AFP.
    “Right now, I’m feeling a bit of disbelief. I think I will only start realising that I have actually started when I have landed in the UK.”

    Family, friends, journalists, airport staff and the town mayor turned out at Kortrijk Wevelgem Airport to see her off — an emotional moment for her proud Belgian mother, Beatrice De Smet.


    Zara Rutherford’s dad Sam was a pilot in the British air force and helped her prepare for her trip, but once she takes off she’ll be on her own as she crosses five continents. — © AFP
    “Obviously I have a lot of mixed emotions. I’m a mum and my heart beats harder when I see her leaving like this, and with all this attention that adds to the stress, it’s not easy for her,” De Smet said as the tiny plane disappeared into the grey Flanders sky.

    “But I’m extremely proud, not just of the flight that she’s going to undertake, but of the mission that lies behind it, to inspire little girls to follow their dreams and to reach for the stars.”

    If everything goes according to plan, Rutherford will be arriving back in Belgium on November 4, her feet back on the ground but her eyes riveted on another horizon as she looks to pursue her engineering studies.



    In this article:Aviation, Round-the-world, teenager






    Choose wisely -Treat kindly...

    A secret to a good marriage is to have a quick mind and a slow mouth...



    S/V ORCA 38' Herreshoff Ketch

  10. #1515
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    16,890

    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Polar bear causes a stir as it passes through Kotzebue in Northwest Alaska

    By Carey Restino, The Arctic SounderUpdated: 1 day agoPublished: 1 day ago




    A polar bear was spotted at a fish camp south of Kotzebue on Aug. 14, 2021. (Photo by Lt. Scott Kellerman / U.S. Coast Guard)


    Kotzebue got a close-up sighting of a polar bear this week after it was seen at a fish camp south of the airport Saturday.


    Polar bears used to be more common in the Kotzebue area, but their range is largely determined by the ebb and flow of sea ice, which has been retreating to the north in recent decades. Lindsey Mangipane, a polar bear biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Anchorage, said such sightings are not typical anymore.


    “Polar bears are closely tied to the ice and since the sea ice isn’t as far down as it used to be, they tend to stay to the north,” Mangipane said.


    For the most part, she said, polar bears tend to range to Point Hope, 150 miles to the northwest, though they do sometimes go farther south if the sea ice offers more opportunities to hunt seals. They also tend to stay away from populated areas, as long as they haven’t been habituated to human food and garbage.


    For at least one onlooker, the rare sighting was the opportunity of a lifetime. Lt. Scott Kellerman, a Coast Guard pilot stationed in Kotzebue, is a largely self-taught photographer who has traveled to Utqiagvik with his wife in hopes of seeing and photographing a polar bear. He never guessed the opportunity would present itself in Kotzebue but was lucky to have brought his longest camera lens on his tour north with Mission Arctic Shield.


    “I managed to bring my larger super-telephoto lens, which was super helpful,” Kellerman said.





    A polar bear was spotted at a fish camp south of Kotzebue on Aug. 14, 2021. (Photo by Lt. Scott Kellerman / U.S. Coast Guard)



    A polar bear takes a dip in the Kotzebue Sound on Aug. 14, 2021. (Photo by Lt. Scott Kellerman / U.S. Coast Guard)

    U.S. Coast Guard personnel heard about the polar bear sighting and headed out to the beachside location about 200 yards from the bear. The bear appeared to be sleeping for a time, then went for a swim and returned to land before wandering out of view.


    Kellerman said he was wary of the bear while he was taking photographs, staying within reach of the vehicles at all times and with a group of people nearby. When the bear went to take a swim, Kellerman said, he was reminded how fast they can move.


    “You can imagine when I saw it, I had a bit of trepidation,” he said. “There was some irony in being so far south and seeing one, but I was grateful I had the opportunity. There’s a little bit of envy from my wife about the photos, though.”


    Mangipane said officials haven’t heard of any sightings of the bear since Sunday and hoped it had moved on to a less populated location.


    She said the encounter is a good reminder for everyone to keep anything that might attract a bear to town, like garbage, dog food or fish that is drying, out of the reach of animals.


    “If the bear does receive a food reward, it’s more likely to come back,” she said. “Preventing that will keep both the bear and the people safe.”
    Choose wisely -Treat kindly...

    A secret to a good marriage is to have a quick mind and a slow mouth...



    S/V ORCA 38' Herreshoff Ketch

  11. #1516
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    16,890

    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....



    What’s the loneliest place in Alaska?

    Michelle Theriault Boots

    Anchorage Daily News

    Curious Alaska is a weekly feature powered by your questions. What do you want to know or want us to investigate about life in Alaska, stories behind the news or why things are the way they are? Let us know in the form at the bottom of this story online at adn.com.

    Question: What is the loneliest place in Alaska?


    Unless you are a seabird, Alaska’s loneliest place may very well be St. Matthew Island, a hump of talus and tundra smack in the middle of the Bering Sea.


    The island is more than 200 miles away from the nearest permanent human settlement, the village of Mekoryuk on Nunivak Island. Unlike the Pribilof Islands, St. Matthew Island is pretty much alone. A smaller nearby island, Hall Island, is also uninhabited.


    “St. Matthew Island is a good contender for most remote in that it is not only a long ways from other human settlements, it’s also out there all by itself,” said Steve Delehanty, manager of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses St. Matthew Island and a lot of other less remote but still secluded islands, islets and reefs and rocks in the Gulf of Alaska, Bering and Chukchi seas.


    It matters, of course, how you define loneliest. If loneliness is a feeling, the loneliest place on earth could be a nursing home no one visits, or a barstool with a heartbroken person sitting on it.


    With the lowest population density of any U.S. state, Alaska contains more lonely places than any other U.S. state. But if you’re talking about sheer geographic isolation, St. Matthew Island is probably the winner.


    In the late 1990s, University of Alaska science writer Ned Rozell and Fairbanks geographer Dorte Dissing tried to determine the most remote spot in the state.


    Using GIS analysis, Dissing identified a bend of the Etivluk River roughly 130 miles from Ambler or Atqasuk as the most remote spot in mainland Alaska. Dissing also identified St. Matthew as the furthest overall from human settlement. More than 20 years later, the story still gets attention, Dissing said. She’s not sure if she’d define it exactly the same way today. “I was like a first- or second- year graduate student, and I cooked up this method,” she said. “There are a hundred million ways of looking at this.”


    It’s probably not possible to precisely know what place in Alaska is the loneliest, in terms of human visitation, Dissing said.


    There are ways to tell the places furthest from infrastructure markers of human presence such as roads or snowmachine trails, but there’s no real data for the quieter ways people in Alaska move on the land: Subsistence hunting and fishing camps, canoe voyages.


    And then there are mountain peaks and other places that verge on inaccessible to humans. The “vast majority” of Alaska peaks remained unclimbed, according to the Mountaineering Club of Alaska.


    Archeologists have found scant evidence of human occupation on St. Matthew Island, though Nunivak Island hunters are thought to have made the long journey. A few Russian and Unangan fur traders occupied the island. During World War II, the island was the site of a U.S. military weather and navigation station.


    St. Matthew may be an extraordinarily isolated island, but it remote does not necessarily mean least visited, Delehanty said.


    Scientists go to St. Matthew by boat occasionally to study the rich bird life on the island, which includes auklets, kittiwakes and the McKay’s bunting, a bird that breeds only on the island and nowhere else. High-end expedition style cruise ships, like one sponsored by National Geographic, have brought tourists for brief visits to the island. One sailing expedition in 2013 documented beaches full of fishing jetsam.


    Delehanty visited once, for about 10 days. He remembers the fog and the wildflowers and the short carpet of tundra vegetation. The only sounds were waves on the shore, birds like auklets and kittiwakes and the squeaky call of the singing vole, unique to the island. It was cold, with snow patches even in July. When the sun came out, bumblebees filled the air.


    “It’s wondrous,” he said. “It can be very lonely, but at the same time it’s just very special. You’re standing on a knob of land and your sweep of vision is a mile all around you. And there’s not another human being to be seen.”
    Choose wisely -Treat kindly...

    A secret to a good marriage is to have a quick mind and a slow mouth...



    S/V ORCA 38' Herreshoff Ketch

  12. #1517
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Bournemouth UK
    Posts
    1,985

    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    The story behind this unique sign opposite busy Dorset road



    The 'Bypassed Chinese take-away' sign in Littlemoor area of Weymouth has attracted a lot of attention over the years. Picture: Dorset Echo/Michael Taylor

    THERE are so many unusual but cool things around Dorset.
    You can visit the ghost village of Tyneham, snack on a Dorset Knob or take part in Dorset Knob throwing, check out the Cerne Abbas giant or go to the Bridport Hat Festival.
    But one sight in particular raises some eyebrows and a few smiles.
    The sign, which simply states ‘Bypassed Chinese take-away’, is one of fascination from locals, tourists and curious people online.
    Every so often a simple photo of the sign shared on social media leads to it going viral, with many people pondering how the sign came about, why it’s even there and asking where it is.
    But the sign leads you to a very popular Chinese takeaway which is ‘hidden’ from view.
    Here is the story behind this unique sign.
    Where is the sign?


    The sign is based along A353, near for the junction for Chelwood Close in the Littlemoor area of Weymouth.
    The sign directs motorists on A353 to turn right into the junction and follow Littlemoor Road, which runs parallel to the A353.
    The sign will lead you to Golden Flame takeaway, which is based next to a veterinary surgery.
    The origins of the sign




    A spokeswoman for the Golden Flame revealed that the sign was installed after the business was concerned that customers were unable to find it.
    She explained that a hill on the grass verge blocked the takeaway from view by drivers and the owner asked the then-Dorset County Council if something could be done to make people aware of the takeaway’s location.
    The owner of the takeaway said: “People were not able to see it or find our takeaway. So Dorset County Council gave me a sign to help my business.
    “We have been here for many years. Dorset County Council knew about this shop and local customers could not find it.

    “When the Olympics was held in 2012, there was a hill along Littlemoor Road and some people on holiday were unable to find us as it was blocking the view.
    “So we asked the Dorset County Council to help me to get signage to help people find us.”

    Reviews online describe the takeaway as ‘hidden’ or ‘tucked away’, and it’s easy to see why.
    The hill, which has become overgrown with vegetation and flowers, completely obscures the takeaway from view and can cause some confusion.
    Reflecting on the signage, she described it as a ‘really nice thing to do’ by the council.


    ‘Dorset is an odd place’ - The sign’s popularity


    Every so often this sign goes viral online.
    Professor Dan Hicks, professor of Contemporary Archaeology at University of Oxford, once shared a photo of the signage and quipped: “Just imagine the paperwork that lies behind this sign”.
    Another person once tweeted: “Dorset is an odd place”.
    Reviews about Golden Flame even reference the takeaway’s unqiue location and how the sign helps guide them there.



    One review reads: “Found this takeaway by chance, what a find, food was excellent.
    “Staff friendly and helpful, we were all very full after our takeaway banquet!”
    Another user wrote: “It’s sad it's been knocked off of the main road I hope they still receive a lot of business!”

    From https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/ne...y-dorset-road/


    Only our recent departed, very much unlamented Dorset County Council could achieve this. Mind you, in it's re-incarnated form not much has changed.

    Nick

  13. #1518
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    16,890

    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Once green, prehistoric Arabia drew early humans from Africa

    WASHINGTON — Huw Groucutt passes rolling sand dunes as far as his eye can see when traveling to archaeological sites in the northern Arabian Peninsula. But the same desert regions were once intermittentlylush and green, attracting early humans and large animals such as hippopotamuses migrating out of Africa to linger at ancient lakes, new evidence suggests.

    Until a decade ago, the Arabian Peninsula was a blank spot on the map for scientists trying to reconstruct the story of early human evolution and movements out of Africa. Much more is known about early human settlements in the Levant region — modern-day Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and parts of Syria — where extensive archaeological research has been carried out for more than a century.

    But the Arabian Peninsula may have also played an important role as a bridge between Africa and Eurasia, a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature suggests.

    “Arabia has not been part of the story of early human migration because so little work was done there before,” said co-author Michael Petraglia, a paleolithic archaeologist at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany. The research team included scientists from Germany, Saudi Arabia, Australia, the United Kingdom and elsewhere.


    The impetus to look closely for archeological remains in the region came from satellite imagery that revealed traces of prehistoric lakes in now-arid regions. “We noticed color patterns made by ancient lakes — sand dunes are kind of orange-colored, while ancient lakes are tinted white or gray,” said Groucutt, who is also based at the Max Planck Institute.

    Extensive excavations over a decade revealed stone tools from multiple periods of prehistoric settlement by early human groups, the oldest 400,000 years ago. Analysis of sediment samples from the ancient lakes and remains from hippos and other animals revealed that during several periods in the distant past, the peninsula hosted year-round lakes and grasslands.


    During these windows of hospitable climate, early humans and animals moved from northeast Africa into the Arabian Peninsula, the researchers say. “Flowing rivers and lakes, surrounded by grasslands and savannah, would have attracted animals and then the early humans that were in pursuit of them,” said Petraglia. Hippos require year-round water bodies several yards deep to live. Remains of other animals, including ostriches and antelopes, indicate “a strong biological connection to northeast Africa,” he said.


    “What this research group has done is really exquisitely combine archaeology and climate records going back 400,000 years to show that early humans moved across this landscape when the climate changed,” said paleoanthropologist Rick Potts, who directs the Human Origins Program at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.


    “The episodic presence and absence of populations in the Arabian Peninsula was in tune with climate oscillations,” said Potts, who was not involved in the new study.


    — Associated Press
    Choose wisely -Treat kindly...

    A secret to a good marriage is to have a quick mind and a slow mouth...



    S/V ORCA 38' Herreshoff Ketch

  14. #1519
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    16,890

    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    5 New, Upgraded, and Hidden Apple Maps Features Coming to iOS 15
    By Kelly Hodgkins
    3 Min Read
    Published: Aug 3rd, 2021



    iOS 15 will launch publicly this fall with a few key redesigns and a handful of new features that'll reduce distraction, beef up privacy, and more. One app seeing a significant overhaul is Apple Maps, which sports a new look and feel along with a handful of key new features. Some of these features, like AR walking directions, were showcased at WWDC, while a few were hidden, uncovered only by observant beta testers. Continue reading to browse them all.






    Extreme Weather Rerouting

    ChrisSDreiling / MacRumors
    Apple Maps not only chooses the fastest route but, in iOS 15, it also will take into account local weather conditions. Is it raining or snowing where you are? Not to worry, Apple Maps knows if there is a flash flood warning or blizzard conditions. Apple Maps then will provide alternate routes that allow you to bypass the extreme conditions. It's not clear how many different types of weather events Apple Maps takes into account. Nonetheless, it is a worthwhile addition that helps you avoid unexpected delays.








    Upgraded Driving Maps

    Apple
    In iOS 15, Apple Maps will improve the driving experience with new detailed driving maps. Drivers will be able to see turning lanes, crosswalks, and even bike lanes. Smart and detailed, Maps will automatically zoom into a street-level view if you encounter a particularly complex intersection. With these new traffic lanes and street-level views, drivers won't have to guess. Instead, they will know exactly where they need to go. Maps also will display road closures and traffic issues so drivers can find an alternate route if needed.








    Detailed City Maps

    Apple
    Apple increased map details across the board, but the company added even more information in select cities like New York and San Francisco. The detailed maps in these cities can display individual neighborhoods, business districts, and important buildings. It can even show you a 3D representation of notable landmarks so users can get a sneak peek before they do some sightseeing.








    New Augmented Reality Walks

    Apple
    Apple made navigating a city on foot much more straightforward with new augmented reality walking instructions. Once enabled, pedestrians can follow the step-by-step AR directions that overlay the real-world street view. AR walking directions are limited to newer iPhones with an A12 chip or later. The A12 first debuted in the iPhone XS and XR series, which launched in 2018. Any phone since the iPhone XS/XR will support these enhanced walking directions.








    New Immersive Globe View

    Apple
    Before iOS 15, you could zoom out on your map and see a world map. Now in iOS 15, you can zoom out to observe a new globe view. In this view, you can spin the globe and zoom in on another area. The interface is easier to use than a map view and is smoother when scrolling and adjusting the zoom level. To improve the experience even further, Apple added topographical and ecological details that let you find mountain ranges, deserts, oceans, and more. When you zoom in, you can see pertinent information such as elevation, photos, and guides so you can learn more about the location.
    Choose wisely -Treat kindly...

    A secret to a good marriage is to have a quick mind and a slow mouth...



    S/V ORCA 38' Herreshoff Ketch

  15. #1520
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    41,051

    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    I have always found Apple Maps to be terrible around here. I recently was just outside New York City & found that Google Maps were terrible there: inconsistent, changing routes in the middle (& increasing travel) - just awful. A person at the client where I was visiting said try Apple & I did - way better.

    Maybe Apple will give Google a run everywhere with the new version.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  16. #1521
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    16,890

    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Airlines are offering major deals on fall flights from Alaska to Europe

    By Scott McMurrenUpdated: 3 hours agoPublished: 3 hours ago


    A passenger aircraft operated by IAG unit Iberia Express takes off from Madrid Barajas airport on May 20, 2020. (Bloomberg photo by Paul Hanna)
    The big sale on airline tickets to Europe is back on, with a vengeance.


    Right now, all three mega-airlines — American, Delta and United — are offering good fares from both Anchorage and Fairbanks to Europe.


    United’s deals drop off from Fairbanks next month, but Delta flies year-round from Fairbanks and Anchorage. American partners with Alaska Airlines on many of the trans-Atlantic flights. United offers year-round service from Anchorage via its daily Anchorage-Denver nonstop.


    Some of these entry-level bargains to Europe are compelling: Anchorage-Madrid for $294 round trip, for example. Or Anchorage-Athens for $303 round trip. Both of these low-end bargains are offered by American Airlines. But there’s more to the story.


    Remember: Airlines these days lure you in with a low base price, then tack on the extras. If you want a pre-assigned seat, it will cost you. If you want to check a bag, it will cost you. If you want a seat with extra legroom like an exit row, that will cost you.


    Still, those add-ons will cost you no matter the base fare. So, a lower base fare is good.


    Right now, American Airlines has the cheapest fares to Europe. The lowest of the low fares are for travel next month, in October.


    Here are some of my favorite rates:


    • Anchorage-Dublin: $287 round trip on Alaska and American Airlines. Travel Oct. 16-23. If you don’t want to travel on these dates, other dates are available for $319-$355 round trip. Book at American’s website. Fly from Fairbanks to Dublin for $289 round trip between Oct. 3 and Oct. 12.


    • Anchorage/Fairbanks-Madrid: $294 round trip on Alaska and American Air. Travel between Oct. 5 and Oct. 29. Other dates are available between now and Feb. 26 for $350 round trip.


    • Anchorage/Fairbanks-Athens for $303-$305 round trip. The best rates are available between Oct. 3 and Oct. 29 on American. After that, the prices go up a little bit, to around $366 round trip.


    [If you plan to travel abroad from Alaska, stay on top of shifting pandemic restrictions]

    It makes a difference where you book the tickets. In my research, Google Flights offers a good overview of the flights, with a link to a website where you can purchase the tickets. A link to the American Airlines website doesn’t mean all the flights are on American. They could be on Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Finnair or any other oneworld partner.

    If you’re headed to Spain, there are many other destinations besides Madrid that are on sale: Barcelona (from $343 round trip) and Malaga (from $354 round trip) also are on sale. Nearby Lisbon, Portugal, is on sale for as little as $361 round trip (for October travel).

    The airlines are mum on why the prices are so low. It’s not unusual to see fares to Europe drop to the $400-$500 level once or twice a year. But to see prices drop below $300 round trip is remarkable. It also underscores how soft the demand is for air travel this fall. Most airlines have reduced their predictions of how many people will travel this fall during a resurgence of COVID-19.

    Most frequent travelers will not pay the lowest available fare. For example, from Anchorage to Rome, the cheapest fare displayed by American Airlines is $311 round trip. Pre-assigned seats cost extra, though. And your first checked bag is $150. However, if you choose “main cabin” for an extra $150, you get to pre-select your tiny coach seat. And you get one checked bag free. And if you’re an Alaska Airlines elite (MVP or MVP Gold), you can access the “Main Cabin Extra” seats with extra legroom.

    If you want to take a quick trip to Europe, remember that entry requirements are changing. You may need to prove you’ve received your COVID-19 vaccination. You probably will need to get tested prior to departure. And you’ll need to make arrangements to get tested once again before returning to the U.S. Check American’s website for a country-by-country breakdown of entry requirements.

    If you don’t want to use your passport, there are plenty of good deals available stateside.

    One of my favorites is Anchorage-Fort Myers, Florida. Fly from Anchorage to Fort Myers for $101 right away on Delta. There’s no advance purchase. You could get on the plane tomorrow morning. Travel between now and May. From Fairbanks, the price is a little more: $118 one-way.

    Flights from Anchorage to New York are really cheap. Fly right away for $116 one-way on American or Alaska Airlines. If you can wait a couple of weeks, the price goes down to $106 one-way. The prices stay low until Feb. 16. Fares are cheaper from Fairbanks. Fly to New York for as little as $98 one-way on Delta.

    From Anchorage to Kansas City, the price is really low: $112 one-way on Alaska or Delta, starting in October. It’s a little more if you want to fly right away: $140 one-way. That’s still a nice price.

    [Need a bite at Seattle-Tacoma airport? A robot can deliver food to your gate.]

    Don’t forget about Seattle. It’s $89 one-way with either Alaska or Delta, starting Sept. 25. The cheap fare is available through Feb. 28.

    When I started checking the Europe fares early in the week, United had the lowest rates. The next day, Delta jumped on board with the lowest rates. Then American dropped the rates again on Thursday, So, after checking the rates on Thursday evening, I won’t be surprised if they changed again.

    All fares are subject to change without notice. If you see a fare you like, buy it. You have 24 hours to change your mind. You’ll get a full refund, as mandated by federal regulations.
    Choose wisely -Treat kindly...

    A secret to a good marriage is to have a quick mind and a slow mouth...



    S/V ORCA 38' Herreshoff Ketch

  17. #1522
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    16,890

    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Egypt team identifies fossil of land-roaming whale species

    CAIRO — Egyptian scientists say the fossil of a four-legged prehistoric whale, unearthed over a decade ago in the country’s Western Desert, is that of a previously unknown species. The creature, an ancestor of the modern-day whale, is believed to have lived 43 million years ago.


    The prehistoric whale, known as semi-aquatic because it lived both on land and sea, sported features of an accomplished hunter, the team’s leading paleontologist, Hesham Sallam, told The Associated Press — features that make it stand out among other whale fossils.


    The fossil was first found by a team of Egyptian environmentalists in 2008 in an area that was covered by seas in prehistoric times, but researchers only published their findings confirming a new species last month.


    Sallam said that his team did not start examining the fossil until 2017 because he wanted to assemble the best and the most talented Egyptian paleontologists for the study.


    “This is the first time in the history of Egyptian vertebrate paleontology to have an Egyptian team leading a documentation of a new genus and species of four-legged whale,” said Sallam.


    The fossil sheds light on the evolution of whales from herbivore land mammals into carnivorous species that today live exclusively in water. The transition took place over roughly 10 million years, according to an article published on the discovery in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.


    Egypt’s Western Desert region is already known for the so-called Whale Valley, or Wadi Al-Hitan, a tourist attraction and the country’s only natural World Heritage site that contains fossil remains of another type of prehistoric whales.


    The newly discovered creature belongs to the family of Protecetids, extinct semi-aquatic whales that lived from 59 to 34 million years ago, Sallam said. It would have walked on land but also hunted in the water.


    “This is yet another new species of early whales from the time when they retained four functional limbs,” said Jonathan Geisler, an expert on the evolutionary history of mammals with New York Institute of Technology.


    He said that the location of the discovery in Egypt is also a clue as to when and how they spread around the globe. Geisler was not involved in the find.


    The oldest fossil whales are about 50 million years old and are believed to have originated in modern-day Pakistan and India. However, scientists have not been able to reach a conclusive answer as to when whales moved out of their point of origin to all the world’s oceans.


    “This new species by itself cannot answer that question, but when viewed in the context of other fossil discoveries, suggests that this dispersal occurred 43 million years ago,” said Geisler, adding the new find could possibly serve as a link between Indo-Pakistan and North American regions.


    The fossil whale has been been named Phiomicetus Anubis, after the god of death in ancient Egypt.


    “We chose the name Anubis because it had a strong and deadly bite,” said Sallam, professor of paleontology at Mansoura University in Egypt. “It could kill any creature it crossed paths with.”


    The new species stands out for its elongated skull and snout that suggest it was an efficient carnivore capable of grasping and chewing its prey, he said. It was about 9 feet long and weighed around 1,300 pounds, according to researchers. It is also believed to have had sharp hearing and sense of smell.


    — Daily News wire reports
    Choose wisely -Treat kindly...

    A secret to a good marriage is to have a quick mind and a slow mouth...



    S/V ORCA 38' Herreshoff Ketch

  18. #1523
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Sorrento Australia
    Posts
    3,918

    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Stowaway snake apparently found in Sydney Aldi lettuce bag is returned home to Queensland - ABC News

    A baby pale-headed snake thought to have hitched a ride from Queensland to Sydney in a bag of lettuce has returned home after a 2,000-kilometre round trip.

    Sydney woman Lesley Kuhn claims her son found the venomous reptile wrapped around lettuce leaves, inside a packet she bought from a local Aldi supermarket.
    A team from the New South Wales Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) drove the reptile nearly 1,000km in a "relay" to Toowoomba, to release it in the region where the lettuce was picked.
    "Everything has a right to live and go back to where they belong," WIRES emergency responder Amy Wregg said.
    "You get the haters that would rather see [a snake] chopped up in a million pieces.
    "But he's a little hatchling that just got himself into a bit of mischief.
    "He's venomous but he's not deadly so it's enough to make you sick but not kill you."
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Leonardo da Vinci.

    If war is the answer........... it must be a profoundly stupid question.

    "Freighters on the nod on the surface of the bay, One of these days we're going to sail away"
    Bruce Cockburn

  19. #1524
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    16,890

    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    As a child, she wrote to a WWII vet. He carried the letter everywhere, and 12 years later, they finally met.

    Sydney Page


    The Washington Post


    Dashauna Priest still recalls sitting in her thirdgrade classroom 12 years ago in Lorain, Ohio, writing a heartfelt thank-you letter to a World War II veteran whom she did not know.


    At the time, and in the years that followed, she had no idea that the recipient of her letter would carry the note with him everywhere he went, carefully folded in an envelope.


    “I’m never without it,” said Frank Grasberger, now 95.


    Grasberger, who lives in Strongsville, Ohio, was drafted into the military when he was 18 and spent nearly three years in Germany. He received Priest’s letter, which was part of a class project, while he was on an Honor Flight home from Washington D.C., in 2009. Ever since, the letter has either been folded neatly in his pocket or tucked away beneath the seat of his wheelchair. Wherever Grasberger goes, the letter goes.


    The handwritten note, printed on a sheet of lined paper, imparts a simple message of gratitude: “Thank you for saving us from Hitler. If it wasn’t for you, we would never have freedom. You made freedom for us. You sacrificed your own life.”


    Reading the letter for the first time more than a decade ago, Grasberger was moved to tears.


    “It really tore my heart up when I saw it,” he recalled. “I just couldn’t believe a child could write a letter about a war.”


    The message, plus the pencil and crayon drawing of an American flag and Army helmet that accompanied it, resonated deeply.


    Although Priest, now 21, knew little about the war or the veteran to whom she wrote the letter, “I always looked up to people in uniform, so I took it really seriously,” she recalled.


    She didn’t realize, though, that the recipient would take her letter very seriously, too.


    Grasberger was eager to connect with the kind girl and decided to draft his own note to her in response.


    “You really made me feel very good about fighting the war,” he wrote. “War is a terrible thing but if it helped to keep you and many others ‘free’ it was well worth it.”


    Grasberger’s wife, Delores, mailed the letter to Priest’s school, though the couple never got confirmation that she actually received it. As years passed and they still hadn’t heard anything, “I was determined to find the girl that wrote that letter,” Grasberger said.


    “We looked all over on the computer and asked friends to keep their eyes open,” echoed his wife, adding that they called the school several times, but staff members were unwilling to provide the student’s contact information. Eventually, the school — Irving Elementary — closed down.


    Despite failed attempts to find her, Grasberger continued to keep the letter close to him at all times. He prayed with it at night.


    “I look at it very often, and I show it to other people,” he said.


    Over the summer, Grasberger presented his cherished letter to Jill Pawloski, the resident services director at Vitalia Senior Residents at Strongsville. The Grasbergers — who have been married for nearly 75 years and have two daughters, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren — reside there.


    “He told me the story about how he received the letter in 2009,” Pawloski said. Even 12 years later, “he was just so touched that his service meant something to someone.”


    Grasberger also expressed his unrelenting wish to find the letter writer. Knowing how much it meant to him, Pawloski resolved to track her down.


    “I was just so moved that he was holding onto something so small that other people might have crumpled up and thrown away,” she said. “If anybody deserves this little moment, it’s definitely him.”


    She surfed on social media, and after a few quick searches, she found a profile on Instagram that seemed like a possible match, given the name and that the person looked to be about 21 years old.


    Pawloski was unsure if she had the right woman, but “I decided to give it a shot and send her a private message,” she said. “I hit the nail on the head.”


    Priest was stunned to see the message in her inbox. She knew exactly what letter — and veteran — the stranger was referring to.


    “I was so excited,” said Priest, who went on to join the Army National Guard.


    She, too, had reflected on the letter over the years, and she did, in fact, receive the reply from Grasberger. She keeps his letter safely stowed in a memory box, filled with other sentimental tokens from her childhood.


    “I read it from time to time and think about him,” Priest said. “I always wanted to have a conversation with him because of everything he wrote in the letter.”


    Pawloski invited Priest, who lives in Sandusky, Ohio, to come surprise Grasberger at his home. She was on board right away.


    Only three days later, on July 23, Priest showed up at the retirement community dressed in her military uniform with a dozen red roses in hand. Grasberger was told someone was coming to interview him about the letter, but he had no idea Priest had finally been found — or that she was there to meet him in person.


    When she walked in the room, Grasberger immediately exclaimed: “You’re not the girl?!”


    The emotional surprise was captured on video and featured in a now-viral TikTok. When Grasberger finally grasped that he was with the young woman he had long been searching for, he turned to her, grabbed her hand and said: “I love you so much. I really do.”


    “It seemed like she was my third daughter,” Grasberger explained. “That’s the feeling I had.”


    They both broke down in tears. Grasberger showed her the letter she wrote 12 years ago, and likewise, she showed him the letter he wrote in response.


    “This is a godsend,” Grasberger said, as they sat across from one another, clutching tissues. “I never thought I’d see you.”


    Over the course of their nearly three-hour meeting, “I went through two boxes of Kleenex,” said Grasberger, who was an engineer for 32 years after leaving the military.
    Choose wisely -Treat kindly...

    A secret to a good marriage is to have a quick mind and a slow mouth...



    S/V ORCA 38' Herreshoff Ketch

  20. #1525
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    41,051

    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Nice story - thanks.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •