Monday, March 31, 2014

Today's Good Newsz Only Quote of the Day...

Lauryn Lax suffered from an eating disorder for years until one day she found help in a surprising place...

At first, Lauryn Lax's local YMCA was just a place to work out. But it became a place where her life would change. Technically, it was the Nashville Y's parking lot, where Lax was first approached by a group of fellow gym-goers.
A few of the gym's members began noticing that Lax, despite her thin frame, was constantly working out. They wondered if Lax was suffering from an eating disorder. Rather than sit and watch her wither away, eight gym-goers banded together and started thinking about ways that they could help Lax. One researched eating disorders online. Another tracked down Lax's parents in Arkansas. They confirmed that Lax had been struggling with anorexia since she was a girl, and they agreed to help with an intervention.
One fateful day in August, Lax was headed to the Y for what she described as "my first 2 1/2 hour workout of the day." In the parking lot, she was suddenly surrounded by the eight acquaintances from her gym. "I know we don't know each other," said gym member Louise Grant, continuing, "I have to tell you that I would like you to get some help. I believe that you have an eating disorder."
Although the group members were nervous about the intervention, with one later describing the emotional afternoon as "a horrible experience," their compassion paid off, and Lax says that she saw the light. Before that day, these people were acquaintances. Now, says Lax, they’re “her angels.”
Straight from the intervention, she was taken to the emergency room and then transferred to the intensive care unit at Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital, where her heart rate dropped dipped to dangerous levels, and doctors were prepared to implant a pacemaker if needed. 
"It was the longest night of my life as Lauryn's heart rate hovered just above 30 until about 6 a.m. the next day, when her heart moved up to 33 or 34 — still dangerously low, but above the level where surgery was going to be required," her father Mike Lax told The Tennessean.
Eating disorders (EDs) have complicated origins, and they can be equally complicated to treat. In an interview with The Tennessean, Lax admitted that she had been suffering from anorexia for years, but felt her disease was too powerful to overcome. Her body issues started at age 10, and she had been hospitalized 12 times before she was approached at the gym. “It started controlling me,” she told the newspaper. “I wasn’t controlling it.” On the very day of the intervention, “it was just a struggle to even work out 30 minutes less or to make myself eat a teaspoon of almond butter more.”

Meanwhile, Lax’s fellow gym-goers weren’t sure if intervening was the right thing to do. If Lax had been dealing with a medical condition instead of an eating disorder, she might have been embarrassed by their concern. If she had been hostile or angry, she might have quit going to the gym altogether and continued obsessively exercising somewhere else. But because the stars aligned – the group of concerned strangers, plus Lax’s family, were committed to helping her, the intervention was well thought out, and Lax herself was willing to listen and accept help – a woman’s life has been forever changed for the better.

While Lax’s “angels” were lucky that their intervention was successful, confronting  a person with a severe eating disorder may not work in every situation, says Lynn Graefe, CEO of NEDA, the National Eating Disorders Association. Graefe urges friends and relatives to bring in an experienced professional.

“The important thing was expressing concern,” she says of the gym-goers’ intervention. “But if a person doesn’t want help, you can’t impose help.” She notes that eating disorder sufferers often lash out at loved ones who are trying to help, and that someone who is specifically trained to work with ED sufferers can support the whole family.

Following the intervention, she spent nearly a year at a Miami-area treatment facility. Now, she eats balanced meals, exercises in moderation, and no longer owns a scale. And she is determined to pay it forward – she’s completing a doctoral program in Occupational Therapy. From now on, she’ll be helping others heal their bodies too.

Although Lax doesn’t use the word “rescued,” she acknowledges that the generosity and compassion of her eight new friends, with whom she remains close, have helped her begin to rebuild her life.

One way that Lax is handling her recovery is by keeping track of her progress on her blog, Living for Today. In one post, Lux, who has since relocated to Austin, gave background about what she was thinking on August 16, 2011 — the fateful day of her intervention at the gym. 

“God is rarely early, but He is NEVER late — and everything happens in His perfect timing,” she wrote. “I prayed for health, for freedom from bondage for YEARS … and He was always listening. The cool thing too? Time flies when you are having fun and living life … and today, August 16, 2011 seems like a distant memory. True freedom from eating disorders is possible, I believe."

South Boston Youth Hockey players bring a little cheer to somber Boston Firefighters...

Engine 33 and Ladder 15 — still shaken and mourning two comrades lost in last week’s Back Bay fire — had their spirits lifted yesterday by a troupe of players from South Boston Youth Hockey who serenaded them with surprise renditions of “God Bless America” and the national anthem.
“We were feeling like we can make them feel appreciated for what they do for us,” said 11-year-old Sean Hartford, a goalie who read a thank you note to the crew at the Boylston Street station.
The musical tribute came as investigators continue to look into what caused the fire and why Lt. Edward J. Walsh Jr., 43, of West Roxbury and firefighter Michael R. Kennedy, 33, of Hyde Park, died in Wednesday’s fire while trapped in the basement of four-story brownstone at 298 Beacon St.
Some 60 players ranging in age from 5 to 12 pulled up to the station on a bus for the surprise performance in their green, black and white jerseys adorned with shamrocks.
“It’s something that the firefighters certainly appreciated; most of them are dads themselves,” Boston Fire spokesman Steve MacDonald said. “There’s something pure in their well wishes.”
The idea came from hockey parents who began an email chain to discuss ways to show appreciation. Originally they talked about simply driving gift baskets in with a few players but soon secured complimentary rides on a coach bus and trolley for the players and parents to get to the station, as well as a police escort and lunch of about 140 free cheeseburgers at Sullivan’s on Castle Island.
“My role was to make the firefighters feel good about themselves,” said 8-year-old Jerry O’Neil, a right wing. “I felt proud of myself.”
League treasurer John Picariello credited the team for shifting from rambunctious to respectful and composed as soon as they stepped off the bus, “even the littlest kid.”
“When I walked in there I said, ‘Yeah, I’m here from South Boston Youth Hockey. We have a little gift for you guys,’ ” Picariello said. “They got on their radios and the speakers in the firehouse, and the next thing you know they’re all coming down the stairs. It was unbelievable. There were a couple of red and teary eyes.”
The token of appreciation, which also included stops at two Southie firehouses, came as department investigators continued working to identify the origin of the wind-fueled inferno. MacDonald said yesterday the investigation is “ongoing and active,” but officials released no new information on the probe that reportedly is looking at a furnace.
Herbert S. Lerman, executor of the estate of Michael J. Callahan, which owns the gutted rental property, said the estate is cooperating with investigators. Lerman said the basement boiler was walled off per fire codes and was serviced in the fall.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Today's Good Newsz Only Quote of the Day...

Dean Sparks finds a 50 year old love letter in a 1959 Chevy Bel Air that he was restoring — and delivers it.

Last year's auction of 500-odd cars from Lambrecht Chevrolet in Nebraska — including some 50 ancient ones with barely any miles — spread the collection into a diaspora of rust across the world. One lucky buyer took his 1959 Chevy Bel Air home to Indiana and promptly began tearing it down for a restoration — only to find a mystery inside: a love letter, more than half a century old, that he decided should be reunited with its owner.
As Dean Sparks of Corydon, Ind., tells it, the partially decomposed letter somehow survived the decades the '59 Bel Air sat in a Nebraska field with its floorboard rusting away and mice nibbling the edges. Dated Feb. 7, 1965 — Sparks' birthday — the letter was from a woman who was missing the man she was dating; the last line, visible around the mouse holes, was "let's get married."
Sparks was able to make out the name of the couple: Ronnie Waterbury and Beverly Barber, both of Nebraska. And the search soon uncovered the full story: Waterbury had been the mechanic at Lambrecht Chevrolet, and the Bel Air had been his personal car. He and Barber eloped in the Bel Air, and had two children — one of whom Sparks was able to deliver the letter to, years after their passing. Like good old cars, some things are built to last the decades.

At University of Virginia, 70-year-old undergrad Jerry Reid is just another student as he cheers the Cavaliers in March Madness...

Jerry Reid, right, is a fixture in the student section at basketball games. Dillon Harding/Virginia Athletics
Jerry Reid will graduate from the University of Virginia this spring with a résumé that would attract the attention of any potential employer.
Under extracurricular activities, Mr. Reid lists membership in a campus literary society, brotherhood in a fraternity and two intramural flag-football championships. His academic accomplishments include a thesis reinterpreting Stonewall Jackson's legacy. He counts rooting for Virginia's men's basketball team as his primary hobby.
Then there is his work experience: 45 years as a conveyor-belt salesman.
Mr. Reid is a senior who happens to be a senior citizen. "I'm having a major attack of senioritis," said the 70-year-old undergraduate.
In 2011, at age 66, Mr. Reid enrolled in Virginia's college of continuing studies, its equivalent of night school for adult students. Mr. Reid, who had never graduated from college, was still chasing his bachelor's degree. Now, as a septuagenarian, he's on track to walk the lawn in May as a college graduate.
But he seldom acts his age. Since enrolling in college, Mr. Reid has immersed himself in campus life, most visibly as a fixture in the student section at basketball games of the Cavaliers, who play Friday in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA men's tournament to continue their best season in years. Mr. Reid is the one in the orange wig and hard hat. "You can't miss Jerry," said Virginia Dean Billy Cannaday.
Jerry Reid in his rooting attire
Mr. Reid, who is older than not only 44-year-old Virginia basketball coach Tony Bennett but also his three predecessors, was previously a season-ticket holder to Cavaliers games. He just has a better seat these days. As a devout member of the "Hoo Crew," the student section alongside the court, Mr. Reid rarely misses a game. Last year, after one momentous win, he was part of a student mob that stormed the court in celebration.
Wearing his wig over white hair, plus strips of eye black underneath his thin-rimmed glasses, Mr. Reid arrives as early as four hours before tip-off to secure his spot in the student section. He prefers the area behind the visiting team's bench reserved for the "most dedicated members of Hoo Crew," said 21-year-old Virginia senior Christine Pajewski.
It is also prime real estate for heckling. Mr. Reid stays on his feet throughout games, powered by a pregame hot chocolate with extra whipped cream, cheering the Cavaliers while politely jeering the referees. Even his younger classmates are impressed by his endurance. "He's one of the most passionate fans there is," said Hoo Crew President Haider Arshad, 21.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Today's Good Newsz Only Quote of the Day...

74-year-old Mary Virginia Jones is freed after serving 32 years for murder she did not commit...

A 74-year-old woman who served 32 years for a murder she did not commit was released from jail early Tuesday after students from USC's law school convinced the district attorney to reopen her case.
On Monday, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge agreed to exchange Mary Virginia Jones' first-degree murder conviction without possibility of parole for a no contest plea to voluntary manslaughter with a time-served sentence.
“Words cannot express my gratitude to God and to my fellow man,” Jones said after her release from Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood.
Jones and the students argued that her abusive boyfriend, Mose Willis, forced her to participate in the 1981 murder.
Willis was convicted of kidnapping, robbing and shooting two men — killing one — in Los Angeles. Jones, who drove the men to an alley where the crime was committed, fled the scene. It took four trials, including a reversal on appeal and two hung juries, to convict Jones.
"I did not willingly participate in this crime," Jones said in court Monday. "But I believe that entering a no contest plea is in my best interest to get out of custody."
Jones' daughter, Denetra Jones-Goodie, testified that before the 1981 slaying, Willis "threatened not only to kill me, but to kill her and anybody else that came to our aid. He pulled a gun on me and shot at me, and my mother witnessed that."
The law students argued that Jones, known as "Mother Mary," would not have been convicted if the jury had heard expert testimony about the abuse she suffered.
"Courts now allow experts to testify about the effects of being battered," Heidi Rummel, co-director of USC’s Post-Conviction Justice Project, said in a statement. "Willis forced Jones at gunpoint to participate in the robbery and kidnapping — she ran down the alley fully expecting him to shoot and kill her, too."
The students, members of USC’s Post-Conviction Justice Project, asked the DA's office to conduct an independent investigation into Jones' 1982 conviction. On Monday, the office accepted Jones' plea.
“My mother never wavered on her belief of her innocence," Jones-Goodie said.
Driven in part by advances in forensics, a growing number of wrongful convictions have been overturned in the United States.
According to the National Registry of Exonerations, there were a record 87 in 2013.
Of the 1,337 exonerations tracked by the registry since 1989, nearly half — 619 — were wrongful
homicide convictions.

Empowerment Plan - Veronika Scott, empowering the homeless one stitch at a time...

As a product design student at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Veronika Scott developed a heavy-duty, lightweight coat that turned into a sleeping bag, as part of a class project. It seemed like the perfect product to help homeless people, until a woman in a shelter shouted at Scott one day: “We don’t need coats; we need jobs.”
In January 2012, a month after graduation, Scott launched the Empowerment Plan, a nonprofit that employs homeless women and teaches them to sew by making the coat. With stable, paying jobs, they’re empowered to decide what kind of job they want next, “to decide what kind of person they want to become,” she said.
It wasn’t easy for Scott: She was an art student, not a businesswoman, and her family wanted her to find a more traditional job.
“I didn’t think I was the right person,” she said. “But I recognized at that moment that I was, because nobody else was going to do it.”
Skeptics said homeless women wouldn’t be solid employees. It wasn’t a problem, Scott says: She found many women hungry for good jobs. But they didn’t always understand that it was OK to fail, so long as they learned to fix their mistakes.
Few women she hires know how to sew, Scott says, but within a few months, they can create a coat in hours.
Since launching in a homeless shelter closet with just a few people, the Empowerment Plan now employs 20 people. Every month, they make 550 coats, which are distributed for free to homeless people in Detroit and through outreach programs across the country. Production is limited only by space, but that is set to change soon: The Empowerment Project is expanding beyond its 3,000 square feet inside Ponyride, a creative workspace in a Detroit warehouse.
This year, The Empowerment Plan expects to launch a “buy one, give one” program that will make it sustainable beyond the donations and sponsorships that keep it running now. Hunters and backpackers who’ve asked to buy the coat will be able to do so, and the Empowerment Plan will still create coats for homeless people who need them.
More important, Scott says, the Empowerment Plan will be hiring.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Today's Good Newsz Only Quote of the Day...

Jack Coates shows his appreciation of his sister Kelly saving his life by "Living Life"...

By Jack Coates
In May 2001, I was diagnosed with medullablastoma. I was 19 years old and had just finished my freshman year at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island.
Medullablastoma is a cancer that affects the brain and the spine. I had three surgeries, 52 weeks of chemo, and six weeks of radiation. I spent a year and two months in the hospital and went from 217 pounds to 97. I was scared. I was asking God: “Why?  Why did it have to happen to me?” It was shocking. Many things went through my mind.
Jack and his sister, Kelly
Jack and his sister, Kelly
While I was sick, my family helped in my recovery. My mom fed me and took me to appointments; my dad lifted my spirits; and my older brother, Steven, visited and chipped in. When I moved home from the hospital, I shared a room with my sister, Kelly, who always pushed me to get better.
After two years of treatment, I went into remission. My family began doing the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. As I gained strength, I joined them.
Then, in 2011, I was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, which means the bone marrow does not make enough healthy blood cells. In February 2012, I had a bone marrow transplant.
A week or two before my transplant, they started their search for a donor. I’m not always a lucky guy, but within a few days I found out that they found a donor – my sister. Some people have to wait years to find a donor; I found one in a week.
In 2011, Kelly completed her first Boston Marathon. She wore a ribbon on her jersey with my name on it. She’ll run again this year as part of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team.
Jack and his fiancee, Mary
Jack and his fiancée, Mary
On March 7, I had my yearly MRI. Everything was clear, and I am now 14 years in remission. Currently, I am doing physical therapy and occupational therapy at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital to get stronger.
I’m extremely lucky. If it were not for Kelly, I wouldn’t be here right now. I don’t think there is anything I could do to thank my sister enough for saving my life, except to start living life. Before my transplant, I was working at the West Suburban YMCA in Newton. Recently, I went back for the first time to visit, and I will be going back to work within the next few weeks. I have a fiancée, Mary. We got engaged the Christmas Eve before my transplant. Turns out, luck may be on my side.

March Madness - N.C. teen Spencer Wilson's Hail Mary basketball shot gets help from late friend Josh Rominger...

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A couple months ago, just outside Greensboro, N.C., the Bishop McGuinness boys' basketball team had what may be the most remarkable game in school history.
"I still can't believe that even happened," one player said.
Coach Thompson told each player to pick someone to dedicate the game to.
"I felt like there was no one who could stop us," said another.
"I will remember this game for the rest of my life," a third player said.
The game was against their arch rivals, Mount Airy High School. But to fully appreciate what happened here, you first need to know how Coach Josh Thompson prepared them for this night.
It all started a few days earlier with an old ball and a gold Sharpie. Coach Thompson told each player to pick someone to dedicate the game to. Could be an uncle, a grandpa -- one kid picked his parents.
Spencer Wilson
They all enjoyed the exercise, but it's safe to say no one took it more seriously than junior guard Spencer Wilson. He picked his friend Josh Rominger.
"Josh's passion for life just really drew me towards him," Spencer said.
Spencer and Josh were two great friends with one lousy thing in common: they both had cancer. The difference was Spencer beat his, and Josh didn't. He died nine months ago.
Spencer wrote a letter to Josh's mom explaining what they were doing and why he would be playing for Josh.
"Just wanted to let you know the impact your son has on my life, to this day," Spencer wrote. "I will never forget him. Play for Josh."
Josh Rominger and Spencer Wilson
"I read it and cried," Josh's mom, Deena Rominger, said. "They just had that bond. Nobody else knew how Josh felt, except for Spencer."
Spencer said he still thinks about Josh every day. That's why this opportunity meant so much to him.
"During the timeouts, when we touched the ball, I found where I wrote 'Josh,' and I looked for that," Spencer said. "Put my hand on it every single time."
Spencer thought of his friend, whom he said "meant a whole lot to me."
Which brings us to the end of that game. With two seconds left on the clock, Bishop down by a point and their rivals at the free-throw line, Bishop needed a miracle. And some say that's exactly what they got.
Bishop and its fans celebrate the team's big win.
"Rebound comes down to Gardner, leads it ahead to Wilson, he's going to lob it up from 3/4 court," the announcer said. "That's got a shot -- it's good! Oh my goodness! Spencer Wilson from 50 feet out wins the game for the Villains!"
In the official record book, Spencer Wilson will get credit for that remarkable Hail Mary. But the boys at Bishop believe Spencer's friend Josh deserves at least an assist. And no matter what you believe, you've got to score one for friendship.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Today's Good Newsz Only Quote of the Day...

'Burger King baby' Katheryn Deprill finds her birth mother...

A woman who, as a newborn, was abandoned in the bathroom of a Pennsylvania fast-food restaurant said she has found her birth mother just three weeks after launching a search that garnered worldwide attention, and as her mother prepared to look for her.
Katheryn Deprill, 27, said Tuesday she felt "pure joy" when she met her biological mother for the first time Monday at an attorney's office. And, after she learned the sad details of her conception and abandonment, she said she understood why her mom did what she did.
"She is better than anything I could've ever imagined. She is so sweet and amazing. I'm so happy," said Deprill, who has become known as the Burger King Baby.
The woman had decided about six months ago to launch her own search for the daughter she gave up.
Deprill began her quest on March 2 by posting on her Facebook page a photo in which she held up a sign that said, "Looking for my birth mother. ... She abandoned me in the Burger King bathroom only hours old, Allentown PA. Please help me find her by sharing my post."
The photo was shared more than 30,000 times by Facebook users around the world, and Deprill's story landed in numerous media outlets. That caught the attention of the woman who abandoned her, and she came forward to attorney John Waldron, who arranged for them to meet.
Deprill said she bears a very strong resemblance to the woman, whose name she wouldn't disclose.
"It looked like I was looking in a mirror," she said.
Deprill, an EMT and married mother of three who lives outside Allentown in South Whitehall Township, said she embraced her mother.
"I got the hug that I had wanted for the last 27 years, and that broke the ice," she said. "I asked if I could have it, and she said, 'absolutely,' and just held her arms open, and the rest is history."
The pair met for about four hours and exchanged contact information. Deprill said they plan to meet again.
"We are definitely going to have a relationship," she said.
Deprill declined to address the circumstances of her abandonment, referring those questions to Waldron.
The attorney said the woman said that, as a 16-year-old, she was raped while traveling abroad and became pregnant. The woman said she hid the pregnancy from her parents and, after giving birth in her bedroom, felt she could not take her newborn to the hospital because she would have to answer questions.
Waldron had his staff prepare for the reunification with flowers, chocolates and boxes of tissues. Deprill, who had launched the search with the blessing and encouragement of her adoptive parents, was accompanied by her adoptive mother and her youngest son, 7-month-old Jackson.
"It was one of the most emotional, joyful, dramatic, exciting things I've ever seen," Waldron said, adding there's no doubt in his mind that his client is Deprill's mother.
"If you sat there for five minutes and heard them and watched them and observed them and looked at them, you would know," he said.
Deprill said her birth mother expressed regret during their tear-filled meeting. She said she forgave her "110 percent, absolutely."

Cuts for a Cause - Boston Bruins players shave their locks in the name of charity...

Twenty-one Bruins went bald yesterday and raised more than $118,000 for charity at Shawn Thornton’s annual Cuts for a Cause shave-athon.
“I would say Dougie Hamilton had the longest hair. He hasn’t cut it since this thing last year,” Thorny told the Track. “Saying it was a mop is an understatement. He took it like a man, but I don’t think he was looking forward to cutting it as much as Coach was looking forward to him getting it cut.”
Bruins Matt Bartkowski, Patrice Bergeron, Johnny Boychuk, Gregory Campbell, Jordan Caron, Zdeno Chara, Jarome Iginla, Chad Johnson, Chris Kelly, Torey Krug, Milan Lucic, Andrej Meszaros, Kevan Miller, Adam McQuaid, Daniel Paille, Corey Potter, Dennis Seidenberg, Reilly Smith, Carl Soderberg, Thornton and Hamilton all went 
under the razor at the Boston Park Plaza hotel yesterday.
Fans had bid online for the chance to shave their favorite player, with all the proceeds going to Thornton’s foundation, the Bruins Foundation and Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center.
“It’s fun to be part of things with your teammates and it’s a way to give back,” said Krug, who probably came in second in the mop department to Dougie. “And everyone gets a little bonding out of it.”
So, guys, who would you say has the nicest-shaped bald head?
“Dougie’s got a good-shaped head, I’m looking at it right now,” Krug said.
“I’m surprised, there’s no terrible-looking ones,” Thornton added. “But I think I’m going to go with Kevan Miller. Millzy. He looks good.”
Thorny said Seidenberg, who rocks the chrome dome all the time anyway, is probably the best-looking bald Bruin.
“He just comes for the free haircut,” he joked. “He raises money and saves his own.”
Krug said his new bride, Melanie, is sad that he lost his luxurious locks and he imagines the single guys on the team might not be quite the chick magnets they were pre-cut.
Which brings us to Brad Marchand, who did not participate yesterday.
“He really thinks he’s a 12 with that terrible haircut he has,” Thornton laughed. “He told me he’s just a 9 without it. In his head, I think he’s serious!”

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Today's Good Newsz Only Quote of the Day...

Going With the Flow - 55 Year Old Drift Bottle Surfaces on Martha's Vineyard...

A message in a bottle, with a story going back nearly 55 years, has surfaced.
Keith Moreis of Oak Bluffs was out walking on Long Point Beach on a bitter cold December afternoon when he found a small bottle in a clump of seaweed. Though Mr. Moreis could see a message printed on the bottle that said “break this bottle,” he chose another way to find out what was inside.
“I used a corkscrew,” he said.
Bottle was released in the fall of 1959 from the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Ship Hydrographer.
Inside was a message on faint red paper asking that the contents of the bottle be sent to a Washington, D.C., address that was suspiciously old.
“It didn’t have a zip code,” Mr. Moreis said.
He decided to keep the bottle with his collection of other interesting beach finds. But when he heard in February that someone in Canada had also uncovered an old drift bottle, he decided to do some research. On Feb. 20 he took the bottle to Woods Hole, first to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and later to the National Oceanographic Atmosphere Administration Northeast Fisheries Science Center.
With the help of staff at the science center, the source and history of the bottle became clear.
Message in the bottle was rather formal.
Shelley Dawicki, a spokesman for the center, said with significant digging in the files they were able to determine that the bottle was released in the fall of 1959 from the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Ship Hydrographer. According to records, the vessel did environmental studies in three areas off the New England Coast, and one was south of Noman’s Land, or 36 miles south of Aquinnah.
Dropping message bottles was an early way to understand ocean currents.
Jim Manning, an oceanographer at the Woods Hole Laboratory at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, said: “I am always amazed by the information we derive from these bottles. They did well in those days and drew up the maps that we are still using today.”
Researchers have since embraced newer technology to study currents but Mr. Manning said they still use drop bottles, too. In fact, there was a bottle drop last fall south of the Vineyard, Mr. Manning said.
“You hear bottle stories here and there, but this was the longest I’ve heard,” Mr. Manning said, referring to Mr. Moreis’ find. “It was probably buried in the sand. I bet there are many more in the sand.”

11 year old "Colin" gets a couple of big surprises for his birthday - 2 million Facebook "likes" and a professional hockey contract with the Kalamazoo Wings...

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- A Michigan boy who said he didn't want an 11th birthday party because he had no friends is getting a new gig:
[+] EnlargeKalamazoo Wings
AP Photo/Kalamazoo GazetteKalamazoo Wings coach Nick Bootland signed an 11-year-old Michigan boy to a one-day contract that will allow him to join the team for Sunday's home game.
Professional hockey player.
Colin and his family were surprised by players, coaches and representatives of the ECHL's Kalamazoo Wings at a restaurant Tuesday. The team presented the Richland boy with a one-day contract that will allow him to join the Wings for their home game Sunday.
Colin has a condition similar to Asperger syndrome that makes it difficult for him to relate to peers. His mother created a "Happy Birthday Colin" Facebook page that drew more than 2 million "likes." He also received thousands of cards.
The family asked that its last name not be used.
Colin told the Kalamazoo Gazette that the outpouring of affection has "been very heartwarming."

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Today's Good Newsz Only Quote of the Day...

Glad and Bill - "She's my Princess and I'm her William" - a 50 year romance and tribute to "in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad..."

40 year old blind singer and musician Tony DeBlois, who is also autistic, travels near and far to spread his inspirational message...

Before the year is out, Randolph native Tony DeBlois will have traveled to Pennsylvania, Virginia and Los Angeles, among other places, entertaining at venues nationwide with his music.
DeBlois, 40, is a musical savant who is blind and was diagnosed with autism at the age of 5. To his mother, Janice DeBlois, who travels with him to every gig, spreading his inspirational message close to home is a treat.
“I think that anything that can show people that someone with autism is capable of all the things (Tony) can do, that he has the same dreams and goals as anyone else, is important,” she said.
Virginia Polio, the head of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas chapter in Braintree, got the message. She said she saw DeBlois play last year in Scituate and knew she wanted to book him to play at the group’s annual fundraiser, which took place Sunday at St. Francis of Assisi Church.
The event was a combination of a luncheon, a bake sale and a silent auction. DeBlois’ renditions of Irish folk songs provided the backdrop for the gathering.
Polio said the money from each ticket sold will go directly toward the Catholic Daughters’ charitable works. The group provides scholarships to students at the St. Francis School. It is also affiliated with several national and international charities, including Smile Train, which provides cleft palate surgeries to children in need.
Polio described Tony DeBlois as an “awesome talent” and praised him and his mother for their strength and positive outlook.
“I thought everyone would enjoy listening to him, and it is a real blessing to have him and his mother here,” she said.
DeBlois knows how to play 22 instruments. He has been playing music professionally since he was 9, and graduated magna cum laude from Berklee College of Music in 1996. Before that, he attended the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown.
He has been recognized for his achievements by the Boston Celtics and many other organizations, and the CBS television movie “Journey of the Heart” was inspired by events from his life. In addition to playing concerts all over the country and around the world, DeBlois does speaking engagements aimed at encouraging other people with disabilities to discover their potential.
After 31 years of touring, Janice DeBlois said, nothing surprises her anymore, but the thrill of helping Tony to share his music and his story is still there.
“It’s nice to give people from our area who have seen him on TV but never seen him in person the chance,” she said.