Blog Posts by Henry Baker

  • Schoep, German Shepherd Featured in Heartwarming Viral Photo, Dies at 20

    Schoep and his owner, John Unger, got famous thanks to a photo. Now Unger is posting what may be his final recollection of his beloved dog. Yesterday, he posted on his Facebook page, "I breathe but I can't catch my breath. Schoep passed yesterday."

    They became famous last August when a photo taken by a friend, photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson, become a true viral success on Facebook. The photo depicts man and dog embracing while bathing in Lake Superior in Wisconsin. The touching nature of the photo was backed up by an even more wonderful story. Schoep had been developing advancing arthritis in his old age and had trouble sleeping and standing up. A veterinarian suggested that Unger bring Schoep into the waters of the lake because they might soothe his painful condition. Sure enough, the trick worked, and the dog was having a better time getting around. Each night, Unger brought Schoep into the water to help his pet sleep.

    Unger still needed money for medical care, funds that

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  • Helmet Cam Captures Firefighter Resuscitating Injured Kitten

    Cory Kalanick usually wears his helmet-mounted camera while he's on the job as a firefighter in Fresno, California. Generally, the camera captures images of people's most tragic days. He's thrilled (as are we), however, that it was recording when he rescued probably the tiniest being of his career thus far.

    Kalanick was sweeping a burned-out house for salvage when he noticed a motionless kitten lying on the floor. He immediately picked it up and sprang into action. Outside, he placed the kitten on his glove to protect it from the hot ground, and then he cooled it down with water while administering oxygen to the little guy. A whole tank of oxygen and some gentle strokes later, sure enough, the kitten came to with a "meow" that would melt the iciest heart.

    Using the footage captured by his helmet cam, Kalanick put together a mock movie trailer about the rescue. Poking fun at his veganism and love of animals with the titles, he added in laurels for the film's supposed "awards." He notes

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  • Making a truly awesome display of dominoes requires attention, patience, and an ease with the fleeting nature of the work you are creating. You spend hours, sometimes days, making intricate lines, structures, and shapes that will hopefully fall down in a smooth, wavelike motion. And for this, you get only a few minutes to actually see the thing in action. Of course, this task becomes a lot easier when you know that you might end up with a Guinness World Record when it's all said and done. That is exactly what happened for the Sinners Domino Entertainment team in Germany.

    Over eight days, a team of 12 builders set up "Enjoy Your Life," the record-breaking display. The setup consists of several themed areas, including ones devoted to travel and to sports. In each, different structures, like pyramids, or even shelves, are employed to elevate the fall of dominoes to more than just one plane of existence. The main event is the world's largest domino spiral, though. Containing over 55,000

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  • Composer Makes Video Combining 5,900 Singers in One Song

    Grammy-winning composer Eric Whitacre became a big deal on YouTube when he realized he could combine the voices of 250 singers, recorded individually, to make one awesome version of the piece, "Lux Arumque." Whitacre used social media to recruit the singers, sent them sheet music and then assembled the video to make it look as if he were conducting them while they sat in their respective houses. Whitacre is now conducting a similar experiment, but this time he has upped the ante to a staggering 5,900 singers.

    In "Fly to Paradise," Whitacre has combined 5,900 submissions to form a choir made up of sopranos, altos, tenors and basses. The video projects the faces of the volunteers onto virtual buildings to show just how massive this collective is. Besides the sheer number of volunteers, the demographics of the singers are also considerable: They consist of people from 101 countries, aged 6 to 98. Aside from the dozen people who helped Whitacre and what he calls a "small army of

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  • Image of MLK Wearing Hoodie Goes Viral

    Immediately after the jury's not-guilty verdict was announced in the George Zimmerman trial, people were already wondering what the nation's reaction would be. The saga, which began with the death of Trayvon Martin in February 2012, became a charged national debate covering a multitude of controversial issues, including race, gun control, and self-defense laws. Many were worried that the not-guilty verdict would bring with it not just anger, but also violence. As is expected these days, people were able to get up-to-the-minute news, thanks to social media.

    The reaction to the verdict was filled with pieces of original content made for the Internet, as well as photographic evidence from the protests that sprang up around the country. One such piece that made a big splash was an image of Martin Luther King Jr., altered to be wearing a hoodie, which became the lightning-rod clothing item that activists used to show their support for Trayvon Martin. It was created by artist Nikkolas

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  • Man Reunited with Missing Wallet After 54 Years

    Losing a wallet is a pain. Whatever cash it may have held is gone, and tons of paperwork is required for replacing an ID and credit cards. It might even have contained something cherished like pictures of loved ones. Clarence Van Dyken lost his wallet, and he was lucky enough to get it back, but there was one small catch: He had to wait 54 years.

    The story began when Aron Schut was doing some work on the insulation in his house after a flood. He discovered within the wall a leather wallet. Schut said, "What a strange place for a wallet. ... There was an I.D. in it and I recognized the name, it sounded familiar. ... So through a couple phone calls I was able to locate his son." Schut got in touch with Clare Van Dyken through his church. Clare confirmed the wallet to be his father's, and all that was left was the reveal.

    Cameras were rolling as Clarence Van Dyken was given back the wallet he had lost over five decades ago. Amazed, he said, "Well, I'll be cow-kicked." Naturally, a wallet

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  • PSA Raises Awareness Against the Scourge of Vertical Videos on the Web

    It is unfortunately a common scenario. You click a link to watch a video, and immediately your heart sinks. Whoever shot the video on his or her phone didn't turn it 90 degrees to film horizontally. Yes, it is, shudder, a vertical video. It is a nuisance that many of the Web's video fans have dealt with since phones were first able to capture video, but now the movement to stop it has grown.

    Enter Jonathan Mann and his "Song a Day" project. For each day of the year, Mann releases a song. "Turn Your Phone (Vertical Video PSA)" is the 1,647th song in his series, and it tackles the issue of vertical videos. In it, he sings, "If you film with the phone upright, it looks like this, and this ain't right. If you film with the phone all straight and tall, it looks like this not right at all." One commenter wrote on YouTube, "Hopefully this will go SUPER viral and make everyone realize how wrong it is to film vertically." So remember, next time you take out your phone to capture some video,

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  • Motorcyclist Rescues Coffee Mug from Back of Car, Returns it to Driver

    We've all done it, right? Fumbling for keys, we set down a bag, snack, or coffee mug on the exterior of a car until we get inside. Then we just plain forget about it, and the item is gone moments later. But thanks to a very graceful move by a motorcyclist, one woman did not end up short a coffee mug. YouTube user Bossaucey uploaded helmet-cam footage from one of his rides, in which he came across a Ford Explorer with a coffee mug resting on the back bumper. The Good Samaritan act he pulled off next required both kindness and some serious biking skills.

    Bossaucey approached the car from the left, grabbing the mug in one swoop. Then, after a swift right turn by the driver, the biker rode up alongside the car and caught her attention. After a quick window roll-down, the woman was reunited with her mug. She seems to say, "My daughter…" after being flabbergasted by the presence of the errant mug. The motorcyclist, for his part, shows just how pleased he was that he was able to pull it off

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  • 16-Year-Old Singer Becomes Sensation Thanks to Natural Auto-Tune Skills

    Anyone familiar with Auto-Tune knows that the robotic-sounding voice modulation is a big controversy in music. Singers like T-Pain and Kanye West have been criticized for using it, even while Web shows like "Auto-Tune the News" have become massive hits because of the process. So we have heard a ton of Auto-Tune singing recently, but never anything quite like that of Emmalene (Emma) Robinson, a St. Petersburg, Florida, high school junior who seems to be able to sing in Auto-Tune with no computer software helping her out.

    Robinson told that her boyfriend, unbeknownst to her, posted a video of her singing Rihanna's "Stay" to Reddit's Music section, where he was careful to note that it had not been put through the Auto-Tune process. Her YouTube page jumped quickly from around 600 subscribers to more than 7,000. She says that half of the comments are very kind, while the other half either express doubt that her ability is legitimate or are outright rude. But she swears that

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  • Artist Turns Car Into Rolling Chalkboard

    Owning a car can be nerve-racking. Keeping the thing clean is a pursuit that takes a lot of energy, especially in a big city. One artist, though, is inviting people to make their mark on his automobile, and inspiring some creativity along the way. Philip Romano slapped a coat of special paint on his 2004 Hyundai to turn it into a moving chalkboard recently. Since then, he has been driving around New York City inviting people to take turns writing whatever they wish on the exterior.

    Last Thursday, Romano parked it outside of the Museum of Modern Art, where it attracted a horde of people waiting to create some chalk art. Passersby swarmed the automobile, adding drawings and phrases. Romano even got attention from Fox 5 News, who interviewed him about the endeavor. Asked about the reason for the project, he said, "I just had the idea a few years ago, that when I got my first car, I wanted it to be an old used car, and I wanted to cover it in chalkboard paint and let people draw all over

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