Blog Posts by Henry Baker

  • Snoopybabe is Newest Candidate for Cutest Thing on the Web

    The Internet is saturated with cute animals, all vying for a piece of viral fame — call it dog-eat-dog or a catfight if you wish. But every once in a whilea new challenger really impresses. With that in mind, check out Snoopybabe. He's a cat in China who is taking the Internet by storm, and boy oh boy, is he adorable. Snoopybabe has actually already become quite a star in China, gaining hundreds of thousands of followerson the Chinese version of Twitter, Weibo. Thanks to the site, he was able to gain a couple hundred thousand Instagram followers. And that's when his fame traveled stateside. He can be seen wearing all manner ofoutfits and even jewelry, and his owner, Miss Ning, does not shy away from posting dozens of pictures a month on social media. In other words, Snoopybabe is hungry for fame. For her part, Miss Ning suggests her cat's fame comes from his "pie face" and from his droopy eyes that make him look permanently innocent. So watch out, Internet, Snoopybabe's coming for you.

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  • The Swales sisters of Snellville, Georgia, all recently got engaged around the same time. But the reason that they are all getting married on the same day is no coincidence. Their mother, Becky Swales, has been fighting breast cancer for the last four years. According to doctors, the fight may be soon over. The cancer has spread to her liver, and she was given the heartbreaking news that she may live for only a few more months.

    So with the help of a very friendly community's donations, including the event venue, the sisters began planning a triple wedding with only weeks to spare, just to make sure that their mother could be there on the big day. All three sisters describe their mother as their best friend, so they can't imagine her not being able to see them walk down the aisle. Sarah Swales told Fox 5, "Honestly, this might be one of the last, biggest things we get to do with our mom. That's why we want to make it a really great time, so it's something that we'll all remember, and be

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  • "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns N' Roses is a beloved power ballad, never far from being played at a karaoke night or wild get-together. There are countlesscovers of the song out there, but it's safe to say none like Vancouver resident Michelle Kwan's. In a recent video, Kwan plays "Sweet Child" on a guzheng, an instrument invented 2,000 years ago, which she has been playing for 12 years now. And if the song is not going to be played on an electric guitar, the guzheng does the job. Kwan is able to play multiple pieces of the song flawlessly, and YouTube viewers and commenters are eating it up. More than 180,000 people have seen the video in two weeks, and commenters are writing things like "Facemelted!" and "this is so good it's almost sick." Kwan says that she wanted to put a modern twist on an instrument that is known mostly for playing traditional songs, and she's actually taking requests for new songs to learn on her YouTube page. She also hopes to parlay her newfound fame to someday

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  • The Web is occasionally peculiar in the way it connects people, even unknowingly. You can look at a group of people who have never met and see similar themes to what they do, sometimes even identical behaviors. See, for example, what the Daily Mail calls "twipping." Death and Taxes Mag originally did the search on Twitter for terms such as "fell down stairs." And it turns out that taking pictures of yourself or others about to tumble down the stairs, falling down the stairs, or lying in a heap at the bottom is quite a trend. Most of these pictures are presumed to be real, because it isn't something people celebrate or seek out when taking a photo. But the reasons are clear — poking fun at yourself or friends, or giving evidence of what is a potentially dangerous activity. This could become the next "planking" - but most people hope it stops before it becomes a bona fide trend. Commenters on a couple of stories summed up many people's sentiment nicely, writing, "No please just... no,"

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  • Kanye West's Awkward Encounter With A Stranger Who Doesn't Know Who He Is

    Kanye West either courts controversy or is just preternaturally good at remaining in the public eye without trying to. After his feud with Jimmy Kimmel, he seemed to want to tamp downhis reputation as an angry guy by praising French paparazzi for remaining at a distance while he was on vacation. Another attempt at reaching out to paparazzi was made on video, but this time the ending of it was what got attention. A woman approaches Kanye and asks the cameraman who he is. The cameraman asks West if it's OK if he tells her. West gives her a quick handshake and enters the building he was headed to. But commenters on YouTube have said that his behavior suggests he is perturbed by her lack of knowledge or even heartbroken because of it. Of course, others say that the woman was a plant sent by the paparazzito rile West up. Many commenters compared the video to one from last year, in which fellow hip-hop artist Jay Z makes the acquaintance of Ellen Grossman, a New York artist who is

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  • Awesome Magic Trick Prank Gives Pizza Deliverymen Surprise Tips

    "Pranking" doesn't usually inspire feelings of warmth and charity. But apparently, as YouTube prankster Stuart Edge demonstrates in a new video, it can do so at times. Edge recently caught heat for an ill-advised video in which he "sweeps girls off their feet." It received criticism because it showed Edge invading random women's personal space. But his latest video, in which he employs some magic to surprise pizza deliverers, is a welcome change, and one only need look at the reactions of the delivery people themselves to know that's true.

    The trick itself is rather simple and can be learned here. Commenters were complimentary about Edge's "prank." Edge himself noted in the description that "when I found out pizza deliverers can make as little as $4.00 an hour in Utah, I wanted to help out." It looks as if it worked.

    Seen any heartwarming deeds in your neck of the woods? Done any yourself? Tell us on Facebook or @YahooTrending.

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  • Instagram's Newest Star, Yogurt the Pirate Dog, Almost Too Cute to Believe

    We all know cuties like Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub can make a big splash on Instagram. But there are always challengers to the throne of the Internet's most adorable animal, and Yogurt the Pirate Dog is racking up followers and superlatives from Instagram's masses.

    The account began in May, although Yogurt's human companion did not post any photos for a good five months afterwards. Perhaps after realizing he or she had a star on their hands, the frequency of posting pictures has increased in the past few days. Now you can see the one-eyed, long-tongued mini beast sporting outfits, running around with a bunny, and getting all cranky thanks to a vet appointment.

    The swashbuckling 5-year-old Chihuahua calls Bangkok her home port, and has nearly 5,000 followers. And to call them enthusiastic would be an understatement. One person wrote on a photo, "I'm so happy to know that this little sweetie has such a good owner who loves her so much and who will never leave her. Yogurt is the happiest

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  • Language Dating Back as Far as 4500 B.C. Recorded For First Time

    Even though it used to be spoken throughout most of Europe and Asia, the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) language is no longer spoken by anyone. That is partly because it was in use mainly between 4,500 and 2,500 B.C., and also because in the modern era we simply haven't known how to pronounce ancient languages correctly. But thanks to decades of research, there is now an audio example of how the language might have sounded.

    Andrew Byrd, from the Linguistics Department at the University of Kentucky, recorded himself reading a parable written in PIE and published it to SoundCloud. We gotta say, it sounds at once weird and a tiny bit familiar. And it should sound familiar — it is the common language that birthed English, Farsi, and many other world languages. The speech was taken from a written example that German linguist August Schleicher created in 1868 as an experiment with writing in PIE. The text tells a parable of sheep and horses, appropriate material for 4,500-plus years ago.


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  • Sometimes it takes a moments of high tension and potential danger to remind us just how good people can be, even to those they've never met. Such was the case in Boston on Wednesday, when a man's tumble onto subway tracks gave way to a harrowing rescue scene. 

    In Beantown's North Station, on the Orange Line, a man seemingly accidentally walked straight onto the train tracks, falling unconscious as a result of his scary plunge. But immediately, the waiting crowd sprang into action. After failing to get the man's attention, two people jump onto the tracks to pick the man up. Another person enters the frame from the opposite platform to give the final helping hand needed to get the lackadaisical man out of danger. 

    According to the MBTA, a bystander alerted station crew with enough time to halt trains that might have entered the station, but those good samaritans who leaped down to help could never have known. It was clear these people had risked their own lives to save another. 

    As for the

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  • Jimmy Fallon Has Crazy Viral Week with Lip-synch, Hashtag Videos

    Jimmy Fallon is known for taking his late-night show in silly directions, playing charades and even beer pong with guests. But this week has been particularly fruitful for "Late Night," as Fallon released two online clips that have just gone crazily viral.

    The first, posted Monday, featured frequent collaborator Justin Timberlake having a "Twitter chat" with Jimmy. They proved that yes, it would be truly awful if people started using hashtags in real life. (But hey, hashtags can be annoying on Twitter as well.) The video has over 7.5 million views and, of course, many adoring fans. 


    Tuesday saw another instance of an online Fallon sensation, as actors Stephen Merchant ("Hello Ladies") and Joseph Gordon-Levitt ("Don Jon") participated in a "lip-sync-off" with Jimmy. That, too, was awesome.


    The question is: With Fallon quickly approaching the "Tonight Show" takeover and Leno's exit, how will the material translate to the 11:30 p.m. slot? If the popularity of his segments online is any

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