Blog Posts by Melissa Knowles

  • Man and His Buddies Build Life-Size Replica of Noah’s Ark

    As Earth Day approaches, people are getting involved in all kinds of ways to help the environment, but one man and a group of his friends have taken on a project of gigantic proportions. Rodolfo Almira and three of his buddies are in the process of building a $1.5 million replica of Noah's Ark in Miami, Florida.

    Almira's plan for what he calls the "Hidden Ark" is for the space to serve as a museum, a shop, and a petting zoo with pigs, chickens, goats, and other small animals. Almira told the Miami Herald that the ark "has nothing to do with any specific religion" but that he is basing the construction of the massive ship on the instructions that God gave to Noah as described in the Bible. So when the project is complete, the ark will measure 500 feet long and be three stories tall.

    Almira said his focus is environmental awareness. He said he was inspired to build the ark after seeing animals struggle to find food and shelter after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. Almira and his

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  • Gorilla Has Startling Reaction to Momma Goose

    Gorillas are not the kind of creature you would want to cross paths with outside of a zoo or while on safari. They are known for not just their domineering size but also their fierce nature and territorial habits. Get too close to one and a confrontation might not end well for you.

    A new video released by the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas, may debunk all previously held ideas. This video might have you believing that gorillas, at least the one featured here, are more gentle giant than fearsome brute. But what is most surprising is not just how the gorilla reacts but what is causing the reaction in the first place. It's a goose.

    First, the two animals have a bit of a stare-down. Then, as the goose approaches the gorilla with its wings outstretched, the large gorilla begins to retreat. The more aggressive the goose gets, the faster the gorilla backpedals, especially when another goose joins in.

    Canada geese, like the ones seen in the video, are quite defensive themselves,

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  • Woman Awakens From 5-Year Coma and Meets Celebrity of Her Dreams

    When 79-year-old Evie Branan suffered a massive stroke six years ago, it left her in a semicomatose state. Branan was unable to eat, speak, or move on her own, and she became a resident of Willowbrook Manor, a long-term care facility in Flint, Michigan.

    With the help of her family and the caregivers at Willowbrook, Branan started to come out of her semicoma in May 2011. She has slowly regained her speech and mobility, but it's not just Branan's motor skills that are reigniting. Her personality and memory are also coming to the surface again.

    The first thing Branan said when she awoke was, "I want to go to a Bob Seger concert." And that's exactly what she did on Thursday night, accompanied by a couple of staff members from her residence. Branan also got to go backstage, attend an afterparty, and even meet Bob Seger himself. The fun did not stop there.

    Seger walked up to Branan and hugged her. "I never thought I would ever see this day. Oh man, it was a lot better than I thought it would

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  • Nikki Boyer of ‘Daytime in No Time’ Stops by ‘Trending Now’

    We are switching things up a bit today, and instead of just doing our normal episode of "Trending Now," we had a little gabfest with "Daytime in No Time" host Nikki Boyer.

    The first story we chatted about involves a dad doing something extraordinary for his son. Daniel Sherrouse, who runs the blog All We Have Is Gravity, created a spaceship simulator in his backyard for his 1-year-old son, Noah. The spaceship is outfitted with an air-conditioning unit and a space-adventure video game called Pioneer, and has plenty of features for Noah to explore.

    Sherrouse uploaded pictures of his out-of-this-world creation to Reddit and wrote, "I hope that it inspires him to have a lifelong love of science and wonder." People love what Sherrouse did for his son, as well as how he's encouraging him.

    Our second story focused on this hilarious new prank video of people Instagramming other people's food -- yes, strangers' food, not their own. I'm guilty of taking pictures of my food and sharing them with

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  • Baby River Otter Gets Swimming Lessons from Mom

    When you watch an otter swim, it looks so effortless that you might assume they, like sharks, are born knowing how to swim. That is not the case. Otters have to be taught how to glide through the water, and it's a vigorous process that occurs when they are newborns.

    The Oregon Zoo has a new star in the making, and his name is Molalla, or Mo, as he is affectionately known, and he is in the process of learning this task. The nine-week-old baby otter was born blind and is just starting to learn the ropes of otter life. Part of his daily lessons includes getting swimming lessons from his mom, Tilly, and it's attracting crowds to watch the baby adapt to his environment.

    Tilly hauls Mo around their enclosure, grabbing him by the scruff of his neck and diving into the water with him in tow. "This might look a little brutal to us. It's kind of scary for us to watch, but it's natural for them," said Becca Van Beek, otter keeper at the zoo. Baby otters float, and Mo starts to dog-paddle in the

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  • Military Pilot in Afghanistan Sends Video Message to Newlyweds from Cockpit

    Brandon Krivohlavy and Mandy Takacs tied the knot in Austin, Texas, over the weekend and got a surprise gift from a guest who was unable to attend their wedding. Brandon's brother, Capt Matthew Krivohlavy, is serving with Marine Attack Squadron 231 in Afghanistan, so he could not be there in person.

    Capt. Krivohlavy decided to send a gift in his absence: a heartwarming video message with hand-written note cards expressing his best wishes and love for the bride and groom. What takes this video message, titled "Wedding Message from the Skies over Afghanistan," to new heights, (pun intended) is where it was filmed. Capt. Krivohlavy's entire message comes from the cockpit of a jet.

    The first flash card reads, "I can't begin to tell you how excited I am for both of you." Capt. Krivohlavy continued, "This is a day you will remember for the rest of your lives, and I wish I could be there to share it with you." He even gives his brother the thumbs up by complimenting the bride, "Mandy, you are

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  • Sandy Hook Teacher Creates Nonprofit That Teaches Compassion & Kindness

    The unspeakable tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, shocked the nation and the world. Twenty students and six adults lost their lives when alleged gunman Adam Lanza opened fire at the school, forever changing the lives of those present that day, the families who lost loved ones, and the way America views gun control and gun violence in our nation's schools.

    In the aftermath of the tragedy, many questions about mental health have arisen — questions on what the best course of action is to combat and prevent another tragedy like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary.

    Kaitlin Roig was one of the teachers present on the day of the Sand Hook tragedy, and she has decided to fight the violence with compassion. Roig started the nonprofit organization Classes 4 Classes, whose mission is to "inspire young people to spread kindness and caring to others and to live those universal values every day."

    On its website, Classes 4 Classes says that it "provides

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  • Social Media Unites Girls Who Believe They Were Separated at Birth

    Facebook has changed the way that many of us live our lives, from our everyday interactions to our ability to keep in touch with friends and family members halfway around the world. We can even connect with people we don't know at all, because we share similar interests in music or movies or just because we look alike. Maybe enough alike to be related. Take the case of Samantha Futerman and Anais Bordier. Futerman is an actress who lives in Los Angeles. Bordier, a French fashion-design student, lives in London.

    In February, Futerman received a Facebook message from Bordier. Bordier explained that a friend of hers had seen a video of Futerman and noticed a resemblance between her and Bordier. On her own, Bordier did a little Internet searching and discovered a video where Futerman talks about being adopted, so she decided to ask Futerman where she was born, first prefacing it by telling her not to "freak out."

    Both girls were born on November 19, 1987, and they were both put into foster

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  • Strangers Bring Deceased Dad’s Favorite Jokes to Life

    A little more than two weeks ago, journalist and writer David Drucker passed away. As his son, Daniel, went through his father's possessions, he found a mysterious text file on his dad's computer. It was titled 'Jokes.txt,' and it contained phrases such as 'More birds on that side' and 'Brick the camel.' No explanation was given for the seeming non sequiturs.

    Daniel knew that his dad had had a fondness for bad jokes, and he figured that these phrases must be punch lines to jokes his Father was a fan of. So he enlisted the curiosity of strangers to help him make sense of it all. Daniel took his problem to Metafilter, a website that allows its users to ask and answer questions.

    Daniel's post, "Last Time, You Didn't Have Holes in Your Feet," referencing one of the punch lines, became a hit on Metafilter, as strangers began to fill in the blanks for the jokes' punch lines. In fact, within four hours, 30 of the 31 punch lines had jokes to set them up.

    One user named Elsa suggested that if

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  • Toddler Figures Out Shortcut to Block Game in Hilarious Video

    Part of the joy of being a toddler is occupying your time with endless fun activities like playing in the sandbox, watching cartoons, and just generally enjoying a worry-free existence. But what happens when you're playing with a game and it's getting the best of you? Do you give up, or do you do what an enterprising youngster did in a new YouTube video, "Toddler gives up trying to figure out which hole the shape fits in," that people all across the Web are getting a kick out of?

    You remember the shape-sorter game where you have to put a block with a certain shape through the proper cutout, right? The circular block fits only through the circle cutout; the triangular block fits only through the triangle cutout. Well, the little girl in this video is playing as her dad says in the background, "Where does the square go?" She struggles to put the block into the circular cutout, but to no avail. So instead of searching for the right cutout, she simply lifts the lid of the toy and tosses

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