Blog Posts by Melissa Knowles

  • Man Designs Intricate Works of Art Using Excel Spreadsheets

    Some people believe that spreadsheets are a necessary evil for calculating budgets, doing expense reports and organizing lists, but Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi uses spreadsheets to create works of art. The 73-year-old uses AutoShapes in Excel to design traditional-looking Japanese art that is both beautiful to look at and intricately detailed.

    Horiuchi began making his unique art using spreadsheets 10 years ago. Before retiring, he said he would see his co-workers in the office using Excel to make detailed graphs, and he thought to himself, "I could probably draw with that. Graphics software is expensive, but Excel comes pre-installed in most computers."

    For those of you who are reading this right now and looking at Horiuchi's art and thinking, "No way! How in the world could someone create that kind of ornate artwork using Excel?" you can download a file yourself and take a look at how each individual cell appears.

    People first began taking notice of Horiuchi's work in 2006 after

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  • Video of Dog Pushing Man in a Wheelchair—Real or Fake?

    Sometimes we come across a video that makes our jaw drop in disbelief. Either we're taken aback by what our eyes see, even if we believe that what we're seeing is real, or we know that it could not possibly be real. That's the case with the latest Trending Now discovery.

    In a somewhat grainy clip posted to YouTube, which has a Russian title along with the translation "Dog helps the owner," viewers see something that seems implausible. As some people are driving down a flooded street, they look out their window and see a man in a wheelchair being pushed along by a dog standing on its hind legs. The people in the car seem surprised but continue along the flooded street in their car without missing a beat.

    It seems hard to believe, right? A dog is able to walk in floodwater using just its hind legs and push a man in a wheelchair who is several times its weight, combined with the pressure of the floodwater. Does not seem likely. People are calling foul on the video, with some commenters

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  • Dog Takes a Nosedive Into a Pool and Becomes a Viral Star

    Yes, it's only Tuesday. So what! It's never too early in the week for a hilarious viral video, especially one that we are not sure why has gone so viral, so quickly.

    Kyle Vigneau taped his Labrador, named Koda, doing something a little silly. In the video, "My Dog Isn't the Smartest," it appears as if Vigneau is trying to fill the pool with water, and the device he is using appeals to the dog. As the device sprays water into the pool, Koda tries to lick the stream of water. Vigneau says to Koda, "You're going to end up falling in the pool. You know that." That's exactly what happens next. Koda loses his balance and falls headfirst into the pool. Vigneau briefly panics, and you can hear him say, "Uh-oh!"

    The original video was posted to YouTube on June 9 and already has 4.2 million views and counting. It was then posted to Reddit with the title, "on an IQ scale of 1 to Einstein, my dog is a brick." In a follow-up video, we hear Vigneau coaching Koda to help him get out of the pool.

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  • Customer’s Dunkin’ Donuts Rant Goes Viral for All the Wrong Reasons

    You've heard the adage "The customer is always right." Now, thanks to the power of social media, never has it been easier to shower praise on or file a complaint with a company for the entire world to see. One customer is causing outrage over a video she took of herself while complaining about an allegedly rude worker at a Dunkin' Donuts.

    In the video, recorded on the woman's cellphone, she tells the employee behind the counter (not the employee she is there to complain about) that her experience the previous evening was not good and that she's there to get what she believes she is owed, a free meal. She complains about not being given a receipt for her purchase and says she is thereby entitled to free food. She tells the employee several times she is recording everything they're doing and going to put it online.

    The employee remains calm even as the woman begins raising her voice and berating him to describe her displeasure with what happened. She does mention she has previously

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  • Baby Sea Lion Hops Aboard Boat, Snuggles with Fisherman

    An Orange County, California man had what he describes as a once in a lifetime experience. J.R. Gilkinson was out on his boat off the coast of Newport Beach when suddenly, a baby sea lion hopped aboard.

    In a six-minute video shot on Gilkinson's cellphone, he records as the sea lion approaches his boat, climbs aboard, suns himself on the deck, and eventually settles next to him, nuzzling his face against Gilkinson's leg. He does not appear to be injured, but you can hear a woman in the background comment that the pup looked sleepy and tired. The baby sea lion stayed on board the boat for more than an hour, and it did not leave Gilkinson's side until the boat docked.

    Once Gilkinson returned to the shore, he talked about what had just happened to him with other sailors. They agreed with him that the encounter he had just experienced with the affectionate baby sea lion was indeed extremely rare. Gilkinson is not taking what happened to him lightly, saying, "I appreciated every second

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  • Soldier Surprises Kids During Their ‘Welcome Home’ Practice

    Being reunited with a loved one, particularly after that loved one has been deployed overseas, can be very emotional for all involved. Reunions with soldiers and their children are the kinds of scenes that make you want to grab a box of tissues and prepare for the gleeful encounter.

    Some families come up with ways so they can be prepared for the reunion, and even practice a welcome home ceremony before the soldier returns. That's what one family's kids thought they were doing recently. Just practicing.

    U.S. soldier Brandon Williams hid in the back of a pickup truck as his daughter and two sons practiced their welcome home greeting. The three were equipped with handmade signs and big smiles as they practiced, and a woman filmed them on her iPad. The garage door is let down, and then slowly let back up. A pickup truck in the driveway all along had Brandon in the flatbed, and he stands waiting for his kids to notice that he's home. Williams's daughter appears to know something her two

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  • Kid Getting His Dance on Keeps the Web Smiling

    There is no shortage of bad news to read in the newspapers or see on TV. Unfortunately, it's everywhere and permeates our existence whether or not we want it to, because it feels as if we can't escape it. Luckily, there is almost always some good news somewhere. So in honor of the weekend, and it being Friday and all, here's your good news story for the week.

    A video on YouTube titled, "Russian Kid at Club Can't Be Bothered," is bringing joy and delight to people on the Web. Even though the video was just posted to YouTube earlier this week, it is unclear when it was filmed judging by the attire of the young boy and people around him. The boy is decked out in his best club attire and sunglasses (yes, indoors and he's rocking it) as he dances to "The Swing Man," by Patrick Lindsey.

    People are unable to get enough of the little guy's sensational and confident dance skills. One commenter wrote, "I love the fact that it's unclear if this is the '90s or contemporary Russia." His video has

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  • Buying a new home is an adventure. Everyone has a wish list of what they want the home to have, from an open floor plan to granite countertops and stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, and a master bathroom with two sinks and a walk-in closet. One California couple who recently purchased a new home, got something with their home that they never would have dreamed of.

    Colleen and Chris Otcasek were aware that their Woodland Hills property had an unusual feature, a 1960s fallout shelter. But the Otcaseks did not expect that it would be fully stocked, and a perfectly livable and sustainable space, 15 feet below ground in their backyard. They were expecting just a hole in the ground.

    Once they descended the rusted ladder into the bunker, the Otcaseks found the following and more: water, clothing, medicine, tin foil, canned food, books, paper products, a lot of coffee tins—and enough room for four people. In all, the Otcaseks estimate there was enough food and supplies to last a few

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  • Protesting in Istanbul's Gezi's Park began May 28, and has become increasingly tense. But there has been one bright spot among the standoff between the police and the protesters: One hero, on the protesters' team, is of the four-legged variety.

    Protesters have started calling him "Sunglasses Motorcycle Dog" or "SMD." Why? Because he wears sunglasses as he balances his front paws on the shoulders of his human companion as they cruise around on a motorcycle. The pair has been seen riding around the streets of Istanbul among the protesters. Social media users have captured photos of the two — SMD, of course, is wearing very fashionable shades in almost every picture.

    So what caused the protesting? The government has plans to build a shopping mall on the land that is currently Gezi Park. Protesters want the park to stay the way it is, because it is one of the few remaining green spaces in Istanbul.

    SMD also reportedly dresses up in a Turkish soccer jersey and barks at people who are

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  • Valedictorian Rips Up Preapproved Speech, Recites Prayer Instead

    My high school graduation was so long ago (13 years to be exact) that I cannot recall one word that our valedictorian said in his speech. I'm sure some inspirational words were said, and we were told to go and make our way in the world. As well thought-out as the speech likely was, it did not become a news story.

    That's not the case with a valedictorian's speech at Liberty High School in Liberty, South Carolina. When Roy Costner IV approached the podium, he ripped up his preapproved speech. The crowd seemed a bit stunned, not knowing what to expect next. That's when Costner began reciting a prayer, the Lord's Prayer, word for word. Many students in the audience began applauding. The teachers and faculty members seated on the stage behind Costner did not visibly react.

    So why did Costner choose this time to say a prayer? The stunt was apparently in protest of the new decision made by the Pickens County School District to no longer include prayer at graduation ceremonies. As you can hear

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