Blog Posts by Melissa Knowles

  • NYC Storm Creates Social Media Flood

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    The storm that hit New York City yesterday brought with it a torrential downpour, large hailstones, and earth-shattering thunder and lightning. The unusual summer storm caused trees to fall, delayed planes all over the East Coast, and left commuters and tourists scrambling for canopy space as they walked the streets. On the bright side, the storm ended up becoming a great photo opportunity.

    Thousands of people uploaded storm images on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Flickr. Even former MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann shared one particularly dramatic photo of lightning striking what he identified as the Bloomberg building, noting that "no mayors were injured in the making of this photo." However, one of the most shared images was taken through an airplane window by former New York Giants linebacker Dhani Jones. He took the picture with Instagram and then uploaded it to Twitter.

    This

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  • Couple Meet in Real Life Five Years After Connecting on “Halo”

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    When most people look for love online, they turn to common dating websites such as eHarmony and Match.com, but one couple found unexpected love in a Halo chat room.

    Five years ago, in the virtual lobby of the game Halo 3, Cady Harris of Houston, Texas, met Will Jarman of Cleveland, Tennessee. Harris told ABC News that they played games for hours at a time and later friended each other on Facebook. The relationship progressed from there.

    At first, they communicated only through the game, but eventually the chatting moved to online dating. Harris said her parents were skeptical at first, but then her mom spoke with Jarman on the phone a couple of times and she really liked him.

    Harris says she and Jarman chatted for three years on Xbox, Myspace, Facebook, and Skype. When the two saw each other for the first time on Skype, their friendship quickly blossomed into romance. She wrote,

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  • Woman Hugs a Stranger Every Day for a Year

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    Everyone has those moments when you could just use a good hug. One North Carolina woman is doing something about it, and it may be starting a trend. Melinda Schmidt said she was feeling lonely after she relocated and missing the connection to her friends and family back in her small hometown. So Schmidt decided to try and bring some small-town kindness to Raleigh, resolving to hug at least one stranger every day. That's how 365 Days of Hugs was created.

    Schmidt tries to focus on people who seem as if they're having a bad day, or who just look like they might need a pick-me-up. She says she's seeing instant results as the stress disappears. "I feel like a millionaire giving away their riches to someone that really needs it." In a video produced by HooplaHa of Schmidt hugging strangers outside a store, one man exclaims, "Sure. I don't know why, but I will give you one, honey."

    To

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  • See What Really Happens When ‘That Gotye Song’ Comes On

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    About this time every summer, there's one song that's always on the radio. Before you know it, it's everywhere, and you just can't escape it. Gotye's 'Somebody That I Used to Know' is this year's catchy summer tune that people love to hate and hate to love. Ever since the song was released just five months ago, it has stayed at or near the top of the Billboard singles chart.

    Now there's a viral video of actors Nicholas Braun and Kyle Kaplan from the ABC sitcom '10 Things I Hate About You' displaying what happens when the song begins playing while they're in the car. At first, Braun and Kaplan act as if they want to change to another song, and then they act as if they are not sure how to do so. But then, the inevitable happens, the catchy hook starts to play and they can't help but to sing along. They criticize the song mercilessly, but as the song builds to its emotional crescendo,

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  • Incredible Video of Shark Stealing a Woman’s First Catch

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    In the Cherry Grove inlet near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Sarah Brame and her family got the surprise of a lifetime. As her fiancé, William Moore, filmed her catching her first fish, something unexpected happened. As Brame stands on a dock and begins reeling in a small red drum fish, a bull shark weighing at least 200 lb. leaps out of the water and takes the fish in midair.

    In the video, Brame and the men scream in shock "shark!" (along with a few expletives), as they try to take in what just happened. The rather sizable bull shark, which the anglers estimate to have been 4 to 6 feet long, leaves the group in shock. Brame told a local news station in Louisiana, "I was actually kind of scared because I seen it jump and I was, like, oh my gosh, it could jump up here and get me!"

    The video has gone viral on YouTube, amassing more than 1.5 million views since it was originally

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  • The First Image Ever Uploaded to the Internet

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    Every day millions of photos are uploaded to the Internet on countless blogs, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, etc. But have you ever wondered what the very first image upload looked like? Well look no further, because the tech site Motherboard has done the digging for you.

    In 1992, a picture of the parody band Les Horribles Cernettes, that was digitally altered in Photoshop, earned the distinction of becoming the first Web photo upload.So who are these ladies pictured in the image? The group of ladies were lab employees who worked for CERN, a research laboratory in Geneva where major discoveries have been made, including the project that started the World Wide Web, created by British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee.

    Berners-Lee was looking to test a Web system that could support photos and asked IT developer Silvano de Gennaro to provide an image. De Gennaro chose an edited image of

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  • Good Samaritan Returns $500 Found in Thrift Store Purchase

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    Finding hidden treasure is a surefire way to perk up your day. But what if your treasure could help out a total stranger, too? An Australian woman named Jan Hansch was setting her table with napkins she had purchased from a secondhand store when an envelope fell out of one of them. The envelope contained a pay stub from Target and $500 AUD (about $511 USD). The pay stub was from 1993 and addressed to M.D. Fife.

    Hansch decided to look for the rightful owner of the money. At first, she tried calling Target, but that was a dead-end. So she and her sister, Clare Fisher, searched the phone book and came across the name Margaret Dorothy Fife. When they called her, a surprised Fife confirmed that she had indeed worked for Target at that time.

    Fife was shocked that the money was returned to her some 19 years later and plans to use the unexpected funds to repair her broken heater. She

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  • Tightrope Walker Falls More Than 600 Feet and Survives

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    When you think of death-defying acts, tightrope walking is right up there with BASE-jumping and bungee jumping for most people. Most of the time, we hear only about the successful attempts, but the occasional fall also makes headlines.

    The current tightrope walking video that has people talking features famed Chinese acrobat Aisikaier attempting to walk a 2,200-foot wire stretched above a 650-foot deep ravine. But, Aisikaier was not successful in his attempt, because he slipped and fell.

    Aisikaier, who is a sixth-generation tightrope walker, attempted the feat while walking backward and blindfolded. Surprisingly, he suffered only minor injuries in the fall and is seen walking around after landing on the ground. He later said he fell because of the wind and from feeling faint before the walk.

    Aisikaier holds the Guinness world record for fastest tightrope walk over 325 feet.

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  • 32-Year-Old Filmmaker Interviews 12-Year-Old Self

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    Twenty years ago, 12-year-old Jeremiah McDonald made a video in which he had a conversation with his future self. Now 32 and a filmmaker, McDonald was able to complete the interview by seamlessly adding new footage to create a working dialogue.

    Throughout their conversation, the two Jeremiahs discuss childhood pets that are no longer around and action figures they once possessed. Toward the end, young Jeremiah asks current Jeremiah if he's still drawing. It's a touching moment that has him wondering why he gave up his dream of becoming an illustrator to pursue filmmaking.

    The video is a YouTube hit, accumulating more than a million views since being posted a day ago. Reaction is leaning toward the positive, with one person calling the interview "absolutely brilliant."

    However, because the piece seems so well orchestrated, some viewers are questioning its authenticity. In response,

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  • San Diego’s ‘Big Bay Boom’ Fireworks Display Goes Bust

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    Independence Day celebrations are known for packing a punch when it comes to fireworks displays. People show up in droves at local parks to see colorful and magnificent pyrotechnics that usually last for several minutes. That was not the case in San Diego this Fourth of July.

    What was meant to be an 18-minute show lasted only about 15 seconds when a technical glitch caused every single firework to ignite at once. The crowd of thousands of onlookers at the show, which is one of the biggest in the country, was shocked as people figured out something must have gone wrong. Videos uploaded to YouTube were accompanied by audio of bewildered revelers, with one person saying, "Is that supposed to happen?"

    People also expressed their frustration and confusion on social media. One tweet summed up the disappointment many felt: "I waited 3 hours in the cold and paid $12 for parking and got one

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