Blog Posts by Melissa Knowles

  • TSA Under Fire for Mistreatment of 7-Year-Old Girl With Cerebral Palsy

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    The Transportation Security Administration is under scrutiny for its treatment of a 7-year-old girl with cerebral palsy. When Dina Frank traveled through New York's JFK International Airport with her parents, she and her family were pulled out of line as they tried to board their plane.

    The airport's TSA agents and the Franks are in dispute over how the family was treated at security after Dina endured what the Franks referred to as an "exceptionally aggressive screening." Dina walks with the aid of metal crutches and leg braces, so she can't go through a traditional metal detector and has to be manually patted down. Dina's parents say that she is developmentally disabled and often gets frightened by the procedure, so they often request that TSA agents introduce themselves before screening Dina.

    Her father, Dr. Joshua Frank, began taping the screening with his iPhone, but said

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  • 100-Year-Old Images of NYC Available Online for the First Time

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    It's hard to imagine what New York City looked like a century ago. Now you don't have to. Thanks to the work of NYC's Department of Records, relying on movies and history books to see what 'the city so nice they named it twice' was like in the early 1900s is a thing of the past. More than 800,000 images released by the Municipal Archives have been made available for the public to view on the Internet for the first time.

    It took four years to digitize all 870,000 of the pictures, which were taken mostly by municipal workers. They depict many aspects of the city -- from cobblestone streets being constructed to baseball legend Babe Ruth in the Polo Grounds stands, notorious mobster Charles "Lucky" Luciano's booking photo, and even crime scenes.

    On social media, people are calling the images gritty and real. One person tweeted his plans to view every single photo, joking, "bye bye

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  • Canadian Man Reveals Secret Illegal Treehouse on Private Royal Property

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    As a kid, so many of us dreamed of having a tree house. If it got built, usually it was in our parents' backyard, and it was a novice approach at a makeshift private space. Well a grown man in Canada has turned his tree house dream into a reality.

    For about a year, Joel Allen has been living in a 200-square-foot egg-shaped tree house he built in the highly exclusive and expensive Whistler Woods of Canada. The property is owned by the queen of England herself. Allen, a computer technician turned carpenter, without permission or the money to do so, searched for the perfect tree to build his creation. It just so happened to be a hemlock tree on crown land. So Allen has dubbed his illegal dwelling HemLoft.

    HemLoft is surrounded by million-dollar homes. Ironically, HemLoft was built by Allen using mostly materials he found for free on Craig's List. After keeping the existence of the

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  • Amazing Time-Lapse Video Shows Girl Grow From Baby to Pre-Teen

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    A time-lapse video of a girl growing from an infant into a 12-year-old has people talking all over the Web. Frans Hofmeester shot weekly videos of his daughter, Lotte, and combined them to show how she changes over the years in a video called 'Portrait of Lotte.' The video was voted up on the social news sharing site Reddit.

    First posted on April 17, 'Portrait of Lotte' has been viewed more than 784,000 times, with people complimenting Hofmeester for taking the time to document his daughter's growth. He even captured the loss of Lotte's two front teeth, and people have been sharing their own stories of the childhood milestone. Lotte's hair, mood, and personality change as she blossoms right in front of the camera.

    Hofmeester has written that he is "totally overwhelmed" by the number of views his video is receiving and that it "makes [him] very happy."

    A filmmaker and an artist who

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  • William Shatner Keeps Promise & Takes 1 Millionth Twitter Follower to Dinner

    Who's your dream celebrity dinner date? If you're a Trekkie, it might be William Shatner. For one lucky fan in South Carolina, his dream became a reality. Shatner had promised the Twitterverse that once he accumulated 1 million followers, he would take the 1 millionth follower to dinner. So that's exactly what he did.

    Tuesday night, Shatner performed his one-man show in Charlotte, North Carolina, and then met up with Troy Pound and his wife, Wendy, to treat them to dinner. Shatner posted a video of the three of them enjoying their meal together.

    As for Pound, he could not wait to share the news of his celebrity connection. Pound tweeted, "Still in awe of last night's dinner...what a wonderful time we had...thank you. #humbled"

    Shatner was not the first celebrity to use Twitter to invite his followers to a special encounter. In March, NFL wide receiver Chad Ochocinco tweeted that he would pay for dinner for the first 200 people to arrive to Sylvia's Restaurant in Harlem. He tweeted,

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  • Critics Cry Nepotism Over HBO’s ‘Girls’

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    Cable giant HBO just launched what it hopes will be the network's next hit show. "Girls" premiered to decent ratings, and there's been plenty of buzz about the show, but it's not necessarily for the reasons that show creators were hoping for. Someone on Tumblr took the original promotional poster for the show, reimagined it, and relabeled it "Nepotism." Why? Well, as it turns out, all four of the main characters on the show are daughters of famous people.

    Here's the breakdown of each girl's famous connection. "Girls" creator and lead actress Lena Dunham is the daughter of artist Laurie Simmons. Zosia Mamet is the daughter of playwright David Mamet. Allison Williams is the daughter of NBC "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams. Jemima Kirke is the daughter of drummer Simon Kirke of the band Bad Company.

    The image is being shared all over social media, with people calling foul and

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  • New Dating Trend Matches Singles Based on Smell

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    The newest trend in matchmaking has little to do with physical attraction. People are being paired based on the way they smell. Skeptical? Well, you might want to try attending a pheromone party. Pheromones are chemicals secreted by the body's glands, and they influence the mood and behavior in others of the same species.

    Twenty-five-year-old Judith Prays, an Atlanta-based artist, created the idea of pheromone parties to help people find love. Prays said, "It's about romance. Intellectual connection is not always the most important thing in a relationship."

    Here's how it works: Singles attending the bash are instructed to sleep in the same T-shirt for three nights, and then store it in a plastic bag in the freezer to maintain the scent. Then, participants bring their shirt in the bag to the meet-up. The bags are marked with numbers and labeled pink for women and blue for men.

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  • Loyal Labrador Braves Traffic to Wait by Friend’s Side

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    Time and again, dogs have proved that "man's best friend" is more than just an expression. A black Labrador retriever named Grace is exemplifying that in an entirely new way and being hailed as more than just good companion. She is being called a loyal friend to the end and beyond. A motorist in La Puente, California, captured video of Grace lying down next to her friend, a yellow Labrador retriever who had been struck and injured by another vehicle.

    Grace lies patiently next to the other dog as cars whiz by dangerously close to the lane she and her companion are positioned in. She does not seem bothered by the noise or the busy street as she stays by her companion's side. The motorist who shot the video put out safety cones to protect the dogs and then called animal control.

    So far, the video has been viewed almost 200,000 times on YouTube. Unfortunately, Grace's companion did

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  • Twitter Backlash for People Who Did Not Know ‘Titanic’ Was Real

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    The social news-sharing site Reddit has a knack for exposing people and situations. The latest topic of discussion to generate controversy is a series of tweets from people who did not know that the sinking of the Titanic was a real historical event.

    Apparently, an entire generation of people associate "Titanic" with the Hollywood blockbuster starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Here is the disambiguation for you. The RMS Titanic sank April 15, 1912, after hitting an iceberg. The tragedy is considered one of the deadliest of peacetime maritime disasters. More than 1,500 people died.

    "Titanic" the film was released December 19, 1997, and was an instant success. It became the highest-grossing film of all time for 12 years, until "Avatar" debuted in 2009.

    For all the history buffs reading this, the next couple of sentences may be too painful to contemplate. A couple of the

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  • Video of Music Memory Reviving Nursing Home Resident Goes Viral

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    Listening to music can have a profound effect on the human brain. In "Alive Inside," a documentary produced by Ximotion Media, producers follow social worker Yvonne Russell's attempt to reinvigorate nursing home patients with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. A clip of the YouTube video has gone viral, and it is pulling at people's heartstrings.

    Nursing home resident Henry is given an iPod loaded with popular music from his younger days, including some of his favorite songs. Henry, who once sat hunched over and barely spoke, lights up with life and expression as he sings along and bobs his head to the music. The normally unresponsive man is now animated and wants to converse about the music he just listened to.

    Neurologist Oliver Sacks, who makes an appearance in the video, says that "music evokes emotion, and emotion can bring with it memory and brings back the feeling of life

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Pagination

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