Blog Posts by Melissa Knowles

  • Boy Survives Alligator Attack with Help of Good Samaritan

    When you're a kid, getting a day off from school is so exciting. If you're lucky, you get to sleep in a bit, watch cartoons, and play video games. It's basically a day of leisure and fun. Unfortunately, that was not the case for one little boy in Florida.

    As 6-year-old Joey Welch and his dad were preparing for a canoe trip in Boynton Beach, Joey stumbled into shallow water, where an 8-foot-long, 200-pound alligator quickly clamped down on his arm.

    Joey's father, Joseph, sprang into action, jumping into the water and doing whatever he could to free his son from the jaws of the gator, including punching it on top of its head. He told reporters, "I didn't want to play tug-of-war with the alligator because I didn't want [Joey] to get his arm ripped out."

    Joseph screamed for help, and a good Samaritan rushed into the water to help combat the alligator and save little Joey. The man kicked the gator while they tried to free the boy.

    Joey was rushed to Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale.

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  • Bride Flees Wedding to Report on Aftermath of Earthquake

    Women in the process of planning their wedding usually go to great lengths to ensure that the day they exchange vows goes off without a hitch, but sometime, certain elements are out of their control. One thing that most women do not have to deal with is going to work on their wedding day, but that did not stop Chen Ying, a reporter for a local television station in Ya’an, China, when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck her city on Saturday.

    Without even changing out of her wedding gown, Ying grabbed a microphone, got in front of a camera, and began reporting about the aftermath of the natural disaster. So far, it is being reported that 157 people died and more than 5,000 were injured in the quake.

    Ying interviewed locals in the surrounding area for about ten minutes, then returned to her wedding. But like a true professional, she felt her work was not done, so she returned to the aftermath once more.

    An image of Ying taken while she covered the earthquake in her wedding dress went viral

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  • Photos Bring Imagination of Boy With Muscular Dystrophy to Life

    Luka is a creative 12-year-old boy who has muscular dystrophy, a degenerative disease that confines him to a wheelchair. Though Luka has the use of his hands and can operate his wheelchair and write in his notebook, he would love to be like an average boy his age who does not have his ailment.

    One day, Luka confided in his friend, photographer Matej Peljhan, that he wished he could be featured in some of Peljhan's photographs doing activities that he could never do because of his condition. So Peljhan came up with a plan to do just that.

    The result is a series of photographs titled, "Le Petit Prince," or The Little Prince. The photos have an overhead perspective that makes it look as if Luka is engaging in a host of fun activities. In one picture, Luka appears to be riding a skateboard; in another, he's playing basketball. There's even a picture of Luka deep-sea fishing, for socks, with fins on his feet.

    Peljhan did not digitally alter any of the photos. Instead, he placed sheets and

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  • Women Are Own Worst Critics in Revealing Dove “Real Beauty” Ad

    Dove has generated a lot of media attention over the years with its "Real Beauty" campaign highlighting the natural beauty of everyday women instead of focusing on superskinny, airbrushed models. After all, such models are not a realistic expression of what the majority of women in America look like.

    Dove's newest ad, "Dove Real Beauty Sketches," released Monday, follows suit, showcasing real women and their perception of themselves. This latest ad features San Jose, California Police Department sketch artist Gil Zamora. Zamora, an FBI-trained forensic sketch artist, has each woman sit down on the opposite side of a curtain from him. He is unable to see what she looks like, and she is unable to see him, too. Zamora asks each woman to describe the physical appearance of her face, hair, and prominent features to him in detail, as he sketches away.

    Then Zamora has strangers, who have only met the women briefly, describe the details of the woman they encountered. At the end of the video,

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  • Trippy Video Morphs Woman’s Face Using Light

    Makeup artists can virtually transform the shape of someone's face with the correct colors, contouring, and highlighting. However, it's not just the stroke of a well-designed makeup brush or sponge that helps apply the subtle changes. It's the lighting.

    A new video from the electronic music group Opale shows the striking changes that can happen to shape of a face when only the lighting is changed.

    In the somewhat trippy video, which is a teaser for the French group's upcoming album "Sparkles and Wine," filmmaker Nacho Guzman uses colored LED and string lights like those you might put on a Christmas tree or along on the side of a house. The colorful lights shift and move and make it seem as if the actress in the video, Stella Stocker, is having a metamorphosis in front of our very eyes.

    Due to the lack of a substantial budget, Guzman actually enlisted the construction crew from the BBC show "Downton Abbey" to build a wooden wheel that held the lights. The video is a tribute to French

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  • Man Creates Frozen Waterfall on Side of Building After Leaving Tap Running

    A man in Jilin City, China, has shown the world what can happen if you leave the water running too long. Wen Hsu has lived on the seventh floor of his apartment building for 35 years, and when developers moved into the area seeking to tear down the building and turn the area into a shopping center, he was the only tenant who held out on selling.

    Hsu, who is 58 years old, would not budge, because he said the developers were not offering him enough money to allow him to get another place. Because he was the sole remaining person in the building, and cold temperatures were fast approaching, he feared that with no one else living in the building, running their water or heating devices, the uninsulated pipes might freeze, and then he would be left without running water. Hsu came up with a way that he hoped would keep the pipes in the building from freezing.

    He diverted a stream of warm water to run down the side of the structure, unintentionally creating a frozen waterfall. Hsu said of the

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  • The first of two publicly identified victims who died due to injuries from the Boston Marathon explosions is 8-year-old Martin Richard of Dorchester, Mass. Martin was attending the race with his family: his mother, Denise; 6-year-old sister, Jane; his father, Bill; and his older brother, whose name has not been released.

    Denise and Jane were severely injured in the blasts, and Bill sustained wounds in his legs from fragments. Martin's older brother did not incur serious injuries.

    Holly Bailey, a senior reporter for Yahoo! News, is in Boston covering the bombings and their aftermath, and she spoke with us this morning on "Trending Now." Bailey told us that Massachusetts Rep. Stephen Lynch has been friends with the Richard family for 25 years, and he told Yahoo! News that dad Bill had run the marathon in previous years but had taken the family just to watch this time around.

    The Richards went to get ice cream and then came back to watch the runners along Boylston Street. That's when the

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  • After the explosions occurred at the Boston Marathon, many people turned to Facebook and Twitter as the first sources to share and find information on the tragedy. In the aftermath of the deadly bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 140 others (some critically), people are turning to YouTube and Reddit to share their eyewitness accounts of what happened during the race, and in the chaos that followed the bombings.

    Here is a video posted to YouTube by runner Jennifer Treacy. This video is from the perspective of an actual marathoner who is running in the race. She is approaching the finish line when suddenly an explosion occurs several yards away from her.

    In another YouTube video posted by a spectator, someone is holding the camera among a group of people who are gathered outside a Walgreens store. You hear a woman yell, "Something just blew up!" Suddenly, the second bomb goes off. You hear screaming and a person yells, "Run!" That video, titled "Second Explosion --

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  • Social Media Reaction to Boston Marathon Explosions

    The Boston Marathon became the scene of a crime today. Starting at approximately 2:50 p.m., two bombs went off within seconds of each other and caused numerous critical injuries and at least two deaths. CNN reported that at least 132 people were injured.

    People immediately took to social media to share what they were seeing as eyewitnesses and to alert the world to what was happening. A Vine video from user "Doug" of one of the explosions going off recorded from live television was being retweeted and shared multiple times.

    Boston Globe reporter David Abel tweeted from the scene, "Fine. Reporting. I was 10 feet from the explosion. Shaken up. But not a scratch. Worst thing I ever saw." A video uploaded by YouTube user "FatalitySnow" shows a group of people standing around just as the second bomb goes off.

    Other eyewitnesses reported feeling the ground shake during the explosions and seeing lots of blood, smelling smoke and seeing people with missing limbs.

    Tents that were originally set

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  • Game Developer Creates App Inspired By His Young Daughters

    When it comes to keeping children happy and entertained, there's almost no limit to what some parents will do. Doug Smith, a game developer and father of two young daughters, is no exception.

    Smith started creating a new iOS video game, and he decided to make it just how he thought his 1-year-old and 3-year-old daughters would like it.

    In a posting to Reddit, Smith explained that he wanted to create the game, ChuggaBugga so that both of his daughters would be able to play it. The idea for the theme of the game came from Smith's 3-year-old, who loves both trains and bugs. She even sketched her ideas of what the bugs for the game's characters should look like.

    ChuggaBugga is now available to purchase in the iTunes App store. Smith said, "It was a blast to make this game, and [he hopes] it puts smiles on little faces everywhere." Smith may be on to something, because some commenters on iTunes are praising the game. One person wrote, "This app was the best one I have purchased for my

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