The Sideshow
  • Jennifer Vasilakos (Jennifer Vasilakos)

    A woman who helped a lost man ended up with a surprise $20,000 gift.

    That's what happened last month when Jennifer Vasilakos guided Ty Warner when he stopped and asked for driving directions in Santa Barbara, Calif.

    While Warner didn't know exactly how to get to where he was going, Vasilakos didn't realize who she was helping.

    Warner is the billionaire founder of Ty Inc., the Beanie Baby company.

    Vasilakos was at the intersection trying to raise $20,000 for a stem cell procedure she needs to help save her life because she suffers from kidney failure and does not qualify for a transplant.

    She describes their encounter in her blog:

    I often get asked by random strangers for directions.  Not one to miss an opportunity, I handed him my flyer and he made a fifty dollar donation.  As he drove off, I thought that was the end of our encounter... He'd returned after an hour or so.  Rolling down his window, he reached out his hand and introduced himself.  I immediately recognized his name. 

    Read More »from Billionaire Ty Warner gives woman $20,000 for her cause after asking her for directions
  • Curiosity rover landing: This time in HD

    You've seen the $2.5 billion Mars rover Curiosity flawlessly land on the Red Planet. But you haven't seen it like this.

    Folks, this is not your grandparent's moon landing video. Grainy, it's not. Instead, we've got full-resolution images, courtesy of the Mars descent imager that cataloged the landing from the jettison of the heat shield until touchdown.

    It's the geek equivalent of a victory lap. The  high-resolution images from NASA form this unofficial video made by visual effects producer Daniel Luke Fitch of the rover's landing. The highlight reel of high-definition images has captured the public's attention, with more than 500,000 views online so far.

    And viewers just can't get enough of Mars madness, from their marriage proposals to NASA's Mohawk guy to their following Curiosity on Twitter.

    In the hi-res video, the supersharp images show first the heat shield being jettisoned. Then Curiosity hovers over the planet, and you get a window seat as the surface of Mars grows larger as

    Read More »from Curiosity rover landing: This time in HD
  • The Saxton family spent six days at SLC Airport before getting a flight home (ABC News 4)A Virginia family spent six days stranded at Salt Lake City International Airport before a generous donor purchased them a flight back home.

    "We just sit and walk around and wait for our flights," Curtis Saxton told local affiliate ABC 4. "We've been here for every flight, rolled over for every flight," said Saxton. "We're still at the bottom of that list."

    Curtis Saxton and his wife Nicole Bennett, along with their 13-year-old daughter Sadee and 4-year-old son Dominic, had used a relative's buddy pass, to fly from Virginia to Utah.

    Buddy passes are technically lower-end version of standby flights, meaning that the Saxtons were forced to wait until all passengers, including regular standby requests, had been seated.

    And with so many Americans traveling on summer vacations, there just weren't any seats available on their return JetBlue flight. So the family was stuck at SLC Airport from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21.

    Even worse, they were forced to sleep on airport benches and because of

    Read More »from Family of four stranded at airport for six days (VIDEO)


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  • Motor racing-Hamilton hot favourite for triple triumph

    By Alan Baldwin LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton starts the Formula One season as red-hot favourite to become a triple world champion but Niki Lauda, who knows how that feels, fears the battle could be tougher than ever. The Briton won 11 races to Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg's five last year, with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo taking the other three, and heads for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 15 with every reason to be confident.

  • Pellegrini throws down gauntlet to Man City skipper Kompany
    Pellegrini throws down gauntlet to Man City skipper Kompany

    Manuel Pellegrini has warned his club captain Vincent Kompany that he is not assured of regaining his place in Manchester City's starting line-up after he was left out of his side's 2-0 victory over Leicester at the Etihad Stadium. The Belgian World Cup central defender was the most high-profile victim of sweeping changes made by Pellegrini in the wake of successive and costly defeats to Barcelona and Liverpool. Kompany's poor form cost him his place for a victory that City laboured to record, through goals late in each half from David Silva and James Milner, and Pellegrini insisted that the defender is not assured of returning in City's next game, at Burnley, in 10 days. "It was the same reason with Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, Fernandinho, Samir Nasri, Edin Dzeko - it was important today to refresh the team, mentally and physically, after two difficult games when we didn't have the results we wanted," said Pellegrini.

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