The Upbeat Everyday Acts
  • Buttercup the duck (photo: Facebook)Buttercup the duck (Facebook)

    A disabled duck is getting a new foot to help it walk and swim again, and his fans on Facebook are cheering him on.

    The duck, Buttercup, was born with a backward foot. A veterinarian advised Mike Garey of Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary, Buttercup's home, that the duck should have his foot amputated.

    Buttercup has since healed from the amputation, but Garey wanted to give the duck as normal a life as possible. Buttercup's Facebook page explains that Garey reached out to 3-D printing company NovaCopy, which offered to donate its services to help design a new foot for Buttercup.

    Constructing a new foot for Buttercup (Photo: Facebook)Constructing a new foot for Buttercup (Facebook)

    Garey photographed Buttercup's stump as well as the foot of one of Buttercup's relatives. NovaCopy then constructed an artificial foot that's flexible, just like the real thing.

    CNET explains the foot will be attached to Buttercup with a silicone sheath. "This version will have a stretchy silicone sock instead of the finger trap, which will roll up on his leg, be inserted into the foot and then have a

    Read More »from Disabled duck getting 3-D printed foot
  • Pro Surfer Israel Paskowitz Uses His Unique Expertise to Help Autistic Children

    It was a summer day in 1969 on Tourmaline Canyon Beach in San Diego, when Israel “Izzy” Paskowitz fell in love with surfing. He was 6 when his father, legendary surfer Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, took him out to ride together on his board. “I will never forget that wave,” says Izzy, “it was my kick off into the tribe.” Considered the first family of surfing, Izzy is the fourth of nine children of Doc and Juliette. They lived a nomadic life in a 24-foot camper and traveled the country for roughly 23 years.

    By the time of Izzy’s first surfing experience, Doc, a Stanford graduate and a doctor, had left his career to fulfill his love of travel, family and surfing. Doc believed true wisdom did not come from formal education but from life experience and surfing. The family’s journey is the subject of the acclaimed documentary film, "Surfwise."

    Izzy naturally became a pro surfer. In 1983 he beat legends of the sport

    Read More »from Watch how a pro surfer inspires autistic kids to smile
  • An airplane flies in front of the moon (Gary Hershorn/Reuters)An airplane flies in front of the moon (Gary Hershorn/Reuters)

    Airlines don't have the best reputation these days, what with the ever-shrinking seats and ever-rising baggage fees. But one Delta passenger couldn't be happier, thanks to a magnanimous act from the company's CEO.

    According to Good Morning America, "weather and other issues had delayed Jessie Frank's flight from Washington, D.C., to Atlanta all day long. She was No. 8 on a standby list that showed no more open seats." Suddenly, she was ushered onto the plane and shown to her seat by a courtly man.

    Frank, who was on her way to pick up her daughter at a summer camp for children with diabetes, was unaware that the man who gave up his seat and helped her into it was none other than Richard Anderson, the big boss of the entire airline. That is, until she landed in Atlanta, where, according to GMA, a "special guest"—the man who had helped her and who had sat on a jump seat throughout the flight—was introduced.

    After learning of the CEO's kind gesture, Frank penned an open letter to the Delta

    Read More »from Delta CEO gives up seat for random flier
  • Mij in action (photo: Caters News)Mij in action (Caters News)

    For years, Mij was known as the U.K.'s real-life Lassie. The rescue dog saved more lives that any other pooch. Now, after seven years on the job, the 10-year-old collie is calling it a day, according to a report from the Daily Mail.

    Mij and owner, Iain Nicholson (Caters News)Mij and owner, Iain Nicholson (Caters News)

    During her career, Mij led more than 200 search and rescue missions. She also contributed to the rescues of 14 people the authorities had been looking for. Owner Iain Nicholson spoke with the Daily Mail about what may have been Mij's finest hour.

    An elderly woman had been missing for 24 hours when Mij was called in. A team of 100 volunteers had been unable to find the woman. Mij sniffed a piece of the missing woman's clothing and then, within 10 minutes, the collie had found the woman, who had taken a tumble into some wild bushes.

    Nicholson said Mij's rescue helped to cement her reputation throughout the U.K. "The woman Mij saved would never have been found but thanks to her she was rushed to hospital and made a full recovery," he told the Daily Mail.

    Nicholson with Mij as a puppy (Caters News)Nicholson with Mij as a puppy (Caters News)

    As a pup,

    Read More »from UK’s ‘real-life Lassie’ retires after years of saving lives
  • A doctor who is on-call throughout the developing world!

    When Benjamin LaBrot was in second grade in Southern California, he told his class that when he grew up he wanted to be two things: a doctor and a marine biologist. His teacher told him he had to choose one, but he was determined to combine his love of the ocean with his desire to help people.

    He started achieving his goals in junior high school, when he worked on sport and commercial fishing boats and the Marine Science Floating Laboratory vessel as a research diver. This led him to become certified as an emergency medical technician and a scuba dive buddy for divers with paraplegia, quadriplegia or blindness.

    Throughout his schooling, he and his peers went on personal medical missions all over the developing world. After college he moved to Ireland and joined the global medicine program at the Royal College of Surgeons.

    It was on one particular mission to Tanzania in 2006 that he truly found his calling. With a backpack full

    Read More »from How a trip to Africa changed one doctor forever


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