A young man in Massachusetts enjoyed an extra-special 21st birthday after he found out that his first legal beer was purchased by his late father, who died several years ago.
Matt Goodman was only 15 years only when his father passed away after succumbing to cancer, reports Boston 25. Prior to passing, however, Matt’s dad passed along a $10 bill, and instructed her to save the money for Matt’s 21st birthday so that he could buy his son his first mug of beer.
Matt shared the touching milestone on Twitter last Sunday, after he took the $10 bill to a bar in Attleboro so that he could buy a Bud Light.
“Almost 6 years ago before my dad passed he gave my sister this 10$ bill to give to me on my 21st birthday so he could buy me my first beer, cheers pops havin this one for you!” he wrote.
For Matt’s father, the knowledge that his life would end was made more painful by the fact that he knew he would miss such important moments in his children’s life, said Matt’s sister, Casey Goodman.
“I know the hardest thing for my dad was the things he was going to miss out on,” Casey said. “Anyone who knew my dad knew he was this goofy, larger-than-life of-the-party guy, and my little brother was his entire world.”
So when the father passed the $10 bill to Matt’s mother and sister, they knew that they should hold onto it until the time was right.
They finally handed him the envelope containing the cash the night before his birthday – a move that initially confused the birthday boy until Casey tipped him off to its purpose.
“She kind of explained the backstory and everything and then it turned into a pretty emotional moment and started crying,” Matt told CBS News.
The moment stirred such strong feelings because beyond sharing the typical father-son bond, the two were always spending their free time fishing, riding quads, or playing washer toss with each other.
“Me and him were just like best friends,” Matt said. “Anytime we would hang out, it was just like having fun.”
Since posting the tweet, it has since gone viral and been liked over 540,000 times.
The tweet eventually captured the attention of Budweiser, which decided to make the most of the opportunity for free advertising.
The brewery giant responded directly to Matt’s tweet and wrote, “We’re raising one to your pops, Matt. He got your first beer and the next one’s on us.”
Matt later tweeted that Budweiser had sent Matt several cases of beer, free of charge.
The story also resonated with Twitter users who also had stories about the grief and pain of losing a loved one. Users also asked how they, too, could chip in to buy the 21-year-old a fresh cold one.
However, instead of accepting the money, Matt thanked them for the support and encouraged people to instead donate to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, who had helped his father.
“Appreciate all of you asking for my venmo, but instead if you wanted to send money feel free to donate any amount to dana farber they did a lot for my dad so that would be much appreciated!” he tweeted.
After Strong Backlash, NYPD Kicks Robotic Dog “Spot” to the Curb
The New York City Police Department decided this week to stop leasing a robotic dog from Boston Dynamics following a sustained outcry from residents and lawmakers, who denounced the use of the high-tech, four-legged device in low-income neighborhoods as a misallocation of public resources and violation of civil liberties.
When the NYPD acquired the K-9 machine last August, officials portrayed “Digidog”—the department’s name for the camera-equipped, 70-pound robot—as “a futuristic tool that could go places that were too dangerous to send officers,” the New York Times reported earlier this week.
Inspector Frank Digiacomo of the department’s Technical Assistance Response Unit said in a television interview in December: “This dog is going to save lives. It’s going to protect people. It’s going to protect officers.”
Instead—thanks to strong backlash from critics, including people who live in the Bronx apartment complex and the Manhattan public housing building where the robotic dog was deployed in recent weeks—the department is returning “Spot,” as Boston Dynamics calls the device, months earlier than expected.
According to the Times:
In response to a subpoena from City Councilman Ben Kallos and Council Speaker Corey Johnson requesting records related to the device, police officials said that a contract worth roughly $94,000 to lease the robotic dog from its maker, Boston Dynamics, had been terminated on April 22.
John Miller, the police department’s deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, confirmed on Wednesday that the contract had been canceled and that the dog had been returned to Boston Dynamics or would be soon.
Miller told the Times that the police had initially planned to continue testing the K-9 machine’s capabilities until August, when the lease had been scheduled to end.
“Robotic surveillance ground drones are being deployed for testing on low-income communities of color with under-resourced schools,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted in response. “Please ask yourself: when was the last time you saw next-generation, world class technology for education, healthcare, housing, etc. consistently prioritized for underserved communities like this?”
And earlier this month, as Common Dreams reported, footage of the robotic dog walking through a Manhattan public housing building went viral, sparking additional outrage and prompting a city council investigation.
“Why the hell do we need robot police dogs?” Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) asked at the time.
While there are “people living in poverty, struggling to put food on the table, keep a roof over their head, take care of their kids, afford child care—all this going on, and now we got damn robot police dogs walking down the street,” Bowman lamented.
Bill Neidhardt, a spokesperson for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who urged the police department to reconsider its use of the robot following objections from residents and lawmakers, said he was “glad the Digidog was put down.”
“It’s creepy, alienating, and sends the wrong message to New Yorkers,” Neidhardt said.
Republished from CommonDreams.org under Creative Commons
Cliffhanger: Mountain Biker Saved From “Imminent Death” After Falling Into Canyon
A Southern California mountain biker is likely counting his blessings after he was rescued from what authorities describe as “imminent death”” after falling from the side of a cliff in the Angeles National Forest.
The mountain biker, described as an older man, fell into the canyon at Mt. Wilson on Thursday morning and was dangling hundreds of feet above the ground before his fellow bikers, and eventually a special team from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, rescued him.
For some time the man dangled by a thin cord around his ankle that was tied to his bicycle while hanging on for dear life “like a cat,” Capt. Tom Giandomenico of the LASD special enforcement bureau told the Los Angeles Times.
“He knew he was in such a precarious situation. He was just scared to even rotate his head to look at us. He just didn’t want to move a muscle,” LASD Deputy Richard Thomsen told CBSLA.
Additionally, when the helicopter team arrived it wasn’t just a matter of simply hoisting the man to safety, as the air generated by the helicopter’s rotor would have sent the man plummeting to “imminent death,” Giandomenico added.
“Because he was head-down on the rock face there, that dropped probably a good 40 feet before it hit some soft dirt and a boulder,” Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Helbring said. “And beyond that was hundreds of feet down to the bottom of the canyon.”
Instead, one of the members of the special enforcement team composed of former SWAT officers devised a plan to rappel down to the man and move him to a ledge below, from which the two could be airlifted to safety.
However, due to a lack of boulders or trees, there was nothing to tie a rope to – and thus no way to rappel down to anything.
So instead, the special enforcement team used the man’s brother and another friend to be their anchor, a plan that ultimately succeeded.
Giandomenico called the rescue “one of the more significant, courageous maneuvers I’ve seen.”
“Heroic, in my opinion,” he added.
Rare Creature Photographed Alive In The Wild For The First Time Ever
Advances in the methods used by researchers to watch wildlife have allowed for the photographing of a rare creature whose image had never been captured in the wild before.
Researchers in the West African nation of Togo were able to spot the rare Walter’s duiker, a rare species of petite African antelope, for the first time in the wild thanks to camera traps equipped with motion sensors.
In addition to the Walter’s duiker, the camera traps were also able to discover rare species of aardvarks and a mongoose, reports Gizmodo.
At a time when the extinction of entire species is becoming more common worldwide, such devices should help conservationists not only preserve creatures sought by bushmeat hunters but also spot rare animals whose presence is elusive for human observers. In the past, biologists were forced to rely on the same hunters for information.
“Camera traps are a game changer when it comes to biodiversity survey fieldwork,” said University of Oxford wildlife biologist Neil D’Cruze.
“I’ve spent weeks roughing it in tropical forests seemingly devoid of any large mammal species,” D’Cruze continued. “Yet when you fire up the laptop and stick in the memory card from camera traps that have been sitting there patiently during the entire trip—and see species that were there with you the entire time —it’s like being given a glimpse into a parallel world.”
The Walter’s duiker was discovered in 2010 when specimens of bushmeat were compared to other duiker specimens. The new images of the creature are the first to have been seen.
Rare species like Walter’s duiker are often not listed as “endangered” by groups like the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to a lack of data.