TIME Appreciation

This 5-Year-Old Girl Saved Her Mother and Baby Brother’s Lives After a Crash

A brave girl takes action

Several weeks after a serious car crash, 5-year-old Lexi Shymanski from British Columbia is being celebrated for saving the lives of her mother and baby brother.

Lexi’s mother, Angela Shymanski, lost control of her car on June 8 after falling asleep at the wheel on the way home from a family vacation near Calgary in Canada with Lexi and now 4-month old Peter. The car fell over a steep, 40-ft. embankment, knocking the mother unconscious, according to Metro News.

The little girl unclipped the five-point harness on her car seat and climbed barefoot up the embankment and flagged down a driver to help.

“It’s crazy,” Shymanski told Metro. “I only can remember one or two times where she got out of her five-point harness previously. She somehow got out, adrenaline or whatever, and barefoot hiked up the embankment.”

The mother suffered a broken back and the baby a serious brain bleed, but they are in recovery. The daughter is credited with saving their lives.

[Metro News]

TIME Appreciation

A Waitress’ Small Act of Kindness Brought Tears to This Firefighter’s Eyes

"I started tearing up and it made me feel good – us firefighters are wanted, people care about us"

After a long night on the job, the only thing a New Jersey firefighter expected when he stopped at Route 130 diner in Delran on Thursday was a good meal.

While enjoying his breakfast, firefighter Paul Hullings of the Hainesport Fire Department started talking to his waitress, Liz Woodward.

While she heard him speak about the details of his day – putting out a massive fire that broke out in a North Brunswick, New Jersey, warehouse Wednesday morning – she decided to pick up his $15 tab, according to WPVI-TV.

On the back of the check she wrote, “Your breakfast is on me today – Thank you for all that you do; for serving others & for running into the places everyone else runs away from. No matter your role, you are courageous, brave, and strong … Thank you for being bold and badass everyday! Fueled by fire and driven by courage – what an example you are. Get some rest.”

Hullings was taken aback by the kind act.

“I started tearing up and it made me feel good – us firefighters are wanted, people care about us,” he told the news outlet.

His colleague, Tim Young of the Mount Holly Fire Department, posted the note on Facebook. Before he knew it, it was being shared everywhere.

“I know it’s being remarked as this extraordinary act. It’s small. It’s a little gesture,” Woodward told WPVI.

Her simple but generous act inspired the firefighters to pay it forward.

After they learned that Woodward is trying to raise money for her quadriplegic father, who is in need of a wheelchair-accessible van, both Young and Hullings decided to help out.

“If we have to do a fundraiser, we’ll do whatever we can to help,” said Hullings.

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME Appreciation

Watch These Kids Deliver the Best Surprise to a Teacher Battling Breast Cancer

Ilya S. Savenok—2013 Getty Images Members of the PS22 Chorus attend The Trevor Project's 2013 "TrevorLIVE" Event on June 17, 2013 in New York City.

They made her cry

The kids in the chorus at PS 22 have an annual tradition for their last practice: they perform a song with their director, Gregg Breinberg. But this year the Staten Island elementary school choir went for a tearjerker, singing Martina McBride’s cancer-anthem “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” to a teacher recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

Teacher Adriana Lopez, who can be seen in the video watching the group of fifth-graders serenade her from a seat on the bleachers, was wise enough to bring a wad of tissues to the performance.

This isn’t the first time the PS 22 chorus has gone viral pulling on our heartstrings: their popular YouTube channel, which now has close to 70 million views, featured a tribute to the the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting back in 2012.

TIME Appreciation

Alabama Postal Worker Saves Man’s Life After Noticing He Hadn’t Picked Up His Mail

Tommy Hope had taken a bad fall 10 days earlier

A 66-year-old Alabama resident who spent 10 days stranded on the floor of his home after a bad fall is now safe and sound in a Montgomery hospital—and he has his local mail carrier to thank.

The mail carrier, Cissy Cartwright of Hope Hull, Ala., is being hailed as a hero after she rescued the injured Tommy Hope from his secluded rural home last week when she noticed he hadn’t checked his mail in an uncharacteristically long time, NBC News reports. After making her way up Hope’s long driveway and noticing that his front door was wide open, Cartwright found Hope, who has a history of back problems, lying dehydrated with broken broken bones. He’d been trapped since July 4.

Hope Hull Post Master Sherry Hughes told NBC that Hope had survived primarily by “[scooting] on his back to his front door to catch rain water.”

Hope has reportedly called the post office daily with an update on his recovery, grateful for Cartwright.

[NBC News]

TIME Appreciation

Australian Game Show Winner Pledges to Use Prize Money to Buy Shoes for Students

She got a hint from the host

An Australian teacher has vowed to use her winnings on a game show to buy her students shoes.

Bri Dredge, 32, appeared on Aussie series Millionaire Hot Seat, where she ended up winning after a hint from host Eddie McGuire, who urged her to “have another think” after she submitted an incorrect answer. (The question asked Dredge to complete the title of a T. S. Eliot book beginning “Old Possum’s Book of Practical”; the correct answer is “Cats.”)

Dredge had said she intended to buy a pair for each of the students at Yuille Park Community College: 200 in all. Her $20,000 winnings in Australian dollars amount to roughly $14,800 in U.S. dollars. As for the hint she received, host McGuire told Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper that he had been rooting for her to win: “It was her act of kindness. I couldn’t help but get swept up in it.”


Teenager Completes Bucket List by Sacrificing Her Life to Save a Friend

Rebecca Townsend pushed a friend out of the way of a car

Kiss in the rain. Fly to Spain. Save a life.

Those were the items Rebecca Townsend put on her bucket list for a high school assignment in December 2012.

Over the next two-and-a-half years, she checked the first two off her list.

And on July 2, the 17-year-old from Connecticut fulfilled the final item by pushing her friend, Ben Arne, out of the way of an oncoming car.

But it came at a terrible price – her own life.

Police say the two friends were struck by a car while crossing a street near the campus of Western Connecticut State University, according to WTIC. Rebecca died and Ben, 17, was seriously injured.

When he was released from the hospital, Ben visited Rebecca’s family and told them about her heroic act.

“He said, ‘The last thing I remember is Rebecca pushing me and telling me to hurry up,’ ” Rebecca’s sister, Victoria, said.

After Rebecca’s death, her sisters and cousins said they were sitting in her bedroom sharing stories when they found a note lying on her bed, “as if laid out” for them.

It read simply: “For Future Rebecca Townsend,” according to the eulogy they posted on a Facebook page they created.

“Apparently, this was a high school assignment that was returned to the kids at the end of their senior year so that the students could remember who they were at the beginning of their high school days,” her sisters Monica and Victoria said in their eulogy.

They read the letter at her funeral and posted the eulogy online. The note also included her dreams of attending Fordham or Boston College, even though she was going to be a freshman at the University of Notre Dame this fall.

The sisters referred to the bucket list in their eulogy.

“To my parents, thank you for taking her to Spain,” they said. “To Niko, thank you for being the cute boyfriend she could kiss in the rain. And to Ben, thank you for letting her save a life.”

The sisters also encouraged others to share an act of kindness in Rebecca’s memory on the “Remembering Rebecca” Facebook page and Instagram account.

Printable cards were made to distribute and remind friends and strangers alike to do a good deed, as well.

“Rebecca was passionate about service work and charities, constantly working to better the lives of others,” the online post said.

“Whether paying a meal, volunteering time, or donating to a cause, we all have the opportunity to pay it forward everyday, just as Rebecca strived to do.”

Police say a 23-year-old woman from Brookfield, Connecticut, was driving the car that hit the teenagers, according to Fox8. No charges have been announced, and the accident remains under investigation.

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME Appreciation

Teen Celebrates Beating Cancer With Triumphant Climb Up Rocky Steps

"This was one of the first things that came to mind"

A Pennsylvania teenager ran up the Rocky Steps in Philadelphia on Sunday to celebrate a victory bigger than Rocky’s over Apollo Creed—beating cancer.

Sean Bartolucci, 13, spent the past 18 months doing chemotherapy and radiation after he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, which created a softball-sized tumor in his abdomen. The eighth-grader said his victory lap up the world-famous steps outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art, featured in the Rocky films, was only fitting.

“This was one of the first things that came to mind,” he said.


Flanked by friends and family wearing T-shirts reading “Sean’s A Fighter,” Sean clambered up the steps two at a time.

After five rounds of chemotherapy, 20 rounds of radiation and a stem cell transplant, the ascent was a walk in the park, Sean said.

“It just further proves that I have such an amazing community, such an amazing family, and so many amazing friends to lean back on if I ever need to,” he said.

[ABC News]

TIME Television

You Will Soon Be Able to Play a Game of Thrones Version of Risk

It was just a matter of time

HBO will be coming out with a special Game of Thrones edition of the world conquest board game Risk later this summer, Speakeasy reported this morning. Our only question is: what took them so long?

There is already a Game of Thrones Monopoly out there, in which we can only assume it’s good to be a Lannister (except for always paying those debts), but Risk seems like a very natural fit for the world domination–oriented series.

You can play on a map of Westeros as Houses Stark, Baratheon, Lannister, Martell, and Tyrell, or take gameplay across the narrow sea to Essos and play on a second map as houses Targaryen and Ghiscari. For a real Known World–wide showdown, combine the two boards for a full map and battle it out between all seven houses. Valar Morghulis, indeed.

The game comes with more than 650 pieces, including seven sculpted 45-piece Noble House armies, and it will retail for $74.95 starting in August—be sure to get yours before winter comes.


Head to Speakeasy for all the gory details.

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME Appreciation

Find Out What Your Favorite Fireworks Are Called

A video taxonomy for the Fourth of July

Fourth of July means hot dogs, beer and beaches—and above all else, fireworks. The tradition actually began as early as Benjamin Franklin and has only picked up steam since.

In honor of families across America gathering to watch the colorful displays, here’s a guide to six of your favorite fireworks–so you don’t have to keep referring to them as “the one that looks like a dandelion.”

And if you’re trying to capture the perfect Fourth of July Instagram, check out 6 Secret Tips For Photographing Fireworks With Your Phone.

  • Aerial Shells

    The archetypical fireworks, aerial shells climb up to the sky without much fanfare before exploding. The explosion, however, is magnificent, with colors radiating from a central point, making for a vibrant circle that lights up the sky. It’s no wonder these are often used in the finale of Fourth of July festivities.

  • Aerial Repeaters

    Aerial repeaters are those fireworks that that explode into a few lines of color, before rapidly disappearing. They’re usually emitted rapid fire.

  • Cones

    Unlike aerial shells and repeaters, cones emit fireworks from the ground up, spraying out displays of color that grow taller as the fuse continues to burn.

  • Fountains

    Fountains are quite similar to cones, but are usually accompanied by a series of whistles, crackles and other sound effects, and, unlike cones, remain at a similar height the entire time they’re burning.

  • Roman Candle

    Roman candles are those fireworks that remind you of popcorn, spraying little balls of flame every second or so. Once in the air, the flames bounce around in a whirly frenzy before disappearing.

  • Skyrocket

    Skyrockets aren’t known for one particular type of explosion. Many of the explosions they emit are similar to aerial shells, but they’re also responsible for the explosions that resemble, yup, dandelions.

TIME Appreciation

Man Bought $30K Lottery Ticket by Accident

CT Lottery Bob Sabo becomes a “30X Cash 2nd Edition” instant game top prize winner.

He meant to buy a different ticket but didn't have his glasses on

A Connecticut man won $30,000 last week when he accidentally bought the wrong lottery ticket.

Bob Sabo didn’t want to wait in line at the Super Stop & Shop in Fairfield, Conn. to buy his lottery ticket, so he decided to purchase one from the lottery vending machine. He intended to buy two $20 tickets, but since he didn’t have his glasses on, he accidentally purchased one $30 ticket.

“When I got home and scratched the 30X ticket, I couldn’t believe it—we won $30,000. Winning the way we did was a very freaky thing!” Sabo told the CT Lottery.

Don’t we all wish we made mistakes like that.

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