TIME Appreciation

5 Actually Good Things That Happened on Friday the 13th

Don't believe the hype

Correction appended, June 13, 3:04 p.m.

For those of us with the windows drawn, desperate to avoid the double whammy of Friday the 13th and Mercury retrograde at all costs—change out of your hole-y sweatpants and go outside. Friday the 13th isn’t as calamitous as some people make it out to be. Sure, the 1989 stock market dip, Tupac Shakur’s death, and the sinking of Costa Concordia all happened on that dreaded day, but some good stuff happened, too.

Here are 5 good things that happened on Friday the 13th (Mercury retrograde we can’t help you with):

LBJ signed an executive order designed to eliminate hiring discrimination based on gender on October 13, 1967
Executive Order 11375 was applicable to the United States federal workforce and government contractors.

The accordion was patented January 13, 1854
And who doesn’t love at least the option of hearing good polka? Or in this case,a reinterpretation of Vivaldi:

The first female flight instructor was licensed October 13, 1939
You crash through that glass ceiling with your airplane, Evelyn Pinckert Kilgore!

It was a really good day for the Friday the 13th film franchise
When adjusted for ticket price inflation, the films grossed a total of $738 million

Premiere of Warner Bros.' "Friday The 13th" - Arrivals
Actress America Olivo arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros.’ “Friday the 13th” Kevin Winter—;Getty Images

And most importantly, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen were born June 13, 1986
I have three rebuttals for the haters out there who think that this is anything but a good thing: 1) Passport to Paris, 2) The song Brother for Sale, 3) This picture exists:

Correction: This original version of this story misstated Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s birthday. They were born June 13, 1988.

 

TIME Family

The Top 10 Interests Dads Share With Their Kids, According to Facebook

US-FACEBOOK-MENLO PARK
A thumbs up or "Like" icon at the Facebook main campus ROBYN BECK—AFP/Getty Images

Facebook figured out Dads and their kids' shared interests for Father's Day

In honor of Father’s Day—it’s this Sunday, buy your presents now!—Facebook pulled data on shared interests that dads have with their kids.

The social platform pored through its 1.28 billion active monthly users to find self-identified fathers and their 18-and-up children to compare their “Likes” in topics including movies, TV shows, athletes, and musicians. It then broke down how things differ between father/daughter and father/son shared interests.

The contrast was pretty stark. Dads’ and daughters’ most liked movies, for example, is The Notebook. Dads and sons were into Star Wars. Dads and kids of both genders “liked” The Hangover the most. The most surprising and stereotyped data, however, was for television. It turns out that Dads and their girls are really into Teen Mom!

Here’s the top 10 shared TV show likes for fathers and daughters:

  1. NCIS
  2. Teen Mom
  3. The Ellen DeGeneres Show
  4. Grey’s Anatomy
  5. Duck Dynasty on A&E
  6. Criminal Minds
  7. House
  8. The Secret Life of the American Teenager
  9. True Blood
  10. Pretty Little Liars

The father/son TV favorites have no overlap:

  1. Family Guy
  2. SportsCenter
  3. MythBusters
  4. Tosh.0
  5. South Park
  6. Band of Brothers
  7. Two and a Half Men
  8. The Walking Dead
  9. Futurama
  10. Sons of Anarchy

And now here’s what fathers and both of their children “like” to watch:

  1. Family Guy
  2. Tosh.0
  3. House
  4. NCIS
  5. The Office
  6. Duck Dynasty on A&E
  7. The Big Bang Theory
  8. Two and a Half Men
  9. Sons of Anarchy
  10. MythBusters

Now you know what DVD set to get Dad for Sunday. You’re welcome.

TIME Appreciation

The Cast of Napoleon Dynamite Reunited and Took Some Weird Pictures

"Napoleon Dynamite" 10 Sweet Years Edition Blu-Ray/DVD Release And Statue Dedication
Actors Haylie Duff, Shondrella Avery, Carmen Brady, Diedrich Bader, Jon Heder, Sandy Martin, director Jared Hess, and actors Tina Majorino, Efren Ramirez attend the "Napoleon Dynamite" 10th anniversary celebration. Vincent Sandoval / WireImage / Getty Images

Flippin' sweet

On an average day, if you ask Jon Heder — the actor best known for playing the titular character in Napoleon Dynamite – what he’s going to do, he could reasonably respond, “Whatever I feel like I wanna do, gosh.”

But on Monday, if you’d asked him what he was going to do, he’d have replied, “I’m reuniting with the film’s entire cast so we can celebrate the 10th anniversary and then also unveil a creepy bronze Napoleon Dynamite statue.”

So yeah. That happened. The cast was also, of course, promoting something: the special “10 Sweet Years” Blu-ray/DVD release.

As for the statue, Heder seemed pretty cool with it and was gleefully Instagramming it:

To be fair though, not everybody is flippin’ sweet enough to have a statue in their likeness.

TIME animals

Watch a Bee Heroically Save His Friend From an Attacking Spider

True heroism

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It looked like the end for our good friend the bumble bee. He was trapped in a web, fighting for his life, and a huge spider was going in for the kill. Then, out of nowhere, his bumble bee brethren swooped in to attack the spider and save his friend.

The video was posted on YouTube by a British dad who says he was recording the event “to show my son who was asleep at the time sort of a brutal life lesson.”

(h/t: Daily of the Day)

TIME Appreciation

Watch Weezer’s Drummer Catch a Frisbee Mid-Song Without Missing a Beat

And the crowd goes wild

Weezer is one of those bands everyone’s got a special place for in their hearts—in the ’90s, they inaugurated a slyly clever, winking brand of rock. Now cool dads, they’re still playing shows. On Friday night in St. Augustine, Florida, the band played, and something amazing happened: Midway through “Beverly Hills,” a member of the audience (presumably) threw a frisbee—which drummer Patrick Wilson caught. Without missing a single beat.

This is definitely the kind of thing I’d expect from Weezer, and also wouldn’t believe without video evidence. Dad on, cool dads.

TIME Appreciation

Students Raise Money for Janitor So He Can Visit His Family Overseas

Ricky Spaulding will use the money to visit his son who is stationed in Italy

Kentucky students with big hearts raised nearly $2,000 so a school janitor could visit his family overseas, Lex18.com reports.

At Anderson County High School, about 30 miles west of Lexington, janitor Ricky Spaulding was called to mop up a spill in the gym and walked right into a pep rally being hosted in his honor. He was given a trash can filled with cash that he and his wife will use to visit their son, who is stationed in Italy, so they can meet their grandson for the first time.

TIME Family

Infants Can Finally Treat Themselves at a Baby Spa

Because it's hard out there for a baby.

Between the napping and feeding and gurgling and napping, being a baby can be a pretty tough job. Thank goodness there is a spa where babies to treat themselves after a long day of staring at the mobile.

Float Baby recently opened in Houston, Texas, and it provides 130 (and counting) newborns to one-year-olds hydrotherapy and neonatal massages. Parents perform the massages with instruction from Float Baby staff. A visit costs $65.

“What we find is that the babies find the water very soothing and relaxing,” owner Kristi Ison told the TODAY Show. “The newborns especially like it, we see them float and then have a little cat nap while they’re floating. The older babies, they really like to kick around and splash and socialize.”

They do seem pretty peaceful.

TIME

A 93-Year-Old Recreated His D-Day Parachute Jump

On June 5, 1944, one day before D-Day, Jim “Pee Wee” Martin parachuted into Europe with the U.S. 101st Airborne Division to take France back from the Nazis.

Exactly 70 years later, a spry Martin took a trans-Atlantic journey to recreate his jump.

“It didn’t [compare to before],” Martin, 93, told CNN Thursday, “because there wasn’t anybody shooting at me today.”

[CNN]

TIME Appreciation

Make-a-Wish Helps 8-Year-Old Boy Become a Park Ranger at Yosemite for a Day

Gabriel LaVon Ying, right, learning how to assist an injured hiker during a simulated search and rescue operation with the Yosemite medical team. National Park Service / AP

He got to put out a fire

An outdoorsy 8-year-old boy got to be a park ranger at Yosemite National Park in California for a day, NBC San Diego reports.

Gabriel LaVon-Ying of Gainsville, Florida, put out a fire and participated in a mock search-and-rescue for an injured hiker, all as part of an experience organized by the Make-A-Wish chapter of Central and Northern Florida.

The youngster suffers from Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a disorder that affects connective tissues and causes overly flexible joints and stretchy skin.

Gabriel LaVon Ying, right, learning to put out a simulated wildland fire while working with the Yosemite Fire Crew. National Park Service / AP

TIME Television

Somehow Forming a Family: Why We Loved The Brady Bunch‘s Alice

Played by Ann B. Davis, who died over the weekend, Alice represented something that was becoming familiar in people's complicated lives if not on TV: the non-parent parent.

+ READ ARTICLE

In the famous opening grid of The Brady Bunch‘s title sequence, the character who occupies the center square is not a parent or a child but Alice the housekeeper. (As a kid, I had a heavy diet of Hollywood Squares episodes and Brady Bunch reruns, and therefore forever had Alice and Paul Lynde weirdly conjoined in my mind.) Played by Ann B. Davis, who died after a fall on May 31 at age 88, Alice was the connecting tissue of the group that somehow formed a family.

As a kid watching the Bradys, maybe you identified with Jan or Bobby or another kid, maybe you had affection for Mike and Carol–but Alice was the one you loved. She was an employee, yes, but a friend and a confidante. She was the adult on the show who was most often allowed to be flat-out, broadly funny. Mike had to be patient and befuddled; Carol warm and wise. But Alice got to be smart, self-effacing, flustered, and straight-talking, and Davis played her with a comic arsenal of comic moves and gestures–that peppy voice, those talented eyebrows–and just a touch of relatable melancholy. (Oh, Sam the Butcher!)

The character was also a connection between TV eras. On the one hand, she was a throwback to the early days of TV sitcoms, when housekeeper and maid characters were more commonplace, from Hazel to The Jetsons’ Rosie. (While she had successors, like The Jeffersons‘ Florence, the wisecracking household worker isn’t so common anymore.) But on the other hand, she connected with a change that, in the early ’70s, was emerging in American families, in which figures other than two parents were central in kids’ lives.

Like a lot of childhood TV memories, The Brady Bunch is loved not so much for its artistry as for its emotional connections. The Brady family was big, it was blended, and it felt like there was room for everyone. Putting two families together on TV was unusual at the time, and it spoke to the number of kids who recognized divorce and remarriage from their own lives. Yes, Mike was a widower, and Carol’s status was never clarified–a compromise after Sherwood Schwartz wanted her to be a divorcée–but anyone watching knew what the show was really depicting. It turned something commonly depicted as tragedy into a triumph–a family coming together by choice.

And Alice–an employee, after all–was there by choice more than anyone. Nothing was making her stay, and yet she did. An early episode (see video, above), “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” addressed this directly, as Alice almost left (concocting a story about a “sick aunt”) because she worried the kids didn’t need her anymore. In typical Brady style, this led to hijinks–the whole family undertaking “Operation Alice” to convince her that she was needed–but really the necessity was plain in sight. The Brady house was an operation with a lot of moving parts.

Most of us watching The Bradys didn’t have full-time household help whipping up pork chops and applesauce. But we were, more and more, familiar with the parent-plus model of child-rearing: extended family, or paid caregivers, or family friends who occupied our lives and filled the gaps left by family breakups or busy work schedules.

For some of us, Alice reflected the accessory parents we had in our own lives. For others, she was one of those accessory parents–a familiar presence on the TV in an empty house, dishing out one-liners and companionship. We loved her because she made us laugh, and because she told us something we already knew: that you didn’t have to be blood to be family, you didn’t have to be related to relate. RIP, Ann B. Davis.

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