Wheeled treasure despite appearances

Wheeled treasure despite appearances

Unexpected help for hurricane victims

Burning Man – Hip! Edgy! Not your grandma’s kind of summer festival! – just turned a corner toward mainstream American kindness. Albeit unintended, the chain reaction of charity began when a snapshot of 5000 abandoned bicycles left by Burning Man’s 70,000 attendees hit Instagram.

Logan Mirto’s simple snapshot of potential waste went viral. The ironically neat rows of endless bikes – covered with dust, dirt, and what appears to be faux fur on at least one – were destined for the scrap heap. Why? The party was over.

This year’s week-long Bacchanal ended Sept. 4, but two creative kindness experts were just getting started. Why? They knew that while wild parties can be fun, they cannot compete with the simple pleasure of being able to go to work again or visit a friend after a hurricane has turned life upside down.

The destination for these dusty wheels after they are cleaned off is the same path taken by disaster-wreaking hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

SunnySkyz reports, “Matthew Rockwell, founder of the charity start-up Disaster Hack, immediately made the connection between the abandoned bikes and the thousands of destroyed cars in Houston. He started picking through the pile and pulled out about 500 bikes.”

A Burning Man faux fur bike – dirty but needed

A Burning Man faux fur bike – dirty but needed

Former bike shop owner Meg Kiihne also made the connection, securing a storage facility in Reno and subsequently renting a truck that added another 100-plus bikes to the assistance effort.

“Bikes can enable somebody who may have lost their home and staying with a friend, they can get to their job at a resort so they can continue to make money to help rebuild their home … they can get around on a bike and get to food,” Kiihne told the BBC.

In only 48 hours, all of the remaining bikes were recovered. Next on the agenda? Cleaning! To aid efforts, a GoFundMe page has been established to finance the remaining leg of these bicycles journey … the long haul to Houston or the even longer journey to the Caribbean.

“We are among the first peoples in human history who do not broadly inherit religious identity as a given, a matter of kin and tribe, like hair color and hometown. But the very fluidity of this – the possibility of choice that arises, the ability to craft and discern one’s own spiritual bearings – is not leading to the decline of spiritual life but its revival,” Krista Tippet is quoted in the “Radical Ritual” section of the Burning Man’s website.

But it would seem, at least in this case, that which is old is new again. Those simple acts of kindness (“Do to others as you would have them do to you. For this is the essence of the Law and the prophets”) are not going away anytime soon. Perhaps the phoenix will rise from the ashes.

“Carter Stern, the executive director of Houston’s bike share program,” Sunny Skyz continues. “believes he could easily find owners for all of Rockwell’s recovered bicycles.”


No, you’re not imagining it

Hey, hey, we’re monkeys. And we’re monkeying around!

Here they come – maybe not walking down the street, but the furry creatures clamoring through the trees in one Ohio neighborhood are garnering some pretty odd looks.

Lebanon, Ohio locals insist there are monkeys loitering in the trees. “A local woman who asked to be identified only as Amber said she has seen two different monkeys in the area and she snapped a photo of one of the primates,” according to UPI, “dancing in a tree.”

“You can see his arm right here and his leg right here, and his hair and his face. Like I said, this guy played music and [the monkey] was rocking back and forth to it,” Amber told WLWT-TV,” in the video below.

Believed to be escaped pets, the monkeys have not been aggressive, but rather proven a great source of entertainment to the neighborhood. Lebanon police are still not taking any chances and are investigating reported sightings. But apparently the monkeys are more often heard than seen.

UPI assures in their report, “Wildlife group Outreach for Animals said it has been contacted ‘to respond if needed.'”

Odd as it may seem, monkey sightings in the area nothing new. Not since last year anyway. UPI noted, “A video that went viral in August 2016 showed a Lancaster Walmart employee tussling with a monkey in the store’s parking lot after it apparently escaped from a camper parked nearby.”

Check out the video below:

The baby whisperer?

When you think about it, being born is hard enough – the warmth and comfort of mother’s womb replaced by glaring lights, shrill noises, and cold. What you can see is strange, moving in and out of focus. Add to that being left at the hospital in an unfamiliar lack of constraint – without that assuring human hug – and the 12-year quest of the baby whisperer, David Deutchman, takes on new meaning.

Premature baby feet

The ICU volunteer grandpa at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, David Deutchman holds the babies whose parents can’t be with them on that day.

One grateful mom posted a photo of Deutchman at work on CHA’s Facebook page. It was a usual pose that saw the baby whisperer cradling a little boy born at only 25 weeks. For six weeks, the baby’s mom was torn between her infant son and her little girl at home. Both needing her, but were separated by a two-hour drive from home to hospital.

David Deutchman doing what he does best

David Deutchman doing what he does best

According to Good News Network

The Facebook image collected 9,000 comments – some written by other parents who had also been eternally grateful to the baby whisperer for his devotion to their infants.

“He rocked our baby for countless hours,” commented Kristin Cook Walker. “What a wonderful gift he has, and what a blessing it is that he shares that love with others.”

Kristen Brown Webber said that knowing someone was there for her baby was a huge relief. “I felt horrible leaving him but I needed to be mommy to my other son too.”

One reply to the photo came from Susan Lilly, who knows Deutchman exceptionally well: “I’ve known David as a special man for 53 years – he’s my dad! To read the thousands of comments and see the outpouring of affection is very moving to our entire family.”

Even though he gets vomited and peed on, he says it’s the best job he’s ever had.”

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