Tag Archives: Sesame Street

Good News Friday: A waitress with a 14-mile commute on foot gets gifted a new car. The guy whose layup beat Duke is a Bahamian whose family lost everything. Now they’re getting it back. And a heartwarming before and after “Sesame Street” video will make you smile.

And a Happy Friday, and congrats for surviving Thanksgiving with your family! I had a wonderful Turkey day with my in-laws and my wife’s cousins here in Maryland, where we ate lots of yummy stuff, watched six children all 6 and under frolic and play together (and rarely a cry was heard, it’s true!) and saw the Dallas Cowboys embarrass themselves on national TV (always a good time)

I hope you had a wonderful holiday, and that you stay far the hell away from any shopping center or mall today.

So many good news items to choose from this week, but as always I’ve narrowed it down to three.

First up, a waitress in Galveston, Texas named Adrianna Edwards walks seven miles, each way, to her job at Denny’s every day she’s got a shift.

It takes her, as you might expect, a few hours and is highly inconvenient. But as she says, “I have bills to pay. “I’ve got to eat. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”

One day recently Edwards was talking to a friendly couple on whom she was waiting, and told them her story.

Later that day, the anonymous couple returned after going Classic Galveston Auto Group and purchased a 2011 Nissan Sentra. Hours later, they returned to Denny’s to surprise Edwards.

“She teared up, which made me happy that she was so moved by that,” said the woman who bought the car.

This incredible act of stranger kindness has changed Edwards’ life. What a wonderful, wonderful move.

**Next up today, Tuesday night saw a pretty huge shocker in the world of college basketball. My beloved Duke Blue Devils, the No.1 team in the nation, saw a 19-year winning streak at home against non-conference opponents come to a stunning end, as tiny Stephen F. Austin University came into Cameron Indoor Stadium and beat Duke, 85-83 in OT.

I was stunned and upset by this result, so why the hell is it in here in Good News Friday? Because for once, all the Duke hatred in the world resulted in something I can appreciate.

The player for SFA who made the winning layup is named Nathan Bain, and he’s from the Bahamas, and his family lost their home in the recent hurricanes that struck the island.

Bain’s father runs a church and school in the Bahamas, and those were devastated as well.

The church got hit really hard,” Bain told KTRE-TV in September. “My house got hit really hard. We lost just about everything. We are still trying to stay positive because more important than the material things, everyone in our circle and immediate family and church family is safe.”

Well, until Tuesday night a GoFundMe page set up by Stephen F. Austin had only raised a few thousand bucks to help Bain’s family.

Then, Bain hit the layup that slayed the giant. And as I type this late Thursday night, the GoFundMe has raised $132, 775.

Remarkable. And it’s not all Duke haters who’ve donated, I noticed as I scrolled through the comments. Many Duke fans gave money and support as well (see? We Duke fans DO have hearts!)

It’s amazing what sports can do. Literally, that win and that shot for Bain will change his family’s life, and the lives of the students who went to school in his dad’s church, forever.

Sports, man. Sports.

**Finally today, this is wonderful. It’s a clip of an old episode of “Sesame Street,” from 1974, of a boy named John and a Sesame character named Harry, and it starts off with little John counting, and well, it changes into something magical about one minute in.

Just so special.

 

Angelina Jolie and celebrities who “get” it. Jimmy Connors: Still a jerk. And the very first episode of “Sesame Street” unearthed

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I may be one of the six or seven straight males in the world who never found Angelina Jolie gorgeous.

Oh, I always knew she was beautiful, but I never got what the whole craze over how sexy and awesome and hot she was. To me, Eva Longoria or Nicole Kidman or Ashley Judd were infinitely more attractive.

So I never paid Jolie much attention when she just seemed like the latest in a long line of vapid movie stars, someone who would clearly fade away when her looks did.

But Angie has turned out to be so much more than a vapid movie star. She and her husband (some dude whose name I forget, Brad something or other) do excellent humanitarian work all over the world, and this week Jolie wrote a beautiful, moving essay in the New York Times revealing that she recently had a double mastectomy due to doctors finding she had an 87 percent chance of developing breast cancer.

Jolie came public not because she had to, but because she wanted to help other women who may be fearful of the disease.

“Life comes with many challenges,” she wrote. “The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.”

Bravo to Jolie for “getting it,” and realizing that her celebrity affords her an enormous platform to do good.

**Jimmy Connors was known for a lot of things in his tennis career, but being a jerk was always one of them. Connors was mean to chair umpires, surly to other players, and overall just a bad dude.
There are numerous, numerous examples of this, and it’s quite clear that Connors still hasn’t learned any manners or tact. In his new autobiography that Jimbo is now hawking everywhere, he strongly, strongly implies that an impediment to his relationship with Chris Evert in the 1970s was her decision to have an abortion.

Connors writes he “was perfectly happy to let nature take its course and accept responsibility for what was to come.” He bitterly writes to Evert in the book, “Well, thanks for letting me know. Since I don’t have a say in the matter, I guess I am just here to help.”

Connors never had the decency to tell Evert he was writing about this in his autobiography, and this was obviously a very private matter to the tennis legend. She angrily responded to Connors, but that hasn’t stopped him from talking about Evert in all the talk shows he’s been going on.

What an absolute schmuck Jimmy Connors continues to be.

**Finally today, in the middle of a post on Andrew Sullivan’s blog about how the name “Sesame Street” came to be, there was this fantastic clip of the very first episode of the show we all grew up on, which aired on November 10, 1969.

Here’s the opening scene (above); I always smile just hearing the theme song, don’t you? And I love the opening Bert and Ernie scene (starts at the 3:30 mark).

“Sesame Street” becomes a pawn for U.S., Palestinians. A lovely story about Mountain Dew and rats. And CNN sinks to new lows

The fight over land between Israel and the Palestinians has so many tentacles, and goes so deep, that it’s no wonder that it’s been going for thousands of years.
And despite fits and starts of progress in the peace process, it seems like the battles and killings may go on for the next thousand years, too.

It’s the little things that show just how silly and petty this dispute can be sometimes. Take this story, which doesn’t technically involve Israel, but the U.S. on Israel’s behalf. For the past 15 years, there has been a Palestinian version of “Sesame Street” that has educated youngsters in much the same way American kids learn through Sesame Street:  fairness, counting, cooperation, all that good stuff.
The show, called “Shara’s Simsim” has been wildly popular and was slated to continue this year.
Except it can’t. That’s because the U.S., as punishment to Palestinians for attempting to petition the United Nations for statehood, has stripped $200 million of aid, including funding for educational programming.

So now because the U.S. is pissed at Palestinians applying for statehood, millions of children won’t learn from a TV show about kindness, generosity and cooperation. Really America, it’s not

Little thing like that just depresses me. Because it’s with the children that seeds of hatred and intolerance are first sown.

**Here’s a fun story for you soda drinkers. An Illinois man sued the makers of Mountain Dew saying he found a dead mouse inside a can he was drinking.

In the lawsuit, though, PepsiCo came up with an ingenious defense of their product: They said that a rodent would have disintegrated and been transformed into a “jelly-like” substance between the time the soda was bottled and when the Illinois man would’ve drank it.

So the defense is basically: Our soda is SO toxic, there’s no way a mouse could’ve survived as a mouse in there! He had to have dissolved by now!

Enjoy that next sip of Dew, boys and girls.

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**I’ve defended CNN to people for a long time in the face of criticism. Sure, the all-news network ain’t what it used to be, which was the most valuable news source in America. Sure, they’ve made some terrible decisions about on-air talent, and Wolf Blitzer hasn’t said anything of substance since 1999. But I still have a soft spot in my news-loving heart for the pioneer of the all-news format on cable.

But then I see something like this, and I just get really sad. Jon Stewart nails it again:

Should Bert and Ernie get married? 2 NFL kickers who show a ton of class. And the GOP debate amuses me greatly.

I can honestly say that throughout my childhood that the idea of Bert and Ernie from “Sesame Street” being gay never occurred to me. (Although my father used to crack us up by impersonating both their voices. Seriously, my sister’s almost 40 and I guarantee she would still laugh if he did it today).
So what if they were two single men who lived together and bickered like an old married couple? So were Oscar and Felix from “The Odd Couple”, and no one wondered about them. Well…
Showing that there is no subject silly enough for Americans, it’s apparently become a discussion recently that since gay marriage is becoming more and more accepted in society, Bert and Ernie should tie the knot. There’s even a petition going. (I know, you’re shocked).
“Sesame Street” even had to issue a statement Thursday saying, basically, that they’re just best friends.
People, Bert and Ernie are muppets! They do not have a sexual orientation! And as the astute Twitterer Bill Walton wrote, shouldn’t we be more concerned with Oscar the Grouch’s homelessness?

**So many athletes who spend a long time playing in one city forget or ignore the bond the fans have built with them, and the emotional attachment that gets snapped when the player leaves.
I’m happy to say that two NFL kickers named John Kasay and David Akers do get it. Akers took out this great highway billboard (above) thanking Eagles fans for his 12 years in a Philly uniform.
And Kasay wrote a beautiful, heartfelt two-page letter in the Charlotte Observer, thanking Panthers fans for their support over the course of his career. Seriously, take a minute to read it, it’s really pretty special.

**Finally, a few quick thoughts on Thursday night’s GOP debate, which I watched snippets of (I know I shouldn’t every turn on Fox News, but I had to. It was too tempting tonight). It was wildly entertaining, for many reasons.

1. Watching Bachmann and Pawlenty go at each other should put that whole “Minnesota Nice” reputation to rest.
2. Jon Huntsman fought really, really hard to make you believe he’s a Republican, and a damn conservative one.
3. The incredible race to be the strongest candidate against raising taxes was hilarious. Ezra Klein summed it up best, with this question the moderators should have asked:  “So let’s say there’s a bus full of children speeding off a bridge, and to save them you have to raise taxes by $10…”
4. I would be terrified if any of those people became President. Absolutely, completely scared out of my mind.  But Bachmann, Gingrich and Santorum scare me the most.

Should we tax junk food to raise money? NFL labor peace in our time! And a great Beastie Boys/Sesame Street collaboration

So this is no big news headline, but Americans keep getting fatter and fatter.
And our ability to bring in revenue for the government has plummeted as well, thanks to the Republicans’ belief that any new taxes equal the fall of life as we know it.

So I thought it was good that a writer named Mark Bittman wrote a piece in the N.Y. Times Sunday bringing back the argument that we should tax junk food.
Think about it: You’re giving people a financial inducement to eat healthier, and all that crap people are eating is making them sick and driving up health care costs, which affects all of us.

Truly, I’ve never been on this side of this issue before; I used think people should be able to eat whatever the hell they want and that’s their business.
But I’ve been turned around on it. Read this fascinating article and see what you think.

**NFL labor peace has finally arrived. There’s no sport that I anticipate more in the beginning of the season than football, probably because the offseason is so long. (Totally random digression: Football also was the subject of my all-time favorite quote from the greatest TV show ever, “The Wire.” It was from Prez, the cop-turned-teacher; while he was watching a game his girlfriend came in and asked who was winning. His reply: “Nobody wins. One side just loses more slowly.” True of the drug war, too, of course.)
Anyway, from everything I’m reading, neither the players nor the owners got everything they wanted. Thankfully, there’ll be no 18-game season anytime soon, and it looks like retired players got a much better deal than they previously had.
Now, the next week should be nuts, with every team trying to sign its own free agents, and everyone else’s. From my Jets fan perspective, keeping Santonio Holmes needs to be Priority No.1. Braylon Edwards can walk, I’d like to see them keep Antonio Cromartie because he’s pretty good, but Brad Smith is sadly, probably a goner.
Most importantly, training camp opens in a few days, and the season will start on time.
Awesome. To get you ready for the season, check out (above) the Evolution of Dance guy doing the “Evolution of the Touchdown Dance.”

**And finally, just your typical Beastie Boys song performed with the characters of Sesame Street. This killed me:

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