A man walked into a Toys "R" Us in Cherry Hill, NJ, with the intention of doing a little holiday shopping for his son, and walked out having paid for the layaway orders of more than 60 strangers. The "secret Santa," identified only as Charlie K., picked up the tab on 62 orders, totaling approximately $10,780. He said, "I'm trying to bring some happiness to people, to the community that brought happiness to me and my family. I love this community and I am trying to provide back to it." He said he'd hoped to pay for all the layaway orders in the store but that he didn't have quite enough money. But he also got everyone in the store to choose three toys for him to donate to Toys for Tots. The bill for that act of kindness came to $2,000. One woman, Jessica Jey, said she showed up at the store to pay for the items she'd put on layaway only to learn that her bill had been paid. "It's definitely an early Christmas," Ley says, "and I want to say thank you to the gentleman that came in and donated. It's, like, the best feeling. Thank you." (NJ.com)
Got any bitcoin? You're probably glad you do as Bitcoin's price has already spiked more than 1,000-percent in the past 12 months. Now it's flirting with another milestone: a $10,000 price for a single unit of the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin's rise has been both meteoric and volatile, with surges in valuation often being driven by positive reports about its status. Earlier this year, for instance, Japan recognized bitcoin as an official method of payment. It has also continued to attract interest from investors. In early October, a single bitcoin cost less than $5,000 on currency exchange sites. A year ago, one could be had for around $730. But as of Monday morning, the price for a bitcoin was $9,770, according to data from the Coin base currency exchange. Citing the current rise, CryptoCoins says the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies -- led by bitcoin and its rivals, ethereum and Ripple -- has now topped $300 billion for the first time, making them more valuable than Bank of America, which has a market cap of around $280 billion. (CNBC)
Car Surfing is Stupid
What's more dangerous than carrying at least a dozen people in one Jeep Cherokee? Having three of the passengers "car surf" on its roof. That's what the Oklahoma Highway Patrol says was the case near Pitcher around 3pm last Saturday. The car swerved off a gravel road, careened into a ditch, hit a tree, and landed on its top. Bryan Mitchel McGuirk, 27, was riding on the roof and ended up being thrown 20 feet. He suffered injuries to his head, arm, leg, and torso and died Saturday night. Reportedly, 27-year-old Adrian Diane Ellison and 20-year-old Brandon Carter were with McGuirk on the roof. Ellison reportedly traveled 100 feet and is hospitalized in fair condition. Carter was treated and released. Those in the vehicle included five children between the ages of 2 and 8; the 8-year-old is reportedly the only one in poor condition. Reports vary on the exact number of people who were inside the vehicle, but the Tulsa World puts the number at 10. It reports the 18-year-old driver and at least two other passengers had seat belts on; the 2-year-old was in a car seat. (Tulsa World)
Another Vegas Survivor Dies Senselessly
Roy McClellan managed to survive the infamous Vegas shooting last month, but has now succumbed to another tragedy. His wife Denise said, "I don't understand why he wasn't taken at the shooting, but a month later he was taken this way." McClellan was killed Nov. 17 as he walked along a highway about 60 miles outside Las Vegas after he was hit by a Chevy Camaro that just kept going. Denise adds, "I hope my husband found peace and he's safe now." She explained that the mass shooting "was really messing" with her husband's head and that he had been "going to therapy." (CNN)
Girl Scouts: Stop With All the Hugging!
Sexual harassment and abuse allegations are very hot topics right now-and the Girls Scouts of America are weighing in. The GSA website posted a warning to parents not to force their girls to hug or kiss adults as part of the holiday tradition or as a form of saying thank you if they don't want to. Entitled: "Reminder: She Doesn't Owe Anyone a Hug. Not Even at the Holidays," the piece highlights scenarios in which kids are often encouraged to show affection with adults like with the arrival of an uncle at a holiday gathering or when an aunt gives the child a gift. "Telling your child that she owes someone a hug either just because she hasn't seen this person in a while or because they gave her a gift can set the stage for her questioning whether she "owes" another person any type of physical affection when they've bought her dinner or done something else seemingly nice for her later in life," the piece reads. Developmental child psychologist for the Girl Scouts, Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald, explained the idea is to teach girls about consent at an early age. She says, "The notion of consent may seem very grown-up and like something that doesn't pertain to children, but the lessons girls learn when they're young about setting physical boundaries and expecting them to be respected last a lifetime, and can influence how she feels about herself and her body as she gets older. Plus, sadly, we know that some adults prey on children, and teaching your daughter about consent early on can help her understand her rights, know when lines are being crossed, and when to go to you for help." (The Advocate)
Paying it Forward
Kate McClure started a GoFundMe for 34-year-old Johnny Bobbitt Jr. after the homeless and destitute veteran used his last $20 bucks on her when her car ran out of gas on a Philly interstate earlier this month. Her crowdfunding effort on Bobbitt's behalf has since surpassed $375,000! Bobbitt says he's been "blown away" by the generosity from McClure and everyone who's donated. At one point Bobbitt actually asked McClure to halt the fundraiser, which she did for all of 12 minutes before people insisted they still wanted to donate. McClure is arranging to hire a lawyer and financial adviser for Bobbitt, who says he plans to offer some of the cash that's come his way to organizations that help people in need. "Everybody out there is facing some kind of struggle, so if I can touch their life, the way mine was touched, [it'd be] an amazing feeling," he said. His sudden windfall will also help him purchase a home but he adds, "There won't be no brand new car - because buying used is smarter." (ABC News)
Presidents Don't Usually Live to 93
George HW Bush set a presidential record Saturday by simply waking up and going about his day. Bush Sr. turned 93 and 166 days over the weekend, making him the longest living US president in the country's history. The previous record holder, Gerald Ford, lived to be 93 and 165 days before his death in 2006. Jimmy Carter, at 93 and 56 days, isn't too far behind Bush Sr. Too bad Bush Sn. has been dealing with another presidential first, dealing with multiple new sexual harassment allegations decades after leaving office. (ABC News)
What the What?
A 61-year-old limousine driver who planned to launch himself into the sky in a homemade rocket this past Saturday to prove the Earth is flat didn't get to do it - and not just because the Earth is definitely not flat. "Mad" Mike Hughes says he had to call off his planned launch after the US Bureau of Land Management stepped in - and also after his "motorhome/rocket launcher" broke down in his driveway. Hughes said he got verbal permission from the Bureau of Land Management last year to launch from public property in Amboy, California. A spokesperson for the bureau says it has no record of speaking to Hughes, who didn't apply for a needed permit. The spokesperson says they reached out to Hughes after seeing media coverage ahead of his launch. Hughes response: "This is what happens anytime you have to deal with any kind of government agency." But good news-he says he plans to try again from private property next week. He hopes to launch himself 1,800 feet into the air at 500mph. Should he survive that, he says he plans to eventually launch himself miles above the Earth in order to definitely prove it's flat. (Desert Sun)