When Your Tax Refund Goes Viral

A recovering drug addict and single mom took her $5,600 tax refund and did something incredibly responsible with it. Christina Knaack paid her rent for an entire year, then put a photo of the rent check on Facebook, explaining her reasoning in a post that's since gone viral. She writes: "Instead of buying my kids the latest Jordans or fancy electronics I paid my rent for the YEAR. I'm a single mom and I do it all buy [sic] myself on a minimum wage job. I (know) that a roof over my kids head is what's important." She went on to say that she keeps her priorities "straight" to make sure her kids have everything they need -- and that with the extra $450 per month they won't be paying in rent, the family can do things together. The post has racked up more than 300,000 Facebook "reactions," just eight of them "angry," and thousands of comments -- most of them supportive. Of course you can't please everyone and one commenter wondered why Knaack hadn't used the money to start saving to buy a house, while another wondered why she doesn't have a better-paying job. (Houston Chronicle)

Get to Europe for $65!

This could be the summer to go to Europe, so long as you live in the Northeast. Norwegian Air International is offering $65 one-way flights on 10 routes between Europe and the U.S. this summer, using the smaller Boeing 737 Max. There are three points of departure stateside: Bradley International, near Hartford, Conn.; TF Green in Providence, RI; and Stewart International, which is about 60 miles north of Manhattan. The available destinations vary by airport, but include Edinburgh, Scotland; and Belfast, Cork, Dublin, and Shannon Airport in Ireland. Flights begin in June, and when it comes to what Norwegian calls the "cheapest Transatlantic flights ever." The special tickets are extremely limited in number and don't include basics like a meal or a seat reservation. The next fares begin at $99. By comparison, a one-way ticket from New York to Dublin on other airlines currently ranges from $655 to $2,755. (Reuters)

And You Thought the Pot Thing Was a Big Deal in Colorado

If the legalized pot thing in Colorado drove you crazy, you'll really love this - women in Fort Collins, Colorado are now free to walk around topless! A federal judge has blocked a 2015 city ordinance banning women from publicly showing their breasts because he says it's discriminatory. City officials say the law - which doesn't apply to women who breastfeed - protects children, while an assistant police chief testified that bare female breasts would cause traffic accidents. But U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson didn't buy it and wrote: "As a breast is one of the first things a child sees, "children do not need to be protected from [it] ... but from the negative societal norms, expectations, and stereotypes associated with it." He continued, the law "perpetuates a stereotype ingrained in our society that female breasts are primarily objects of sexual desire whereas male breasts are not." Members of the "Free the Nipple campaign" who fought the ordinance called the ruling a "historic victory" and "a huge relief." Under the ordinance, women faced 180 days in jail or $2,650 in fines for exposing their breasts. (Denver Post)

Racist Booted Off Plane - Passengers Cheer!

A hateful man who reportedly harassed a Pakistani couple was escorted off a United Airlines flight, drawing cheers from passengers. One woman yelled, "Goodbye racist!" as the man and his companion were escorted off Flight 1113 from Chicago to Houston. The incident began after a Pakistani couple in traditional dress boarded the plane and the suspect asked them twice, "That's not a bomb in your bag, is it?" The same man then turned to another passenger sitting with her Indian-American boyfriend and asked where her boyfriend was from. The boyfriend responded, "None of your business." At that point the man said, "All illegals and all foreigners need to leave the country." Passengers complained, and cell phone video captured a flight attendant approaching the man and asking him to gather his belongings and escorting him off the plane. As he gets up to leave, the unidentified man says, "Happy flight home. I hope you stay there." A woman traveling with him flashes her middle finger. The woman filming then says, "Racists aren't welcome in America. This is not Trump's America! Goodbye racist!" Other passengers cheered as the couple were led away. But in a parting shot, the man says, "Hey, I'll come back, but you'll be gone." A United rep later said that removing passengers is rare but "most customers appreciate a place where they feel safe and where they're not going to be attacked and we want to provide that."(Washington Post)

People Unlike You and Me

So-called body modification artists are used to pushing beyond the boundaries most of us are comfortable with, but Torz Reynolds of Essex, England may have just seriously raised the bar. The 30-year-old chopped off the pinky on her left hand with bolt cutters - detailing the countdown to her thousands of Facebook followers. Why? Well for no better reason then she thought it would "look good." You'll be happy to know she says the wound is "healing so well" and she totally loves it! It's not the first time Torz made headlines, having previously sliced off a tattoo with a scalpel and sending it to her ex-boyfriend. Some have questioned the authenticity of the stunt but we have to say - the pictures do look real. She said, "I do these things for myself. It's not hurting ANYBODY else. I chose to document them on Facebook because I want to share the experience with my friends." (Metro)(

30 Years in Just Under Two Minutes

On Feb. 23, 1987, Karl Baden, a photography professor at Boston College, set his 35mm camera on a tripod, stood in front of it with a neutral expression, and snapped what we now call a selfie. He's done the same thing every day since. Well, except Oct. 15, 1991 which he blames on "a dumb moment of forgetfulness." The result is nearly 11,000 photos that have been put together in a video montage just under two minutes long. Over the years, Baden avoided growing a beard or mustache for consistency, yet they show the remarkable progression of a 34-year-old into a 64-year-old man. Baden's face has become more lined and his hair more grey since beginning the "Every Day" project. But the most dramatic transformation occurs in photos from 2001 when Baden is thinner, a result of chemotherapy treatment for prostate cancer. Baden has regained weight with his cancer in remission, but his sparse eyebrows are a lasting sign. He said they never quite grew back after treatment. The owner of an art gallery where Baden's photos have been displayed says they show the need to immortalize oneself. But they're also so relatable "because we're all in same boat. We're all going to die." Baden says he'll keep taking those same selfies until death knocks on his door. Students have dubbed him the "father of the selfie" and while Baden doesn't quite make the same claim, he does credit the "selfie craze" with lifting his project from obscurity. (Boston Magazine)

What the What?

Here's a floral bouquet any girl would love. A man in Jilin Province, China sent of a special bouquet of flowers made out of individual bank bills worth just under $1,400 in U.S. currency. Each individual bill in the 10,000 Yuan was rolled into the shape of a rose by a florist in Changchun. The bouquet was then delivered to the man's girlfriend as a good omen to start the year of the rooster with. Of course the social media world is a cruel place and viral images of the bouquet have drawn the wrath of many saying the extravagant gift is ridiculous. One person said: "I wouldn't take it if I were his girlfriend. It's just a way to humiliate your girlfriend and it's not romantic at all." Still another pointed out that, unlike flowers, the bank notes wouldn't wilt and die within a week. (Metro)


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