A Kenyan high school teacher is using old laptop batteries to turn petrol-powered bikes into electric ones. Paul Waweru, a Physics teacher based in Nairobi, is turning second-hand electronics destined to become waste products into something useful. Waweru said he had to import an electric bike but the bike didn’t last long which prompted him to get innovative.
He buys old batteries that can cost as little as 0.50 Kenyan shillings, which he then cannibalizes for the cells that still can hold a decent charge. Once he has enough battery cells, he configures them into battery packs to replace the internal combustion engines of existing scooters and bikes.
A full charge on the laptop battery pack is around 60 miles and it can fully charge in 45 minutes for less than half the cost of a full tank of fuel. He founded a company called Ecomobilus which sells Ecomobilus bikes. They require zero maintenance because there are no mechanical parts that need to be repaired.
Many African cities are choked with air pollution, especially during the dry seasons, and some are seeing electric bikes as the perfect solution to quickly and effectively improve on this vital issue. Ecomobilus Bikes are now being used by many couriers and delivery drivers as a cost effective solution to the air pollution problems.
In a story that sounds like an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, a Philadelphia surgeon ran about a mile to and from a hospital to pick up a liver for his patient after a courier’s route was blocked by thousands of marathon runners. Charles Rowe, 66, was waiting on an operating table with his surgeon Adam Bodzin, scheduled for a life saving liver transplant. Meanwhile, an out-of-town van driver for Philly-based Gift of Life Donor Program found his route to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital would be blocked by the Dietz & Watson Philadelphia Half Marathon at two separate points.
Event organizers and police have access points for emergencies going towards the hospital, but the courier couldn’t find them even after consulting police. When Bodzin heard about the delay he decided to get the liver himself. Clad in sneakers and teal scrubs, Bodzin weaved his way at a full run from the hospital entrance through the stream of runners.
Reaching the driver and taking the sealed container with the liver on ice, he zigzagged back the same way before hitching a ride with the police back to the hospital on the other side of the marathon route. Thanks to Bodzin’s quick thinking, they managed to transplant the liver successfully, an hour after the time when the liver begins to deteriorate.
Rowe made a full recovery and left the hospital 6 days later and considers Bodzin a hero. “He went beyond the call of duty. I guess he’s got a cape underneath that white jacket” Rowe said. When asked about his hero status he modestly said he would describe himself as “more of a biker” and he hopes the story inspires people to become organ donors.
An Anthony van Dyck piece found in a shed in upstate New York — where it was originally purchased for a paltry $600 — has sold for a staggering $3.1 million at auction. The long lost painting dates back to between 1615 and 1618, was reportedly a live model study for the Flemish master’s opus “Saint Jerome With an Angel,” which is currently on display in Amsterdam.
The hefty price tag may seem outrageous for most but the nearly 3-foot-tall work is reportedly one of two such live studies of that scale to survive. Christopher Apostle, the head of the Old Master Paintings department at Sotheby’s in New York, said “They weren’t really meant to be exhibited, the artist would often keep them in the studio to refer back to later.”
Art collector Albert B. Roberts had originally discovered the ritzy rough draft, entitled “A Study for Saint Jerome,” in a shed in Kinderhook, New York during an estate sale in 2002. The back of the canvas was riddled with bird droppings but the art aficionado identified it as a Dutch Golden Age painting and scooped it up for just $600.
Roberts had his find authenticated in 2019 by art historian Susan Barnes, who recognized the template as a “surprisingly well-preserved” work by van Dyck. Roberts died in August 2021 at the age of 89 and his estate offered the painting to Sotheby’s for auction. Part of the proceeds will go towards Albert B. Roberts Foundation Inc., which provides financial support to artists and various charities.
A Las Vegas pizzeria has been blessed thanks to a TikToker on the rise. On Jan. 3, TikTok food reviewer Keith Lee shared a video to his millions of followers that would change the fate of Frankensons, a Las Vegas restaurant that serves pizza, chicken wings and more. In the video, he recounts a story about how he came in one day and had a heartwarming experience with the owner, Frank Steele.
“Yesterday afternoon, I got an email from an employee of a family-owned restaurant here in Vegas,“ Lee said. He explains that an employee asked him to come and try the spot because, while they think the food is delicious, Frankensons business was flailing. The employee said the business couldn’t afford to pay rent as a result. They cite a lack of marketing as the culprit for their slow business, and while they would love a food reviewer to come review the food, the only offer they received from another influencer would’ve cost them $2,600. Lee didn’t charge them and paid for his own food, wondering if it was really the marketing, or if the food was bad.
In a tiktok post that garnered an astounding 31.8 million views in a week, Lee delivers his honest review of Frankensons’ wings, pizza and garlic knots — all of which cost him $86.73. “Frank was so dope. He took his time, he was patient,” Lee says of the owner of Frankensons, with whom he had a long chat about the business. Lee maintains that Steele’s kindness added another level to the already impeccable service at Frankensons.
At the time, Steele had no idea about Lee’s legion of TikTok followers or his considerable influence. “This is one of the best wings I’ve ever had, this is a 10,” Lee says after taking a bite of a lemon pepper chicken wing. Other items he gives high scores to are the garlic knots, a classic Italian sub, the thin crust and classic pepperoni pizzas and the peach chutney wings. Lee is fair in his reviewing, however — he says isn’t such a fan of the fries or the ranch dressing.
Frank Steele said business wasn’t great for his four-month-old restaurant, and he was lucky if he did $400 a day in sales. Lee’s TikTok review brought Frankensons customers from Iowa, California, Utah and more. According to Steele, it only took a few hours after Lee’s visit for the tides to change. “Our phone never stopped ringing. I’ve sold more lemon pepper wings in the last two days than I have in the past four months. I made more garlic knots yesterday and the day before than I’ve ever made. It’s just been overwhelming. It’s been a blessing. This restaurant has been a dream of mine for 30 years” Steele said, choking up.
In a series of follow-up videos, Lee shares that he has visited Steele a few times since the review went viral and said that by day 4, that the lines for the business are still down the block.
“Frank! Bro, what,” Lee says to Steele in his most recent TikTok update. As Lee looks at the line outside the shop that his video caused, folks in line cheer. “This is crazy.” Steele said “I’m working to get stocked up on supplies and food and bringing everyone in to help. All I can say is thank you. This has been life-changing.”
What began as a single life jacket loaner booth for boaters to borrow any size preserver before going on the water, has turned into the world’s largest life jacket loaner program. The program, which started in 2008, now operates loaner stations in all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands—all thanks to a Long Island, New York captain.
Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer kept seeing boating accidents and tragedies that could have been prevented, so he decided to start the nonprofit Sea Tow Foundation in 2007 to provide the education and resources to eliminate them. By the following year, the Life Jacket Loaner program was started to help prevent drownings by providing free life jackets to boaters of any size, that they can borrow and return at the end of their outing.
While Frohnhoefer passed away in 2015, his legacy lives on through the efforts of the foundation and his daughter Kristen, who is now president of the board. The Life Jacket Loaner program reached a huge milestone last month, setting up its 1,000th location at the beach in Clearwater, Florida. Executive Director Gail Kulp said “Since 2008, we’ve distributed over 90,000 life jackets. We believe that financial struggles or lack of access to resources should never be an obstacle to safety.”
Anyone needing a life jacket can check their map of every loaner location, here. Capt. Kahle, the Commander of US Coast Guard in St. Petersburg said “It’s truly game-changing when someone puts on a life jacket. The statistics don’t lie—life jackets save lives.” The foundation website also explains how people can donate life jackets to the program.
A group of high school football players in Georgia are being recognized for helping get a woman out of her wrecked car. The six students ran to the aid of a woman trapped in her car minutes after an accident near the school. As the vehicle began to smoke, they worked together to pry her bad mangled door open to get her out.
The Rome High School football players were identified as Cesar Parker, Treyvon Adams, Antwiion Carey, Messiah Daniels, Tyson Brown and Alto Moore. As soon as they saw the wrecked car they leapt into action. “We just ran as fast as we could to the lady and check on her to see if she was alright. We saw she was in pain, she was screaming and asking us to help her. We used all our muscles,we’re pretty big people, we’re strong. We play football, so we lift weights a lot, but the door was just extremely bent and broke.” Adams said.
It all happened in about a minute, once the woman was freed the teens checked on the other driver involved in the accident and carried on their way back to class. The 50 year old woman was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries. Their heroic actions were witnessed by staff at the school and they have been recognized by both the Rome City Schools and the Rome Police Department.
Ninth grade teacher Luis Goya witnessed the incident and praised them in a social media post that included a picture of them while they pulled the door open. “This morning I witnessed something amazing that our Rome High Football players did. While I was in front of the school during my morning duty, I heard a loud noise at the intersection that appeared to be a wreck. While I was running to the intersection, I noticed that two cars were involved. There was a 50 year old lady trapped in her car and couldn’t get out. Smoke started to come out of the car, and fluid started to spill everywhere in the intersection. The door was jammed and in terrible shape. While I was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, the football players who witnessed the wreck, ran to the car and started helping the lady. They literally started using their strength to pry the door open, so the lady could be released. After a few seconds of pulling and pushing the door, the boys ended up opening it and helped her get out of the car. She was shaking and still in panic, but our RHS boys gave her comfort and were able to help her. The Rome High School football players really showed up today. They went above and beyond to help this lady without hesitation” Goya said.
Adams admitted that the team has been getting a lot of love and recognition for their act, which teachers said they deserved, and the school has helped drive. In true hero fashion, the teens say while the recognition was nice, it was something anyone would do.
The New York Public Library launched a Summer at the Library initiative that includes a slew of free programs to entice readers. A full list of free programs and offerings—ranging from baby lapsit programs to arts and crafts for teens—can be found at their website. The library, which serves the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island-is highlighting the centerpiece of the program, a large scale book giveaway.
They are giving away 500,000 books for free to kids, teens and families at all of its branch locations. The initiative is an effort to help folks build their at-home libraries and “strengthen the city’s ecosystem of learning,” according to an official press release. Some libraries will even offer Spanish, Chinese and large print titles to keep.
The program started June 9th and anyone 18 and under can go to one of the branches with their library card or sign up for one and select a free book. The Summer at the Library project offers a list of over 100 summer reading recommendations from expert librarians. It also offers programs like storytimes and podcasting workshops; outdoor pop-ups that include library card sign-up events and others involving the NYPL’s famous bookmobiles; and a number of other initiatives targeted directly to adults.
Educators agree that reading over the summer is critical to helping kids maintain learning while school is out and also for fostering social-emotional development. Eighty-three-percent of educators say reading helps students understand people that are different from them, 81% say reading helps students develop empathy, and 81% say reading helps students see themselves in characters and stories.
Multiple studies have shown that owning books is a big boost to children’s literacy. Chidlren growing up in a home with at least 80 books are associated with higher literacy levels. Teens who grew up with a library of books at home “become as literate, numerate and technologically apt in adulthood as university graduates who grew up with only a few books.” A child who owns just one book of their own is six times more likely to read above grade level and three times as likely to enjoy reading.
A Tennessee family opened their home in 2018 to Andrew, a 12-year-old foster child who had lived in foster care for about six years. Kevin and Dominique Gill explained that when Andrew’s parents’ parental rights were terminated, the young boy’s four siblings were adopted. Andrew was left alone to wait for his forever home.
After spending several years in foster care, the little boy finally had a chance at happiness, as Kevin and Dominique fostered the child. The couple, who have a son Joc the same age as Andrew, quickly realized the boy was reclusive and would always sit in his room with the door closed. He would push the couple away but after a few days he did bond with their son, having alot in common with him.
They knew what he had been through and decided not to give up on him so they showed him all the love and care he needed to be comfortable. After spending more than a year with the Gills family, Andrew left, but he and Joc remained friends. Dominique and Kevin did not have plans of adopting a child, so they decided on helping Andrew find his new family.
However, when the boy’s second adoption did not work out, Kevin and Dominique knew Andrew belonged with them. Dominique said that people often got scared away when they read Andrew’s file, but she knew he was a good child who had experienced a lot of trauma. One day, Andrew got the surprise of his life while walking through the park with Youth Villages Counselor Molly Parker.
He turned around and saw familiar faces holding signs and balloons. The Gills family asked him if he wanted to become part of the family and without hesitation, Andrew said yes. Dominique said though they never thought about adopting before, Andrew was their son just like Joc was theirs. He had become a full member of the family so a decision they never envisioned making became the only one to make.
A California woman got the shock of her life after bringing home a set of sofas and a chair that she found on Craigslist for free. Vicki Umodu of Colton, California said she just moved in and was excited to get the first pieces of furniture in her new home. A lump in the cushion of a chair she initially thought might be a heating pad but said it felt like a bunch of paper.
When she unzipped the cover, she pulled out envelopes stuffed with thousands of dollars in cash. It turned out to be more than $36,000 stashed inside the cushion. “I was just telling my son, come, come, come! I was screaming, this is money! I need to call the guy” she said. When Umodu called she learned that a family member had recently died and the family was selling furniture as they were clearing out the house. .
The man’s family said they believe it was hidden away by the deceased as part of a saving strategy. Vicki said it never once occurred to her to keep the money. “God has been kind to me and my children,” Umodu said. “They are all alive and well, I have three beautiful grandchildren, so what can I ever ask of God?”
Umodu said she was not expecting a dime from them but the owners were so grateful for her honesty that they gave Umodu $2,200 to buy a new refrigerator for herself. They also said they later found money hidden in other places in the house and are now checking all the furniture they were planning to sell-all thanks to Umodu’s honesty.
Shahzeb Anwer left his home in Pakistan for surgery in the U.S. and says he found more than medical help in Birmingham, Alabama. The 31-year-old found his ‘home away from home’ in the southern city, and now considers it—and all its 211,000 residents—part of his family. He was so enamored by how welcoming people were he invited the entire city to his wedding.
Anwer, who suffered from kidney stones every year or two, needed a surgery that he found could be done effectively and affordable at UAB Hospital in Birmingham. He decided to do his homework on the city he had never heard of before. He posted on a small Reddit group for the Magic City asking things like what to wear and the best way to get around. He was taken back by the southern hospitality he received.
He said “People responded in a way that I wouldn’t even expect from my own people in Pakistan, it was very unexpected.” People in the group made recommendations, helped to facilitate his trip/stay by making sure he had rides to places and were cheering him on. One Birminghamer, Andrew Harris would drive him around, take him out to dinner, and ensure he got to try as many foods from other countries as possible.
He said Anwer always tried to pay him, but that he never accepted because it was like he was making a great friend out of the South Asian visitor. After the surgery was a complete success, Anwer was set to return to Pakistan. After returning to Pakistan, Anwer felt that since Harris and the rest of Birmingham had become such a positive part of his life, he wanted to invite them to his upcoming wedding.
He posted in the same Reddit group that all the members to the thread were invited, and they could bring anyone from the city. Days after his wedding he posted an update- “Hello home city and its people. I hope you’re all fine. Just a glimpse of one of my days though marriage is a multi day celebration here.” Once again he saw the southern hospitality as the group rained well-wishes on him and his fiancee.