The Upbeat

  • Kidnapped boy rescued with iPad and 'Find My iPhone' app

    Mike Krumboltz at The Upbeat 3 yrs ago

    Find my iPhone? More like 'Find my kid!' A quick-thinking Texas dad was able to help cops track down his kidnapped 5-year-old son with an iPad and iPhone, police said. Houston s KTRX reports that the boy's father left him in his 2001 Ford Expedition when he stopped at a liquor store but took his iPad with him. When the father returned, his car was gone — and the kid. But he called police and helped guide them to his son, using the "Find my iPhone" app. Lt. Wayne Schultz of the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office spoke to KTRX following the boy's rescue. "The father had an iPad that he'd taken in with him and he utilized that iPad with the iPhone that was in the car and was able to track it," he said. "And the information was provided from our deputies to our dispatch, that was able to be communicated through the Harris County Sheriff's Office dispatch also and they were able to get information out to the troops in the field to where we could disseminate information in almost a real-time environment to put it out to guys who were looking for the vehicle with the child in it." Once the suspect was apprehended, the boy ...

  • Nation's firefighters honor fallen 9/11 comrades with stair climbs

    Mike Krumboltz at The Upbeat 3 yrs ago

    Firefighters across the country this past weekend honored the first responders who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks with a series of grueling tributes. Stair climbs, in which firefighters climb the equivalent of the World Trade Center, take place each year near the anniversary of the attacks.

    This past weekend, firefighters from coast to coast did their part to remember the 343 firefighters and rescue workers who made the ultimate sacrifice at the World Trade Center, and they also did their best to understand the physical challenges the heroes went through. There also will be stair climbs Wednesday, the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, and still more this coming weekend. Money raised at the events goes toward the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. In San Diego, firefighters, police, enlisted men and women, and regular civilians climbed the stairs of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel. Some wore regular clothes, others wore roughly 60 pounds of gear.

  • Woman attempts to wear only recycled outfits for 365 days

    Claudine Zap at The Upbeat 3 yrs ago

    Despite fashion industry efforts to make clothing production more sustainable, a lot of clothes still end up at the dump. It’s an “urgent problem to encourage consumers to decrease clothing wastage entering landfill,” she wrote to Yahoo News in an email.

    Dean, who is the founder of the environmentally focused fashion organization Redress, and who was at the dump for another project, took a vow to wear only “100% dumped, discarded or donated secondhand clothes” everyday of 2013, except for shoes and underthings, which were her own.

    And we’re not talking about coming up with ten outfits and then rotating. No, no. Dean wanted 365 different looks, a new one each and every day.

    So far, so good. Dean sorts through castaway clothing each month, looking for 30 outfits, which are then photographed at GetRedressed on Instagram. At the end of the year, the outfits will be auctioned to benefit Redress and Friends of the Earth.

    Each month has a theme, such as “DIY,” “on trend,” or “little black dress.” If these sound challenging, Dean has a stylist on hand to help choose the outfits, which are not always to her taste.

  • Rare — and adorable — baby elephant born in Indonesia

    Claudine Zap at The Upbeat 3 yrs ago

    Cuteness alert: A female baby elephant was born Aug. 9 in Indonesia’s Tesso Nilo National Park, the World Wildlife Fund announced. The Tesso Nilo calf’s mother is 35 years old and a trooper: She was pregnant for 20-22 months before giving birth to the 90-kilo (198-pound) baby only a few days before World Elephant Day, according to the animal conservation organization.

    The calf’s mother is part of an elite team of critically endangered Sumatran elephants and their handlers who protect villages from coming into conflict with nearby wild elephants.

    Only four elephants have been born to the group since it was established by the World Wildlife Fund and Indonesia's Ministry of Forestry in 2004.

    The so-called Flying Squad is made up of four trained adult elephants and their eight handlers, called mahouts, who deploy noisemakers, lights and a truck to drive back the wild elephants who try to enter local villages.

  • Dolphins remember their old friends, study finds

    Claudine Zap at The Upbeat 3 yrs ago

    Not only do dolphins make friends, they also apparently remember them for decades.

    Researchers noticed that dolphins in captivity that had been separated for as long as 20 years still recognize their former tank mates' calls, according to a study reported on

    In the study, scientists were able to track dolphins who had met previously, and here's how they did it: Over five years, researchers followed 43 dolphins in six institutions in the United States and Bermuda. Dolphins are moved around a lot, but institutions keep careful records. Also, each dolphin develops a unique whistle that is like a dolphin handle recognized by their fellow dolphins. Researchers were equipped with recordings of 1,200 bottle-nosed dolphin whistles that they played for the 43 dolphins over speakers.

    When the dolphins recognized a whistle — even if it was one from a tank mate from years before — they would stop, swim up to the speaker and sometimes whistle back to their buddies. For those they had never heard, there was no response.

  • Daniel Maree wins $100,000 grand prize Do Something award

    Claudine Zap at The Upbeat 3 yrs ago

    Daniel Maree, who made the hoodie a symbol of social activism, won a $100,000 grand prize award for his organization, Million Hoodie Movement for Justice, from the group

    The star-studded event was held at the Avalon in Hollywood and aired live on VH1. Celebrities were also recognized for their charitable work, including Jennifer Hudson, Patrick Dempsey, LL Cool J and Kelly Osbourne. Sophia Bush hosted the festivities and announced the grand prize winner.

    “This is for Trayvon Martin, this is for Oscar Grant,” said Maree when his name was announced. “This is for all the million hoodies across the United States. Thank you so much.”

    Maree, a digital strategist who lived for a time in Gainesville, Fla., says he experienced racial profiling firsthand. He was spurred to action after the shooting death of the unarmed 17-year-old, hoodie-wearing Trayvon Martin, in Sanford, Fla., last year.

  • Tiger population grows in Nepal

    Claudine Zap at The Upbeat 3 yrs ago

    The world's wild tiger population has dwindled since the last century, but wildlife conservationists say there are hopeful signs in Nepal. The South Asian nation's government announced on Monday — Global Tiger Day — that its tiger population has increased 63 percent since the last survey in 2009.

    The region where the count was conducted is a 600-mile stretch of land in Nepal and India called the Terai Arc Landscape, where tigers roam free.  

    The two countries signed a resolution in 2010 to combat poaching and illegal wildlife trade to protect endangered species, especially tigers.

    The animal census is tracking an international effort to double the world tiger population by the year 2022, an initiative dubbed Tx2.

    The survey, which Nepal conducted from February through June 2013, using automated cameras that captured the tigers in their habitat, showed an increase among those living in the Nepal state parks to an estimated 198. Just 121 wild tigers lived in Nepal in 2009, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

  • For 70th birthday, Bay Area teacher plans bike trip to Brazil

    Claudine Zap at The Upbeat 3 yrs ago

    Most people who turn 70 usually are happy blowing out a bunch of candles on a birthday cake.

    Capoeira teacherMestre Acordeon, who turns 70 on Aug. 30, will celebrate by undertaking an epic bike ride from his home in Berkeley, Calif., down to Bahia, Brazil.

    It’s not a straight shot; he plans to make stops along the way, teaching Capoeira, which is a Brazilian martial art, and getting to know the people wherever he visits.

    “I want to improve as a Capoeira teacher and as a human being,” Acordeon told Yahoo News over the phone.

    It sounds like a lot for anyone, let alone a septuagenarian, but Acordeon has a mission. “It’s not a marathon. It’s not a bicycle competition. It is an encounter with myself,” Acordeon said.

    He said the most he has ridden is 165 miles. For this trip, he plans to ride five to six hours a day, or 45 to 50 miles. Some days less, some days more. Although he hopes to be in Bahia for his 71st birthday, he has allowed 400 days for the journey, so he might not be.

    “It’s the force of the water that takes me to the sea of Bahia,” Acordeon said, quoting a Brazilian song. “It’s in that spirit that I ride.”

  • From ‘corpse’ to inspiration: Snowboarder’s recovery from traumatic brain injury subject of new film

    Dylan Stableford at The Upbeat 3 yrs ago

    On New Year's Eve 2009, five days before the 2010 Olympic snowboarding trials, 22-year-old Kevin Pearce was training in Park City, Utah, when he slammed his forehead into the icy wall of a half-pipe during a practice run, suffering brain trauma so severe he had to relearn how to walk and talk.

    "I look like a dead man," Pearce told Outside magazine in 2011 while viewing a photo of his limp body at the bottom of the pipe. "I look like a ... corpse."

    Pearce's three-and-a-half-year road to recovery — from corpse to commentator and international spokesman for traumatic brain injury awareness — is the subject of "The Crash Reel," a new documentary directed by Lucy Walker premiering Monday at 9 p.m. on HBO.

    Pearce now admits he was being stubborn — which is, of course, a necessary part of being an extreme athlete.

    "I have no desire to go back there," he said.

  • Injured kitty in Japan takes Web by storm

    Claudine Zap at The Upbeat 3 yrs ago

    The Web loves a good cat picture. But when the photo showed a tiny rescued creature in a crocheted outfit, the Internet took a collective swoon.

    The images of the teeny feline have been tweeted by the kitten’s owner, known by her Twitter handle, @jessiepon. The kitten, dubbed Wasabi-chan, was taken in after being badly injured by a bird.

    “She was rescued after being attacked by a crow,” Reddit user DopeSk1llz posted. “Her top jaw was fractured, a hole in her throat, tongue was ripped, and part of gum was eaten.

    The rescuer was feeding her with a tube which Wasabi-chan hates, thus this crochet straitjacket (Grandma's handmade) to hold her down while feeding.”

    Thanks to the clever idea to slip the cat into the cocoon-like sweaters – sort of warm and fuzzy body casts – Wasabi-chan has been feeding and recovering. The Daily Mail reports that Wasabi-chan is now off the feeding tube and eating on her own.

    The kitty also appears to be getting along with other members of her adopted family – a bird and a dog. Altogether now: awww.