Curtis Hargrove is a man with a beautiful mission. The 26 year-old from Cold Lake, Alberta legged it to deliver an important message to TV personality Ellen DeGeneres.
The runner ran 2,400 km over 49 days - all the way from Vancouver Island to Ellen's studios in California - to hand-deliver a blanket. Not just any blanket, but one made with love by a young woman named Angel Magnussen.
Magnussen, a 19 year-old with Down Syndrome, has been sewing her heart out daily, providing customized blankets to sick children all over the world through her non-profit “Hugginz by Angel.”
The story goes that Magnussen mailed her idol Ellen a blanket, and got no response. Then along came Hargrove with a promise:
“I asked (Angel) to make another one and told her that this time, I would personally deliver it to Ellen myself.”
He arrived outside Ellen's studios yesterday, and sadly got no reception. However, Hargrove is not easily discouraged. He hopes the message will get through to the popular talk show host, who shares Angel's love of cats.
But you can't please all the people all the time... Ellen is a busy woman. My humble little inbox alone sees lots of requests, so I can only imagine the staggering volume of requests Ellen's producers wade through every single day.
However, I love that Hargrove did this trek to raise awareness of Angel and her project. Even more than that, I love that he hasn't come down on Ellen for not providing the hero's welcome, and he has urged others not to disparage her either.
This story is not about someone getting their 15 minutes or a chance to sit on Ellen's couch.
This story is about two people who have each done an amazing thing - something that will continue to be amazing, whether Ellen acknowledges it or not.
Canada's favourite airline has just made itself even more popular with young jet-setters with the release of a Frozen-themed Boeing 737.
It may have taken 21 days and a shitload (642.5 litres, to be exact) of special sparkly paint, but Elsa, Anna and sun-worshipping snowman Olaf are finally ready to take passengers on flights from Toronto to Orlando.
A team of aviation artists paid homage to the smash Disney animated film to prove that flying can still be magical.
According to WestJet officials, the interior of the plane even got a makeover, with decal headrests and a bulkheads that transition at the front from summer sunflowers to icy snowflakes at the rear.
Instead of asking Why, the better question to ask is, Why not?
This isn't the first time WestJet got fancy and festive with its fleet. Back in 2013, WestJet partnered with the folks at Disney to put Sorcerer Mickey on the tail.
"WestJetters are the first point of contact for many of our Walt Disney World guests embarking on their memorable family vacation," said Marlie Morrison, Managing Director, Marketing & Sales, The Walt Disney Company (Canada) Ltd. "We have a great appreciation for WestJet, which shares a similar culture in bringing guests an exceptional experience from beginning to end."
Mickey is no doubt an icon. And Frozen will no doubt join the ranks of Disney classics.
Though a gruelling amount of work went into designing the plane, I can only imagine that the look on kids' faces as they board for family vacations this year will make it all worthwhile.
The rest of us, however, will be stuck inside our ice castles, dreaming of piña coladas. Just like poor Elsa.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but everyone knows the power of a well-chosen playground insult. Educators in England certainly are cognizant of this fact, which is why they've compiled a list of sexist words/phrases that kids can no longer say at school.
“We have always had clear policies on racist language but now we are making it clear to staff that any kind of sexist language is not acceptable,” said Janice Callow, deputy head of Fairfields High School in Bristol.
The new guidelines will see phrases like "man up" and "go make me a sandwich" banned from the lexicon. Kids caught saying them will be reported to teachers by other kids.
While I can get behind this thinking, I've never actually heard anyone of my generation utter the phrase "man up," nor have I, in our 16 years together, been asked to make a sandwich. And I lived in England for 10 years...
Calling someone a "sissy" falls under the general bullying umbrella, and could be used to belittle both boys and girls.
“Saying ‘Don’t be a girl’ to a boy if they are being a bit wet is also unacceptable," said Callow. "Language is a very powerful tool. You have to be so conscious of what you are saying to children.”
Without these token phrases, won't kids simply find ever more creative ways to be put each other down? Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't the focus be on teaching mutual respect in schools, rather than merely singling out select terminology?
Under the guidelines, teachers will also be appointed as 'gender champions', tasked with encouraging girls to study traditionally 'male' subjects (economics, computer science and physics) - and boys to take 'female' subjects (English literature, foreign languages and psychology) - at a higher course level.
Again, shouldn't we be encouraging ALL kids to pursue their singular interests and passions, stereotypical or not? (With the obvious caveat from a former Lit major that if you like your creature comforts, you may wish to reconsider that arts degree!)