Silly Bear, Backyard Pools Are For People

Before going swimming in your backyard pool, check for bears… that is, if you live in North Vancouver. On August 17th, Tony Diering caught a bear in his pool and recorded video of it on his cell phone. “It’s just amazing,” Diering told CTV News. “You see funny things on YouTube, but to have it happening in your own backyard…”

Well, now, Diering’s video is on YouTube. (Trust me, you’ll want to watch.)

In the video, you can see the bear having a great old time, first by lounging in the pool, then by taking a dip in the hot tub (so much for cooling off on a hot day). The bear apparently entered the yard after breaking down some of a wooden fence.

Though it’s not every day that people see bears in their backyards (despite the approximate 15,000 grizzly bears in British Columbia as of 2012), Diering said that he saw a bear in his backyard a month ago, also, but was not sure if it was the same one. “…He was helping himself to the bird seed,” Diering said.

It looks like the same bear to me, but you be the judge:

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One thing is for sure, even though the bear did commit breaking-and-entering, he is awfully cute and comical in these videos. However, Diering said he is worried about neighbors’ safety as well as property damage. Maybe next time, Diering can leave the back gate open for the bear and invite the neighbors to watch the bear’s shenanigans. (Kidding.)

Why Female Army Ranger Grads, Griest And Harver Are So Hardcore

For the first time in history, two women, Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, have graduated from the U.S. Army Ranger School. Averaging a 20-hour training day and asked to function on only 3.5 hours of sleep, I’m blown away by the mental strength, agility, and toughness.

And these ladies didn’t come here to get a participant ribbon, they came to win. According to GoArmy.com, it’s considered “the most physically and mentally demanding leadership school the Army has to offer.”

The program is an intense 61-day combat leadership course oriented toward small-unit tactics in various phases and locations to simulate and test real-life combat situations. Here’s what they went through:

Phase 1: Benning

Known as the crawl phase, Benning is “designed to assess a Soldier’s physical stamina, mental toughness, leadership abilities, and establishes the tactical fundamentals required for follow-on phases of Ranger School.” Between 50-60% of students fail to pass this phase. Events in the Benning phase are as follows:

  • Ranger Physical Fitness Test (RPFT)
    1. 49 push-ups in 2 minutes, graded strictly on form
    2. 59 sit-ups in 2 minutes
    3. 6 chin-ups (from a dead lift, no body movement)
    4. 5 mile run in 40 minutes or less
  • Combat Water Survival Assessment
    • Soldiers must traverse a log 35 feet in the air above a pond. Once across the log, they must navigate a rope crawl (also 35 feet high) and jump into the water. Then they must climb a ladder to the top of a 70 foot tower, go down a pulley and back into the pond. Students fail if they show any hesitation, fear of water, heights, or not completing the course correctly.
  • Combination Night/Day Land Navigation Test
    • Students are given a predetermined number of locations and need to navigate to them correctly. Only flashlights with red lens filters can be used to see the maps. Any other use of the flashlight means disqualification.
  • A 3-Mile Terrain Run
  • The Malvesti Field Obstacle Course (which includes the famous worm pit)
  • Demolitions Training And Airborne Refresher Training
  • A 12-Mile Forced, Loaded Foot March
    • In a loaded foot march, one carries a load on one’s back in full gear.  This must be completed in less than 3 hours.
army worm pit photo
Photo by The U.S. Army

Phase 2: Mountain

The mountain phase includes 4 days of mountain training and 4 days of combat training near Dahlonega, Georgia.

According to the U.S. Army, “Patrol missions are conducted both day and night and include Air Assault Operations and extensive cross country movements through mountainous terrain.”

Soldiers have to deal with extreme elements including belaying over rugged mountainous terrain, river crossings and severe weather exposure including heat, frostbite, poison ivy, and more.

army-ranger-mountain-phase
Wikipedia | Signaleer

Phase 3: Florida

Phase 3 takes place at Camp Rudder near Valparaiso, Florida. Here, students are trained and asked to execute tactics that simulate boat and air assault missions.

With extreme humidity, swampy conditions, and dangerous wildlife and reptiles like crocodiles and snakes, this phase is taxing on everyone. In this final phase, soldiers also have to make a parachute jump.

army ranger parachute jump photo
Photo by Program Executive Office Soldier P

Sweet Little Boy Cries At Thought Of Leaving His Mom To Go To Preschool

This little guy’s reaction is absolutely precious. When a reporter from KTLA interviewed Andrew Macias about his first day of preschool, she asked if he was going to miss his mom.

4-year old Macias initially states no, but then immediately tears up at the thought of not seeing his mommy for the whole day.

His tears are a simple reminder how much we need our mothers. So next time you see your mama, make sure to give her a hug.

Middle School Cheerleader Hannah Grace Is Remembered For Her Bright Spirit

Hannah Grace Venable made Laura Bush Middle School in Lubbock, Texas, just a little brighter. She participated in student council, choir, swimming and little league baseball. But all of those extracurriculars were just hobbies. Hannah Grace’s real love was cheerleading.

Hannah Grace, who was born with Down Syndrome, never let the disorder hold her back. Her classmates and family members described her as “full of life,” according to KAMC News. On Friday, while she was out shopping with her mother, Karla, Hannah Grace suffered sudden cardiac arrest and died at the age of 15. She was about to start eighth grade.

Now, both her family and her classmates are being force to mourn her unexpected loss. Kaitlyn Lueb, who has been close friends with Hannah Grace since kindergarten, told KAMC News that she and Hannah Grace raised money for the Salvation Army together and spent time together during cheerleading practice. Lueb said that losing someone like Hannah Grace is “just so hard you don’t even think it’s real.”

Lueb explained that Hannah Grace’s life wasn’t easy or perfect, but her persistently positive attitude in the face of imperfection is what made her seem indestructible.

“… She had this spark about her and she thought she was awesome, which she was. She was just a really sassy girl and I love that about her, it really stands out,” Leub told KAMC News. “She just makes everyone have a brighter day or just be a better person.”

Hannah Grace’s parents, Keith and Karla, said she wanted to be a cheerleader ever since she heard an announcement at school that the team was having tryouts. Her parents told KCBD News that she went through the same tryouts as all the other girls, where she cheered in front of judges, and attended all the clinics. Then, in 2014, she was named honorary cheerleader for the 2014 football season. Mondays became Hannah Grace’s favorite days, because she could watch her favorite show, Dancing With The Stars, and practice cheerleading.

“It’s just something we didn’t ever know she would be able to do,” Karla told KCBD, with tears in her eyes.

In 2007, Keith and Karla found Hannah Grace unresponsive on her bedroom floor after having fallen out of her bed, and they didn’t know how much she would ever really be able to do. For days, Hannah Grace lay unresponsive in a hospital bed in Lubbock, while doctors said she had suffered significant damage to her spinal cord.

“For the first month, we weren’t even sure she would make it,” Keith told KCBD. “She was completely paralyzed on her left side.”

Then, she spent four months in The Children’s Hospital in Dallas, where she began an intensive rehab program. Hannah Grace made a full recovery, and the Lubbock-Cooper School District, where Keith had been a teacher for 20 years, raised tens of thousands of dollars to help cover Hannah Grace’s treatment.

Seven years later, Hannah Grace was a part of a bubbly pack of cheerleaders.

A GoFundMe page titled “Queen Hannah Grace Venable” was set up by a friend to raise money to help support the Venables during this heartbreaking loss. Those who would like to donate can also bring check or cash donations to the Lubbock-Cooper School District, where the district’s central offices are collecting donations for the family.

“She gave life everywhere she went,” the GoFundMe page set up in Hannah Grace’s name read. “She loved cheering with her girls at Laura Bush Middle School and being with her therapy horse Hank. Spending time with her daddy watching the Rangers and playing Challenger Little League with her Royals were things she greatly enjoyed. She was a champion in the Special Olympics and was cherished by her church family at The Springs Fellowship. Anywhere Hannah went was a dance party, and if she was wearing a crown, all the better. She overcame so much and taught us how to live in full joy no matter the circumstances.”

Image: Taylor Langston/YouTube