Saturday, March 24, 2012

Some good news for a change 3/24/12

A 101-year-old great-great-grandmother was recognized by the Guinness World Records this week as the oldest woman ever to tandem paraglide. Mary Hardison of Ogden, Utah, took her record flight to celebrate her birthday in September of last year, while being cheered on by four generations of her family. This week, Guinness said it would officially add her feat to the record books. She said she was “humbled” by her record, and encouraged other elderly people to try to break it. “Do things as long as you are physically able,” she said. “Be positive. Friends don’t like a grumpy person.”

A former military dog handler will be reunited with the bomb-sniffing dog she served with in Iraq, after saving her canine colleague from being put down. Former Marine Cpl. Megan Leavey, of Rockport, N.Y., completed over 100 missions with Sgt. Rex, a German shepherd, and the two were both wounded in a 2006 bomb explosion. So Leavey was devastated to learn that Rex, 10, was due to be euthanized. She got 21,000 people to sign her online petition urging the military to reconsider, and will soon adopt the dog. “Rex is my partner,” said Leavey. “It’s a very strong bond.”

Thanks to Google Earth, a onetime orphan raised in Australia has been reunited with the Indian family he left behind 25 years ago. Saroo Brierley accidentally boarded a train in Khandwa, India, as a 5-year-old beggar, and ended up 900 miles away in Calcutta. He was taken in by an orphanage, from which he was adopted by an Australian family. But Brierley never forgot his childhood home, and after thousands of hours searching the Internet, he recognized familiar sights from his village on Google Earth. He was finally reunited with his family last month, and now Hollywood producers are hoping to film his remarkable tale.

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