Posts tagged with "Today show"

Five-year-old in a Chucky costume terrorizes unsuspecting Alabama neighborhood

July 28, 2022

“Hi, I’m Chucky. Wanna play?” There are some things in life that require a double take. For Kendra Walden, it was seeing what appeared to be a Chucky doll come to life walking down the street in her Alabama neighborhood.

The 31-year-old, who works in Albertville, Alabama, was in a car with two other women when she first spotted a life-sized version of the murderous doll from the 1988 horror film, Child’s Play.

“I was remodeling a house in the area and me and some of my employees were headed home from that house,” Walden told Today Parents—a segment of the Today morning show on NBC-TV.

Walden said she thought she was hallucinating. “When we got closer to him we saw that it was real,” she said. “It scared the heck out of us.”

Walden told Today that everyone in the car was “screaming like little kids.”

“My brother Zack, who is a Marine, was working on this house the day before,” Walden said. “His biggest fear in the entire world is Chucky so he would have died on the spot.”

Walden said her employee driving the car, Alexis Atchley, turned around so everyone could get a closer look.

“When we circled back around [the boy] had his mask off, but quickly popped it back on and crossed the street after we passed,” Walden told Today. “We turned around again and that’s when we got the photos.”

Walden uploaded three photos to her Facebook page of the encounter.

Dear Parents of the little boy in the chucky costume in Pinson,” Walden captioned the photos. “GET YOUR KID….I almost had a heart attack.”

Walden said her social post, which has garnered more than 51,000 likes and 105,000 shares, was “just for fun” and she did not expect it to go viral.

“At first it was private and then a friend asked to make it public and after that it’s been crazy,” she said. “I can rarely check my notifications because so many are on the Chucky post. I’ve had so many people reach out about people sharing it and such.”

Research contact: @TODAYshow

Jill Biden decorates White House lawn for Valentine’s Day

February 15, 2022

First Lady Jill Biden is at it again with Valentine’s Day decorations. This year, she’s celebrating with life-size displays of faith, hope, and love—and some animal appreciation, as well, reports NBC’s Today show.

Overnight, large, hand-painted, wooden artwork in the shape of the Biden’s new puppy, Commander, and new cat, Willow, appeared on the North Lawn of the White House.

There is also a jumbo heart inscribed with 1 Corinthians 13:13: “Three things will last forever, faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”

NBC News White House correspondent Kelly O’Donnell shared photos of the display on Twitter.

But the love doesn’t stop there. There is also a Valentine’s Day display inside the East Wing of the White House. FLOTUS organized a display of 42 “heart-work” created by the second-grade classes of the Washington, DC 2021 Teacher of the Year, Mr. Alejandro Diasgranados, of Aiton Elementary School.

Twenty of those students were invited to visit the White House on Monday, February 14, and tour the State Floor.

“The First Lady is known for her sense of humor, love of surprises, and celebrating traditions, especially with her family, Valentine’s Day has always been one of her favorite holidays,” her office said in a statement to NBC News at the time.

“Sending messages of healing, unity, hope, and compassion, this is her Valentine to the country.”

Research contact: @TODAYshow

Man finds an ‘adorable’ frog in his romaine lettuce

December 28, 2021

Many folks would be somewhat alarmed to find a tiny frog frolicking in their lettuce, but upcoming recording artist Simon Curtis has decided to quite literally embrace the unexpected discovery, reports NBC-TV’s Today show.

Curtis recently told his Twitter followers that he’d spotted an adorable little frog in the bottom of a container of romaine lettuce that had been sitting in his fridge for a few days. It was too cold at the time (27 degrees F) to release him outside, so Curtis turned to his social media following for advice on what to do next.

“Back in the fridge until it warms up outside tomorrow? He’s hopping and clearly well and I bought this lettuce like four days ago …. He’s so adorable I really don’t want him to die,” he wrote.

The 35-year-old singer and songwriter opted to put a few pieces of lettuce back into the container, gave the frog a Mason jar lid full of water, and sprayed the whole container down with water. He also gave him a name: Tony.

Tony seems to be a gentle, happy little frog and he even lets Curtis hold him.

There’s one little problem, though — the frog is a bit of an escape artist and he’s been giving his new roommate a run for his money over the past few days.

Curtis bought Tony some food at a pet store to keep his belly full and confirmed with a biologist that he is a Green Treefrog.

Tony has had plenty of adventures in his new home in just a few days—including taking refuge among the shampoo bottles in Curtis’ shower.

He was so dehydrated and shriveled I was worried he’d died, but he’s now immersed in distilled water, cleaning himself, and coming back to life!!” Curtis wrote.

After that escapade, Curtis decided to purchase Tony a “proper terrarium” at PetSmart and he asked his followers if he should keep him as a pet or release him into the wild (the majority have voted to keep him so far).

Only time will tell if Tony becomes a permanent resident in Curtis’ home, but the recording artist has learned one important lesson from this whole saga: Always check the lettuce box before you buy it.

As it turns out, though, finding a tiny creature in your prepared greens isn’t as rare as you might think. In 2019, researcher conducted a review of a 15-year period to see just how many “wild vertebrates” had been found in prepackaged produce during that time.

According to Hughes and his team, news outlets reported on 40 unique incidents of people finding frogs, birds, or rodents in bagged/boxed greens between 2003 and 2018.

Amphibians and reptiles (tree frogs, toads, lizards and snakes) accounted for 30 of the 40 incidents and most of the critters were dead, with a few being alive. The rest were other types of animals (birds, rodents, and bats).

The tiny little frog that Curtis found in his lettuce is one of the lucky ones who made it out alive, and his new owner is thrilled that his followers are getting a kick out of Tony’s antics.

“The number of people being touched by Tony the tree frog’s story is really so moving to witness, and also a good reminder of just how much we all deserve kindness, no matter who, or what, we are,”

Research contact: @TODAYshow

Survey: 1 in 7 people have ended friendships over COVID-19 vaccine stance

September 23, 2021

A survey of 1,000 Americans conducted in September found that 1 out of 7 respondents had ended a friendship over COVID-19 vaccination status. The survey, which was conducted by OnePoll Research, a market research company, looked at the reasons why people have broken up with friends during the pandemic.

When it came to disputes over vaccination, the survey found that 66% of those who lost a friend over the shot had been vaccinated, while 17% do not ever plan to get the shot. Of the vaccinated respondents, 14% said that they had ended a relationship with a friend who did not want to get the shot, reports the Today Show.

Fully 97% of vaccinated people who ended a friendship said that they considered their former friends to be “full-blown anti-vaxxers” who would never understand the importance of the vaccine, which has been proven to be safe and effective.

The survey also asked unvaccinated people why they wouldn’t be vaccinated. “Many” said that it was a personal choice, while others expressed distrust about the vaccine or its potential side effects. The study did not include percentages or other statistics about why people were not getting the vaccine.

Respondents also had other reasons for ending friendships: 16% said that they had lost a friend because of having different political views, while 15% said they ended a relationship because their former friend was dating or sleeping with an ex-partner. Yet another 12% of respondents ended a friendship because the other party was “making up rumors about them,” and 7% broke it off because the other person was a liar.

The phenomenon of ending friendships due to the vaccine took the national spotlight when actor Jennifer Aniston told InStyle that she was distancing herself from friends who wouldn’t be vaccinated.

“There’s still a large group of people who are anti-vaxxers or just don’t listen to the facts. It’s a real shame,” Aniston said. “I’ve just lost a few people in my weekly routine who have refused or did not disclose (whether or not they had been vaccinated), and it was unfortunate.”

Marriage and family therapist Racine Henry told Today in August that it’s not surprising that the pandemic has had an impact on friendships and other important relationships. “People are second-guessing some of their friendships and relationships based on how people behaved during the pandemic,” Henry said. “A lot of questions were called up around what your belief system is, how much of a conspiracy theorist a person might be or how someone can use critical thinking skills.”

However, it’s not all bad news for friendships: Shasta Nelson, friendship expert and author of “Frientimacy,” told TMRW in August that she believed the pandemic had actually changed some relationships for the better.  “Many of us got closer to fewer people, which is interesting because when we’re lonely, it’s not that we need to meet more people, we need to go deeper with a few and feel more seen,” she said.

“… If I had to choose one over the other, I’d choose for people to have fewer closer friends where they feel supported, witnessed, loved and accepted,” Nelson added.

Even if you did lose a friendship during the pandemic, Henry expressed some tentative hope that those bridges can be fixed in some situations. “Some relationships can be worked on. Some can be massaged and reconciled. And there’s a way in which you can respectfully disagree,” Henry said.

“But if your opinion or stance on something threatens me or my physical safety, that can’t be repaired.”

Research contact: @TODAYshow

Study: Coffee drinkers have reduced risk of liver disease

June 24, 2021

For decades it seemed researchers were bent on demonizing our beloved morning wake-up elixir, coffee. But the tide has turned and these days barely a month goes by without a new study touting the health benefits of java, NBC’s Today show reports..

The latest of these studies finds that regular coffee consumption—be it caffeinated, decaffeinated, or instant— appears to protect our livers from some really scary diseases, including cancer.

Using information from a database of nearly 500,000 adults based in the United Kingdom, researchers identified a  21% reduction in the risk for chronic liver disease overall, a 20% reduction in the risk of fatty liver disease,  and a 49% reduction in the risk of death from chronic liver disease, according to the report published in the journal,  BMC Public Health.

“Chronic liver disease is a huge problem for global health, especially low income countries where treatments are less available,” said the study’s lead author, Oliver Kennedy, a visiting research fellow at the University of Southampton in the U.K.

“Our finding that drinking coffee might protect against chronic liver disease is significant because coffee is cheap, widely available, safe, and well tolerated by most people,” Kennedy said in an email to Today. “It’s also reassuring that all coffee types seem to be protective, including decaffeinated coffee; which might be preferable for certain people, for example, pregnant women.”

It’s not yet known how coffee might protect the liver, Kennedy said. “Coffee contains many hundreds of compounds and we don’t know exactly which of these confers the protective effect,” he added. “It may be one compound or a combination. The fact that different types of coffee, which contain different chemical compounds, seem protective suggests it might be a combination.”

“It was difficult to assess the effects of very high levels of coffee consumption as the numbers of people drinking these amounts in our study were relatively small,” Kennedy said. “From the data available, there did seem to be a dose-response with larger amounts conferring more protection.”

“However,” Kennedy said, “there is likely a level beyond which increasing coffee consumption confers no further benefit. For example, in our study the benefit of five or more cups each day was generally smaller than for three or four cups each day, though still protective compared to no coffee.”

Research contact: @TODAYshow

Melinda Gates’ petition for divorce says marriage to Bill is ‘irretrievably broken’

May 5, 2021

It was a marriage made at Microsoft that produced three children, a philanthropic foundation—and now, after 27 years, a separation contract. Indeed, Melinda Gates says her marriage to Bill Gates is “irretrievably broken,” according to court documents obtained Tuesday by NBC News.

In her petition for divorce, filed Monday in King County, Washington, she said “spousal support is not needed” and a separation contract will determine property divisions.

“We ask the court to dissolve our marriage and find that our marital community ended on the date stated in our separation contract,” according to the document. It is not clear from the petition when the couple separated or if they had a prenuptial agreement.

Bill, 65, and Melinda Gates, 56, first announced their divorce on Monday, May 3,  in a joint statement. The pair, who married on New Year’s Day in Hawaii in 1994, said that they no longer “believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”

“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” they said in the statement, according to NBC. “Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives.”

Jennifer Katharine Gates, 25, the oldest of their offspring, wrote in a statement that it has “been a challenging stretch of time for our whole family.”

“I’m still learning how to best support my own process and emotions as well as family members at this time,” she wrote.

The couple in 2000 founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a private philanthropic organization which funds research and advocacy work across the globe, including in some of the world’s most impoverished nations.

The foundation has given billions to support issues like global healthdevelopment and education, as well as combating climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bill Gates, who co-founded Microsoft in 1975 and served as its chief executive until 2000, stepped down from the company’s board last year and has since focused the majority of his efforts on philanthropy.

He still owns roughly 1.3% of Microsoft’s shares. His net worth is roughly $130 billion, according to Forbes—making him the fourth-richest person in the world.

The Gates Foundation’s assets are nearly $50 billion, according to its financial statements, and it’s been considered the world’s largest private philanthropic organization for the past 20 years. It issued about $5 billion in grants annually during 2018 and 2019.

In their statement announcing their split, the couple—who are co-chairs of the foundation—said they would continue to work together in the philanthropic mission.

Research contact: @NBCNews

Have you seen Darius? Giant celebrity rabbit is missing

April 26, 2021

If police in Worcestershire, England, could “pull a rabbit out a hat,” they would: Darius—rabbit with long floppy ears who measures a record-breaking 4 feet long—has gone missing. He last was seen in his rabbit hutch in on the property of owner, breeder, and bunny aficionado, Annette Edwards.

Police said they were hunting one of the world’s largest rabbits, if not the largest, which went missing  on the night of April 10, NBC News reports.

“We are appealing for information following the theft of an award-winning rabbit from its home in Stoulton, Worcestershire,” West Mercia Police said in statement on Monday, April 12. “The rabbit is quite unique in the fact it is four feet in size.”

Darius, who became a 2010 Guinness world record holder for his huge length, was stolen from a garden enclosure in central England.

His owner, Annette Edwards, wrote on Twitter that police were working hard to find her prize-winning pet—and that she had offered a reward of £1,000 (US$1,400) for his safe return.

“A very sad day,” she said. “Darius is too old to breed now. So please bring him back.”

Edwards in an interview with the TODAY show in 2010 said her massive pet—a Continental Giant rabbit—was friendly, had a huge appetite, and enjoyed lazing around on furniture.

The pair used to tour the country together with owner Edwards donning a Jessica Rabbit style outfit to show off gigantic Darius.

At the time, she said the celebrity bunny was insured for $1.6 million, had an agent, and traveled with a bodyguard.

Darius’ disappearance comes amid a spike in pet theft in England during the coronavirus pandemic. The charity DogLost said it saw reports of thefts rise by 170% in the last year—from 172 dogs in 2019 to 465 in 2020.

Pet detective Jacob Lloyd, head of investigations at Animal Protection Services, which prosecutes US1,000) to £3,500 (US$5,000) in the last year.

“It’s completely disproportionate to what we would normally see,” Lloyd said. “Opportunists and organized criminals have taken advantage in the rise of prices, and dog and other animal thefts have gone up.”

With people in England locked down for much of the year, Lloyd said the need for “companionship” while spending more time at home had led to the surge in demand.

In Darius’ high-profile case, a potential “ulterior motive” could also be at stake, pet detective Lloyd added—likely the work of organized criminals who knew his value.

The U.K.’s Policing Minister Kit Malthouse called animal theft a “vile crime,” in a statement earlier this year. “Let me be clear — pet theft is a criminal offence with a maximum penalty of seven years’ imprisonment and it must be confronted wherever it occurs,” he added.

Singer Lady Gaga’s two pet dogs, Koji and Gustav, made global headlines when they were briefly stolen and returned in February, amid her public pleas and a $500,000 reward. Her French bulldogs were taken in a violent robbery in Hollywood, in which the singer’s 30-year-old dog walker was shot and sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Research contact: @NBCNews

Floyd’s family: Biden says he’s praying Derek Chauvin trial ends with ‘right verdict’

April 21, 2021

President Joe Biden said on Tuesday, April 20, that he’s praying for the “right verdict” in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin as the jury continued to deliberate, NBC News reported .

“I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict, which I think it’s overwhelming in my view,” said Biden, suggesting that he was in favor of Chauvin being convicted in some form.

Biden, who spoke briefly to reporters in the Oval Office, added that he wouldn’t have made such a comment if the jury had not been sequestered—implying that he would have withheld his thoughts, if he thought the jury members were able to hear them. Jurors were sequestered after closing arguments Monday.

The president confirmed that he spoke with Floyd’s family by phone and said that he “wanted to know how they’re doing personally [and] talked about personal things.”

Indeed, Philonise Floyd, the younger brother of George Floyd, said on NBC’s TODAY show that the president called his family on Monday, April 19.R

Referring to the president, Philonise Floyd said, “He knows how it is to lose a family member, and he knows the process of what we’re going through. So he was just letting us know that he was praying for us, hoping that everything will come out to be OK.”

“I wasn’t going to say anything about it,” Biden said about the phone conversation, “But Philonise said today on television, it was a private conversation because Joe understands what it’s like to go through loss. They’re a good family, and they’re calling for peace and tranquility no matter what that verdict is.”

After closing arguments were delivered by the prosecution and defense teams Monday, Philonise Floyd said he’s “optimistic” about the outcome of the trial against Chauvin.

“Me and my family, we pray about it every day,” Floyd said. “I just feel that in America, if a Black man can’t get justice for this, what can a Black man get justice for?”

Research contact: @NBCNews

Queen Elizabeth ‘delighted’ with two new corgi puppies

March 8, 2021

It’s good to be queen—but it might be even better to be her dog. Fox News reports that Queen Elizabeth has warmly welcomed two new dogs into her royal household, which has been lacking in corgi company since October 2018.

The news comes as the queen’s husband Prince Philip recovers after heart surgery; and ahead of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s searing tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey about their struggles within “The Firm,” set to air on Sunday.

What with all of her family problems, plus the pandemic currently besieging Britain, things have been “ruff” lately at Windsor Castle—but the monarch’s spirits are said to have been lifted by the corgi pups, Fox notes.

On Friday, NBC-TV’s  Today confirmed that the pets have joined the royal family. The ages, genders, and names of the new pups remains unknown.

“The Queen is delighted. It’s unthinkable that the Queen wouldn’t have any corgis,” a source told The Sun. “Both are said to be bringing in a lot of noise and energy into the castle while Philip is in hospital.”

The corgis were reportedly gifted to the 94-year-old monarch, and are believed to be the queen’s first not descended from Susan, the corgi she received for her 18th birthday in 1944.

The family has continued to breed dogs from Susan’s lineage, with Elizabeth owning at least 30 Pembroke Welsh corgis descended from her through the years. Whisper, the last of the royal line, passed away in October 2018.

Since then, Elizabeth has been kept company by a dorgi (a cross between a corgi and a dachshund) named Candy. Another dorgi named Vulcan passed away in November 2020, Page Six reports.

The dog-loving queen isn’t the only royal who’s recently welcomed a new furry friend into her life, Fox reports:  Prince William and Kate Middleton reportedly adopted a cocker spaniel puppy  late last year, and the entire Cambridge clan is said to be “besotted” with the new addition.

Research contact: @FoxNews

Kennedys invite all Americans to nominate COVID-19 frontline heroes for ‘Profile in Courage Award’

June 5, 2020

President John F. Kennedy’s daughter Caroline Kennedy, 62, and her son, Jack Schlossberg, 27, are asking for nominations from the American public of heroes who served their communities during the coronavirus crisis for this year’s Profile in Courage Award, NBC’s Today show reports.

Multiple nominees will be chosen as recipients of the prestigious award at a ceremony that will be held when it’s safe to have large gatherings in person, according to the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.

“What happened this year is we realized that we are seeing courage all around us in the in the extraordinary demonstration of people putting their own lives at risk to help the rest of us stay safe and healthy,” Kennedy told Savannah Guthrie of Today.

People can submit stories about those who have demonstrated courage during the pandemic on the JFK Library website or on social media using the hashtag #COVIDCourage. Nominations will be accepted through the end of August and the recipients, who are chosen by a committee, will be announced in the fall.

Schlossberg explained on Today that he nominated his friend Paul Wasserman on Instagram for his work at Fire Station 410 in Fairfax, Virginia, where he serves as an emergency medical technician in an area that has been hard hit by the coronavirus.

“At the center of VA’s outbreak, these people have gone above and beyond to meet the moment,” Schlossberg wrote on Instagram. “In addition to working full time at the DoD, Paul’s volunteering as an EMT on long overnight and weekend shifts to help the career staff during the pandemic, who he says are the real heroes.”

Kennedy and Schlossberg believe people like Wasserman embody the spirit reflected by previous recipients of the Profiles in Courage award.

The award was created 31 years ago to honor President Kennedy’s birthday on May 29 and his commitment to public service. It’s named in honor of his famous 1957 book, “Profiles in Courage,” which tells the stories of eight U.S. senators who took principled stands for unpopular positions at the risk of their careers.

Former recipients of the award include Presidents Barack Obama, George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford; and members of Congress-among them, John McCain, Gabrielle Giffords and John Lewis. Last year’s recipient was Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Research contact: @TODAYshow