George R.R. Martin and His Friends at Prizeo: A $10,000 Donation

In 2014, George R.R. Martin, author of A Game of Thrones and other novels in the fantasy book (and TV) series A Song of Ice and Fire, has raised over $450,000 for the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary by doing such things as auctioning off the promise to have the donor’s name used in his next Song of Ice and Fire novel — The Wind of Winter — and of having the character die a grisly death, something that Mr. Martin is noted for writing about. A 13-year-old named Jack in the United Kingdom wanted to be in Mr. Martin’s next book and so wrote him a letter and even enclosed £153 ($260) as a donation for the wolf sanctuary. Jack, who is a fan of the TV series A Game of Thrones, but who understandably cannot watch parts of the episodes (chances are, young Jack would also not be allowed to read about the grisly death of any character named after him), received a personal reply from Mr. Martin:

“Dear Jack,

“Thank you so much for your heartfelt, touching note.

“I’ve heard that you donated all your £153 pocket money savings to my Prizeo fundraiser on behalf of the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. I cannot tell you how much that moved me. It pleases me no end to know that my novels, and the TV series based on them, have inspired readers as young as yourself to rally to the support of these majestic and too often stigmatized animals.

“Alas, I cannot promise you a grisly death in THE WIND OF WINTER. Those spots have already been filled by some very generous donors, and there’s a limit to how many people even I can kill.

“However, inspired by your example, my friends at Prizeo and I would love to follow your lead with a $10,000 in your name to the UK Wolf Conservation Trust. That’s a wonderful organization that I’ve heard much about, and they are lucky to count people like you as supporters.  

“I wish you the best of luck in your future career as a wolf conservationist, and hope that you inspire many others to follow your lead. 

“Yours,

“GRRM”

For More Information: Max Kloblauch, Source: “George R.R. Martin Writes Back to Young Fan’s Heartfelt Letter.” Mashable. 23 July 2014

http://mashable.com/2014/07/23/george-r-r-martin-fan-letter/

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“What Memory from Your Childhood Makes You Think ‘Wow, We were Poor’?”

On 25 July 2014, Redditor Luizeef asked, “What memory from your childhood makes you think ‘Wow, we were poor’?” The answers included memories of loving, caring parents and other good-deed doers:

1) Hsoup wrote, “Barbecue sauce sandwiches. The ‘wow’ moment — when I offered a friend one and he laughed. When he saw I wasn’t joking, I was invited over for dinner pretty often after that. He’s good people. Still a good friend almost 30 years later.”

Phreakzor commented, “I lived in the projects in Compton [California]. When I was around 9, my neighbor Dominic who was the same age as me, and just as poor, gave me a syrup sandwich one day when I told him that mom ‘forgot’ to buy me bread for toast. She didn’t forget; she couldn’t afford it. I ate that d[*]mn sandwich like it was Subway.”

2) ferk00 wrote, “Hot dogs and macaroni every night. Having ‘camp outs’ at the fireplace because we couldn’t afford the electric bill. Church people leaving boxes of food on our porch. My mom is the strongest person I’ve met. Raising a young child as a widow and making the poverty seem fun or invisible. No words for how much I admire that woman.”

TheFennex commented, “Ooooh, food box day was the best day! Real meat, and we had to eat it fast because it was already or almost expired! Mmmmmmmm … I never questioned where it came from.”

3) RollingInTheYeast wrote, “The three months we spent playing board games together, keeping all of our perishables in a cooler, cooking everything on the grill outside, and going to bed early. I never really thought about why we weren’t watching TV or anything like that until I went to take a shower with nothing but cold water. I just thought we were playing camping. We had candles everywhere for the night, so I thought my parents were really good at setting the scene for it. After about a month, our neighbors let us run a giant extension cord from their patio outlet to our house to power our fridge. Keith, if you’re a Redditor and remember your dorky poor neighbor Jessica back on 48th Street, thank you and your family times a billion. I’ll never forget the kindness you guys treated us with. You’re all pretty amazing people. <3 Also I’m sorry for ditching you that one day to hang out with that little dipsh[*]t, Lenny, because he had a pool. It was hot as balls and I was 8.”

4) devlylooper wrote, “[I] remember we were dirt-poor (we still kind of are, except all my siblings and I now work). I remember my mother once taking us to Burger King and just watching us play. She didn’t buy anything for herself. Never has. This isn’t the worst, but to me it now makes me sad remembering my mother in a beige trench coat, watching us play. Both my parents are incredibly humble; it makes me want to cry how people can be so selfless. And yes, ramen soup and food stamps.”

Stormclaw11 asked, “Why do moms always spoil their kids so hard they feel guilty :(”

OvercaffeinateMe explained, “You kinda can’t not do that. For the most part, when you have kids, everything you do for them becomes the reflection of who you are as a person. A poor mother would think, ‘I should be able to provide my children with a pleasure as simple as a Happy Meal. But I can’t afford meals for all of us. So I’ll get my children Happy Meals.’ And done. Very little more thought goes into it. We don’t want to limit the normal experiences of childhood for them. So we do what we can to give them even the bare minimum of that. It probably never even occurred to OP’s [OP = Original Poster] mom that she was depriving herself in order to provide something nice for her children. You think, ‘This will make them happy,’ and then the thought train stops there.”

5) ShoutyCrackers wrote, “I grew up with just my mom. We were poor, on food stamps and welfare, but she made me realize just how good we had it. She’d volunteer us at soup kitchens, make me work at Meals on Wheels, and once she spent some of our meager savings on food for a friend of mine whose dad had bailed and his mom was trying to support four kids by herself. We loaded up the shopping cart, and took the food to his house. It was seven pm, and his mom was trying to put the kids to bed because she had nothing to feed them. When she saw all the food, she cried. As we left, my mom said, ‘See? No matter how bad you have it, others have it worse.’”

6) AnatAndr wrote, “I once asked my Mum why all our shopping was Tesco Value — she said it’s because the blue matched the kitchen. God bless parents.”

For More Information: Luizeef, “What memory from your childhood makes you think ‘Wow, we were poor’?” AskReddit. 25 July 2014

http://tinyurl.com/mo4f3y5

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Burying Your Riches: The Biggest Waste in the World

Facebook Bentley

Source: http://tinyurl.com/lqjr6lz

In 2013, Thane Chiquinho Scarpa, one of the richest men in Brazil, announced that he was planning to bury a million-dollar Bentley. Why? So he could ride around in style in the afterlife. Actually, this was a publicity stunt to draw attention to a worthy cause: organ donation. On the day that he was supposed to bury his Bentley, Mr. Scarpa said, “People condemn me because I wanted to bury a million dollar Bentley; in fact, most people bury something a lot more valuable than my car. They bury hearts, livers, lungs, eyes, kidneys. This is absurd. So many people waiting for a transplant and you will bury your healthy organs that can save so many lives. This is the biggest waste in the world. My Bentley is worthless in comparison to life-giving organs. There is no wealth more valuable than an organ, because there is nothing more valuable than life. I officially announce I am an organ donor this week. I’m an organ donor, are you? Tell your family.”

Source: “Rich Guy Buries Million Dollar Bentley To Prove Point.” everplans. 30 October 2013

http://tinyurl.com/ndo3mun

Also: “Burying a Million Dollar Bentley.” GeekFill. October 2013

http://tinyurl.com/mawwpls

Also: Aaron Guerrero, “Billionaire Buries His Bentley Like a Pharaoh.” Bold Newsletter. 12 November 2013

http://tinyurl.com/lgx7t2v

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“In Loving Memory of Dominic Owen Mallary”

According to Andrew W.K.’s Wikipedia page, Dominic Owen Mallary, one of his fans, died on 5 December 2014 after an accident while performing at Boston University with Last Lights, his band. Mr. Mallary had told his friends that he wanted Andrew W.K. to play music at his funeral. His friends sent emails to Andrew W.K., who went to Mr. Mallary’s wake, paid his respects, and then played classical music.

Source: “Andrew W.K.” Wikipedia. Accessed 25 July 2014 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_W.K.>.

Source: Samantha Melanson, “In Loving Memory of Dominic Owen Mallary.” YouTube. 12 April 2009 <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxkyJKoL5tk>.

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“If [Mark Ruffalo] Ever Finds My Wallet, I Expect Him to Return the Favor”

In July 2014, actor Mark Ruffalo, who has played the character Bruce Banner / the Hulk in the movie The Avengers, was in Chicago, Illinois, where he lost his wallet in a taxi. Fortunately, a Good Samaritan named Ross McHale found it and tweeted him on July 18: “I have your wallet. Found it in a cab in chicago on Friday. Let me know the best way to get it back to you. Thanks.” Mr. Ruffalo responded, “Thank you! Wow! Another point for the decency in people.” He also tweeted, “You are a hero!” The two then exchanged information so that Mr. Ruffalo could get his wallet back. Mr. McHale said, “If [Mark Ruffalo] ever finds my wallet, I expect him to return the favor.”

For More Information: “Mark Ruffalo’s Wallet Magically Returned … By Someone Who Never Heard Of Him.” TMZ. 22 July 2014

http://www.tmz.com/2014/07/22/mark-ruffalo-wallet-returned/

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“I Passed a Hat Around, and I Ended Up Getting About $600, Something Like That. Here’s Some More. Here’s a Thousand Dollars”

On 2 March 2014, the 86th Academy Award (Oscar) ceremonies took place on live TV. Ellen Degeneris was the host, and she ordered a Big Mama’s & Papa’s pizza, which was delivered by Edgar Martirosyan, who had expected to deliver the pizza backstage — not on international TV. He said that Ms. Degeneris “said, ‘Just follow me,’ and I’m going and I’m on a stage. I was in shock.” The following day, Mr. Martirosyan appeared on Ms. Degeneris’ daytime talk show, and she gave him his tip: $1,000. On The Ellen DeGeneres Show, he said that he was excited to see Julia Roberts in the Oscars audience: “She was like my woman in dreams. I always watched her movies … it was something crazy — crazy to me to deliver.” When giving him his tip, Ms. Degeneris said, “I passed a hat around, and I ended up getting about $600, something like that. Here’s some more. Here’s a thousand dollars, so you have a total of a thousand dollars.”

For Further Information: Michael Howard, “Ellen Gives Oscars Pizza Deliveryman Huge Tip.” ABC News. 3 March 2014

http://tinyurl.com/q9lmdkd

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“Let’s Get This Lady Her Goods Back”

In July 2014, the Tempe, Arizona, band The Black Moods toured throughout Texas. While getting gasoline in Tyler, Texas, they found a woman’s wallet on top of a gas pump. The woman had been travelling from Seattle, Washington, to Austin, Texas, and her wallet was filled with cash and credit cards. Lead singer Josh Kennedy said, “It was like a challenge for us, like ‘let’s get this lady her goods back,’ you know.” By using Facebook, they located her and were able to give her wallet to her father in Austin, Texas. Her father said, “You guys, you have no idea how deeply I appreciate this.” He added, “That is so awesome, I literally before I contacted you guys spent the last two hours on the phone with her just crying hysterically, I told her to stop, we’ll figure it out.” Mr. Kennedy said, “Money’s tight, but we’re firm believers in karma, so the last thing we need when we’re out on the road is bad vibes coming our way.”

For More Information: Marc Martinez, “Tempe band returns wallet full of cash while touring in Texas.” KSAZ (Phoenix, Arizona). 22 July 2014

http://tinyurl.com/m55zkaq

For More Information: The Black Moods. Facebook. Accessed 23 July 2014

https://www.facebook.com/theBlackMoods

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