It has been four years since the well-documented Fukushima disaster wrecked havoc in Japan and led to one of the most severe nuclear meltdowns in history, when the tsunami-damaged Fukushima Daiichi power plant started leaking radioactive materials. The threat of radiation exposure prompted Japanese officials to hastily evacuate the people within the government’s 12.5-mile exclusion zone — including the small town of Tomokia.
Tomokia is best described as a ‘ghost town’ — doors to empty shops and homes remain open, and motorcycles lay in the streets with keys still in the ignition. It would seem as if every single person that once lived there has left, if not vanished into thin air.
But one man, Naoto Matsumura — arguably the most stubborn man in Japan, if not the world — chose to stay behind.
The reason? To take care of the town’s only remaining inhabitants: the animals.
1. He basically saved public television. In 1969 the government wanted to cut public television funds. Mister Rogers then went to Washington where he gave an amazing merely six minute speech. By the end of the speech not only did he charm the hostile Senators, he got them to double the budget they would have initially cut down. The whole thing can be found on youtube, a video called “Mister Rogers defending PBS to the US Senate.”
2. “Certain fundamentalist preachers hated him because, apparently not getting the “kindest man who ever lived” memo, they would ask him to denounce homosexuals. Mr. Rogers’s response? He’d pat the target on the shoulder and say, “God loves you just as you are.” Rogers even belonged to a “More Light” congregation in Pittsburgh, a part of the Presbyterian Church dedicated to welcoming LGBT persons to full participation in the church.”
3. According to a TV Guide piece on him, Fred Rogers drove a plain old Impala for years. One day, however, the car was stolen from the street near the TV station. When Rogers filed a police report, the story was picked up by every newspaper, radio and media outlet around town. Amazingly, within 48 hours the car was left in the exact spot where it was taken from, with an apology on the dashboard. It read, “If we’d known it was yours, we never would have taken it.”
4. Once, on a fancy trip up to a PBS exec’s house, he heard the limo driver was going to wait outside for 2 hours, so he insisted the driver come in and join them (which flustered the host). On the way back, Rogers sat up front, and when he learned that they were passing the driver’s home on the way, he asked if they could stop in to meet his family. According to the driver, it was one of the best nights of his life—”the house supposedly lit up when Rogers arrived, and he played jazz piano and bantered with them late into the night. Further, like with the reporters, Rogers sent him notes and kept in touch with the driver for the rest of his life.
5. Most people have heard of Koko, the Stanford-educated gorilla who could speak about 1000 words in American Sign Language, and understand about 2000 in English. What most people don’t know, however, is that Koko was an avid Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood fan. As Esquire reported, when Fred Rogers took a trip out to meet Koko for his show, not only did she immediately wrap her arms around him and embrace him, she did what she’d always seen him do onscreen: she proceeded to take his shoes off!
6. Once while rushing to a New York meeting, there were no cabs available, so Rogers and one of his colleagues hopped on the subway. Esquire reported that the car was filled with people, and they assumed they wouldn’t be noticed. But when the crowd spotted Rogers, they all simultaneously burst into song, chanting "It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood." The result made Rogers smile wide.
At first glance, the village of Hogeweyk in the Dutch town of Weesp looks like an ordinary place. There are shops and residences, parks and restaurants, and even a theater. There are only 152 people living here, though, and you might notice that all of them are elderly. The younger people here are actually staff–nurses, doctors, and specialists–who work around the clock.
The village is actually a pioneering step in the future of elder and dementia care. Each of the 152 residents are eldery folks living with severe Alzheimer’s and/or dementia, and need nursing home facilities. However, instead of confining them to a depressing room in an institution-like setting, the residents Hogeweyk enjoy complete freedom as well as privacy and autonomy.
January 15, 2015 | Comments Off | Topics: Humanity |
Meet Mason Wartman
Mason left his job on Wall Street to start up his pizza business in Philly.
Mason sells a slice of pizza for $1 in his restaurant
We Need More Awesome People Like This In The World: Two 20 Year Olds Create Mobile Laundry Service For The Homeless
Two 20 year old guys from Brisbane, Australia have taken it upon themselves to found a charity (Orange Sky Laundry) that offers a free mobile laundry service to the Australian Homeless. They’ve now officially been washing clothes for a month.