It wasn't all bad
April 12, 2021

Carole Hopson is blazing a trail in the sky, showing other Black women that they belong in the cockpit.

The Federal Aviation Administration says that Black women make up less than 1 percent of all certified pilots, and Hopson — a pilot with United Airlines — is one of them. Hopson, 56, told People that as a kid, she would spend her summers mesmerized by the planes taking off and landing at Philadelphia International Airport. She went to college, studying Spanish and journalism, and started a career in human resources, but "the revelry and imagination of flying just stuck with me," Hopson said.

When they were dating, Hopson's husband, Michael, surprised her with flight lessons. Her husband and teenage sons have been "absolutely" supportive of Hopson following her dream of becoming a pilot, and since 2018, she's been full-time with United. A lot of people aren't used to seeing a Black woman as a pilot, she told People. Many do a double take, or ask her for a drink, thinking she's a flight attendant. Recently, a woman pulled Hopson aside at the airport and asked her, "'How does my daughter get to be like you?'" Hopson said. "It was a special moment."

United is launching a flight school to train 5,000 pilots by 2030, with half of them being women and people of color. Hopson — who was one of only two women, and the only Black woman, in her pilot class — is working with United and the nonprofit Sisters of the Skies to get 100 Black women enrolled in flight school by 2035. She is excited about this challenge, telling People, "Watching the sunrise above the clouds never gets old. That experience is one we should be exposing all women to." Catherine Garcia

April 9, 2021

Don Muchow ran the roughly 2,800 miles from Disneyland to Disney World not because he really wanted to see Mickey Mouse or ride Splash Mountain — the Texan says he did it to show other people with Type 1 diabetes "there are safe ways to do even epic things."

Muchow, 59, of Plano was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1972. At the time, he told WKMG, there were no glucose meters and his doctor told him "not to exercise, and I followed those instructions for 42 years." More recently, he started experiencing health issues linked to his diabetes, and found that it was necessary to become active. He jumped into a running regiment, and was soon completing 5Ks, 10Ks, marathons, and Iron Man triathlons.

Pre-pandemic, Muchow planned a run from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic, and a friend remarked that it would be like going from Disneyland to Disney World. Muchow liked this idea, and in February 2020, he went to Newport Beach, California, dipped his toe in the Pacific, and then ran 14 miles to Disneyland. The run didn't go as originally planned: he paused after a month when his father died, and then at the 1,260-mile mark, he had to take a break for safety reasons because of the pandemic.

This March, Muchow was ready to finish, and he logged 32 miles a day, stopping every 10 days, WKMG reports. On Tuesday, he made it to Disney World, where he was greeted with cheers, and on Wednesday, he went to a Melbourne, Florida, beach so he could dip his toe in the Atlantic. On Facebook, Muchow wrote that Disney's slogan "If you can dream it, you can do it" is a motto that "goes double for everyone like me, with serious lifelong medical conditions. The diagnosis is the beginning, not the end." Catherine Garcia

April 9, 2021

Archaeologists searching for King Tutankhamen's mortuary temple made an even bigger discovery, as they unearthed Aten, a 3,000-year-old lost city believed to have been founded by King Amenhotep when he ruled ancient Egypt.

Betsy Bryan, an Egyptology professor at Johns Hopkins University who participated in the archaeological mission, said in a statement this could be the most "important archaeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamen" was found in 1922. She added that it will "give us a rare glimpse into the life of ancient Egyptians" during a time of great wealth.


In September, archaeologists started a dig in Luxor between the temples of King Ramses III and Amenhotep III, on the hunt for the mortuary temple. After a few weeks, to the "great surprise" of the team, "formations of mud bricks began to appear in all directions," the mission said in a statement. "What they unearthed was the site of a large city in good condition of preservation, with almost complete walls, and with rooms filled with tools of daily life."

To date the settlement, the team looked at hieroglyphic inscriptions etched on pottery, scarabs, rings, wine vessels, and mud bricks. They have found houses, tombs, a bakery, a workshop containing molds used to make ornaments and amulets, and a cemetery. These spaces have been "untouched for thousands of years," the mission said, "left by the ancient residents as if it were yesterday." Catherine Garcia

April 8, 2021

Pooja Rai believes all children should have access to a playground where they can let their imaginations run wild, and through Anthill Creations, she's helping make this happen at schools across India.

Rai is the founder and CEO of Anthill Creations, based in Bengaluru. In 2014, while still an architecture student, Rai went with a friend to donate food at an orphanage. She was shocked to see the kids playing with trash, like pipes they pretended were swords and old shoes they used as badminton rackets. "Play shouldn't just be part of a rich, privileged kid's lifestyle," Rai told The Christian Science Monitor. "All kids have a right to enjoy their childhoods."

She asked friends for donations to buy playground equipment, but then had an idea that would help both kids and the environment. Every year, roughly 100 million old tires are thrown away in India, and Rai figured she could turn some of that trash into treasure — in the form of playground equipment like tire swings, jungle gyms, tunnels, and sculptures.

Since Rai began Anthill Creations in 2016, the nonprofit has delivered tire playground equipment to 275 schools, public spaces, and refugee camps, and designed playspaces for blind children as well. The tires are all carefully looked over to make sure they are safe to use, and then painted bright colors and transformed into whatever each site requests. Read more about the creativity behind the designs at The Christian Science Monitor. Catherine Garcia

April 8, 2021

Southern California's famous Venice Beach will soon be more inclusive, ensuring that all visitors can enjoy the sand and surf.

It can be hard to navigate wheelchairs through sand, but a new mesh mat set to be installed at Venice Beach next Tuesday will make it much easier. The Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors is installing an access mat that is semi-permanent and made of a firm nylon mesh, so anyone who needs a harder surface will be able to move across the sand. The mat will be available for use every year, spring through fall.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl told City News Service one of the "great joys of going to the beach is spending time on the sand near the water. Now, with the use of this new mat, people who have difficulty negotiating the sand can more fully and safely enjoy a glorious day at Venice Beach." Catherine Garcia

April 7, 2021

Peter and Veronica Fuchs know how to put on a show, and "Stump the Maestro" is their runaway hit.

Peter, 91, is a former composer and conductor, while Veronica, 87, is a retired Broadway singer. They live in a senior community near Miami, and at the beginning of the pandemic, the couple started a Facebook Live show called "Stump the Maestro," streamed daily from their apartment. It began as a way to entertain neighbors they could no longer visit with, but word soon spread, and viewers began tuning in from all over.

Each show begins with Peter playing some show tunes and Veronica asking viewers if they can name the songs. Veronica then fields requests — typically jazz standards, Frank Sinatra, more show tunes — and while Peter knows most of them, if he does get stumped, he researches the song and plays it the next day. To close out the show, Peter performs his latest original composition: "Wear a Mask."

Peter told The Associated Press the couple enjoys interacting with their diverse audience. It's "nice to be able to make people happy," he said. One regular viewer, Toddi Jacobson, told AP that "Stump the Maestro" has "provided so many of us with beautiful music, laughter, friendship, and a feeling that we are connected." Catherine Garcia

April 6, 2021

During a walk through her Ottawa neighborhood last month, Clover proved that she is also clever, as the dog was able to quickly get help for her owner who had a seizure.

Haley Moore and Clover, a Maremma mix, were taking a stroll when suddenly, Haley began to seize. She told CTV News that she doesn't remember what happened next, but a home security camera was able to fill in the blanks. The camera recorded Clover looking at Haley, then looking at a car driving by. Haley was still holding onto Clover's leash, but when she saw a truck approaching, Clover was able to break free and went into the road, forcing the driver, Dryden Oatway, to stop.

"It was really impressive, the dog actually blocked my way," Oatway told CTV News. "She kind of backed into the road to block my truck." When he saw Haley was lying face down on the ground, Oatway jumped out of his truck and ran over to help. Clover then got the attention of another driver, Danielle Pilon, and once she was out of her car, Clover headed home.

Haley's dad, Randall Moore, told CTV News his neighbors came over and "were frantic," telling him that Clover "was barking like crazy." By the time Moore got to his daughter, she was being treated by paramedics. Haley does not know what caused the seizure, but said if this happens again, she will feel "10 times safer" because Clover will be there. She is "really amazing," Haley said, and the family showed Clover their appreciation by treating her to a steak dinner. Catherine Garcia

April 4, 2021

During the lavish Golden Pharaoh Parade, 22 ancient Egyptian royal mummies made their way across Cairo on Saturday night, traveling from the Egyptian Museum to their new home at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.

The 18 kings and four queens — including Seqenenre Tao, Ramses II, Seti I, and Ahmose-Nefertari — were carefully packed inside special vehicles and capsules filled with nitrogen to keep them protected. Musicians and performers dressed in ancient Egyptian clothing also participated in the parade, which was televised to audiences across the country. After much fanfare, the mummies arrived at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, where cannons fired a 21-gun salute.

"By doing it like this, with great pomp and circumstance, the mummies are getting their due," Salima Ikram, an Egyptologist at the American University in Cairo, told Reuters. "These are the kings of Egypt, these are the pharaohs. And so, it is a way of showing respect."

The mummies were found in 1871 in Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, with the oldest being King Seqenenre, who ruled during the 17th Dynasty. Learn more about the history of the mummies at BBC News. Catherine Garcia

See More Speed Reads