Lifestyle The latest Lifestyle news and blog posts from ABC News contributors and bloggers. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 13:39:34 +0000 en hourly 1 What It’s Like to Plummet Down the World’s Tallest Waterslide Wed, 09 Jul 2014 21:42:42 +0000 ABC News

Standing at 168 feet tall, Verruckt, which is German for “insane,” is the world’s tallest waterslide, but it may be more of a tower of terror than a water ride.

Located at the Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City, Kansas, riders have to climb 270 stairs to get to the top of Verruckt, which is higher than Niagara Falls. Guinness World Records certified Verruckt in April as the tallest water slide in the world.

Riders sit in an inflatable raft to plunge down the slide’s gut-checking drop at 40 to 45 miles per hour, according to park officials. The whole ride lasts about 11 seconds.

Verruckt was over budget and a year late in opening, delayed by mud, storms and unsuccessful test trials — designers used sandbags to mimic a human rider during testing, several of which went sailing off the slide.

But the slide’s designer Jeff Henry said the slide is indeed “scary, but not dangerous.”

ABC’s Matt Gutman was the first civilian rider to take on the terrifying Verruckt.

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ABC's Matt Gutman tests out the worlds tallest water slide in Kansas City. Credit: ABC News

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Little Boy’s Heartwarming Back-To-School Video Goes Viral Wed, 09 Jul 2014 18:25:03 +0000 Eliza Murphy

In just 41 seconds, this little boy’s heartwarming welcome back to school is pulling on the heartstrings of Internet users all over the world.

When little Tyler, 4, walked into his pre-kindergarten class for the first time in several days after being out sick with a stomach bug, his dad, Shawn Harris, captured a very special moment on his cell phone camera: the sheer delight and pure excitement of his son’s classmates upon his return.

“This video proves that racism is taught,” Harris, a comedian, posted on his Facebook page of the little boys and girls of all different races hugging and embracing one another. “These little clips may change the way we think about each other as adults.”

The post went wildly viral, garnering nearly 325,000 views on YouTube and more than 112,000 shares on Facebook.

“The comments I’m getting from parents are overwhelming,” Harris told ABC News. “They’re tearing up from this, it gets them emotional, it brightens their day. People say, ‘I watched this video 75 times.’”

One little girl rushes over to give Tyler a big hug and can’t help but notice her friend’s new, spiffy haircut.

“Tyler! I like your haircut!,” she joyfully shouts before wrapping her arms around his neck.

“My eyes got wet while I’m filming it,” Harris recalled. “I never expected it to take off like this, but I’m glad people are seeing what I saw.”

The adorable clip really speaks to the welcoming nature of children, something that as a father, Harris is proud his son can help reiterate to others.

“We teach our son love,” he explained. “He hugs everyone, he’s a loveable child. He’s so innocent. This video is touching people because there’s obviously something missing. When people go crazy for something like this, that means something’s missing and there’s a craving to see this behavior and I hope it’s helping to change the way people think.”

Tune in for more viral moments every weekday on ” GMA LIVE! ” at 9 a.m. ET.

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Super Smiley Parrotfish Photobombs Unsuspecting Snorkeler Tue, 08 Jul 2014 18:33:20 +0000 ABC News cn parrotfish photobomb kb 140708 2 16x9 608 Super Smiley Parrotfish Photobombs Unsuspecting Snorkeler

Caters News Agency

Say cheese!

Judging by this photo going incredibly viral, this hilarious parrotfish is a bit of a diva.

The photobombing fish couldn’t get enough of the spotlight as it smiles big for the camera, totally bogarting the lens from an unsuspecting snorkeler in the background.

Sophia Roth, the owner of a snorkeling company call Snuba in Key West, Florida, captured the epic photo while diving underwater near a coral reef.

And with beautiful, bright blue scales like these, it’s no wonder this parrotfish was ready for his close up.

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From Burpees to Bling: CrossFit Marriage Proposal Goes Viral Thu, 03 Jul 2014 14:16:43 +0000 Eliza Murphy

One unsuspecting girlfriend got the sweaty surprise of a lifetime during her Saturday morning CrossFit class.

Right in the middle of a strenuous set of burpees, Amanda Habenicht’s longtime boyfriend and favorite class partner, JP Eddings, suddenly stops mid-hop as the rest of the class hits the floor, and begins dancing a choreographed routine to Bruno Mars’ “Marry You.”

“She hates burpees,” Eddings, 32, of Dallas told ABC News. “I mean I don’t know anyone who likes them, but that was strategic. They’re her least favorite.”

Despite being completely caught off guard in the middle of her workout misery, Habenicht managed to muster out a “Yes,” and the newly engaged couple couldn’t be happier.

“We’ve talked about marriage for a while now; she just didn’t know when it was going to happen,” Eddings explained. “But I’ve always known that [CrossFit] was the most appropriate place to do it since that’s where we met.”

The video of their creative proposal has gone wildly viral with nearly 200,000 views, something the groom-to-be never expected.

“I am super-excited,” he said. “I had no idea it would get this type of response. I’m completely mind-blown and flabbergasted. I took the video to show family and capture the moment for us, which is the whole point, but apparently people can relate to my dancing.”

The happy couple doesn’t have a wedding date set yet, but it’s safe to say the Internet audience is hoping more of Eddings’ spectacular dance moves are involved.

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‘GMA’ Dog vs. Dog Finals: Happy Jack Prays, Noodles Leaps Wed, 02 Jul 2014 05:00:25 +0000 ABC News

An impressive line-up of talented pooches have faced-off in the annual “Dog vs. Dog” competition on “Good Morning America” this week. Based on your votes, it’s now down to two finalists: Happy Jack and Noodles!

Happy Jack, a 5-year-old Lab-Golden mix from Wauconda, Illinois,  can do some serious tricks, from jumping through hoops to running the steeplechase, weaving through poles while walking on his hind legs, and, get this – saying prayers and going to bed. He’s also a certified disaster relief and therapy dog.

Noodles, the 5 year-old mixed-breed, can leap onto tall mailboxes in a single bound! (Yes, really!) Adopted from a Chicago shelter at 7 months, Noodles is now also a certified therapy dog, who frequently performs at schools and nursing homes in the community spreading cheer.

Cast Your Vote!

So what do you think? Which dog’s trick is your favorite?

Vote for your favorite dog! (Voting on the right hand-side of runs through 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 2, 2014.)

The finalists will appear Thursday on “GMA” and the winner of the competition will be revealed!

See Tuesday’s Match-Up: Noodles vs. Sweet Sundance, the Border Collie Who Drinks Just Like a Human

See Monday’s Match-Up: Happy Jack vs. Kona, the Adopted Dog Who Walks Himself and His Canine Pal

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‘GMA’ Dog vs. Dog: Noodles Jumps on Mailboxes, Sweet Sundance Drinks Like a Pro Tue, 01 Jul 2014 07:00:14 +0000 ABC News The annual “Dog vs. Dog” competition is back on “Good Morning America“!  We asked you to send in videos of your dog doing the best, craziest, and most jaw-dropping tricks ever, and now it’s up to you to vote on your favorite pooch to take home the title of Top Dog.

In round one, Kona and Happy Jack did their best to win your vote. Kona, an adopted shelter dog from Boulder, Colorado, takes his doggy brother, Joey, out for walks, leading Joey by the leash. (Click here to watch). Happy Jack, a 5-year-old Lab-Golden mix from Wauconda, Illinois, also a certified disaster relief and therapy dog, can do some serious tricks, from jumping through hoops to running the steeplechase and more. (Watch him in action here!)

Now, it’s between Noodles and Sweet Sundance.

Meet Noodles, the Mailbox-Jumping Dog

The 5 year-old mixed-breed, from Chicago can leap onto tall mailboxes in a single bound!

“While most dogs like to chase postal workers, Noodles really wants to be a mailman when he grows up and shows his special ability to pass the civil service exam here,” his owner, Evan Singer, wrote in to “GMA.”

Adopted from a shelter at 7 months, Noodle is now a certified therapy dog, who frequently performs at schools and nursing homes in the community spreading cheer.

Meet Sweet Sundance, the Border Collie Who Drinks Just Like a Human

Sweet Sundance, a 2-year-old Border Collie from Chicago, may have better manners than you! The talented disability assistance dog can hold up a cup just like a human and drink from it.

“My dog has exceptional manners and believes that slurping from a bowl is inappropriate!” Lindsey Bonner told “GMA” in her submission.

“With his endless energy and incredible drive to learn new things, he became involved in additional activities including agility, canine musical freestyle, disc dog, dock diving, tricks, and stunts.”

Cast Your Vote!
So what do you think? Which dog’s trick is your favorite?

The winner of today’s match-up will be announced Wednesday during “GMA,” and Sweet Sundance or Noodles could be headed to New York City to show off their tricks live on “GMA.”

Vote for your favorite dog! (Voting runs through 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday, July 1, 2014.)

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Vote for your favorite!

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Baby on Board: Baby and Dad on Skateboard is Sheer Delight Fri, 27 Jun 2014 20:30:58 +0000 ABC News

This adorable 9-month-old baby could be the next Tony Hawk.

Baby Nate’s facial expressions as he rides along with his dad on a skateboard are the perfect example of sheer delight.

“My wife and I just decided to put him on the skateboard that day,” the baby’s father, Dan Gold, of Edmonton, Canada, told ABC News. “We first sat him on the skateboard and slowly rolled him while holding him. He did well with that and was very excited.  So, I decided to grab the video camera and take a video of us skateboarding together! I figured it would be nice to get some family footage that we could show him in the future.”

The irresistible video is going viral with more than 6,000 views in just two days.

And props to the baby’s mom, too, for doing all the heavy pushing.

It’s safe to say the world can’t wait to see baby Nate’s face when he can stand on that skateboard all by himself.

To get the scoop on the top stories popping right now, click here.

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I Put My Marriage to the (Genetic) Test Fri, 27 Jun 2014 17:59:05 +0000 ABC News

Maria Pardalis and her family will be featured in an upcoming “Nightline Prime” piece about Instant Chemistry, a company founded by a group of scientists that uses DNA testing in an effort to measure a couple’s compatibility. Here, Pardalis offers a first-person account her experience going through the testing process.

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Taso and Maria Pardalis, shown here with their two kids, have been married for five years andistry's DNA compatibility test. Credit: Courtesy Maria Pardalis

I always thought my husband, Taso, and I were a “good” match. We are both driven individuals who are constantly looking to get ahead in life professionally and personally, while ensuring to find the time to have fun and laugh. Never did I begin to question our compatibility until we were approached by ABC’s “Nightline Prime” to partake in a scientific study conducted by Instant Chemistry to test our overall compatibility.

As a strong believer that “things are meant to be,” I was at first skeptical that science is what brought Taso and I together. How could that be? As the founder and CEO of Eventsy, a social club based in New York City that provides weekly networking experiences and multiple opportunities for people to meet naturally, I figured this was going against my overall beliefs. I am an expert at bringing people together and always thought I was good at it. Could science also be a driving factor?

My curiosity quickly increased and two days later I found myself, along with my hubby, spitting in test tubes on national TV in my living room with my extremely active 2-and-a-half-year-old running circles around ABC’s crew and my 6-week-old newborn girl screaming at the top of her lungs. Yes, very romantic as you can imagine.

As we patiently waited for the results to be delivered, I couldn’t help but to constantly have the top of genetic compatibility on my mind. What if Taso and I lacked in having complementary genes? Would we lose our physical attraction to each other and begin to question our relationship? Will our long-term relationship satisfaction begin to dwindle? Then the skeptic in me would return and fight all the negative thoughts. We have two beautiful children together and have been married for five years this coming September. No way could some test measure the strength of our bond or determine our life’s outcome. Taso and I have been through way too much, especially now with two kids in the picture.

After what felt like forever, a week later the results arrived and the “Nightline Prime” crew was back to capture our raw reactions on national TV. Luckily for Taso, he’s a fabulous attorney with an even more fabulous poker face that can keep it together. I am the extreme opposite when it comes to concealing my emotions and thoughts and this is why I was petrified to learn of our long-term chemistry, psychological and genetic compatibility while hundreds of thousands of Americans were watching.

And all I can say is wow! Taso and I are 98 percent genetically compatible and, according to Instant Chemistry, this is extremely rare and only occurs in less than 10 percent of the population. We are, in fact, an outstanding match. As you can imagine, all my worries quickly vanished and a huge smile quickly formed and remained embedded on my face. This is crazy! Our personality came in at 63 percent showing both of us being very social — surprise, surprise!

After going through this fantastic experience and learning more about ourselves and each other, I can truly say that I am happy I decided to take the test. Science is amazing. The more we learn about ourselves and overall genetic makeup, the better we will efficiently grow as people.

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One Lucky Bride Gets Epic Wedding Dance Surprise Wed, 25 Jun 2014 20:01:22 +0000 Eliza Murphy

An epic wedding surprise for one lucky bride is going viral, and once you watch these moves, you’ll see why.

Sean Rajaee and his seven groomsmen put on a performance for the ages at his June 21 wedding in Palos Verdes, California, dancing to a medley of Beyoncé, Bruno Mars – and the bride’s personal favorite—The Backstreet Boys.

“When I saw  a lot of his moves it took me back  to our childhood days because I’d force him to listen to Beyoncé and ‘N Sync,” the groom’s sister, Shirin Rajaee, who was also the maid of honor, told ABC News.

Some of the groomsmen had flown in from around the country so they had to learn the routine through a video tutorial, but that didn’t slow them down.

“My brother is an orthopedic surgeon,” said Rajaee. “It’s interesting because a lot of people that know him from the medical world would be like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ But he’s a fun, funny kind of guy. The fact he got he got all the groomsmen to do it and to go along with it was crazy. A lot of them were coming from long distance.”

Needless to say, the bride was totally blown away.

To get the scoop on the top stories popping right now, click here.

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Kid Gets Away With Wearing Hilarious Knit Beard in His Yearbook Photo Wed, 25 Jun 2014 18:46:53 +0000 Eliza Murphy HT Knit Yearbook Photo EM 16x9 608 Kid Gets Away With Wearing Hilarious Knit Beard in His Yearbook Photo

Courtesy Sonja Yearsley

This kid is too cool for school.

When David Yearsley, 11, was taking his fifth-grade school photo, he’d thought he’d jazz things up a bit – with a knitted beard hat, no less.

“I had no idea he was going to do it,” his mom, Sonja Yearsley, of West Richland, Washington, told ABC News. “It was all his idea.”

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The family is apparently full of jokesters, however, as even the mother admits, “I’ve been pranking them since they were little.”

But when Yearsley went to visit her son’s school a few weeks after the yearbook photo was taken, she had no idea what a celebrity David had become with his creative, smirking photo tactic.

“I went into the school a couple weeks later and the lady at the front desk showed me his proof,” she explained. “And I just about fell down laughing. Normally, the photographer would have a comb and brush to fix the kids up, but for whatever reason the stars were aligned and he got by with that beard and hat and that smirk on his face is great. The ladies in the front office even have his photo hung up for when they’re having a bad day.”

It’s safe to say David has a daunting task trying to outdo himself for next year’s class picture.

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