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The World Wishes Colin Happy Birthday

Colin will turn eleven years old on March 9. On February 2, his mother Jennifer created a Facebook page and told us a little about Colin.

I am Colin's mom, I created this page for my amazing, wonderful, challenging son who is about to turn 11 on March 9th. Because of Colin's disabilities, social skills are not easy for him, and he often acts out in school, and the other kids don't like him. So when I asked him if he wanted a party for his birthday, he said there wasn't a point because he has no friends. He eats lunch alone in the office everyday because no one will let him sit with them, and rather than force someone to be unhappy with his presence, he sits alone in the office. So I thought, if I could create a page where people could send him positive thoughts and encouraging words, that would be better than any birthday party. Please join me in making my very original son feel special on his day.

Since then, the page has gone viral, both on and off the internet. The Facebook page has received 1.9 million likes, and the initial post has over 187,000 comments -and the other posts each have thousands of comments and shares. Due to popular demand, Jennifer rented a post office box to receive cards and letters from Colin’s fans. The address is:
Colin-
PO Box 756
Richland, MI 49083-0756
USA  

As you can see, a lot of people have taken the snail mail approach! Colin’s parents have shielded him from the Facebook project and the resulting publicity as best they can so far, so the page and the correspondence will be a birthday surprise for him. But he is excited about turning eleven. This video was recorded this past weekend.

The responses are coming in in the form of cards and letters at the post office box and online, from comments and Facebook messages, from news reports all over the world, and from Facebook users who sent pictures and videos created especially for Colin.

The Rosenberg Police Department of Rosenberg, Texas, made a video greeting for Colin. Photograph from the Rosenberg Police Department.

The sorority Alpha Xi Delta at Indiana University made a video to wish Colin a happy birthday.

Luselys Lugardo sent video greetings along with her Army compatriots.

Colin says that when he grows up, he wants to be either a pastor, a comedian, or a missionary. Comedian John Heffron votes for comedian. Heffron sent not only his best wishes in a video, but involved a bunch of his friends, too. He’s a real standup guy!

Jennifer was quite surprised to see Colin’s story in Arabic in a news story from Jordan. But Colin’s story has also made headlines in Russia, England, Mexico, Japan, Finland, India, Norway, Czech Republic, Portugal, Colombia, Italy, Peru, Poland, Austria, France, Netherlands, Brazil, Switzerland, Australia, Uruguay, Israel, Sweden, Indonesia, Serbia, Denmark, Pakistan, Faroe Islands, Bosnia, Spain, Taiwan, Argentina, Germany, Belgium, Paraguay, Ireland, Turkey, Canada (Quebec), Sri Lanka, Kurdistan, and Lithuania. But those are just the links posted at the Facebook page, and there are many other nations represented in the comments that people have left.

From Rachael Spiess.

From Bianca Romeiro.

From Baran Ketabi.

From Jinger Brinkley.

From Emilie Chauvin Giroire

So many people cannot wait to see Colin’s reaction when he finds out about all the good wishes from people all over the world. But Colin isn’t the only one benefitting from the project. Jennifer writes:

I am overwhelmed and overjoyed but all the love, support and birthday wishes coming from all over the world for my little man. I can't thank you all enough for everything you've all done. My favorite part of this whole thing has been the messages from parents and teachers who have told me they used Colin's story to talk to their kids. And the kids are responding, and realizing that ostracizing someone is wrong, and that they can make a difference. I love that! We love you all, and we can't wait to share Colin's birthday with all of you!

You can follow the progress of Colin’s birthday surprise at Facebook.

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How Google Chrome’s New Built-In Ad Blocker Will Change Your Browsing Experience
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If you can’t stand web ads that auto-play sound and pop up in front of what you’re trying to read, you have two options: Install an ad blocker on your browser or avoid the internet all together. Starting Thursday, February 15, Google Chrome is offering another tool to help you avoid the most annoying ads on the web, Tech Crunch reports. Here’s what Google Chrome users should expect from the new feature.

Chrome’s ad filtering has been in development for about a year, but the details of how it will work were only recently made public. “While most advertising on the web is respectful of user experience, over the years we've increasingly heard from our users that some advertising can be particularly intrusive,” Google wrote in a blog post. “As we announced last June, Chrome will tackle this issue by removing ads from sites that do not follow the Better Ads Standards.

That means the new feature won’t block all ads from publishers or even block most of them. Instead, it will specifically target ads that violate the Better Ad Standards that the Coalition for Better Ads recommends based on consumer data. On desktop, this includes auto-play videos with sound, sticky banners that follow you as you scroll, pop-ups, and prestitial ads that make you wait for a countdown to access the site. Mobile Chrome users will be spared these same types of ads as well as flashing animations, ads that take up more than 30 percent of the screen, and ads the fill the whole screen as you scroll past them.

These criteria still leave room for plenty of ads to show up online—the total amount of media blocked by the feature won’t even amount to 1 percent of all ads. So if web browsers are looking for an even more ad-free experience, they should use Chrome’s ad filter as a supplement to one of the many third-party ad blockers out there.

And if accessing content without navigating a digital obstacle course first doesn’t sound appealing to you, don’t worry: On sites where ads are blocked, Google Chrome will show a notification that lets you disable the feature.

[h/t Tech Crunch]

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Live Smarter
Amazon Will Now Deliver Whole Foods Groceries To Your Door
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Since its acquisition of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in 2017, Amazon has slowly been ramping up synergy between the two brands. An Amazon Go concept convenience store in Seattle allows customers to enter, scan their cell phone, and walk out with groceries without having to stand in line; select Amazon products, like their Echo devices, have made their way onto retail shelves.

Now, consumers in Austin, Dallas, Cincinnati, and Virginia Beach can use their status as an Amazon Prime customer to get free home delivery of their Whole Foods groceries. Beginning Thursday, February 8, the market will drop off orders within two hours. (One-hour delivery carries a $7.99 charge.)

“We're happy to bring our customers the convenience of free two-hour delivery through Prime Now and access to thousands of natural and organic groceries and locally sourced favorites,” Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO John Mackey said in a statement. “Together, we have already lowered prices on many items, and this offering makes Prime customers’ lives even easier.”

Most everything in the store is eligible for delivery, though we’re not certain they’d deliver a live lobster. “Select” alcohol is also available. You can visit primenow.com to see if you’re in their delivery region. Keep checking, as they plan to expand throughout 2018.

If you’re not near a Whole Foods at all, other regional grocery chains like Wegman’s also offer home delivery on a subscription-based pricing structure.

[h/t The Verge]

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