Jack Hammond, an 88-year-old Englishman, had moved into a senior facility, but found he had nothing in common with the only other man there. He felt awkward about approaching any of the women. So his son advertised for anyone who would take him to the local pub periodically, for about $14 an hour. From scores of respondents, the elder Hammond chose a retired kitchen fitter, Trevor Pugh, and a retired doctor, Henry Rosenvinge, to take turns having a pint with him. After a trial drink with both men, Hammond said he was looking forward to many chats about current affairs and military history. “I think they are very enjoyable,” he said, “and I’m looking forward to continuing going down to the pub with both of them.”

About 400 wild burros live in the rural enclave between Colton, Calif., and adjoining Moreno Valley, where they are often struck by cars on the increasingly busy Reche Canyon Road. Between 2003 and 2006, 17 of the small donkeys were killed. Kim Terry and Rhonda Leavitt decided to help. They are now sewing reflective tape onto ordinary belts and then fitting them around the burros’ necks, making it easier for drivers to avoid the animals at night. “It’s a clever idea and it certainly can’t hurt,” said Rita Gutierrez of Riverside County Animal Control.

After Sara Tucholsky of the Western Oregon University softball team hit her first-ever home run last weekend, she was so stunned that when she tried rounding the bases, she missed first. As she turned back, her legs buckled, and she fell to the ground, crying, her knee injured. If her teammates had tried to help her, her homer would have been disqualified. Then Mallory Holtman of the opposing Central Washington team suggested that she and a teammate carry Tucholsky around the bases. The umpires gave their okay. By the time they reached home, Tucholsky was crying again—this time with joy. “Mallory didn’t know it was my first home run,” said Tucholsky. “It just says a lot about them.”