Admiral McRaven weighs in

Which is quieter, a Navy SEAL or a ninja? One first-grader found out by asking a man who should know: Adm. William McRaven, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command. Walker Greentree, 6, wrote to McRaven after debating the question with friends, and to his surprise, the admiral wrote back. “I think ninjas are probably quieter than SEALs, but we are better swimmers,” he wrote. The admiral also enclosed a Challenge Coin, typically handed out to mark a special achievement. Walker is now practicing holding his breath, like the SEALs do while swimming underwater. “But just for a few seconds,” he said.

Smokey Bear plays best man

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When one couple’s dream wedding was canceled by the government shutdown this week, comedian Stephen Colbert stepped into the breach. Colbert, ordained by American Marriage Ministries, officiated at the wedding of Mike Cassesso and MaiLien Le on his show last week, after the shutdown scuppered their planned nuptials at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Comedy Central host brought in the furloughed Smokey Bear to act as best man. “Love is bigger than this shutdown,” said Colbert.

David Henneberry gets a new boat

The man whose boat became the final hiding place for the suspected Boston Marathon bomber in April has bought a new vessel with donations from generous strangers. David Henneberry’s 22-footer was shot up by federal authorities after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hid in it at the climax of the post-bombing manhunt. The FBI took away the bullet-riddled boat soon after, but an online campaign organized by strangers raised $50,000 to buy Henneberry a used “fixer-upper” to replace it. “The bad guy didn’t win,” he said. “That’s the way we’re looking at it. He didn’t take our passion.”

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