Jadav Payeng's island forest
Thirty years ago, Jadav Payeng was distraught watching snakes die for lack of shade on a barren sandbar in the Brahmaputra River in Assam, India. He moved to the sandbar, began planting seeds there, and cultivated them day and night for three decades. His efforts single-handedly transformed the wasteland into a lush, 1,360-acre forest now home to elephants, tigers, and rhinos. The 47-year-old may soon have help with the upkeep of his island forest: The Indian government is considering protecting it as a conservation reserve.
The superhero of Baltimore County
A real-life superhero is on the loose in Baltimore County, Md. Lenny B. Robinson became a viral sensation last week after video footage of him driving a Lamborghini dressed in a Batman outfit leaked onto the Internet. It has since emerged that Robinson dresses as the Caped Crusader to make hospital visits to sick children in the Baltimore area. The independently wealthy 48-year-old spends $25,000 a year on Batman toys and memorabilia to hand out in cancer wards. “It feels like I have a responsibility that’s beyond a normal person,” said Robinson. “To be there for the kids, to be strong for them, and to make them smile as much as I can.”
Firefighters use lotto winnings to help colleague
When a syndicate of firefighters in the Albuquerque Fire Department won a $10,000 payout in last week’s record Mega Millions lotto draw, the group knew exactly what to spend the money on—a fallen colleague. Firefighter Vince Cordova, 24, has a rare brain tumor that requires urgent treatment by specialists in Los Angeles, an operation that will costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. The firemen hope their donation will inspire others to come forward to help Cordova pay his medical bills, and allow him to rejoin his team.