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TikTok collector reunites families with lost photos and videos



TikTok collector reunites families with lost photos and videos

He’s the Sherlock of TikTok.

Social media manager-turned-online lost and found curator David Gutenmacher is reuniting families with their long lost keepsakes. After finding the misplaced items at thrift stores, he shares the discoveries on his popular TikTok gallery @MuseumOfLostMemories.

“It’s like going on a treasure hunt,” the 25-year- old Gutenmacher told The Post. “The gold at the end of each journey is reconnecting families with their lost mementos.”

Gutenmacher thrift shops across the boroughs every week, hunting down abandoned pictures, rolls of film and video tapes. He buys, develops and digitizes the relics, converting them from analogue to social media-friendly files. Then he shares the revitalized visuals with his over 237,000 followers in hopes of finding their rightful owners. 

“Whenever I’d go thrifting I’d always see buckets of old pictures or videos and thought it was sad that a family’s memories were just collecting dust in a secondhand shop,” the Queens native said. 

“So I started buying the pieces to give them new life on TikTok.”

Since launching his account in January, Gutenmacher’s uncovered countless intriguing artifacts, including Andrew Cuomo’s senior year book and pictures of Bernie Sanders on his high school’s track team. He’s also reunited a number of people with their lost wedding videos, misplaced polaroids of holiday gatherings and old handwritten letters between loved ones.

But his most viral discovery came from a thrift store haul in Long Island. 

He purchased a VHS labeled “Africa,” and digitized it through video conversion system ElGato Video Capture. 

He edited the footage into a 45-second montage, set it to nostalgic jazz music and shared the clip on TikTok. Almost immediately, his followers began hunting down the video’s star, a young man wearing a “Wesleyan Swimming” shirt. 

One such social media sleuth, Julie Ross, was hot on the scent.

“The biggest clue that helped me find the guy was his Wesleyan shirt,” Ross, 49, told The Post. “I wanted to help find him and get him this footage.”

After combing through the over a dozen US colleges with “Wesleyan” in their titles, the mother of three from Minnesota got in touch with the swimming coach of Wesleyan University in Connecticut. He connected her with the guy in the decades-old video, Jono Marcus.  

“I got a voicemail from this lady named Julie claiming there was a video of me and my parents in Africa that was trending on TikTok,” Marcus, 54, told The Post. “At first, I thought it was spam or a scam.”

But, much to his delight, it was neither. 

“She texted me the link to the TikTok, and sure enough, the person in the video was me,” said Marcus, a non-profit fundraising consultant. “I was in disbelief, but so happy someone found it.”

The footage was from a 21-day family vacation to the William Holden Wildlife Center in Nanyuki, Kenya in 1989. Marcus was 23 at the time. 

The tape went missing when his mother moved out of their family home in Long Island after his father, Kenneth, died in 2015. 

Marcus, now a husband and dad of two living in Maryland, created a TikTok account and made a duet video to complement Gutenmacher’s post— which has amassed over 2.2 million views. 

His wife and daughters helped him re-enacted some of the scenes from the Africa trip, and he even wore his old Wesleyan Swimming sweatshirt to underscore his identity. 

But what was most important to him was seeing the moments of the footage that featured his late father. 

“Seeing my dad again in that video meant the world to me and my family,” Marcus said. “We’re grateful to have it back.”

Although Gutenmacher doesn’t get paid for posting his treasured finds, he says reuniting families with pieces of their past makes the job worthwhile. 

“Its so cool to be the person that brings joy to people by giving them something from their own history.”

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Author reveals how his brother killed his mother in new memoir




Author reveals how his brother killed his mother in new memoir

Most memoirs are a recounting of the author’s own life and experiences. “Everything is Fine” by Vince Granata (Atria Books), out April 27, is a memoir of an entire family — and a tragedy that forever changed its members. 

Granata was an only child for the first 4 ½ years of his life. On the day his mother and father returned home from the hospital, he remembers writing “welcome home mommy” in sidewalk chalk outside their Connecticut home. His parents had arrived home with not one but three siblings in tow — triplets Christopher, Timothy and Elizabeth. It was a joyful event. But the birth of his siblings put in motion a tragedy that would take years to unfold. 

On July 24, 2014, his brother Tim, 24, attacked and killed their mother in the family home. Claudia Dinan Granata was 58. Tim suffered from schizophrenia. “I won’t take the medication, the medication destroys me, takes my mind, takes me away from God,” he ranted to his mother on the morning of the attack. He had frequently threatened suicide. 

“Tim’s demons, electric in his ill mind, convinced him that the woman who had made him peanut butter sandwiches when he was a grass-stained child was the source of his constant pain,” Granata writes. “…After he killed her, he dialed 911, sitting on our front steps, clutching a white Bible.” 

This is a memoir about a horrifying crime, but it is also a book about mental illness, and the family’s ongoing attempts to get help for Tim in a system that is hopelessly flawed. Tim was hospitalized at the Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital in February 2014. In the weeks leading up to the murder, there were numerous signs that he needed to return, but he refused to go back. 

“Eventually, I had no choice but to look at loss and pain, at all the pieces of my family’s story that I didn’t think I could ever understand,” Vince writes. “It was this process, recognizing the pieces, struggling to put them in order, that almost destroyed me. It’s also what allowed me to live again.” 

Tim was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

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These colleges require students to get vaccinated if they want to live on campus




These colleges require students to get vaccinated if they want to live on campus

As academic institutions look toward the post-COVID-19 future of education, some are implementing strict vaccine requirements ahead of the upcoming semester as others incentivize or urge students to pick up the inoculations.

Many colleges already require students to provide proof of certain vaccines, but those have been in use for years. The three FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines are all less than a year old.

But now that vaccines are open in many places to people age 16 and up, colleges are beginning to look into how that can benefit their reopening plans.

Colleges that will require proof of vaccination for students who want to live on campus include Oakland University in Michigan, Cornell University in upstate New York, Rutgers University in New Jersey, and Brown University in Rhode Island.

“Students have an option to come to Oakland University and not stay in residence halls,” Oakland President Dr. Ora Pescovitz told Fox 2 Detroit this week. “Only 20% of our students live on campus. The other 80% are commuter students.”

The school is offering religious and medical exemptions to students who provide proof to the dean of students.

But she said more than 1,000 people signed up for vaccines within the first six hours after the school announced the new requirement.

Northeastern University in Boston is going a step further and requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all students before the fall 2021 semester as part of its plan to return to full-time, in-person learning.

Nova Southeastern University announced last week it would require vaccinations by Aug. 1 – then backtracked after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a statewide ban on “vaccine passports,” citing concerns about individual liberty and patient privacy.

“We will continue to follow all state and federal laws as they evolve,” Nova President George L. Hanbury II said in a statement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Mars Perseverance rover takes selfie with Ingenuity helicopter ahead of historic flight




NASA's Perseverance Mars rover took a selfie with the Ingenuity helicopter on April 6, 2021, using the WATSON (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering) camera located at the end of the rover's long robotic arm. Perseverance's selfie with Ingenuity is constructed of 62 individual images, taken in sequence while the rover was looking at the helicopter, then again while looking at the WATSON camera, stitched together once they are sent back to Earth.

To the delight of social media users, NASA’s Perseverance rover used a camera on the end of its robotic arm to snap a selfie with the Mars Ingenuity helicopter this week ahead of its historic flight mission.

Shown about 13 feet apart in the pictures taken on April 6, 2021, or the 48th Martian day of the mission, the rover used its WATSON (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and Engineering) camera on the SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals) instrument.

In a release, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said Wednesday that the selfie had been constructed using 62 individual images — taken in sequence — that were stitched together.

It noted that the Curiosity Mars rover, which landed on the red planet in 2011, takes similar “selfies.”

Ingenuity, which has been released on the Martian surface, is scheduled to attempt the first-ever powered and controlled flight of an aircraft on another planet no sooner than April 11.

NASA's Ingenuity Helicopter with its blades unlocked acquired by NASA's Perseverance Mars rover using its Left Mastcam-Z camera, on Sol 47, 08 April 2021. Mastcam-Z is a pair of cameras located high on the rover's mastcam-Z.
NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter with its blades unlocked acquired by NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover using its Left Mastcam-Z camera, on Sol 47, 08 April 2021. Mastcam-Z is a pair of cameras located high on the rover’s mastcam-Z.

Once the team at JPL is ready, Perseverance will relay the helicopter’s final flight instruction from mission controllers, according to NASA.

If all final checks and atmospheric conditions look good, the helicopter will lift off climbing at a rate of 3 feet per second and hover at 10 feet above the surface for up to 30 seconds.

After data and potentially images from the rover’s Navigation Cameras and Mastcam-Z are downloaded, the Ingenuity team will determine whether the flight was a success. 

The results will be discussed by the team at a media conference that same day.

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