Where Did The Week Go


Augusta National Neighbors Refuse to Sell Home

Today is the final round of the Masters golf tournament which is held in Augusta, Georgia. It’s the only Major tournament in golf held at the same course every year and if you think Augusta National (As it is known) comes off as a bit stuffy and pretentious, you’re not alone.

It’s the definition of the word “exclusive” because to play there and becoming a member is perhaps harder than gaining access to nuclear launch codes. Founded in 1932, Augusta National didn’t have a black member until 1990 and it wasn’t until 2012 that they welcomed the first females, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore as members.

One might call decades of not allowing black people or women into your club discrimination and yet Augusta has managed to avoid much criticism for whatever reason. They seem to get whatever they want and for the past 15 years they’ve bought up much of the land that borders its exclusive grounds.

They spent $40 million buying homes off of the northwest corner of the club just so that they could bulldoze all of them and build a parking lot. But there’s one family that doesn’t care about the prestige of Augusta or money.

NJ Advanced Media

The Thackers sitting proudly outside their home. | (Steve Politi/NJ Advanced Media)

According to a story on NJ.com, Herman and Elizabeth Thacker have received numerous offers from club officials to buy the home for prices in the millions. But they like where they live and have no intention of leaving.

“We really don’t want to go,” said Elizabeth Thacker. “Money ain’t everything,” her husband added.

The house is 1,900 square feet and has three bedrooms. Its estimated value is $355,126, according to real-estate database Zillow.

The couple built their house in 1959 and slowly watched as their surrounding neighbors and scenery vanished. Even Herman’s brother eventually caved and sold his home for $3.6 million. The Thackers owned another property, right across the street,  but they sold that one for $1.2 million.

But the house they live in isn’t a house, it’s home. The place where they raised their two children as well as five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. You can’t put a price on that.

But it doesn’t stop an official from Augusta stopping by every once in a while.

“He’ll come by here every so often and he’ll say, ‘Just want to let you know we’re still interested in your property,'” Herman Thacker said. “And we’ll tell him the same thing again.”

So I guess Augusta can’t have everything after all.


Castaways Rescued After Spelling Out ‘Help’ On Beach

Late last year when The Martian was coming out, I had an inclination to watch Cast Away again. For those unfamiliar, it tells the story of a man, played by Tom Hanks, who survives a plane crash over the ocean and ends up stranded on an island for 4 years.

The thought of experiencing such an ordeal would be unfathomable. Not knowing where you’re going to find your next meal or if you’ll ever speak to another human being again would certainly test any human being.

Help sign-US Coast Guard

Three men stranded on an island were saved Monday. | (US Coast Guard)

I bring up such a situation because it actually happened to three men this past week. The trio became stranded on a Pacific Island on Monday after a wave swamped their 19-foot skiff, which had set out from the Micronesian island of Pulap.

After the boat sank, they managed to swim to the uninhabited Fanadik Island, about 2,600 miles southwest of Honolulu.

They spent three days on the island until a Navy aircrew searching for the missing seamen spotted a large makeshift sign that spelled out “HELP” on the beach.

They were eventually rescued from the island and while three days isn’t 4 years, the men didn’t know when they were going to be found if at all. They built the sign out of palm fronds and they managed to build a fire which, according to the Coast Guard, was the determining factor in getting the rescuers’ attention.

So if you’re ever in a situation like this, remember this story. Or watch Cast Away or Gilligan’s Island. And if you’re going to be stranded in a remote location, make sure it’s somewhere near Hawaii.


Drone Crashes Through Office Window, Hits Man in Head

In an effort to be more spontaneous, I made an impromptu trip to Yachats last weekend. The weather was so good on Saturday, I made two trips to the beach including in the evening when the sun was setting. Time at the beach for me usually means two things: reflection and picture taking.

But in my moments of solitude, I didn’t expect to have company in the form of a drone in little old Yachats. But there it was buzzing over my head. I made a joke about it in a photo I posted on Facebook, but perhaps I should have been more concerned for my own well-being because these things can come from anywhere.

Interface designer David Perel was sitting in his office in Cape Town, South Africa, on Thursday afternoon when a rogue drone suddenly smashed through his window striking him in the head.


The view from David Perel’s office. | (David Perel/Instagram)

Perel told ABC News that he initially thought a bomb had been detonated outside the building before realizing what had happened. But instead of becoming angry and calling the police, he showed great restraint in quickly removing the memory card from the drone’s camera. He then edited the footage of the crash and posted it online.

“While sitting at my desk I heard what sounded like a missile followed by a huge bang of glass all over me,” he wrote in the YouTube video description. “Turns out someone lost control of their drone. Lucky to be uninjured!”

The people flying the drone eventually arrived at Perel’s office to check on him and retrieve their gadget.

The South African Civil Aviation Authority is now investigating the incident and will meet with the drone operators on Monday.

Perel said that he was “nursing a headache” and nothing more after the incident but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a lawsuit at some point. It could have been much worse.

So the next time you’re sitting in your office typing away (I’m looking out the window right now!) or even walking on the beach, be mindful of runaway drones I guess? You think it’s a good idea for Amazon to fly packages to your doorstep because I don’t.