TODAY's Takeaway

TODAY's Takeaway: Al celebrates 59 with bacon, Kate's dress sells out

Aug. 20, 2013 at 3:01 PM ET

Baby George naps, Al celebrates 59 and Pat Knisley inspires thousands.
TODAY
Baby George naps, Al celebrates 59 and Pat Knisley inspires thousands.

1. It’s Al’s birthday! Our favorite early-morning Viner (well, sometimes) celebrated 59 today with bacon, bubble wrap and blue Speedos.

Send your birthday wishes through Twitter using the hashtag #RokerBDay.

Video: TODAY’s inimitable Al Roker celebrates his 59th birthday in style with a bacon-themed gift basket and a sheet of bubble wrap from Natalie and Mel B. Visitors to the plaza don birthday hats and use noisemakers for the special event as Al sips a glass of Pimm’s.

2. Get ready to get your read on! The TODAY Book Club launched today, giving book lovers a chance to share their literary insights with featured authors, TODAY anchors and fans. First up: “The Bone Season” by 21-year-old Samantha Shannon.

Video: TODAY’s Natalie Morales introduces the first author in the TODAY Book Club: Samantha Shannon. The 21-year-old recent graduate of Oxford University, whose first novel is titled “The Bone Season,” could be the next J.K. Rowling, some predict. She says it’s a “dream come true.”

3. Despite a 20-year battle with multiple sclerosis and the recent loss of her husband, Pat Knisley continues to teach children to swim. She’s taught thousands of kids in New Bern, N.C., to stay above water – in the pool and in life.

Video: Pat Knisley is a swimming teacher from New Bern, N.C., whose enthusiasm and love have inspired thousands of young students. Despite a 20-year battle with multiple sclerosis and the recent loss of her husband, Knisley continues to get kids in the swim. NBC’s Bob Dotson reports.

4. Prince George is adorable. Duchess Kate and Prince William posed with the little royal bundle in the first photos released since he was born almost a month ago.

Inspired by his newborn awesomeness, we asked TODAY fans to send photos of their own princes and princesses. Turn up the AC, ‘cause you’re bound to melt.  

Also, that fuchsia dress Kate’s wearing in the family portrait? You can’t have it. It sold out two hours after the photo debuted.

Video: Prince William and Duchess Kate are glowing in photos of their infant son, Prince George, that were released yesterday. Surprisingly, the pictures were not taken by a professional photographer, but by the Duchess’s father.

5. Could the worker you allow into your home be a felon? Jeff Rossen reports on a disturbing reality — that there are no federal laws requiring background checks for service workers — and speaks to a woman whose 4-year-old was menaced by a repairman in their home.

Video: Could the service worker you admit to your home be a violent felon? TODAY National Investigative Correspondent Jeff Rossen reports that there are no federal laws requiring background checks for service workers, with sometimes tragic consequences.

And that's TODAY's Takeaway!

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