TODAY's Takeaway

TODAY's Takeaway: Viewers write #DearCongress, Bullock talks 'Gravity'

Oct. 1, 2013 at 2:51 PM ET

“Real hero” dad gives life for daughter in Colo. rockslide, viewers tell Congress how they feel about the government shutdown and Sandra Bullock talks “Gravity.”
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“Real hero” dad gives life for daughter in Colo. rockslide, viewers tell Congress how they feel about the government shutdown and Sandra Bullock talks “Gravity.”

1. Do you have something to say to Congress about the government shutdown?

We asked that question this morning after a divided House failed to reach a resolution on a short-term funding measure, and viewers weighed in – en masse – using the hashtag #DearCongress.

Tell us what you want your representative to know.

Video: Orange Room host Carson Daly asks visitors to the TODAY plaza and Twitter users viewing at home to share their #DearCongress messages with TODAY.

2. Gracie Johnson, 13, survived a Colo. rockslide that killed five hikers – including her father – because her dad threw himself into harm’s way to shield her.

“Her dad is a real hero,” Chaffee County sheriff deputy Nick Tolsma told TODAY this morning. “He saved her life.”

Video: The lone survivor of the Colorado rockslide that buried five people under tons of rock was a teenage girl whose father may have sacrificed his own life to protect her, according to the local sheriff’s office. NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez reports.

 3. As part of TODAY’s new Fact or Fiction series – which aims to help viewers hone their news judgment skills –Matt presented Natalie, Al and Sean Hayes with two different stories, and asked them to guess which was fact – and which was fiction.

Viewers and fans on the plaza joined the contestants in deciding whether Extreme Ironing or Upstart Academy was malarkey.

Video: With the proliferation of editing software, it’s easier than ever to befooled bya viral video. TODAY’s Matt Lauer screens two examples to quiz viewers and anchors on their truth-meter.

4. Sandra Bullock stopped by the studio to talk about her latest flick, “Gravity,” in which she plays an astronaut stranded in space. When Matt asked about the grueling filming process, the star called it an "unnatural experience."

"It was actually the perfect setup for feeling lonely, feeling lost, feeling frustrated,” she told him. "Once you started using it, instead of fighting it all the time, it made it what it was."

Video: The actress tells TODAY’s Matt Lauer about the unusual challenges of making her new movie “Gravity,” a film many critics call groundbreaking. She says that spending most of the film as the only character and having a camera in her face for most of the shooting changed her approach.

5. One mother is giving more than 1,700 sick children a reason to smile. Robyn Rosenberger crafts capes to give children with terminal illnesses a chance to feel special – to feel like superheroes.

“She doesn’t just deliver capes, she bolsters children,” one child’s mother told TODAY. “It’s Robyn that turns them into superheroes.”

Video: Robyn Rosenberger has handmade capes for more than 1,700 kids with terminal illnesses around the country, raising their spirits by turning them into tiny superheroes.

And that’s TODAY’s Takeaway!