TODAY's Takeaway

TODAY's Takeaway: Snow snarls a city, dad writes 'napkin notes' of love

Jan. 30, 2014 at 6:51 PM ET

Three photos of Garth Callaghan, Al Roker and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed
On TODAY on Thursday, dad Garth Callaghan writes "napkin notes" of love to his daughter, Al Roker's face appears on a marshmallow and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed talks traffic woes.

1. Thousands of drivers in Atlanta abandoned their cars after being trapped in snow and ice following a rare 2.6 inches of snowfall on Tuesday. On Thursday, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed appeared on TODAY and said failure to stagger the release of people from schools and businesses played a primary role in creating a paralyzing traffic jam.

“We made an error in the way that we released our citizens,” Reed told Matt Lauer. “So the state made a judgment to release state employees, private businesses made that judgment, and I made the call and APS [Atlanta Public Schools] made the call.”

Video: Facing criticism over the city’s response to an unusual winter storm, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said that while they did not have the experience to deal with the unusual weather, their efforts have made 80 percent of the city’s roads passable.

2. Garth Callaghan has written “napkin notes” to his now-14-year-old daughter Emma since she was in kindergarten. The notes took on additional meaning over the past few years as he fought kidney cancer, twice. He now lives with prostate cancer.

Callaghan, 44, has promised himself to write 826 napkin notes to guarantee that Emma will have one to read every day until her high school graduation, no matter what happens. “It means a lot to me that he would think of that,” Emma told Matt Lauer on Thursday

Video: A father battling prostate cancer tells TODAY he has been scribbling notes for his daughter every day since elementary school. Garth Callaghan, who has also had kidney cancer twice, noticed his daughter Emma started keeping them in a notebook. “It meant I would have a part of my dad with me,” she tells TODAY.

Image: Al Roker's photo on a marshmallow

3. With much of the country bundling up to survive frigid temperatures, tech expert Katie Linendoll shared sizzling tech items to help people stay toasty warm. 

For instance, Imagemallows/S’more kits allow you to personalize marshmallows by printing Instagram photos on them — as demonstrated by the one and only Al Roker.

Video: With freezing temperatures hitting most of the country, tech expert Katie Linendoll has some sizzling tech items to help keep you warm from head to toe, including the LumaWarm heated toilet seat and Thermo Kitty mat.

4. If you’re stuffed up and coughing, there’s nothing like a hot bowl of traditional chicken soup, right? Dr. Mehmet Oz stopped by TODAY on Thursday to offer several unique alternatives from other cultures, some of which have been used for centuries.

“All these cures from around the world, they all taste good,” Oz told taste-tester Tamron Hall. “That’s why they’re still around.”

Video: Dr. Mehmet Oz shares tips with TODAY on common cold cures from around the globe, including turmeric milk from India, garlic tea from Spain, and grog from France.

5. And then there were two. Budweiser's touching 9/11 tribute and McDonald's big deal showdown are going head-to-head in the final round of TODAY's Super Bowl ad face-off. Which one’s your favorite? Be sure to vote!

And that's TODAY's Takeaway!