It's Friday, and would you believe it, I'm here with my hand on the buttons to operate the Mood Elevator and take us through to the weekend. All aboard? Let's get moving.

Teacher creates chairs from tennis balls to soothe autistic students

A primary school teacher in Illinois is doing that little bit extra for her autistic pupils. She's modified chairs with paint, glue and tennis balls, for kids with Down syndrome, autism, or sensory processing disorders. “Sensory seating is used for students who may have difficulty processing information from their senses and from the world around them,” wrote the school on Facebook. “Tennis balls on the seat and backrest provide an alternative texture to improve sensory regulation.”

Guard squirrel pet goes nuts on burglar

Joey is a squirrel on a mission. When his owner was out, a burglar came in to try and, well, burgle the place. But Joey had other ideas. He set about attacking him until he left. The culprit got away with some loot, but when he was arrested, the police officer who'd met Joey's owners asked where he'd got the scratches on his hands. "Yeah" he said, "damn thing kept attacking me and wouldn’t stop until I left". Joey's now been awarded with treats and national praise for his good deed, so says the Good News Network.

Atlanta Zoo loses Super Bowl bet, names cockroach after Tom Brady

Sticking with the animal theme, the Atlanta Zoo recently lost a bet with their rivals Rhode Island. The forfeit? To name a Madagascar hissing cockroach after Tom Brady. According to the Huffington Post, they've kept up the naming convention with his siblings, Mike, Carol, Greg, Peter, Bobby, Marsha, Jan and Cindy.

Abandoned dog leads rescuer to rabbit friend

Now if you've been listening long enough, you'll know I'm a sucker for a good animal rescue story. Well, this one has a bit of a twist. A Jack Russell terrier caught the attention of a driver in Florida. The dog looked in pretty bad shape, but seemed to want the driver's attention not for himself, but for his friend. A rabbit. The driver fed the pair his lunch, then drove the dog to the local dog shelter and the rabbit to the Humane Society, who look after small animals.

Coeur d’Alene hospital’s cuddle support has babies at heart

And we close out with the expansion of a service provided by an Idaho hospital. Baby cuddlers are on staff at this hospital's neonatal intensive care unit, providing round-the-clock cooing, gurgling and snuggles for premature and at-risk babies. It was a programme that started in 2011, to help give much-needed skin-on-skin and verbal contact to kids who need it. They're trained and doctors decide whether babies are in need of the service, and surprisingly enough they're pretty overstaffed.

And that, my dear friend, is all I have for you. Have a magnificent weekend, and I'll see you on Tuesday. Remember you can find the show at and follow me on Twitter @elevatorpod.