Friday, February 23, 2018

Bride gets trapped in elevator on way to reception

A Rhode Island bride missed cocktail hour after she became stuck in an elevator on the way to her wedding reception. She said she and two wedding planners were taking the elevator to her wedding reception when the elevator abruptly stopped four feet over the landing. “I was hoping that it would just take a minute,” she said. “Five minutes went by and I thought: ‘OK, something might be wrong.’” Her new husband said he received the news a few minutes later when one of her bridesmaids came up and whispered in his ear that “we have a situation that’s going on“. The chief Technician said he has seen many jammed elevator calls in his 26 years on the job, but this was the first time he encountered a trapped bride. A technician was able to get the elevator running again about 45 minutes after it stopped. They newlyweds said the rest of their reception went well, despite starting a little late. (WLNE TV)


Not hearing this

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court turned down a 2nd Amendment challenge to California’s mandatory 10-day waiting period for new gun purchases. With only Justice Clarence Thomas in dissent, the justices let stand a ruling of the 9th Circuit Court that called the California law a “reasonable safety precaution” and one that does not violate the constitutional right to own a gun. While the court has ruled that the 2nd Amendment protects the right of law-abiding citizens to own guns, the justices have repeatedly refused to go further by blocking strict gun regulations, including state bans on the sale of semi-automatic weapons or limits on who can carry a weapon in public. (LA Times)


Russia’s ‘virginity dealers’ are exploiting thousands of young women

Thousands of girls and young women in Russia are selling their virginity after finding rich lovers online, according to a new report. Networks of specialist dealers and scouts actively recruit virgins and link them to wealthy businessmen, taking a slice of fees which can range between a few hundred and tens of thousands of dollars. In other cases, women place their own advertisements selling the “right to the first night” on forums and dating websites, typically offering themselves to “adult, affluent man.”  A report said: “On average girls are paid 200,000-300,000 ruble ($3,500 to $5,300). Payment depends on age and appearance. The perfect type is 17 to 18 years old, short, very cute and modest. On average every manager sells up to 10 virgins a month, earning around 300,000 rubles ($5,300) a month.” Some 20 to 50 percent is added to the price as the agent’s fee. Those selling their virginity are expected to show a medical certificate confirming they have not had sex. But many women “go through surgery to restore their hymens,” then “swindle” men into believing they are still virgins and cash in on the lucrative market. (NY Post)


Hundreds of KFC outlets in UK closed amid chicken shortage

KFC says about 470 of the fried chicken chain’s 900 U.K. restaurants remained closed this week because of a chicken shortage. The company says the disruption started last week, when it changed its delivery provider to DHL. Open branches are operating on shortened hours or with limited menus. The fried chicken chain first apologized for the problems. However, it expects problems to continue throughout next week. The company declined to offer details about what it is doing to address the inadequate chicken supplies. KFC said: “We anticipate the number of closures will reduce today and over the coming days as our teams work flat-out all hours to clear the backlog.” (Yahoo)


Elon Musk’s Boring Company got the OK to start digging in Washington, DC

Musk’s latest business received “early and vague” government approval to start work in a DC parking lot; the site could become a station location, the company said. Musk tweeted last summer that the firm received verbal assurances it could build an underground Hyperloop connecting New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC. It’s not much now, just a parking lot, but it could be the gritty precursor to a tunnel network that could propel pods filled with people and speeding platforms topped with Tesla’s and Toyota’s between the nation’s capital and New York in 29 minutes. The Boring Company is also seeking approval for a “proof of concept” tunnel in Los Angeles. (Washington Post)


Wine destroys bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease

Drinking wine may protect teeth by destroying bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease, new research suggests. Despite many dentists warning booze’s acidic content can damage teeth, a study released recently suggests antioxidants in wine significantly prevent bacteria that cause plaque, cavities and periodontal disease from sticking to gums. When these bacteria enter the bloodstream, they can trigger a chain reaction that has been linked to heart disease and cancer. The latest discovery could lead to the development of ‘wine-inspired’ toothpastes and mouthwashes that contain such antioxidants, according to the Spanish researchers. Gum disease affects around three in every four adults, with symptoms including sore, bleeding gums during brushing. (Daily Mail)


Global smartphone sales have dropped for the first time ever

According to figures from Gartner, it’s the first decline since the tech research firm started tracking in 2004. Smartphone sales were down over 5% in 2017 compared to the same period the year prior. There are two key reasons for the fall: “Feature” phone users aren’t upgrading to smartphones as quickly as they used to, due to a lack of affordable options; and current smartphone users aren’t changing devices as often because technology has improved. (Tech Crunch)


Finally Friday!!! It’s Here With:

  • Curling is Cool Day
  • Digital Learning Day
  • Diesel Engine Day
  • Girl Scout Cookie Weekend: 23-25
  • Iwo Jima Day (flag raised)
  • National Banana Bread Day
  • National Dog Biscuit Day
  • National Tile Day
  • Single Tasking Day
  • Skip The Straw Day (4th Friday)
  • Tootsie Roll Day
  • Women in Blue Jeans Days: 23-24

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Medical pot for animals? One California lawmaker wants to open the door

Californians have been able to use marijuana for medical purposes for two decades, but soon even their ill pets may be able to take advantage of cannabis’ benefits. State Assemblyman Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) has introduced a bill that would require the Veterinary Medical Board to establish guidelines for licensed veterinarians to discuss the use of cannabis for animals. “It is critical for the protection of our beloved pets that knowledgeable veterinarians be allowed to discuss the safe use and medicinal value of cannabis products already available to California consumers,” Kalra said. Marijuana remains an illegal drug under federal law, and ballot measures approved by California voters only allow people to use it for medical and recreational purposes, according to an opinion put out by the state board. “There is nothing in California law that would allow a veterinarian to prescribe, recommend, or approve marijuana for treating animals,” the state board opinion says. “Veterinarians are in violation of California law if they are incorporating cannabis into their practices.” (LA Times)


To feed the world, bring farming indoors

Enterprising agriculturalists are turning warehouses and even shipping containers into vertical farms, with trays of crops stacked on top of each other. Bringing agriculture indoors shields farms from the effects of climate change, and the vertical structure yield more with less space. We’ll need to increase food production by 50% by 2050 to feed an anticipated global population of 9.8 billion, according to the UN. (The Atlantic)


Congress mulls crypto rules

Lawmakers are pushing for cryptocurrencies to be regulated like securities, with the digital assets subject to SEC rules to protect investors. As the global craze for bitcoin and other digital currencies continues to grow, Congress is considering ways to tamp down speculative trading and investing. So far, bitcoin has traded above $11,000, and had bottomed below $6,000 earlier this month over regulation fears, rumors of price manipulation, and a hack on cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck. (Reuters)


Large amount of wealth linked to increased happiness especially among those who earned it

People with more wealth tend to report being happier with life, according to a new psychological study of more than 4,000 millionaires. The study, which was published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, also found evidence that millionaires who earned their wealth were happier than those who inherited it. The researchers analyzed two surveys of millionaires from 17 countries. One survey asked the millionaires to rate their happiness in general while the other asked them to rate their life satisfaction. They found that substantially higher levels of wealth (having more than $8 million in one survey and $10 million in the other) were linked to greater well-being. Another surprising finding is that the source of this money is also important for happiness—participants who reported primarily inheriting or marrying into wealth reported less happiness. It appears that those who earned their wealth attach more happiness to it. (PsyPost)


Fake videos are on the rise. As they become more realistic, seeing shouldn’t always be believing

The selfie’s shift from promotion to business has arrived. From one such static image, an algorithm can quickly create a moving, lifelike avatar: a video not recorded but fabricated from whole cloth by software. The technology is a triumph of computer science that highlights the gains researchers have made in deep neural networks, complex algorithms that loosely mimic the thinking of the human brain. But therein lies the danger. What used to take a sophisticated Hollywood production company weeks could soon be accomplished in seconds by anyone with a smartphone. Not available for a video chat? Use your lifelike avatar as a stand-in. Want to insert yourself into a virtual reality game? Upload your picture and have the game render your character. Those are the benign applications. Now imagine a phony video of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un announcing a missile strike. The White House would have mere minutes to determine whether the clip was genuine and whether it warranted a retaliatory strike. What about video of a presidential candidate admitting to taking foreign cash? Even if the footage proved fake, the damage could prove irreversible. In some corners of the internet, people are using open-source software to swap celebrities’ faces into pornographic videos, a phenomenon called “Deep Fakes”. It’s not hard to imagine a world in which social media is awash with doctored videos targeting ordinary people to exact revenge, extort or to simply troll. The danger there is not just believing hoaxes, but also dismissing what’s real. (LA Times)


Some Say Weed Makes For Better Parenting

According to customer data collected by Eaze, a cannabis tech company and statewide delivery service, one in five cannabis consumers are parents, and 63 percent of those parents consume cannabis daily. A 91 percent majority of those parents smoke or vaporize cannabis flower, the most popular form of cannabis among this demographic, reporting that wellness is a leading reason behind their consumption. In fact, parents are 52 percent more likely than non-parents to replace alcohol with cannabis, and 26 percent more likely to replace opiates. Many cannabis-industry parents, along with parents who simply smoke pot, say that weed has helped them become better parents overall, and facilitates a better connection to their children. (LA Weekly)


Florida House declares pornography a public health risk

Earlier this week, Florida lawmakers declared pornography a health risk, and called for more research on its effects. The House of Representatives approved a resolution, which states there needs to be more education, research and policy changes to protect Florida residents from porn. “Research has found a correlation between pornography use and mental and physical illnesses, difficulty forming and maintaining intimate relationships, unhealthy brain development and cognitive function, and deviant, problematic or dangerous sexual behavior,” Republican Rep. Ross Spano told the state’s House Health & Human Services Committee in January. (Fox News)


Thirsty Thursday Offers Us:

  • California Day
  • Cook a Sweet Potato Day
  • Discover Girl Day
  • George Washington’s Birthday
  • Introduce A Girl to Engineering Day
  • National Chili Day  (Last Thursday)
  • National Margarita Day
  • Tex Avery Day
  • The Great American Spit Out
  • Woolworth’s Day
  • World Thinking Day

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Tesla is testing a smart power grid in Nova Scotia, Canada

The pilot program will combine Tesla’s Powerwall 2 home batteries and utility-grade Powerpack batteries to support the region’s existing wind power system. The test program is partially backed by the Canadian government, and is expected to go live before the end of February and run through 2019. Tesla recently worked with the South Australian government to install a power backup system which has already successfully responded to power outages in the area. (Engadget)


Millennials are losing out on income compared to previous generations

In a study of eight high-income countries, people born between 1980 and 2000 have an average household income of 4% less than Generation X did at the same age. The discrepancy is even more extreme in Spain and the UK, which have experienced generational “boom and bust” periods; UK millennials have seen “a deterioration in most measures of living standards” following a long post-war boom. (Bloomberg)


Homeowner’s shock when SHARK falls out of sky and crash lands in back garden

A man was left stunned after finding a shark in his back garden when it fell from the sky while he made a cup of tea. A man was in the kitchen when his dad alerted him to the two-foot long small-spotted catshark. The pair, who live in Whitstable, close to the Kent coastline, believe the shark was picked up by an over-ambitious seagull that dropped it mid-flight. The small-spotted catfish are small, shallow-water sharks with a slender body, a blunt head and sandpaper-like skin. Its two dorsal fins are located at the tail end of the body and crustaceans, mollusks and fish are their main prey. The species is common across the globe, residing off the coasts of Norway, the British Isles south to Senegal and in the Mediterranean. (Mirror)


Facebook will mail postcards to verify ads, prevent meddling

Facebook will soon rely on centuries-old technology to try to prevent foreign meddling in U.S. elections: the post office. Baffled in 2016 by Russian agents who bought ads to sway the U.S. presidential campaign, Facebook’s global politics and government outreach director said that the company would send postcards to potential buyers of political ads to confirm they reside in the U.S during a meeting of the National Association of Secretaries of State in Washington. The recipient would then have to enter a code in Facebook to continue buying the ad. The method will first apply to ads that name candidates ahead of the midterm elections in November, said Facebook spokesman Andy Stone. (NY Post)


You can work too much

Your performance will improve as you dial up working hours from 30 to 50 per week. Go past 65 and you’ll likely encounter diminishing returns or even performance declines, according to UC Berkeley management professor Morten Hansen, who compared hours worked and performance of some 5,000 managers and employees. Hansen’s advice: Develop an optimal amount of hours for your particular role — your “Goldilocks” scenario — and stick to it. (The Ladders)


What Working In A Dark Office May Do To Your Brain

Low light could be harming your brain — particularly areas that affect learning and memory function, according to Michigan State researchers. They found that frequent exposure to dim light (which is plentiful in offices) changed the structure of rats’ brains, while bright light reversed the damage. The findings offer a warning to Americans, who spend an estimated 90% of their time indoors. Companies can design offices that increase exposure to natural light, and workers can do themselves a favor and take breaks outside. (Fast Code)


Self-healing electronic skin will help robots have a sense of touch like humans

Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have developed self-healing, recyclable e-skin that will allow a prosthetic limb) or a robot part) to become sensitive to temperature, pressure, and vibration. The skin could allow your future robot babysitter to take your child’s temperature with a touch — or ensure it doesn’t “accidentally kill your loved one with too much or too little force.” (Quartz)


Wednesday Brings Us:

  • International Mother Language Day
  • National Sticky Bun Day

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Family expected to receive cremated remains of their loved one, but got concrete mix instead

Colorado regulators have suspended the license of a Montrose funeral home that also hosts a connected business selling human body parts after state officials investigated an incident in which the funeral home was supposed to return cremated remains to a family but, instead of ashes, gave the family cement. The suspension order for Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors says the funeral home and crematory didn’t keep required cremation records for at least five years and also didn’t keep records documenting the final disposition of human remains for at least seven years. In that time, the funeral home has been hit with nine complaints, according to state officials. FBI investigators raided the business last week. They have been mum on what they were looking for or what they found. But the suspension order does offer the smallest of windows. On the day of the FBI search, the order says state investigators also visited the facility. While there, according to the order, they saw bags of cement. (Denver Post)


Skier lost in New York doesn’t know how he got to California

Police are trying to piece together how a 49-year-old skier whose disappearance sparked a massive search on a snowy New York mountainside ended up six days later in California, confused and still in ski clothes. Toronto firefighter Constantinos “Danny” Filippidis told investigators he doesn’t know what happened after he was reported missing on Wednesday, February 7th, from Whiteface Mountain during an annual ski trip with colleagues. The search ended Tuesday (2/13) when Filippidis turned up in Sacramento, California, some 2,500 miles west of the Adirondacks. “He had phoned (his wife) and called her by a nickname. She quickly recognized the voice and that it was him,” investigators said. “Then they lost contact and he contacted her again and they kept him on the phone and asked him to call 911 to get him help as soon as possible.” Filippidis told deputies he remembered little, but thought he’d suffered a head injury, rode in a “big rig-style truck” and slept “a lot,” said a spokesperson for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. Filippidis said he bought an iPhone to call his wife and told deputies that a truck dropped him off in downtown Sacramento, where he got a haircut. (Yahoo)


Police probing after man receives more than 100 unwanted pizzas

A German lawyer is seeking help from the police after someone apparently ordered more than 100 pizzas to his office….and the orders are still coming. Guido Grolle said his office received more than 100 pizzas from various restaurants in the span of two weeks, despite no one in the office ordering the food. He said the orders have recently become more varied, with unwanted currywurst and sushi also arriving at his office. Police have opened an investigation into the orders, but investigators said fraud charges are unlikely, as Grolle is not required to pay for the unwanted food. (UPI)


Chinese woman joins handbag in X-ray machine

Officials at a Chinese railway station are asking passengers not to crawl into X-ray machines after a woman who refused to part with her handbag did just that. Staff at the Dongguan Railway Station in the southern part of the country said a woman traveling during the Lunar New Year rush on Sunday attempted to take her purse with her through the security scanner, but she was told the bag would have to go through the X-ray machine with the rest of her luggage. Security camera footage from the station shows the woman place her bag on the conveyor belt before crawling into the machine after it. The footage shows a security guard laughing in surprise as the woman climbs out of the machine and continues on with her luggage. Station officials said they want to remind passengers not to enter the machines as the radiation can be harmful. (BBC News)


Teacher found partially undressed in SUV with student and charged with sex crimes

A Simpsonville, South Carolina teacher faces charges after she was busted half-naked in public with a student, officials said. Elizabeth Heaton Taylor, a Greer High School educator, was arrested Thursday (2/15) evening when she was caught with the teen in a vehicle. The 27-year-old biology teacher is accused of having at least two sexual encounters with the student, according to authorities. Deputies said they discovered Taylor partially undressed with the teen inside a Ford Explorer parked suspiciously. During the investigation, she initially gave deputies a fake name, authorities said. Taylor was booked at Greenville County Detention Center on charges for sexual battery with a student between 16 and 17 years old and giving false information to police. She is being held on a $10,250 bond. Greenville County School officials said that she was let go the next day from the district. (WYFF TV)


Wife who says she was abused torches wedding gown at garage sale

Briana Barksdale welcomed friends and fellow residents of Spring, Texas over for a garage sale that was anything but ordinary — she was commemorating her divorce made official and celebrating her survival of an abusive marriage. She not only sold all the possessions remnant of the relationship, but set her wedding gown ablaze. “This is for every woman who has ever been in a relationship that was abusive, that hurt, that they shouldn’t have stayed in, that they didn’t know how to get out of,” the 34-year-old mother of two said before dousing the gown with gasoline on a wooden pyre. “Burn, baby, burn,” the divorcee sang as the gown burst into flames. Prices at the garage sale ranged from 50 cents to $30, as she sold everything from dishes to a computer to entire furniture sets. Family and friends applauded the symbolic closure of the event. She isn’t the only funny lady to make recent headlines with to close a divorce with a grand gesture. In recent weeks, one Canadian woman threw a boozy “divorce party” and another New Zealand divorcee auctioned off her wedding gown to a strip club. All in all, Barksdale wouldn’t have it any other way, saying “This is symbolic of freedom. This is symbolic of moving forward. This is symbolic of letting go of the past and moving forward to the future.” (USA Today)


Apple may be plotting to kill off the home button for good

The iPhone maker informed developers Thursday that starting in April, all new apps submitted to the App Store must support the iPhone X’s ultra HD display. This means that moving forward, every developer must make sure its apps fit on the edge-to-edge, buttonless screen. The decree came via an email in which the Cupertino, Calif.-based company also encouraged developers to take advantage of the tools introduced in iOS 11, including SiriKit and ARKit. Apple’s instructions to developers add fuel to the rumors that its next batch of iPhones — likely to be introduced next fall — will have notched screens similar to that of the iPhone X. (New York Post)


Twisted Tuesday Brings Us:

  • Love Your Pet Day  (or Love Your Dog Day)
  • National Cherry Pie Day
  • Northern Hemisphere Hoodie Hoo Day 
  • World Day for Social Justice 
  • World Pangolin Day 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Interesting study

When it comes to air quality, the products you use to smell nice or scrub your kitchen could be just as bad as the car you drive. A new study of the air around Los Angeles finds that consumer and industrial products now rival tailpipe emissions in creating atmospheric pollutants. The findings, published Thursday in the journal Science, reveal a shift in the balance of polluting power in cities — one that may prompt researchers and regulators to focus even more on a wide range of common consumer and industrial goods like hairspray, paint and deodorant. (LA Times)


ACLU sues to block Ohio law banning Down syndrome abortions

The ACLU filed a lawsuit to block an Ohio abortion law. Last year, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill that said doctors can’t perform an abortion if the fetus has or may have Down syndrome. It’s supposed to go into effect next month. Supporters of the bill say it protects victims against discrimination, but now the ACLU is saying this law is unconstitutional and violates the right to freedom and privacy. Next steps for it are unclear. (The Hill)


Man Beats Roommate Over Cap’n Crunch Cereal

An Alabama man allegedly beat his roommate after discovering that the victim had failed to properly seal a box of Cap’n Crunch cereal, which had gone stale. A 52-year-old-man was arrested recently for domestic violence following a confrontation with the man he shares a residence in Moundville, a town outside Tuscaloosa. According to police, the victim said that Smith became upset upon discovering the stale cereal and blamed him for failing to keep the Cap’n Crunch fresh. Smith was especially perturbed since he is missing teeth and had difficulty consuming the stale cereal. At one point, the suspect demanded that his roommate remove his dentures so that he could experience how hard it was to consume the Cap’n Crunch. When the man refused, he allegedly began striking the victim with an electrical cord. The victim suffered injuries to his face, hand, and arm. (The Smoking Gun)


Woman’s Hair Dryer Caught Fire

A South Carolina woman shared video of hair dryer that “became a blowtorch on its first use” after she purchased it from a third-party Amazon seller. Erika Augthun Shoolbred posted a pair of videos to Facebook showing flames shooting from the hair dryer where warm air is supposed to come out. “Talk about a bad hair day! My new hair dryer (more like hair fryer) from OraCorp on became a blowtorch on its first use this morning,” Shoolbred wrote.  She said unplugging the dryer led to a small burn on her hand, but she was otherwise uninjured. “I’m so fortunate the dryer was pointing away from me, and my 5-year-old daughter was not getting ready with me that morning,” she added. She bought the dryer from a third-party Amazon seller called OraCorp. She said Amazon offered her a full refund for the purchase, but OraCorp has yet to respond to her complaint. An Amazon representative said the hair dryer has been removed from the website. (Today)


Man learns of wife’s pregnancy from pilot’s announcement

A Florida man who boarded a flight home from Chicago received a shock when the pilot made a special announcement — the passenger’s wife is pregnant. Audrey Rose of South Tampa said she secretly slipped a note to a flight attendant on the Tampa-bound flight and the worker offered her a thumbs-up to signal the message had been received. “I have a big favor to ask,” the note reads. “I just found out that I’m pregnant and I really want to surprise my husband! I was hoping you could announce it before takeoff.” Rose posted a video to Facebook showing her husband, David, looking up in surprise as the pilot says his name over the plane’s speaker system. “David and Audrey Rose apparently smuggled an extra passenger on board,” the pilot says. The video shows David repeatedly say “what?” as the pilot explains that Audrey is pregnant, eliciting applause from the rest of the passengers. The Roses said they exchanged information with the pilot so they could keep him and the flight crew updated on the birth of their second child. (ABC Action News)


Police Capture Inmate Who Escaped Prison by Leaving Twin Brother in His Place

A convicted sex offender and burglar from Peru, was captured by police a year after successfully escaping prison by drugging his identical twin bother, who had come to visit him, and putting on his clothes. On January 10th, 2017 Alexander Jheferson Delgado pulled off one of the most incredible prison escapes in history, and the first from from Piedras Gordas, one of Peru’s most secure penitentiaries, in over 12 years. That day, Delgado’s twin brother Giancarlo came to visit him, and deliver food and letters from his friends and after meeting him in the common area of the prison, the two 28-year-old brothers went to Alexander’s cell, where the inmate allegedly offered Giancarlo a soda laced with sedatives. He passed out shortly after and woke up to the sight of concerned guards standing over him. Still groggy from the sedatives, Giancarlo Delgado told the guards what had happened, but they refused to believe him. It was only after repeated pleas that authorities agreed to check his identity, by comparing his fingerprints with those they had on file. However, that didn’t solve Giancarlo’s problems, as everyone now believed that he had been his brother’s accomplice, not his victim. Although he was never actually charged, the man was arrested and investigated on suspicion of having aided his brother escape. Prison security camera footage from the day of Alexander’s breakout show him wearing his brother’s clothes and casually walking through no less than six checkpoints on his way out of Piedras Gordas. The director of the penitentiary and several guards were fired after Delgado’s escape, after it was revealed that checkpoint guards hadn’t even bothered to check for the arm stamp that all-day visitors receive on their way in. The recaptured convict will now serve the rest of his 16-year sentence, plus whatever will be added for his escape, at Challapalca, a maximum security prison in the Andes Mountains. It is apparently a place reserved for Peru’s most recalcitrant prisoners, but not impossible to break out of. As for Giancarlo, he says he still loves Alexander, but forgiveness will be tough considering what he had to go through because of him. “I need to speak with him about that,” he said. (Oddity Central)


A mother was sentenced to seven days in jail for baptizing her own daughter 

Kendra Stocks reported to the Mecklenburg County jail in North Carolina last Friday (2/16) to begin her seven-day sentence after being held in contempt of court in what some described the matter as “a head-on collision between matters of church and state.” The strange reason for the jailing was because she baptized her daughter without the consent of the father, Paul Schaaf. The case goes all the back to August 2016 when a judge granted Schaaf full-custody of the young girl. That meant Schaaf got the final-say on decisions concerning religion. But just one day after the judge’s decision, Stocks had her daughter baptized in private — without telling the father, who only learned about the baptism after he saw pictures on Facebook, in which resulted him to lodge a complaint against Stocks. That lead the North Carolina District Court Judge to find Stocks in contempt of court last March when he sentenced her to 10 days in jail. Stocks appealed the decision, but the North Carolina Superior Court upheld the ruling, but reduced the sentence from 10 days to just seven. (Charlotte Observer)


Manic Monday Returns With:

  • Best Friends Day
  • Chocolate Mint Day
  • National Lashes Day
  • Presidents Day
  • Iwo Jima Day (Landing)

Friday, February 16, 2018

Bahamas resort Baha Mar hiring someone to hang with flamingos all day

One multi-billion dollar luxury hotel called Baha Mar in Nassau is hiring someone to hang out with its flamingos. The job title is actually called Chief Flamingo Officer, and the job will revolve around a new flock of the birds which will arrive at the hotel in March. Although the job is open to people from all over the world, there are some stipulations. You’ll need a degree in zoology or a related field, as well as strong people skills. And you’ll need to know enough about flamingos to teach resort guests about them – including children. The Chief Flamingo Officer will work with the resort’s Chief Scientist, whose  job is to preserve and protect wildlife at the hotel, which has its own sanctuary, housing turtles and nurse sharks. The job will be open until February 28 – so you’ve got a couple of weeks to get your application ready. You can apply at the resort’s website by  heading to their “careers” section. (Baha Mar)


Man forgets wife’s pregnancy due to heart condition

A 27-year-old man’s brush with death left him in a medically-induced coma and affected his memory, to the point where he didn’t remember his wife was nine months pregnant. He thought he had a bad cold when he started coughing in January, but when he couldn’t breathe January 17th, his pregnant wife encouraged him to go to the hospital. At first, doctors didn’t know what was wrong, and his condition only worsened. He was flown to Sentara Heart Hospital in Norfolk, VA. However, he doesn’t remember the flight. When he regained consciousness, he says he also didn’t remember his wife being pregnant. The 27-year-old was in a medically-induced coma for 18 days. During that time, doctors detected an un-diagnosed heart condition that was affecting his lungs. Meanwhile, his wife gave birth to the couple’s baby girl on January 24th, the same day her husband had surgery to keep his lungs functioning on their own. “After delivering her, an hour later, I made my sister wheelchair me down before his procedure,” she said. Their baby girl was born weighing 7 pounds, 11 ounces. Ironically, her father works at 7-Eleven. Now, the man is full of gratitude to his wife and newborn daughter, saying holding the little girl for the first time was “better than any medicine in the world.” “They keep me wanting to push to get out and get better,” he said. He also praised the team of doctors who saved him. (NBC 14 News)


Bill Paxton didn’t have to die, according to family’s wrongful death lawsuit

Bill Paxton’s widow and children are suing Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the heart surgeon who performed the operation that preceded the actor’s death in February 2017. The wrongful death lawsuit alleges that the surgery was unnecessary and the doctor was not qualified to perform a “maverick” procedure on Paxton. When the actor went to Dr. Ali Khoynezhad on Valentine’s Day 2017 complaining of cardiac issues, the doctor recommended heart surgery for aortic aneurysm repair, which took place that same day. Later, Paxton suffered complications after what the suit called a “maverick” surgical procedure that Khoynezhad allegedly was unqualified to perform, the doctor was gone and didn’t immediately return when alerted, leading to delayed care, the lawsuit charges. The defendants were negligent in their diagnosis, management and treatment of Paxton, the suit further alleges. They didn’t disclose that the doctor was going to use “a high risk and unconventional surgical approach with which he lacked experience and which was, based upon information and belief, beyond the scope of his privileges.”  The Paxton family is asking for a jury trial and seeks unspecified damages. The actor died Feb, 25, 2017, after a stroke at the age of 61. A tremendous outpouring of goodwill accompanied his death. (LA Times)


More Unfolding About School Shooter

The former student who had been expelled for disciplinary reasons that opened fire at a South Florida high school Wednesday (2/14) resulted in killing 17 people and wounding at least a dozen others, appeared to be feuding with people on Instagram — where he posted pics of his “arsenal” and claimed shooting was “group therapy,” according to reports. An account purportedly belonging to the 19-year-old suspect features a number of disturbing images, including pictures of him holding up guns and knives — and captions making fun of Muslims. The page was taken down after the deadly shooting, but screenshots were sent to The Post on Wednesday night by people who know the young man. In almost every picture, he can be seen wearing a black shirt or scarf over his face, to conceal his identity. When police arrived, the shooter was quickly arrested “without incident” after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in Broward County. (Orlando Sentinal)


A million-years-old rock is flying home

The ancient rock, named “Sayh al Uhaymir 008,” or “SaU008,” was once part of one of a meteorite that landed on Earth after blowing off from Mars millions of years ago. SaU008 was discovered in Oman in 1999 and is the only one of 200 similar rocks that’s strong enough to withstand the journey back home, according to NASA. The meteorite piece will head back to Mars as part of NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission. Once it arrives, SaU008 will be blown to bits in order to calibrate a high-precision laser named ‘SHERLOC’ that will be positioned on the rover’s robotic arm. SHERLOC is being designed to examine rock and chemical features as fine as human hair and will need something to help it get its bearings on the alien planet. In the past, NASA has used rocks, metals and pieces of glass to help adjust similar technology to its new martian surroundings. (NASA)


Brazil is reportedly planning to declare a state of emergency by its northern border

Brazil is trying to control an influx of refugees from neighboring Venezuela. Venezuela has been in crisis for years, since a global downturn in oil prices turned its economy upside down. Inflation is so bad that food and essentials are totally affordable. Hundreds of thousands have fled in the past two years, with a spike in recent months. Brazil says the crisis is straining public services. Colombia is saying same. Both countries are now tightening their borders. It’s increasingly unclear where struggling Venezuelans can turn. (Reuters)


Transgender woman breastfeeds baby

A transgender woman whose partner did not want to breastfeed their baby has done so herself after doctors used a hormone and breast-pumping regime to induce lactation. The case is the first reported in medical literature and occurred despite the woman not having undergone any gender reassignment surgeries. The 30-year-old woman told doctors that she hoped to be the child’s primary food source because her pregnant partner had no interest in breastfeeding. Tamar Reisman and Zil Goldstein, of the Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery in New York. The patient was already taking feminizing hormones and had acquired the drug domperidone from Canada. (The Times)


Finally Friday Is Back! WHOOP WHOOP! It Comes With:

  • Kyoto Protocol Day
  • Losar
  • National Almond Day
  • National Caregivers Day (Third Friday)
  • National Do A Grouch a Favor Day
  • Tartar Sauce Day (First Friday after Lent Begins)
  • World Information Architecture Day

Thursday, February 15, 2018

This “pacemaker” for your brain can boost memory

Researchers have developed an implant that can autonomously send electrical pulses to patients’ brains to aid memory formation and recall, a potential boon for patients with dementia, brain trauma, and other memory ailments. The implants connect to electrodes that monitor a person’s brain activity, triggering pulses when a patient is struggling. In initial tests, the method improved subjects’ recall by 15%, the amount of loss an Alzheimer’s patient is likely to suffer over a 2.5-year period. (Nature)


Doctors find live snail in California boy’s elbow abscess

Pediatricians in Los Angeles said they were treating an 11-year-old boy’s skin abscess when they made an unusual discovery: a live snail inside the wound. An 11-year-old boy came into the pediatric ward with a skin abscess about a week after he scraped his elbow in a tide pool on a California beach. Doctors followed regular procedure for such wounds by lancing and draining the abscess, and they soon discovered a hard object measuring under .02 inches in diameter. Closer inspection revealed the object was a snail, later identified as a checkered periwinkle marine snail. Doctors were surprised to find the snail was alive. They determined the boy had apparently gotten the snail’s egg embedded in his elbow when he scraped it, and it later hatched inside his body. In a report, they say “the unique characteristics of this intertidal mollusk appear to have enabled it to survive in the subcutaneous tissue for a week, despite the hostile environment of a skin abscess”. The boys’ arm fully recovered and he took the snail home as a pet. However, the boy’s family reported the snail died after living only about a day outside of its former abscess home. (Daily Mail)


Millennials and baby boomers are about to go head-to-head

According to a new report, as baby boomers retire, companies are expected to turn to automation to fill gaps in the workforce — which is bad news for millennials, who will need retraining and potentially income support as tech eliminates up to a quarter of existing jobs. The two generations will compete for assistance in the next decade, the firm predicts, as the government also contends with sizable deficits and a diminishing population of active taxpayers. (Bain & Company)


14 worms found crawling in eye of woman with rare infection

An Oregon woman has become the first person worldwide known to have had an eye infestation by a tiny worm species previously seen only in cattle that is spread by flies that feed on eyeball lubrication, US government researchers said earlier this week. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientists said 14 translucent parasitic worms of the species Thelazia gulosa, all less than half an inch long, were extracted from the 26-year-old woman’s eye over a 20-day period before her symptoms dissipated. This species of Thelazia worm was previously seen in cattle throughout the northern United States and southern Canada. If the worms remain in a person’s eye for a prolonged time, they can cause corneal scarring and even blindness, according to the researchers. Previously it was thought there were only two different species of these eye worms that infected humans worldwide, and that Thelazia gulosa is now the third. Previous cases of such eye worm infections have been reported worldwide, mostly in Europe and Asia and in rural communities with close proximity to animals and with poor living standards. Eye worms are found in a variety of animals, including dogs, cats and certain wild carnivores. (NY Post)


Education Department no longer investigating transgender bathroom complaints

The Education Department says it’s no longer acting on transgender students’ complaints about being banned from bathrooms. This comes after the Trump administration reversed an Obama-era policy allowing transgender students to use bathrooms based on their gender identities. The White House says that’s because states and school districts should make these decisions. Now, the Education Department says it won’t look into reports of transgender students being banned from using certain bathrooms – saying these complaints don’t fall under anti-discrimination law. However, some say this decision goes against a 2017 federal court ruling that says transgender students can use whichever gender bathroom they identify with. As they say in broadcasting: Stay Tuned! (Washington Post)


Husband uses ‘dudeoir’ shoot to cheer up cancer-stricken wife

The stay-at-home dad in Vancouver, Washington decided to do something extra special for his wife this year after she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Armed with a pair of boxer briefs, some flour and a Christopher Walken pillow, he managed to come up with the perfect way to cheer up the missus: a “dudeoir” photoshoot. He surprised his wife, Stephanie, with a photo spread on February 9th right before she went into surgery. “He showed them to me about an hour before I went in,” Stephanie recalled. “He was like, ‘I got something to show you.’ When I saw [the pics}, I died laughing. It definitely wasn’t anything I was expecting.” Sporting a sultry-but-chic look, Arnet took dozens of pics for the “dudeoir” shoot that shows him posing in front of a fireplace, on a kitchen counter-top and with the Walken pillow — which is positioned oh-so-perfectly. Once Stephanie got the pics, she asked Arnet if she could post some to Facebook, and he happily obliged. Within the first 10 minutes, Stephanie received more than 100 shares. Now we’re at more than 45,000. The photos have also helped Stephanie stay positive, as well. “To be a mother of three and an Army vet — deployed to Afghanistan — who did all this stuff, and then to find out you have cancer, was tough,” Arnet said. Stephanie got her cancer, called Ocular Melanoma, diagnosis back in November after paying a visit to an optometrist. This type of cancer is only diagnosed to an average of 2,000 people a year, and is so rare in fact, that there are only about 10 doctors who specialize in its treatment. “Good luck to anyone who tries to top him,” she said of his Valentine’s Day gift. Arnett added, “Hopefully my wife doesn’t ever forget this.” (NY Post)


Robber jailed after worker recognized him from school

A knifeman who robbed a Co-op shop has been jailed after he was recognized by a female shop worker he used to go to school with. A 24-year-old-man grabbed the woman from behind, held a knife to her throat and demanded to be taken to the safe at the shop. She led him there, and as her colleague opened the safe and placed around $10,000 in a black sports bag, she caught a glimpse of his face. The woman confronted the man as he begged her not to tell police then fled with the cash on December 20 last year. He was arrested the following day and later admitted to the robbery, Police said. He was ordered to serve in jail for four years earlier this week. (Barrhead News)


This Thirsty Thursday Pours Us A Round Of:

  • Angelman Syndrome Day
  • Annoy Your Boss Day
  • Lupercalia
  • National Gum Drop Day
  • National Hippo Day
  • National Wisconsin Day
  • Remember The Maine Day
  • Singles Awareness Day
  • Susan B. Anthony Day
  • Westminster Dog Show

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Survey Shows Americans Wish Their Private Lives Were Kinkier

Long before “50 Shades of Grey” came out and brought kink and fetish awareness to the masses, people have been doing all sorts of non-vanilla acts. EdenFantasys, an online adult store, surveyed 2,000 Americans about their bedroom lives and their fetishes. Their findings revealed that 40% of people consider themselves kinky. Only 49% of respondents say they are into sex toys. Meanwhile, 34% of people said they want to experiment more with toys with their current partner. Role-playing is popular bedroom pastime, with 29% of respondents saying they’re interested in it. Twenty-four percent reported that they want to give it a try with their current partner. Fifty-one percent of those with a specific kink or fetish reported that they need a month or so to bring it up to a new partner. Bondage made 22% of people curious. And surprisingly only 16% of people want to try anal. Out of those questioned, 76% said they are open to trying new kinks. (NY Post)


How Many Partners Has the Average American Had?

SuperDrug conducted a survey of over 2,000 men and women from The U.S. and Europe about their sexual histories. In terms of lying about the amount of previous partners, 67.4% of women said they tell the truth when asked about their number, compared to 58.6% of men. That means that, all things considered, about 1/3 of people lie about this particular question. When it comes to lying about past lovers, men tend to increase the number of sexual partners they’ve actually been with, while women do the opposite and decrease their number. Why the lies? Many women are still scared of being shamed for being sexually active, while men tend to up their count to appear more experienced. Most of the people surveyed said that having relations with more than 14 or 15 people is considered “promiscuous.” So what do people think the idea number of sexual partners to have had is? Both men and women said around seven or eight. Out of the 2,000+ questioned, over 60% of men and women believe that sexual history should be disclosed between right away and four months. About 11% of respondents are on my side of “would not disclose.” (Super Drug)


People Are Buying Hype-realistic Eye Candy For Valentines Day

You can be a stooge this Valentine’s Day and get your significant other the usual box of chocolates that will be thrown out in April, or you can get something that that will really catch their eye. Deviant Desserts makes some unusual sweets and this Valentine’s Day, chocolate eyeballs have been some of the best sellers. The detail and realism in their desserts are insane, and if you “only have eyes” for that special someone, you can see why these treats would be such a hot seller during the holiday of love. The pair of white chocolate eyes have a mixed berry filling, and you can actually choose between blue, brown, or green eye color. If eye-popping chocolates aren’t your thing, you can always be a sweetheart with this anatomically correct heart cake, or chocolate hearts. The heart consists of a soft white chocolate shell, two layers of red velvet cake, and chocolate butter cream. The four chocolate hearts are filled with a strawberry white chocolate, and actually look like real hearts, as well. Whatever you go with as long as they see that it comes from the heart. (Food Beast)


Capping years of criticism, Purdue Pharma will stop promoting its opioid drugs to doctors

The manufacturer of the powerful painkiller OxyContin announced recently that it will stop promoting its opioid drugs to doctors after years of criticism and mounting lawsuits. Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma informed its employees that it was cutting its sales force in half, leaving about 200 representatives in the U.S., who no longer will visit doctors’ offices to discuss the company’s opioid products. The company is facing dozens of lawsuits from cities across the country prompted in part by reports that revealed Purdue had extensive evidence pointing to illegal trafficking of its pills but in many cases did not share it with local law enforcement agencies or cut off the flow of the drugs. The plaintiffs are seeking to hold the company financially responsible for a raging opioid epidemic. (LA Times)


‘Zombie bots’ are coming for lonely singles on Valentine’s Day

America’s lonely hearts are more likely than ever to catch a virus this Valentine’s Day — on their computer. An especially aggressive robot network of 6 million “zombie bots” will be set loose this Valentines Day, each one with an attractive come-on looking to entice a lovesick victim, according to IBM. But don’t go looking for love in all the wrong in-boxes, warns IBM’s X-Force warns. X-Force is the IBM unit that searches out and tracks down cyber threats. Since January 16th, US email in-boxes have been inundated with 230 million dating-spam messages, according to X-Force. Now, X-Force is predicting a massive uptick in computer come-ons. It attributed the uptick to a notorious botnet called Necurs. While dating-spam scams are as old as e-mail itself, X-Force credited Necurs with upping their plausibility. Here are tips to avoid becoming a victim. Look for:

  • Bad grammar
  • A too-good-to-be-true come-on, like “I must say you are very cute and I would like to know you more!”
  • An e-mail return address differs from the arrival address.

(NY Post)


Women can orgasm by working out

Some women apparently get a lot of enjoyment out of exercise — they experience orgasms in the gym. Aptly called the “Coregasm,” it refers to orgasmic release induced by exercise. In fact, exercise-induced orgasms have been recognized in scientific literature for more than 50 years. They were first noted by sexologist Alfred Kinsey in his 1953 book “Sexual Behavior in the Human Female”, which detailed how 5 percent of women he spoke to had experienced one before. Other studies have also backed this up. A 2012 study of 530 women online found that 246 had experienced a “coregasm” before. The Indiana University study also found that they were more likely if a woman was cycling, rope climbing, doing yoga, weight lifting or running. But the most common exercise that led to a toe-curling moment was leg pull-ups. So how exactly does a “coregasm” occur? Basically, a combination of engaging the muscles connected to down there and the endorphin’s released when exercising has some euphoric results. An orgasm occurs when the body cannot take the intense sexual pleasure of blood flow in the genitals anymore. In a woman, the release of sexual tension is accompanied by contractions of the muscles in the vagina. And, if she’s lucky, a woman can experience more than one orgasm if sexual stimulation continues after the first. It isn’t just exercise that can take a woman to heady heights, though. Experts say that about ten percent of women report achieving orgasm during exercise, some women can orgasm purely through nipple stimulation and (rare but true) some people orgasm when they have sneezing fits. And if all this isn’t enough to have you racing to the gym, some “coregasms” can last for a long time with women reportedly feeling contractions for hours after they’ve happened. (The Sun)


Woman reunited with wedding dress 32 years after dry cleaner mix-up

A Facebook post about a 32-year-old wedding dress mixup at an Ohio dry cleaner led to an emotional reunion between a woman and her gown. Ame Bartlebaugh said she visited her grandmother’s house in Willowick to find the wedding dress used by both her mother and her aunt. Bartlebaugh, who hoped to wear the dress at her own wedding in December of next year, opened the package that the dress had been sealed inside by a dry cleaner in 1985 and made a startling discovery — it was the wrong dress. “I am now in search of the owner of this gown. It was dry cleaned in the summer of 1985. It has a hoop skirt that goes underneath and a veil with a flower crown attached,” Bartlebaugh wrote in a Facebook post that included photos of the mystery gown. She said it took less than 24 hours for Facebook users to find the dress’ owner. Brian Havrilla‏ tweeted an emotional video showing his family presenting the dress, which they wrapped, to his mother as a late Christmas gift. (Facebook)


Humpday Wednesday Is Here! Make It Right Because It’s Also:

  • Ferris Wheel Day
  • International Book Giving Day
  • Frederick Douglass Day
  • League of Women Voters Day
  • Library Lovers Day
  • National Cream-Filled Chocolates Day
  • National Have A Heart Day
  • National Organ Donor Day
  • National Women’s Heart Day
  • Pet Theft Awareness Day
  • Quirky Alone Day
  • Race Relations Day
  • Singles Awareness Day or Singles Appreciation Day
  • Valentines Day
  • (World) Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day
  • World Sound Healing Day

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

ICYMI: House bans sexual relationships between lawmakers and their staffers

Last Tuesday (2/6), the House of Representatives approved H. Res. 724, a measure that prohibits sexual relationships between lawmakers and their staffers. The bill, pushed by Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), is the first significant step toward changing the system that has faced numerous sexual misconduct scandals against lawmakers in recent months amid the nationwide #MeToo movement. The measure is effective immediately. The bill affects the House only and it means:

  • Sexual relationships between House members and employee they supervise are prohibited.
  • A nonpartisan Office of Employee Advocacy will be established to assist employees with claims of sexual harassment.
  • Accusers will no longer be required to undergo counseling and mediation.
  • Each member must adopt policies that prohibit harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
  • Members must certify they are not using their budgets to settle workplace claims.

(Washington Post)


Amazon is launching a delivery service

It will be called “Shipping with Amazon” and will pick up packages from businesses and ship them to customers. The service will be tested in Los Angeles with third-party merchants that sell goods on Amazon, then rolled out to cities across the US. The new venture puts Amazon into direct competition for the parcel business with UPS and FedEx, writes The Journal. Amazon is planning to undercut both on pricing, although exact figures are not yet known. (Wall Street Journal)


Naked man forces Alaska Airlines plane back to Anchorage

 An Alaska Airlines flight to Seattle was forced to return to Anchorage after a passenger locked himself in the bathroom, took off all his clothes, and refused to follow crew instructions. “Alaska Airlines flight 146 from Anchorage to Seattle returned to Anchorage due to a passenger not following flight attendant’s instructions. While no emergency was declared, the decision was made to return to Anchorage,” an Alaska Airlines spokesman said. “There was a subject on the aircraft that had barricaded or locked himself in the bathroom, the lavatory,” the airport police cheif said. “Flight attendants did find that the subject was naked.” Airport police and FBI met the plane when it landed and took him out the back door. The suspect was transported by the Anchorage airport police to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation. It wasn’t immediately clear if the man was arrested. (KTVA TV)


Kansas Senators pass resolution condemning ‘sexually toxic’ porn citing public health crisis

The Kansas Senate has approved a resolution condemning pornography, saying it causes infidelity and erectile dysfunction. The measure passed last week on a 35-4 vote. The resolution has no legal effect. The House passed a similar measure last year. Republican Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, of Shawnee, says pornography “exploits and humiliates those being used and it dehumanizes the user at the same time.” The resolution says pornography is potentially biologically addictive and is linked to lessened desire. Republican Sen. Barbara Bollier, of Mission Hills, mocked the resolution. She responded by saying: “Seriously? We’ll see how excited they are about public health when it comes to guns.” (The Wichita Eagle)


Thief had trouble restarting car he had stolen actually called the vehicle’s owner for help

A thief stole the car outside a Minneapolis Walmart on Monday after the owner used an auto-starter from inside the store. When the owner went outside, the car was gone and about an hour away at that time. Later that night, the owner received a call from a woman who said a man was asking about the car. The thief then got on the phone and identified himself as an employee at a glass repair shop. Wilson said he had parked the car, but was unable to restart it and asked the owner to contact someone who could. Police responded to the scene of a suspicious person and found him along with the stolen car. According to the report, he quickly realized he had made a mistake. (WPLG 10 ABC)


Sheriff’s deputy fired after arrest for robbing a North Carolina bank

A Davidson County Sheriff’s Deputy has been fired after allegedly robbing a bank in Rowan County, according to Davidson County Sheriff David Grice. Sheriff Grice fired Deputy Jeff Athey as soon as he learned of his arrest. “They know that they’re not going to be employed with me if they violate the law,” Sheriff Grice said in a phone interview. “They know what the law is.  He knew what the law was.” Rockwell Police say the former deputy went into F&M Bank, pulled out a gun and told the clerk he needed money. Investigators say he took off in a silver mustang, but Rowan County deputies caught up with him about 5 minutes later. Sheriff Grice says he’s thankful his former deputy didn’t injure anyone or resist arrest, but he’s stunned by what happened. The Sheriff said the former deputy was with the Sheriff’s Office for several years in the civil division, responsible for prisoner transport. Police say all the money that was taken from the bank was recovered. The bank posted a sign on its door saying it will be closed due to the robbery. (USA Today)


Man arrested for attempting to rob a pizza shop with large metal pole

A man was arrested for attempting to rob a Big Daddy’s Pizza with a large metal pole, police said. Salt Lake City Police said that the 36-year-old suspect entered the store wearing a large white garbage bag and approached the cashier asking for money. He then produced what police called a “large metal pole” and swung it at the cashier, hitting him in the hand. The cashier alerted three other employees who came to the front of the store to confront the man who then ran from the store. Employees left the store and chased the suspect until police were able to take him into custody. The assailant was booked into jail for aggravated robbery, police said. (Fox 13)



This Tuesday Gives Us:

  • Desperation Day
  • Employee Legal Awareness Day
  • Fat Tuesday
  • Galentine’s Day
  • Get a Different Name Day
  • International Condom Day
  • International Pancake Day
  • Pancake Day Race
  • Madly In Love With Me Day
  • National Wingman’s Day
  • Mardi Gras
  • National Tortellini Day
  • Paczki Day
  • Safer Internet Day U.S. – Second Tuesday in February
  • World Radio Day

Monday, February 12, 2018

Transgender people sue Alabama over driver’s license policy

Alabama’s requirement that transgender people provide medical proof to change the gender on their driver’s license is discriminatory, a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of three transgender people alleges. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency requires proof of gender surgery before it will change the gender indicator on a driver’s license. The three plaintiffs in the lawsuit say the policy leads to a loss of privacy and dignity. “Anyone who is eligible for a license should be able to get one that they can use without sacrificing their privacy, safety, health, autonomy or dignity,” ACLU lawyer Gabriel Arkles said. One of the plaintiffs said they were humiliated during the license application process in August because a clerk discussed their gender identity in a crowded office and referred to them as “it.” The ACLU wants the judge to overturn Alabama’s policy on transgender license applicants, allowing them to change their gender on the ID without proof of surgery. Sources say the ACLU has beaten the requirements in Alaska and Michigan. (Reuters)


Berkeley is turning to cryptocurrency as a possible hedge against Trump cutting off its funding

The City of Berkeley, one of the epicenters of liberal California, is considering a turn to cryptocurrency to reduce its reliance on federal funding in the Trump administration. Berkeley would become the first city in the US to hold an initial coin offering (ICO) — a type of crowdfunding campaign that’s become popular in the past year. The city would raise funds by selling digital assets called “tokens” that are backed by municipal bonds, a type of security issued by the local government. Buyers might spend these tokens at shops and restaurants or even pay rent at apartment rentals that participate in Berkeley’s cryptocurrency ecosystem. The goal is to raise funding for vital city projects like affordable housing and support services for the city’s growing homeless population. Someday, homeless people might receive tokens to buy goods and services from local businesses that accept the currency, according to city leaders. It’s all talk for now, but according to Berkeley City Council Member Ben Bartlett, the creation of the city’s own financing mechanism is a key part of building resiliency in the Trump era. (Business Insider)


Spread of breast cancer linked to compound in asparagus and other foods

Researchers suggest an amino acid found in asparagus and other foods might be causing breast cancer to spread to other parts of the body. They say when mice with breast cancer ate less of this amino acid, their cancer was a lot less likely to spread. Now they’re looking into whether it could work for humans. Researchers are investigating whether a change in diet could help patients with breast tumors after studies in mice showed that asparagine, a compound first identified in asparagus but present in many other foods, drives the spread of the disease to other organs. When scientists reduced asparagine in animals with breast cancer, they found that the number of secondary tumors in other tissues fell dramatically. The spread of malignant cells, often to the bones, lungs and brain, is the main cause of death among patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Asparagine is an amino acid that is made naturally in the body as a building block for proteins. But it is also found in the diet, and in high levels in certain meats, vegetables and dairy products. (The Guardian)


“Ok guys..ready to have your mind blown?!”

A viral Facebook post has people thinking twice about using bathroom hand dryers.  Nichole Ward, of California, writes, “This here, Is what grew in a Petri dish after just a few days,” she says, showing an image of the Petri dish with all sorts of stomach-churning funk inside. “I stuck the open plate in an enclosed hand dryer of a public bathroom for a total of 3 minutes. Yes 3 only. DO NOT EVER dry your hands in those things again. This is the several strains of possible pathogenic fungi and bacteria that you’re swirling around your hands, and you think you’re walking out with clean hands. You’re welcome. ” She  claims to have stuck the dish in a Dyson Airblade and then “incubated” it for 48 hours. It’s unclear what sort of scientific background she has, if any, to make her assessment. Nevertheless, Ward’s post has been shared more than 530,000 times since being made last week — and it’s even caused countless people to start using paper towels again. (Facebook)


Former dominatrix fired from County Sheriff’s Office

A New Jersey sheriff’s officer has lost her job because she previously appeared in bondage films as a dominatrix. Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari  said a hearing officer made the decision to fire Kristen Hyman and he agrees with the decision. The department suspended her six days before her academy graduation last year, saying she failed to disclose that she appeared in the films and sometimes saw clients privately for money. Court documents show Hyman told investigators she never appeared naked and didn’t perform sex acts in the videos. A judge rescinded the suspension, and Hyman was sworn in June 8, 2017. She then went on paid administrative leave pending the hearing. A lawyer who previously represented Hyman says he’s no longer involved in the case. (


Harley-Davidson recalls 175,000 motorcycles over brake failure

Harley-Davidson is recalling nearly 175,000 motorcycles over fears of brake failure. The campaign covers all anti-lock brake-equipped Touring, CVO Touring and VSRC motorcycles made during the 2008 through 2011 model years. Over 30 different models with ABS are affected, include the Road King, Road Glide, Electra Glide and Street Glide. Some police-spec models are also included in the campaign. Apparently, a failure to flush brake fluid in accordance with the recommended two-year maintenance schedule may result in a valve within the ABS hydraulic control unit becoming impaired by deposits. Such deposits could lead to malfunctioning brakes, including failure. (CNET)


Spirit Airlines employee told student to flush emotional support hamster down the toilet

A college student said she flushed her emotional support hamster down the toilet after Spirit Airlines refused to let her bring her furry pet on the plane. Belen Aldecosea, 21, of Miami Beach, Florida, said that she contacted Spirit Airlines before her flight from Baltimore to South Florida on Nov. 21, 2017, regarding traveling with her dwarf hamster, Pebbles. She claimed the airline told her it was not a problem to bring her hamster on the flight. However, when the student arrived at the airport she said the airline refused to let Pebbles on the plane. She did not have many options since her family was in Florida and her friends were hours away. The student claimed a Spirit employee suggested she either flush Pebbles down the toilet or let the animal free. She considered letting Pebbles run free outside but could not bear thinking of her hamster freezing to death or getting hit. Spirit Airlines spokesman said that an employee “mistakenly” told Aldecosea that Pebbles was allowed on the flight but denied that an employee suggested she flush the rodent down the toilet. The U.S. Transportation Safety Administration was fine with hamsters on the flight, but airlines are allowed to choose if they want the rodents on board. Aldecosea said Pebbles was a doctor-approved emotional support animal that helped her when she developed a growth in her neck while at school in Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The student said she bought Pebbles for some company.  Aldecosea, who now attends the Texas State University, said she was considering legal action against Spirit due to the airline “pressuring her into making an anguished decision with a pet certified by her doctor as an emotional support animal.” Her attorney, Adam Goodman said this case was different than the woman who made headlines last week after a United Airlines flight refused her request to bring her emotional support peacock on a flight. (Fox News)


Hello Monday, We Meet Again And This Time You Bring:

  • Clean Out Your Computer Day (2nd Monday)
  • Darwin Day
  • Extraterrestrial Culture Day
  • Extraterrestrial Visitor Day
  • Lincoln’s Birthday
  • NAACP Day
  • Oglethorpe Day
  • Paul Bunyan Day
  • Plum Pudding Day
  • Safety Pup Day