Friday, February 9, 2018

Restaurant offers $3,000 burger with engagement ring

For $3,000, patrons at one Boston restaurant can order a burger that comes with an engagement ring on the side. Pauli’s in the city’s North End says with 48-hours’ notice, the restaurant’s Big Boy burger will arrive with a 7/8 carat Neil Lane ring nestled in the bun. The ring will come framed with round diamonds and a 14k gold band. The restaurant says the burger is part of a new Valentine’s Day special. Restaurant owner Paul Barker says there are no confirmed orders so far, but there are several “very interested” people. (NY Post)


11-year-old boy dies trying to save friend who fell into frozen pond

A heroic 11-year-old boy died after he jumped into a frozen Queens pond to save the life of his 12-year-old pal who had fallen through ice, authorities said. The deadly accident happened as Anthony Perez, 11, and Juan Umpierrez, 12, were playing in Forest Park, officials said. “He was on land, he only went out to the ice after the other kid fell through,” a law enforcement source said. “He [Perez] was able to push him [Umpierrez] out to safety, but he fell through ice and he couldn’t get out.” Rescuers waded through the frigid, chest-high water — whacking a thin layer of ice with their hands — and plucked Perez from the pond, FDNY deputy chief George Healy said. But when they got Perez to dry land, he wasn’t breathing, so paramedics performed CPR and rushed the youngster to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. “He did help get him out, but he couldn’t save himself,” the law-enforcement source said. Some of the rescuers fell through the ice themselves while trying to save the boy along with two firefighters, all treated also treated for hypothermia. “The ice failed underneath them,” Healy said. “They were in chest-deep water. They had to physically break [the ice] with their hands.” Perez’s neighbors were shocked and saddened by the news — but not surprised Anthony was so quick to act. (ABC News)


Burglars tried to rob a deceased man’s house, but his neighbors stepped in and now they’re in trouble

A California gun owner may be facing criminal charges after he used his weapon to shoot out the tires in the getaway car of some alleged burglars who were trying to rob his deceased neighbor’s home. Two men were trying to break into a home in Apple Valley, California which had been unoccupied since its owner passed away. A neighbor, whose name has not been released by the police, noticed something wrong and called 911. Then he went outside and confronted the burglars with a handgun. In order to prevent the thieves from getting away, the neighbor shot the tires out on the suspects’ vehicles, and fired some additional warning shots at the ground. Another neighbor heard the gunshots and arrived at the residence armed with a shotgun. Together, the neighbors held the suspects in place until police arrived and arrested both men. The problem, for the neighbor, is that he may soon face legal problems of his own. The sheriff’s department has  submitted a report to the San Bernadino County District Attorney’s Office for “review and consideration of charges for reckless discharge of a firearm at an uninhabited vehicle.”  Other witnesses say that this was the type of neighborhood where people look after each other. (Los Angeles CBS)


Michigan family with 13 sons expecting next child in April

A Michigan couple with 13 sons is expecting a 14th child in April but waiting until birth to learn the sex. Jay and Kateri Schwandt say adding another child to their large family won’t be too big of a logistic change or financial burden. Kateri Schwandt said she’s used to large families, as one of 14 children herself. Like with their last few children, the couple has decided against learning the baby’s sex before the birth. “I would love to have a girl, but I just don’t think it’s in the cards,” Jay Schwandt said. This will likely be their last child, he added. “It just feels like this is going to be it, and we’re going to enjoy every second of it,” Jay Schwandt said. But Kateri Schwandt said the couple also thought their 13th baby would be their last. The couple said it’s hard to imagine their home without a baby in it. (Yahoo)


Woman says store-bought lettuce had a 3-inch lizard in it

A Maine woman who prepared a salad says she realized after a couple of bites that her fork was stuck in a 3-inch lizard, minus the tail. After vomiting and getting over her shock, Michelle Carr, a nurse from Kittery, said she feared she could have ingested harmful bacteria. A biologist friend believes she found a blue-bellied lizard from California. Carr said she bought a bag of store-brand romaine lettuce at a supermarket in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on Jan. 26. The lettuce was distributed by a California company. A supermarket spokeswoman said it notified the supplier. Carr also called the state Health Department. A spokesman said because the lettuce was packaged and shipped from another state, any investigation would be conducted by the Food and Drug Administration. (SFGate)


Texas owner finds missing dog wandering on the roof

A Texas resident who arrived home and couldn’t find his dog investigated a noise and discovered the canine was stranded on the roof of the house. Sergio Serratos of Round Rock posted a video to Facebook showing his dog, Kylo, wandering around on the roof of his home. Serratos said he arrived home and couldn’t find the canine until he heard a noise on the roof that he initially thought was a squirrel. The homeowner said Kylo had apparently climbed the inside stairs to the home’s balcony and jumped from there to the roof of the house. Serratos said Kylo was safely returned to the ground. (Facebook)


Polish president signs Holocaust bill, triggers Israeli, U.S. criticism

The other day, Poland’s President signed a bill that pretty much bans people from saying the country was involved in the Holocaust. By the end of WWII, millions of Polish residents (half of which were Jews) were killed. Now, their President wants this new law to make sure people recognize that Poland was a victim in the war, not a perpetrator. This new defamation law would make it illegal for people to accuse Poland of being pushovers to the Nazis during the war. It also bans terms like “Polish death camps.” If you break the law, you could face a fine or jail time. Israel says Poland is trying to rewrite history with the new bill. Poland’s President says he’ll ask the country’s constitutional court to look at the bill – meaning it could still be changed. (Reuters)


It’s Finally Friday! Bring On:

  • National Bagel Day
  • National No One Eats Alone Day
  • National Pizza Day
  • Read In The Bathtub Day
  • Toothache Day

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Utah may soon ban traffic ticket quotas for police officers

A Utah state lawmaker has introduced a bill that would make it illegal for Utah police departments to use traffic ticket quotas to evaluate police officer performance in the state. State Senator Howard Stephenson (R) explained that he was opposed to making police departments into revenue generators, as opposed to protectors of public safety. Most Utah police departments, like most police departments throughout the country, claim that the bill is unnecessary because they allegedly do not have ticket quotas. In explaining the need for the bill, Stephenson cited an op-ed published by the libertarian Libertas Institute of Utah, which set forth evidence that a number of Utah police departments do, in fact, use quota systems, contrary to the official claims of those police departments. If the bill passes, Utah would join a number of other states that have outlawed ticket quotas for local police departments, including Illinois, California, Pennsylvania and New York. (Fox 13 TV)


Texas house reported stolen was possibly repossessed

In Madisonville, Texas, Investigators say a vacation home reported stolen by a Houston couple might have been repossessed and they’re likely victims of alleged financial issues of the prior owner. Their one-bedroom cabin is missing from Madisonville, 90 miles northwest of Houston. The prefabricated home was on property they purchased last year but hadn’t checked since November. The Owners returned this past Friday (2/2) and discovered the house was gone, with blocks and pipes remaining. So they contacted the Madison County Sheriff’s Office who say they are likely victims of misrepresentation of the property when they bought it. Sherriff said deputies had served financial-related civil papers on the previous owner. Investigators are seeking that person amid concerns the structure was repossessed, not stolen. (Yahoo)


Woman who won $559M lottery could be forced out of anonymity

A New Hampshire woman who says she has a Powerball ticket that won a $559.7 million jackpot wants a court order allowing her to stay anonymous, saying she made a “huge mistake” in signing the ticket without consulting a lawyer first. The woman, identified as Jane Doe, filed a complaint last week in Hillsborough Superior Court in Nashua saying she signed the back of the ticket following the January 6th drawing, the nation’s eighth-largest lottery jackpot. She thought she was required to do so as directed by information on the state lottery commission’s website. Under New Hampshire law, a lottery winner’s name, town and prize amount are public information. But after the woman contacted a lawyer, she learned that she could have shielded her identity by instead writing the name of a trust. The woman hasn’t turned in her ticket yet, but she showed lottery officials a photocopy of the front. She said lottery officials told her they would be compelled to disclose her identity if someone filed a Right to Know request. Her lawyers argue her privacy interest outweighs the insignificant public interest in disclosing her name. The woman described herself as a life-long New Hampshire resident and “engaged community member. She wishes to continue this work and the freedom to walk into a grocery store or attend public events without being known or targeted as the winner of a half-billion dollars. She wishes to remain in New Hampshire and give back to the state and community that has given so much to her.” the complaint said. The filing says she has set up a trust and plans to contribute a portion of her winnings to charity. (NY Post)


Billionaire refuses to pay taxes because geese won’t stop pooping on his lawn

Three-time gubernatorial candidate and former Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano is so fed up with Canada geese turning the lawn of his upstate summer home into their own personal bathroom that he is refusing to pay $90,000 in local taxes. The businessman says he has tried using fishing line, repellent and a wolf decoy to keep the birds from pooping on the lawn of his summer home on Canandaigua Lake in South Bristol, to no avail. The tycoon said he plans on withholding the tax payment until officials in the Finger Lakes town get a handle on the pooping wild geese. The town supervisor called the move bird-brained while adding that “it’s a resident’s problem to take care of, not the town’s”. He noted that no other lakeside residents have lodged complaints about the geese. “It is a lake, after all,” Marshall said. The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation said New York does have an overpopulation of the birds, which have caused issues for homeowners as well as on parkland. But the agency said the avian invasion on private property is not its responsibility, either. (Vanity Fair)


Russian astronauts screw up space station antenna

A record-setting Russian spacewalk ended with a critical antenna in the wrong position Friday outside the International Space Station. NASA’s Mission Control reported that the antenna was still working. Nevertheless, Russian space officials were convening a special team to see whether further action would be necessary. The antenna is used for communications with Russia’s Mission Control outside Moscow. The trouble arose toward the end of the more than 8-hour spacewalk (the longest ever by Russians and the fifth-longest overall) after Commander Alexander Misurkin and Anton Shkaplerov successfully replaced an electronics box to upgrade the antenna. The pair watched in dismay as the antenna got hung up on the Russian side of the complex and could not be extended properly. The antenna had a long boom with a 4-foot dish at the end. It had been folded up before the repair work. Misurkin and Shkaplerov pushed, as flight controllers tried repeatedly, via remote commanding, to rotate the antenna into the right position. Finally, someone shouted in Russian, “It’s moving. It’s in place.” NASA Mission Control said from Houston that the antenna wound up in a position 180 degrees farther than anticipated. After removing the old, obsolete electronics box from the antenna (an original part, launched in 2000) Misurkin shoved it away from the space station. The bundle tumbled harmlessly away, 250 miles above the North Atlantic. FYI: While the Russians routinely toss old equipment overboard during spacewalks, NASA prefers to secure no-longer-needed items or, if possible, bring them inside. (NY Post)


Man Impregnates Biological Daughter Given Up For Adoption As An Infant

The biological mother of a young woman who police said developed a sexual relationship with her biological father has a warning for parents of adopted children. She said that if their child wants to reunite with their biological parents, they should be in therapy when they reunite because the feelings that come up during the reunion can get confused with something else. North Carolina investigators arrested twenty-year-old Katie Pladl and 42-year-old Steven Pladl, pm charges related to incest and will be extradited back to Henrico, Virginia, where they allegedly first developed a sexual relationship. “It’s a Class 5 felony if that occurs in Virginia and that means you can get up to 10 years in prison,” officials say. The man’s ex-wife said she was 17 and he was 22 when they had Katie and gave her up for adoption. But, when Katie reached the age of 18, she located her biological parents to develop a relationship. She ultimately moved in with the couple for a couple of months at their home and called the pair mom and dad, according to her biological mom. But Katie’s mom ultimately moved out when the couple separated. She said she had no idea a sexual relationship started between her ex-husband and their daughter until she read one of her other daughter’s journals where she found drawings of Katie being pregnant and found her daughter had written that her father was making her call Katie step-mom. At that point, she said she took out protective orders against Steven, so he could not go near her or their two younger daughters. She believes her ex-husband brainwashed and manipulated Katie. Her lawyer said the judge who hears the case will have some tough choices to make. A judge will have an opportunity to decide whether this statue makes this conduct illegal because of moral and religious ideas or science and increased chance of birth defects. Legal experts on both sides are wondering “What should the penalty really be for people who are both adults and consenting to a sexual relationship even though it’s illegal in Virginia and most other places?” To that point, incest is not illegal everywhere. In fact, it’s not against the law in New Jersey, and in some countries it is perfectly acceptable, but in Virginia, that’s not the case. (WTVR TV)


Cornell University fraternity disciplined after placing cruel sexual bets on unsuspecting women

A Cornell fraternity was put on a two-year probation after members were busted in a disturbing sex competition they dubbed the “pig roast,” the university said. The sickening game involved the Zeta Beta Tau chapter members racking up points through sexual conquests at the Ivy League campus — all by factoring in the weight of the women they slept with. School officials said they launched a probe into the frat after receiving “multiple reports” last year regarding the cruel game. Fraternity pledges were reportedly forbidden from telling the women about the contest. If there was a tie, the win would go to the member who had sex with the heaviest female, school officials said. As a result of the investigation, the frat will be required to partake in at least two events during the school’s Sexual Assault Awareness Week. They also must hire a live-in adviser for the remainder of the probation period, subject themselves to external reviews and participate in “ongoing education on sexual violence,” the university said. In a statement released Saturday, the Cornell chapter of the fraternity said it was in “disbelief” over the allegations of misconduct. “The allegations described are contrary to the values that Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity espouses and works in direct conflict with the beliefs and mission of the Kappa Chapter,” the statement said. “Our chapter has worked closely with the Zeta Beta Tau International Headquarters to draft and execute an action plan that addresses this alleged behavior.” (Ithaca Voice)


We Made It Back To Thursday! It’s:

  • Boy Scout Anniversary Day
  • Dry Bean Day
  • Laugh and Get Rich Day
  • National Girls & Women in Sports Day
  • National Iowa Day
  • National Kite Flying Day
  • Opera Day

Wednesday February 7, 2018

Getting the flu? Follow these 5 steps to speed recovery

Flu season generally starts in October and can continue right up until May. Peak season tends to last around 13 weeks between December and March. In this time, the flu virus can wreak havoc on the US population. Flu can lead to serious health complications if not treated quickly. The CDC estimates that the flu causes anything between 3,000 and 49,000 deaths in the US each year. Fortunately, flu isn’t an inevitable part of winter, and you can avoid it. Here’s what to do if you think you’re getting the flu:

  • Take antiviral medication in the first two days: See a doctor or a medical professional within the first 48 hours of your first symptoms or coming into contact with someone else with the flu, and you’ll reduce the risk of developing full-blown flu and the associated complications such as pneumonia. Your doctor will be able to prescribe you generic antiviral medication which isn’t available over the counter.
  • Stay home: To make a speedy recovery (and to stop the spread of germs) you should stay at home for the time you feel unwell.
  • Follow good hygiene habits: Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze, wash your hands regularly and disinfect surfaces. Just the basic hygiene rules.
  • Drink lots of fluids: Make sure you drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated. It doesn’t just have to be water — juices, cordial and broth-based soup will all work just as well.
  • Get lots of sleep: Adults should have between seven and nine hours sleep every night to prevent illness. As well as an improved immune system, you’ll also feel less stressed.

Follow the 48-hour rule and the steps above and you can get better sooner. (Female First)


Cell phones cause tumors in rats, study finds

A 10-year, $25 million study by the National Toxicology Program using male rats found that the rodents tested to have high levels of radiofrequency radiation — the radio waves used by cell phones. They found that tumors were growing around male rats’ hearts, but not in the female rats and mice. In other words, females didn’t suffer the same consequences. The vermin’s entire bodies were blasted with way higher levels of the radiation than is allowed for cell phone communication, however, so the scientists warned against drawing links to Snapchat-addicted humans. “These findings should not be directly extrapolated to human cell phone usage,” NTP senior scientist John Bucher said in a statement. “We note, however, that the tumors we saw in these studies are similar to tumors previously reported in some studies of frequent cell phone users.” Exposure to the rays did correlate with lower body weights for newborn rats and their mothers, although the creatures eventually grew to regular size, the study found. And there was also a “statistically significant” increase in the number of rats and mice with tumors in other organs — including the brain, prostate gland, liver and pancreas — but the researchers determined that the link between those and RFR was unclear. The study saw the scientists place the rats and mice into special chambers and exposed to the radiation for up to two years in a way that mimics cell phone usage — 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off for a total of just over nine hours a day. (New York Post)


It’s official: We’re spending less time on Facebook

“In total, we made changes that reduced time spent on Facebook by roughly 50 million hours every day,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said recently. This reduction in usage comes after Facebook made a number of changes, including showing users less content from media outlets in favor of more content from their friends and family. “By focusing on meaningful connections, our community and business will be stronger over the long term,” Zuckerberg said. So what are we doing instead of playing on Facebook? In many cases, simply playing on different social media outlets. Just from 2016 to 2017, daily social media usage of global internet users amounted to 135 minutes per day, up from 126 daily minutes and experts think there will be more total social media usage in future years. Instead of Facebook and Twitter, many are heading to Instagram and Snapchat. In fact, Snapchat users spend about 25 minutes a day on the platform and Instagram users 15 minutes. For one, swapping one social media outlet for another doesn’t do much to combat the loneliness of using social media. A study of more than 1,700 people ages 19 to 32 published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that the more time people spend on social media overall (sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Snapchat) the more likely it is that they will feel socially isolated. Spend more than two hours a day swiping and scrolling and your risk of feeling socially isolated doubles, as compared to those who spent 30 minutes or less. Other negative impacts of high levels of social media usage include increased anxiety, depression and sleep issues. (Simply Measured)


Scientists have discovered specialized brains cells that appear to influence anxiety levels

The research found that scientists could control the activity of the brains cells of anxious mice. The brain cells that were the source of the anxious behavior could be turned on and off. It’s hoped the breakthrough could lead to more effective treatment for the approximately one-fifth of US adults who experience anxiety. The team of researchers discovered the cells in the hippocampus, a part of the brain that’s linked to anxiety as well as navigation and memory. The cells in the hippocampus communicate with another region of the brain, the hypothalamus, which tell the mice when to avoid a potentially dangerous situation. The study found part of the brain to be “enriched in anxiety cells” and that the hippocampus “can rapidly influence innate anxiety behavior.” In the study using mice, the researchers were able to control the activity of the cells using the optogenetics technique, which uses light to control cells in living tissue. The researchers are hopeful these discoveries could lead to further breakthroughs. (NPR)


Dead goose falls from sky, knocks Maryland hunter unconscious

An Eastern Shore waterfowl hunter was flown to the hospital, according to the Maryland Natural Resources Police. Investigators say 51-year-old Robert Meilhammer was hunting with others in Easton, Maryland near the Miles River when a dead goose fell from the sky, knocked him unconscious and caused him head and facial injuries. Maryland Natural Resources Police, Talbot County Sheriff’s Office deputies and local EMS responded to the scene. Out of an abundance of caution, it was decided to drive the victim by ambulance to Easton Airport, where he was airlifted to Shock Trauma for treatment. (CBS News)


Man loses girlfriend to threesome partner, takes bloody revenge

A Brooklyn, New York, man caught his girlfriend having sex with another guy just one day after they all agreed to have a threesome — and, in a fit of jealous rage, beat him to within an inch of his life, according to police sources. Being the third wheel apparently didn’t sit well with the boyfriend, who ripped a leg off a coffee table and allegedly pummeled the other man with it. Cops responded to the incident on Sunday (2/4) around 6:45 p.m. and found the victim, 31, unconscious with severe head injuries. He wasn’t expected to survive. That’s when officers took the boyfriend, 54, into custody and later transported him to the hospital after he complained of chest pains. Charges against him were still pending as of 11 p.m., sources said. The man allegedly told cops that the victim was “raping” his girlfriend, 30, and that’s why he attacked him. But the woman claims this wasn’t the case, insisting that she wasn’t being sexually assaulted and that her boyfriend was in the wrong. The couple met up with the other man on Saturday (2/3) night and they agreed to have a three-way, the sources said. Things were fine until the following day, when the boyfriend left the apartment and returned to find that the ménage à trois had turned into a two-day affair. With the victim and his girlfriend in bed together, he pounced — striking the man with his makeshift weapon and injuring the woman in the process, sources said. She suffered cuts to her lip and face, but was expected to be okay. (New York Post)


Laser Scans Reveal Maya “Megalopolis” Below Guatemalan Jungle

Researchers have found tens of thousands of ancient Mayan structures in Guatemala. Historians say the Mayan civilization existed thousands of years ago in what is currently known as Central America. Now, researchers say they’ve found a “megalopolis” underneath Guatemalan jungles. That includes evidence of things like highways, forts, defensive walls, and palaces. As in the Mayans had built interconnected cities and were prepped for war. Researchers say the discovery shows that Mayan civilization was more complex and populated than they thought. (National Geographic)


Wednesday Gives Us:

  • Ballet Day
  • Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  • “e” Day (math)
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Day
  • National Girls & Women in Sports Day
  • National Fettuccine Alfredo Day
  • National Periodic Table Day
  • National Send a Card to a Friend Day
  • National Signing Day (First Wednesday)
  • Wave All Your Fingers At Your Neighbor’s Day

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Marijuana Dispensary Wins Big Selling Girl Scout Cookies

One San Diego, California, Girl Scout has gotten in on the cash grab, peddling her cookie wagon outside of a local weed dispensary and selling 312 cookie boxes in six hours. The girl and her father were well within their right as they set up shop in the parking lot instead of at the store’s door. The shop, Urbn Leaf, even advertised for the girl on its Instagram account, encouraging patrons to get some real cookies with their “GSC”-flavored products. As far as the Girl Scout is concerned, however, the store is “just a place where adults go to hang out after work,” her father says he’s told her. (ABC 10 TV)


Monopoly Is Making a New Edition Specifically Designed For Cheaters

Do you cheat at Monopoly? Well, Hasbro has announced a new version of the game called the “Cheaters Edition”. It’s basically the same as regular Monopoly, but it comes with a special deck of “cheat cards.” Everyone pulls one before the game, and they have different challenges including:

  1. Steal money from the bank.
  2. Remove a hotel from someone else’s property.
  3. Move another player’s token instead of your own on your turn.
  4. Give someone less money than you owe them.

And if you successfully pull off the cheat without getting caught, you get a reward.  But if you do get caught, there are penalties, like going to Monopoly jail. The Monopoly Cheaters Edition is scheduled to come out in the fall and should cost around $20. (Business Insider)


Singles in America: Match Releases Largest Study on U.S. Single Population for Eighth Year

Match, the world’s largest relationship company, released findings from its eighth annual Singles in America study – the nation’s largest, most comprehensive annual survey of 5,000+ single people living in the U.S. The survey captures surprising data and trends on shifting gender norms, the evolving rules of casual dating, the complications presented by technology and social media, as well as attitudes about love, sex, and relationships across generations. Key takeaways from this year’s study include:

  • 72% of singles would date someone from a different political party
  • Meeting online is the #1 place where singles meet
  • 62% of Hetero singles would be open to a threesome
  • Sex with a Robot is considered cheating by nearly 50% of singles
  • Ages 60+ having the best sex
  • Nearly half of singles have had a “Friend with Benefits” relationship turn serious



Experts warn youngsters are forgetting their manners because they have learned to bark rude orders at smart assistants

Most children today have a smart assistant, such as Alexa and Siri, to help answer questions, but these smart assistants are causing young people today to forget their manners when talking to other people. That’s according to Childwise, a leading specialist in research with children and young people, that found children are now forgetting to say please and thank you because voice controlled digital assistants will tolerate rude questions. One solution could be to add a setting that requires a polite inquiry in order to get a response. The dividing line between digital ‘person’ and a real human being might not be clear for children, the report warns. Childwise’s research showed that younger children, growing up with this technology, are more comfortable with using it to help them with day to day tasks, such as help with spelling words.  By age 15 to 16, fewer than half of children with this technology at home say they use it at all. The report showed:

  • children mainly use the technology to search for information
  • one in seven asking for help with their homework
  • One in nine ask their digital assistants to play music
  • 42 per cent of children aged nine to 16 access voice recognition gadgets at home

(Daily Mail)


Nevada sets gambling revenue record in 2017

Nevada casinos generated $26.2bn in gambling revenue during 2017, surpassing a record set in the US state prior to the recession in 2007. The Nevada Gaming Control Board reported that this amount was up 3.7% on 2016, while casino income of $1.6bn for the 12 months to December 31, 2017, was also up 59% year-on-year. Casinos paid $852.2m in gambling taxes and feed during the past year, which amounted to 7.7% of overall revenue. The Las Vegas Strip proved to be the most popular area for gambling in the state last year, with revenue up 3.9% year-on-year to $17.7bn and profit rocketing by 191.4% to $814m. In comparison, casinos in Downtown Las Vegas collected $1.2bn in revenue, up 10.3% on last year, while profit climbed 11.3% to $110.3m. (igamingbusiness)


Dating is getting even more complicated with 5 more terms you need to know in 2018

As if the anxieties of dating isn’t enough, there’s more to consider. Thanks to dating website Plenty of Fish, there are names for all the digital dating behaviours you’re likely to come across in 2018 — and most of them are linked to our phones. 

  • Flexting – digitally boasting to impress your date before you meet them in real life. 47% of single people have experienced this, via a person who brags to them over texts to big themselves up. It’s usually women on the receiving end of this behaviour, with 63% reporting having gotten messages like this, compared to just 38% of men.
  • Cricketing – when you leave them on “read” for too long. In some cases it can take days for the other person to reply and continue the conversation. Instead of getting a response, the sender is met with silence. The majority of single people, 67% of them, have said they’ve waited patiently for a reply and have gotten it way later than expected. 
  • Ghostbusing – where you continue to text someone when they are straight up ignoring you (ghosting). A massive 78% of single millennials have been ghosted by someone they were dating. 38% of people reported someone wouldn’t stop texting them after they tried to phase them out.
  • Seredipidating – you leave things up to fate, and put off a date just in case someone else comes along who you like more. Nearly a third of singles said they believe the grass is always greener, and have admitted to putting off a day and time to meet for a date, just on the off-chance they meet someone in the interim. There has to be a limit though, as otherwise you’ll be swiping forever — alone.
  • Fauxbae’ing – when someone pretends to have a significant other over social media, while they’re actually single (AKA: Bae caught me slippin.). A curious habit 19% of single men have witnessed. It’s It’s a tactic to make an ex jealous, or an attempt to make nosey family members leave you alone. 

(Plenty Of Fish)


Pizza is a healthier breakfast than most cereals

Cold pizza, microwaved pizza, store-bought frozen pizza. It doesn’t matter what kind of pie is on your plate this morning – it’s probably a healthier breakfast than a bowl of cereal. It’s got proteins and carbs. It might even have vegetables. That hot slice of cheesy goodness is a balanced breakfast if we’ve ever seen one. Plus, you’re making a better choice than most moms are when they feed their kids cereal for breakfast. Why? America’s cereal options are nutritionally bleak – there’s rarely protein, healthy fats, or anything but spoonfuls of sugar in cereal these days. And with cheese gaining momentum as the next hit superfood, you can bet pizza is winning this nutritional war. You may be surprised to find out that an average slice of pizza and a bowl of cereal with whole milk contain nearly the same amount of calories. However, pizza packs a much larger protein punch, which will keep you full and boost satiety throughout the morning. (Chicago Tribune)


Hey, It’s Tuesday! It’s Also:

  • African American Coaches Day (First Tuesday)
  • Canadian Maple Syrup Day
  • International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation
  • Lame Duck Day
  • National Frozen Yogurt Day
  • Safer Internet Day  (The second day of the second week of the second month of the year!)

Monday, February 5, 2018

FDA cracks down on abuse of anti-diarrhea medication

As part of its efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration is asking manufacturers of over-the-counter anti-diarrhea treatments to change the way they package their products. The FDA says the voluntary measures are needed to curb the growing abuse of Loperamide (sold under the brand name Imodium A-D) which is used by some suffering from opioid addiction as a potential way to manage withdrawal or maintain a high. Loperamide is safe at approved doses, up to a maximum of four 2-milligram tablets per day without a prescription. But when higher than recommended doses are taken we’ve received reports of serious heart problems and deaths with loperamide, particularly among people who are intentionally misusing or abusing high doses. Experts say it takes an enormous dose of anti-diarrhea medication to get high. Addicts have been found to be popping anywhere from 50 to 300 pills per day. According to a 2016 study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, Imodium A-D, in massive doses, works in the body the same way as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. However, Imodium A-D is a cheaper alternative since some big box stores sell 400 tablets for less than $10. (CBS News)


New Study Finds Dirtiest Spot at the Airport

When you’re racing to catch a flight, you’re probably not thinking about all the germs lurking at the airport’s self-check-in kiosks. Unfortunately, it may, in fact, be time to consider those germs. A new study (by recently completed 18 tests across six surfaces inside three major U.S. airports and airline flights. Overall, they found the self-check-in kiosks were germiest of all the spots they tested (it’s 1,475 times worse than your toilet seat). In second were airline gate bench armrests, followed by the water fountain button. (Southern Living)


It’s a loophole of sorts

Some companies have found a way to sell and deliver marijuana without operating a retail store in states that have legalized the drug for recreational use simply by taking advantage of a “gifting” provision that lawmakers intentionally included in the law. The provision allows adults to exchange or “gift” small amounts of pot to another adult. For example, the law makes it legal for people to share a joint at a party or give some pot to someone for their birthday, but some have taken it a step further. The states with the provision are Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state, plus the District of Columbia. Vermont is the only state state where pot is legal and doesn’t have the provision. However, it’s not expressly banned, so this type of exchange would be allowed, experts say. Some companies are advertising themselves as juice-delivery companies or T-shirt companies, and when you place an order for one of their high-priced everyday items, it comes with a “free” gift of pot. In states that have retail storefronts, the gifting provision cuts into their sales and into state marijuana tax revenues. (AP News)


Sinkhole swallows man and his motorcycle

A motorcyclist got the ride of his life in Augusta, Georgia when a sinkhole opened up in a parking lot and swallowed him and his bike. The city firefighters pulled the man from the hole at the Augusta Exchange parking lot. The motorcyclist had minor injuries. (Yahoo News)


Woman denied emotional support peacock on United flight

A woman attempted to bring a peacock onto a flight out of Newark International Airport but was told her bird couldn’t fly. Part of the incident was caught on video by fellow passenger who recorded the peacock-toting passenger taking her bird into the airport. The woman bought a separate ticket for the peacock, but United Airlines wouldn’t let the bird board. “This animal did not meet guidelines for a number of reasons, including its weight and size,” United said in a statement. “We explained this to the customers on three separate occasions before they arrived at the airport.” (Fox News)


Plane full of plumbers diverted due to toilet trouble

A Norway-to-Germany flight had to turn around for a toilet issue — despite having 85 plumbers on board. The Norwegian Flight DY1156 from Oslo to Munich took off at 8:28 a.m. local time Saturday (1/27) morning and climbed to 33,000 feet before turning around at the Swedish border. The situation was made more unusual by the plane’s passengers — 85 plumbers. “There was a good atmosphere in the plane, what with the irony about the broken toilets,” one plumber said. Fellow passengers agreed it was a humorous situation. “So many plumbers on a plane and it has to turn around because of toilet trouble — there’s good humor in that,” another said. The flight eventually arrived in Munich three and a half hours behind schedule. (UPI)


Perfectionism is on the rise

Perfectionism among college students in the US, Canada, and UK increased significantly between 1989 and 2016, according to research from psychologists Thomas Curran and Andrew Hill. While it may sound like an admirable trait, perfectionism is also connected to anxiety, depression, and other serious mental health issues. Curran and Hill suggest that managers and mentors can relieve some of its worst effects by encouraging a more positive approach to failure, emphasizing its power to teach valuable lessons and lead to future success. (Harvard Business Review)


Welcome To Back To Monday. As A Bonus, It’s:

Adlai Stevenson Day
Dump Your Significant Jerk Day (First Day of Dump Your Significant Jerk Week)
Move Hollywood & Broadway to Lebanon, PA Day
Shower With A Friend Day
Weatherperson’s Day
Western Monarch Day
World Nutella Day
World Animal Reiki Day

Friday, February 2, 2018

False alarm

Details have emerged in federal and state reports investigating how the agency mistakenly blasted cellphones and broadcast stations January 13th with a warning that led hundreds of thousands of people to believe they were about to die in a nuclear attack. It took nearly 40 minutes to retract it. The problems in the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency went beyond one troubled employee. The agency had a vague checklist for missile alerts, allowing workers to interpret the steps they should follow differently, not requiring a second person to sign off on alerts before they were sent, and the agency lacked any preparation on how to correct a false warning. A Federal Communications Commission report revealed that the worker who pushed out the alert thought an actual attack was imminent. It was the first indication the alert was purposely sent, adding another level of confusion to the misstep that created panic at a time of fear over the threat of North Korean missiles. The worker believed there was a real attack because of a mistake in how the drill was initiated during a shift change, according to the FCC, which regulates the nation’s airwaves and sets standards for such emergency alerts. The employee said he didn’t hear the word “exercise” repeated six times, though others clearly heard it. As result, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator resigned as the reports were released. Officials also revealed that the employee who sent the alert was fired, a second worker quit before disciplinary action was taken, and another was being suspended without pay. (AP News)


Urgent bathroom need leads man to $1 million lottery jackpot

A California man said his urgent need for a bathroom break led him to the store where he bought a $1 million winning lottery ticket. Vincent Anchondo said the call of nature led him to stop at the Rotten Robbie store in San Jose where he bought a $10 California Black Premium Scratchers ticket. The scratch-off earned him a free ticket, so he used it for a $10 Holiday Magic Scratchers, which won him a $1 million jackpot. Anchondo said he realized the ticket was real, so he did what the lottery recommends: “The first thing I did was grab a pen and sign the back.” Anchondo said he is hoping to use some of his winnings to buy a house. The Rotten Robbie store received a $5,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket. (California Lottery)


Paris gets its first sex doll brothel

France’s first sex doll brothel has opened in Paris for randy customers who prefer the feel of plastic over the touch of a real woman. The sex club has several rooms and customers are offered the services of a silicone model instead of a prostitute. Pictures from inside the brothel show four different dolls of different shapes, colors and sizes dressed in skimpy lingerie, while the rooms are adorned with images of other sex dolls. It comes after Britain’s first sex doll brothel opened, offering customers a “try before you buy” service. (New York Post)


Not all Millennials are Einsteins when it comes to technology

A 20-year-old man in Washington used his cellphone to place an order for pizza recently, gave a false name, and then robbed the delivery person after pressing a gun (that was already stolen) to her leg. In addition, the alleged robber committed the crime in the parking lot of his own apartment complex. The alleged robber barely got a bite in before deputies tracked him down inside the apartment from the previous order. After some of the five men and two women inside tried to escape out a back balcony they eventually gave up and allowed the deputies to enter. The officers called the number the alleged robber used to make the order. A cell phone located where the suspect had been found sitting began to ring. Sheriff Deputies observed a loaded Glock .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun under the couch cushion where the man was seated. The suspect was booked into the Pierce County Jail for robbery in the first degree and assault in the first degree. The suspect told deputies he made a stupid mistake. He also said that he had messed up his life over eight bucks in pizza. The actual value of the food was $81.24. No one else in the apartment was arrested. Presumably they had to look elsewhere for dinner because the Pizza, cookies and bread were confiscated as evidence. (KIRO TV)


Clearing the records

San Francisco will retroactively apply California’s new marijuana legalization laws to prior convictions, expunging or reducing misdemeanor and felony convictions dating back to 1975. Nearly 5,000 felony marijuana convictions will be reviewed, recalled and re-sentenced, and more than 3,000 misdemeanors that were sentenced prior to Proposition 64’s passage will be dismissed and sealed, Dist. Atty. George Gascón said. The move will clear people’s records of crimes that can be barriers to employment and housing. (Los Angeles Times)


Artificial intelligence is coming for both judges and defendants

A growing number of local and state court judges are using computer algorithms as guides before ruling whether criminal defendants can return to everyday life, or remain locked up awaiting trial. Experts say the use of these risk assessments may be the biggest shift in courtroom decision-making since American judges began accepting social science and other expert evidence more than a century ago. The research director at Harvard Law School’s Access to Justice Lab, calls the new digital tools “the next step in that revolution.” Critics, however, worry that such algorithms might end up supplanting judges’ own judgment, and possibly even perpetuate biases in ostensibly neutral form. AI gets a lot of attention for the jobs it eradicates. That’s not happening to judges, at least not yet. But as in many other white-collar careers that require advanced degrees or other specialized education, AI is reshaping, if not eliminating, some of judges’ most basic tasks — many of which can still have enormous consequences for the people involved. States such as Arizona, Kentucky and Alaska have adopted these tools, which aim to identify people most likely to flee or commit another crime. Defendants who receive low scores are recommended for release under court supervision. (NY Post)


New Mexico bill would force high school students to apply to college

New Mexico’s high school juniors would have to apply to at least one college or commit to other post-high school plans as part of a proposed graduation requirement that would be the first statewide push of its kind in the U.S. The proposal was received it’s first legislative hearing yesterday. Should it become law, New Mexico would be the first state to require post-high school plans of students, according to the director of high school and STEM research at the Education Commission of the States. The bill sponsored by Rep. Nate Gentry, a Republican, and Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, a Democrat, would make it mandatory for public school juniors to apply to at least one two- or four-year college. Exceptions would be made for students who can prove they have committed to military service, a vocational program, or work upon graduation in an apprenticeship or internship. Parents and school guidance counselors would have to approve of the students’ plans. The bill seeks to boost the state’s college enrollment rate in the hopes the state would have a better educated workforce. That could attract more companies to New Mexico, where the unemployment rate is 6.5 percent, the second highest in the U.S. and more than two percentage points higher than the national rate. (USA Today)




It’s Finally Friday!! It’s Also:

  • Ayn Rand Day 
  • Bubble Gum Day (First Friday)
  • Candelmas
  • Crepe Day
  • Crepe Day or La Chandeleur
  • Give Kids A Smile Day (First Friday)
  • Groundhog Day
  • Groundhog Job Shadow Day
  • Hedgehog Day
  • Imbolc
  • Marmot Day
  • National Heavenly Hash Day
  • Sled Dog Day
  • World Play Your Ukulele Day
  • World Wetlands Day
  • Wear Red Day (First Friday)
  • Working Naked Day (First Friday)

Thursday, February 1, 2018

“Serial stowaway” arrested at O’Hare days after judge bans her from airport

A 66-year-old woman charged earlier this month with flying to London without a ticket was arrested again early recently and denied bail after police spotted her at O’Hare International Airport, a violation of a previous order banning her from Chicago’s two airports, authorities said. She was barred by a Cook County judge from entering the airport after she was charged earlier this month with felony theft after allegedly sneaking onto a British Airways jet at O’Hare and flying to the United Kingdom without a plane ticket (worth $2,400). The woman is notorious for stowing away on commercial airplanes, also was charged in that incident with misdemeanor criminal trespassing for allegedly entering O’Hare illegally. In addition to ordering her to stay away from the airport, the judge required her to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and wear an ankle monitor until her case is concluded. In addition to these recent crimes, she also has three misdemeanor convictions for similar crimes in California. (Chicago Tribune)


Cause of mystery toilet flushing turns out to be snake in the wall

An Australian snake catcher was summoned to a home where residents discovered the cause of a mysterious flushing toilet was a serpent in the wall. A video recorded by Luke Huntley of Snake Catcher Noosa shows him working to remove a brown tree snake from inside the wall of a Doonan, Queensland, home. Huntley said the residents of the home had been perplexed by their toilet’s mysterious flushing until they discovered a snake was resting on the flush mechanism, which was embedded inside the wall of their bathroom. “I was called out to a home in Doonan today to relocate this grumpy brown tree snake from inside the wall near the toilet flush button,” Huntley wrote. “The toilet had been flushing by itself randomly for days when they opened it up and found a surprise waiting for them! It was a quick catch but it needed to be — that or putting my hand down into the toilet water.” (Facebook)


Couple contract ‘hookworms’ on Punta Cana vacation

A Canadian couple said they contracted parasitic hookworms in their feet after walking barefoot on a Dominican Republic beach.  Katie Stephens, 22, and her boyfriend Eddie Zytner, 25, of Windsor, Ontario, said that they had scratchy feet during a week-long stay at the IFA Villas Bavaro Resort in Punta Cana, but believed they just had minor bug bites. Several days after returning home, they quickly realized it was something worse. Two doctors were unable to identify what was causing the couples’ swelling and blisters, but a third recognized the condition. That’s when they were diagnosed with larva migrans, or hookworms. The couple were prescribed ivermectin, which is used to treat parasites, but the medication is not licensed in Canada, so their coverage request was denied and were forced to get medicine from the states. The couple urged other people to think twice before walking on the beach barefoot and look out for sites of hookworms. (CTV News)


Proposed California anti-plastic straw bill draws fire

A California lawmaker is taking flak for a measure that would make it illegal for servers to offer plastic straws with drinks unless they’re asked. Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon introduced a bill last week making unsolicited straw-providing a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. However, Calderon says it will be amended to eliminate the penalties.  The measure would apply to sit-down restaurants, not bars or fast-food places. As expected, critics have heaped scorn, calling it government overkill. One asked whether the measure would also apply to cocktail umbrellas. But the bill has a serious purpose. Calderon says it’s aimed at reducing the environmental damage from tons of plastic that wind up each year in U.S. landfills, waterways and the ocean.  (SFGate)


Google’s self-driving car fleet is expanding this year

That’s courtesy to a deal with Fiat Chrysler. Fiat will supply “thousands” of Chrysler Pacifica minivans to Waymo, the self-driving unit of Google parent Alphabet. The first deliveries will start at the end of 2018. There are approximately 600 minivans currently in Waymo’s fleet, some of which are already used to drive people around in its Early Rider program in Arizona. (The Verge)


California’s new lethal injection plan already faces hurdles: Drugs barred from import or execution use

California has proposed a new method of lethal injection, but the two drugs that could be used to execute inmates are extremely difficult to obtain. The new protocol, slightly revised from a previous proposal, would allow executioners to use a single infusion of Pentobarbital or Thiopental to put condemned inmates to death. Both drugs are barbiturates. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has barred the import of thiopental, and the manufacturer of pentobarbital has prohibited the drug from being used in executions. Several states have had to place holds on executions because of the difficulty of obtaining the needed drugs. The shortage stems in part from pressure placed by death penalty opponents on manufacturers to prevent their products from being used in executions. (LA Times)


Off with their heads

Several visitors to Disneyland Resort shared images of animatronic characters on popular rides with their heads dangling from their robotic bodies. One video posted January 28th on social media showed a headless Ursula singing to riders on Little Mermaid’s Undersea Adventure at Disney California Adventure. The longtime favorite “Pirates Of The Carribean” ride at Disneyland proper was also experiencing similar issues after another character was seen beheaded. (Los Angeles)


It’s Another Thirsty Thursday! This Time, It Brings Us:

  • Candy-Making Day 
  • Car Insurance Day 
  • Change Your Password Day 
  • Decorating With Candy Day 
  • G.I. Joe Day 
  • Hula in The Coola Day 
  • International Face & Body Art Day 
  • Freedom Day 
  • National Baked Alaska Day
  • National Get Up Day (About Perseverance. Not Getting Out Of Bed.)
  • National Texas Day
  • Robinson Crusoe Day
  • Serpent Day
  • Spunky Old Broads Day

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Oklahoma Is The Most Polite State In The United States

According to FreshBooks, a Canadian company that specializes in cloud-based accounting software, conducted a study to rank the 50 U.S. states in order of politeness. The company analyzed the language in 250,000 of their U.S. clients’ invoices for things like whether they said “please” and “thank you” when asking clients to fork over money. It’s kinda funny because the company is from Canada, which has a reputation for being the most polite country on the planet. 

The 10 least polite states: 

#50. Tennessee and Utah (a tie)
#48. Mississippi and New Hampshire (a tie)
#46. West Virginia, New Jersey, Illinois and Delaware (a tie)
#42. New York, Nebraska and Arizona (a tie)

The 10 most polite states:

#10. Colorado, Texas, Minnesota, and North Carolina (a tie)
#6. Wisconsin
#5. Massachusetts
#4. Rhode Island
#3. Ohio
#2. Alabama
#1. Oklahoma



U.S. soldiers are revealing sensitive and dangerous information by jogging

An interactive map found online can show the locations and activities of people who use fitness devices such as Fitbit, raising security concerns about soldiers and other people who are at U.S. military bases in sensitive areas. The Global Heat Map, published by the GPS tracking company Strava, uses satellite information to map the locations and movements of subscribers to the company’s fitness service over a two-year period, by illuminating areas of activity.  The map shows a great deal of activity in the U.S. and Europe. But in war zones and deserts in countries such as Iraq and Syria, the heat map becomes almost entirely dark — except for scattered evidence of activity. A closer look at those areas brings into focus the locations and outlines of well-known U.S. military bases, as well as other lesser-known and potentially sensitive sites — possibly because American soldiers and other personnel are using fitness trackers as they move around. The Global Heat Map was posted online in November 2017, but the information it contains was only publicized recently. The data could provide information to someone who wants to attack or ambush troops. Military officials are looking into the situation to determine how to respond. (Washington Post)


Science says conservatives are hotter than liberals

A person’s looks affect their politics, with beautiful people leaning toward conservative beliefs, according to findings published by two Midwestern professors. Good-looking Americans tend to get more credit and admiration than they probably deserve, thanks to their attractiveness, thus steering their political beliefs. “Physical attractiveness is an important social factor in our daily interactions. Scholars in social psychology provide evidence that attractiveness stereotypes and the ‘halo effect’ are prominent in affecting the traits we attribute to others,” according to political science professors Rolfe Daus Peterson, from Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa., and Carl Palmer of Illinois State. “Controlling for socioeconomic status, we find that more attractive individuals are more likely to report higher levels of political efficacy, identify as conservative, and identify as Republican.” Their findings were published last month in The Politics and Life Sciences journal. (NY Post)


Naked man high on meth says sex made him crash his truck

A Delaware truck driver who got arrested at JFK Airport over the weekend for crashing his vehicle and leaving the scene admitted to cops that he wrecked because he was “having sex” — and high on crystal meth, according to prosecutors. The 38-year-old man allegedly told police that he was hooking up with another man in the back of his box truck on Saturday (1/27) morning right before the accident happened. As they were making love, the man’s ex-boyfriend showed up and confronted the pair — startling and causing him to hit a four-door sedan. The man was in New York dropping of freight, but was allegedly pant-less when taken into custody. He tried hiding in a horse stable at JFK’s animal-screening facility after fleeing the scene, sources said, but was eventually caught. “Drugs and alcohol makes me more awake,” he told cops at one point. He was charged with attempted grand larceny, reckless endangerment, impaired driving and other charges. He was ordered held on $5,000 bail. (New York Daily News)


A man in India has died after being sucked into an MRI machine at a hospital while visiting a sick relative

A 32-year-old man was dragged towards the machine by its magnetic force after he entered the room carrying an oxygen cylinder, Mumbai police said in a statement. The incident occurred on Saturday (1/27) night at Nair Hospital in India. Police said preliminary reports suggested that the man had died from inhaling liquid oxygen that leaked from the cylinder. It is thought the cylinder was damaged after hitting the machine. The victim’s uncle said the man had been asked to carry the cylinder by the junior staff member who assured him the machine was switched off. The dean of the hospital said an investigation had been launched to determine the exact cause of death, adding that CCTV footage of the incident had been handed over to police. “We have arrested a doctor and another junior staff member under section 304 of the Indian penal code for causing death due to negligence,” police spokesman Deepak Deoraj said. (Daily Mail)


The US government is considering a federal takeover of portions of the country’s mobile broadband networks

A National Security Council official presented senior members of the Trump administration and other agencies with information suggesting that the United States needs to centralize its 5G network by the end of President Donald Trump’s first term as a safeguard against Chinese cybersecurity and economic threats. In a PowerPoint presentation and memo, two options were suggested: have the American government pay for and build a network, or have wireless providers build their own 5G networks. Government control of 5G infrastructure would be unprecedented. Some compare the nationalization of 5G to “the 21st century equivalent of the Eisenhower National Highway System.” (Axios)


Indians removing Chief Wahoo logo from uniforms in 2019

The Cleveland Indians are taking their longtime logo off the team’s uniforms starting next year (bright-red caricature of a Native American). For years, teams like the Indians and the Washington Redskins have been pressured to ditch their logos and names, which Native American groups and others say are racist and offensive. Now after talks with the MLB commissioner, the Indians are changing. (ESPN)



Hump Day Is Here!

  • Appreciate Your Social Security Check Day
  • Inspire Your Heart with Art Day
  • National Backwards Day
  • Street Children Day
  • Tu B’Shvat  (Sundown) 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Bears burned in Southern California wildfires treated holistically, and are now back home in the wild

Two bears that were badly burned in last month’s Southern California wildfires are back in the wild after doctors used alternative treatments, including acupuncture, to save them. Rescuers brought the bears and a 5-month-old mountain lion to vets with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and UC Davis. Medical staff have stitched tilapia fish skins on the animals’ feet to soothe the burns. Doctors commonly use pig and human grafts on burned people. The bears soon were up and walking around in their bandages. Vets also used acupuncture and other alternative treatments — after the animals were sedated. The bears were released last week into Los Padres National Forest. The mountain lion will be released this week. (LA Times)


Fossil shows modern humans left Africa earlier than thought

Scientists say they’ve discovered the oldest fossil ever found outside Africa. More than a decade ago, researchers found a jawbone fossil in Israel. The jaw still had teeth attached to it and was shaped like a modern human’s jaw. Now, researchers say the fossil is between 177,000 and 194,000 years old. That means that modern humans may have first left Africa tens of thousands of years earlier than previously thought. (AP News)


Couple weds in courthouse bathroom after mom falls ill

A New Jersey couple recently changed their wedding venue from a judge’s chambers to a courthouse bathroom after a relative had an asthma attack. Brian and Maria Schulz were set to tie the knot on January 2nd when the groom’s mother had difficulty breathing. She was taken to a women’s room at the Monmouth County Courthouse, where sheriff’s officers administered oxygen and called EMT’s. If they had postponed the wedding, they would have had to wait 45 days for a new marriage license. So one of the officers suggested holding the ceremony in the bathroom. In a video posted on the sheriff’s office Facebook page, Judge Katie Gummer performed the ceremony. The groom’s mother is doing fine. (Yahoo News)


California Governor will examine forestry policies

A new task force of scientists and forestry experts will “review thoroughly the way our forests are managed and suggest ways to reduce the threat of devastating fires,” Gov. Jerry Brown announced in his State of the State speech recently. Brown cited California’s growing severity of wildfires — eight of the state’s most destructive have occurred in the last five years — and the effects of climate change as driving the need to develop new forestry policies. The governor said the task force also will examine how the state can increase resiliency and carbon storage capacity in forests. When Brown announced his proposed state budget earlier this month, he included a significant uptick in funding for firefighting capability, continuing a years-long effort at spending more on fire prevention. (LA Times)


Pets are a child’s best friend, not their siblings

According to a study from University of Cambridge, children get more satisfaction from the relationships they have with their pets than with their brothers and sisters. The research also found that many children get along with their pets better than their siblings. While not the best news for moms and dads with multiple kids, the study does seem to speak to the importance an animal can play in childhood development, helping kids foster social skills and emotional maturity. (University of Cambridge)


According to a new study, there may be an unlikely new scapegoat for global warming: sandwiches

Scientists at the University of Manchester in England say their “in-depth audit of various sandwiches,” shows that the lunchtime staple is responsible for carbon emissions equal to 8.6 million cars in Britain alone. The carbon footprint for sandwiches considers factors such as the cultivation of ingredients, food waste, recipes used, and various packaging options, according to the study. The study compares how both homemade and commercial sandwiches impact the environment. A portion of the study notes that ham and cheese is the most popular homemade sandwich. It goes on to point out that the environment impact of the homemade version is about two times lower than the ready-made version often sold in convenience stores. The study suggests including information about the “carbon footprint” on nutritional packaging for sandwiches in hopes of changing consumer behavior. One of the biggest offenders are breakfast sandwiches filled with egg, bacon and sausage. The researchers estimate that an “all-day breakfast sandwich” emits the equivalent of carbon emissions created by driving a car for 12 miles. (University Of Manchester)


New Orleans pulls 46 tons of Mardi Gras beads from storm drains

New Orleans city officials said that more than 46 tons of Carnival beads were among 7.2 million pounds of trash pulled from clogged catch basins along a five-block stretch of a downtown parade route. The removal was part of a four-month project in response to heavy flooding in the city in August. The effectiveness of the city’s drainage systems came under fire after an August 5, 2017 storm dumped up to 6 inches of rain, causing street flooding and underpasses to fill up. The clean-up effort between late September and late January cleared about 15,000 of the city’s estimated 68,000 storm drains. The Mardi Gras beads were found along the St. Charles Avenue parade route. Mardi Gras is celebrated on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of Lent, a period of reflection and abstinence on the Catholic calendar. By tradition, Mardi Gras, which is French for “Fat Tuesday,” is a day that calls for excessive partying in preparation for the somber season of sacrifice to follow. Mardi Gras falls on February 13th this year. Partygoers are known to wear and toss beads – known as “throws” in New Orleans – from the streets and balconies in the French Quarter, Bourbon Street and other areas where partiers jostle through crowds. Officials asked residents to help clear catch basins and said the department was considering preventative methods, such as temporarily installing “gutter buddies” to keep the carnival beads from rolling down the drain. (Yahoo News)


Tubular Tuesday Brings With It:

  • Croissant Day
  • Inane Answering Message Day
  • National Plan For A Vacation Day (Last Tuesday)


Monday, January 29, 2018

New Hampshire man arrested for biting police dog

A man was arrested for biting a police dog while officers were investigating reports of a shooting in the town of Boscawen, New Hampshire, police officials said. The incident unfolded when police reported to a home where they were told a person had been shot. Two people at the home were wanted on outstanding warrants and tried to flee when police attempted to arrest them. Both of them resisted arrest and one of them “very strongly resisted” arrest. He bit the dog, the dog bit him, he ended up getting Tasered. The suspect, who was not identified, was charged with resisting arrest and assault on a police dog. The dog was uninjured and cleared to return to duty. “If you get into a biting competition with a police dog, you’re not going to win,” police officials said. “They’re pretty good at that.” (Yahoo News)


Angry fast-food worker beans supervisor with burrito

Police in Spartanburg, SC, say a fast-food worker upset at having to work a morning shift has given new meaning to a burrito to go, slinging a hot one at his Taco Bell supervisor. Police officers were called to the eatery, where a supervisor reported telling the worker to “stop being a crybaby” — just before being beaned with the food-filled projectile. A police report says the supervisor had turned away when melted cheese from the airborne burrito splattered her left arm, side and leg. Gooey stuff also “made a mess of the entire kitchen,” police say. Police say the worker didn’t stop there, adding they were told he took off his headset, broke it on his knee and “stormed out.” No arrests have been made. (ABC News)


Claw machine players find real cat taking a nap inside

A visitor to a Dubai business captured video of an unusual sight — a cat that made its way into the prize area of a claw machine and went down for a nap. The video shows the cat snoozing among the stuffed toys inside a claw machine at a Dubai business. A man puts money into the machine and tries to use the claw to catch the cat, but the sleepy feline wakes up just enough to shake off the claw before going back to sleep. The man makes further attempts to lift the feline, but the cat ignores the claw in favor of continuing its nap. It was unclear whether the cat was able to climb out of the machine on its own. (UPI)


A family chicken worthy of an obituary

A Texas family mourned the loss of their beloved pet chicken in a fashion usually reserved for human loved ones: a paid obituary in the local paper. A paid obituary that appeared in a newspaper based in Bryan, Texas, details the life of Big Mama, the pet chicken that lived with the Sword family from 2013 until her death earlier this month. The obituary explains how the family adopted Big Mama in 2013 when her previous owner took the bird to be euthanized and the veterinarian convinced them to put her up for adoption instead. Sword wrote the family’s first glimpse of Big Mama was a grainy photo of the “skinny, indoor chicken looking at herself in a mirror,” and the family was “hooked instantly.” The obituary says Big Mama had never known life outside with other chickens, but quickly became a central part of her “flock,” bonding with fellow chickens Bubbles, Runt, Ms. S, Funky, Lucky and Blondie. (The Eagle)


Scientists bring this ‘Star Wars’ tech closer to reality

Scientists have figured out how to manipulate nearly unseen specks in the air and use them to create 3-D images that are more realistic and clearer than holograms . The study’s lead author, Daniel Smalley, said the new technology is “printing something in space, just erasing it very quickly.” In this case, scientists created a small butterfly appearing to dance above a finger and an image of a graduate student imitating Leia in the Star Wars scene. Even with all sorts of holograms already in use, this new technique is the closest to replicating that Star Wars scene. Experts say that You can have a circle of people stand around it and each person would be able to see it from their own perspective. And that’s not possible with a hologram. The tiny specks are controlled with laser light, like the fictional tractor beam from “Star Trek” . Going from holograms to this type of technology — technically called volumetric display — is like shifting from a two-dimensional printer to a three-dimensional printer. Holograms appear to the eye to be three-dimensional, but “all of the magic is happening on a 2-D surface. (NY Post)


Now you can pay money to swim in garbage

Australian fashion brand Seapia has created a swimwear line made from recycled plastic, including bags, bottles and fishing nets — perfect for tree-hugging bikini babes. “These plastics could have been collected from the very beaches on which you will be wearing the swimwear,” the brand’s founder, Fiorella Castro. The garments also feature “water-soluble inks, organic packaging and a no-plastic-in-the-supply-chain policy.” These ecofriendly bikinis start at $60 apiece. (whimn)


A Florida community is rallying around a teen with terminal cancer to help him fulfill his dying wish of marrying his high school sweetheart

Dustin Snyder, 19, wedded his girlfriend, Sierra Siverio, in a ceremony yesterday (1/28) after the Valrico community pitched in to help make their nuptials come together. Snyder is battling a rare form of cancer, synovial sarcoma, which he was diagnosed with a day before his 18th birthday. He successfully underwent chemotherapy treatment last year, but the cancer returned three weeks ago, ravaging his stomach and pelvic area. The teen was placed in hospice with a pain pump attached to his heart. Knowing his days were numbered, Snyder wanted to marry his long-term girlfriend, who has helped him through his entire battle. His sister created a GoFundMe page to help make his final wish a reality. “He really wants to marry the woman that has stuck by his side through all the sleepless nights and now dealing with knowing he will pass any time soon,” she wrote on the profile. Since the fundraising page was launched, the couple has received rings, a cake, a photographer, decor, tables and food for their special day. They were married at Big Red Barn in Plant City after the venue donated the space. (ABC Action News)


Hello Monday, We Meet Again. Today Is Also:

  • Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day (Always Last Monday)
  • Curmudgeons Day
  • Freethinkers Day
  • Library Shelfie Day
  • National Corn Chip Day
  • National Puzzle Day
  • Seeing Eye Dog Day
  • Thomas Paine Day