Friday, February 28, 2020

Police Chief resigns from Police Department to pursue relationship with Chaplain

The Abilene, Texas Police Chief is resigning from his position with the Police Department to pursue a dating relationship with the police Chaplain. The Chief penned a letter to City Manager that says he intends to maintain a dating relationship with the Chaplain, and that, “my decision…has caused a disruption in maintenance and order of the Department, which I fully recognize and assume ownership.Two months ago and upon finalization of my divorce, I approached City Administration and sought permission to begin a dating relationship with Beth Reeves, who is also employed by the City of Abilene. APD Policy C-2 requires that I report any intent to begin a dating relationship, and that any reporting structures be resolved prior to dating. This was done, and I am thankful for an opportunity to pursue a woman of remarkable character who has served so many families in her twenty years of ministry.” He is going to leave the Department as soon as he gains employment elsewhere and is currently searching for a new job. The Chief is leaving after serving with the Abilene Police Department for more than 25 years. (KRBC)


The Federal Communications Commission received 1,312 complaints from consumers about the halftime show featuring Jennifer Lopez and Shakira

“Extreme booty shaking,” “pole dancing” and “S&M outfits.” That’s how fans described this year’s Super Bowl LIV halftime show featuring performances by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, according to the more than 1,300 complaints filed with the Federal Communications Commission in the hours following the national broadcast February 2nd. Many complaints noted the camera angles and the performers’ costumes, which some described as having “too much skin exposed.” Lopez’s costume included a nude-colored bodysuit that covered her from the waist down. The Super Bowl LIV broadcast drew 102 million total viewers on Fox and all its platforms, according to Nielsen. The halftime show complaints received by the FCC represent one one-thousandth of a percent of all viewers. For some viewers, the outrage was about more than just costumes and dancing. It was about parenting. Complaints poured in from 49 states. Texas viewers had the most complaints — nearly 140. There were zero complaints from Vermont. A complaint filed to the FCC does not prove a violation of the Communications Act or FCC rule and does not guarantee a penalty for the broadcaster listed in the complaint. (WFAA)


A message in a bottle discovered after 82 years at sea is to be returned to the daughter of its author

The tale has attracted national and international media attention, and that has now led to another twist and a permanent home for the bottle and its message. A message in a bottle written in 1938 has been discovered and returned to the descendants of its author. The note, dated September 5, 1938, reads: “Will the finder of this bottle please communicate with: John Stapleford” and lists an address in Barnet, Hertfordshire, in the United Kingdom. The identity of the note’s writer has actually been somewhat in doubt as it could be John Stapleford, born in 1890, or his son, John Stapleford Jr., who was 14 at the time. Handwriting analysis appears to suggest that the younger Stapleford wrote the note and tossed the bottle into the sea. John Stapleford Jr. died in 1994. (Jersey Evening Post)


Kentucky student praised after ‘donating’ his extra credit points to low-scoring classmate

An eastern Kentucky student gave up his bonus points on a test to help out another student. On the bottom of his History test, the student asks to give his extra credit points to a fellow classmate who scored the lowest. The teacher explains on Facebook that the test belongs to one of his “A-plus” students. He scored a 94 on the test without the bonus points, so the teacher agreed to let him donate the points. His kind act was able to help raise another classmate’s score to a passing grade. (Winston Lee Facebook)


Facebook is banning ads that promise to cure the coronavirus

Facebook is tightening up its rules on ads that reference the novel coronavirus, in an attempt to curtail misinformation and fearmongering about the outbreak. The social network will now ban ads that mention it if they promise to cure or prevent the virus, or attempt to “create a sense of urgency” about it. In a statement, a spokesperson said “We recently implemented a policy to prohibit ads that refer to the coronavirus and create a sense of urgency, like implying a limited supply, or guaranteeing a cure or prevention. We also have policies for surfaces like Marketplace that prohibit similar behavior.” Facebook, like other tech platforms, is currently grappling with a surge of panicked conversation and sometimes outright misinformation about COVID-19, which has sickened more than 79,000 people globally and killed more than 2,600 over the last few months. Facebook utilizes fact-checkers to check dubious claims and subsequently suppress them in its news feed. (Business Insider)


China has banned the consumption of wild animals

More than 2,700 people have died as a result of the novel COVID-19, with another 81,000 cases confirmed across the globe. And now, China’s government has officially banned the trade and consumption of wildlife in their ongoing efforts against COVID-19 epidemic that has taken over the world since 2020 began. China’s top legislative body, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, laid the groundwork to amend China’s Wildlife Protection Law in a move to permanently criminalize the consumption of wildlife and illegal wildlife trading. The new ban took effect immediately. Although China does have existing laws regarding wildlife protection and conservation, it’s filled with loopholes as consuming wild animals and captive breeding was allowed for commercial purposes. It’s an indisputable fact that China was the top market for the breeding and trading of wild animals. The wildlife trade is even estimated to be a multibillion dollar industry. A report published by the Chinese Academy of Engineering found that China’s wildlife trade and consumption industry is valued at US$74 billion and employs more than 14 million people across the nation. More than half of those employees work in the fur and leather industry, estimated to be valued at US$55 billion, while the other half work in breeding farms or processing plants. (Reuters )


Therapy at Walmart? $1 per minute

Walmart has started rolling out clinics that offer checkups, dentistry and therapy. At one Walmart in Georgia, a medical checkup costs $30, a teeth cleaning is $25 and psychological counseling is $1 per minute. While the retailer hasn’t said how many clinics it plans to open, they are part of its $36 billion division that includes pharmacies and vision centers. The move adds Walmart to the list of companies, including CVS, that are disrupting the traditional U.S. health care market. (Bloomberg)


Researchers found a cure for diabetes (in lab mice)

A research team at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri found last year that infusing mice with stem cells could offer a better treatment option. Building on that research, the team improved on the technique to produce and introduce these cells into the bloodstream. When converting the stem cells into another type of cell, there are always mistakes and random cells enter into the mix along with the insulin-producing ones. These cells are harmless, but they don’t pull their weight. The new method would rid the sample of those unwanted cells. The team built a process that targeted the cytoskeleton, the structure that gives the cells their shape, and produced not only a higher percentage of effective beta cells, but better functioning ones. When these new cells were infused into diabetic mice, their blood sugar levels stabilized, leaving them “functionally cured” of the disease for up to nine months. Granted, it’s just an animal trial. The team plans to continue testing the cells in larger animals, and over longer periods, with their sights set on human clinical trials in the future. (New Atlas)


Virgin Galactic says it has seen a sharp increase in online reservations from people interested in traveling to space

Virgin Galactic says it has already sold 600 tickets for its first flights into space, currently scheduled for later in 2020, and it announced that 8,000 people had registered online expressing interest in a future space flight, more than double the number from September of last year. The registration process requires “future astronaut customers” to put down a $1,000 refundable deposit. The first tickets sold for Virgin Galactic’s inaugural space flight went for $250,000. Nevertheless, the company reported a net loss of $73 million in the first quarter of 2020. (ABC News)


Spending time in nature appears to make children happier and more likely to engage in altruistic behavior

According to a researcher team, about 300 children between 9 and 12 filled out a survey that judged their connectedness to nature and asked about their actions and beliefs about the world. Children who displayed a positive, active relationship with nature were more likely than others to recycle and save water, and more frequently said they believed that people of all genders and races were equal. Finally, these young people were also most likely to describe themselves as happy, and believed themselves to be happier than some of their classmates. (Frontiers in Psychology)


TV reporter accidentally turns mask filter on before going live

Live reporting is always risky, but the possibility of accidentally switching on a Facebook Live mask filter is definitely something new. That’s exactly what happened recently to a journalist in North Carolina, and a video shows it was every bit as goofy as it sounds. The man was talking about snow near Asheville and is seen in the minute-long video wearing one bizarre disguise after another, including a jet pilot helmet, a fox mask, and a wizard’s pointed hat and beard. At no point does he acknowledge the masks, instead continuing to talk in all seriousness about “the first legitimate snowfall we’ve seen this season” in Madison County. (WLOS)


Finally Friday Is Free Again With:

  • Floral Design Day
  • Girl Scout Cookie Weekend
  • National Customized Wheel and Tire Day
  • National Tooth Fairy Day
  • Shabbat Across America/Canada
  • Skip The Straw Day (4th Friday)
  • Tartar Sauce Day (First Friday after Lent Begins)
  • US Snow Shoe Days



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