Thursday, October 31, 2019

A Missouri man accused of mutilating a cat in a fast-food restaurant restroom is facing animal abuse and property damage charges

Court  documents show a 19-year-old man had worked at an Arby’s in the Kansas  City, Missouri suburb of Lee’s Summit but was fired in June. Police  say he entered the restaurant, placed an order, and went into the men’s  restroom. They say that when he came out, he said to the manager, “Oh, I see you remodeled the bathroom.”  Police say the manager found the remains of a cat that had been  mutilated and decapitated on a changing table for infants. The manager  told police there was a large amount of blood smeared across the toilet,  walls and door. When the manager exited the bathroom, he saw the man  sitting outside in his truck, allegedly waiting to see his reaction to  the graphic scene. The man then took off, according to the manager. When  police arrived, the responding officer processed the scene and said she  didn’t detect any foul odor, indicating the cat had been recently  mutilated. When detectives spoke with the man, court documents say he  repeatedly denied knowing anything about a cat. The manager said the  restaurant didn’t have any security cameras. Court documents say the  Arby’s was forced to purchase a new baby changing station, a new toilet  and had to treat and repaint the walls due to the blood. (WDAF)

Oklahoma man overcharged on his electric bill for 20 years

A  man in Bowlegs, Oklahoma man recently found out he has been overcharged  by his electric company for over 20 years, leaving him out thousands of  dollars. “I didn’t know there was anything wrong until not too long ago, my daughter started paying the electric bill,” homeowner said. “I paid it for 22 years and was never late, not one time.”  He was being charged a commercial rate all those years, not  residential, causing him to overpay thousands of dollars. But after two  different phone calls with OG&E, he thought his money was long gone.  He said they refused to reimburse him. “Later that evening he  called me back, and he kind of got smart with me. He said, ‘You should  have known this.’ I said, ‘How in the hell am I supposed to know it,’”  the homeowner said. With nowhere left to turn, one of his daughters  contacted their local TV station. The next day, a resolution was offered  said he’s now getting a check for $4,700. (KFOR)

Unique Drone Testing Space Opens in Colorado

Drone  operators continue to explore new ways for the devices to aid in  various public safety situations. Drone operators in Colorado have a  significant new venue in which to experiment. The Colorado Center of  Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting (CoE)  Technodrome, a new drone-testing facility in Garfield County, Colorado,  will help public safety professionals become certified drone users. The  Technodrome is located in Garfield County, west of Denver, and features  what is thought to be the largest indoor drone testing space in the  country, unfettered by FAA line-of-sight rules. But just as significant,  the 7,000-square-foot space may give first responders the opportunity  to share situation-specific stories about their utilization of drones in  the field, which could result in extra lives being saved down the road.  (GovTech)

New Open Source Platform Lets Cops Remotely Identify Drones

A  partnership between government and the private sector has yielded an  open source platform that makes remote drone identification and  communication possible. In effect this means interoperability between  drone software, so drone pilots can exchange information about flights  and constraints in the airspace. From public safety reconnaissance to  data-gathering to delivery, potential uses for drones are adding up  faster than legalized uses. Without the technical ability to remotely  locate and identify all drones in a given vicinity, and thereby avoid  safety and privacy concerns, the Federal Aviation Administration has put  a moratorium on flying drones at night, above people or beyond a visual  line of sight without special permits. But as of last month, remote  identification and by extension unmanned traffic management is now  possible via the InterUSS Platform Open Source Project, hosted by the  nonprofit Linux Foundation. The InterUSS Platform was co-developed by  AirMap, Uber, Wing and the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) of  Switzerland, in consultation with regulators and standards bodies around  the world. The platform enables an Unmanned Aircraft System Service  Supplier, or USS, to communicate with others. In effect this means  interoperability between drone software, so drone pilots can exchange  information about flights and constraints in the airspace. They can find  and identify each other’s drones and share where they’re going, without  transgressing privacy boundaries by requiring personally identifiable  information about the pilots. (Interuss)

Meet the 5-hour workday

As  employees increasingly prioritize workplace flexibility, a German tech  consulting firm is giving a 25-hour workweek a shot. Rheingans Digital  Enabler, a 16-person startup, lays down a few ground rules. The firm has  banned social media use, staffers check email twice a day, phones are  kept in backpacks, most meetings are scheduled to last no more than 15  minutes, and small talk is not encouraged. The results? Employees are  just as productive, and they have more time for life outside of work.  The owner says happier employees deliver better work for clients, and  the shorter workday is a draw, boosting recruitment in Germany’s tight  labor market. The five-hour day brings challenges, employees say, with  the pressure to produce the same work in less time. (The Wall Street Journal)

When it’s best to trust your gut

Relying  on your instinct gets a bad rap, but there are times when it is useful,  even advisable, say researchers from Harvard Business School. During  high stakes situations where there simply isn’t enough information to  make a reliable prediction, going with your gut — the kind you have  gained from experience — can push you off the fence in time to benefit  from whatever decision you make. Such calls can be critical,  particularly in emergencies, where no decision may be the worst decision  of all. In the face of information overload, mounting risks and  uncertainty, and intense pressures to make the right decisions, there is  often debilitating evidence that delays our decision making. We put the  choice off, rather than deciding. Trusting your gut allows leaders the  freedom to move forward. Researchers have determined that those who made  more successful decisions based on their gut feel do the following:

  • Recognize  that their gut feel is not a separate piece of information but it draws  on both objective and subjective information that is already available.
  • Understand  that gut feel is not quick, impulsive, and emotional — it’s actually  something much more cultivated and nuanced and based on experience.
  • Commit  to continually cultivating their gut feel, by paying attention to  exemplars, prototypes, patterns, and models in their field and linking  what they learn to future decisions.

Once  you’ve decided to rely on your intuition to make a high-risk,  high-impact decision, don’t try to explain it or justify to others how  you arrived at it. If you apply logic and data to gut feel, the more  likely you are to put off a decision or make a worse one. Remember there  are some things you can’t quantify and sometimes you’re using your  intuition to do something other than what the data told you to do. And  when that’s the case, your gut feel can help you make a bold decision. (Harvard Business Review)

Women managers face feedback battle

Both  male and female employees are more likely to respond negatively to  critical professional feedback when it comes from a woman, according to  researchers at Middlebury College. After studying 2,700 online  transcription workers, researchers found employees of both genders were  more likely to come away dissatisfied and less likely to accept future  assignments after receiving critical feedback from a female boss. Simply  being aware of this bias may help matters. As a result, they found that  these differing expectations are less prevalent among younger workers. (The Conversation)


A Kurdish informant inside ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s inner circle gave key details of the terror leader’s hideout and even proved  he knew where Baghdadi was located by producing a pair of his used  underwear

The  informant, an undercover security adviser for Baghdadi, described a  room-by-room layout of the terrorist leader’s secret compound in Syria, a  general in the Syrian Democratic Forces said. The information included  floor and tunnel plans, along with the number of jihadist soldiers who  guarded the compound, according to the report. Kurdish officials who  managed the source turned over the information to the US, helping pave  the way for Saturday’s raid that left Baghdadi dead from a suicide-vest  explosion. The informant proved to US forces that he had access to  Baghdadi by providing a pair of used underwear to them this summer,  according to the report. The source later provided a sample of  Baghdadi’s blood to US intelligence to further prove his access to the  jihadist. About two hours later, the special forces team that led the  operation declared “Jackpot” to announce they had killed the  terrorist leader. Six jihadists were killed in the operation and 11  children were rescued from the scene, according to the report. (NBC News)


Alabama abortion law temporarily blocked by federal judge

A  federal judge temporarily blocked Alabama’s abortion law, which does  not allow exceptions for victims of rape and incest and would make it a  felony for doctors to perform the procedure unless a woman’s life was at  risk. It’s the country’s most restrictive abortion ban passed this year  and was set to go into effect next month. But like the eight other  abortion restriction bills that states passed this year, it’s been  blocked from going into effect, at least for now. The American Civil  Liberties Union, which has been active in lawsuits against the many  states that have passed abortion restrictions in recent months, tweeted  that the decision means “none of the state abortion bans passed earlier this year are in effect” and listed Georgia, Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Ohio and Utah as having similar laws that have also been blocked. (Washington Post)

PG&E begging Californians to stop attacking utility workers amid power outages

Officials  from Pacific Gas & Electric Company in California are pleading with  residents to stop taking out their frustrations on utility workers, as  reports mount of attacks on those in the field who are trying to help in  the midst of ongoing power outages and wildfires in the state. The  PG&E CEO said in a press conference, “Our employees in the field  have repeatedly been the targets of misguided attacks, verbal abuse,  threats, physical assault, and even weapons. One of our PG&E  employees, driving a PG&E vehicle, was intentionally run off the  road by an angry motorist.” He also reminded Californians that “hundreds” of professionals from across the U.S. have converged on the affected areas to assist, asking his state’s citizens, “What impression do we want to give these visiting workers about California?” Last  week, a window of a PG&E worker’s truck was shot out by a  projectile believed to have been fired by a pellet gun, and on October  9th, another employee’s vehicle window was shot out by what was believed  to be a bullet fired by a passing driver. In a much less threatening  incident, a PG&E office was egged earlier this month. The outrage  against PG&E and its workers hasn’t been helped by the California  Governor, who has lashed out at the company as well as other  investor-owned electric firms in the state. (The Blaze)

Halloween Fun Facts

  1. The holiday goes back more than 2,000 years –  Halloween all started as a pre-Christian Celtic festival called Samhain  (which means “summer’s end”) held around the first of November. It  celebrated the final day of the harvest and the crossing of spirits over  into the other world.
  2. Trick-or-treating has existed since medieval times – Back  then, it was known as “guising” in Scotland and Ireland. Young people  dressed up in costumes and asked for food or money in exchange for  songs, poems, or other “tricks.”
  3. Some Halloween rituals used to involve finding a husband – During  the 18th century, ladies would follow Halloween traditions that would  “help” them find a romantic match. Women would: Throw apple peels over  their shoulder hoping to see their future husband’s initials,  competitively bob for apples at parties because the winner would be the  first to get married, and stand in a dark room with a candle in front of  a mirror to look for their future husband’s face. Scottish girls hung  wet sheets in front of the fire on the holiday to see images of their  future husband. People also used to bake Halloween cakes with a ring and  a thimble inside. Get the slice with the ring and you would be married  within the year. The thimble? You’d be unlucky in love. 
  4. Immigrants helped popularize the holiday in the U.S. – When  the Irish fled their country in the 1840s due to the potato famine,  they brought their Halloween traditions with them. By the 1920s, the  holiday the mischief reached an all-time high. Some believe  community-based trick-or-treating became popular in the 1930s as a way  to control the excessive pranksters.
  5. Sugar rationing during World War II halted trick-or-treating – After  the rationing ended, the tradition grew into what we’re familiar with  today. Candy companies started launching advertising campaigns to  capitalize on the ritual.
  6. Now Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday in the country – It  comes after only Christmas. Consumers spent approximately $9 billion  (!) on Halloween last year, according to the National Retail Federation  (NRF).
  7. The Irish also brought us jack-o’-lanterns – As  the story goes, an Irish man named Stingy Jack tricked the devil and  therefore was not allowed into heaven or hell — so he spent his days  roaming the Earth, carrying a lantern, and went by “Jack of the  Lantern.”
  8. They used to be carved out of turnips, potatoes, and beets – Jack-‘o-lanterns originated in Ireland, after all. Once Halloween became popular in America, people used pumpkins instead.
  9. There’s also traditional Halloween bread in Ireland – It’s  called barmbrack or just “brack.” The sweet loaf typically contains  dark and golden raisins plus a small toy or ring. Similar to king cake  at Mardi Gras, tradition dictates the person who finds the item will  receive good fortune.
  10. Candy corn was originally called “chicken feed.” –  The Goelitz Confectionery Company sold boxes with a rooster on the  front in order to appeal to America’s agricultural roots. The sugary  recipe has gone largely unchanged since the 1880s.
  11. A city in Canada banned teens over 16 from trick-or-treating – Anyone  over the age of 16 caught trick-or-treating — or even just wearing  masks — in Bathurst, Canada, faces up to a $200 fine. The city also has a  curfew for everyone else, so even those under 16 aren’t allowed out  after 8 p.m. on Halloween.
  12. Some shelters used to suspend black cat adoptions for Halloween – They  feared that the animals were in danger of satanic cults in the days  leading up to Halloween. Nowadays, some shelters promote black cat  adoptions in October and use interviews to weed out anyone with the  wrong intentions.
  13. Dressing up in costumes was once a way to hide from ghosts – The  tradition originated as a way for the Celtic and other European people  to hide from the spirits who returned at this time of year. People wore  masks when they left their homes after dark so the ghosts would think  they were fellow spirits. To keep the ghosts out of their houses, people  would place bowls of food outside to make them happy.
  14. Today’s Halloween is a cultural mashup – The  Halloween holiday we’ve all come to know and love is a combination of  several different celebrations from different cultures and religions at  different times in history. The ancient Celtic people celebrated  Samhain, marking the end of harvest season and a time when the boundary  between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred and ghosts  visited the earth. After the Roman Empire conquered the Celtic peoples,  their festivals of Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans  honored the passing of the dead, and a day to honor Pomona, the Roman  goddess of fruit and trees, were combined with Samhain. The November 1st  Catholic holiday of All Saints’ Day, or All Hallows’ Mass, celebrating  all those who have gone to heaven, also contributes to the history of  Halloween. All Souls’ Day, celebrated the next day, honors all who have  died but have not yet reached heaven.
  15. The “bon” in bonfire is a reference to bones – During  Samhain, priests lit large fires to represent the sun returning after  the hard winter. They would throw the bones of cattle into the flames,  creating a “bone fire.”

Thursday Likes To Party With:

  • Beggars’ Night
  • Books For Treats Day
  • Day of the Seven Billion
  • Girl Scout Founder’s Day
  • Halloween or All Hallows Eve
  • Magic Day
  • National Caramel Apple Day
  • National Doorbell Day
  • National Knock-Knock Jokes Day
  • National UNICEF Day
  • Samhain
  • World Cities Day
  • World Savings Day

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