Thursday, October 8, 2020

A lonely otter at a sanctuary finds love online through a dating site built just for him

A seal sanctuary in England made a dating profile for a lonely otter who lost his mate and now he’s found love again. Harris, a 10-year-old Asian short-clawed otter at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Cornwall, England, lost his partner Apricot after she died at age 16, according to a press release from the sanctuary. He was alone for the first time in four years and had appeared to go back to his bachelor ways. The team created Harris an online dating profile for a fake dating site they dubbed “Fishing for Love,” in hopes of finding another otter in need of love and affection. “I am very attentive, I love a cuddle, and I am a very good listener,” the profile said. “I will love you like no otter.” The Cornish Seal Sanctuary team created Harris a dating profile, sending it out in the hope of finding his new perfect match. Because otters naturally live in pairs and Harris was such a good partner, the team thought he deserved a second chance at love. Luckily, there was an otter named Pumpkin at Sea Life Scarborough sanctuary, who had recently lost her own elderly partner named Eric. While the introduction of otters can be a bit nerve-wracking and difficult, the two teams decided to introduce Harris into Pumpkin’s habitat so that the male more easily submits to the female. (Cornish Seal Sanctuary)


St. Louis couple indicted for waving guns at protesters

A grand jury has indicted the St. Louis couple who displayed guns while hundreds of racial injustice protesters marched on their private street. A lawyer for Mark McCloskey and his wife, Patricia McCloskey, confirmed the indictments. The McCloskeys, who are both attorneys, argue that they were simply exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms, and were protected by Missouri’s castle doctrine law that allows the use of deadly force against intruders. The case has caught the attention of President Donald Trump, and Republican Missouri Governor Mike Parson has said he will pardon the couple if they are convicted. (St Louis Today)


More than 4 million people have already cast ballots for the November election – 50 times as many early voters than this time in 2016

The estimate from the United States Elections Project, which compiles early voting data, indicates that mail-in voting will increase significantly this election due to the pandemic. The organization forecasts that around 65% of registered voters will take part in the election, which will be the highest turnout since 1908. The project’s data comes from 31 states. More states are set to start in-person voting soon and some others have yet to report their mail-in tallies, which suggests that the number of mail-in votes will continue increasing. 57 million mail-in votes were cast in 2016, up from 25 million in 2004. That means that, in the last election, about 40% of voters cast their votes by mail. (Reuters)


Archaeologists in Egypt have found 59 well-preserved wooden coffins that were buried more than 2,500 years ago

Last weekend, they opened one of the sarcophagi, revealing human remains covered in burial cloth bearing inscriptions and bright colors. The coffins were discovered in Saqqara, a burial site south of Cairo. Some of them were inside shafts that were up to 40 feet deep. Experts say that the sarcophagi likely contain the remains of prominent members of the 26th dynasty, including priests and senior statesman. The sarcophagi will be shown at the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is expected to open its doors to the public in 2021. In recent years, archaeologists in Saqqara, near the 4,700-year-old pyramid of Djoser, have discovered the mummified remains of snakes, birds, scarab beetles, and other animals. (Science Alert)


The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a case that accused the band Led Zeppelin of plagiarism

The band was accused of copying the opening guitar riff for the 1971 song “Stairway to Heaven” from an instrumental called “Taurus,” which was released in 1968. The estate of Randy Wolfe, a former guitarist for the band Spirit, claimed that Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant copied the opening notes after hearing Spirit perform in 1970. The case was first filed in 2014. In 2016, a jury ruled that Led Zeppelin did not copy Spirit. This verdict was overturned in 2018 on appeal, though the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 2020 ruled again in favor of Led Zeppelin. The Supreme Court declining to hear the case affirms the appeals court ruling and brings an end to the six-year legal process. (CNN)


Southwest Airlines asked the company’s labor unions to accept pay cuts for the first time in its history to prevent layoffs and furloughs until the end of 2021

Southwest CEO said pay cuts are necessary to offset the billions of dollars in quarterly losses that are expected to occur until a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available. Airlines were prohibited from furloughing or laying off workers until October 1 as part of the $25b they received in federal aid earlier this year. However, airlines say they need more federal aid in order to cover worker salaries for the next six months. The CEO has been receiving reduced pay since March, but announced he would forego his salary until the end of 2021. Senior executives will continue to take a 20% pay cut and nonunion employees will take a 10% pay cut. Travel demand is 70% less than it was a year ago, due to COVID-19. Southwest hasn’t laid off or furloughed any employees so far in 2020 and remains committed to ensuring there are none until at least Jan 1., 2021. The CEO said the pay cuts would be reversed if the federal government provides aid. Southwest’s rivals American Airlines and United Airlines have started to furlough 32,000 employees. (The Wall Street Journal)


Instagram has started to label accounts it believes are “state-controlled media” across its platform

The labels were noticed by a writer, who shared screenshots of the accounts Redfish, In The Now, and Soapbox, with the text label “Russia state-controlled media” below the account names. Instagram says it’s adding the label to accounts it believes “may be partially or wholly under the editorial control of their government.” Facebook, which owns Instagram, announced a move to label accounts as “state-controlled media” last October. The company also says that similar labels will be added to ads on Instagram in the coming months. Facebook has consistently defended itself against allegations that it facilitates the spread of misinformation. (Engadget)


Netflix indicted on child porn charges over ‘Cuties’

A Texas grand jury has indicted streaming giant Netflix on child pornography charges. The indictment accuses Netflix and its top executives of “promotion of lewd visual material depicting [a] child” with regard to the controversial French film “Cuties.” State Representative Matt Schaefer, Tyler Republican, posted a copy of the first page of the Tyler County grand jury’s finding on his Twitter page. On his twitter post, he said “Netflix, Inc. indicted by grand jury in Tyler Co., Tx for promoting material in Cuties film which depicts lewd exhibition of pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child who was younger than 18 yrs of age which appeals to the prurient interest in sex #Cuties #txlege” (Texas Representative Matt Schaefer Twitter)


Researchers think surgical patients who use marijuana may develop a higher tolerance to anesthesia, pain pills

A new study shows smoking marijuana before surgery can actually make your pain worse. The study was led by an anesthesiology resident at the University of Colorado Hospital. It found people who smoke marijuana before surgery actually need more anesthesia during surgery and require more opioids during recovery. Researchers think this might be because people who use marijuana may develop a higher tolerance and need more painkillers to feel the effects. (Yahoo News)


Chick-fil-A is still the favorite fast food chain of teens

In a new survey conducted by the investment bank and institutional securities firm Piper Sandler Companies, the chicken-focused fast-food chain secured its number one spot as the favored restaurant for American teens. Twenty-one percent of the survey’s 9,800 respondents chose Chick-fil-A as their preferred restaurant. The chain was previously ranked as number one in Piper Sandler’s last survey from April, which showed Chick-fil-A was the top pick among 5,200 teens at 22%. This is the sixth consecutive time Chick-fil-A has snagged first place in the semi-annual survey. Rounding out the top five spots on Piper Sandler’s latest survey though are Starbucks (10%), Chipotle (9%), Dunkin’ (4%) and McDonald’s (4%). Between the time the survey took place, Aug. 19 and Sept. 22, a little more than three-quarters (76%) of the teenaged respondents indicated they went back to school either in a hybrid or fully virtual format. Moreover, 23% said they are not working because the coronavirus pandemic impacted their ability to work. Only 33% of teens are currently employed part-time, according to the survey. (Piper Sandler)


Home Investor Finds $10,000 Hidden In Living Room, Returns It All To Grateful Former Owner

The new owner of a Chicago home that he bought to renovate ended up finding thousands of dollars hidden in the living room. The man never expected to find the stash there. In the last five years, he has flipped more than 50 homes – but he’s never found anything like what he did in the living room of that house. It was far from his first renovation. “Shocked,” he said while explaining how he felt when he found the five envelopes packed with almost $10,000 hidden throughout this room. “Behind the couch, there were two banker’s withdrawal envelopes,” he said. The money was found in various spots, including behind an old photo hanging on the wall. But when he shook the shock off, he said his next steps were obvious – returning it. And the former owner and her family were thrilled. “I didn’t want the reward she was going to give,” he said. Instead, he asked the woman who had lived in the house for more than 50 years of her life in that living room to pay it forward – in a time where just about everybody could use a little help, or at the very least, a reminder. (Chicago CBS)


Oklahoma jail workers charged after forcing inmates to listen to ‘Baby Shark’ on loop, probe shows

Two former 21-year-old detention officers and their 50-year-old supervisor were charged after an investigation found inmates at the Oklahoma County jail were forced to listen to the popular children’s song, “Baby Shark,” on a loop at loud volumes for extended periods of time. At least four inmates were subjected to the “inhuman” discipline in an attorney visitation room of the jail last November and December, according to the charge. The inmates were forced to stand the entire time, hands cuffed behind them and secured to the wall, the investigation found. District Attorney charged them with misdemeanor counts of cruelty to a prisoner and conspiracy. The DA said the Legislature definitely should look at making a change to the law. The two detention officers are accused of imposing the rogue discipline, and their Lieutenant is accused of knowing about it and doing nothing to stop it. The music put “undue emotional stress on the inmates who were most likely already suffering from physical stressors,” the investigator wrote. (USA Today)


Pizza Hut employee filmed chasing robbery suspects away while brandishing pizza cutter

A quick-thinking employee at a Pizza Hut in Houston, Texas turned the tables on a group of robbers by chasing them out of the store with a rather large, rather intimidating-looking pizza cutter. The police are now hoping to charge the criminals with aggravated robbery. The department’s Robbery Division released surveillance footage from the August 29th incident on YouTube, asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the fleeing suspects. In the video, the three men can be seen entering the restaurant, including one with a crowbar who goes directly for one of the registers. One of the other suspects walks back into the kitchen area and subdues a worker holding a mezzaluna-style pizza cutter, prying it out of her hand and throwing it on the floor. Seconds later, however, another employee picks up the large pizza cutter from the floor. One of the suspects attempts to snatch it away, but the employee pulls the pizza cutter out of his reach, and cocks her arm back behind her head. She is then seen chasing the three men out of the store. The suspects left the restaurant empty-handed, police confirmed. A representative for Pizza Hut was not immediately available to comment on the footage, although the Houston Police is currently looking to charge the three men with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon (a.k.a. crowbar). (Fox News)


Thursday Is Tumbling Over With:

  • Alvin C. York Day
  • American Touch Tag Day
  • Depression Screening Day (2nd Thursday)
  • Fluffernutter Day
  • Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day
  • Pierogy Day
  • Salmon Day
  • World Octopus Day
  • World Sight Day (2nd Thursday)

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