Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Retired Teacher Rents Out His Pool During The Pandemic

In less than five months, a retired Cherry Creek Schools teacher made nearly $50,000 by renting out his pool during the COVID-19 pandemic. He listed his pool for rent in 2019 and says he only booked one reservation. The lack of interest nearly deterred him from returning to the rental world, but everything took a turn when the pandemic canceled vacations and shut down public pools. He created a website for his oasis, Splashfork Pool, Gill & Grounds. He listed his pool for rent on Swimply, which is basically an Airbnb version for pool rentals. Reservations began rolling in, and by mid-June, nearly the entire summer was booked. In 2020, he booked 500 pool reservations, which included family events, pool practice for sports and even a shoot for a music video. Renovations are underway to expand the backyard, which will now include a human foosball section and provide an indoor shelter area that will help bring in extra money. The man will have his work cut out for him this summer with more than 250 reservations already in the books. He and his wife, a science teacher, want to use the money they make to fund future vacations on their bucket list. (KMGH)


Bridesmaids prank bride by wearing Crocs after she banned the shoes

A group of bridesmaids has been slammed on social media for breaking the bride’s dress code on her wedding day. A video showing the bridesmaids’ prank was posted on TikTok by user @gabyrojas992 earlier this month. The clip, which has been viewed more than 8.5 million times, shows six bridesmaids in purple dresses and purple Crocs. The video is captioned: “When she said no to crocs.” The bridesmaids show off their shoes in the video before approaching the bride and groom for their photo session. The clip then cuts to the bride, who looks surprised and disappointed. Many TikTok viewers jumped in to support the bride and criticized the bridesmaids for their “disrespect.” (Fox News)


Shift to electric cars revs up jobs

The demand for electric vehicles is creating jobs across the nation. From technical to blue-collar positions, both Ford and General Motors are ramping up recruitment. At the same time, the Biden administration says its proposed $174 billion investment in the EV market will enable automakers to compete more aggressively on a global scale. And as the national push towards electrifying the automotive industry intensifies, so will the enlistment of design engineers, system engineers, software engineers and assembly line workers. (LinkedIn)


Slovak driver stops his van on a highway to snort cocaine, police video reveals

A video posted on Bratislava police’s Facebook page reveals that the man was driving a Fiat on the R7 highway near Slovakia’s capital. He stopped on a breakdown lane right under a CCTV. The recording shows him preparing and also consuming a line of crystalline substance before hitting the road again. Bratislava police said on the social network “it’s alarming that the driver proceeded to drive after getting intoxicated”. However, it was not the recording that made the police trace the driver. Traffic patrol stopped the very same driver about two weeks later in the streets of Bratislava. As he appeared to be under the influence of drugs, they forced him to undergo a test. The test then revealed that he had cocaine and THC in his blood. After that, the officers realized it’s the same man as in the video. (Squeekly)


Hindu group offers cow urine in a bid to ward off coronavirus

A Hindu group hosted a cow urine drinking party as they believe it wards off the coronavirus, as many Hindus consider the cow sacred and some drink cow urine believing it has medicinal properties. The “party,” hosted by a group called the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (All India Hindu Union) at its headquarters in the country’s capital, was attended by 200 people, and the organizers hoped to host similar events elsewhere in India. “We have been drinking cow urine for 21 years, we also take bath in cow dung. We have never felt the need to consume English medicine,” said a person who attended the party. The chief of the All India Hindu Union posed for photographs as he placed a spoon filled with cow urine near the face of a caricature of the coronavirus. Leaders from Prime Minister of Hindu nationalist party have advocated the use of cow urine as medicine and a cure for cancer. Experts have repeatedly asserted that cow urine does not cure illnesses like cancer and there is no evidence that it can prevent coronavirus. (The Straits Times)


Give your brain some breaks

Since many companies introduced the work-from-home model during the pandemic, millions of workers have become grudgingly familiar with “Zoom fatigue” as the boundaries between work and life evaporated. One way to avoid feeling like you’re always “on” is to take breaks. And the next time you feel guilty asking for one, don’t be. Data actually show you’ll be more productive afterward. In addition to downtime, having shorter, more intentional meetings helps maintain engagement, according to a new Microsoft study. Here are three main takeaways:

  • Breaks between meetings give the brain an opportunity to reset.
  • Continuous meetings decrease focus.
  • Transitions between meetings can result in periods of high stress.



How overwhelmed people trip up

People who feel overwhelmed often double down on behaviors that can make their situations seem worse, according to an article in Harvard Business Review. The author suggests a series of steps people should take instead of employing their default behaviors, isolating themselves, not seeking help and thinking they’re weak. Specifically:

  • Take the time to do something that will make the situation easier.
  • Take a break to let your mind wander and possibly stumble on solutions.
  • Be compassionate to yourself and the situation.
  • Evaluate your responses to the situation and what would be most helpful.
  • Make time to connect with others to help balance your emotions.

(Harvard Business Review)


Polish scientists discover ancient Egyptian mummy was pregnant woman

An ancient Egyptian mummy once believed to be the remains of a male priest is actually the embalmed body of a woman in the third trimester of pregnancy, Polish scientists said. An anthropologist at the Warsaw Mummy Project was examining a CT scan of a mummy at the National Museum in the Polish capital when she spotted something peculiar. When she looked at the lesser pelvis of the mummy, she thought she saw a tiny foot. She asked her husband, an archaeologist who also worked on the project, to take a look and he agreed to the discovery. The mummy came to Poland in the 19th century when the nascent University of Warsaw was creating an antiquities collection. For decades, it was thought the mummy belonged to an ancient Egyptian priest named Hor-Dehuti. However, scientists at the Warsaw Mummy Project said the mummy was in fact a woman in her twenties who was between 26 and 28 weeks pregnant. The cause of death is not clear, but the researchers said the pregnancy may have had something to do with it. The discovery sheds some light on the little-known role of children in ancient Egypt and the religious beliefs of the time, but also raises many questions, according to the co-director of the Warsaw Mummy Project. (Reuters)


Court Upholds City’s $30,000 Fine for Florida Man’s Overgrown Lawn

A federal court has upheld a Florida city’s decision to issue nearly $30,000 in code violation fines to a homeowner whose grass was overgrown. Following a two-year legal battle, a judge from the Middle District of Florida ruled this week that the 71-year-old homeowner will have to pay the fines to the city of Dunedin, Florida. The city issued the fines in 2018 and the owner sued in May 2019 after the city sought to foreclose on his home to collect them, according to court records. His lawyers argued the fines were excessive and given with no notice. City officials defended the fines, saying the owner was a repeat violator in 2015, subjecting him to $500 per-day fines for future violations. This includes having grass that grows taller than 10 inches. The man claimed he wasn’t properly notified about the fines. He said he had left home for two weeks in July 2018 to manage his mother’s estate. That’s when the first fines were issued by the city, the newspaper reported. During that time, he said the man who mowed his law died. When he returned home, he tried to mow his overgrown lawn and his mower broke, the lawsuit said. Nearly two months passed before the man knew he owed fines. When the bill arrived it was totaled $29,833.50, the lawsuit said. He was ordered to attend an August 2019 Code Enforcement Board hearing, but he missed it because he was in South Carolina to manage another issue with his mother’s estate, he said. The board voted on September 4, 2019, that the fines would stand. The man said he won’t stop fighting his fines until he has exhausted every possible option. (NBC Miami)


5 former volunteer firefighters charged with arson

A neighbor still has video on his cell phone of the house across the street on fire. The man says the 2 a.m. fire was frightening. “It was massive and burned for a couple hours. After putting it out you could see the roof collapsing”, he said. Now fire investigators and prosecutors say that fire was set by some of the firefighters in that man’s video. The very people who responded to put it out. The Prince George’s County, Maryland State’s Attorney announced the indictments of five former volunteer firefighters from the West Lanham Hills Volunteer Fire Department. They’re accused of setting not just that fire, but also three others in the area during a month-long spree in December 2019 and January 2020. Nobody was hurt fighting the fires or in the houses. They were all vacant at the time. Each was set, according to investigators, when the defendants would be on duty and the ones to respond. Recreation appears to be the only motive. It’s the latest in a long list of problems for the West Lanham Hills VFD. Three weeks ago, their treasurer was indicted for allegedly embezzling more than $100,000 from the department. Also last year, they came under scrutiny for failing to respond at all to a fatal fire and were replaced by paid firefighters in one of their houses. (WJLA)


Elderly couple uses military Morse Code training to escape Tennessee assisted living facility

A husband and wife briefly escaped from a secure memory unit at an assisted living facility in Lebanon last month by using military experience with Morse code to decipher and memorize the code to an electronic door lock, according to Tennessee Department of Health documents obtained through a public records request. The couple, who have dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, went missing from Elmcroft of Lebanon, Tennessee for about 30 minutes on March 2nd before a stranger found them walking down a road two blocks from the facility, according to the documents. Once back at the facility, staff were curious about how the couple had escaped from the facility’s memory unit, which is secured by a locked door with an electronic keypad, documents state. The man had “previously worked with Morse code in the military” and was able to use this experience to learn the door code by listening as staff punched numbers into the keypad, documents state. As a result of the escape, the facility was fined $2,000 by state officials. The assisted living facility told state regulators it will prevent similar incidents by checking on residents more frequently and scheduling the man who escaped for “walking time outside the facility with a staff member present,” according to state records. Elmcroft of Lebanon also changed all its exit codes, according to a statement provided by the company. (The Tennessean)


New grads face stiffer competition

College graduates will be breaking into a booming jobs market, and even though job postings are now almost 20% higher than they were pre-pandemic, new grads still face daunting challenges in order to get hired. They’ll face tough competition from 2020 grads and younger job seekers who were laid off during the pandemic. Still, there are ways to stand out. Instead of cold-applying to countless jobs, career advisers suggest a “side door” approach, networking and fostering personal connections, including reaching out to alumni in the same field, to get a leg up. (The Wall Street Journal)


Creek fills with foam after laundry powder applied to nearby rooftops to control moss

A City in Canada is investigating after residents witnessed large pillows of foam floating in a local creek a few days after laundry powder was spread on the rooftops of a nearby townhouse complex, in which is making citizens concerned the foam will harm wildlife in and around the Creek. Officials with the province’s Ministry of Environment said they, along with the city leaders, and Environment Canada, are monitoring the situation, but confirm the substance causing all the foam is Tide powdered detergent. Using laundry detergent to deter moss from growing on roofs is a remedy easily found through an online search, but it also comes with warnings that the technique can be dangerous, damage roofs, and potentially the environment. Health Canada regulates pesticides in Canada. Tide laundry detergent does not specify on its label that it can be used as a herbicide. Detergents contain surfactants and bleaches to break up stains that otherwise wouldn’t dissolve in water, according to ingredient listings. The city’s bylaw department is also investigating but has not said whether there will be any penalties to the contractor or strata for use of the detergent. The province said the contractor has been asked to take action to clean up the foam, but said there doesn’t appear to be any negative impacts on fish habitat. (CBC)



Tuesday Is The Smack Daddy Of The Week With:

  • Bird Day
  • Candied Orange Peel Day
  • Childhood Depression Awareness Day (First Tuesday)
  • Foster Care Day (First Tuesday in May)
  • International Firefighters Day
  • International Respect for Chickens Day
  • Orange Juice Day
  • Petite and Proud Day
  • Renewal Day
  • Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You!)
  • Teacher Appreciation Day (Tuesday of the First Full Week in May)
  • Weather Observers Day
  • World Asthma Day (First Tuesday)
  • World Give Day


Historical Events

1814 – Emperor Napoleon I of France arrives at Portoferraio on the island of Elba to begin his exile.

1855 – American adventurer William Walker departs from San Francisco with about 60 men to conquer Nicaragua.

1869 – The Naval Battle of Hakodate Bay is fought in Japan.

1871 – The National Association, the first professional baseball league, opens its first season in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

1886 – Haymarket Square Riot: A bomb is thrown at policemen trying to break up a labor rally in Chicago, Illinois, United States, killing eight and wounding 60. The police fire into the crowd.

1904 – The United States begins construction of the Panama Canal.

1912 – Italy occupies the Greek island of Rhodes.

1949 – The entire Torino football team (except for two players who did not take the trip: Sauro Tomà, due to an injury and Renato Gandolfi, because of coach request) is killed in a plane crash at the Superga hill at the edge of Turin, Italy.

1979 – Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

1998 – A federal judge in Sacramento, California, gives “Unabomber” Theodore Kaczynski four life sentences plus 30 years after Kaczynski accepts a plea agreement sparing him from the death penalty.