Monday, May 10, 2021

Man watches thief steal girlfriend’s car at Michigan gas station

In what appears to be a classic crime of opportunity, a Melvindale, Michigan man who left his vehicle unlocked at the pump to walk inside a gas station watched in disbelief as a thief stole it. The victim told police that his girlfriend allows him to use her black Chrysler 300 when he needs to purchase food or merchandise from the store. He said upon arriving at the gas station, he parked at one of the pumps and noticed what he believed was a gold Taurus at the pump next to him. He said two men were inside the vehicle, but nothing seemed suspicious at the time. As he headed into the gas station, a man was walking out of the building as he was walking in. The victim said he ran outside and observed both the Taurus he had parked next to, as well as his girlfriend’s Chrysler, taking off at a high rate of speed. During the investigation, the gas station clerk told police that a brown Honda Pilot was parked next to the Chrysler 300 and when the victim left the vehicle running when he walked into the gas station, a man got out of the Pilot and into the Chrysler, then sped off. The following morning, an officer returned to the gas station to go over video surveillance footage. The officer said the video showed the rear driver-side passenger got out of the Honda Pilot and entered the Chrysler 300. Police are still investigating. (News Herald)


People are Eating Rotten, Raw Meat to ‘Get High’ in Dangerous Online Trend

Of all the bizarre and dangerous trends to gain traction on social media, a practice known as eating “high meat” might be the all-time grossest and most nauseating. The appalling diet trend encourages people to let raw meat rot for several months or even a year before eating it. Once adequately rancid, the decomposed raw meat (aka “high meat”) is consumed, and a supposedly euphoric, “high” feeling soon overtakes the person eating. While some reportedly eat high meat for its alleged mind-altering effects, others actually say they prefer the taste of the rotten flesh, is often described as cheesy and more acidic than your average steak. Raw and fermented meat is eaten all around the world and has been for centuries, cured meats like salami are a perfect example, but those examples are not at all similar to the uncontrolled rot featured in so-called “high meat.” (IFL Science)


Picking an imperfect job

People who are looking for work should ultimately be looking for the right job, but that doesn’t mean they’ll find a perfect position. In fact, expecting a job to be perfect may set you up for disappointment, according to researchers. They suggest try using a few steps when selecting a job.

  • Have measured expectations
  • Apply and do your research
  • Know your non-negotiables
  • Go with your gut



Smile! Your colleagues are watching

While comfy sweatpants and upgraded home office setups were among the top priorities for the millions who began working remotely amid the pandemic, dental work was not. But that’s beginning to change as workers contemplate a possible return to offices. As fashion retailers report a brisk uptick in sales, dentists say they are now being swarmed by long-absent patients. Endless Zoom calls have left many with far too much time to “parse their cosmetic shortcomings on screen,” whether real or perceived. Now, the makers of Invisalign clear aligners say sales are up 69% as workers look to enhance their smiles ahead of facing mask-free colleagues. (The Wall Street Journal)


Montana to end unemployment pay boost due to worker shortage

Montana is ending its participation in the federal unemployment program that gives people extra weekly unemployment benefit payments as the state struggles with a worker shortage, Republican Governor Greg Gianforte announced. Beginning June 27th, unemployed workers in the state will no longer receive $300 in weekly extra benefits funded by the federal government through September 6th. The state will launch a new program to give bonuses to unemployed workers who return to work. (Associated Press)


US adds fewer than forecast jobs

Falling well short of expectations, the U.S. economy added 226,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate ticked back up to 6.1%. Not only did new payrolls miss forecasts for 1 million new jobs last month, March gains were revised lower, to 770,000 from 916,000. With reports of job openings left unfilled, the report is likely to fuel debate on the impact of extended jobless benefits amid a prolonged pandemic. But a year of business shutdowns also appear to have kinked a rebound. Labor force participation, those working or searching for work, rose to its highest level since August. Women’s participation fell again for the first time since January, led by a defection of 5% of Latinas in the workforce. A year ago, as the virus took hold, unemployment rocketed to 14.8% as payrolls dropped by 20.7 million, an all-time record. (Bloomberg)


9,000 fliers may have had reused swabs jammed up their noses in Indonesia

Since last December, more than 9,000 airline passengers who took a coronavirus rapid test as they flew out of Kualanamu International Airport in Medan, Indonesia, may have been tested by having previously used cotton swabs jammed into their noses. The police arrested four workers and a local manager of the major pharmaceutical company Kimia Farma, which was working in conjunction with the airport to help perform the tests. The employees were allegedly washing and repacking cotton swabs for the tests while pocketing up to the equivalent $125,000, local police said. Airline passengers in Indonesia are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding, and many opt for the convenience of being tested at the airport. Since the alleged swab scam began in December, workers were testing between 100 and 200 passengers a day at the airport, some with fresh tests and others with tests that apparently involved reused swabs. The alleged scam came to light when passengers began complaining of false-positive tests. In response, local police sent an undercover officer to pose as a passenger to get tested. The officer tested positive at the airport but then received a negative test elsewhere. Police raided the airport test site and discovered swab recycling. They also seized the equivalent of $10,000. Medan police chief said that police are now trying to follow up with passengers to see if any contracted COVID-19 from the reused swabs. The Kimia Farma testing site has now been shut down, and the airport is working with other companies to offer tests to passengers. (South China Morning Post)


‘DWI Dude’ gets 15 1/2 years in prison for scamming Colombian narcos

A 65-year-old male lawyer in Austin, Texas who is known as the “DWI Dude” for his area of practice was sentenced recently to about 15 1/2 years in federal prison for shaking down Colombian drug traffickers for over $1 million on the false promise of being able to make their charges go away. The veteran lawyer who made a name for himself defending people charged with drunken driving, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit money laundering, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He also was found guilty of attempting to violate the Kingpin Act for accepting money from men whom the feds designated as significant drug traffickers without official government permission. The United States District Judge noted that the over 200 pages of character letters about the man which he received was the most he had ever seen in a case. The judge said he “struggled” with his sentencing decision but noted that the accused was an officer of the court. “A message has to be sent for future lawyers,” the judge said. (Dallas News)


CEOs rethink degree requirements

Some companies are pushing to drop degree requirements for many jobs, saying four years of post-secondary education may not actually be needed for a range of entry-level positions. The move could help address inequalities in business and society. Companies like IBM have dropped a number of degree requirements for hiring in recent years, saying propensity to learn was more important than pedigree. (The Wall Street Journal)


How to get your groove back

As we all slowly emerge from the pandemic haze, many of us may be experiencing mixed emotions of joy and fear, and maybe even a little dread. If you’re ready to kick the blahs and flourish, data shows that even just a few simple steps can help us (re)fill our cups so we can have a “sense of fulfillment, purpose and happiness” once again. Some of them include:

  • Assess yourself
  • Savor and celebrate small things
  • Do five good deeds

(The New York Times)


Embrace fresh start in office return

Many workers across the globe are turning the lights off in the home office and returning to office buildings. A professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School says we should frame this change as the end of a chapter, and the beginning of a new one. This gives us the opportunity to be “deliberate about the way we build new habits.” We can increase efficiency back at the office by blocking calendars with “important but non-urgent tasks.” And if you tried something new while at home, like running on a break, you should try to continue this. (Bloomberg)


Chicken prices are flying high

With many Americans cooped up, restaurants like KFC and Buffalo Wild Wings have promoted fried chicken sandwiches and takeout wings. Now, they’re paying steep prices for scarce poultry. Chicken breasts, an industry staple, have more than doubled in price since the beginning of the year, according to market research firm Urner Barry. Although some restaurants have hiked up menu prices to help bear costs, they still can’t keep up with demand. Last month, KFC had to remove items from its online menus due to tight supplies. (Yahoo News)


Researchers are trying to find out if message in a bottle really come from the Titanic

A team of researchers at the Université du Québec à Rimouski are working to determine if a letter that washed up on shore in Canada was actually written more than a century ago. “I am throwing this bottle into the sea, in the middle of the Atlantic. We are due to arrive in New York in a few days,” the letter reads. “If someone finds it, contact the Lefebvre family in Liévin.” The message, which is signed “Mathilde Lefebvre,” was found by a New Brunswick family in the sands near the Bay of Fundy in 2017. “So far, we have not caught a smoking gun of a forgery,” said a history and archeology professor at the Université du Québec à Rimouski, who is studying the letter. It is known for a fact that there was a passenger on the Titanic named Mathilde Lefebvre. The team needs to carbon date the letter by verifying the materials it was written on and with, as well as the bottle it was found in and the cork that kept it sealed. He said someone could have used the old materials to forge the letter, years after the ship sank. Alternatively, someone could have forged it all the way back in 1912. Researchers also say at first glance, it may look like cursive, early-20th-century handwriting, but there are inconsistencies with what children learned in school in France. (CBC)


Monday Splashes Us With:

  • Clean Up Your Room Day
  • Dia De La Madre
  • Golf Day
  • Hampster Day
  • Lipid Day
  • Shrimp Day
  • Washington Day
  • Women’s Checkup Day (Second Monday in May)
  • World Lupus Day


Historical Events

1534 – Jacques Cartier visits Newfoundland.

1774 – Louis XVI becomes King of France.

1801 – First Barbary War: The Barbary pirates of Tripoli declare war on the United States of America.

1824 – The National Gallery in London opens to the public.

1864 – American Civil War: Colonel Emory Upton leads a 10-regiment “Attack-in-depth” assault against the Confederate works at The Battle of Spotsylvania, which, though ultimately unsuccessful, would provide the idea for the massive assault against the Bloody Angle on May 12. Upton is slightly wounded but is immediately promoted to Brigadier general.

1869 – The First Transcontinental Railroad, linking the eastern and western United States, is completed at Promontory Summit, Utah (not Promontory Point, Utah) with the golden spike.

1908 – Mother’s Day is observed for the first time in the United States, in Grafton, West Virginia.

1941 – World War II: Rudolf Hess parachutes into Scotland to try to negotiate a peace deal between the United Kingdom and Nazi Germany.

1942 – World War II: The Thai Phayap Army invades the Shan States during the Burma Campaign.

1960 – The nuclear submarine USS Triton completes Operation Sandblast, the first underwater circumnavigation of the earth.