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Christian miner who refused ‘Mark of the Beast’ Antichrist biometric hand scanner awarded $150K

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A mining company employee who refused to submit to biometric hand scanning because he feared the scanner would imprint him with the “Mark of the Beast,” was awarded $150,000 in damages by a federal jury last week.

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Serial: The Prosecutor's Interview, part two

Illustration for the Intercept by Eli Valley

Illustration for the Intercept by Eli Valley

Last week, The Intercept published Part 1 of an interview with Kevin Urick, the lead prosecutor in the murder trial of Adnan Syed. Here is Part 2.

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A "Mail... Kimp?" song you can dance to

Some crazed genius made a song from the MailChimp ad at the introduction to every Serial episode.

Neighbors dislike "terroristic threat" Christmas display in man's front yard

The display in Bill Ansell's yard features a beheaded choir and a urinating Santa Claus that lights up at night. Image: ABC News

The display in Bill Ansell's yard features a beheaded choir and a urinating Santa Claus that lights up at night. Image: ABC News

Bill Ansell's neighbors do not like his holiday display.

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Terror plumber truck of doom spotted in Syria

What the truck?

What the truck?

Back in November, Mark Oberholzer traded in one of his company's pickup trucks. Shortly thereafter, Oberholzer and his company began receiving death threats.

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Uber can track your one-night stands


Uber's bad PR just got worse.

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Residents of upscale LA neighborhoods pissed at Waze. They're fighting back in the most passive-aggressive way possible.


Waze is a smartphone app that offers real-time smart route alternatives to help drivers avoid congested freeways. In Los Angeles, Waze often directs drivers to side streets through upscale neighborhoods, so surface streets in neighborhoods also become congested with traffic.

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Road rage: expert level

When most people are tailgated, they slam on the brakes or slow down. This fellow stopped his car on the highway and stared at his tailgater.

Jailed former dictator Manuel Noriega suing game maker Activision


Panama's former military dictator Manuel Noriega claims he's entitled to compensation because his image appears in Activision's "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" without his consent.

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Stanford engineers built an earthquake-resistant house. Watch the shake test.

Engineers at Stanford have designed, built, and tested an earthquake-resistant house which has stayed upright even when subjected to three times the intensity of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

Florida Governor Charlie Crist has a fan that blows him every day. No. Wait.

This video frame grab made available by CBS 4, shows a fan at the bottom of the lectern near Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist in Davie, Fla., Wednesday Oct. 15, 2014. The fan caused a delay in the gubernatorial debate between Crist and Governor Rick Scott, after the Scott campaign considered the fan a violation of the rules prohibiting the use of electronic devices.

This video frame grab made available by CBS 4, shows a fan at the bottom of the lectern near Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist in Davie, Fla., Wednesday Oct. 15, 2014. The fan caused a delay in the gubernatorial debate between Crist and Governor Rick Scott, after the Scott campaign considered the fan a violation of the rules prohibiting the use of electronic devices.

Florida Governor Charlie Crist insists on bringing an electric fan to campaign appearances. One GOP operative calls the fan Crist's "teddy bear."

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Mow your lawn or go to jail

A Tennessee woman was sentenced to jail for neglecting her yard work.

The judge sentenced her to 5 days, but later reduced it to 6 hours.

CBS | Local 8

Crow insults man

Video by Charles Benoist. “At the DMV and a black crow comes over and said 'fuck you.”

Chicago's dirty trick to increase red-light camera fines

Like many other cities, Chicago uses red-light cameras to ensure traffic safety and to generate revenue from tickets issued to people who drive through red lights.

A recent investigation revealed the city of Chicago made a small but significant change to the time a yellow light changes to red. The Federal Department of Transportation recommends yellow lights of 3 to 6 full seconds in duration. Chicago's yellow lights are 2.9 seconds in duration. Chicago's short yellow lights resulted in more than 77,000 tickets and generated nearly 8M for the city.

Three days after the Chicago Tribune questioned city officials about the short yellow lights, the city suspended the practice on Sept. 22. Weeks later, city officials said they would end the practice--but they would keep the money. Chicago Tribune | ABA Journal

LA bus passenger: "Don't mess with me, I have ebola."

Ebola Virus at 108,000 Magnification. The Los Angeles bus passenger is not believed to have actually contained this virus within his person.

Ebola Virus at 108,000 Magnification. The Los Angeles bus passenger is not believed to have actually contained this virus within his person.

Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies spent Monday searching for a man in a surgical mask who boarded a bus and told the driver, “Don’t mess with me; I have Ebola.” When he got off the bus, the man took off his mask and dropped it on the floor of the bus.

The bus driver kicked everyone off the bus and drove the bus to a yard, where both the bus and the driver were sequestered for two hours. The driver was taken to a local hospital where he was examined and released. The bus remained taped off until hazmat crews and officials concluded an investigation.

LA County Metro officials are reviewing surveillance video from inside the bus to help apprehend the man, and are treating the scare as a terrorist threat. Reuters | LA Times

Woman accuses restaurant patrons of eating her "little girl"

Kelly Atlas, an activist with Direct Action Everywhere, delivered to diners at Bluestem in San Francisco a tearful, dramatic rant about her "little girl and her sisters."

The "little girl" is a chicken named Snow.

Passengers ebola joke triggers hazmat panic

When a dark-skinned man sneezed on a plane then joked about having ebola, the flight crew took no chances and called a team in hazardous material suits to escort him off the plane.

The passenger had never been in Africa. He did not have Ebola.

Amazon employees wait up to 30 minutes at end of day without pay [Update: Amazon responds]



If you must stand in line for over 30 minutes to clear a security check for your job, is that part of your job and should you be paid for that time?

That's the basis of a case the Supreme Court agreed to hear on Monday. At the end of their shifts, workers at Amazon warehouses in Nevada had to pass through security checks as part of an anti-theft procedure. Workers said they often spent nearly 30 minutes waiting for the checks, and they should be paid for that time.

Amazon vehemently disagrees. "Security screenings are indistinguishable from many other tasks that have been found non-compensable under the FLSA, such as waiting to punch in and out on the time clock, walking from the parking lot to the work place, waiting to pick up a paycheck, or waiting to pick up protective gear before donning it for a work shift," an Amazon staffing contractor wrote in a brief to the court.

Update: An Amazon spokesperson emailed with a brief response.

We have a longstanding practice of not commenting on pending litigation, but data shows that employees walk through post shift security screening with little or no wait.

Kelly Cheeseman
Amazon Corporate Communications

Man arrested for shooting drone

A man in New Jersey was arrested after using a shotgun to shoot down his neighbor's drone. The neighbor was using the drone to take photographs of a nearby home undergoing renovations.

Police arrested the man and charged him with “possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and criminal mischief.” Lawyers are trying to determine how to proceed, because without direct precedent for people shooting down flying camera robots, the future of drone laws may hinge on one annoyed New Jersey man with a shotgun.

[It's a good time to re-read Larry Niven's 1972 short story, "Cloak of Anarchy" - Mark]

Woman sues sperm bank after becoming pregnant with black donor's sperm


An Ohio woman is suing a sperm bank after she became pregnant with sperm donated by a black man instead of a white man as she and her partner had intended.

The woman says she and her partner love their 2-year-old daughter very much and wouldn't change anything about her. But they are concerned about raising her in the predominantly white community where they live.

The woman is seeking damages and wants to ensure the sperm bank doesn't make another similar mistake.

Lawyer representing victims of nude photo leak compares Google to NFL


An attorney representing several of the celebrities whose nude pictures were circulated online is threatening to sue Google for allegedly not doing enough to prevent the photos from spreading online.

Jerry Brown will force open public beach gate locked by billionaire

On Tuesday, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation allowing the state to forcibly open the public access road to Martins Beach if Vinod Khosla fails or refuses to voluntarily restore public access to the beach.

Last Wednesday, Khosla lost his court battle to cut off access to Martins Beach. A San Mateo County judge ruled Khosla must reopen the gate to Martins Beach, a crescent-shaped inlet five miles south of Half Moon Bay.

(Celebration idea: BB meetup at Martins Beach!)

Previously on BB:

Billionaire tech VC Vinod Khosla owns the very tides, sea, sands (or so he claims)

Woman beaten by CHP cop to receive $1.5 million

The woman beaten by a CHP Officer Daniel Andrew will receive $1.5 million under a settlement, and Officer Daniel Andrew has "elected" to resign.

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Restaurant wants to make Yelp unreliable

yelpBotto Bistro in Richmond, California is unconcerned about its Yelp rating. In an effort to undermine the reliability of its Yelp page, Botto Bistro is working to be the worst-rated restaurant in the Bay Area and is encouraging its customers to leave one-star Yelp reviews and offering deals for anyone who writes a bad review: 25% off any pizza and a chance to win a cooking class.

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Zen and the art of fighting crime


Dan Stevenson is neither a Buddhist, nor a follower of any organized religion.

Mr. Stevenson, a resident of Oakland's Eastlake neighborhood, purchased a 2-foot Buddha and installed it on a median strip in his neighborhood, near 11th Avenue and 19th Street. Stevenson hoped his small gesture would bring tranquillity to a neighborhood marred by crime--dumping, graffiti, drug dealing, prostitution, robberies, aggravated assault and burglaries.

After he installed the statue, local residents began leaving gifts and flowers, and chanting prayers. When police checked crime statistics for the block radius around the statue, here's what they found: Since 2012, when worshipers began showing up for daily prayers, overall year-to-date crime has dropped by 82 percent. Robbery reports went from 14 to three, aggravated assaults from five to zero, burglaries from eight to four, narcotics from three to none, and prostitution from three to none.

California drought photos: Before and OMG WTF

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 3.54.40 PM

Overlapping images of the drought in California, with an adjustable before-and-after slider.

A man named Bunny Boots Ink makes "First Amendment Test" videos

"Ever wonder what would happen when you get confronted by MP's and military investigation unit outside of the base and don't say much to them?"—Bunny Boots Ink.

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Some parents say sex-ed book has too much sexy sex


Parents in Fremont, California are alarmed and demanding the removal of a health textbook that talks about masturbation, foreplay, vibrators, oral sex, and erotic touch, as well as other sexual education topics such as bondage.

Teri Topham, whose daughter is going into ninth grade in Fremont and who teaches high school at a Fremont charter school, said she would throw the book, titled Your Health Today out. "I flipped through it and saw sections that mentioned bondage with ropes and handcuffs," Topham said. "Not only does it have material that is too explicit and inappropriate, it doesn't meet their need for their ages. I am astounded the health teachers and school board said, 'yes, this is the best book we could find.'"

The school is planning to keep the book.

Pope to Teens: Get Off The Damn Internet


On Tuesday, Pope Francis--who has called the Internet "a gift from God"--urged 50,000 German altar servers not to waste time on the Internet, smartphones and television, but to spend their time on more productive activities.

Pope Francis did not say whether "wasting time on the Internet" included reading the Pope's own Twitter feed.

"Maybe many young people waste too many hours on futile things," the pope said in a short speech to the altar servers — young people who help the priest during religious services — who had come to Rome on a pilgrimage. "Our life is made up of time, and time is a gift from God, so it is important that it be used in good and fruitful actions." Activities cited by Francis as futile were: "chatting on the Internet or with smartphones, watching TV soap operas, and (using) the products of technological progress, which should simplify and improve the quality of life, but distract attention away from what is really important."

Artist's self portraits reflect progression of Alzheimer’s disease

American artist William Utermohlen (1933-2007) was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1995. For the remaining five years of his life, he painted self-portraits which revealed the progression of the disease and its effects, as well as Mr. Utermohlen's heartbreaking, desperate attempts to understand what was happening to him.