The 10 worst jobs in America right now

Not all careers are created equal. Take journalism, for example. High stress, low growth, very low pay. Why would anyone choose this field? (You're asking the wrong person.) According to CareerCast, who ranked the 200 most common jobs in America, journalism is a pretty crummy field to be in this year (as in, last place on the list).

CareerCast used metrics such as "growth outlook, income, environmental conditions and stress" as their basis in creating this list. Here is the methodology they used.

And now (...drumroll...), here are the 10 worst jobs of 2017:

1. Newspaper reporter (Median Salary: $37,820)

2. Broadcaster (Median Salary: $38,870)

3. Logger (Median Salary: $37,590)

4. Enlisted military personnel (Median Salary: $27,936)

5. Pest control worker (Median Salary: $33,040)

6. Disc jockey (Median Salary: $30,830)

7. Advertising salesperson (Median Salary: $50,380)

8. Firefighter (Median Salary: $48,030)

9. Retail salesperson (Median Salary: $22,900)

10. Taxi driver (Median Salary: $24,300)

And in case you're wondering, the very best job these days is that of statistician (Median Salary: $80,110). To see CareerCast's full list of 200 ranked jobs, click here.

Image: Israel Government Press Office Read the rest

Johnny Depp surprises Pirates of the Caribbean riders as live animatronic at Disneyland

Haha! Lucky riders on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland were treated to a live Jack Sparrow animatronics performance yesterday by Johnny Depp. He made a surprise visit to the park as part of a PR stunt. It's fun to hear the passengers as they realize that the real Johnny Depp is standing right in front of them. Read the rest

Watch cool 84-year-old granny who is said to be world's oldest female sharpshooter

When Chandro Tomar was 65, she took her granddaughter, who was interested in learning how to shoot, to a rifle club. Tomar, from a small village in northern India, decided to try it herself, and fired some shots with a pistol. A coach noticed her natural skill, and since then Tomar has won more than 25 national championships.

When she first began practicing, her family made fun of her, since women in their village are expected to stay home all day to do household chores. But once Tomar started winning medals they became impressed. She then began knocking door to door, recruiting girls in the village to learn the sport. The girls would ask their parents, "If this old granny can do it, why can't we?" And so she now teaches the girls how to shoot. "It will be useful to them," she says.

Tomar, who has 8 children and 15 grandchildren, never plans to retire from her sport. "I'll keep shooting until my last breath."

This video is part of Great Big Story's "Human Condition" series of short "microdocs". Read the rest

The Simpsons on Trump's first 100 days in office

Here is The Simpsons' take on Trump's 100th day in the White House, which includes Sean Spicer hanging himself with a sign that says, "I Quit!" and a strangling match between Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon. We also get to see Trump in his jammies, lying in bed with a remote in his hand. An aide comes to his side and asks him to read a bill that will lower taxes for Republicans. "Can't Fox News read it and I'll watch what they say?" the president asks.

With the 100th day hitting us this Saturday, thank god for comic relief! Read the rest

Ann Coulter cancels Berkeley speech after conservative sponsors back out

Ann Coulter was supposed to speak at UC Berkeley tomorrow night, but is canceling after the conservative groups who were sponsoring her, Young American's Foundation and the Berkeley College Republicans, backed out. Both groups say the atmosphere surrounding her visit has grown too hostile.

"It's a sad day for free speech," Coulter told The New York Times. But administrators at Berkeley see it differently.

“Sadly and unfortunately, concern for student safety seems to be in short supply in certain quarters,” he said. “This is a university, not a battlefield.” He added, “We must make every effort to hold events at a time and location that maximizes the chances that First Amendment rights can be successfully exercised and that community members can be protected.”

Administrators at Berkeley offered to hold the event next week, when students are no longer in class, but Coulter turned the offer down.

This comes two months after the university canceled conservative speaker Milo Yiannopoulos's event, after violence erupted on campus in protest to his appearance.

Photo by Gage Skidmore Read the rest

Watch: Dog barks with suspicion after owner loses 50 pounds, until he finally recognizes him

After spending five weeks in the hospital and losing 50 pounds, Shane Godfrey is home only to find that he's become unrecognizable to his dog, Willie. The dog barks and barks – personally I would have been scared – but Godfrey sits calmly until the dog comes over and sniffs. Finally recognizing him, the dog becomes overjoyed. Watch his adorable reaction.

Thanks News and Observer! Read the rest

RIP: Silence of the Lambs Director Jonathan Demme dies at 73

Director Jonathan Demme, best known for his horror-thriller movie Silence of the Lambs, has died in New York at age 73. He had been battling cancer.

My first introduction to Demme's work was his quirky 1986 film Something Wild, about a free spirited young woman (played by Melanie Griffith) who kidnaps an uptight yuppie (played by Jeff Daniels), who then are both held hostage by her creepy thug ex-boyfriend (played by Ray Liotta). I fell in madly love with this film, which turned me into an instant Demme fan.

Some of his other brilliant films include Married to the Mob, Philadelphia, The Manchurian Candidate, and his Talking Heads documentary Stop Making Sense. And the list goes on. He was survived by his second wife, Joanne Howard, and their three children, Ramona, Brooklyn and Jos. Our hearts at Boing Boing go out to his family.

For more on Demme, here's a write-up by Variety. Read the rest

A healthy 3-foot-long rabbit dies on United Airlines

It hasn't been a good month for United Airlines – or, rather, its passengers. First Dr. Dao gets beat up by security while sitting in his United seat until he's toothless and unconscious, while on the same day a scorpion on another United flight stings a passenger in the hand. This week the unlucky passenger was Simon, a 3-foot-long rabbit who was being sent from Heathrow to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. He was perfectly healthy upon boarding the plane, but was found dead when it was time to deboard in Chicago.

According to The Telegraph:

“Simon had a vet’s check-up three hours before the flight and was fit as a fiddle,” breeder Annette Edwards, of Stoulton, Worcs, told The Sun.

“Something very strange has happened and I want to know what. I’ve sent rabbits all around the world and nothing like this has happened before.”

At least United Airlines had the good sense to apologize this time around.

"We were saddened to hear this news,” a United Airlines spokeswoman said, according to the Mirror.

"The safety and wellbeing of all the animals that travel with us is of the utmost importance to United Airlines and our PetSafe team.

"We have been in contact with our customer and have offered assistance. We are reviewing this matter."

Simon, who had just been sold to an unnamed celebrity and was on his way to meeting his new owner, was the son of Darius, a rabbit who measured 4' 4" long and holds the Guiness World Record for the world's longest rabbit. Read the rest

Ice cream cones have orgy in Bill Nye's cartoon that criticizes Christian dogma

This cartoon from Bill Nye Saves the World uses various ice cream flavors as part of a hysterical analogy on the intolerant views of Christians when it comes to sexuality.

It starts off with various flavors of ice cream showing up at an "Ice Cream Conversion Therapy" group. Vanilla is the dogmatic leader of the group. "It's the science of feelings, and as vanilla, I feel that I am the most natural of the ice creams. And therefore the rest of you should just go ahead and also be vanilla. It's the one true flavor."

But his stance immediately weakens once he gets a quick lick of salted caramel, and then all hell breaks loose (literally, if you're a vanilla thinker) as they all jump into the bowl together and vanilla sees his true inner flavor. Read the rest

The first weed-friendly campground resort in the country just opened

With recreational pot legal in eight states plus Washington, DC, it's a little surprising that no one has opened a weed-friendly campground until now.

What used to be Lake Selmac resort in Selma, Oregon, is now Smoke on the Water campground, which offers boats, kayaks, paddle boards, fishing, a general store (which opens May 6), and, coming soon, a dispensary.

The campground was bought by Wayne Zallen, the CEO of Grow Condos, which helps connect cannabis entrepreneurs (growers, bakers, etc) to real estate. He just opened the campground on the appropriate day of 4/20, but said the campground is still in its early stages and needs lots of upgrades.

According to Oregon Cannabis Connection:

“We bought Lake Selmac Resort and we are re-branding it to the Smoke on the Water brand and doing a bunch of improvements,” Zallen told Oregon Cannabis Connection. “It was a pretty run-down park when we got it.”

“We will eventually have a dispensary on the property, we have a general store, and we will have munchies and camping supplies available,” He said. “we are putting up three custom tipis by [Nomadic Tipi Makers] out of Bend, Oregon and we have a couple of cottages for rent and plan on remodeling a [home] on the property into an Air BnB.”

Besides cottages, they have plenty of room for tents and RVs. And they're now taking reservations (541-597-2277).

Photo by Sam Howzit Read the rest

What do South Koreans really think of America?

From the Statue of Liberty and Chipotle to big boobs, Trump and racism, South Koreans tell us what they think of America – and Americans – in this episode of "What Asians Think of America" series by Asian Boss. Read the rest

You won't need a pilot's license to fly this flying car, available soon, and here's its first video

If you live near a lake in the US, you'll soon be able to zip across it in this Kitty Hawk Flyer. According to their site, the "ultralight aircraft," which is financially backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, will be available by the end of 2017. You won't need a registration or pilot's license to fly it, and the Flyer only takes minutes to learn how to operate it.

The final version of the Flyer won't look exactly like the prototype in this video, and the company hasn't yet come up with a price tag (at least not publicly). They explain that the Flyer, which is all electric, is not to be flown in cities, but rather "may be flown in uncongested areas in the US and is designed to be flown over fresh water." Thank god for that.

For now, brave souls can become a "member" of the Kitty Hawk Flyer for $100, which allows a 3-year membership to their community, a $2,000-discount off the retail price once that becomes available, and all kinds of other little perks like behind-the-scenes videos and previews not available to the rest of us. Read the rest

NYU grad student goes undercover in Chinese iPhone factory and it ain't pretty

NYU grad student Dejian Zeng worked undercover at an iPhone factory in Shanghai, China for six weeks, and "grim" is a nice way to describe it.

Zeng was in charge of one screw per phone, fastening the speaker to the back of the iPhone case. He had to show up at the factory at 7:30 and work 12 hours per day, but was only paid for 10 1/2 hours per day since breaks are unpaid. And his work week consisted of 6 days per week, for which he only gets paid $450/month, including overtime.

The workers live in prison cells, er, I mean dorm rooms that are as bleak as hell. They have only one uniform to wear all week, as well as a pair of slippers. But they do not receive an iPhone as a perk – it's rare to see anyone with a personal iPhone at the iPhone factory. Most workers have a phone that is cheaper.

The thing that shocked Zeng the most was the managers' attitudes - "yelling at the workers is kind of routine in the factories." But the good thing is that the company has installed nets around the stairs to prevent people from committing suicide. Oh, and the windows have cages around them so no one can jump out and kill themselves.

There are more fascinating details in this video. Good undercover work, Zeng! Read the rest

Watch: How to make the smallest cup of coffee in the world

Weaning yourself off coffee? You might want to try this! When designer Lucas Zanotto was asked by Finnish coffee company Paulig to create an ad for them, this is what he came up with. To brew the smallest cup of joe in the world, he uses one bean of Kenya AA-plus Karindum coffee, "grinds" it with a nail file, drops the fine grounds into the tiniest coffee filter you'll ever see, boils the water over a candle, and pours the dark brew into what looks like a vial.

To see more of Zanotto's brilliant work, click here. Read the rest

90-year-old woman bitten by venomous snake stomps on it, then drives herself—and the snake—to church

A 90-year-old woman in Mobile, AL wasn't going to let a venomous snakebite ruin her day. On her way to her weekly Crafty Critters club at church, Nell Toenes thought she saw a pretty leaf and picked it up. It turned out to be a snake that bit her in the hand.

Read the rest

Watch: Orphan baby kangaroo loves its new pouch

The Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs, Australia has fashioned a cloth pouch for their orphan joey named Terri, who is very excited to hop in. Read the rest

North Koreans spotted playing volleyball at nuclear test site

Looking at satellite images of North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear facility, the US monitoring group 38 North thought they might spot signs of a 6th nuclear test. Instead they found volleyball – in fact, three games were going on at the same time.

"An expert from 38 North said it either suggested the site is going into "standby mode" or that it's a deliberate ploy to confuse the U.S. and others monitoring the regime. The group, along with the South Korean and the U.S. governments, has said the recent activity around the site suggests Pyongyang is primed for a nuclear test and that it could happen at any time," says South Korea's Arirang News (video above).

According to CNN:

US military and intelligence analysis has remained the same for the last several weeks, and concludes that North Korea is ready and capable of conducting an underground nuclear test at any time. It's unlikely to give any warning.

And Reuters:

"We see that at three locations in the facility – in the main administrative area, at the support area, at the command center and at the guard barracks near the command center - they have volleyball games going on," said Joe Bermudez, an expert with 38 North, an independent North Korea monitoring project based in Washington.

Bermudez offered two possible explanations - that the test site could be going into "a standby mode" or that the games were intended to confuse observers, given North Korea knows that Punggye-ri is under constant observation.

Read the rest

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