A 28-year-old gentleman in Gulfport, MS crashed his pickup truck into a courthouse in order to report that someone had stolen his drug paraphernalia. After his truck smashed into the courthouse's glass wall, however, he had a change of heart, slipped out of his truck's passenger window, and took off.
Keith Rio Cavalier, who had been driving under the influence, was later caught and arrested. He admitted that at the time, he thought intentionally crashing his car into the courthouse was a good way to contact the police.
Fortunately for the people of Gulfport, Cavalier is, at least for now, is sitting in the Harrison County jail.
Image: Gulfport Police Department Read the rest
About 90% of elephants living in Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park were slaughtered for their tusks by poachers during Mozambique's 15-year civil war that ended in 1992. The poachers then profited by selling the tusks to finance weapons. As a result, we're now seeing a growing population of elephants in the country born without tusks. Tuskless females, for instance, have jumped from 2%-4% of the population to around 33%.
According to National Geographic:
Hunting gave elephants that didn’t grow tusks a biological advantage in Gorongosa. Recent figures suggest that about a third of younger females—the generation born after the war ended in 1992—never developed tusks. Normally, tusklessness would occur only in about 2 to 4 percent of female African elephants.
Decades ago, some 4,000 elephants lived in Gorongosa, says Joyce Poole—an elephant behavior expert and National Geographic Explorer who studies the park’s pachyderms. But those numbers dwindled to triple digits following the civil war. New, as yet unpublished, research she’s compiled indicates that of the 200 known adult females, 51 percent of those that survived the war—animals 25 years or older—are tuskless. And 32 percent of the female elephants born since the war are tuskless.
Sadly, this isn't the only population of elephants losing their numbers – and their tusks – to poachers. In South Africa, "fully 98 percent of the 174 females in Addo Elephant National Park were reportedly tuskless in the early 2000s."
Used to defend themselves, as well as for digging, protecting their trunk, and helping them strip bark from trees in order to eat, tusks are enlarged incisor teeth that are essential to their daily well-being. Read the rest
Pedro Volta, an escape artist from northern Spain, was paying tribute to Houdini at an international magic festival near Madrid by trying to get out of a water tank while wearing a strait jacket. In the video, it's not clear at first that he is struggling, but he later told reporters that he had trouble with a buckle to release his arms. "I made an effort and managed to release the buckle but the energy and oxygen used in doing so was too much."
It wasn't until he lost consciousness and his body went limp that onlookers realized he was in serious trouble and people rushed to rescue him. Once they lifted him out he quickly regained consciousness.
Via Metro Read the rest
Hearing about Northern California's Camp Fire – or any fire for that matter – is scary enough. But seeing what it's like to escape for your life by driving right through a massive fire so that you can't see anything in front of you is absolutely terrifying. The fire spread so quickly – "80 football fields per minute," says The Guardian – that some people barely escaped, while others have died.
This video was taken by Brynn Parrott Chatfield, from the town of Paradise, which has been destroyed by the fire. The fire, which started Thursday morning around 6:30am, has burned over 20,000 acres so far, forcing "about 50,000 people to evacuate," according to The Guardian.
Via The Guardian:
Read the rest
As CNN points out, over 2,200 firefighters are currently battling the Camp Fire and they face a tough road ahead. The combination of dry conditions and high winds are making this a particularly difficult fire to fight.
Multiple fatalities have been reported but it’s not yet clear how many people might be dead. The exact number of injuries is also unknown and authorities still don’t know what caused the blaze.
What happens when you keep your television off for about two months? Sometimes, once you turn it back on, you'll find it has become home to an ant colony, at least for one guy who posted this video on reddit, showing a city of ants busying themselves behind his television screen. He asks the reddit world what he should do to get rid of them.
One commenter suggested leaving the TV on with bright white light, which would supposedly encourage the ants to move to a darker place, while another commenter said he might try taking the television apart and cleaning it, but damaging the set would be a risk. Another said there was no other solution but to toss this TV and buy a new one.
And why are there ants in the TV set? Maybe they are "raspberry crazy ants," which are drawn to electrical equipment. According to Wikipedia:
Read the rest
Infestations of Nylanderia fulva in electrical equipment can cause short circuits, sometimes because the ants chew through insulation and wiring. Overheating, corrosion, and mechanical failures also result from accumulations of dead ants and nest detritus in electrical devices. If an ant is electrocuted, it can release an alarm pheromone in dying, which causes other ants to rush over and search for attackers. If a large enough number of ants collects, it may short out systems.
It is unclear why colonies of Nylanderia fulva, like many species of ants, are attracted to electrical equipment. They may sense the magnetic fields that surround wires conducting electric current, or they prefer the warmth produced by resistance to the currents in the wires.
A popular UK grocery store – Iceland – became the first major supermarket to take palm oil out of all of its own products. The production of palm oil, which is used in everything from cooking oil to snacks and baked goods to cosmetics and shampoos, is contributing to mass deforestation in countries like Malaysia, and is responsible in part for the loss of 25 orangutans per day. The organutans are now classified as critically endangered.
But Iceland took their environmental stance a step further and teamed up with Greenpeace to rebadge this Christmas ad in order to bring awareness to the issue. But, unfortunately, the ad was banned because Clearcast says "it doesn’t comply with the political rules of the BCAP code."
According to The Guardian:
Clearcast, the body responsible for vetting ads before they are broadcast to the public, said it was in breach of rules banning political advertising laid down by the 2003 Communications Act.
One of the stipulations enshrined in the broadcast code for advertising practice (BCAP), is that an ad is prohibited if it is “directed towards a political end”.
“Clearcast and the broadcasters have to date been unable to clear this Iceland ad because we concerned that it doesn’t comply with the political rules of the BCAP code,” said a spokeswoman for Clearcast. “The creative submitted to us is linked to another organisation who have not yet been able to demonstrate compliance in this area.”
But an Iceland's spokesperson disagrees. “We wanted [the ad] to be our signature campaign...We have said repeatedly we are not anti-palm oil, we are anti-deforestation...We think this is a huge story that needs to be told. Read the rest
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, Trump's replacement for fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, thinks that if you're not Christian, you shouldn't be a federal judge.
Judges should be "people of faith" and need to have a “biblical view of justice," and Whitaker would like to see a person's "world view," because if they have a secular world view, he'd be "very concerned with how they judge."
Whitaker revealed his ignorance with these remarks during a 2014 conservative forum while vying for the Republican US Senate nomination in Iowa.
The takeaway from this: According to the acting Attorney General of the United States, if you're open-minded, don't be a judge. Read the rest
When Disney's Captain Marvel put out a PSA encouraging their fans to vote, they also, unwittingly, encouraged people to call a sex hotline.
In their get-out the-vote ad, Captain Marvel lead Brie Larson is standing in a phone booth surrounded by Rock the Vote posters. "CAPTAIN MARVOTE IS A BAD PUN BUT NOW THAT I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE VOTE TOMORROW," she says in a tweet.
But along with her encouraging words is a phone number displayed on the booth's telephone, a number which was obviously photoshopped by the folks on the Captain Marvel promotional team. Obvious because the number – 1-800-654-2192 – was an ABC number ("It used to appear in shows like The Suite Life of Zac and Cody, and if you called it, you got an automated message from the network," according to Daily Dot). And ABC is a subsidiary of Disney, who distributes Captain Marvel.
Of course some Marvel fans were intrigued by the number and gave it a call, but rather than connecting to a superhero, they were greeted by a recording that says: “Welcome to America’s hottest talk line. Guys, hot ladies are waiting to talk to you—press 1 now. Ladies, to talk to interesting and exciting guys, free, press 2 to connect free now...."
Either ABC is looking for new ways to turn a profit, or they dumped the number but forgot to delete it from their phone book. Read the rest
Beto O'Rourke was always a long shot running against incumbent Ted Cruz for Senate in the blood red state of Texas. But with a narrow loss of 51-48, O'Rourke kept it real and went out with a bang during his concession speech, telling his fans, “I want to thank this amazing campaign of people. Not a dime from a single PAC. All of you showing the country how to do this. I am so fucking proud of you guys.”
MSNBC later apologized for the not being quick enough with the censor button. "Sorry for the F-bomb. We have no control of what’s in the concession speeches,” anchor Brian Williams said.
Via Uproxx Read the rest
Size doesn't really matter, at least not for this feisty rat. Watch how it doesn't take any guff from the cat who thought it could bully a much tinier creature. Turns out the rat is the bully, and doesn't let up as it chases the cat out of town. Read the rest
Although scientists already believed that drinking coffee could possibly reduce the risk of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, a new study by Krembil Brain Institute in Toronto, Canada suggests that the kind of roast you drink might determine how much protection your cup of joe might actually give you. Read the rest
Earlier this year, a 35-year-old gentleman speed-drove his car – a Nissan GT-R – down a public street in Osaka, Japan at 174 mph (280 kph) while filming himself. It's considered one of the worst speeding violations ever on a Japanese highway. He then bragged about it by posting it on YouTube, only to get arrested after the police tracked him down. When questioned by police, he said, "I wanted everyone to watch it."
According to Digital Trends, "News outlets reported that the driver pushed the car to speeds faster than Japan’s famous bullet train, the high-speed rail service that runs almost the length of the entire country." But the news outlets aren't accurate, at least not according to Wikipedia, which says that bullet trains travel up to 200 mph.
What's fascinating about this video is watching the speedometer almost hit its limit. Read the rest
Nothing says "What bullshit!" better than a perfect eye-roll. And 21-year-old student Harriet Ellis said just that to right-wing Nigel Farage, with a perfect roll of her eyes during a Brexit debate yesterday. She punctuated her eye-roll with a subtle "I can't believe this" shake of her head. Her tweet about it went viral, receiving 46,000 likes so far.
Via Mashable Read the rest
When Barack Obama made a pit stop in Miami to grab some tacos, the reaction from the customers is priceless. They sound like teenagers at a rock concert, with people covering their mouths with their hands as they shriek for joy.
"All right guys, where's my tacos?" Obama jokes as he surprises everyone with his appearance. And later, "I want everyone to vote!" he shouts to cheers.
"He ordered three tacos and left a $40 tip," according to the video below.
What a refreshing change of atmosphere when it comes to a politician in the room. Read the rest
A Russian fighter jet intercepted a US Navy plane this morning over the Black Sea, an encounter that lasted for 25 minutes and put put the US crew in danger.
...The Russian SU-27 jet passed directly in front of the US EP-3 aircraft at a high speed, the officials said. The US crew reported turbulence following that initial interaction in which the direct pass occurred.
The SU-27 then made a second pass of the US plane and applied its afterburner while conducting a banking maneuver, which is believed to have caused a vibration that was experienced by the American crew.
And according to the US Navy, "This interaction was determined to be unsafe due to the SU-27 conducting a high speed pass directly in front of the mission aircraft, which put our pilots and crew at risk. The intercepting SU-27 made an additional pass, closing with the EP-3 and applying its afterburner while conducting a banking turn away. The crew of the EP-3 reported turbulence following the first interaction, and vibrations from the second."
Image: US Navy Read the rest
A man noticed an empty, broken-down house in Sydney, Australia and poked around the neighborhood to find out more about it. Turns out the occupant, who had been renting it since around the 1940s, had died earlier that year. So Bill Gertos, a tax accountant at the time, decided it was okay – and ethical – to pretend it was his. He fixed it up, changed the locks, and rented it out.
This was 20 years ago, and now Gertos is the lawful owner. The real owners – heirs of the previous owner, who died in 1947 – tried to fight it in court, but Gertos won under squatters' rights, even though he wasn't the one squatting.
According to the BBC:
In New South Wales, squatters can be awarded ownership if they have occupied a property for more than 12 years.
The court granted Mr Gertos those rights because he had repaired and maintained the property since 1998.
Australian media outlets described the case as "bizarre" because the relevant law is typically used by those who move into a property themselves.
Read the rest
It was with great jubilance at the Red Sox parade in Boston that a flying beer can smashed into the World Series trophy. Some of its flags were bent out of shape, but a team official says the damage will be fixed "right away."
Via The Washington Post Read the rest