• A pet chihuahua surprises their humans at the airport when they open their suitcase

    A Texas couple on their way to Las Vegas was told at the airport that one of their bags was six pounds too heavy. When they opened it up, out popped their pet chihuahua, who had snuggled into a cowboy boot that was packed inside the suitcase.

    The tiny stowaway, Icky, looked like he had just woken up from a nap, according to Insider, who spoke to his humans, Jared and Kristi.

    From Insider:

    "I guess this little burrower just burrowed down in the bottom of it and we never had any clue," said Jared. …

    "My first thought was worrying they were going to think we were trying to smuggle the dog on there," added Jared, who went on to say that Cook, who was assisting them, kindly offered to dog-sit for them while they were in Vegas. …

    The couple said that the scene caused some check-in delays because the three teams of Southwestern employees stopped what they were doing to interact with Icky. "There were people looking at us like, 'Thanks guys, we're just trying to go travel,'" said Jared. "We halted their travel plans a little bit as we did with our own." …

    A representative for Southwest Airlines confirmed the story and told Insider: "We thank our employee for showing the hospitality that Southwest is known for to everyone – even our four-legged friends!"

  • A man created a vomiting skeleton for a Halloween contest – watch it in action

    A man in Texas, prepping for an annual Halloween contest for best spooky cabin (which he usually wins), created this simple yet striking vomiting skeleton to add to his decoration collection.

    Alex Croy told Yahoo! he "bought a fountain pump and hose and ordered the skeleton," then added red food-coloring to the water. Of course he also offered the skeleton a large vomit receptacle (aka a trash bin) to do its business. He says he just needs to add some clothing to make it complete.

    Here's the sick bones in action:

  • Check out this cute Cape Cod turtle born with rare case of two heads, six legs

    The Birdsey Cape Cod Wildlife Center is the proud caregiver of a young diamondback terrapin turtle born with two heads and six legs. The turtle/turtles were born with a "rare anomaly" caused either by genetics or environmental factors, according to their Instagram.

    According to the Center's IG, these turtles, like human conjoined twins, "share parts of their body but also have some parts that are independent." Each head eats and moves independently, and each side of the turtle(s) controls three legs.

    Usually turtles born with this condition, called "bicephaly," don't live long, but so far these delightful creatures are thriving.

    From Cape Cod Times:

    A barium study showed the animal has two independent gastrointestinal systems to nourish both sides. The heads work independently for coming to the surface to breathe. Staff at the center says it is feeding well, primarily on blood worms and food pellets.

    This rare specimen will continue to be watched and when it reaches four weeks old the Center's crew hopes to get a CT scan to learn more about the animal's circulatory system and more information about the two tiny terrapins sharing one shell.

  • Transphobic US Senate candidate kicked out of school board meeting

    Sheriffs in Ohio asked US Senate candidate, Josh Mandel, to leave a school board meeting on Monday after he took the mic to bash transgender students. He dug in his heels, arguing that he had every right to spew his toxic views — even in a school board district that he does not live in.

    His purpose was to "defend the moms and dads" against the district's mask mandate, according to WCPO, saying the district was "using kids as pawns in a political game."

    "Here in the Lakota District and throughout the state of Ohio, children should not be forced to wear masks," he said. He then slid into transphobic mode. "On top of that, children should not be forced to learn about whether to pick a gender or not pick a gender. Boys are boys, girls are girls."

    Mandel, who is leading Ohio's packed GOP primary race, "was once denounced by his own family for rejecting his lesbian, veteran cousin," according to LGBTQ Nation:

    From LGBTQ Nation:

    Mandel is a Trump-style Republican full of bluster and far-right talking points littered with a fine dusting of racism and homophobia.

    In 2012, his own family wrote an op-ed denouncing him for rejecting his lesbian veteran cousin. He vocally and repeatedly denounced same-sex marriage and allowing LGBTQ people to serve in the military.

    The one thing LGBTQ Nation got wrong in their article was its title: "GOP candidate humiliated as police haul him out of school board meeting after trans kids rant." He wasn't humiliated — his stunt went swimmingly well for his target audience. With his ignorance and bullying ways, he's a shoe-in for GOP political success.

    Here is part of the confrontation between Mandel, the school board members, and the sheriffs, which he proudly posted himself:

  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was open to banning birth control pills when asked

    Lauren Windsor, undercover reporter and self-described "progressive pugilist swamp-slayer," posed as a right-wing anti-sex fanatic last night, coaxing a frightening response out of Texas Governor Greg Abbott when asked about banning birth control pills.

    "Can you do something about morning-after pills and birth control?" she asked, after pumping up his ego by asking for his autograph. "'Cause I think it's destroying the fabric of our society, giving women incentives to be promiscuous."

    Rather than flat-out telling her she's outrageous, Abbott boasts that "basically, we've outlawed abortion in Texas," and that he's already signed a law that bans mail-order abortion pills.

    And when she presses him further on the issue, asking if he can ban over-the-counter birth control, he says, "I don't know. That I don't know."

    Finally, when asked if his answer is a "maybe," he most likely wants to flee the topic, but instead seems to confirm with a quick "Maybe."

    The one thing he never does when asked if he'd ban birth control pills is say "No."

    Image by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America – Greg Abbott, CC BY-SA 2.0

  • Watch: The SCREAM 2022 trailer is out!

    Just in time for Halloween, the official SCREAM 2022 trailer was just released. (Unfortunately, the actual movie doesn't premiere until January.)

    Set in the same town of Woodsboro, again with characters Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Dewey Riley (David Arquette), the trailer for this fifth film in the SCREAM series, directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpen and Tyler Gillet, doesn't reveal any fresh surprises. But that might be intentional.

    From Gizmodo:

    In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, co-director Gillet explained that keeping the killer's (or killers', since we know how sneaky the Scream movies can be about stuff like that) identity a secret was priority number one, even on set. "We were really careful to protect the big reveal of the movie," he said. "We went as far as to withhold those moments in the script from the actors. We wanted everybody involved, to the degree that we could, to be a part of the whodunit. Obviously, you get to a point in the shoot where you have to let the cat out of the bag, but we went pretty far into prep and into production with a surprising amount of secrecy maintained."

    Either way, it looks like a fun rush, in the style of a theme park thrill ride, where the ride for the sake of sheer adrenaline never gets old.

  • Is Marjorie Taylor Greene suggesting Civil War with her new poll?

    Toxic Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Q-GA), far-right "patriot" known for spreading conspiracy theories and inciting violence, is at it again. This time she seems to be hinting at Civil War, sowing the seeds with a Twitter poll asking if the United States should split up.

    "Should America have a national divorce?" she asks.

    She then gives three answers to choose from: 1) Yes, by R & D states 2) No, stay together; and 3) Undecided

    Of the 13,892 respondents from this morning, according to Yahoo!, more than half want a divorce, 38% want to stay put, and 10% were undecided.

    Image by DonkeyHotey / Flickr

  • Here's how to make Squid Game's candy shapes, if you dare

    Anyone watching Netflix's Squid Game series will recognize this innocent-looking honeycomb toffee, or Dalgona, which made for one of the show's gripping, and of course deadly, childhood games. In real life, some customers in Korea are also challenged to carve out a shape of the simple candy — made from sugar and baking soda — without cracking it. If they succeed, they get to keep their treat for free… and if they lose? They pay for it, but at least their life is spared. Here's how it is made:

    Via Laughing Squid

  • This remodeled house rotates so fast, it's comical

    Usually when a building rotates, it takes a good 30 minutes to 24 hours to complete a full circle (see this fun Gizmodo article about rotating houses). But a 72-year-old man in Bosnia remodeled his home — after his wife complained of the same static view from each window — so that it can spin a full circle in 22 seconds! Powered by a motor and "the wheels of an old military transport vehicle," according to AP, the dizzying speed of the house can be adjusted to a slower 24-hour rotation once the nausea sets in.

  • Watch this AT&T ad boasting of its creepy far right OAN support (parody but true)

    OANN (One America News Network, aka OAN), self-described as the "greatest supporters" of Trump, is so right of the right they laughably call Fox "anti-Trump" and accuse the radically conservative Newsmax as being a "left-leaning organization." So when Reuters reported last week that AT&T helped create and support OAN, and is responsible for 90% of its propaganda, Lincoln Project generously donated their time to create this updated ad for the folksy phone and internet provider.

    AT&T, the largest communications provider on the planet, not only connects families and friends, it also "helps fund One America News Network," the ad's narrator boasts. "OANN is a streaming channel that hires radical white nationalists as hosts, cheers the Capitol attacks, and promotes Covid-19 conspiracy theories."

    The ad lets us in on what we pay for when we sign up for AT&T, including "OANN host Pearson Sharp to call for mass executions," and "funding politicians like Texas governor Greg Abbott, who pushes radical new laws against voting rights and women's rights."

    Wrapping up with its tagline, "AT&T, funding sedition, suppression, and of course, One America News Network," the ad parodies AT&T's false altruism to such a tee, I almost missed it on the first view, mistaking it for a real AT&T ad—which it might as well be.

  • This at-home haunted light show gives a whole new meaning to Nirvana's 'Smells like Teen Spirit'

    I wish I were in Tracy, California right now! That's where Tom BetGeorge, professional light show artist, is showing his amazing haunted light show in real life, using his house as the backdrop.

    This year's spooky display includes a Halloween take on Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (above). Using tens of thousands of lights, he offers a 2-hour viewing on the weekends for locals to take it all in. Luckily he lets us outsiders watch some of it from afar, and it's spectacular, even online.

    BetGeorge has been uploading his light show videos to his YouTube channel (where you can get the address to his IRL extravaganza) for seven years, and they're not only Halloween displays. He donates proceeds to McHenry House, a shelter for homeless families.

    Via Laughing Squid

  • Sorry climate-change deniers, no more Google ads for you!

    Anti-science climate change deniers who depend on Google or YouTube ad revenue to spew their misinformation are outta luck.

    Google announced yesterday that it "will prohibit ads for, and monetization of, content that contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change." This goes for "Google advertisers, publishers, and YouTube creators." The ban, which takes effect in 30 days, also applies to Medeival Qnuts who claim that humans and green house gas emissions have nothing to do with the planet's changing climate.

    From The Wall Street Journal:

    Google's move aims to cut off a major source of income for providers of climate-change misinformation. Google's $147 billion in ad revenue comes from selling ad space in its own products, such as YouTube, as well as from brokering ad sales on thousands of sites across the web.

    A spokesman for Google said the company would use a "combination of automated tools and human review" to enforce its policy. …

    The Google spokesman said the company's policy banning ads on content denying climate change takes effect in 30 days. In addition, advertisers will be prohibited from purchasing ads that deny climate change or that link to a webpage that denies climate change, he said. That policy affecting advertisers takes effect in 60 days, he said.

    Google's full announcement:

    Updating our ads and monetization policies on climate change

    October 7, 2021

    Working closely with outside experts, we regularly review and update our ads and monetization policies to help ensure a brand-safe environment for our advertising partners and to better protect users from unreliable claims, such as fake medical cures or anti-vaccine advocacy.

    Addressing climate change denial

    In recent years, we've heard directly from a growing number of our advertising and publisher partners who have expressed concerns about ads that run alongside or promote inaccurate claims about climate change. Advertisers simply don't want their ads to appear next to this content. And publishers and creators don't want ads promoting these claims to appear on their pages or videos.  

    That's why today, we're announcing a new monetization policy for Google advertiserspublishers and YouTube creators that will prohibit ads for, and monetization of, content that contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change. This includes content referring to climate change as a hoax or a scam, claims denying that long-term trends show the global climate is warming, and claims denying that greenhouse gas emissions or human activity contribute to climate change.

    When evaluating content against this new policy, we'll look carefully at the context in which claims are made, differentiating between content that states a false claim as fact, versus content that reports on or discusses that claim. We will also continue to allow ads and monetization on other climate-related topics, including public debates on climate policy, the varying impacts of climate change, new research and more.

    In creating this policy and its parameters, we've consulted authoritative sources on the topic of climate science, including experts who have contributed to United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Reports. As is the case for many of our policies, we'll use a combination of automated tools and human review to enforce this policy against violating publisher content, Google-served ads, and YouTube videos that are monetizing via YouTube's Partner Program. We'll begin enforcing this policy next month.

    This new policy not only will help us strengthen the integrity of our advertising ecosystem, but also it aligns strongly with the work we've done as a company over the past two decades to promote sustainability and confront climate change head-on.Posted by the Google Ads team

    Image by The Pancake of Heaven! – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

  • Watch: A nimble Florida trooper barely gets out of the way in dramatic hit and run

    A Florida trooper in West Palm Beach stops to help an unidentified driver who is stalled on what looks like a highway median, when a screeching, out-of-control pick-up truck barrels onto the scene. The speeding truck smashes into the driver's car, leaving just seconds for the trooper to get out of the way. The video is dramatic, but by sheer luck – and amazingly quick reflexes displayed by the trooper – he survives unscathed, while the driver he was helping received only minor injuries. Not on camera, the pick-up truck then flees the scene, according News4Jax.

  • Watch these "freedom" defenders bully masked families walking to school in Beverly Hills

    Anti-vaxxers bullied families walking to school in Beverly Hills Wednesday, which happened to be National Walk to School Day. One woman in particular, Shiva Bagheri, is seen on camera (below) telling a mom that masks are propaganda and that her son "is going to be traumatized" for wearing one.

    But it looked like the kid was traumatized by the protestor instead, covering his ears and ending up in his mother's arms. His mother defends her freedom to wear a mask, saying, "It's my choice. You better respect my choice."

    Bagheri later shouted, "This is rape. They're trying to rape our children with this poison. They're going to rape their lives away."

    Beverly Hills Mayor Robert Wunderlich stepped in to diffuse the tension, asking that they pick three protestors to talk about this with him, away from the school later in the day. But Bagheri was having too much fun being angry to quit. "You don't care about the kids!" she says, trying to keep it going. To which the mayor calmly held his ground, until the protestors simmered down and agreed to meet with him later (video below).

    From Vice:

    Disinformation researchers believe that groups like Bagheri's are beginning to mimic the actions of other extremist groups.

    "Some small, hateful anti-vaxx groups, like this one in LA, are starting to look a lot like the Westboro Baptist Church," John Scott Railton, a senior researcher at Citizen Lab, a cybersecurity watchdog organization at the University of Toronto, tweeted.

    Another disturbing aspect of the protest is that it was promoted by a group of Beverly Hills firefighters who themselves are protesting a vaccine mandate. At a Tuesday protest in support of firefighters who have refused to get vaccinated, one speaker urged those in attendance to also protest at the National Walk To School event the following day. 

    "They think it's gonna be a fun and safe photo opportunity with parents and kids," David Hakimfar, a West Hollywood attorney and anti-vaccine activist said at the protest Tuesday. "Let's show up here and show them it's not. Let's show them how we really feel. Let's make them afraid."

    Reporter Samuel Braslow (@SamBraslow) posted the following videos on Twitter:

  • Rep. Weyler resigns from budget committee after lunatic claims about Covid vaccine

    State Rep. Ken Weyler (Q–NH), who spread some of the most outlandish Covid misinformation, resigned from his Chairman position of the State House Budget Committee today. This was after the fully grown politician flooded his colleagues' email boxes with child-like fantastical fears, including a frantic 52-page report about vaccines that contained "octopus-like creatures" and 5G technology meant for mind-control (see video below).

    Weyler's email also blasted the Catholic Church, calling the "criminal network" satanists and "Luciferans." And that's not all. According to the Daily Beast, Weyler's report said that vaccinated parents in Mexico were giving birth to "transhuman" babies with "pitch black eyes."

    From Daily Beast:

    The report additionally made the wild suggestion that the babies of vaccinated parents in Mexico were "transhuman"—born with "pitch-black eyes" and undergoing accelerated aging.

    "It's all one huge puppet theatre, where the majority of the people—even most of those who are complicit —haven't got the slightest clue what is going on, and how everyone is being played," the report states.

    Even Governor Chris Sununu, a Repubican, was taken aback, calling Weyler's claims "dangerous" and a "detachment from reality." But not all republicans were happy to see him step down from his Committee position.

    From nhpr:

    In a statement, House Speaker Sherman Packard, Republican from Londonderry, said he "reluctantly" accepted Weyler's resignation from his post. Top New Hampshire Democrats and Gov. Chris Sununu had called for him to be stripped of the Finance Committee chairmanship, among the most influential positions in the Legislature.

    "[Weyler] realizes his error in judgment and recognizes it has compromised his ability to lead the House Finance Committee and Joint Fiscal Committee both now and moving forward," Packard said.

    And to think this lunatic is still a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

    Here's a video posted on Oct 5, before resigning from his committee:

  • Watch: Diners have a grand old time eating while wet at a flooded cafe in Thailand

    After a tropical storm and monsoon rains hit a riverside cafe near Bangkok, its outdoor seating area was flooded. And it remained so due to the river's higher water levels. But rather than shut down, Chaopraya Antique Café turned it into a "hot-pot surfing" experience that customers are clamoring to take. Things get especially fun when a boat speeds by, creating waves as high as 20 inches, according to AP. This is when some customers, who don't want to get that wet, choose to jump on their benches.

    From AP:

    Shortly after the water tops the parapet, the first diners arrive. Before long, the deck is crammed with carefree customers happily tucking in as if dining in a deluge is the norm.

    The wait staff -– some clad in rubber boots — step gingerly through the swirl that quickly rises to more than 50 centimeters (20 inches).

    Coming straight after a monthslong coronavirus shutdown, it could have spelled disaster. Instead -– boosted by publicity in the Thai media — it's now so popular that customers need to make reservations.

  • Watch: A raven attacks a drone that is delivering coffee
    From ABC News' YouTube channel

    As a delivery drone in Australia is en route to its next customer, carrying a large order of coffee, a raven swoops in to give it the what for. The bird seems to attack the drone, clinging and pecking at it, before the drone pivots free and victoriously drops its package without a hitch.

    According to The Canberra Times, this isn't the first delivery drone to be attacked by ravens, and in fact, other attacks have been more violent, leaving feathers behind. But ravens are smart, learning the ways of the drone, getting closer to a victorious take-down.

    The drone's California-based company, Wing (of conglomerate company Alphabet), has suspended deliveries in the Canberra area for now.

    Via Nerdist

  • Sen. Josh Hawley is made a fool in this montage that highlights his latest lies

    Sen. Josh Hawley (R–MO), the same senator who gave a fist pump to the insurrectionists on January 6, is now aghast that the Justice Department wants to monitor intimidating parents who, in his view, are simply voicing their concerns over mask mandates at school board meetings.

    "Is waiting to express ones view at a school board meeting harassment and intimidation?" he asks, omitting the fact that these parents are actually a misinformed angry mob who are, in reality, "expressing" their views with violence, intimidation, and death threats toward school teachers and other officials.

    To highlight the senator's astounding idiocy, MSNBC's Chris Hayes aired this montage:

    And for some old-timey Hawley humor:

  • Watch: UCLA doctor is escorted out of medical center after speaking at anti-vax rally

    Last month, UCLA's Dr. Christopher Lake, an unvaccinated anesthesiologist, spoke at an anti-vax rally, telling the Kool-Aid-drunk crowd, "They want to force a vaccination or medication or treatment into my body that I don't want. So they're telling me, 'Take the jab or we take your job.' And I'm here to say no." The anti-vaxxers ate it up, hooting with excitement. (See @andrewkimmel's tweet below.)

    For dramatic effect, as an aircraft flew over the rally, he held his hand up to the sky and shouts, "Wave for freedom! FREEDOM!"

    Cut to yesterday's tweet by @InMinivanHell (below) showing a deflated Dr. Lake play-acting the martyr as he is being escorted out of UCLA "for standing up for freedom." He valiantly says, "This is what happens when you stand up for freedom, when you show up to work, willing to work, despite being unvaccinated [as a doctor!] … I'm willing to lose everything."

    The comic relief comes when he tries to speak to one of his masked escorts, asking for the man's title, and the escort says, "Don't come near me."

    From UCLA's Daily Bruin, which doesn't mention Lake's chaperoned walk today, so I assume it was written beforehand:

    A UCLA physician's anti-vaccination activities prompted criticism from some UCLA faculty and staff, who said health care workers spreading COVID-19 vaccine misinformation threaten public safety.

    A social media user recorded Dr. Christopher Rake, an anesthesiologist at UCLA Health, at an anti-vaccination rally. In the video, Rake said he was opposed to mandatory vaccination in the workplace and that he founded Citizens United for Freedom – an organization against mandatory vaccines – in response to an Aug. 5 California order that all health care workers must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 30. …

    "I think it's mind boggling that a physician at a world-class institution would go to such a rally and use their name as a physician to directly contradict public health," said Dr. Anna Yap, a resident physician in emergency medicine at UCLA.

    Dr. Nina Shapiro, a professor of head and neck surgery at the School of Medicine and the director of pediatric otolaryngology at Mattel Children's Hospital, said vaccine misinformation from doctors could be extremely dangerous.

    "We as a health care community … were some of the earliest in the country to have access to it," Shapiro said. "To twist that into a negative – especially when you know one of the main reasons why we are in this disastrous delta (variant-driven surge) is due to slow vaccine acceptance in the community – and spewing this misinformation is frankly deadly."