Pope confesses he sometimes seeks shut-eye while praying

Praying is boring and Pope Francis is sparing us some of the Catholic guilt for dozing off while prostrating ourselves before God.

The Pope admitted to occasionally sleeping on the job while he prays.

“When I go to pray, a few times I fall asleep,” he said during an interview for TV2000 published Tuesday. Pope Francis also cited St. Therese’s belief that God appreciates it when people fall asleep while praying.

The Guardian reports His Holiness gets around seven hours of sleep each night, along with a nap after lunch.

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Doctors discover patient sweating blood from palms and forehead

Sorry, but there probably isn’t an antiperspirant on the market that can stop blood sweating.

Two Italian doctors published their findings on a 21-year-old woman who experiences short episodes of bleeding from her palms and forehead without any lesions on her skin. Dr. Roberto Magile and Dr. Marzia Caproni didn’t find evidence the patient was attempting to deceive medical professionals and are diagnosing her with hematohidrosis, according to a study in the peer-reviewed Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Hematohidrosis, or sweating blood, is said to be a rare medical phenomenon previously linked to biblical explanations, but other examples date much further back.

In this most recent case, the patient has episodes ranging from one to five minutes and was treated for depression and anxiety she says stems from stress for enduring the condition for three years, according to the study. The doctors treated the patient with propranolol, a type of beta blocker.

Via CMAJ:

In the literature, there is no single explanation of the source of bleeding in hematohidrosis. Despite the fluid’s sweat-like appearance, the hypothesis that blood passes through eccrine ducts, induced by abnormal constrictions and expansions of periglandular vessels, has not yet been proven. Bleeding has also reportedly occurred through areas without sweat glands or through the follicles, and the presence of dermal defects leading to blood-filled spaces exuding via follicular openings or directly into the skin surface has also been proposed.

We treated our patient with propranolol (20 mg/day), based on its use in similar cases in the literature, and this led to a marked reduction, although not a complete remission of her bleeding.

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Bill O’Reilly points finger at “God” after accusations of sexual harassment

Bill O'Reilly has seemingly run out of options for blaming others after a series of sexual harassment allegations canned the former Fox News host. From accusers to the news media, the only logical scapegoat left would surely be his Almighty.

During a recent episode of his web series “No Spin News,” O’Reilly spoke candidly about his anger toward God for not protecting him, as more details surrounding allegations have surfaced, according to CNN.

"You know, am I mad at God? Yeah, I'm mad at him," O'Reilly said. "I wish I had more protection. I wish this stuff didn't happen. I can't explain it to you. Yeah, I'm mad at him."

He also admitted people have it “much rougher” than him and that he’s a “bigmouth.”

The New York Times reported Saturday that O’Reilly paid $32 million to settle accusations with former Fox News contributor Lis Wiehl. Six other agreements have been made by either O’reilly or the network on his behalf.

With this latest rant under his belt, his New York Times bestseller Killing Jesus: A History is beginning to look more like a manifesto.

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Doping doggies caught after Iditarod race

If we can’t even trust our friendly four-legged athletes to not use performance enhancing drugs, which athletes can we trust?

The committee responsible for overseeing the 45th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race found multiple dogs from the same team tested positive for the opioid pain relieving drug tramadol – one of Iditarod's banned substances – six hours after the race ended in March, according to NPR. This is the first such case of a doping scandal for the Iditarod since testing for banned substances began in 1994.

The dogs face extreme temperatures and difficult obstacles during their 1000 mile trek through Alaska, which can tempt Mushers to increase their dogs abilities for hefty prize packages.

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Surprise! DirecTV sends customer $184,000 bill

DirecTV dished out a $184,530.67 satellite television bill to an Ohio woman, and no, it wasn't for a new HBO/Showtime package. Angela Mixon-Smith, an Army veteran, recently agreed to bundle her DirecTV service with a new AT&T cell phone plan, and has been receiving strange service bills ever since.

Mixon-Smith said she opened the bill Monday and began to feel ill. According to KTLA:

“I mean, my chest got heavy,” the Ohio, woman told KTLA sister station WJW in Cleveland on Wednesday. “I had to get some water. I don't drink. I was ready to drink." ...

“I know I don't have that kind of money,” she said. “And, since April? There's no way.”

AT&T, which merged with DirecTV in 2015, apologized for the error and recredited Mixon-Smith’s account. The spokesperson for AT&T who issued the apology did not give an explanation to KTLA for the mistake.

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Ayatollah Khamenei: Trump and administration "mentally retarded"

The clearly politically incorrect Supreme leader of Iran dubbed President Donald Trump and his administration as “mentally retarded” after Trump declined to re-certify Iran’s compliance in the 2015 nuclear deal.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has stated his approval for the “death to America” slogan, also said he won’t waste his time responding to Trump’s “nonsensical comments,” according to CBS.

This hasn’t been the first time a world leader has mocked the president’s mental capacity. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un labeled Trump a “dotard,” back in September. Even Trump’s own Secretary of State reportedly called the president a “F---ing moron,” which Rex Tillerson refuses to outright deny.

The United States’ role in the Iran nuclear deal is now placed in the hands of congress, and Khamenei is asking Europe to do more to maintain the multi-country accord.

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Watch: Little sled person treks Line Rider track synchronized to “In the Hall of the Mountain King”

YouTuber DoodleChaos spent over a month configuring a track in the 2006 hit game Line Rider. The result is a delightful harmonic pairing of Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King” to the originally silent flash game.

The tiny sledder dips and bounces on lines drawn to hit Grieg’s musical notes. The adventure grows more treacherous for the sledder as the tempo picks up and the rider reaches an increasingly louder and sled-less end. Read the rest

Arizona man suspected of destroying home with makeshift spider-killing flamethrower

An Arizona man channeled his inner Ellen Ripley after he was suspected of using a propane torch to burn alien creatures known as spiders from his mobile home Sunday night.

Fire officials suspect the man used the torch to kill spiders and burn their webs underneath his Tucson home, according to KVOA.

The brave attempt was a rare challenge against our arachnid overlords, but left 22 firefighters battling an eleven-minute blaze that destroyed the home and left two residents in the care of the Red Cross.

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Dead bodies can soon be liquified under new California law

Californians nearing the end or getting an early start choosing how they want to decay can now consider liquid cremation due to a new state law allowing the procedure by 2020. California will be the 15th state to allow the controversial option, according to SFGate.

The procedure decomposes a corpse’s flesh with an alkaline solution, leaving only the bones behind to be crushed into ashes.

The next generation of soulless air breathers can thank those who choose the liquidy way out for lowering the carbon footprint, as traditional burials tend to be more harmful to the environment.

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Lawyer uses “too fat” defense to try and help client stay out of prison

A Florida attorney filed a petition saying a nearly six-and-a-half year prison term would eat up most of his client’s time left to live, due to the client’s large weight.

Attorney Curtis Fallgatter somehow calculated his client Stephen Donaldson Sr., 72, who was recently convicted for marketing an offshore tax shelter scheme that cost the IRS nearly $10 million, would spend 61 percent of his remaining life-years in prison since he is only 5-foot-9 and weighs 273 pounds, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Fallgatter did not use the strange weight excuse for his other Tampa Bay client, who was sentenced to four years and six months in prison.

Unfortunately for Donaldson, if his petition is granted and the sentence is overturned, he misses his opportunity to gain a sweet prison bod.

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Georgia gubernatorial candidate holding a bump stock giveaway

Republican Georgia state Sen. Michael Williams is holding a giveaway for a bump stock — the same type of device law enforcement officials say the Vegas shooter used to kill over 50 people during a concert in early October.

In a statement published on a website for William’s gubernatorial run, Williams says the growing condemnation of bump stocks avoids taking action against gun violence. Williams also cites firearms experts claiming the bump stock prevented more deaths due to the device’s “inaccuracy” when attached.

“The tragedy in Las Vegas broke my heart, but any talk of banning or regulating bump stocks is merely cheap political lip service from career politicians,” Williams said. “In reality, the bump stock is the new, shiny object politicians are using to deceive voters into believing they are taking action against gun violence. Many firearms experts determined the Las Vegas shooter’s use of a bump stock actually prevented more casualties and injures [sic] due to its inconsistency, inaccuracy, and lack of control.”

Williams’ for-governor webpage allows people to fill out a submission form to win a bump stock. If Williams and experts agree the bump stock makes gun accuracy worse, then giving away a device that adds no value to guns seems like an odd gesture.

Democrats and and even some Republican lawmakers are backing efforts to ban or regulate the device, which makes firing a semiautomatic weapon resemble firing a fully automatic one.

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Fear from Malawi “vampire” killings causes U.N. to pull staff

Vigilante mobs in Malawi have killed five people accused of ritualistic human blood drinking and the threat has left a bad taste for United Nations officials.

The U.N. has pulled staff from two southern districts where the vampire scare has spread from neighboring Mozambique, according to the BBC.

U.N. staff members were temporarily relocated to safer areas when the organization reported villagers began placing roadblocks to hunt for “vampires.” The Malawi government put a curfew in place from 5pm to 7am local time to try and prevent more deaths, which is appropriate considering would-be vampire hunters are likely to work during peak nighttime vampire hours, according to most vampire folklore.

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Dutch man risks everything hoping to hit big with bitcoin

Didi Taihuttu expects the price of bitcoin will soar, so much so that he’s selling his house, car, and other valuables to obtain even more of it.

Now, 39-year-old Taihuttu is living at a campsite with his wife and three children, waiting till 2020 for his investment in cryptocurrency to pay off, according to Business Insider.

The cramped living space may be a bit different from the four-bedroom home the Taihuttu family, from the Netherlands, was used to, but since the house was sold under reservation partly for bitcoin in August, the value of a single bitcoin has gone from $3,700 to $4,800.

“At first my wife doubted the decision, wondering if it was the right decision for our kids — as did my brother and sister... but they are now supportive of the plan," Taihuttu told Newsweek.

Via Business Insider:

Taihuttu thinks digital coins such as bitcoin and the blockchain technology behind it are transforming the role of money and banks in society.

With blockchain, no third party is required to approve a payment — a role currently performed by banks — and a network of computers keeps a record of all transactions.

“The Internet was a revolution for information. I think that blockchain and cryptocurrency are revolutionising the monetary system,” says Taihuttu. “In five years’ time, everyone will say: ‘We could have seen it coming.’ I am responding to this change now.”

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Putin keeps getting showered in puppies as diplomatic gifts

Turkmenistan is the latest country to gift Russian President Vladimir Putin a puppy.

Verny, a Central Asian Shepherd, is the third dog Putin has received from foreign dignitaries, according to the Associated Press. Past shaggy presents came from Japan and Bulgaria.

Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov presented Verny by the scruff of its neck to Putin for his 65th birthday. Video from the exchange shows Putin quickly cuddling his new dog, then kissing it atop its head as a faint smile appears on the Russian leader’s face.

But fear not comrade, Putin will most likely turn the adorable pup into an intimidation tool to use against other world leaders.

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Arizona man receives death threats for handing in guns to police

First rule about gun club: you’re not allowed to leave gun club.

A Phoenix man who posted pictures on Facebook giving his guns over to local police says he received multiple death threats after the post went viral. The original post, which has since been deleted, showed 36-year-old Jonathan Pring posing with his tactical rifle, then handing a bag of guns to the officer.

Pring, a dual citizen of the US and Britain, said he wanted to make a change after the shooting deaths of 58 people in Las Vegas on October 1. The post is still circulating around Facebook, garnering more threats from people who say Pring should be shot and some who shared his home address to the social media site, according to the Phoenix New Times.

Pring posted about how his views on guns have changed since going viral, but said he still believes “common sense gun controls” could have stopped the Vegas shooting.

“I made a decision to hand over my guns,” he posted. “It is my personal opinion and it is my right. However, in light of my new found fame I am reminded that guns are a valued part of the American story.”

“Many of the negative comments I received mentioned 'bad guys.' I ask you, if you are the person sending me threatening and hateful messages simply for expressing my 1st Amendment rights, perhaps it is you who is the bad guy?”

Pring’s guns are likely to be resold due to an Arizona state law forcing local police departments to resell turned-in firearms, instead of destroying them. Read the rest

Watch: Sculptor brings back Freddie Mercury in 7.5 inch form

Sculptor Juliana LePine takes plastic vitrox clay, slaps some on a skeletal figure, and creates a tiny version of one of rock and rolls’ defining figures. Sculpting Freddie Mercury has a creepy Westworld vibe, but the process leads to a model pretty damn close to the Queen frontman. The large teeth and Live Aid 1985 outfit are what helps brings the piece together. Read the rest

Saudi King Salman’s golden escalator breaks down at Russian airport

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz’s grand entrance stalled briefly when his gold escalator stopped during his arrival at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport on Wednesday.

A few seconds of waiting on the gaudy mobilized steps leaves the king puzzled until he realizes he must walk himself down. Some handlers stayed close behind to make sure he made it down safely. It was a strange start to the first official visit of a Saudi monarch in Russia.

Saudi officials said the two countries agreed to arms deals and discussed rebuilding their troubled geopolitical relationship, according to the Independent. Read the rest

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