Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Bae, It Would Be Cray To Stop Using These 'Banned' Words

If you had plans to spend next year calling your boo bae, describing the chilly weather as a polar vortex or talking up your foodie lifestyle, cancel them immediately. Those three terms can never be spoken again.

At least, that’s the tongue-in-cheek goal of the “List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness," released Wednesday by Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The college's 40th annual list has a total of 12 new words we're supposed to collectively excise from our vocabulary in 2015.

The other nine entries include hack, skill set, swag, curate(d), friend-raising, cra-cra (alternately spelled cray-cray), enhanced interrogation, takeaway and nation when used to denote the fans of a particular sports team (e.g. Cubs Nation).

The banished word list was started in January of 1976 by W.T. Rabe, a savvy former LSSU public relations director, who's also known for inventing the school traditions of issuing unicorn questing licenses and burning a snowman each spring.

The first list came directly from LSSU staff and Rabe’s personal language pet peeves. But at this point in time (that phrase made the list in 1976), it’s generated by the wider populace, with people submitting the words they loathe on the school’s website and a committee compiling the final selection each December. The list has since grown to include more than 800 entries.

Some of the phrases on the list have been faulted for redundancy, like 1995's vast majority; others, like enhanced interrogation, speak to a dead serious (another banned phrase) critique of cultural mores. Other words are clearly targeted because they're trending (yep, also banned).

Nominators also take issue with overused words that become divorced from their original meaning, like using "hack" to describe mascara application tips or calling a box of different dog foods "curated."

It's easy to get annoyed by slang terms that crop up suddenly -- especially if you need an article from Time to understand them -- and then die out within a year or two anyway. But part of the fun of language is the difficulty of predicting which words will naturally fall by the wayside -- we barely knew you, cybarian and chillaxin' -- and which ones will become so commonplace -- prioritize, parenting, brainstorm, blog -- it's strange to think of trying to ban them. With something as delightful and amazing as language, half the fun for wordsmiths is watching usage change over time.

In some ways, putting a straight-up ban on words that are part of people's everyday conversations seems like a stodgy approach. However, LSSU's banished word list serves as a reminder to be creative and deft with word choice -- to encourage thinking outside of the box -- rather than as a prescriptive ban. It can also just be an interesting snapshot of what’s hot and hated in language year-by-year.

That said, if you catch yourself telling your bae, who’s a real foodie, about a cra-cra hack for getting free swag, it might be time to think about expanding your vocabulary.

Or not, whatever. It's all good.

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Cameraman Barely Escapes Lava Splatter (VIDEO)

When you film lava for a living, you're bound to have a few close calls, and New Zealand cameraman Bradley Ambrose just captured an epic one on camera.

"That was probably my closest call ever to being completely covered in lava bombs," the self-proclaimed adventure-seeker says in the video above.

Ambrose was filming at the Marum lava lake on the remote volcanic island of Ambrym when a surprise burst of lava almost rained over him. A pulse of gas caused "a huge lava splatter that basically covered this entire area," Ambrose said. "And I was in the middle of it."

Ambrose was able to run away quickly enough, but both his camera and the GoPro mounted on his head recorded the intense moment from two points of view.

(Story continues below)

According to the video's description, Ambrose has taken temperatures of previous lava ejections in the area that measured between 600 to 800 degrees Celsius (1,112 to 1,472 degrees Fahrenheit). He has spent the last few years as a breaking news cameraman and adventure photographer, filming extreme weather events from all over the world, including in Siberia, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Australia and Vanuatu, the South Pacific country where the above video was filmed.

Earlier this year, Ambrose and veteran New Zealand filmmaker Geoff Mackley led documentarians George Kourounis and Sam Cossman, as well as a GoPro filming crew, deep into the Marum crater -- a place the island's villagers call the "Entrance to Hell." That video became one of the most viral GoPro videos of 2014.

Ambrose may be an adventure-seeker, but his most recent close call seems to have shaken him up a bit. "There's not one shot that's worth that," he says in the video.

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Nick Offerman RSVPs To Wedding In Very Ron Swanson-esque Way

A couple of "Parks & Rec" fans just got a late, albeit great, wedding present.

Months ago, Redditor GirlnTheOtherRm sent a wedding invitation to Nick Offerman, the actor who plays Ron Swanson on the NBC comedy, at his fan mail address. And being the all-around awesome guy that he is, Offerman actually replied. On Sunday, the bride posted a photo of his RSVP card on Reddit.

Embedded via Imgur

"Sorry I missed the shenanigans but not the Devilry [sic]. Hats off!" he wrote.

Although Offerman regretfully declined the invitation to the Halloween wedding, the newlyweds were still pretty stoked.

"I think my husband might have fan-girled a bit hard when I handed him this," the bride wrote on Reddit.

Had Offerman attended, we can only assume it would have looked a little something like this:

via Giphy

H/T Elite Daily

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5 Religious Guinness World Records Smashed In 2014

(RNS) Some churches conduct pageants. Some temples host dinners. And others spend weeks or months meticulously planning how to break a Guinness World Record.

Sure, 2014 was the year that records were beaten for “Fastest marathon wearing chain mail (upper body)” and “Most sticky notes on the body in five minutes.” But several faith-based Guinness World Records were set over the course of the year as well. Here are five that were smashed in 2014:

1. Most living figures in a Nativity scene

More than 1,000 angels, shepherds and worshippers — along with the requisite camel, donkey, sheep and tiny baby Jesus — joined together in Provo, Utah, to set a record for the most living figures in a Nativity scene. The event’s 1,039 participants breaks the previous record of 898, set in the United Kingdom in 2013. Want to see it in action? Check out this time-lapse, and this “Angels We Have Heard on High” #ShareTheGift video created during the event, with music provided by the Piano Guys, Peter Hollens, David Archuleta and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

2. Largest gospel choir

Not one, but two, Guinness World Records were set when the Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) hosted its centennial celebration on July 27, 2014, in the Philippines: largest gospel choir and largest mixed-use indoor theater. It took 4,745 participants singing hymns together in tidy, white sections in a 55,000-seat stadium to break the record once set in February 2014 in New Jersey by the current and former athletes who make up the NFL Players Choir.

3. Most people reading aloud simultaneously (single location)

You would need to gather nearly 47,000 to break the record for most people reading aloud simultaneously (single location), set at the Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur, India, in February this year and organized by the Art of the Living Foundation. Participants recited, in unison, a Hindu devotional poem called “Jnanappana” by the famous Lord Krishna devotee Poonthanam.

4. Largest Day of the Dead offering

Traditional celebrations for Mexico’s Day of the Dead holiday involve constructing altars at gravesides to honor loved ones who have died. This October, an altar unveiled at the Fiesta Cala de Veras in Mexico City measured 558 meters square, creating the first Guinness World Record for largest Day of the Dead offering.

5. Largest potluck party

Aunt Helen’s annual covered-dish dinner has nothing on Chandler Christian Church’s record-setting potluck party, held on April 6, 2014. Approximately 1,275 people attended the event at the Arizona church, breaking the previous record of 860.

Sad that your church or temple didn’t gain fame through a Guinness World Record this year? Fear not, there are plenty of records ready for the breaking in 2015. Try these on for size:

1. Largest wearable turban

Not for the faint of heart (or necks): To beat this record, your turban will need to be longer than 400 meters when unraveled and weigh more than 77 pounds.

2. Most dreidels spinning simultaneously

You’ve got almost a full year to practice for this Hanukkah-inspired record, set in December 2011 as 734 dreidels were spun simultaneously for at least 10 seconds.

3. Largest display of Taoist statues

Here’s one for the collectors among us: If you can gather more than 4,643 Taoist statues in one place, you’ll break the record set by the Beigang Chao Tien Temple in Taiwan in September 2013.

4. Longest marathon church organ playing

Finger calisthenics are in order to top the record set by organist Jacqueline Sadler, who played hymns for 40 hours and 36 minutes straight in June 2011 at the Eastminster United Church in Toronto.

5. Largest gathering of people dressed as nuns

A charity fundraiser was the impetus behind Ireland’s “Nunday” in Listowel that set a record of 1,436 people dressed as nuns in a single gathering, in June 2012. It’s unclear whether this can become an, uh, annual habit.

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Here's How Bendy Your Body Actually Gets During Yoga Class

It's no secret that yoga does a body good, but have you ever wondered what your bones look like as you're moving through your sun salutations?

Hybrid Medical Animation, a medical and science 3D animation studio, put together a video to show a realistic X-ray representation of what the human skeleton looks like while doing yoga poses like Crow and Tree.

"We wanted to combine the beautiful moves of yoga with this new visual approach to bring the full human skeleton to life," the blurb below the video reads.

Ready to hit the yoga studio?

H/T Refinery29

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Play-DOH! Hasbro Takes The Penis Out Of Its Plaything

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — It was an embarrassing Christmas for Nivea Cabrera after she was accused by her fiance's mother of giving her 5-year-old granddaughter a sex toy. A mortified Carbrera asked the child where she got the penis-shaped plastic cylinder.

"It's from my Play-Doh," the girl replied. Hasbro, the Pawtucket-based toy company, is now doing damage control over the "extruder tool" in its Play-Doh Cake Mountain toy. The two-piece syringe-like tool — which includes a tube with corkscrew-type ridges around the outside and a dome-shaped top with a hole at the tip — can be used to squeeze Play-Doh to look like decorative cake frosting.

Complaints have been surfacing since at least November, when Tulsa, Oklahoma, TV station KTUL showed the tool to parents and asked them what they thought. The station blurred the image of the tool during the piece, saying it was due to parents' reactions. One woman told the station it was "a pretty phallic cake-decorating piece."

After Christmas hit, comments started pouring in to Play-Doh's Facebook page, including from Cabrera, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She said Hasbro called her after the post she made on Christmas Day and offered to send her a replacement tool in a different shape. She has not yet received it.

Erin Rivers, a mother of two from Melbourne, Florida, thought it was hilarious when she helped her 6-year-old daughter open the box.

"I pulled out this extruder tool and I just started cracking up at it, I couldn't help it. Then I immediately put the Play-Doh in it and took a picture of," she said. Then, she posted it on Facebook. "My friends have just as dirty minds as I do. It was hysterical to me. And then I gave it my daughter to play with."

Her daughter and 4-year-old son do not notice anything strange about the toy, she said.

Pawtucket-based Hasbro Inc. has received thousands of comments on the Play-Doh Facebook page about the toy.

"We are in the process of updating all future Play-Doh products with a different tool," it said in a statement posted on the page Tuesday. It also offered to replace the tool for anyone who has complaints.

Rivers, 31, who works in a pediatric dental office, says she's not upset at all. But she is flabbergasted that the toy slipped past so many layers of people at Hasbro.

"They have to have someone who creates it, someone who makes the plastic mold, someone who plays with it," she said. "I can't imagine that as many people that probably saw the toy, not one person said 'Does anyone else think this looks like a penis?'"

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California Couple Gets Married In The Frozen Food Aisle Of Costco

Last week, Robert and Meredith Bonilla said "I do" in an unlikely location: the frozen food aisle of Costco in Santa Maria, California.

The choice of venue makes sense for the Bonillas, though, who met one year ago in that very aisle while shopping, according to local news outlet KEYT. On the wedding day, the aisle was lined with poinsettias and the couple exchanged vows while standing on wooden pallets. After the ceremony, the Bonillas headed to the furniture section, where they lounged on a double recliner chair.

Costco is hardly the only untraditional venue for romantic gestures. A man used a flash mob to propose to his boyfriend in Home Depot in September 2013, one couple tied the knot in the frame department at IKEA in June 2013 and another couple got married at Best Buy on Black Friday in 2009.

Check out photos from the Bonillas' big day below:

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The 10 Best Photos From The Department Of The Interior's Instagram Account In 2014

We've seen some stunning photos of America's public lands pop up on the Department of the Interior's Instagram account over the past year, including some striking animal shots and glorious nightscapes.

The agency is tasked with protecting more than 500 million acres of public lands and waterways across the country, including a wide breadth of national parks, from Acadia to Yosemite.

Take a look at the top 10 Instagram posts on the Interior Department's account from 2014, and follow along throughout the new year @usinterior.

Photo by Tom Koerner, USFWS.

Photo courtesy of Cameron Patrick.

Photo by Robert Buman (

From all of us at the Department of the Interior and NPS (including this grizzly bear), we want to thank you for the kind words about the National Park Service 98th birthday today. Here is our second photo celebrating the national parks and the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Wilderness act on September 3rd. This bear is in Lake Clark National Park, a land of stunning beauty where volcanoes steam, salmon run, bears forage, craggy mountains reflect in shimmering turquoise lakes, and local people and culture still depend on the land and water of their home. Solitude is found around every bend in the river and shoulder of a mountain. Venture into the park to become part of the wilderness. Photo: Kevin Dietrich (

A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on

Photo by Kevin Dietrich (

Photo by Gary Eslinger, USFWS.

Photo courtesy of David Lane (@drlane56).

America’s public lands, like #Yosemite #NationalPark in California (pictured here), are some of the best places for stargazing. Joseph Taylor (@joe__taylor) captured this stunner of the endless #MilkyWay galaxy floating above the granite monoliths -- Washington Column and #HalfDome -- in @YosemiteNPS’s Stoneman Meadow. "To be a part of a beautiful moment on Earth like this one is always breathtaking, but to capture it with my camera was incredible,” says Joseph. Want to be featured on @USInterior’s Instagram account and our other social media channels? Tag us in your amazing images of national parks, wildlife refuges (@usfws) or @mypubliclands, and we could end up sharing your photo of America’s public lands!

A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on

Photo courtesy of Joseph Taylor (@joe__taylor).

"If it isn't God's backyard, then he certainly lives nearby." - Robin Williams on Glacier National Park. RIP Photo: Kim Hang Dessoliers

A photo posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on

Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (

Photo courtesy of Toby Harriman (

Photo by Daniel D'Auria (

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The Funniest 2015 New Year's Resolution Jokes The Twittersphere Has To Offer

Are you prepared for the New Year's resolutions that are about to flood your feed?

It's as much a tradition as watching the ball drop: making promises to oneself which will later also be dropped. And yet, year after year, we continue to make these resolutions in the hopes that this new year will be different. Unfortunately, the only thing that's really different IS the year.

Many Twitter folk have resorted to laughing at the idea of resolutions rather than making them, and these are some of the best of the bunch. Check out the funniest #NewYearsResolution tweets below and have a happy new year!

That's it, best to ease into your routine.

That's certainly one way to do it.

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The 15 Most Magnificent Dinosaur Discoveries Of 2014

From unearthing one of the largest creatures to ever walk the planet to a teeny tiny microraptor, paleontologists have made some incredible dinosaur discoveries this year.

Just scroll down for a look back at 15 dynamic dinos that were featured on HuffPost Science in 2014. Enjoy!

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This Hotel Is 'Saving Lives' By Matching Guests With Rescue Pups

LOS ANGELES (AP) — At this hotel, guests get welcomed with a wagging tail or a warm lick to the face.

A dog will bound out from behind the registration desk, clad in an "Adopt Me" vest, as visitors arrive at the Aloft hotel in downtown Asheville, North Carolina, believed to be the only hotel in the U.S. where guests can adopt the dog that greets them when they check in.

But the hotel doesn't overwhelm road-weary travelers to this mountain tourist mecca, where people come to tour the nation's largest home, the Biltmore estate; cast a fly-fishing rod; or hoist a beer in what has been dubbed "Beer City USA." There's only one adoptable dog at a time, and it's always on a leash.

The pooches at the Aloft Asheville Downtown hotel are part of an adoption program run by the hotel and Charlie's Angels Animal Rescue. The rescue saves the pets from possible euthanasia at area shelters.

"We feel like we are saving lives," said Christine Kavanagh, Aloft's director of sales.

Hotel and rescue workers hope the program not only becomes permanent but spreads to some of the chain's other locations, too. The Asheville hotel, which also allows guests' pets to stay for free, opened in 2012 and has not received one complaint about allergies, messes or dueling dogs, Kavanagh said.

The adoptable dogs have space set aside at the registration desk, on the roof, third floor and in certain employee areas. They can't stay in guest rooms at night but can go with visitors to the restaurant, bar and other spots if they're on a leash.

"The guests love it. It shows up on guest reviews and consumer surveys," Kavanagh said.

Caren Ferris of Amherst, Massachusetts, and her husband certainly did. The couple were staying nearby when they met a 4-year-old terrier mix named Ginger in the hotel bar and cozied up to the pooch sporting an "Adopt Me" vest.

After a visit, "I got up to leave and told her goodbye. She sat up, looked me in the eye and kissed me on the lips. So I called the shelter, thinking maybe we should adopt the dog," Ferris said.

She and her husband filled out the adoption papers, paid $175 in fees and waited to be approved before they were able to take Ginger home to meet their other dogs.

Charlie's Angels has tough adoption standards, including a home visit. If a potential owner is from another state, the rescue will ask a shelter there to do the check.

The restrictions haven't stopped 14 dogs from finding homes since the program started in July, said Kim Smith, president of Charlie's Angels. The rescue's placements have doubled since the hotel started stationing the dogs.

Jan Trantham and her husband, from Atlanta, adopted a 2-year-old Shih Tzu named Jackson. They fell in love with him when they checked in, she said.

"Every time we went somewhere, one of us would say, 'Let's go back to the hotel and see Jackson.' l couldn't stop thinking about this dog," Trantham said.

It's also a wonderful way for the dogs — and the guests — to socialize, Kavanagh said.

"We have a little playpen by the front desk. At times, there's a crowd around the pen because the dog is a conversation starter," Kavanagh said. "Our hotel draws people together so they can mix and mingle and maybe adopt a dog."

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2014's Top Monsters


If Bigfoot really exists, he's got the world's best PR agent.

Not a year passes without the legendary hairy beast getting his share of press. Nessy does okay. So do other cryptid wonders. But Bigfoot stands alone when it comes to grabbing headlines.

Here's our look at 2014's most amazing monster stories. Some of these beasts actually exist, of course. Other are still waiting in line to be documented. Don't be frightened.

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Chinese Man Jailed For 13 Years After Eating Three Tigers

BEIJING, Dec 31 (Reuters) - A Chinese man has been jailed for 13 years for buying and eating endangered tigers and making wine made out of their blood, state media reported.

The man, identified as a rich businessmen surnamed Xu, organized three trips to the southern province of Guangdong last year to buy the tigers, which he then transported to his home region of Guangxi, Xinhua news agency said late on Tuesday.

Xu and his accomplices witnessed the killing of three tigers in three deals with the sellers, one of which was killed by an electric shock, the report said.

Xu and his friends ate the tiger meat and he was reported to have said: "If anyone asks, say it is beef, horse or big cat meat," Xinhua reported.

Xu was arrested after one of his deals was recorded by someone nearby who reported it to the police.

The report did not say where the tigers came from, only that they were suspected of being smuggled into the country.

Xu was originally sentenced in April and then appealed, but this week a court rejected that appeal, Xinhua said.

Tiger meat is believed by some Chinese to have health-giving properties and to work as an aphrodisiac, which has driven a booming trade in tiger products in recent years as the country has become wealthier.

China is home to tigers, mainly in the remote northeast, but their numbers have shrunk drastically due to poaching and habitat loss despite government conservation efforts.

The South China tiger, one of the world's smallest subspecies and the only one native to central and southern China, is feared to be extinct in the wild. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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CIA On UFOs: 'It Was Us'

If you had trouble identifying certain flying objects in the skies in the 1950s and 1960s, the CIA has an answer for you. Although it's not the answer ET believers might hope for.

"Reports of unusual activity in the skies in the '50s? It was us," the CIA tweeted from its official Twitter account Monday.

By way of explanation, the intelligence agency linked to a lengthy 1998 report on U-2 spy plane activities from the 1950s and 1960s.

HuffPost's Lee Spiegel wrote about the U-2 project's links to Area 51 when the document was declassified in 2013.

The history, which is redacted in parts, mainly discusses the plane's development, test flights, and reconnaissance missions. An analysis of the report by British U-2 historian Chris Pocock is available at George Washington University's National Security Archive.

The 272-page document also notes the increase in reports of UFOs that coincided with the spy plane's testing:

High-altitude testing of the U-2 soon led to an unexpected side effect -- a tremendous increase in reports of unidentified flying objects (UFOs). In the mid-1950s, most commercial airliners flew at altitudes between 10,000 and 20,000 feet ... Consequently, once U-2s started flying at altitudes above 60,000 feet, air-traffic controllers began receiving increasing numbers of UFO reports.

According to the report, U-2 flights "accounted for more than one-half of all UFO reports during the late 1950s and most of the 1960s."

Commercial airline pilots flying east to west reported the planes as "fiery objects" in the sky shortly after sundown, but report says the glow was due to the spy planes catching the sun's rays in a darkening sky. Other reports were made by ground-based witnesses in broad daylight, who thought it was unusual to see an object flying more than 60,000 feet high.

Unfortunately, the report neither confirms nor denies that your Uncle Dale has an implant.

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22 New Year's Eve Traditions The World Can Learn From Latin America

Editor's Note: In light of the upcoming new year, we're revisiting a post first published in December 2012.

It's time say good-bye to the old!

But oh, if only it were that simple. With almost two dozen New Year's Eve traditions, Latin Americans not only bid farewell to another year gone by but make sure the next one will be even better.

From wish-granting grapes to peeled potatoes under your bed, from burning rag dolls right down to the color of your underwear -- there's nothing that says "so long and good riddance" like these New Year's Eve rituals and superstitions. These traditions vary from family to family, but every Latino has at least heard or done one in their lifetime.

So pop the champagne and let's toast (don't forget that gold ring!) to a happier, more prosperous, and loving new year!

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Isiah Whitlock Jr. Will Teach You His Famous 'Wire' Catchphrase

Senator Clay Davis is back to teach you how to say "Sheee-it." In a new YouTube trailer for "Whitlock Academy," actor Isiah Whitlock Jr., who starred as Davis on "The Wire," instructs students how to say his character's famous catchphrase.

“Heh, heh, heh, what is the Whitlock Academy?” the actor said in an interview with the Baltimore Sun on Tuesday. “It’s where actors come to finish their training. We’ve basically decided that no actor’s training is complete until they properly learn to be able to say the word, 'sheeeeeeeee-it.'"

"I would just say, over the next couple of weeks, we’ll let it roll out and see how people respond to it,” he continued.

More information can be found on the Whitlock Academy website. Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee ...

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Drunk Birds Slur Their 'Words' Just Like Humans, Study Shows

Researchers conduct all sorts of strange experiments in the name of science, from studying the slipperiness of banana peels to looking at how dogs orient their bodies when they poop.

And now, in the latest example of strange science, researchers in the U.S. and Switzerland got some finches drunk and watched what happened.

Their main finding? Like drunk humans, boozed-up birds slur their "speech."

For the study, the researchers gave grape juice to one group of zebra finches and an alcoholic juice cocktail to another group. The cocktail-quaffing finches became somewhat inebriated, with blood alcohol levels of 0.05 percent to 0.08 percent, according to NPR.

"At first we were thinking that they wouldn't drink on their own because, you know, a lot of animals just won't touch the stuff," Christopher Olson, a researcher at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, told NPR. "But they seem to tolerate it pretty well and be somewhat willing to consume it."

A comparison of the birds' songs showed that the buzzed birds sang more quietly, and their songs lacked their typical structure (listen to the difference in the video above). Surprisingly, the alcohol did not seem to affect the birds' coordination.

The study might sound a bit silly, but the researchers argue that it has important real-world implications. Since scientists still don't fully understand how alcohol affects our speech, they say, the birds can serve as a good model for understanding humans.

"Because we know a lot about the exact brain areas that control singing and learning to sing in these birds, we are hoping that our future studies will tell us exactly what parts of the brain are affected when alcohol affects speech," co-researcher Dr. Claudio Mello, a behavioral neuroscientist at the university, told The Huffington Post in an email.

In other words, the research wasn't conducted on a lark.

The research may also lead to new treatments for alcohol abuse as well as new technology for identifying people who are intoxicated, Dr. Andrey Rubin, also a behavioral neuroscientist at the university, said in an email.

"Seeing how alcohol affects learned song can help us understand how alcohol affects learning and cognition and help develop treatments of such dysfunctions for humans," he wrote. "Second, there are efforts developing biomarkers of intoxication. Slurred speech could serve as such biomarker, and understanding how alcohol affects mechanisms regulating speech would help us develop such biomarkers."

The research was published online Dec. 23 in the journal PLOS ONE.

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2014 Summed Up In 1 Minute With A Year Of ADHD's Trippy GIFs

The good, the bad and the ... Yikes.

There's no denying that a lot of crazy things happened this year, most of which we'd like to leave behind as we head into the new year. To say goodbye to 2014 in the only way they know how (with ridiciulous GIFs), the good people at Animation Domination High-Def have put together the ultimate reel of 2014's biggest stories with their signature acid-trip animations.

Watch above for a conflicting mix of Ebola, Kim Kardashian, Vladimir Putin and Ellen's Oscar selfie, plus everything else that made 2014, 2014. You can read a full list of the events depicted on ADHD's YouTube page

Animation Definition High-Def's block of shows airs every Saturday at 11:00 p.m./10:00 Central on Fox.

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Cops Show Up At Homes, Shock Families In Need With $100 Bills

In this town, getting stopped by a cop might actually be a good thing.

The Huron County Sheriff's Office in Michigan received generous donations from four anonymous families last week, requesting the money be given to those in need, the Associated Press reported. Honoring their request, Sheriff Kelly J. Hanson and Sergeant James Hunt set out to surprise citizens by personally delivering $100 to 40 families by last Monday.

"It's been a lot of fun. It's definitely a change," Hanson told WNEM. "The police aren't always known, of course, with coming to your door with good news."

Each of the families who donated money gave the department $1,000. Shortly after the donations, Hanson contacted local groups and organizations to decide which people needed the funds the most, WNEM reported. The officers say that showing up at unsuspecting families' doors has been quite the experience.

"I get some strange looks right off the bat, you know," Hunt told WNEM. "People are suspicious."

And while the officers have had fun surprising people, they say they also feel honored to have been involved in such a thoughtful operation.

"I, like many others, have been tested and tasked from time to time, with the many difficult challenges of our occupations," Hanson said, according to the Huron County View. "It is rewarding for me to be in association with thoughtful and caring individuals such as those who contributed the $1,000."

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Top 10 Weird News Stories 2014

It's a simple equation: 2 penises + 3 breasts = 1 weird year.

We are living in a time of amazing body parts. A man with two penises really did step into the spotlight briefly, and so did a woman who claimed to have a third breast surgically implanted. And though her story was discredited, it did serve to create a Halloween costume sensation, while also serving as promotion of "American Horror Story: Freak Show."

With that in mind, here are our Top 10 weird news stories for 2014.

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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

This Town Nails New Year's Eve

WEST FAIRVIEW, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania town plans to nail their New Year's Eve and bicentennial celebrations by dropping some major hardware to mark the occasion.

The Sentinel ( reports West Fairview plans to drop a 7-foot-tall nail as the clock ticks down Wednesday night. Local artists constructed the nail out of wood.

The 50-pound symbol pays homage to the defunct Harrisburg Nail Works, a local mill that once employed many residents. West Fairview is across the Susquehanna (suhs-kwuh-HAN'-uh) River from the state capital.

Organizers say the event will also serve to commemorate the town's 200th anniversary in 2015.

The inaugural nail drop joins a host of creative New Year's Eve traditions in neighboring towns, such as the dropping of a giant wrench in Mechanicsburg and a huge pickle in Dillsburg.


Information from: The Sentinel,

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Russia Out Parties US On New Year's Eve

Think the United States goes hard on New Year’s Eve? Sorry, but compared to some other countries we wimp out way earlier than they do -- especially Russia.

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Jeffrey Jalinski Started Fires With Gas-Filled Bottles: Cops

A Florida man with very distinctive facial tattoos allegedly told police he had a burning desire to start fires.

Now his alleged heated hobby has landed him in hot water.

Police in Orange County, Florida, arrested Jeffrey Mark Jalinski, 30, on Dec. 22, after he admitted to using homemade devices to start fires in burn barrels, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Deputies and a SWAT team initially showed up at Jalinski's motor home with a search warrant looking for drugs.

Instead, they said, they found three beer bottles believed to contain gasoline and rags stuck in the neck of each bottle.

The suspect allegedly told deputies that the bottles were his and confirmed they were filled with gas.

He also allegedly confessed to using the bottles to start fires, KIRO TV reports.

Jalinski was charged with possession of or discharging a destructive device.

He has since bonded out of Orange County Jail, but not before posing for this memorable mug shot, according to


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Chris Rock's Divorce Isn't Exactly Surprising If You've Seen His Stand-Up

Earlier this week, Chris Rock confirmed that he and wife Malaak were divorcing after 19 years of marriage. As some were quick to point out, the news wasn't exactly shocking if you've ever seen Rock perform stand-up comedy. The guy has never really seemed too fond of married life.

In the video above, the Washington Post runs down some of the most revealing things Rock has said about wedded bliss in his movies and in his stand-up, including his famous riff on divorce and the late Nelson Mandela.

"Marriage is so tough man, Nelson Mandela got divorced -- he got out of jail after 27 years of torture, spent six months with his wife and said, ‘I can’t take this [expletive] no more.'"


Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost Divorce on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our newsletter here.

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Giant Invasive Crab Caught Walking Down The Street In Hawaii

Earlier this month, Holly Cantere looked up to see a 4.8-pound coconut crab walking down a busy street in her suburban Honolulu neighborhood.

"It just kept walking, like there was not a care in the world when it crossed the street,” she told KHON-2. “Everybody slowed down like it was a pedestrian.”

The largest terrestrial arthropods in the world, coconut crabs can grow as big as nine pounds and three feet wide, and they can live as long as 120 years. They've been known to shred trash cans, eat cats and tear up gardens. They’re so avaricious that one theory to explain Amelia Earhart’s demise says she didn’t drown, but crashed on the remote Nikumaroro atoll and was eaten by coconut crabs that then scattered her bones.

They got their name because while mere humans need a machete to tear into a coconut, the crab's strong pincers can easily crack one.

Although they can be found on islands throughout the Pacific and Indian oceans, coconut crabs (or "robber crabs" because they scamper off with your stuff) aren’t found on the continental United States and are considered an invasive species in Hawaii.

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This coconut crab was spotted crossing a busy street in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Dec. 21, 2014. It was the first coconut crab captured there since 1989.

Looking for help, Cantere bravely packed the neighborhood interloper in a box and called the state’s department of agriculture. The crab is now quarantined -- nobody knows where it came from or how it got there -- and once cleared, it will end up in an exhibit at the Honolulu Zoo.

“It’s a rare event that anyone finds a coconut crab in Hawaii,” Robert Toonen, an associate researcher at the University of Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, told The Huffington Post. The last time the department of agriculture found one in public in Hawaii was in 1989. (Toonen surmised it was probably meant for someone’s holiday dinner and escaped; coconut crabs that eat a diet heavy in coconuts are reportedly tasty.)

According to Toonen, an infestation of coconut crabs in Hawaii would spell disaster for native species of birds and plants. He said they “eat any rotting material that falls to the ground, including leaves, coconuts and carrion … if they’re looking for food, they’ll eat anything they can put their claws on. A lot of the native species here are already under threat from other invasive species, so having one more nonnative predator is a concern.”

Coconut crabs can grow as big as a trash can, as this one reportedly did outside a construction site.

While coconut crabs aren’t allowed in Hawaii today, a 2011 study published by the scientific journal Plos One shows that a different species of endemic land crabs -- Geograpsus severnsi -- once roamed the forested mountains there. Though smaller -- the size of a human hand -- these crabs were discovered to have lived in Hawaii until settlers (and their pigs, dogs and rats) hunted them into extinction.

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14 New Year's Resolutions You Can Take From Fortune Cookies

Being too lazy to come up with your own New Year's resolution doesn't bode well for the changes you're hoping to make in 2015, but perhaps you just need a little inspiration.

Instead of making half-hearted promises to yourself, why not allow the ever-mystical fortune cookie to provide you with the perfect resolution based on it's all-knowing wisdom.*

Scroll down to see how these classic fortune cookie messages parlay into New Year's resolutions for 2015.

*Warning, some resolutions may be less wise than others.

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Morton Salt Warehouse Wall Collapses, Causing One Big Salty Mess

When it rains, it certainly does pour.

Chicago’s Morton Salt building was the sight of an unusual scene Tuesday afternoon when a wall of the building collapsed, leaving at least half a dozen cars parked on the facility’s south side partially covered in, you guessed it, salt.

According to Chicago Fire Media, the cars were on the lot of the Acura car dealership neighboring the Morton property. No injuries were reported, nor margaritas served.

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The scene was especially dramatic from above:

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