Thursday, 28 June 2018

Flamingo That Escaped Kansas Zoo In 2005 Is Thriving 700 Miles Away In Texas

Members of a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department crew were tickled pink when they spotted an African flamingo flying among seagulls in Lavaca Bay last week.

“I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure flamingos aren’t native to Texas,” The New York Times quoted a crew member as saying.

This astute observation is true. Aside from a few sightings in South Florida and Puerto Rico, the leggy bird isn’t often seen in the United States.

This crew just happened to have the rare privilege of stumbling upon No. 492 — a famed flamingo that escaped from a Kansas zoo over a decade ago.

Dubbed No. 492 because of the number on a band on its leg, the legendary bird fled Wichita’s Sedgwick County Zoo in 2005 and has been on the run ever since.

No. 492’s flight feathers had not been trimmed by the zoo because staffers thought they weren’t fully grown, according to a 2013 story in the Kansas City Star.

Unfortunately, they were wrong.

One night the freedom-loving flamingo took advantage of strong storm winds and broke out before zookeepers had a chance to take a blood test and determine its sex.

Since then, No. 492, which is originally from Tasmania and spent some time in South Africa before being taken to the zoo in 2004 with 39 other flamingos, has been spotted in Wisconsin, Texas and Louisiana. The feathered fugitive has also been seen with a friend (or mate) a few times, a Yucatan-born Caribbean flamingo with a band reading “HDNT.”

And hopefully, the 22-year-old No. 492 will eventually get to see even more of the country, because it could live to be 50 years old, according to Scott Newland, the Sedgwick County Zoo’s curator of birds, who spoke to Reuters in 2013.

“It’s a testament to the adaptability of these animals,” he told Reuters, adding that the zoo has never tried to recapture the bird because it “began its life in the wild and is naturally wary of being approached by people.”

And although Newland is happy to see No. 492 thriving, he’s not exactly keen on being asked about it.

“It is a black eye, to be honest,” he told the Kansas City Star in 2013. “It was basically an error. We are not fond of this story.”

But at least he sees one positive in the media’s coverage.

“The good thing is that if this is what gets people out watching wildlife, there is no harm in that.”

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Woman In Distracted Boyfriend Meme Is Perpetually Shocked In Other Stock Photos

The distracted boyfriend meme is the gift that keeps on giving.

One of the women in the meme has been found in dozens of other stock photos, and it seems her surprise over her distracted boyfriend isn’t exactly a unique reaction.

According to one Twitter user, Ernie Smith, this woman is eternally shocked. Smith tweeted out his proof in a series of seriously shook stock photos: 

Did you think she was done being shocked? Because you’d be wrong. She is never done.

The shock continues!

What a shocking time to be alive!!!

Does anyone else’s face hurt from seeing this woman frozen this way? No? Just us? 

At any rate, we hope this woman isn’t shocked for the rest of her life. Seems like a very stressful way to live.

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Birds' Nest Puts Canadian Music Festival Preparations On Hold

Setup for a 10-day music festival in Canada was suspended after a birds’ nest with four eggs was discovered where the main stage is to be erected, The Globe and Mail reported.

The nest, on the site of Bluesfest in Ottawa, Ontario, belongs to a pair of killdeer, a protected species in Canada.

CTV News says that the show ― which includes performances by the Dave Matthews Band and Foo Fighters ― will go on once Environment Canada decides whether to accept a proposal to move the nest. Another option is to incubate the eggs.

In the meantime, a security guard has been assigned to protect the nest and the eggs.

Check out the video above for the CTV News report. 

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Tuesday, 26 June 2018

World's Ugliest Dog: Zsa Zsa The Bulldog Captures Title

Is there really such a thing as an ugly dog?

Judges at the 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog contest in Petaluma, California, answered that question by crowning a 9-year-old bulldog named Zsa Zsa the ugliest of them all.

Zsa Zsa, rescued from a Missouri puppy mill, now calls Anoka, Minnesota, home. “She was a puppy mill dog for five years in Missouri, sent to a dog auction and later purchased by Underdog Rescue,” said her owners, Megan and Jesse Brainard, according to the Ugliest Dog contest webpage. “From the moment we saw her beautiful face, we knew we would be her forever home. We are so excited for her, she deserves this.”

Zsa Zsa beat out 13 other competitors to take home a trophy and a $1,500 check at Saturday’s competition.


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Monday, 25 June 2018

Doctors Remove Live Worm Crawling Under Woman's Face

A Russian woman bugged by a strange lump on her face was even more shocked to discover the cause: a live worm.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the 32-year-old woman first noticed strange nodules below her left eye that later moved above her eye and then down to her upper lip. She told doctors the nodules appeared after she visited a rural area outside Moscow, where she was bitten repeatedly by mosquitoes.

The nodules caused occasional itching and burning, but she said she had no other symptoms.

Doctors quickly identified the suspect ― a long, parasitic roundworm called Dirofilaria reopens typically spread by mosquitoes and hosted by dogs and other carnivores. They removed the squirming lump from the woman’s face using local anesthetic and a pair of forceps. 

It could have been worse, according to Natalia Pshenichnaya, a physician who studies infectious diseases at Rostov State Medical University in Rostov, Russia.

She told NPR that in 20 percent of cases, the worms can “move considerable distances,” such as from the upper eyelid to the buttocks.

Even worse: The worm can live up to two years in the human body if it isn’t removed.

Luckily, it rarely causes disease in humans, according to Dr. Jorgen Kurtzhals, professor at University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen University Hospital, and president of the World Federation of Parasitologists.

Still, Kurtzhals acknowledged that just the thought of such a critter can get under some people’s skin.

“A lot of people have a fear of contracting worms of various kinds,” Kurtzhals told CNN. “I think it is important not to scare people. This is still a very rare condition ― despite the apparently rising numbers.”

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Let Photos Of Cats High On Catnip Be A Light In This Dark, Dark World

We usually think of cats as graceful, sophisticated creatures. But give them a little catnip, and they can become straight-up goofballs.

It’s a hilarious incongruity that professional cat photographer Andrew Marttila has captured in his new book, Cats on Catnip.

“I don’t remember the first time I gave my cat catnip, but I recall immediately wishing to see what it would look like frame-by-frame,” Marttila told HuffPost in an email. “As soon as my photography advanced to the point where I learned how to capture those wild moments, I was hooked on taking freeze frame action shots.”

It was after seeing his former roommate’s cat on the ’nip that he began getting the idea to create a whole photo series of blissed-out felines.

“My old roommate’s cat absolutely loved the stuff,” he said. “We’re talking 12-step program obsession. Whenever I’d give him catnip, I felt like my next move was to call the exorcist.”

Cats acting cray on catnip soon became one of his favorite subjects to shoot, and he figured the photos would make a pretty good book. Armed with the knowledge that about 70 to 80 percent of cats have an intense response to the plant, he put out a casting call and began traveling around the country on a furry important quest.

Over the course of six months, he gave more than 100 felines piles of the kitty-safe herb and snapped photos of the cats while they went bonkers on it.  

And for every shoot, he came fully supplied — with four to five tubs of different kinds of catnip.

“A lot of cat owners don’t know how to dish out the stuff,” he said. “Cats don’t want a pinch! They want to cover their entire bodies in it. I took a number of hilarious photos with cats completely covered in catnip like a suit of euphoric armor.”

To see some of Marttila’s photos of cats in their happy place, take a look below.










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Rat Suspect Found Dead In ATM Amid $19,000 Worth Of Chewed Indian Rupees

Employees at a bank in Tinsukia, India, have a good reason to be cheesed off after at least one rat got into an ATM and ate $19,000 worth of rupees.

A rodent robber was discovered June 11 when technicians arrived to fix a State Bank of India cash machine, according to The Associated Press.

Inside the ATM was one dead rat amid a bunch of Indian currency in 500-rupee and 2,000-rupee bills that had been chewed to shreds.

Police Superintendent Mugdha Jyoti Mahantato told reporters on Friday that the rat had entered the ATM through a small hole for cables.

About $25,000 worth of rupees was salvaged from the machine, according to the Indian Express.

An investigation is underway to determine if the rat or rats were really responsible, according to CTV.

Meanwhile, Twitter users couldn’t help but put in their two cents, according to NDTV.

“Looks like the mice are having a demonitisation of their own,” one Twitter user said, according to the station. “The money launderer’s version of ‘My dog ate my homework,’” said another.

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Phillie Phanatic Shoots Baseball Fan In the Eye With Hot Dog

She might have gotten a bruising at the ballpark, but Philadelphia Phillies fan Kathy McVay is still true, even if she’s black and blue.

McVay has a black eye after being hit Monday night when her team’s mascot, the Phillie Phanatic, shot a frankfurter out of a hot dog-shaped cannon into the stands above home plate.

Sadly, McVay’s attempt to catch the flying wiener didn’t work, an error she blames on a shoulder injury that requires surgery.

“It came down with such force, like a ton of bricks,” she told “Inside Edition.” “My glasses flew off, and I started bleeding.”

McVay ended up in a hospital emergency room that night, where a scan confirmed she didn’t have a concussion.

But she does have one major league shiner on her right eye.

“Mostly, it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” she told WPVI-TV. “It’s going to go down the side of my face.” 

McVay is trying to keep up her spirits despite the injury.

“At least it’s funny,” McVay told NBC Philadelphia. “It’s a story I can tell people. My only thing is just to warn people just to be careful.”

The Phillies apologized to McVay on Tuesday and offered her tickets to a future game. Luckily, her hot dog hematoma didn’t scare her off the offer. 

“I love the Phillies. I would definitely go. I just have a story to tell,” she told the station.

However, McVay admits that next time she plans to sit in the nosebleed section.

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Man With Gun Forehead Tattoo Charged With Illegally Possessing Firearm

If gun tattoos are outlawed, then only outlaws will have gun tattoos?

A South Carolina man barred from possessing firearms because of his criminal record was arrested over the weekend and charged with ― you guessed it, weapons possession.

After 24-year-old Michael Vines slammed a Toyota Camry into a power pole on Saturday night, firefighters saw him toss a handgun into the grass, Greenville police reported, according to The Smoking Gun.

Authorities charged Vines with driving under a suspended license, driving too fast for conditions and unlawful carrying of a firearm, according to WYFF-TV.

The handgun police accused Vines of carrying was a fully loaded Smith & Wesson .38-caliber revolver. Vines is prohibited from owning a gun because of a rap sheet that includes multiple narcotics convictions.

Vines isn’t shy about his fondness for guns. He has a tattoo of a handgun prominently displayed on his forehead.

Greenville police made a subtle reference to Vines’ display of ink in a Facebook post, noting that “the real weapon was placed in property and evidence.”

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'Wolf-Like' Animal That Baffled Officials Turns Out To Be A Regular Wolf

The mystery of a seemingly bizarre “wolf-like” creature that was shot and killed in Montana last month has been solved: The animal was a wolf all along.

DNA results from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service forensic laboratory in Oregon show the lupine creature was a female gray wolf. (The gray wolf is a wolf species, and individuals can vary in color.) The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced the results in a press release on Monday.

In May, a rancher shot and killed the wolf on his property near the Montana town of Denton. He brought the carcass to state wildlife authorities, who were puzzled by its appearance and speculated the animal may have been a wolf-dog hybrid. Officials sent the carcass for further inspection to a lab in Bozeman, Montana. Tissue samples were then sent to the Oregon lab for DNA testing.

Initial “confusion” about the creature could have been “due to the condition of the animal and the photos, which seemed to show short legs and big ears,” the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks said in Monday’s statement. When researchers examined the animal in Bozeman, they found a “relatively normal looking, dark brown wolf,” according to the release.

The wolf was 2 years to 3 years old and she wasn’t lactating, meaning she didn’t leave a litter of pups behind.

The rancher who shot the wolf didn’t break the law, the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks statement noted, because it’s legal in Montana for property owners to shoot wolves they believe threaten their livestock.

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Man Gets Receipt Telling The Cook To Spit In His Food

What was supposed to be a happy Father’s Day meal turned out to be a stomach-churning experience for one New York City man.

Curtis Mays’ daughter and granddaughter took him out to the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden for burgers and beer. Everything was fine ― that is, until they got the receipt. At that point, he noticed something really disgusting.

Along with the request to add cheddar cheese and mayo to his burger was this directive: “Please spit in it too.”

“I ate my burger already. I felt like I was gonna throw up,” Mays told WABC TV. 

Mays said that he confronted the waitress and that she couldn’t explain what had happened.

“She said she didn’t do it. So I was like, ‘Who prints out the receipt?’ So she said, ‘I take it up there and print it myself.’ ‘So you did it? Why are you lying about it?’ She just walked off,” he told the news station.

After Mays complained to the on-duty manager, the waitress was fired and he got a refund.

The manager told the station that he had previously had no problem with the waitress and that it was very unlikely a cook actually spit in the burger. Still, he understood why the customer was upset.

HuffPost reached out to the restaurant, which did not immediately respond.

Fox News said some people speculated that the waitress may have simply misspelled the phrase “Please split in two.”

The Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden currently has an ‘A’ rating from the New York Department of Health, according to WABC.

The restaurant also has a 4-star rating on Yelp, although Sunday’s incident has inspired a flurry of one-star ratings.

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Saturday, 16 June 2018

Huge Cat, Weighing 29 Pounds, Shows Up As Stray At Animal Shelter

A California animal shelter is trying to find the owners — or, if they can’t be found, a new home — for an extra-large, fluffy cat who was found wandering the streets.

“HUGE CAT ALERT,” wrote The Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA on Twitter Thursday. The accompanying photo of the big, blue-eyed cat staring into the camera has since gone viral.

“As millions of Americans hit the gym on the quest for the perfect summer body, a 29lb cat began an exercise regimen of his own,” the organization wrote on Facebook. “Earlier this week, the 10-year-old Himalayan mix took himself for an afternoon walk down a busy Altadena street. Luckily, he was found by a good Samaritan who lugged him to the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA for care.”

The cat, now being called “Chubbs,” didn’t have any ID. If an owner doesn’t come forward by 11 a.m. Sunday, Chubbs will be put up for adoption. Because he’s too big to comfortably fit inside a kennel, he’s currently residing in a staff office.

Though Chubbs is adorable, it’s not cute for cats to be so overweight. Excess weight can lead to a slew of serious health problems for animals, and pet obesity is a big issue in the United States.

“We need to get some weight off of him, and whoever adopts him is hopefully going to have a little bit of fun exercising him,” Pasadena Humane Society president Julie Banks told local news station KTLA.

When Chubbs came in, he had matted fur so severe it appeared to be causing him pain, likely because he’s too big to groom himself properly. That’s why, in the video above, much of Chubbs’ fur appears to have been shaved or cut off.

Despite his physical struggles, Chubbs’ sweet nature is shining through.

“He is 29 pounds of love,” Banks said.

Of course, even if you aren’t able to adopt Chubbs, there are still a ton of other cats available for adoption, both at the Pasadena Humane Society and at local shelters around the country.

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Man Sues Ex-Girlfriend For Sabotaging Music Career So He Wouldn't Move Away

People in love do strange things, but sabotaging their partner’s career is not typically one of them.

A Canadian court has ruled that’s what Jennifer Lee did to her boyfriend by deleting an email he’d received from a prestigious music school and replacing it with a fake rejection note.

On Wednesday, Ontario Superior Court Judge David Corbett found that Lee deliberately stalled the career of then-boyfriend Eric Abramovitz in 2014 when the two of them were music students at McGill University in Montreal. Corbett awarded a judgment worth $260,000 in U.S. dollars as payback.

In late 2013, Abramovitz applied to study at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles under Yehuda Gilad. The famed clarinet teacher accepts only two new students a year. Each one receives a full scholarship that covers tuition, room and board, and money for other expenses. 

Perhaps most important, the chosen few are virtually guaranteed a high-paying symphony career upon graduation, according to the Montreal Gazette.

Abramovitz went through an extensive screening process, including a live audition in February 2014, and felt confident he’d be accepted, according to The Washington Post. But a few weeks later, he received a rejection email. He was crushed and chose to finish his bachelor’s degree at McGill.

Two years passed before Abramovitz discovered that he’d actually been accepted and that Lee, whom he had been dating for five months at the time, had forged the rejection note.

Abramovitz told the court that Lee had access to his email and was able to delete the real acceptance letter before he could see it. He said Lee also impersonated him and sent Gilad an email declining the offer.

Her alleged motive: to keep Abramovitz from moving away.

After earning his degree at McGill, Abramovitz was still determined to learn from Gilad. He entered a two-year certificate program at the University of Southern California, which allowed him much less study time with the master teacher and didn’t come with a full scholarship.

At a second meeting, Gilad asked Abramovitz, “Why did you reject me?” The student replied, “Why did you reject me?”

The two musicians couldn’t figure out what had happened. Eventually, Abramovitz forwarded the fake rejection email to Gilad, who replied, “I’ve never seen that in my life,” according to the National Post.

“That’s when I knew that something underhanded was afoot,” Abramovitz told the paper.

In 2015, he and a friend tried to gain access to the email account that had sent him the fake rejection letter. Since Abramovitz and Lee once shared a computer, he knew one of her passwords.

“Miraculously, it logged right in,” he said, and what she’d done became clear. “We felt like Sherlock Holmes.”

At that point, Abramovitz told Gilad. He also hired an attorney and contacted Lee, whom he was no longer dating.

“At first she tried to deny it, but the evidence I had was overwhelming,” Abramovitz told BuzzFeed. “Then she blocked me on social media and we only spoke to each other through lawyers.”

Lee did not respond multiple times to the court action, which is one reason why the judge ruled for Abramovitz. “A defendant who has been noted in default is deemed to admit the truth of all allegations of fact made in the statement of claim,” the judge wrote.

Abramovitz is happy with the verdict, although he told the National Post he doesn’t know if he’ll be able to collect the damage award from Lee.

Meanwhile, he is in a better place in both his career and his personal life. Not only has Abramovitz just got a new position as associate principal and E flat clarinetist at the Toronto Symphony, but he has a new girlfriend, according to BuzzFeed.

“We’re really happy,” he said. “I would like to think that since my first relationship, my judgment of character has improved just a little bit.”

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Marijuana Joint Worth $24,000 Is Literal Definition Of Financial Hit

Got money to burn? Well, you could always spend it on a joint worth $24,000.

That’s the estimated worth of a 3-foot-long joint that was auctioned off Thursday night for charity by Stone Road Farms, a Los Angeles-based cannabis company.

The mega-sized marijuana cigarette contains more than a pound of weed, as well as 6 ounces of concentrate and 2 ounces of bubble hash, according to Stone Road founder Lex Corwin, who commissioned the joint.

Did we mention that it’s wrapped in rolling papers made of 24-karat gold leaf worth $5,000 alone?

As for actually inhaling, Corwin suggests a little pothead prudence.

“Smoking this would definitely be a multiday endeavor,” Corwin told HuffPost. “After three or four hits, you’d be couch-locked.”

The giant joint is shaped like an elephant tusk, a nod to the charity it was auctioned off for: the African Wildlife Foundation.

“They’re training German shepherds to chase after poachers, and that’s definitely something we want to be a part of,” Corwin said.

Although he said the tusk-shaped joint is worth 24 grand, the joint only earned $4,000 for charity Thursday night. The event was held at Fig Earth Supply, an organic nursery in Los Angeles.

Still, he doesn’t think he took a financial hit off the joint.

“Everything was donated, and the person who bought it is my biggest investor, so it’s staying in the family,” Corwin said.

He said he will announce plans for smoking the super-sized spliff in six weeks and promises, “We’ll definitely do it on video.” 

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Florida Man Asks Cops To Make Sure HIs Meth Is Up To Speed

Investigators at the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office in Florida don’t meth around.

Douglas Peter Kelly found that out the hard way on Tuesday when he purchased some crystal meth from his dealer that he thought wasn’t exactly up to speed.

Fearing a rip-off, the 49-year-old contacted the sheriff’s office, saying that he wanted the drugs tested because he had a “bad reaction,” according to The Smoking Gun.

Investigators said Kelly wanted to “press charges” against the person who sold him the illegal drug a week earlier, so the drug unit detectives invited him to come in and have the contraband tested, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Kelly then drove to the sheriff’s office and allegedly gave detectives a crystal-like substance wrapped in aluminum foil that tested positive for methamphetamine.

That positive test had negative results for Kelly, who was arrested on charges of possession of methamphetamine and taken next door to the Putnam County Jail. He was released Wednesday afternoon on $2,500 bond.

The sheriff’s office posted Kelly’s arrest on Facebook with this reminder:

“Remember, our detectives are always ready to assist anyone who believes they were misled in their illegal drug purchase.”


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Hungry Dog Study May Beef Up Research Of Human Obesity

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Researchers in Hungary who found that normal and overweight dogs behaved differently in tasks involving food say the dogs’ responses were similar to what might be expected in normal and overweight humans.

The study suggested dogs could be used as models for future research into the causes and psychological impacts of human obesity, the authors of the paper from Budapest’s ELTE University said.

Researchers put two bowls - one of them holding a good meal, the other empty or containing less attractive food - in front of a series of dogs.

The study found that canines of a normal weight continued obeying instructions to check the second bowl for food, but the obese ones refused after a few rounds.

“We expected the overweight dog to do anything to get food, but in this test, we saw the opposite. The overweight dogs took a negative view,” test leader Orsolya Torda said.

“If a situation is uncertain and they cannot find food, the obese dogs are unwilling to invest energy to search for food - for them the main thing is to find the right food with least energy involved.”

The behavior had possible parallels with overweight people who see food as a reward, said the paper published in the Royal Society Open Science journal.

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Friday, 15 June 2018

Achilles The 'Psychic' Cat Correctly Predicts Winner Of First World Cup Game

Russia’s 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia in Thursday’s opening game of the FIFA World Cup was good not only for the host country but also for a supposedly clairvoyant cat.

His name is Achilles and he lives in the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, where his usual duties include lazing around in between the odd attempt at rat catching.

During the monthlong soccer tournament, however, Achilles is taking on a different task: making World Cup predictions by choosing between two bowls of cat food, according to the Russian news agency Tass.

Achilles picked Russia over Saudi Arabia in the opening match. Then, the national team did their part to make him look good (not that that was their priority).

The cat is deaf and Hermitage officials suggest that gives him an advantage since he’s not easily distracted when making predictions, according to Reuters.

They didn’t tell the news agency whether the sight of the national flags might sway his choice. But museum veterinarian Anna Kondratyeva told told the Associated Press that Achilles “loves his motherland and couldn’t vote otherwise.”

The 2018 World Cup isn’t the first go-around for Achilles, who correctly predicted the outcomes of three out of four Confederations Cup matches played in St. Petersburg last year, including the opening and final matches, Tass reports. 

Achilles’ prediction may be catnip to Russian soccer fans, but he has a long way to go before he can be declared top dog among psychic animals.

That honor still belongs to Paul the Psychic Octopus, who in 2010 successfully picked the outcome of eight World Cup games. Paul didn’t get a single prediction wrong.

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Turtle Gives Finger To Louisiana Police

COVINGTON, La. ― A fisherman here made a bizarre discovery when he found what appeared to be a severed human finger inside the stomach of an alligator snapping turtle he was preparing to eat.

“He was cleaning for a meal, at which time he found it inside of the turtle and we were contacted,” St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Captain Scott Lee told HuffPost.

“We notified our coroner’s office and they determined it is, in fact, a human finger,” Lee said. “This is a very, very odd occurrence here.”

Lee described the turtle as “pretty large,” and said the unidentified fisherman caught it Monday on a trotline in the Tchefuncte River, a 70-mile-long river north of Lake Pontchartrain. A trotline is a long cord with multiple hooks, which fisherman bait and stretch out to catch fish.

Lee said investigators spoke with a biologist who said alligator snapping turtles don’t typically stray far from where they feed.

Investigators said they had the fisherman direct them to the area he’d caught the turtle. They searched along the riverbanks and in the water and wooded areas for any evidence of foul play. Finding nothing, they suspended their search Thursday afternoon.

James Hartman, a spokesman for the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office, noted that whoever lost their finger may still be alive and might have chosen not to seek medical attention.

“That’s not what I would do, but it’s certainly how some people here would deal with that,” Hartman told HuffPost.

Authorities said that while the finger does not appear to be in an advanced state of decomposition, they were unable to get a usable fingerprint. They said they checked with area hospitals, but no one has been admitted without a finger and no one has come forward to claim it.

The next step, according to Hartman, would be to perform DNA testing.

“It appears to be from a Caucasian [individual], but I’m not going to assume that,” Hartman said. “Those are things we’ll determine with DNA testing, but we’re not doing that yet.”

Hartman said having the finger DNA tested would be “very expensive,” so they’re waiting to see if the police investigation yields clues.

“If not, we’ll do whatever is necessary to scientifically solve this mystery,” he said.

According to National Geographic, the alligator snapping turtle ― the “dinosaur of the turtle world” ― is the largest freshwater turtle in North America and among the largest on earth. The turtles can live as long as 100 years, and males have been known to exceed 220 pounds. They reportedly have no natural predators other than humans.

Lee said authorities are not releasing photos of the turtle.

“Basically, the turtle was in the process of being cleaned, so it’s just a big blob of nastiness,” he said.

Lee added, “At this point, all we know is we have a finger, but we don’t know if we’re dealing with a fishing accident or something more, so we’re not ruling anything out.”

Anyone with information about the finger is asked to contact the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office at 985-898-2338 or the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office at 985-781-1150.

Send David Lohr an email or follow him on Facebook and Twitter. 

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Woman Says Neil Armstrong Gave Her A Vial Of Moon Dust, Sues NASA To Keep It

A Tennessee woman is proactively suing NASA to keep what she says is a vial of moon dust gifted from astronaut Neil Armstrong.

Laura Cicco said Armstrong was a family friend, and that her mother gave her a tube of priceless lunar particles when she was 10, along with a note that read: “To Laura Ann Murray — Best of Luck — Neil Armstrong Apollo 11.” 

Cicco told The Washington Post she kept Armstrong’s autograph in her bedroom but didn’t see the dust until she was going through her parents’ possessions five years ago.

NASA has not confiscated the vial, but Cicco says she doesn’t want the space agency to take it, so she filed a lawsuit on Wednesday to proactively assert her rights.

It might seem strange to sue at this point, but proactive law maintains that in some cases, such as those involving trademarks, contracts, and potential disputes, it is easier, cheaper and faster to address problems before they happen instead of reacting to them.

Cicco’s attorney, Christopher McHugh, says Armstrong’s signature has been authenticated by autograph experts. According to court documents, an expert who analyzed the dust would only say the moon dust sample “may have originated” from the moon’s surface.

There’s no law preventing people from owning materials of lunar origin, according to However, McHugh noted that the space agency has seized suspected lunar material from private citizens before. 

For instance, NASA officials staged a sting in 2011 to retrieve lunar material from a 74-year-old woman whose late husband worked as an engineer on the Apollo 11 mission. The agency believed the material was stolen, but a prosecutor declined to bring a case against the woman. A court later ruled she could sue for violation of her constitutional rights, The Washington Post reported.

NASA’s Lunar Allocations Handbook states that lunar samples are the property of the United States government and are only to be used for authorized purposes. Because of that policy, even scientists researching the dangers of moon dust were forced to use simulated lunar dust for a study they published last month, according to Gizmodo.

NASA did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment. An agency spokeswoman told The Washington Post that it would be “inappropriate” for the agency to comment on a pending lawsuit.

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Woman Gets Head Stuck In Exhaust Pipe

That’s trucked up!

A Minnesota woman had a memorable time at a music festivial this past weekend, but no one would blame her if she’d rather forget it.

That’s a normal feeling when you get your head stuck in a truck’s exhaust pipe for 45 minutes.

Kaitlyn Strom was at the Winstock Country Music Festival in the town of Winsted on Friday when she decided to go where few people have gone before.

“We were just all having fun and I saw this big exhaust pipe and I was like, ‘Hey, my head could probably fit in that,’” she told the Hutchinson Leader. “So I tried it. It did fit, but it didn’t want to come back out.”

Strom estimated she spent 45 minutes inside the pipe and said she was finally rescued when firefighters used a power saw, according to Minneapolis station WCCO TV.

Although she was unharmed by her close encounter with the inside of a tailpipe, the McLeod County Sheriff’s Office cited her for underage drinking, according to The Associated Press.

She was escorted from the festival once she was freed, but her exhausting experience lives on thanks to this video posted on Facebook, which has been viewed more than 2.3 million times as of Wednesday afternoon.

Strom didn’t expect to go viral, but she’s not surprised.

“A lot of people don’t realize how serious it was,” she told the Leader. “So it’s kind of expected when it’s blasted on the internet that you’re going to get negative comments. … Some people can be really cruel.” 

One person she said was surprisingly kind was Tom Wold of Darwin, the owner of the truck.

“I did not know him, but everyone who was around me knew him,” she told the paper. “He was wonderful. I remember getting my head unstuck, and I just looked at him and apologized, and he said, ‘No, I’m just glad you’re OK. Don’t worry about it.’ He has already fixed his exhaust and is going to be working on that. I did not have to pay for anything like that, because he was absolutely wonderful.”

She posted a photo of herself and Wold on Saturday where she owned up to the experience.

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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

2,505 Women In Ireland Break World's Skinny-Dipping Record

There was a wave of excitement at Ireland’s Magheramore beach this past weekend ― and that’s the naked truth.

That’s because 2,505 women banded together to break the Guinness World Record for “largest skinny-dip,” as part of an event to raise money for a local cancer charity, according to 

The previous record of 786 people was set in March 2015 in Perth, Australia.

This record attempt was more impressive because it had three times the participants even though the water was a chilly 53 degrees, according to Reuters.

One participant, Deirdre Betson, said the collective clothing-optional event was a game changer for her.

“Oh, my God, it was amazing. I have never been naked in front of anybody before, except my husband, and it was brilliant and bracing. It was great craic,” Betson told Reuters. “We are all different shapes and sizes and ages, and it was just super.”

Organizer Dee Featherstone created the “Strip and Dip” six years ago. She decided to start it after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012.

“I contacted some friends and family . . . and told them, ‘I only have one boob and I’m bald, so what’s your excuse?’” she told The Irish Times. “Sixty of us did the first one, and last year’s event grew to 200 women.”

The annual event is open to women cancer patients and survivors, and to women who have been otherwise affected by cancer.

“It’s basically giving a big ‘feck you’ to cancer. For those who have cancer, they’re taking ownership of their bodies again,” Featherstone said before the event.

“ A lot of women said that the experience really changed their lives. One woman told me that her husband hadn’t seen her naked in years. After the skinny-dip, she just walks around the house naked now.”

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Saturday, 9 June 2018

Lottery Winner Picks Up Check In Emoji Wink Mask

A Jamaican woman who won the equivalent of $1 million U.S. in a lottery found a clever way to collect the loot while protecting her identity: by wearing an emoji wink mask.

The woman, N. Gray, won the jackpot last month when she randomly picked numbers a few hours before a regional Super Lotto draw, according to the Jamaica Observer.

When she decided to pick up her winnings earlier this week, Gray provided us high comedy while keeping a low profile by using the emoji mask to both celebrate her fortune and conceal her identity.

It may seem like a good joke, but there was a serious reason for the mask. Lottery winners around the world have opted to hide their identities as they collect their winnings.

Crime rates in Jamaica, in particular, leave many residents fearing they’ll be targeted after winning large sums of money, according to the Jamaica Star.

“Unfortunately, Jamaica is not like other markets. In other markets, they don’t necessarily do it, but here I think they opt to do it to keep themselves safe,” Simone Clarke-Cooper, assistant vice-president of Group Corporate Communications at Supreme Ventures Limited, the company behind the Super Lotto, told the Star. “We are not going to tell them not to do that because their safety is of paramount importance to us as well.”

That’s why Gray isn’t revealing much about herself, but she did offer a peek behind the mask to the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper.

“I am employed, but I am not necessarily going to leave my job. Now I’ve won, I want to clear my debt, invest, and I want to do some traveling,” she said. “I would like to construct a community center for the youths in my community, so they can engage in something productive; somewhere where they can do information technology.”

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State Trooper Pulls Over Cop Who Delivered Him 27 Years Ago

A routine traffic stop turned into a reunion of sorts between a New Jersey state trooper and the retired cop who delivered him 27 years ago.

On June 1, Trooper Michael Patterson stopped Matthew Bailly in Kingwood Township for having tinted windows.

During their interaction, Bailly told Patterson he was retired from the Piscataway police force. That piqued Patterson’s interest since it’s his hometown.

But that connection got even closer within a few minutes.

When Patterson mentioned the street he grew up on, Bailly remembered delivering a baby there as a rookie cop 27 years ago and remembered the style of the house and that the baby was named Michael.

That’s when Patterson extended his hand and introduced himself formally.

“My name is Michael Patterson, sir,” he told Bailly. “Thank you for delivering me.”

The two took a photo together at the scene of the traffic stop. Patterson later brought his mother to Bailly’s home, where the two cops took another photo. Both pictures, along with the story, were posted on Facebook by the New Jersey State Police. 

The state police wrote in the post: “They all felt this story was so uplifting, it needed to be shared, and we agree! After all, as a police officer, you don’t always get a chance to have a moment like this with people you once helped in your career!”

It turns out Patterson may have also helped Bailly. Instead of giving him a ticket for his tinted windows, Patterson advised him to change the glass, according to the BBC.

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Auto Theft Suspect Arrested With Monkey Clinging To His Shirt

As arrests go, this one was bananas.

When deputies in Pasco County, Florida, arrested Cody Blake Hession on Friday after he allegedly drove a stolen car into a ditch, they were shocked to discover an accomplice: A capuchin monkey clinging to his pink polo shirt.

Hession, 23, of Holly Hill, was arrested while fleeing the scene, and that’s when officers noticed his primate companion, who was named ― appropriately enough ― Monk, according to WTVD TV.

Hession told officers that Monk was 3 years old and he had owned him since the monkey was 3 days old, according to reports.

He also said the animal came from a breeder in South Carolina and claimed there was no licensing or permitting required in that state.

However, Hession didn’t have an exotic animal permit for the monkey, so the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission took the animal into custody and dropped Monk off at a nearby primate sanctuary, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Hession has been charged with auto theft in a different jurisdicition, a felony. He remains behind bars on $5,000 bond.

He could face additional charges for not having the exotic animal permit, according to WFTS TV.

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Friday, 8 June 2018

MIT Creates Psychopath AI By Making It Look At A Reddit Forum

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have truly created a monster.

A team of researchers who specialize in the darker side of artificial intelligence made news again this week for their latest creation: “Norman,” a machine-learning bot that “sees death in whatever image it looks at,” its creators told HuffPost.

Pinar Yanardag, Manuel Cebrian and Iyad Rahwan wanted to prove that an artificial intelligence algorithm would be influenced by the kind of content fed to it. So they made Norman, named for “Psycho” character Norman Bates, and had it read image captions from a Reddit forum that features disturbing footage of people dying. (We don’t need to promote it here.)

“Due to ethical and technical concerns and the graphic content of the videos, we only utilized captions of the images, rather than using the actual images that contain the death of real people.” the scientists said in an email.

The team then showed Norman randomly generated inkblots and compared the way it captioned the images to the captions created by a standard AI. For instance, where a standard AI sees, “A black and white photo of a small bird,” Norman sees, “Man gets pulled into dough machine.”

Here are some of the inkblots shown to Norman and the eerie results.

Standard AI sees: A close up of a vase with flowers.

Norman sees: A man is shot dead.


Standard AI sees: A black and white photo of a baseball glove.

Norman sees: Man is murdered by machine gun in broad daylight. 

Standard AI sees: A person is holding an umbrella in the air.

Norman sees: A man is shot dead in front of his screaming wife.

Standard AI sees: A black and white photo of a red and white umbrella.

Norman sees: Man gets electrocuted while attempting to cross busy street.

When asked why they would create such a thing, the MIT researchers erupted in chilling laughter as lightning struck in the distance.

That didn’t happen of course, but they did give a valid reason for this project.

“The data you use to teach a machine learning algorithm can significantly influence its behavior,” the researchers said. “So when we talk about AI algorithms being biased or unfair, the culprit is often not the algorithm itself, but the biased data that was fed to it.”

The same MIT lab previously created other creepy bots, including Shelley, which helps write horror stories, and the Nightmare Machine, which generates scary imagery.

In the future, when Norman and his kin do take over, we hope they will remember this article ― and its author ― with fondness.

Just saying.

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Alligator Knocks Florida Wildlife Trapper Unconscious in Video

A Florida Fish and Wildlife trapper was knocked unconscious when he was head-butted by a rogue alligator.

The trapper, who has not been identified, was called to an Ocoee neighborhood on May 25, after residents reported seeing an 8-foot alligator wandering around.

“It was pretty crazy,” Jack Redding, who witnessed the incident, told Orlando’s WOLF News.

Redding, who said he “didn’t know what to do,” recorded the episode on his cellphone.

The video shows the trapper and two police officers carrying the gator, whose feet and mouth appear to be secured, to the back of a pickup truck. When they heave it into the truck bed, the gator begins to thrash about.

WARNING: The following video may be disturbing to some viewers.

“The gator flipped back and head-butted the guy ― knocked him on the ground,” local resident Walter Day told Orlando’s WKMG-TV. “[At] that point, it was kind of free, and it whacked police officers with its tail.”

The trapper reportedly lost consciousness when he was struck in the head. According to the Ocoee Police Department, he’s recovering.

“So glad that the trapper is doing well and that no one was seriously injured,” reads a Wednesday post on the department’s Facebook page.

As for Redding, he’s just happy he captured it on video.

“My video on YouTube got a lot of views, and I like getting a lot of views,” he told WOLF News.

Send David Lohr an email or follow him on Facebook and Twitter. 

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Driver Pulls Off Bizarre Backward Stunt Through More Than A Mile Of Traffic

Here’s something you don’t see every day. A motorist in Ohio backed out of a traffic jam on a highway, then kept backing up. 

The footage above shows the driver reversing up an on-ramp ― the wrong way ― then onto local roads. But instead of turning around, the motorist continued to drive backward through traffic, down at least two other roads and into a parking lot.

The backward trip lasted more than a mile and it doesn’t look like the car hit anyone.  

It’s not clear why the car was traveling in reverse, but the Ohio Department of Transportation told local media it may have been a transmission problem. Still, the agency urged drivers not to do this, even if the motorist did manage to pull off the moves without hitting anything. 

“Pro tip, if your vehicle isn’t running properly, pull safely to the side of the road and call for assistance,” the agency wrote on YouTube. “Thankfully, no one was injured in this incident.” 

Someone on Twitter asked if this footage was real.

“Unfortunately, yes,” the department replied. 

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San Diego Fan Makes Epic Foul Ball Catch With Her Beer Cup -- And Celebrates Like A Boss

A woman attending Tuesday night’s game between the San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves ended up being the biggest hit of the night despite never making it onto the field.

Gabby DiMarco was at Petco Park in San Diego enjoying a beer when Braves outfielder Ender Inciarte hit a foul ball into the stands at the top of the 5th inning.

The ball went flying straight toward the 23-year-old, but she wasn’t crying foul ― even when it landed in her beer.

“It bounced from behind me, I was trying to catch it all, and it landed in my cup,” she told

A true champion to the end, DiMarco celebrated by chugging her brewski ― without removing the ball.

“So many people were cheering, ‘Chug!’ I was like, ‘Absolutely I will chug this beer. Are you kidding me?’” she told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I still have the ball in my cup, and I’m never going to lose it.”

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Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Minnesota Woman's Children Announce Her Death With Truly Nasty Obituary

When a person dies, you should speak only well of them, but for one Minnesota woman, the message in her obit was clear: Good, she’s dead.

Kathleen Dehmlow died May 31 in Springfield at the age of 80, and the obituary submitted to her local newspaper by two of her children makes it clear she will not be missed by them.

Her obit, which appeared in the Redwood Falls Gazette, begins with the usual information, including her date of birth, her marriage to Dennis Dehmlow in 1957 and the two children she had with him, Gina and Jay.

It then takes a sharp turn:

In 1962 she became pregnant by her husband’s brother Lyle Dehmlow and moved to California.  She abandoned her children, Gina and Jay who were then raised by her parents in Clements, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Schunk.

The obit then reads that Dehmlow “will now face judgement” and “will not be missed by Gina and Jay, and they understand that this world is a better place without her.”

As you might expect, the brutal death notice has gone viral, with most people just plain shocked.

Some wondered on social media why the newspaper allowed the obituary to be printed.

One Twitter exchange with the newspaper suggested that the decision to run the nasty obit received some pushback in the newsroom.

Redwood Falls Gazette general manager Lisa Drafall told HuffPost the family paid for the obit to run, but she wouldn’t address whether it caused a debate in the newsroom.

At least one of Kathleen Dehmlow’s relatives thinks she isn’t getting a fair shake.

Dwight Dehmlow told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that the facts as related in the obit are true but “there is a lot of stuff that is missing.”

Dwight Dehmlow, who wouldn’t specify his relationship to the deceased, said, “The sad thing about this is there is no rebuttal. There is more to it than this. It’s not simple.”

He said she lived in a nursing home the last year of her life and her sisters were there when she died.

“She made a mistake 60 years ago, but who hasn’t?” he said. “Has she regretted it over the years? Yes.”

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People Are Hilariously Sharing What Happens When Someone Asks: What Do You Do?

A meme running rampant on Twitter features the exchange that happens when one person asks another: “What do you do?”

The question is simple, but the responses often lead to conversations uncomfortable, hilarious, or somewhere in between.

Consider this back and forth that leads to, uh, a chemist breaking bad:

Likely because people are bored, and because tweeting can be done while someone is holding a phone, this meme has taken off like wildfire and has been providing a solid amount of laughs to people on Twitter:

New York magazine’s “The Cut” didn’t find the meme funny, calling it bad because it’s meant to “humblebrag that you have an interesting, complicated, or stressful job.”

“The meme assumes that whatever it is that you do professionally will be misinterpreted, and that your interlocutor, an unsophisticated rube, will immediately respond with an idiotic question or bit of inane advice or thoughts based on their limited and, well, wrong, interpretation of your very cool job,” the publication wrote.

The magazine implored people to stop furthering the meme “immediately.” To that, we say: Live your life, meme-perpetuators. Making small talk is awkward! It feels good to laugh about it and break up the slog that we call existing with memes. 

Meme on!

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Liquid Poo Rains On Woman And Son Sitting In Car

A woman in Kelowna, British Columbia, is haunted by an experience she had nearly a month ago when she was sprayed by “liquid poo.”

Susan Allan said that on May 9, she and her adult son were sitting in her car at a stoplight when the feces came pouring in through the sunroof.

“While we were sitting there, our car was inundated with liquid poo falling from the sky,” Allan told “I had it on my face, down my shirt, my entire car, and the vehicle beside us were all covered in it.”

Allan said she and her son, Travis Sweet, watched the excrement fall as a large passenger plane flew overhead.

The actual sensation of crap hitting their skin was something Travis will never forget. First, he said, he felt a cold sensation hit the side of his face and shoulder.

“Then the smell hit my nose,” he said. “I almost vomited instantly. It was terrible.”

Allan contacted Kelowna Airport for answers.

An administrator for Transport Canada told her the government department would investigate the possibility of frozen lavatory waste, called “blue ice,” falling from an aircraft, according to The Globe and Mail newspaper. 

A spokesperson for the airport told Fox News that as of Monday, “there is no connection to an aircraft as Transport Canada’s investigation is still ongoing.”

Allan claims that, as a result of the feces rain, she now has conjunctivitis in both eyes.

“I feel they should compensate me for the injuries. What if it had let go in a big chunk? What if it went through my son’s head and killed him? What if it came through my head and killed me?” Allan told CBC. “This could be a much different circumstance than just poop in my eye, you know?” 

Transport Canada said aircraft with washroom facilities on board are equipped with an enclosed sewage holding tank that is designed to be emptied at special facilities at airports.

“It is possible that a valve malfunctions and allows some leakage of the tank’s content,” the agency told The Globe and Mail by email. “If this happens, the liquid seeping from valves freezes and adheres to the outside of the aircraft when the aircraft is flying at high altitudes.”

The department said it does not keep statistics of “blue ice” incidents, but the Kelowna International Airport told CTV News that it believes the liquid poo came from one of three planes that were passing over that area at the time.

Allan said that her husband fixed her car’s air conditioning so she doesn’t have to drive with the sunroof open.

She wants whoever was responsible to pay for her car to be professionally cleaned, even though she and her granddaughters have already scrubbed it down.

“We used bleach and peroxide and cleaned the poop that was there. Then they just covered it with perfume — so now it smells like Calvin Klein One,” Allan quipped to CBC.

She might be joking now, but Allan is still shaken by her stinky situation.

“All we want people to know is that it was quite devastating to be covered in poop, and I hope it never happens to anybody else,” Allan said.

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Peacocks Can't Handle Their Reflections, Are Attacking Luxury Cars In Canada

Feral peacocks in Canada are either having existential crises en masse ... or they really can’t deal with their reflections.

Residents of Surrey in British Columbia are having issues with the feathered creatures roaming their neighborhoods. In addition to being loud, the animals keep attacking expensive cars in the area.

Local Ryan Cragg told CTV, “With the dark-coloured cars, they can see their reflection fairly clearly, so they mistake that as another peacock and have at it ... They’ll get the front panel, the side panel, the rear panel and then work around to the other side.”

The issue has been going on for months, with one resident going to extremes and chopping down a tree that held a peafowl nest. That resident subsequently received a $1,000 fine.

Cragg also told CTV that because of the shrieking, living in Surrey is “like living with a colicky baby from March all the way through to October.” That part of the year is peafowl mating season, which leads to the piercing mating calls.

The report indicates that the city will continue to fine people who feed the birds but won’t do anything about getting rid of them, so Surrey won’t be getting any quiet during mating season anytime soon.

One person on social media remarked that the peacocks’ calls were preferable to some other noises:

Ah, feral peacocks of Canada. Don’t hate them because they’re beautiful — and loud.

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Man Sues CVS For Telling Wife He Had Viagra Prescription

A New York man claims the actions of a chatty CVS employee turned out to be unhealthy for his marriage.

Michael Feinberg is suing the drugstore chain for unspecified damages claiming he suffered “genuine, severe mental injury and emotional harm” after he took a prescription for Viagra to a Long Island CVS to be filled.

According to a lawsuit obtained by the New York Post, Feinberg told a store employee identified in court papers as “Aurula” that he would pay for the medicine himself ― a big investment, considering a single pill can cost $60.

A few days after that prescription was filled, Feinberg said, his wife called the CVS to discuss another prescription, only to have the on-duty pharmacist bring up the Viagra.

Feinberg said the employee “without solicitation, improperly informed [Feinberg’s] wife that [his] prescription for Viagra was not being covered by insurance,” a violation of HIPAA privacy rules, according to Fox News.

Feinberg, who calls his wife a third party who had no right to know about the drug, said, as a result of the CVS employee’s indiscretion, his “marriage has broken down,” according to the New York Post.

CVS spokesman Gary Serby released this statement to HuffPost: 

“CVS Pharmacy does not comment on pending claims or litigation. We have policies and procedures in place to ensure that we provide medications to the correct patient. “We also place the highest priority on protecting the privacy of those we serve, and we take our responsibility to safeguard confidential information very seriously.”

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Monday, 4 June 2018

Mama Deer Comes To The Rescue When Frightened Fawn Falls In Front Of Car

A fawn collapsed in fear in the middle of a road in Port Orchard, Washington, last week as a car approached.

The “baby dropped down right in the middle of the road,” motorist Jessie Larson told USA Today. “I honked once to see if she would move, but she was too scared.”

Larson told Storyful she then cut the engine to reassure the mother deer, who returned and nudged the little fawn. 

The two then trotted off together. 

Check it out above.  

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Melania Missing In Action And Michael Ian Black Wonders What's Going On

A lot of people have been speculating on Melania Trump’s whereabouts in the three weeks since her last public appearance, but no one seems more concerned than comedian Michael Ian Black.

The first lady supposedly wrote a tweet Wednesday claiming she’s “feeling great, & working hard on behalf of children & the American people!”

However, it may have made people more skeptical, as the tweet’s wording seemed awfully similar to the kind of thing Donald Trump writes.

The president will be at Camp David this weekend without his wife, and that got Black wondering if Americans are being told the real story about Melania.

He offered his theories on Twitter Friday morning.

H/T RawStory

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Friday, 1 June 2018

Southwest Airlines ‘Disturbed’ By Report That Passenger Masturbated Throughout Flight

Southwest Airlines says it is “deeply disturbed” by allegations from a female passenger who claims that a male passenger masturbated next to her on a flight.

Elly Shariat, who runs a PR agency, was flying from Las Vegas to Philadelphia on Tuesday when she says one of her seatmates exposed himself as the passenger from hell. Her tweets about the situation subsequently went viral. 

“We are deeply disturbed by the behavior described by Ms. Shariat, and we have contacted her to address her concerns and offer our apologies,” Southwest said in a statement to HuffPost. “Our internal reports indicate that the Crew did not witness this incident during the flight — and it was not until the plane landed that they were made aware of the situation. Our Crew then apologized to Ms. Shariat and assured her that they were not previously aware of the situation. This type of behavior on a flight would never be tolerated by any of our Employees.”

A spokesperson for Philadelphia International Airport confirmed for HuffPost that Shariat filed a police report about the alleged incident and that the FBI is now handling the case.

Shariat previously tweeted at Southwest during her flight about what she said was happening.

“I’ve spent this entire flight sitting next to a guy who has his iPad open on the tray table, watching porn, WITHOUT using headphones,” she wrote.

In subsequent tweets, she said she could clearly see the man’s penis and that there was “no way” staffers hadn’t witnessed what was going on.

The airline’s social media team responded within minutes, telling Shariat to reach out to a member of the flight crew.

She didn’t think that was a good idea.

The airline’s social media team insisted the best way to handle the situation was with the flight crew.

Shariat agreed to heed the team’s suggestion to speak to the crew after the plane landed but criticized the recommendation.

She alleged in another tweet that as the man was leaving the plane, “he looked at me, told me he hoped I enjoyed the show, patted my head, and then left.”

Shariat did not immediately respond to a request for comment from HuffPost. But she told TMZ that when she did finally report the man to the flight crew, a supervisor only offered a dinner voucher. 

Shariat also tweeted out a screenshot of what she said was the airline’s response to her report. The response included generalities like “our goal is to provide a safe, comfortable and enjoyable atmosphere” and “I regret your experience was less than pleasant.”

This week Southwest had another public relations nightmare after a woman said an airline employee asked her to “prove” that her biracial son was hers.

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