We can all get stressed and even freak out a little bit from time to time. But the last person you want to find out is having a full-blown nervous breakdown is your pilot! Fortunately, the United Airlines jet hadn't taken off yet. Passengers aboard a plane on the runway in Austin, Texas, say a pilot clad in civilian clothes began addressing them via the intercom about her divorce and the presidential election (she called both candidates liars) before breaking into tears. The plane was still parked on the runway as she spoke, and about half, the passengers got up and left. A statement from United said: "We hold our employees to the highest standards and we removed that pilot from that flight. We brought in a new crew and they operated that flight." In a since-deleted video posted by a passenger, the pilot can be heard saying, "Don't worry, I'm going to let my co-pilot fly!" Afterward, the passengers bound for San Francisco seemed more concerned about the pilot than their delay. One said, "It was sad and by the end (the pilot) was in tears. I talked to her and hugged her because she was having a nervous breakdown." (Austin American-Statesman)
Your Dog is Probably Judging You Right Now
Be nice to your pets because they'll be judging you based on their own sense of morality according to new research. Dogs and monkeys prefer to spend time with people who do good things and help people. After babies as young as one were shown to have an "innate morality" that allows them to judge adults, James Anderson of Kyoto University wondered if dogs were the same. In the study, the comparative psychologist had dogs watch their owners struggling to open a container while an actor either helped, acted passively, or refused to lend them a hand. He found, dogs, like babies, have an "innate morality." The actors would then offer the dog a treat with the study finding the pets were more likely to choose the one who did nothing than those who had refused. Similarly, monkeys understood fairness and helpfulness. They would shun actors who refused to help other people with basic tasks when they offered treats. (Metro)
Saved By a Nose!
A lucky Australian man credits a yoga pose with saving his life. Daniel Miller was working with an excavating machine in a dam on his remote property when the ground gave way. Trapped beneath the machine's roll bar, Miller sank into the muddy bog literally up to his nostrils. The 45-year-old managed to keep his nose above water for at least two hours by arching his back to breathe and keeping "my head up above water using my arms -- I guess it was the cobra position." A neighbor eventually heard Miller's cries for help. As a firefighter plunged into the muck, rescuers used hydraulic equipment to drain the dam and free him. Authorities estimated Miller was stuck for two hours, but Miller's wife, Saimaa, writes on Facebook that it was more like five "with the weight of his excavator on his back, and with the boggy dam ground below him slowly slipping away." She adds that luck had "nothing to do" with her husband's survival. "It was literally sheer mental strength and determination to survive that got him through." Miller was flown to a hospital and treated for hypothermia and minor back injuries. And then he went straight to Lululemon for a new pair of yoga pants. (BBC)
Evil Does Eventually Die!
Some call the obituary harsh, but others say it's just brutally honest. Leslie Ray Charping, known as "Popeye," died in January. The Texas man was battling cancer but according to his recent obit, he died of being a "horse's a--." His obituary also states he lived "29 years longer than expected" but "much longer than he deserved." The wrath continues stating that Charping's "life served no obvious purpose," and he "possessed no redeeming qualities." His problems stemmed from mental illness and "drinking, drugs, and womanizing." Charping leaves behind "two relieved children ... and countless other victims." Charping's daughter told reporters she wanted, to be honest in his obituary to "bring closure." She says Charping was guilty of domestic violence, and she apologizes to everyone he hurt during his life. She says some people won't get why she wrote such an apparently mean obituary but that just means they had better parents than she did. (KHOU)
Now That's Good News!
Apparently, ultrasound isn't only good for expecting parents. Scientists in Spain have figured out they can use the same process to create brandy that tastes like it's been aged for years in just three days! Brandy is made by distilling wine then aging it in wood casks for at least two years to more than a decade. It's an expensive process but necessary as before brandy has aged it's practically undrinkable. Chemical reactions between the alcohol and the wood casks are what give brandies their flavor, smell, and color - a process that takes years. Correction: Now it takes three days! It seems the ultrasound waves create tiny bubbles that caused the oak chips to release chemical compounds, adding the brandy flavor. The results, published in Ultrasonics Sonochemistry, were "really unexpected," according to researchers. Eight trained judges ruled the ultrasound brandy "tasted surprisingly well" and was comparable to aged brandies. And while, at least in Europe, brandy has to be barrel-aged to legally be called brandy, this process could be used to quickly test different woods or to create an entirely new kind of liquor. (Discover)
Getting Lost - Level: Expert!
In 1963, a 23-year-old surveyor for the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army accidentally crossed the border into India. He's been stuck there ever since. The strange tale of Wang Qi starts with a nighttime stroll away from camp. He said he got lost and was "tired and hungry." He found a Red Cross vehicle and asked for help only to be turned over to the Indian army. After six years being held in various jails, authorities relocated Wang to a remote village and told him to stay put. Life wasn't easy there as he was denied Indian citizenship or documents, making it impossible to buy land and hard to hold a job. At the same time he was prohibited from returning home to China. Wang said, "I cried in the night," speaking of those first years in India. He eventually married and had children and grandchildren, but he never stopped hoping to return home. A spokesperson for the Chinese government blames Indian bureaucracy for preventing Wang's return for the past 54 years. But after being visited by a delegation from the Chinese embassy in recent weeks, visas were finally procured for Wang, his wife, and one of their sons. They could arrive in China this week. Wang says he's excited for a bowl of noodles from his homeland, but he's clear this is only a visit saying, "My family is here in India." (India Today)
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